The Repair Shop

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    A new series of The Repair Shop starts on Monday on BBC1 (4.30pm). No telescopes being repaired (sadly!) BUT there is an astronomical connection. Mark Stuckey, who has fully restored Horace Dall’s famous 15.5-inch Dall-Kirkham and his 1930s observatory is also an expert at repairing antique radios. He is called upon to restore a vintage 1960s GEC radio for a widower for whom the radio has precious memories. Only the slightest BAA connection but the programme may be of interest. It will also be on iplayer after the programme has been broadcast.


    David Arditti

    Of course Mark also collected and restored a large collection of instruments manufactured by the Hysom brothers’ firm AE between the 1960s and 80s. This included a 10″ Relay-lens Dall-Kirkham Cassegrain that I used to use (I described this instrument in JBAA 2007 April) that was also reputedly part-made by Dall. I don’t know if he still has this curious collection.

    S J Briggs
    Robin Leadbeater

    A big welcome to all Reality Titbit readers from all at the British Astronomical Association 🙂


    Mark was back on a few weeks ago repairing a juke box:


    S J Briggs

    …a quick message to the author and the Astrological error was corrected!! 😉 

    Alla Bonn

    I am looking for an amateur astronomer or a telescope engineer who could set up my telescope for me at my place of residence, I am happy to pay a good fee for such service.

    I own a Celestron ( ), and keen to start using it, but struggle to set up telescope’s tracking system.

    I live in Billericay, Essex. I would like to invite an experienced astronomy enthusiast to help me with the telescope. 


    What is your fee for an outcall visit to your customer’s home?




    I’m not sure if this message was intended for me, but as I received a copy as an e-mail, via the BAA (never had that before) I will try to reply. I don’t do outcalls or charge fees! I have never owned a Celestron VX8, but it is quite possible someone on this Forum may be able to help with advice. Maybe you could describe the problem you are having in detail? There are quite a few Celestron videos on youtube which will probably answer your queries. Have you tried watching this one…it looks very relevant…..



    Andy Wilson

    Hi Alla,

    Hopefully someone with specific knowledge of your setup will respond, but I thought I’d give a few general pointers.

    You’ve not mentioned whether you have been able to polar align your mount. With that type of telescope mounting the first step is to get the polar axis aligned. From the look of it, that mounting has a polar scope to help get good alignment.

    Then you typically go through a one or two star alignment, where you need to know a few bright stars.

    I’ve found even with aligned GoTo telscopes, they won’t always get your selected object in the eyepiece. Sometimes they are spot on, but otherwise they’ll get it close and you then need to look around a bit, usually with the help of the finderscope.

    If you don’t find someone to visit, then you may have a local astronomy society who can help. Looking on our page of Local Societies affiliated to the BAA, I see there is a North Essex Society.

    I’m not sure how far they are from you. During normal times, some local societies hold telescope workshops or star parties, where you could get some help.

    Best wishes,


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