Bringing someone new into the hobby of Astronomy can be a daunting task. Expenses ranging from telescopes to eyepieces are just the start of frustrations that can be expounded upon by the complexity of telescope maintenance. Due to these factors, various astronomy clubs around the country have started a telescope loan program, where people can go to their local library and rent a telescope to test their hand at the hobby without having to endure the frustrations of expenses and difficulties of telescope maintenance.
Dan Chrisman, the President of RVAS, invited several club members to his home to help with our club’s telescope loan program. The goal of our meeting was to simplify the mechanics of an Orion StarBlast down to a point where the average person could use it with limited hassle and maintenance. To do this, we had to tear the scope down and rebuild it, removing some features and adding others, all with the goal of making the it more user friendly. Our hope is that these telescopes, soon to be in local libraries, will be a person’s first step into the hobby of amateur astronomy.
The following pictures are a brief overview of the tear down and rebuilding process.