Saturday, 19 May 2007
Well I picked this up last Weekend while browsing round Maplins (like you do). It had been reduced to £9.99 and was looking unloved in its shabby box, so I thought I'd rescue it.
It is actually quite well put together, with its tough plastic ball mount and stand. The mirror is 76mm diameter. It comes with an erecting eyepiece to give a sensible magnification of 30x. I was quite surprised to see that it was collimatable, which was just as well as it looked a bit 'off'.
In the week it was clear so I had a chance to star test it. Once I had collimated the secondary I turned the scope on Venus. I was amazed that I could actually discern Venus' phase with this little scope. Even my son was impressed. In fact I think he has eye on this. I think it would make quite a good little starter scope and for travelling. I then turned the scope towards Saturn and was impressed that it clearly resolved the rings, though it was very small in the eyepiece.
As it got darker I was a little disappointed with the light grasp of the scope, though I think this down to the eyepiece rather than the main optics. I may experiment with more conventional eyepieces.
All in all this is a capable little scope, which would make a nice present for a child (or a big kid) for both solar system and daytime use.