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Celestron PowerSeeker 70AZ Telescope ($10 Scope)

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#1 astro.nanuuuuuu

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Posted 01 May 2023 - 05:06 AM

I used this telescope a lot. A LOT! I took it out to the backyard every single clear night I could. This telescope showed me the planets (Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn). It showed me M13, M57, M45 (a closer look than with the binos), M7, M8, M20, and the moon in close detail. It also showed me a power line in great detail; the distant object I used to align the finder scope with the main scope.

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#2 kgb

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Posted 01 May 2023 - 07:30 AM

Good article. My 1st wow! was with a small refractor on a wobbly alt/az too (Meade). Made me a lifelong refractor lover. I wish I still had it. Thanks for sharing
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#3 Agatha

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Posted 01 May 2023 - 09:41 AM

Wonderful review on this telescope.  Your enthusiasm and determination says so much about your entrance into the wonderful world of amateur astronomy.   : -)


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#4 Tom Duncan

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Posted 01 May 2023 - 10:09 AM

Agreed, while the genre is generally referred to as 'hobby killers' some can be coaxed to perform reasonably well if handled with care, understanding their limitations and in many cases changing the eyepieces to cheap Plossl's along with a diagonal upgrade.

 

This is mostly so with refractors, much less so with cheap reflectors as alignment/collimation becomes a factor. In many cases those adjustments are just not available plus you have the issue of the newbie user needing to understand them if they are.   

 

I'm currently evaluating a simple alt/az Meade Infinity 70 (70mm/700mm/f10) refractor rescued from a thrift store for $20 (complete in box!) and find even with the supplied MA eyepieces the view was quite good. My non-astro buddy observed the Moon with it while I was testing it and thought the view was quite satisfying. 

 

Within the hours I'm willing to view I don't have Jupiter, Saturn, M42/Orion Nebula nor the M13/Hercules Cluster to view (at a decent angle anyway) so I can't comment on the scopes performance on those seminal targets. Judging from the star test and Moon view I think it will do fine. 

 

Assuming a good night of seeing I feel a scope must deliver a decent star test, a good view of the Moon (admittedly not hard to do), at least three of the four stars of the Trapezium, a hint of the bands of Jupiter, clearly show the rings of Saturn and a bit more than a smudge of M13 to qualify as a usable astronomical telescope. If it can't do all that it goes to the dump. 

 

Tom Duncan 


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#5 BoldAxis1967

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Posted 01 May 2023 - 12:41 PM

A well-written and much needed review.  The excitement gained from an entry level 70mm AZ scope can be just as great as from a much larger scope.  

 

L. 


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#6 jazaharchuk

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Posted 01 May 2023 - 01:42 PM

Very good article. I actually have one of these telescopes that I picked up at a yard sale (also for for about ten dollars) some time ago. It needs some work. I'm going to restore it like Alejandro has done.


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#7 John R.

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Posted 01 May 2023 - 02:57 PM

Good job Alejandro! You have captured the essence of what this hobby should be, fun, and something to share with family and friends and strangers too. 
You don’t need to spend a lot either, as your review well shows.  I’m having a blast with a little 60mm x 500mm scope that cost $34 shipped to my door. At the moment it is first in line whenever the opportunity arises. 


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#8 FatalInertia

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Posted 01 May 2023 - 08:23 PM

Great read, hopefully you find your way into a larger scope some day, these are great for planets and even star clusters but not so much for nebulae much dimmer than M42, but you will be able to see M42 even in Bortle 8 skies. But hey, for $10 that's the best scope I can think of!
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#9 DeanMeurer

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Posted 01 May 2023 - 11:23 PM

Loved it...

Thanks for bringing back my own memories...

Been into Astronomy since High School in the 80's

Bought a Celestron Comet Catcher Jr.

Never have been able to collimate it,,,

Still

It gave me my first Wow's none the less...

So glad your first experience was so worthwhile...

One scope or One pair of binoculars are never enough once you get the bug...

And

Any Scope and Any pair of binoculars that provide a fun factor,

They are ALL worthwhile...

