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Started by flusk, 08/17/2010 08:56PM
Posted 08/17/2010 08:56PM Opening Post
Yesterday I was in Sacramento for a couple of meetings. Afterwards, I took a side trip to Fry's Electronics to see what was calling my money. It's a dangerous store.

Since our club does a lot of school star parties I had been thinking for a while about picking a Celestron FirstScope. Parents and teachers often ask how much our telescopes cost, and I wanted something inexpensive ($49.95) to show them but that wasn't a 600x 50mm piece of junk.

Back to Fry's. My previous visit was last year, during the International Year of Astronomy, and Fry's was stocked to the gills with the FirstScope. Fortunately, they still had a few left so I grabbed one. The two eyepieces are low quality, but a good Plossl shows that the scope's optics are pretty decent. Nothing special, but very usable.

Attached Image:

flusk's attachment for post 51665
Posted 08/17/2010 09:03PM | Edited 08/18/2010 05:57PM #1
The FirstScope is a 75 mm f/4 (300 mm focal length). The supplied eyepieces are 20 mm Huygens and 4 mm SR (Ramsden?), and produce 15x and 75x. Unfortunately, the area of good focus in only about half the field diameter, apparently due to field curvature in the eyepiece.

My shortest good eyepiece is a 10 mm Vixen, which gives 30x. It looks good all the way across the field. I then decided to try my best eyepiece, a 13 mm Ethos. Unfortunately, because of the double barrel size I couldn't rack it in far enough to come to focus. However, it looks impressive so I took a photo.

Attached Image:

flusk's attachment for post 138066
Posted 08/18/2010 07:08AM #2
When I was 11 years old, I would have killed to get one of those.

Posted 08/18/2010 11:25AM #3
Fred: I bought one when the first came out, it actually did a pretty good job as a widefield scope and the price is right...

When I was done with it, I saw an Craigslist ad for someone looking for a scope to share with grandkids so I packed it up and sent it along.