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Thread: cannot focus telescope, even during the daytime

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    drimprobable's Avatar
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    Default cannot focus telescope, even during the daytime



    I recently bought a Meade az70 refractor telescope, however despite my best efforts I cannot seem to get the darn thing to focus.
    Yesterday afternoon I went out to try out the scope during the daytime (as per recommendations). I sat down on a bench roughly 200 yards away from a house and set up the scope. Looking through the scope without an eyepiece, the house is slightly blurry, although I assume that's just because it's a $200 telescope, but when I put on the 25mm eyepiece, no matter how much I play around with the adjuster, I can't get the building even remotely in focus. It seems as though I need to keep turning the knob clockwise, although it reaches the stop. Am I simply using an eyepiece that is too magnified for this type of viewing? I haven't been able to look at the moon yet because it has been to cloudy in my area.

    The lens is clean, I do not wear glasses, I am not using a barlow. Just the diagonal piece and an eyepiece

    Thanks

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    Default Re: cannot focus telescope, even during the daytime

    Funny thing, that scope is almost the exact one I started with. One thing I found with the focusing is that if the focus tube is in the scope all the way the gears on the focusing knob will not grab and move it. Is the tube actually moving in and out of the scope when you try to focus, or is the knob just spinning. If not, try pulling the focus tube out of the scope barrel until the knob gears grab it. Make sure when you turn the focus knob that the tube visibly moves. Other than that, I don't know why it wouldn't focus.

    EDIT: I just read your post thoroughly and see that you said it was moving.
    Last edited by Valerogg; 02-09-2013 at 05:09 AM.

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    drimprobable's Avatar
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    Default Re: cannot focus telescope, even during the daytime

    I took the telescope apart yesterday to try and determine if one of the lenses are bad. I took out the focus tube and looked through it, clear image, took out the front lens, clear image. The focus tube moves in and out all the way. Its almost as if the tube is too long...idk, i might have to just call the supplier and get another one

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    Default Re: cannot focus telescope, even during the daytime

    It might be a good idea to contact the supplier and explain the problem to them. They may have come across others with the same problem and know the answer. Good luck.
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    Default Re: cannot focus telescope, even during the daytime

    Is it this: Amazon.com: Meade 70 AZ Altazimuth Achromatic Refractor Telescope - Gray: Sports & Outdoors telescope?

    If that is the scope I'm not entirely sure what the problem is. It really may just be that you got a bad scope.

    It sounds like you are doing the right thing. You've likely removed all covers and any wrappings/films applied for shipping and marketing. You are using your 25mm eyepiece which is a better choice for trying things out, etc.

    Most astronomical telescopes will not very focus close up - but it sounds like the building you were using would have been far enough for almost any scope I've tried.

    One other thing to remember is that if that scope is the one I linked, then it just may be a very poor scope design. Amazon is selling the thing for $54 - about the price most of us will pay for a single lower-end eyepiece. This means that Amazon will sell you the tripod, mount, telescope tube, finder (crappy one), objective lens, and eyepieces for what we consider a decent deal for a single fairly decent eyepiece. No one can sell you that much stuff for that price unless they've cut a lot of corners on quality.

    I'd return the thing and get a good pair of binoculars. I have a pair of 8x50s I like a lot - and I think 10x50s are great as well.

    Or if you paid close to what Amazon quotes as the regular price, then start haunting Craigslist for a good used scope. I once got a very good 6 inch Dobsonian for that price - gave it to some relatives and I still sometimes miss the thing.
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    Default Re: cannot focus telescope, even during the daytime

    yep, that's the one i got, only i paid $200 =(. I think I will call the store and see if I can return it for store credit and buy a pair of binoculars. As much as I would like to spend $400+ on a proper telescope, it's not in the budget right now. thanks for the help

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    Default Re: cannot focus telescope, even during the daytime

    I'm not up to speed on the conversion rates but would have thought that that kind of money would be enough for a small Dob. Just a thought.
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    Default Re: cannot focus telescope, even during the daytime

    Did it come with the 90º diagonal and, if so, are you using the diagonal?

    A diagonal adds a bit more distance to the image path... perhaps about 2". The eyepiece will only come into focus if it's got the correct distance. I have (just as an example) an Orion ST-80 refractor which I piggy-back on my scope so my guide-camera can use it. That scope did not come with a diagonal. It will NOT come to focus with any eyepiece I own UNLESS I either use a diagonal -or- unless I add a 2" extender (the extender is just a hollow tube to put the eyepiece 2" farther back.)
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    Tim Campbell


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    Default Re: cannot focus telescope, even during the daytime

    My son has a real cheap and nasty department store 50mm refractor that has similar issues as Tim mentioned above. It came with a 1.5x 'erecting eyepiece' (SIC) tube and a 3x barlow, both of which are extremely physically long IMO. When these are used with any eyepiece the scope cannot focus at all, but if he uses just the star diagonal and an eyepiece it will focus fine.

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    Default Re: cannot focus telescope, even during the daytime

    I read no mention of using a diagonal. Just to be sure, the small refractors are designed for a diagonal to be in the light path, otherwise there is not enough "path length" for the scope to come into focus.

 

 
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