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Monday, October 20, 2008

Project Grab 'n Go Update


I did some more work on my Tasco 114mm Newt this weekend and figure'd I'd share some of the results. I didn't have a working camera on hand, so no pictures this week. Because I don't have pictures, it's kind of hard to illustrate what problems I corrected, so I'll try to explain them in text!

  • One of the slo-mo controls kept falling apart. The spring inside the tube would come out of the metal collar that holds it onto the declination gear drive. So I repaired it with JB-Weld, which is basically like a cross between super-glue and metal (good stuff)! Now I can actually use the slo-mo control!

  • Also, the actual declination slo-mo would not engage sometimes, and turning the control would do nothing. Sometimes it would grab and work for a second then tighten up and not move at all. I found the solution to this is to tighten the large silver bolt next to it. This bolt is hollow and contains a spring. Putting more compression on this spring allows the slo-mo control to work every time!

  • The mount itself was abnormally sloppy and wiggly. Upon further inspection, I realized that a large percentage of fasteners on the mount were not tightened all the way. I tightened all the bolts and screws, and surprisingly the mount works excellently now!

  • I also washed the mirrors. I thought the mirror on my 10" was bad, you should've seen the mirrors in this thing! The previous owner must've been a smoker or something, because this mirror was filthy! Now it is sparkly clean and ready to go!


Overall, I've enjoyed restoring this telescope to operating condition. I'm even considering making a (very) small business of sorts of fixing up old telescopes that have "seen better days".

I think I can have Project Grab 'n Go completed within the next few weeks, and have it ready to observe!

Clear skies!

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