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Funscope slightly modified (2-12-20)

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:17 am
by terrynak
I went to my storage space to retrieve two scopes, including my other sample of the Orion Funscope, stored in the original box:

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Inspired by a modification someone had done with this scope and put on YouTube, I took this other Funscope and removed the two pins used to secure the 10mm proprietary EP in the focuser with a knife:

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Then I attached a small piece of felt on the inside of the focuser:

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Now any standard 1.25” EP fits snugly into the Funscope focuser tube.

I took the scope outside and tested it with five different EPs (giving magnifications of 15x to 50x) on M42 and the stars around Orion – all five EPs came to focus and gave brighter views than the proprietary 10mm erect image EP.

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Using a 6mm Expanse EP (50x), I could see 3 of the 4 main stars in the Trapezium.

I was feeling under the weather, so I ended the session shortly after that. Need to test the scope on Venus and the Moon before I can give a final word on the optics. I also need to get the hang of navigating the Astroscan-like ball and socket mount under the night skies.

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Re: Funscope slightly modified (2-12-20)

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:18 pm
by Lady Fraktor
Good that you found it will work with other eyepieces, they look a bit like porpoises.

Re: Funscope slightly modified (2-12-20)

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:26 pm
by Dragonsfire
They do look nice for a retro collection :)

Re: Funscope slightly modified (2-12-20)

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:57 pm
by Bigzmey
Who needs mount? Just hold it like the girl in the pic. She is enjoying it! :D

Re: Funscope slightly modified (2-12-20)

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:53 pm
by terrynak
Lady Fraktor wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:18 pm
Good that you found it will work with other eyepieces, they look a bit like porpoises.
Yup, although I need to make sure that the alignment of the EP with the mirrors are as good as I can get it to be.
Dragonsfire wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:26 pm
They do look nice for a retro collection :)
Thanks, but the one which now takes any standard 1.25" EPs I'd like to use as a "serious" observing scope.
Bigzmey wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:57 pm
Who needs mount? Just hold it like the girl in the pic. She is enjoying it! :D
I'd prefer to use the mount. Anyways, the views through this scope are better than the current Orion Funscope being marketed today, as I recall.

Re: Funscope slightly modified (2-12-20)

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:43 am
by terrynak
Took the modified Funscope out again, to test its performance on Venus in the western horizon. Could not get it to focus sharply until I reached 50x, from which I could see a gibbous shape despite the glare. For comparison, I took out my Orion SkyScanner (collimation tested) - was able to see the shape clearly at 40x, but had trouble at magnifications below this. So I'm OK with the Funscope so far. Just need to test it out on the moon.

Re: Funscope slightly modified (2-12-20)

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:56 am
by Thefatkitty
Hey Terry, those are neat; I've never seen one before. Nice deal on being able to remove the stock EP and use some quality lenses.

Hope you get a view of the Moon as well. I'm going out in half an hour to do exactly that (it's 2AM here, mild insomnia :lol:).

Have a good night!

Re: Funscope slightly modified (2-12-20)

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:45 am
by John Baars
Always nice to see that amateurs like us find more versatile uses of simple devices!

Re: Funscope slightly modified (2-12-20)

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:21 pm
by terrynak
Thefatkitty wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:56 am
Hey Terry, those are neat; I've never seen one before. Nice deal on being able to remove the stock EP and use some quality lenses.

Hope you get a view of the Moon as well. I'm going out in half an hour to do exactly that (it's 2AM here, mild insomnia :lol:).

Have a good night!
Thanks Mark! Didn't realize that you can get decent views from these scopes - courtesy of parabolic mirror. Other Newts of this size (76mm) have a spherical mirror.

Re: Moon - I'll have to do it when I get up in the morning.
John Baars wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:45 am
Always nice to see that amateurs like us find more versatile uses of simple devices!
The more experienced an observer you are, the more you can see with smaller and simpler scopes.

Re: Funscope slightly modified (2-12-20)

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:34 pm
by kt4hx
Way to go Terry, adding more versatility to those little red penguins! I remember many years ago seeing several photos of people using handheld richest field newts with straps attached that went around their neck/shoulders for stability. Some of them were like the Astroscan, but some were just fast focal ratio newtonian OTAs used unmounted. Have fun and hope you are feeling up to getting out of town for some observing this weekend as you mentioned earlier. :)

Re: Funscope slightly modified (2-12-20)

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:29 pm
by terrynak
kt4hx wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:34 pm
Way to go Terry, adding more versatility to those little red penguins! I remember many years ago seeing several photos of people using handheld richest field newts with straps attached that went around their neck/shoulders for stability. Some of them were like the Astroscan, but some were just fast focal ratio newtonian OTAs used unmounted. Have fun and hope you are feeling up to getting out of town for some observing this weekend as you mentioned earlier. :)
Thanks Alan! I've never tried handheld viewing, unless they were with binoculars.

I'm in San Luis Obispo now. But I'm under the weather here, so I can't be outside for a long period of time.

Last night my observing was limited to the porch/balcony of the motel - will probably do that again tonight. Despite the glare of the parking lot/street lights, can see more in slightly darker skies here using a ST80 compared to home using a 4.5" F/7.9 Newt.

Re: Funscope slightly modified (2-12-20)

Posted: Sat Feb 22, 2020 3:37 pm
by AbbN
In my younger day when I was still single (I've now been married for 35 years) I almost bought an Edmund Scientific Astroscan which is very similar to your Fun Scope. However a good friend of mine worked at the camera store that sold them talked me out of it as he believed it to be nothing more than a "cheap toy" as he put it.........

Abb

Re: Funscope slightly modified (2-12-20)

Posted: Sat Feb 22, 2020 9:41 pm
by terrynak
AbbN wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 3:37 pm
In my younger day when I was still single (I've now been married for 35 years) I almost bought an Edmund Scientific Astroscan which is very similar to your Fun Scope. However a good friend of mine worked at the camera store that sold them talked me out of it as he believed it to be nothing more than a "cheap toy" as he put it.........

Abb
Thanks for your interesting recollection Abb!

Probably not good for someone starting to get into the hobby as their first scope. Tricky to navigate with, but I guess you could get used to it with practice.

But there were few wide-field scopes available back in the late 70s/early 80s, so this kinda filled a niche. Easier to star hop with a scope like this, rather than using the long focal length refractors that were more commonplace back then.

Had a parabolic mirror, so the views are/were good.