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Tasco 11TR from 1985 - need moon filter / advice

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Tasco 11TR from 1985 - need moon filter / advice

Postby Svashtar on Sun Nov 22, 2009 3:11 am

Hi Guys,

Total newbie here with an odd one for you. I have a Tasco 11TR (red tube) that was bought new in 1985 during the big hooha about Halley's comet returning, that was never even taken out of the box and has sat in a closet for the past 24 years. (Long story.) So today was like a blast from the past while I assembled this thing (lots of cool posters included, one of the moon, one of the solar system and one about Halley's.) It is unused in perfect condition BUT, I found out that the mfr did not include the small moon filter. Figures! I'm a quarter century too late to complain about the packing error.

I know that this is strictly a beginners scope, but want to get some use out of it. It has two eyepieces, a 20mm and a 45mm IIRC, as well as a 2x Barlow.

I found out that Tasco's vaunted Lifetime warranty is now worthless as the company was sold in 2002 and the new owners are not honoring any warranty's prior to their buying the company.

Q1: Does anyone know where I can get a moon filter for this? Are there std sizes and will another mfr model filter work?

Q2: I've read the big weakness in this model are the eyepieces (they are all marked "Japan") Can anyone recommend a couple of better quality eyepieces that would help this scope work a bit better? I have no basis for comparison, haven't even tried it yet, but just asking. It seems to have a decent equatorial mount and the quality of the mount and tripod seems very good, I'm just going about what I read about the eyepieces.

BTW, just read this on another site:

"Like others have said, the supplied eyepieces aren't much good. Neither is the finder as originally built, but the mirror optics are decent.

You'll need to do a bit of tweaking to get this scope to work. Here's what you'll need to do to get the 11TR up to decent standards:

1. Upgrade the focuser from 0.965 to 1.25. That way you can use readily available good eyepieces. Decent 0.965 eyepieces are very hard to find.

2. Upgrade the finder to 6x30 or replace it with a red eye BB gun type finder.

3. Learn to collimate (align) your optics.

With decent eyepieces and collimated mirrors, this isn't a bad scope at all. The mount could use some improvement as it is hard to set and keep the proper latitude for polar alignment. However, the mount has wooden legs which help with vibrations.

Bottom line is, if you can get this scope cheap enough, have good eyepieces, and are prepared to do some tinkering you'll have fun with this vintage telescope. If you are looking to go observing right out of the box, you'll be disappointed. "

So, any advice would be welcome as to how to "upgrade the focuser" and what new eyepieces I should start with, as well as the moon filter of course, and where I could get this stuff. Being brand new I'm not sure the mirror it needs to be "collimated" but I'll read up on that on my own and see if I can figure it out.

Thanks for wading through my long-winded post and for any info.

Best,

Norm
Svashtar
 
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Re: Tasco 11TR from 1985 - need moon filter / advice

Postby Jne_K on Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:34 am

That advice is exactly correct if your scope uses .965" eyepieces, BUT it is seldom cost effective to do this. By the time you add a 1.25" adapter or focuser (not going to find these, anyway) and outfit with enough 1.25" eyepieces and filters to do any astronomy, you could buy a complete new telescope with 1.25" eyepieces and accessories and actually come out with a better telescope than what you have now. If you decide to stay with .965", the only eyepieces made, anymore, are cheap eyepieces similar to what you have, now. I do not recommend this.
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Re: Tasco 11TR from 1985 - need moon filter / advice

Postby Svashtar on Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:01 pm

Thanks Joanie. I found an adapter to 1.25" online for about $25, the moon filter would be about $17, and I could get a couple of lenses to approximate what I have in .965 for about $60. Then the new finder scope would be about $28, so I'd have to invest about $130 - $140 to get it upgraded. Are you saying I can get a better scope with more than 2 lenses and a moon filter for that price? If so please let me know where and I'll consider selling this one at a garage sale for say $75 and going from there.

Thanks again!

Norm
Svashtar
 
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Re: Tasco 11TR from 1985 - need moon filter / advice

Postby Svashtar on Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:04 pm

Please disregard Joanie, you're 100% correct. If I could get $75 for this then another $130 will get me a much better unit. I found a whole bunch in the <$200 price range that address all my issues. Should have looked first.

Thanks for the guidance.

Norm
Svashtar
 
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Re: Tasco 11TR from 1985 - need moon filter / advice

Postby Jne_K on Tue Dec 01, 2009 2:43 pm

Hi Norm

That's right - you can get a better scope by going new, especially when your bargain used scope needs eyepieces. Kind of breaks my heart to tell folks this when they find that great buy on a used scope, but the math is the math
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