View Full Version : I have inherited a telescope

2006-Apr-17, 04:30 PM
I now have my brother's old telescope, a Tasco Refractor 40x

My brother who lives in Canada has moved onto other things, says it is quite basic.

The original documentation is no longer available, so can anything meaningful be done with it?

Also if I move a digital camera to the eyepiece, woulkd I be able to use it for astrophotography?

2006-Apr-17, 05:08 PM
These Tasco scopes aren't the best in the world, astrophotography will be problematic at best. I'd focus on learning how to use it and figuring out what needs to be upgraded on it (start with eyepieces if it still has the eyepeices those Tasco scopes ship with), or better yet, learn how to use it so you know what to look for when you upgrade! The Tasco scopo I had use of a few years back was extremely difficult to use. The mount was unsteady, it was very difficult to aim, and the images weren't the greatest.

You could try to take a shot of the Moon, but I doubt you'd be able to do much else astrophoto wise.

2006-Apr-17, 06:30 PM
It will probably be usable, but it's probably not worth spending money on. In particular, I disagree with redshifter about buying more eyepieces - the phrase "lipstick on a pig" came to mind.

If the mount is wobbly, you could try adding a bit of weight to steady the vibrations (very carefully - you don't want to bend anything). Otherwise, just enjoy it for what it can do, which should be plenty - a (presumably) 6omm aperture at 40x should give you views of Saturn's rings, Jupiter's clouds, the lunar surface, Milky Way star fields, double stars, many of the Messiers...

2006-Apr-17, 08:20 PM
I just need to learn to find my way around the sky. :shifty:

I live in a built up area and do not have a car, so am not sure when I can get to use it. :(

2006-Apr-17, 09:44 PM
Best way to learn to find your way around the sky would be to forget about that Tasco scope (maybe use it for moon/planets) and get one of those wheel thingys with the constellations on them that you set for a given date (it'll show you what's in the sky at any given date/time) as well as a pair of binocs, maybe 10X50's, and head outside. The Tasco scopes have a tendency to become sources of frustration I'm afraid.

2006-Apr-18, 07:44 PM
I would have to agree with Redshifter about the frustration. My first scope was a Tasco and while it did introduce me to the sky, it was very frustrating trying to keep a steady clear image.

A pair of binoculars with a decent tripod is far better for getting acquainted with the sky.

Check out "Orion Telescopes" online. They have a big selection at reasonable prices.

2006-Apr-18, 10:09 PM
I am not certain the eye piece can detach anyhue. This scope is quite old, 20+ to possibly 30 years old.

Does Tasco even still exist as a maker?

As I live in a tower block, with another one facing me, if I set up scope at my window, I might get some complaints from people accusing me of violating their privacy. Also as the summer draws on and it gets darker later, viewing time is short as I have to go to work early.

So not sure when I can get a chance of observing.

I hear this is not a good make, but this is all that I have access to, and with my finances, getting a better one is not an option for me at this time. :neutral:

2006-Apr-18, 10:56 PM
As I live in a tower block, with another one facing me, if I set up scope at my window, I might get some complaints from people accusing me of violating their privacy.
Hmm. Tower block. Views of neighbours. No money for a new scope. I think I see a fund-raising opportunity here...

2006-Apr-19, 02:17 AM
Tasco was purchased by Celestron, but I think they still sell scopes under the Tasco name.

Surprisingly, some of the really old Tasco scopes had decent optics, this might be one of them.

2006-Apr-20, 10:44 PM
Don't forget that Gallileo's scope was probably a lot worse. IIRC, his telescope had a magnification of x30 and certainly less than 2" of aperture. Even if one wouldn't recommend it as a good buy - it's a gift, and you can still discover mountains on the Monn, clouds on Jupiter, it's satellits, and maybe have an inkling of Saturn's rings. Venus' phases should be possibe as well, and a few fleeting imprssions of the Andromeda galaxy, the Orion nebula, the Pleiades, the Hyades, a few nice double stars (Albireo comes to mind) and maybe a couple of other Messier objects.

So out with you to the lawn in front of your city block (or maybe, out to the roof of it). Maybe it's not what you would buy as a first scope, but hey, you're already better equipped than the founding fathers of telescopic astronomy :razz:

Dave Mitsky
2006-Apr-21, 05:55 AM
For the record, Tasco (originally known as the Tanross Supply Company) was basically an import company. It didn't "make" any telescopes. In the 1960s, Tasco imported from telescopes from Japan. They were often of fairly good quality back then.

On the contrary, Tasco bought Celestron back in 1998. Tasco subsequently went bankrupt in 2002 and was acquired by Bushnell. Celestron is now owned by Synta.



Dave Mitsky

2006-Apr-21, 04:06 PM
Interesting info Dave. I thought that Synta used to make the Orion dobs (not sure if they made any other Orion branded scopes), I believe they are now made by Guang Shen or something like that.

Dave Mitsky
2006-Apr-21, 04:22 PM
That's correct. The fast achromatic refractors that Orion sells such as the ShortTube 80 come from Synta Technology Corporation too. They are rebadged and sold throughout the world by quite a variety of different companies.


The Taiwanese company is Guan Sheng Optical - http://www.gs-telescope.com/

Dave Mitsky

2006-Apr-21, 04:44 PM
Oops, I just missed proper placement of the G! Put it at the end of Guang instead of where it belonged...I think my 10" orion dob is the Guan Sheng version.

2006-Apr-21, 06:27 PM
i've been trying to build my own scope but the work involve is somewhat overwhelming. i had to drop the project for sometime. is their any faster way to build a scope.

2006-Apr-22, 05:56 PM
i've been trying to build my own scope but the work involve is somewhat overwhelming. i had to drop the project for sometime. is their any faster way to build a scope.

Faster than what? what technique have you been using?

2006-Apr-23, 09:25 PM
Well I tried it tonight, using a normal camera tripod.

Unfortunately there was no moon tonight, so it was a problem trying to find something to focus the scope on to get it in focus. I had to target a street lamp and then there was trying to find a star to target. Even when I did it was jumping around, sort of. Not certain if that was the vibrations of the scope, scintilation or knocking the scope when I tried to put my eye near it.

The only way I could verify I had it in focus was to target a bus shelter across the road from my flat on the 7th floor (8th floor in the US).

When is the next moon so I can try again. (Incidentally I am booked froim here until Thursday.)