 

Clear Skies,

Dean


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#10 Meninomichael

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Posted 02 May 2023 - 12:25 AM

T echo John R.'s sentiments. Very nice review, Alejandro, and I'm very happy that you and your family enjoyed using that great little scope.
Thanks, and clear skies 👍.
Michael
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#11 astro.nanuuuuuu

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Posted 02 May 2023 - 10:11 AM

Thanks. Yes, actually, after this telescope I got the AWB OneSky (new), which I love, and this year I got an Apertura AD8 used, which was a game changer!

 

Great read, hopefully you find your way into a larger scope some day, these are great for planets and even star clusters but not so much for nebulae much dimmer than M42, but you will be able to see M42 even in Bortle 8 skies. But hey, for $10 that's the best scope I can think of!



#12 astro.nanuuuuuu

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Posted 02 May 2023 - 10:16 AM

Thanks, everyone! I learned a lot from this $10 telescope and my binoculars (which I still have). I've since moved on to a 5-inch tabletop dob (AWB OneSky), the short tube refractor I mentioned in the article (Celestron PowerSeeker 80AZS), and this year, I got an Apertura AD8, which was a game changer (and it's the telescope I use the most). 

 

Clear skies,

Alejandro


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#13 Sebastian_Sajaroff

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Posted 02 May 2023 - 12:34 PM

Great scope to begin with. I used it for 2 years before I moved to a 6" F/8 Dobson


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#14 radiofm74

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Posted 02 May 2023 - 03:37 PM

these little guys are also wonderful scopes to move DOWN to … that's when you discover the joys of a small refractor (yes, I'm referencing the thread title). Loved the review!


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#15 Mike Q

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Posted 03 May 2023 - 04:56 AM

I have one of these that i have fixed up to donate to someone who cant afford anything.  I have used it on the moon a couple of times with the eyepieces that came with it and it did better then i expected.  Even at 70mm it had the frac magic.  The moon was sharp and the contrast good.  It is a nice little scope that gives you the moon and planets and a inexpensive way to get into the hobby and it wont break the bank at all.  


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#16 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 03 May 2023 - 06:04 AM

Alejandro:

 

A great review and another example of why scopes like this are not "hobby killers."  If you've got the makings of an amateur astronomer, a scope like this is plenty to light the spark as it did yours. The Powerseeker 70 is a Cadillac compared to my first scope.

 

I bought a Powerseeker 70 some years ago at Walmart on Black Friday for $40. I was curious about what it could do. I also wanted to see what I could do to improve the scope and mount. The scope itself was pretty good. The mount was wobbly. The diagonal and the eyepieces were usable but upgrades to Kellners and Plossls and a simple star diagonal provided significantly better views.

 

To eliminate the wobble, I built a set of wooden legs from 2x2s, slotting the ends to fit the tripod hub. There was about $6 worth of wood and hardware. This.made a big difference.

 

post-3933-14073830818053.jpg

 

Jon


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#17 Tom Duncan

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Posted 03 May 2023 - 08:41 AM

Great to see how many have chimed in praising what some of the scopes often classed as 'hobby killers' can do.

 

That being said some really are hobby killers (and they go in the metal recycling bin) but as has been pointed out a simple substitution of the supplied eyepieces and diagonals with cheap next step up Plossl's and the ubiquitous prism or mirror diagonals commonly supplied with mid-priced scopes can make a huge difference. 

 

When my pile of truly crappy eyepieces from such substitutions starts overflowing it's storage box I put them up on Ebay in the "Crafts" section as a lot, suggesting they be used for an art project. I specifically state they are not appropriate for their intended use. 

 

Tom 


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#18 BLS

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Posted 03 May 2023 - 02:17 PM

I also started with a 70mm Celestron from Shopgoodwill and have been enjoying the hobby with a series of "low end" scopes.  Now I'm all the way up to a 90mm Celestron for refractor duties.  I find that at the astro club outreach events many folks are drawn to view through my setup by the simplicity.  I get remarks like "that's almost as good as that big one over there."  I think they can easily imagine dealing with a scope that looks like their idea of a telescope to start the hobby.  

