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F1Bird

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About F1Bird

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    Nebula

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    Female
  • Location
    Lancs
  1. Hi! As an Astromaster 114 owner I would advise against this for your gf. I've had some great sessions with mine and have seen a lot but with hindsight there are enough negatives with this scope to put a newbie off. The finder is criminally bad and a good finder is crucial if you want to enjoy your telescope experience! If ur gf just likes looking up then I think the stress of trying to find anything with the finder would put her off telescopes for good! The mount is also pretty wobbly which makes keeping things in view (if you manage to find them in the first place!) quite tricky! I have bought a finder which is great but it's extra expense which you could do without. My vote is for binoculars as a first step!
  2. So, my next challenge with my trusty Astromaster 114 is the counter weights. Having worked perfectly well to balance the scope thus far they now appear to be too light to balance the scope in some of its more acrobatic positions. My new BST eyepiece also seems to overbalance it. There isn't much room for manoeuvre in terms of moving the OTA up and down in the tube rings as the mouldings on the tube prevent you from moving it very much. Anyway, I experimented by hanging my compact umbrella off the weights and this seemed to do the trick. However, I'm not sure that this is the best permanent solution to the problem! Is it possible to get additional weights or can anyone come up with a DIY solution that it a bit more technological?!
  3. Thought I'd had some success with my collimation and have been waiting for a clear night to star test. Well, it's better than it was after I first tried to collimate it but still as bad as it was to start with. I still have a flare (coma?) coming out the side of the stars only this time its in a different direction! I tried to tweak the primary while I was out. I only moved it slightly but whilst the star jumped around in the view the flare remained the same. Exactly the same. I also defocused on a bright star and the disc was lop sided in the same direction as the flare. Does this mean the problem is my secondary as tweaking the primary didn't seem to have any effect or is it more likely that I just needed to tweak more? Also, can bad seeing conditions cause a similar effect as bad collimation?
  4. I am certainly not the person to talk to about collimation issues but I think the straight lines you refer to are just the secondary mirror holder. As long as the silver / white bit is circular as it is in the picture you're ok.
  5. Do you not think that you can best gauge a poster's level by the content and tone of their questions? For example, I am easily recognisable as a beginner by my ineptitude and general lack of know-how! : )
  6. When you say without a collimating tool do you mean a laser or any kind of tool? Will the Cheshire still be ok to adjust the primary? It's just I tried it by sight and it looked ok but was well out on a star test so I hoped the Cheshire would help!
  7. Thanks all. I don't think yesterday was the best day to be asking for collimation advice! Think I'll keep a low profile for a bit!
  8. If I didn't need to collimate I personally wouldn't have gone anywhere near the screws believe me! The idea of collimation has terrified me from day one!
  9. Thanks for the replies. The bad news is that the spider vanes on my scope (astromaster 114eq) are fixed, in fact they are moulded to the tube so no adjustment is possible. The collimation has been fine until recently so given that the vanes are fixed I think my problem must be elsewhere. Once more into the breach......
  10. Bit harsh! As one of the accused who has posted about collimation issues I think you have rather missed the point. Yes, of course people know about star tests. The problem is what to do about it when your star test shows that your collimation is off. I've read a lot of posts and articles about collimation over the past few weeks as I struggle with mine and not one of them is from someone who had messed with their set up for no reason. Yes this is a beginners thread but no my scope is not brand new. I consider myself a beginner as I am still learning and after 12 months this is my first time at the dark art of collimation. Sorry if I'm misunderstanding your point but perhaps if newbies bother you so much you should steer clear of the beginners threads?
  11. So, 2 weeks on and my scope is still out of action! I keep thinking that I'm getting there but then something doesn't work as the guides say it should! Getting very frustrated but am determined to get it sorted. My next question is about lining the Cheshire up in the focuser. When I look down the empty focuser (having first put the various bits of coloured paper in the tube to block reflections and show the edge of the secondary more easily) I see the secondary seemingly centred in the tube with an equally spaced band of coloured paper around it. Then I put the Cheshire in the focuser and the secondary seems to sit low in the view, ie there is a much bigger area of coloured paper visible above the secondary than below. However, moving the secondary up and down vertically is not a movement that can be made. Also, you can also move the Cheshire about in the tube and it seems to be somewhat arbitrary as to what exact position it will be in each time you tighten the thumb screws to lock it in place in the focuser. How much of an issue is this? Surely this will have a big impact as the position of the mirrors in respect to the end of the tube is reliant on its position in the focuser? Second question - can someone explain the structure of the secondary mirror holder please? The guides refer to the tilt adjusters but then also state that once you have adjusted the tilt of the secondary you should tighten the tilt screws. Will "tightening" the tilt screws not just move the mirror more?! Sorry to be so monumentally inept at this but I'm not getting to spend much time fiddling with the scope and so its taking me forever!
  12. Should I have the focusser racked in or out when I'm doing this? Different guides say different things and some don't make any reference to it at all. Does it matter?
  13. I have just got my Cheshire so I think I'll have another go using that but without the centre spot. The thought of sticking things on the mirror is terrifying so if I can get away with it I would rather not!! Someone mentioned that I wouldn't be able to use a laser collimator because of the Bird-Jones lens that it built in to my scope. Still not entirely sure what this is or what purpose it serves? When I look down the focuser in good light I can see glass at the end of the tube with a small maybe 5mm wide "lens" kind of looking thing in the middle. Is this the offending object?
  14. And one other thing I can't get my head around is if you can't see the centre spot when you're observing because it's in the shadow of the secondary, how come you can see it when you're collimating?!
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