Congratulations! You have bought a wonderful telescope. This is a precision optical instrument, and you have many wonderful evenings of observing the night sky ahead of you. This on-line guide is to help you assemble your telescope properly.
Of course, the telescope comes with an assembly guide, and we were able to assemble our first telescope in exactly 1 hour and 15 minutes using that guide. We had never assembled a telescope before, so you can be assured that the paper assembly instructions will do the job.
However, we know that many people are visually oriented and that pictures of the assembly process would be helpful. Since your telescope assembly guide and instruction manual does not have a lot of pictures, we have put together this online guide to help you assembly your telescope for your first night of observing. The paper guide in your telescope puts the telescope together in a slightly different order as we do in this online guide, so you may have trouble following both at the same time.
Once your telescope is assembled and ready to go, the rest is up to you. Learning astronomy is all the fun anyhow! So let’s get started . . .
ASSEMBLING THE TRIPOD
Putting the tripod together is the hardest part of the whole job and, unfortunately, it comes first.
- Step 1
Find one of the three tripod legs as shown in Figure 1
Figure 1 — A tripod leg.
- Step 2
Find the three tripod leg tightening screws shown in Figure 2
Figure 2 — Tripod leg tightening screws.
- Step 3
Insert the tightening screw into the side of the tripod leg as shown in Figure 3
Figure 3 — Inserting the tripod tightening screw into the tripod leg.
- Step 4
Find the base mount shown in Figure 4
Figure 4 — The base mount.
- Step 5
Find the base mount assembly parts. There are 3 sets of parts. Each of the 3 sets has 5 parts: 1 hexagonal ended bolt, 1 tightening nut, 2 large flat washers and 1 small flat washer. These parts are pictured in Figure 5.
Figure 5 — The base mount assembly parts.
- Step 6
BE CAREFUL HERE. READ THIS STEP CAREFULLY! THEN READ STEPS 7 THROUGH 13 BEFORE CONTINUING ON TO THE NEXT STEP. Figure 6 shows what your are going to do in the next few steps. You are going to attach the base mount to the one end of the tripod. Please notice that there is a metal flap hanging off of the tripod leg in Figure 6 below. That is the mounting for the accessory tray. When you attach the base mount in the next few steps, be sure that the accessory tray mounting flap is on the inside of the tripod — as shown in Figure 6. (Take a peak ahead at Figures 13 & Figure 20 to get a look at why those accessory tray flaps need to be on the inside).
Figure 6 — The base mount attached to one tripod leg. Note the position of the accessory tray.
- Step 7
Insert the hexagonal bolt partway into the end of the tripod. Then place one of the large flat washers on the end of the bolt as shown in Figure 7.
Figure 7 — Placing the first large flat washer on the tripod assembly.
- Step 8
The first large flat washer should be set as shown in Figure 8 below.
Figure 8 — Setting the first large flat washer in the tripod assembly.
- Step 9
Next, attach the base mount to the tripod. Be sure to use the second flat washer on the other side of the tripod assembly as shown in figure 9 below.
Figure 9 — Attaching the base mount to the tripod.
- Step 10
Place the small flat washer on the outside of the tripod assembly as shown in Figure 10.
Figure 10 — Placement of the small flat washer on the tripod assembly.
- Step 11
Make sure the hexagonal bolt is locked into place and flush (flat) with the tripod assembly as shown in Figure 11.
Figure 11 — Hexagonal bolt should be flush with the tripod assembly.
- Step 12
Screw the tightening nut on as shown in Figure 12.
Figure 12 — Tightening screw on completed tripod assembly with base mount.
- Step 13
Repeat Steps 7 – 12 on the second tripod leg so that it is assembled as shown in Figure 13 below with the accessory tray flap on the inside of the tripod. Then attach the third tripod leg as well and you are done!
Figure 13 — Two of the tripod legs attached to the base mount.
- Step 14
ATTACHING THE ACCESSORY TRAY
You may want to find a small screwdriver you help get the accessory tray on good and tight.
Locate the metal accessory tray and the component screws. There should be 3 round head metal machine screws, 6 small washers and 3 wing nuts as shown in Figure 14 below.
Figure 14 — The accessory tray and assembly parts.
- Step 15
Insert one of the screws and a washer into one of the small holes located on the rim of the accessory tray as shown in Figure 15 below. The accessory tray has a metal lip that will be facing upwards when the tray is attached to the tripod.
Figure 15 — Insert the first washer and screw into the top of the assembly tray.
- Step 16
Attach the accessory tray to the accessory tray mount flap on one of the 3 tripod legs as shown in Figure 16 below. Attaching the accessory tray to the outer most hole on the flap will provide the most stability for your telescope.
Figure 16 — Attach accessory tray to the flap on one of the tripod legs.
- Step 17
Place a second washer over the screw on the bottom of the accessory tray flap as shown in Figure 17.
