6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
OK telescope, but ...,
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This review is from: Celestron 21045 114mm Equatorial PowerSeeker Telescope (Electronics)
I bought this telescope for my son as a starter telescope. The price was quite reasonable and it seems like a reasonable telescope. Well, appearances are not all that they seem to be. We put it together, which was quite simple, and noticed a couple of things right away. The instructions are reasonably clear and assembly was quite easy. The tripod is a bit wobbly if you don't tighten everything up and the rotary base of the telescope has a bit too much slack. That makes aiming a bit tricky. The finder scope pretty useless. The finder base has two elongated holes in it for the mounting and is always getting knocked out of alignment. It also feels really cheap, especially since the plastic base used to mount it to the telescope is hollow underneath and can't really be tightened adequately without breaking it. Still, what do you expect from a telescope that cost under $100.
There are also some shortcomings in the hardware. The biggest problem is the elevation adjustment screw. The screw started to gall after only three uses. Fortunately I had some very high tech (and high cost) teflon grease (it's called Krytox and it's $35 for two ounces)that pretty much stopped the galling. Also, there is excess slack in the rotary base that fits into the tripod. If you tighten it enough to pull out most of the slack, you can't turn it. Not a good start.
The big disappointment was looking at the stars and moon. After setting it up and aligning the finder scope, the stars were horizontal smears and the moon was fuzzy: lunar features were indistinct. Checking into it, I found tat the collimation was completely off. The secondary reflector was far out of position and the main mirror was adjusted to compensate for the problems with the secondary mirror. After about 3 hours of fidgeting with the secondary mirror, taking the main mirror off twice and putting crossed strings on the end of the main tube to aim the secondary mirrors, and purchasing a laser collimator, the telescope is now pretty clear. Distant stars look like points of light and not smears and details are now in focus on the moon. We haven't tried much else yet, but a starter telescope should have reasonably clear images so that a neophyte doesn't get discouraged right away by poor image quality. I expect to spend another $100 or more on optics to get some standard screw-on filters and eyepieces that will accept standard filters instead of the "it-fits-Celestron-only" variety that Celestron sells. In retrospect, I would look for a somewhat better quality telescope rather than spend my way up to what I should have bought in the first place.