 

Brian


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#19 jgraham

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Posted 03 May 2023 - 06:32 PM

I enjoy these small, lightweight, simple refractors and I have spent many pleasant evenings with them. For me the key was using good quality eyepieces, being seated and comfortable at the eyepiece, and using a light touch with the mount. With a light touch I find the motion smooth and easy and not at all bothersome. These qualities may make them challenging for a young beginner, but with patience they can be a delight to use.

 

Enjoy!


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#20 Wilsonman

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Posted 03 May 2023 - 06:40 PM

I started out with a 40 mm Tasco and had nothing larger for 3 years. Small refractors can be very enjoyable to use if the images are sharp. The 70 mm Celestron certainly is worthy of use as an introductory scope. Very good review!


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#21 desertstars

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Posted 03 May 2023 - 07:53 PM

Good review, and as other have said, it's good to see someone using a modest telescope and using it well to get things started.

 

My start, many years ago (summer of 1970!), came through the use of a 60mm refractor, which I still have and use. One of the few relicts to survive from my younger days. Far from a hobby killer, the memories I have of nights with this refractor eventually brought me back into amateur astronomy. I used it (with upgraded eyepieces and a hybrid diagonal) to refresh my knowledge of the night sky while I decided on the purchase of a larger instrument. Not long after I obtained the 8" Newtonian I settled on, I realized I wasn't ready to give up on that refractor, and now use it on a light duty EQ mount.


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#22 John R.

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Posted 04 May 2023 - 09:00 AM

Good review, and as other have said, it's good to see someone using a modest telescope and using it well to get things started.

 

My start, many years ago (summer of 1970!), came through the use of a 60mm refractor, which I still have and use. One of the few relicts to survive from my younger days. Far from a hobby killer, the memories I have of nights with this refractor eventually brought me back into amateur astronomy. I used it (with upgraded eyepieces and a hybrid diagonal) to refresh my knowledge of the night sky while I decided on the purchase of a larger instrument. Not long after I obtained the 8" Newtonian I settled on, I realized I wasn't ready to give up on that refractor, and now use it on a light duty EQ mount.

Apparently quite a few of the department store 60mm refractors had decent optics, it was the wobbly mounts that ruined the experience. About 35 years ago I picked up an incomplete one at Goodwill for $5 but never bothered to fix it up until early last year. The views that patched together contraption put up are amazing, once it is on a steady mount. 


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#23 desertstars

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Posted 04 May 2023 - 09:18 AM

Apparently quite a few of the department store 60mm refractors had decent optics, it was the wobbly mounts that ruined the experience. About 35 years ago I picked up an incomplete one at Goodwill for $5 but never bothered to fix it up until early last year. The views that patched together contraption put up are amazing, once it is on a steady mount. 

Mine sports the Towa logo, so yes, a good objective lens at least. I don't recall being all that disappointed with the original eyepieces, either, but then I wouldn't have known any better at that time.

 

The wooden tripod and alt-az mount mine originally came with wasn't actually all that bad when brand new. I increased its stability by hanging a bag of sand from the center of the accessory tray. I can no longer recall what prompted me to try that, but it did damp down vibration. I also ditched the finder scope, and glued white threads to its mounting ring to form a cross hair sight. That took a lot of fiddling, but in the end worked a lot better for the double stars I was after. Nowadays, a Rigel QuikFinder does the job.


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#24 Tenacious

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Posted 04 May 2023 - 07:03 PM

Enjoyed your review!

 

I started in the hobby with reflectors to get more aperture.  Just a few years ago, I "assembled" a 60mm f/16.6 on an EQ2 mostly from junked parts sold at a "Scope Out" swap table - just for curiosity...   Still have it. I continue to be blown away at what can be sharply seen and how fun it is to tinker with it.

 

Sometimes I like to imagine how Galileo would react to having a peek through my humble achromat.  He would see with crisp clarity the true nature of Saturn's rings, hints of cloud bands and even Cassini's division on a steady night - all things he never resolved.     A fun daydream...


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#25 PatrickVt

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Posted 05 May 2023 - 06:40 PM

This is one of my favorite telescopes after I did some upgrading and tuning...  ie, cradle rings, better mount, collimate optics, resurface inside of focuser tube to cut stray light, and a better diagonal and eyepieces.  This telescope and my Skywatcher 72ED are my two most used telescopes, by far.  Great sub-$100 telescope!


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