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SteveP

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Everything posted by SteveP

  1. I think from what you've done to date that I agree with you that it's either the location, the date or the time which is the culprit. I would also just check the process for defining the 'home position' when you're doing an automatic align. According to the manual, you set it differently from when doing a 'normal' 2 star alignment. Have you read this?
  2. CJ There are several versions of the ETX. I'm assuming from your description that this is the very latest PE version with what Meade refer to as LNT - Level North Technology? This new technology is not going to beat our collective experience! Do you have your manual handy? From owning two Meade scopes previously, I've found that following the instructions to the letter - and taking no shortcuts- a few times is the best approach until it becomes second nature. Have you done this?
  3. Sue I'm a bit confused by one aspect of your problem. Your reference to the mount knowing where north is is confusing me. Which particular model of the ETX do you have? Unless the mount has some special locational sensing, ie more than just GPS positioning, then I don't understand how it knows which direction it is pointing. Is this a new Meade facility?
  4. slrman Like Jeff says, stick with it. It's worth it in the end. Are you following the Meade instructions? When i had a Meade, I found the most difficult aspects being 1 to get the finderscope well aligned with the main scope (this becomes critical when you start to get the alignment stars in the FOV), 2 to get the mount pointing true north and 3 remembering to input the position and time accurately before starting the alignment process. Where are you based? Maybe you're near enough to somebody here who could give you some personal help?
  5. Sue A few pointers to help you understand the reason behind aligning the scope in this manner - Firstly, what the mount is trying to do is match what you tell it when you are confirming that the particular star is aligned with its own internal 'sky map' software. Once it has done that with 'north' and two more aligned stars, then the 'goto' facility will work more effectively. It is a sort of triangulation process Secondly, The initial alignment should be with the 'celestial north pole' (CNP) which is for all practical purposes is the True North pole of the earth. This is different from Magnetic North where a compass would point to and currently is about 2 degrees west of magnetic north. That's why you may have been told to point the mount slightly away from the compass bearing. Of course, that doesn't say by how much or in which direction! Thirdly, you may have been told as an alternative to point the scope at Polaris (aka the Pole Star). This is a star on the end of Ursa Minor and is a good proxy for the CNP. Indeed, the difference isn't worth bothering about for goto purposes at this stage I hope this helps your understanding ... and apologies if I have been condescending! Clear skies
  6. Hi Blueranger As an alternative, find yourself a copy of 'Turn Left at Orion'. A great book IMHO. It takes you through each season and provides instructions of how and where to find the good stuff. It's especially good if you don't have GoTo Good hunting! Steve
  7. Welcome to the forum. Hope you enjoy yourself here. Great scope as a starter. I'm sure there'll be people here who will be able to help you when you need it Steve
  8. Thanks for the link. Don't know why I hadn't seen it earlier! I hope you get some clear skies soon. Regards Steve
  9. Hi Mike Sorry to butt in on your thread but how have you found your Tak/EQ6 combo now you've had it for a few weeks? I'm looking at a similar setup, a high quality 4-5" refractor on a similar mount for both visual and imaging and would appreciate your own thoughts Thanks Steve
  10. Apologies for getting a bit technical and for some this might be a rather basic question but here goes. In applying a focal reducer, say f6.3, to an SCT of say f10, the SCT's effective f reduces to f6.3 and its 'speed' therefore increases; thus reducing the imaging time (by about 50%?). But at the same time, does the SCT's focal length also reduce? If so, by how much in this example?
  11. Martin - Thanks for the explanation. That makes a lot of sense. There's just so much to learn about this new hobby! Steve
  12. Martin What a great shot of M42! As a newbie to this hobby and keen to understand more, can you explain what you mean by 'The field wasn't flat, anything but, which surprised me, perhaps I'm doing something wrong with the flattener' I'm not sure I can see anything which suggests it isn't flat! Please enlighten Steve
  13. I've never bought anything astronomy related from the US but I have bought several items of expensive hifi from the US. IMO, prices are certainly lower across the water and some dealers even offer discounts! My advice for what it's worth based on my experience is 1 Assume you will pay duty and VAT on the purchase price, inc shipping costs 2 Use an experienced shipper - I use FedEx Express or BAX Global - and insure it for its full value 3 Make sure it will work in the UK - more important for electrical stuff like hifi, less important for scopes etc 4 BEFORE you arrange the purchase, check the warranty arrangements. From my experience, they are rarely transferable from the original seller's or distributor's region. And finally, balance all that against the savings you will undoubtedly make from buying in the US. In short, once you've allowed for shipping costs, duty and VAT, you're balancing the overall saving against the need to resort to the warranty in the future, ie how robust and reliable is the equipment Good luck with the decision
  14. I'm just beginning to appreciate how much I have to learn! Thanks for all the advice so far ...
  15. Since one of the cons of using a DSLR is a problem with focusing - a black art as moon plodger called it - by which I assume, the focusing is done via the camera's own viewfinder, is there any way of focusing through the scope's optics or does that just add more complexity? Apologies for asking what might be a silly question!
  16. I have a Meade LX90 - 8" .. which I'm still getting accustomed to. Thanks to everybody for this great advice
  17. Hello all I'm very new here and could do with some advice before I go off in the wrong direction. I've just bought my first 'proper' telescope with the intention of taking photographs of the night sky - both planets and deep sky stuff. My confusion is what equipment to use with the telescope. Some seem to use DSLR's, some use webcams whilst others use specialist CCD's. Why such a range of equipment? Is it about photographic quality or availability or is it about cost. I'm so confused and hope that somebody with much more experience can shed some light on the subject. Thanks
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