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I just purchased the FSUSB focus motor controller (52082). The download from shoestring astronomy went well. I could not get it to open. I receive the message "the module 'mscomctl.ocx' may not compatable with the version of windows you're running. Check if the module is compatable with an x86 (32-bit or x64 (64-bit) version of regsvr32.exe". I sent this info to shoestring astronomy support also. Please help ! I do not want to return this product

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Are you using Vista or Windows 7? According to the manual it only works with windows xp.

Try running this in XP compatibility mode (on windows) if you are using Windows 7.

Posted on Aug 28, 2010


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Put the eyepiece with the largest number written on it into the scope-- take it outside during the day time and practice focusing on a distant object several blocks away or further.

The best beginners forum is where they help beginners learn all about the astronomy hobby.

Nov 29, 2011 | Optics


STOP! buying those $49 telescopes

Please do everyone a favor and stop buying those cheap toy telescopes on Ebay, at garage sales, and at Toys R Us! Do yourself a favor and stop wasting your money. also has many junk telescopes for sale!

Before you buy one, search for TELESCOPE at

You will find dozens of cheap toy telescopes listed there purchased by a parent for their child, or unknowingly bought by an adult. They are all listed there because they are usually junk telescopes which will do nothing but frustrate you. They quickly wind-up for sale again or in a closet at home; NEVER to be used again!

One of the worst offending scopes is the Edu-scientific brand sold at Toys R Us, along with most Bushnell, and Tasco brands. Galileo scopes should also be put into the brands NOT TO BUY. The worst of the bunch is the Edu-scientific. We get more complaints on that brand than on any other. It's JUNK, almost entirely made of plastic; with very bad optics.

The OLD Tasco and Sears, and Unitron, brands from the 1950s and 1960s are considered collector scopes since their optics were made in Japan and are usually excellent-- optically. They are regularly bought and sold on the Classic Scope forum on .

However the ones on the market now usually have a plastic focuser, and plastic eyepieces, and maybe even a plastic main lens! All of them are completely useless for Astronomy.

Instead, join a local Astronomy Club and attend several of their meetings and star parties. The members will show you several telescopes that are very good for beginners, and will teach the sky, and how to find objects that are invisible to the naked eye.

A MANUAL will NOT help you! We receive dozens of requests for manuals for small "toy" telescopes that do NOT have a manual! Joining an Astronomy club or securing the assistance of a local amateur astronomer is your best bet for learning how to use a telescope. The manual will NOT tell you exactly how to focus the telescope, although this is obvious to an amateur astronomer.

The MANUAL will not tell you where to point the telescope in the night sky, or which eyepiece you should use. It will also NOT tell you how to use the telescope to find objects in the night sky. This is learned by talking with an experience amateur astronomer.

Even when you learn how to focus the telescope you will still not know how to find those small and dim objects in the night sky. Parts are IMPOSSIBLE to get for these telescopes. Your only source for a part that might work is to look around a well stocked local hardware store. NONE of these small scopes can be repaired by getting parts from the factory! The factory is in China or Taiwan, the local "seller" does not maintain a replacement parts inventory. They only sell the cheap telescope!

So--------------------- STOP buying those cheap toy telescopes. Read my other TIPS here on Fixya; and read this:

and then read this:

The most asked question is "I CANNOT see anything in my telescope!" How about in the day time? Can you focus on a distant object during the day time? If you can nothing is wrong with the telescope. What you probably mean is that you cannot find anything in the NIGHT sky.

Sky objects are VERY tiny, and your telescope has a very small field of view about the size of the tip of your finger held at arms length! The scope must be pointed DIRECTLY at the object or you will not see anything. That's why we recommend a pair of binoculars to a beginner. A much wider field of view makes it easier to find those tiny objects in the night sky.

Finally, we receive MANY questions asking, "Why is everything upside down?" ALL ASTRONOMICAL telescopes show upside down images. It's completely normal. Nothing is wrong with the telescope. To use the scope for terrestrial viewing you will need to buy an "erecting prism diagonal". These are widely available on-line. BUT here is the problem! They cost $40-$80 just for this small part! This may be more than you paid for your entire telescope!

What you really wanted was a spotting telescope used by bird watchers and target shooters. This is a specialized telescope available at most large sporting goods stores, like Cabela's, Academy, and Bass Pro Shops.

This is NOT what you just purchased!

What you should have bought for your first telescope is a DOBSONIAN mounted reflector. Yes it is more than $200. Sorry but a real astronomical telescope costs at least $200. See this link for the scope you should have purchased. $79 telescopes are useless for Astronomy. STOP BUYING THEM!

Buy this type of telescope:

Clear Skies,

TelescopeMan RSS Link to audio & Video

on Apr 01, 2010 | Optics


Your LOCAL Astronomy Club! Join NOW!

As the Treasurer for one of the largest Astronomy clubs in the USA, I can tell you that NOTHING has helped me along with the Astronomy hobby more than the CLUB! and it's members.

Most large Astronomy clubs have:

Monthly meetings where all things about the club and the hobby are discussed.