Figure 17 — Place a second washer over the screw when you attach the accessory tray.
- Step 18
Attach the wing nut to the bottom of the screw as shown in Figure 18.
Figure 18 — Attach the wing nut to the bottom of the accessory tray.
- Step 19
You may want to use a screwdriver, as shown in Figure 19 below, to hold the screw in place while you tighten the wing nut.
Figure 19 — Using a screwdriver to help tighten the wing nut.
- Step 20
Repeat Steps 15 – 19 to finish attaching the accessory tray to the tripod. When you are finished, the tripod should be assembled as shown in Figure 20 below.
Figure 20 — The finished tripod assembly with attached accessory tray.
- Step 21
Find the equatorial mounting and the single large horizontal axis clamp screw, both shown in Figure 21 below.
Figure 21 — The equatorial mount and horizontal axis clamp screw.
- Step 22
MAKE SURE THE TRIPOD LEGS ARE GOOD AND TIGHT!! Then, attach the equatorial mount to the tripod and tighten it in place from underneath using the horizontal axis clamp screw as shown in Figure 22 below.
Figure 22 — Attaching the equatorial mount and tightening it in place.
- Step 23
Insert the polar axis screw as shown below in Figure 23 below. Once that is attached, you can adjust the equatorial mount so that it is stable in an upright position.
Figure 23 — Attaching the polar axis screw.
- Step 24
Attach one of the flexible cables (the declination flexible cable control) to the worm gear drive as shown in Figure 24 below.
Figure 24 — Attaching the declination flexible cable control.
- Step 25
There is a groove in the worm gear attachment, use the thumb screw to tighten the flexible cable control to the worm gear drive as shown in Figure 25, below. Make it good and tight!
Figure 25 — Tightening the flexible cable control.
- Step 26
Next, attach the other flexible cable (the right ascension flexible cable control) to the worm gear drive as shown in Figure 26 below. Be sure to tighten the thumb screw like you did in Step 25.
Figure 26 — Attaching the right ascension flexible cable control.
- Step 27
Slide the counterweight onto the balance shaft as shown in Figure 27.
Figure 27 — Placing the counterweight on the balance shaft.
- Step 28
Screw the balance shaft into the hole at the bottom of the declination shaft as shown in Figure 28. You can now use the set screw in the counterweight to hold the counterweight in place up and down the balance shaft. This will allow you to balance the telescope when it is completely assembled, making it possible to rotate the telescope smoothly by the slightest turn of the flexible cable controls.
Figure 28 — Attaching the balance shaft and counterweight to the equatorial mount.
FINAL ASSEMBLY OF THE TELESCOPE TRAY
You are now ready to attach the main reflector tube of the telescope.
Remove the body belt from the main tube by unscrewing it from the main telescope tube as shown in Figure 29 below. Hang on to those round nuts, you will need them. (Note the plastic bag was previously removed before the photo in Figure 29 was taken)
Figure 29 — Unscrewing the body belt from the main telescope tube.
- Step 30
Attach the bottom half of the body belt to the equatorial mount by sliding it into position as shown in Figure 30 below. There is a notch in one side of the body belt (look closely at Figure 30) that is used to keep the body belt from sliding around. Use the tightening knob to tighten the body belt to the equatorial mount.
Figure 30 — Attaching the body belt to the equatorial mount.
- Step 31
When the body belt is attached to the equatorial mount, make sure that all of the various knobs and clamps are tight so that when you attach the telescope in the next step it does not rotate around and fall. You should set up the equatorial mount so that it is mostly horizontal, as shown in Figure 31 below.
Figure 31 — Attaching the body belt to the equatorial mount.
- Step 32
Carefully place the telescope on the body belt and tighten it in place with the upper body belt brackets and the round tightening nuts as shown in Figure 32 below.
Figure 32 — Attaching the body belt to the main tube.
- Step 33
Next, remove the small eyepiece adaptor that is attached to the focusing tube, and replace it with the larger threaded eyepiece adapter into the rack and pinion focusing tube as shown in Figure 33 below. There is a thumbscrew on the eyepiece adapter that you can use to tighten it in place. The small eyepiece adaptor is used to permit smaller .965 inch eyepieces to be used with this telescope. However, the large eyepiece adapter (shown below) is what you need for the eyepieces that come included with your telescope.
Figure 33 — Attaching the eyepiece adapter.
- Step 34
Attach the sighting scope to the main telescope tube using the round nuts as shown in Figure 34 below
Figure 34 — Attaching the sighting scope.
- Step 35
Smile! You did it. Now go enjoy your telescope. You probably will want to align the sighting scope during the daytime because it is easier. You should do this outside and point the telescope at something at least 50 yards away. Objects will be seen upside down through the eyepiece — this is normal! When you are looking at distant stars, it won’t matter if they are upside down. The owners manual has helpful instructions for alignment of the sighting scope.
Figure 35 — Ready to observe.