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A Telrad spotter comes back to life!

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Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 32
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A few weeks ago I was handed a Telrad that had lived a miserable life.  The reticle was gone, the mirror was horrible deteriorated, the battery wiring is horribly corroded, and the alum wire is now black in color, battery cell was missing, the lens was present but not attached and the rheostat had a number of dead spots.  I am not a huge fan of the Telrad and was about 30 seconds from throwing it away.  UNTIL... I went online to find they are no longer being manufactured, AND to purchase a used one is now about $75.00 USD.  

I figured.... let me take a look from a different perspective. Can I rehab this?  


Step one, tested the LED.  It works when directly connected to a power source.  

Step two, removed the mirror assy.  I found a cheap diagonal and donated the mirror to the Telrad.  Shockingly, the mirror was the exact same size and simply glued with rubber glue into place.

Step three, gave the body a good cleaning.  Once cleaned the unit didn't look like it should be disposed of.

Step four, I soaked the dimmer switch with WD40 and that seemed to remove the dead spots in the dimmer.

Step five, glued the lens back into the housing.

Found online a replacement reticle and battery cell.  I ordered both and will install them once they arrive.  In my collection of stuff, I found a Telrad mount.  I married up the two components.  I have about 15 minutes of work left and the Telrad will once again be available for installation on a scope... even if its not one of my scopes.  The total cost to bring this back from the dead:  $8.00 for a new reticle, $6.00 for the battery cell, WD40, glue, cleaning supplies, and donor diagonal were all on hand so I don't include them in the cost, about 2 hours total time.

Thanks to Ted Trieber for some tech support in this.



Member Moderator Registered, Customer, NEFAS
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 8

Hey Al,

You are very good at repairing stuff! Telrads are popular for two reasons. Most planetarium software has an artificial telrad recticle target available for use and once upon a time, there were a series of charts published that contained reticles to assist in finding objects. I believe, there are still online charts that contain them as well. If you are looking for assistance in getting your Messier certificate from AL, then a telrad is for you!

John V.