Free star parties where members set-up their telescopes and show the sky to the general public. They share all manner of information about the hobby to the people who attend the star party.

Some club's have a "dark sky" location, usually a large field, where members can take their telescopes away from city light pollution and really SEE the sky! Our club has a bunkhouse, meeting room, and domed observatory with a 16 inch computer controlled telescope at it's dark sky site. Additionally we have several nice loaner scopes at the site that the members can use for free.

Many clubs, ours included, have close ties with a local college or university. Our club is sponsored by the Physics Department of a nationally known university. We use a campus lecture hall with full multi-media facilities to hold our monthly meetings.

The club offers member discounts on the two major Astronomy magazines - Astronomy, and Sky and Telescope.

Most club's have Special Interest Groups called SIG, that specialize in certain aspects of the hobby; like Public Observing, Astro-Photography APSIG, and Amateur Telescope Making ATMSIG. You can get specialized assistance with whatever interests you, or join others and show the sky to the general public at a local star party!

What does this all COST? Not very much really! Our club dues are $40 per year. A very small price to pay for access to the dark site observatory, and speakers at our monthly meetings; along with all the other club activities.

So my advice to you would be to JOIN a local Astronomy club and get involved with it's activities. The Astronomical League has a list of clubs BY STATE, at this web site:

Join now BEFORE you purchase your first telescope. The members will help you purchase the right one to fit your Astronomy interest.

Clear Skies!

Visit our club's web site here:

RSS Link to all of TelescopeMan's Audio & Video Podcasts

on Jan 26, 2010 | Optics

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I have never had a telecope before and have purchased the Celestron 114EQ modelr n 31042 Im looking for step by step instructions on how to use it

Do you have a manual?

This is a small reflector style telescope on an equatorial mount-- the mount must be POLAR ALIGNED in orderr to be used properly. Guess you did not know that when you bought an EQUATORIAL mount.

Read this:

Once the scope is polar aligned place the eyepiece with the largest number written on it into the focuser. The moon should be your first target at night. the RA knob and the DEC knobs (slow motion controls) are used to keep the object centered in the eyepiece.

Download this free planetarium software --

Aug 25, 2011 | Celestron PowerSeeker 114 EQ Telescope

1 Answer

I have a c-star t45375 telescope but no user manaual. How can I get one?

Sorry no manuals for that imported telescope being sold on Ebay.

However this is a reflector style scope on a very small equatorial mount. The mount must be polar aligned in order to be used:

Just put the eyepiece with the largest number written on it into the focuser and during the day time practice focusing on a distant object. Find a local Astronomy club and the members will help you with the scope.

Aug 13, 2011 | Orion StarBlast Telescope

1 Answer

I just purchased a Meade #928 45 Degree 1.25 Erect Image Diagonal Prism for the Eclipse I received for Christmas. But I don't know how to attach it to my telescope. There is nothing in the manual I...

You stick it into the focuser and tighten the small thumb screw. Then you put your eyepiece into the diagonal.

BUT! why would you do this? You only use this for terrestrial viewing not for night time Astronomy.

Feb 19, 2011 | Zhumell Eclipse 114 Telescope

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I just received as a gift, set it up and nowI am unable to see anything. the instruction manual is vague, only tells me how to set it up but not much else. thanks

The manuals DO NOT tell you how to find objects in the night sky, they are only assembly instructions. Wish you had not bought that telescope, this type would have been better for a beginner.

Take the scope outside during the day time and put the eyepiece with the largest number written on it into the focuser. Practice focusing on a distant object. The moon should be your first target at night.

Locate an Astronomy club nearby and the members will help you learn the sky. All sky objects are smaller than the tip of your finger held at arm's length. The scope must be pointed directly at them to see anything.

Read my tips on my profile page.

Dec 16, 2010 | Bushnell 3" Reflector Telescope w/Talking...

1 Answer

Hello there, my name is Paul and I had just recently purchased the Vivitar Refractor Telescope 60X/120X with Tripod. I have assembled everything correctly, however I have tried to view the moon, but I...

This is one of the worst telescopes you could have purchased. Plastic eyepieces and a plastic focuser! We receive many complaints about not being able to focus.

Try again--- next time buy one of these which is the best value in amateur astronomy.

Nov 14, 2010 | Vivitar (1607225) Telescope

1 Answer

My son gave me a Galileo CC-JRS telescope, but he says there are some parts missing and I would like to see if i can replace the parts

Sorry no parts for this telescope which is being sold by Toys R Us.

This is one of the worst telescopes you could have purchased. Plastic eyepieces and a plastic focuser! We receive many complaints about not being able to focus, and breaking very quickly. Sorry.

Try again--- next time get one of these which is the best value in amateur astronomy.

Nov 13, 2010 | Edu-Science (10166) Telescope

2 Answers


The best thing I can suggest is to find a local astronomy club and have them help you.
To find a local astronomy club just go to the nearest Observatory or Planetarium and ask them where to find one.
Also you can go to WWW.ASTRONOMY.Com , click on COMMUNITY, and on the pulldown click on 'Astronomy Groups.'

Apr 07, 2008 | Discovery Channel Meade 8" LX90-GPS...

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