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Posted by Bob Sal on July 8, 2003 13:21:25 UTC

How does the mirror look, is it in good shape, is it tarnished anywhere, are there scratches, does it look dull. A reflector need to be collimated, that is, aligned the primary mirror with the smaller secondary mirror. There are tools available to help in this procedure (laser collimators and such) you can eyeball it at first. There should be screws at the bottom to adjust the mirror. Don't touch them untill your ready. In order to collimate you need an eyepiece. This is important. A poorly collimated scope will not yield good images. Don't get nervous, it's easy, it's not hard. But it will need to be done. See if there's a local astronomy club you can go to. They are usually very helpful to new people. You can probably borrow everything you need to start out. They will help you decide if the scope is good enough to invest money in to get it working. I've already suggested around $200 worth of stuff you'll need.

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