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Thread: New here - eyepiece questions

  1. #1
    Black88GTA's Avatar
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    Default New here - eyepiece questions



    Hello everyone, I'm new here and wanted to say hi.

    I've always been interested in space / the cosmos, etc. and just a few days ago happened upon a telescope at the curb on my street that someone had put out for trash pickup (who does that?). So I rescued it, and figured I'd see if I could fix it up and get it working. It is a Celestron AstroMaster 114EQ, and appears to be complete, with the tripod and everything. So, not the worst thing out there, but still solidly in "entry level" territory. I think the biggest problem is that there's only a single 20mm eyepiece, and the eyepiece lens looks scratched (and it rattles, not sure if this is normal?) Also, most of the exposed metal parts are rusty and there was all kinds of stuff on the mirror - including a few dead leaves and spiders. It looks like someone stored it outside I've been carefully scrubbing rust and dirt out of it since I got it, and it's looking a lot better than it was when I grabbed it at least. Pro tip - wet, loosely wadded tinfoil is a fantastic, chemical free way to take rust off of chrome and stainless steel! This worked great for the tripod and some of the chrome parts.

    I'm pretty sure I can save it, although it'll never be "perfect". I've been reading a bit (and still have quite a lot more to take in), and I think i'm looking to acquire a variety of starter eyepieces and maybe a collimating tool. I have a feeling it may need to be aligned. I don't want to go crazy yet, so I'm trying to keep this on a pretty limited budget for now. Is there a good online source for good deals on optics that anyone could recommend? Brands that are decent for the money, or any in particular to avoid?

    I don't know if this is something that has been beaten to death around here (apologies if it has - it probably has ) but is something like this Ebay set useful for anything at all? I know the quality will be kind of crap, since optics are always "you get what you pay for", but I know nothing about this - like what magnifications I would like best and that sort of thing - and would like to get an idea of what types of eyepieces I could get the most use out of. Something like this seems like it would at least give me a general idea of what I should focus on for not that much initial investment. Once I have identified which mags I like best, I'll probably upgrade to something a bit more respectable (assuming this scope works, that is). Light pollution is kind of a big thing around here, so I'm not too sure how much success I'll have regardless, but I at least want to try. If this has been answered a billion times, my sincere apologies. I'm going to read more as I go along.

    Thanks in advance for any help!
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    Default Re: New here - eyepiece questions

    A eyepiece that has a rattle does not sound good.
    The set you linked looks good, they are inexpensive eyepieces that will get you started and enjoying the hobby.

    I would usually suggest you start with only a few eyepieces and work your way up from there.
    Most likely a 30,20 and 10mm are good starter eyepieces.
    However the linked set will cover all those and more.

    Also be very careful with cleaning the mirrors, do not scratch them or scuff them in any way.
    There are some you tube videos on cleaning.

    Once you get the hang of using the scope it will soon become apparent which eyepieces you prefer and then you can upgrade to a quality set.
    Have fun and let us know how you get along with the cleanup and do not forget to post a first light report when you get there.
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    Default Re: New here - eyepiece questions

    I have a 25mm and 10mm plossl I can sell you fairly cheap. It came with my orion set and I never use them anymore. They are decent and could let them go fairly cheap. maybe 40$ and you pay shipping. I think that should be a fair price for both of them. If you get a decent barlow you would be good for a while.

    My first scope was a 114mm tasco. Even though it was junk it sparked my astronomy interest. The big thing is get it collimated and then enjoy it. Collimation is the big thing because it can make a seemingly so so scope that much better. Being that you're starting out you really don't realize how lucky you are. A free scope to test the waters is the best way to go. As long as the primary and secondary mirrors are still in decent shape you should be good. Good luck and let me know on the eyepieces they just sit around and it would be nice to see them get used.
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    Default Re: New here - eyepiece questions

    Hi. I believe you already have all the good advices you needed. Apart from those, below is one of my favourites links from the forum. I believe, If you read it you will have pretty solid idea about EPs. Which brand to go for? Is not particularly discussed here but i hope, it will come handy to you while selecting your EPs.

    http://www.astronomyforum.net/telesc...eyepieces.html
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    Default Re: New here - eyepiece questions

    Quote Originally Posted by kingclinton View Post
    A eyepiece that has a rattle does not sound good.
    The set you linked looks good, they are inexpensive eyepieces that will get you started and enjoying the hobby.

    I would usually suggest you start with only a few eyepieces and work your way up from there.
    Most likely a 30,20 and 10mm are good starter eyepieces.
    However the linked set will cover all those and more.

    Also be very careful with cleaning the mirrors, do not scratch them or scuff them in any way.
    There are some you tube videos on cleaning.

