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    Proto Star

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  1. This might be a long shot but I've got a Celestron Goto and one thing I noticed with mine is if there was too a long delay between the first alignment star and the second then the alignment was off by quite a bit, so you need to be quick going from the first alignment star to the second, also if the scope's not properly polar aligned then the alignment will be off by a bit
  2. You can get replacement allen key bolts off ebay, I got them for my telescope after the problems I had.
  3. I agree, an equatorial takes some setting up, if you set it up wrong then it becomes difficult to use. It might be better to swap it for an alt/az version. If you decide to keep it then the axis of the polar mount needs to point north or as close to north as you can get it.
  4. Taken at prime focus, approaching mid totality.
  5. I had that same problem a few weeks ago, managed to get the bolts out with a pair of pliers and then re-tapped the threads, job done. Just curfully unscrew the bolts with a pair of pliers but don't force, it gets easier at as more of the bolt appears, it took me ages to get the bolt out. No need to spend over 55 pounds on replacement bolts when you can get these instead from Ebay
  6. This is the page you are looking for http://sourceforge.net/projects/stellarium/files/Stellarium-win32/0.13.2/ download stellarium-0.13.2-MESA-win32.exe this is for computers with no Open2GL and is exactly the same, the only difference is that it is reportedly to be slower, but I have it on my computer and have noticed no difference in speed.
  7. It's safe to use ordinary camera cleaning stuff for the red dot finder, just don't use it on your mirrors.
  8. I've used a jump start for years and had no problems with it, I always make a point of keeping it topped up.
  9. You definitely want to send it back, if the retailer you bought the scope off is worth their salt then they will take it back without hesitation, to have a disgruntled customer is bad for business.
  10. I recommend you buy a shortish stepladder to go with that scope, every scope should come with one I specially bought a small stepladder for my scope even though my scope is shorter then the one above, it goes wherever the scope goes.
  11. You could also get a tripod head to attach to the piggyback screw, that will give you a bit more room and you can adjust the position of the camera. The problem with the ring above is that you can't move the camera up or down, and if you point it ahead then the end of the tube gets in the way unless you use a long lens. I now use a ring which was custom made by Orion Optics many years ago, it has a bit on it that sticks out so it's not too close to the telescope tube and to that I've attached a tripod head which I bought to £5.
  12. By the way what I forgot to add to that is that you can set it up in the living room or the kitchen or wherever, no need to take it outside. Turn on the computer and run Stellarium, set it to the time you plan to observe and set the time on the scope to the same time on Stellarium. If you turn the meridian line on in Stellarium or whatever software you are using, then stars that are in the western half of the sky are used as alignment stars and stars in the eastern half of the sky are used as calibration stars. You might find that stars approaching the meridian line in the north are unavailable for alignment even though they are in the western half of the sky but are available as calibration stars, and stars approaching the meridian line in the south are unavailable for calibration even though they are in the eastern half of the sky but are available as alignment stars. Of course, all this takes a long time so might want to use Tinker1947's method, this works, I know I've tried it but you will need to adjust the height of the legs as well.
  13. This is my version. I originally tried a red LED but found it was too faint unless I had it right on top of the lens; I prefer to have it tucked out of the way and have the whole area illuminated, this way the light won't be too bright, so I decided to try one of my spare red Christmas tree lights. The next stage was to go to Maplins and get a battery holder and clip to attach to the battery holder. I then soldered the bulb to the end of the wire. The most expensive item there are the rechargeable batteries, the battery holder was £1.29 and the clip on the left (without the bulb) was £1.34 both from Maplins. Then it’s just a case of connecting the clip which has the effect of turning the light on. The light actually appears brighter than that but I reduced the output of the camera flash and reduced the shutter speed to get bulb's own light to show. Also this bulb is rated at 6V so there is no chance of it burning out with these batteries. I found the easiest way to attach the battery holder to the mount was to just simply tape it on using insulating tape, I only need it on there while I’m using the polar finder to align the scope with the celestial pole, once that’s complete then I can take it off. By placing the bulb to the side inside the mount the red light isn’t too bright, I can see both the markings on the polar finder and the stars quite easily.
  14. I have the CG5 GOTO mount and what I found out is that you need to do the two star alignment quick, if there's too long a delay between the 1st and 2nd alignment stars then the GOTO will be a long way out. Also, if it's the same version as mine then it has a polar alignment routine, you'll need to do the 2 alignment stars and then the 4 calibration stars before you can use the mounts polar alignment procedure. It might be a could idea to do a trial run in the daytime, just set the time on the mount to the time you plan to observe, that way you'll know what stars are available. That's what I done when I first got my scope.
  15. It would be good if they could do that round these parts, without trying to be political but considering the cuts were suffering up here this would be an ideal time to trial a light reduction scheme.
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