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REFLECTING TELESCOPES THAT GIVE MORE SKY FOR LESS
FROM
STARGAZER STEVE TELESCOPES 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

About Stargazer Steve's Telescopes

ARE THE SCOPES COMPLETE OR DO I HAVE TO MAKE OTHER PURCHASES BEFORE USING IT?

Both scopes come complete. The mount and eyepiece and everything else you need are included. The Sgr-3 is ready to use moments after you remove it from the box.

The Kit, together with 4 tools and 7 lbs of balast material are all you need to complete the telescope in a day. The tools needed are a hammer, pliers, small utility knife, and a Phillips (+) screwdriver.

A child's small bucket of sand will allow balancing of the telescope, providing a low centre of gravity and making possible the very stable low-profile mount provided. Instead of sand toy marbles, small metal objects, shot, scrap, or discarded wheel-balancing weights from a tire shop can also be used.

DOES THE KIT REQUIRE OPTICAL OR SHOP SKILLS?

NO...This kit is an ideal starting point for a teenaged or adult beginner, or a parent and child team. At the end of the day you will be able to see details on the Moon and planets etc with a fine telescope you have built yourself, and you will know how it works!

ARE THESE SCOPES GOOD FOR LOOKING AT OBJECTS ON THE GROUND (OR BIRDS etc)?

Newtonian telescopes will focus on objects which are at least two blocks away, and you can see a lot of detail. However, you will have to get used to seeing things the way Astronomers and Astronauts do, not placing too much importance on which way around they are! Astronomical telescopes provide an INVERTED (upside down) view. Usually astronomers prefer NOT to use devices with extra optical surfaces to put the image upright. The extra manipulation of the light can reduce the brightness and sharpness of the image.

Besides, "image erecting" devices are not well suited to Newtonian Reflecting telescopes. There is, however, one way we CAN recommend seeing "right-side-up" with a reflector. Aim the scope, then stand just to the side of the front of the tube with your back to the scene you are viewing. Bend forwards at the waist to look into the eyepiece and the view will appear erect.

IS THE FINDER INCLUDED?

Most telescopes selling for under $1000.00 come with extremely cheap inadequate finders whose small lenses yield a dim view of a "keyhole" patch of sky which appears inverted or flipped left-to-right. It is difficult to even know which star is being seen in such a finder, and their single-strut brackets allow the finder to slip out of alignments easily. 

Stargazer Steve's telescopes come with "gunsite-type" finder sights which show precisely where the main scope is pointed without interrupting or confusing the link between your eye and the sky. The Sgr-3's finder sights are located in a small tube beside the eyepiece and are permanently aligned before the scope is shipped. The sights for the kit scopes are aligned by the user as explained in the step-by-step assembly video.

WHAT IS THE TUBE MADE OF?

The tubes are made of a strong vibration-damping thermally insulating material with a long, renowned history in telescope making: cardboard! (heavy-duty mailing tube or Sonotube)

John Dobson goes as far as to say they work so well for telescopes that he doesn't understand why anyone would pour concrete in them!

Metal tubes tend to vibrate and transmit image-spoiling heat flows unless lined with cork, something few manufacturers of inexpensive scopes will bother to do.

HOW ARE THE TUBES FINISHED?

The Sgr-3's tube is covered with a textured vinyl fabric which enhances the weather resistance of the telescope, and its thermal properties, while offering a surface which is very friendly to the touch. 

The tube of the 4 1/4-inch telescope is shipped with a weather-resistant skin, and can be painted to suit the personal tastes of the user at any time. We suggest enjoying a season of stargazing before personalizing the finish of the tube, so that the stars don't have to wait for the paint to dry!

Interior/exterior floor and deck enamel, applied after sanding the outside of the tube with coarse sandpaper, does a nice job on the tube of the 4 1/4-inch Kit Scope. We recommend clear polyurethane varnish on the birch plywood of the mount. The wood can be stained first to bring out the grain of the wood.



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