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  1. #1
    FlyBoyGrounded's Avatar
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    Default Please help me make this telescope work



    I've found an old Tasco refracting telescope in my shed and set it up to observe but can't focus on anything.

    I've tried it in daylight, aiming at houses a long way away but nothing with reveal itself.

    When I look into the right angled mirror without an eyepiece, I can see objects but as soon as I put a 20mm eypiece on there's just whitish light in the eyepiece.

    If my girlfriend walks in front of it I can see a change in colour from white to the purple of her cardigan but the full travel of the focusing rack doesn't bring anything into focus, even at the end of two streets away.

    The model is an ST-60700CT

    I know these aren't the best telescopes in the world but I thougth I would at least be able to see something, even ground based objects in daylight.

    What could be wrong?

  2. #2
    sxinias's Avatar
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    Pointing a telescope toward the sun is dangerous. Don't look through it as instant blindness will result.

    One error some make is turning the focus knob too fast. You can pass through the focus area without even realizing it. Try again starting with the focus tube all the way in then very slowly turn the focus knob until you reach a focus.
    Last edited by sxinias; 03-07-2010 at 04:54 PM.
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  3. #3
    jimt's Avatar
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    Default

    Unless you are experienced with observing the Sun, I would HIGHLY not recommend pointing your telescope anywhere near it. Sounds like a focuser issue to me.

    Jim
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  4. #4
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    The focusers on all Tasco telescopes are single-speed, rack-and-pinion with incredibly poor and imprecise machining in the mechanism.

    They are notorious for small in-focus "sweet spots" - combined with the imprecision of the focuser, it is very easy to miss the in-focus point, especially with shorter focal length eyepieces than about 30mm.

    Assuming the objective lens is reasonably clean, and there are no gross blockages in the interior of the tube (i.e. cobwebs, spider egg sacs, etc. - typical side-effects of shed storage), and the eyepiece barrel is not likewise obstructed or overly dirty you should be able to focus on a daylight object 50 - 60 yards away. Move the focuser knob very, very slowly starting from the fully racked-in position, racking the focuser out. The required movement is in fractions of a turn - say 1/32 to 1/16 of a revolution. With a 20mm eyepiece, you should find focus within the first third to one-half of the focuser draw-tube movement.

    Please, do not point the telescope at the sun. Even using a card to focus on, you can still damage the telescope, potentially your eyes, and it is never, ever a good thing to do unless you are an experienced observer, using a solar telescope or appropriate primary objective filters (never, ever an eyepiece filter...).
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  5. #5
    jrkirkham's Avatar
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    Default

    If you can find a local astronomy club, an amateur astronomer, or perhaps even a science teacher, take the scope to them and see if they can help. I've had people bring scopes like that to me that were missing pieces, had focusing mechanisims jammed, and several other things. It might be something simple, but it is difficult to tell unless someone sees the scope or unless we see a picture or hear more description. A Tasco refractor isn't the world's most expensive scope, but it should focus with a 20mm eyepiece and offer a usable view. I have a small Tasco reflector. The mount frustrates me, but the scope has an OK view with the 20mm eyepiece.
    Rob
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  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyBoyGrounded View Post
    I've found an old Tasco refracting telescope in my shed and set it up to observe but can't focus on anything.

    I've tried it in daylight, aiming at houses a long way away but nothing with reveal itself.

    When I look into the right angled mirror without an eyepiece, I can see objects but as soon as I put a 20mm eypiece on there's just whitish light in the eyepiece.
    Is the eyepiece ok?
    It sounds like a focus problem or the lens are at wrong alignment.
    I don't think there are obstructions inside the scope as long as you can see through the diagonal and scope.

    In my case, I can't see objects in the eyepiece during daylight unless I keep the eyepiece at some distance from and out of the diagonal barrel.
    But I can focus just fine during night time.

    During night time, try this test: point the telescope to a bright star and fiddle with the focus. Eventually you should see a white circle and by then you continue playing with the focus until you decrease the size of the circle to a point of light - and that should do it.

    Do you have any other eyepieces?
    For night time tests I suggest start using the EP with the maximum field of view
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