    Once you get the hang of using the scope it will soon become apparent which eyepieces you prefer and then you can upgrade to a quality set.
    Have fun and let us know how you get along with the cleanup and do not forget to post a first light report when you get there.
    Thanks for the quick response, and the advice. I know this set is likely pretty mediocre at best, but it would be just for learning on and seeing what I like. I cleaned the mirror by taking it out (and marking the backplate so that it would be reinstalled exactly the same orientation it came out), then sprayed it with tap water and then with 70% isopropyl alcohol so the water wouldn't leave spots. Then blotted off the alcohol very lightly with a brand new microfiber towel. It looks good and I don't think I scratched it at all, but it does have a little dust on it again. Nothing like the leaves and spiders that were there before at least. It looks to my untrained eye like it is in good shape, but I did notice a small chip on the back of it. I don't think this matters? The front is perfect. I also took the opportunity to clean the lens mounted in the center of the scope (I guess this is the secondary mirror?) while I had the big mirror out.

    The 20mm eyepiece I have doesn't rattle anymore at least - there's a rubber surround on the end that was preventing it from tightening all the way. Took that off and screwed down the end piece without it, and no more rattle, although now the rubber surround doesn't seem to fit right

    Quote Originally Posted by Clusternut View Post
    I have a 25mm and 10mm plossl I can sell you fairly cheap. It came with my orion set and I never use them anymore. They are decent and could let them go fairly cheap. maybe 40$ and you pay shipping. I think that should be a fair price for both of them. If you get a decent barlow you would be good for a while.

    My first scope was a 114mm tasco. Even though it was junk it sparked my astronomy interest. The big thing is get it collimated and then enjoy it. Collimation is the big thing because it can make a seemingly so so scope that much better. Being that you're starting out you really don't realize how lucky you are. A free scope to test the waters is the best way to go. As long as the primary and secondary mirrors are still in decent shape you should be good. Good luck and let me know on the eyepieces they just sit around and it would be nice to see them get used.
    Thanks for the offer, but I couldn't wait and made an offer to the ebay seller already and I'm obligated to buy if they accept. It may be quite a while before I'm able to decide what quality optics to buy anyways, as I can't really use it much where I currently am - surrounded by tall trees, nosy neighbors, and streetlights. Hopefully will be moving in a month or two to a much more appropriate location, where I'll probably get into it a lot more. I figure then I can experiment with the cheapies and see which magnifications I'd like to pursue in quality pieces.

    I was reading about Barlows and I'll probably grab one of those from somewhere, although I'm not sure what magnification to get. I guess 2X is the standard? Also possibly a collimating eyepiece - I've seen a couple laser ones for under $30 that may work. I have to read up more on this though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raihan View Post
    Hi. I believe you already have all the good advices you needed. Apart from those, below is one of my favourites links from the forum. I believe, If you read it you will have pretty solid idea about EPs. Which brand to go for? Is not particularly discussed here but i hope, it will come handy to you while selecting your EPs.

    http://www.astronomyforum.net/telesc...eyepieces.html
    I actually read this last night! Although it was quite a bit to take in, and I think I'll have to re-read it a few more times before it sticks. Excellent article!

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  10. #6
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    Default Re: New here - eyepiece questions

    Sounds like you did a fine job on the cleaning.

    Only way to find out about that ep is to give it a daytime test and see if it works.
    Assuming of course your collimation is done.
    Laser collimators work well and also need to be checked for collimation, again you tube has the answers on that.

    Enjoy the scope and I hope all the hard work pays handsome dividends for you.

    .

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    Default Re: New here - eyepiece questions

    Good luck I hope all works well for you remember that your scope has a corrective lens in the focus tube so collimation will be a bit more tricky, I used to have a bird Jones scope and I personaly found it quite hard to get it spot on with a laser, but managed to get it ok so you should be fine.
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    Default Re: New here - eyepiece questions

    Congrats on the find! I got a pair of skis that I used for years that same way...

    If you get that set of eyepieces, don't buy a barlow since the range of eyepieces is pretty large in that set.

    You are going to have to learn how to collimate the scope. This is even more important since you removed the primary mirror for cleaning and cleaned the secondary mirror (good job on cleaning, by the way). Collimation may seem daunting, but it really isn't very hard one you understand the concepts. The first time it will take a while, so schedule a few hours to do it so you have time to tinker. Once you get the secondary and primary mirrors aligned the first time, it is going to get so much easier after that. I collimate my telescope EVERY time I observe, and it takes less than 1-2 minutes to do now.

    If you don't collimate the telescope, your images will be fuzzy, and the higher you go up in magnification the blurring of the image will worsen.

    Spend some time researching collimation before you do it. A good place to start is the sticky threads in the Reflector Telescope Forum section here in this forum.
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    Default Re: New here - eyepiece questions

    That's cool no biggie. I will let them sit. If you change your mind let me know. Even though they are stock orion's they are still decent beginner eyepieces.

    Don't let a few tree and light pollution stop you. There is plenty to check out that will be available to that scope in your situation. Check out this book. I use it all the time and it has a bunch of stuff you will be able to see with that scope.Sky Atlas for Small telescopes. This has been my friend with my 5 inch scope. I don't consider myself a beginner though but the reason I like it is because it eliminates a bunch of stuff that I probably can't see and makes my sessions go much smoother.
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  14. #10
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    Default Re: New here - eyepiece questions

    This is a nice DIY project. Plossls are not bad way to start. It will cover your EP needs for now.

 

 

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