How do I put a better finderscope on my AstroMaster or LCM scope?

If you don’t like the red-dot StarPointer that comes with your AstroMaster or LCM telescope, you can replace it with a different type of finder, an optical finderscope.

You can buy a lightweight, inexpensive finderscope in Celestron’s FirstScope Accessory Kit (#21024-ACC):


FirstScope Finder


You can also purchase a finderscope from companies like
meridiantelescopes.com. A suitable finder is something close to 6x30 with a curved bracket to fit on the curved surface of the AstroMaster/LCM tube.

Here are instructions on how to remove the StarPointer and one way to mount the new optical finder. The finder used in this example is a generic 6x30 finder with a curved bracket.

First, take the telescope tube (pictured is an AstroMaster 130EQ) and locate the StarPointer mounting screws:AstroMaster Overall
AstroMaster StarPointer

AstroMaster wiht StarPointer

Remove them with a Philips screwdriver. Gently pull off the StarPointer.

Unscrewing the StarPointer

Removing the StarPointer

Next, get a roll of double-sided foam mounting tape.

Double-sided foam tape

Cut off about 2 in of the tape.

Cut a length of tape

Clean the telescope tube and the finder mounting bracket with alcohol.

Clean and prepare the tube and bracket

Trim the tape to the size of the bottom of the finder’s mounting bracket. Peel off one side of the tape.

Trim the tape to fit the bracket

Put the sticky side of the tape on the finder’s bracket bottom. Press firmly with your fingers to assure proper adhesion.

Put the tape on the bracket and press

Peel off the paper on the other side of the tape. Mount the finder on the tube. The best place is probably immediately behind where the StarPointer was mounted but on the tube itself. Be sure you have the finder properly oriented with the eyepiece towards the rear and the finder objective towards the front.

Press the bracket down with your fingers to assure proper adhesion.

The finished finder mounting should look like this:

Mounted finderscope

The finished product

You can also drill holes and use nuts and bolts to hold your new finder. It can be done with either type of finder depicted so far.

If you have a finderscope with a small base that stands high like this:

Tall stalk finders should be screwed on

Or a big finder like a 9x50, they are best mounted by using nuts and bolts.

NOTE: drilling holes in the tube must be done carefully so as not to get metal shavings in the tube or otherwise damage the scope. Drilling holes in the tube will void your Celestron warranty.
   

Updated 12/18/13