Sunday, July 26, 2009

Galileoscope, a partial review.

I got the Galileoscope in the mail the other day, so here is the promised review, part 1. Unfortunately I can't do review part 2 until this persistent rain and cloud cover clears out.

It is surprisingly well made, for a $15 piece. As it comes in the box, everything is disassembled and it took about 20 minutes to put it all together. It would have been less time if I had used the PDF of the directions from the website, rather than the ones that came in the box. The PDF is much easier to follow, and from it I learned that I had assembled part of the eyepiece the wrong way, so I had to take it apart and re-do it. No big deal, really, but it did add to the assembly time. I hope that in future shipments, they send a printout of the better directions, since the ones shipped don't tell you anything more than the basic 25x setup, so nerd that I am I went on and tried to set it up in the 50x configuration without directions. Lesson obstinately not learned!

The front lens is a glass (of some sort) doublet, which I have learned is a mark of a real telescope, done to make sure all wavelengths of light come together in one imagen (reduced chromatic aberration, as the astro-folk say). This is no toy, despite the price. In the eyepieces (there are 3 different possible configurations) there are a bunch of little lenses that do lensey things, but I understand that the big front light gathering lens is the one to not be cheap with. From what I can tell, they weren't.

The 3 setups that I mentioned are 25x, 50x (with half the field of view) and a 17x right-side-up-view Galileo style lens. These are all accomplished with two eyepieces and a Barlow tube. All 3 modes can be changed in a less than a minute, making this a fairly flexible little 'scope. Everything from Jupiter's planets to the hot neighbor terrestrial viewing.

Terrestrial viewing is all that I have been able to do, with that darn overcast problem, and I gotta say, for that it works pretty good, mounted on a camera tripod. You just gotta use the Galileo 17x setup with the small field of view, or be ok with everything upside down and backwards. Don't try to follow aa bird in the sky with that. It's really hard, trust me.

So overall, it's more than I expected from a $15 scope and it hardly takes up any space. I'll let you know how it works at looking at space once this atmospheric nonsense calms down. Pictures, too, I swear.


spurge said...

Thanks for the review

Lab Boy said...

I've got a longer one coming, but the tl;dr version is if you have $15 and you want to look at the skies, this thing is pretty damn good.

spurge said...

I look forward to your longer review.

I decided to go ahead and buy one.

It will not break the bank so I figured WTH.