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garyminder's Achievements


Nebula (2/19)



  1. I had my new Celestron C8 out last night for an extended imaging session. I used a dew shield and there was no dew on the corrector plate when I was done, but apparently after putting the cap on and putting the scope into its shipping box in my unheated garage, condensation formed and dried. The pic below is what I found this morning. The stain is on the side that was facing down. The plate also picked up some dust. I have read Celestron's instructions for corrector plate cleaning and will pick up what I need later today. If anyone has any advice for how I should proceed with cleaning my new C8 I'd love to hear it. I also need to come up with a way of making sure this doesn't happen again. Should I keep the scope on the mount and point it down? Leave the cap off? I'm afraid of this happening again and staining the mirror, or the inside of the corrector plate. I actually don't know that it hasn't already happened. I'm assuming/hoping the stain in the picture is on the outside. What's the best practice for handling an OTA after an imaging session to minimize condensation/staining? Thanks much. Gary
  2. I got a new Celestron AVX mount last week. Friday night I set it up, did a 2-star alignment with one calibration star, and did a ASPA. I got really good tracking with my Orion SSAG. Last night (Saturday) I set up for another cloudless night. I set up in the same place and the mount simply would not point anywhere near any 2-star alignment star. It was probably 45 degrees off pointing to Arcturus. Same or worse for other stars. This is my first EQ mount so I thought I must be doing something wrong. I double and triple checked that the RA axis was pointing north. I double checked axis balances. Double checked the location info in Utilities etc., and still pointing was way off. I even checked to see if there were alignment or calibration stars still in memory from the previous night. Out of desperation I reset the mount to factory settings and started over. That did the trick and I had another night of a really good ASPA and guiding. Has anyone else had this issue with the AVX or other go-to EQ mount? It's a head scratcher for this EQ mount noob. --------------------- Celestron C8 XLT Celestron Adv VX Mount Celestron F/6.3 Reducer Orion Mag-Mini 50 SSAG Canon 450D / BackyardEOS Nebulosity/PhotoShop CC
  3. I received my new Celestron C8 a few days ago and and very happy with it. I also have an Orion Mag-Mini 50 guide scope with an adapter shoe that fits the C8 OTA. I'm not thrilled with it. The shoe has a single thumb screw holding the mount foot. It appears solid but it's hard to believe the guide scope is mounted well enough for accurate guiding. I couldn't get the SSAG to recognize my mount so I haven't had the chance to test it. I'm looking for other options to mount the guide scope and have my eye on the ADM MDS Guidescope kit. It would add some weight but I'm using a Celestron AVX mount and am nowhere near overloading it. It seems putting the weight of the guidescope directly over the mount would be better than off to the side. Also I could mount the guide scope a lot farther forward which would help a lot in getting an easier dec axis balance. Other than the price ($170) I don't see a downside. Anybody here use a different or cheaper setup to mount their 50mm guidescope? Celestron C8 XLT Celestron AVX Mount Celestron f/6.3 Reducer Orion Mag-Mini 50 Guidescope w/SSAG Canon 450D Backyard EOS
  4. Yesterday was my first experience with an EQ mount after more than 10 years wit a NexStar 8. I am amazed at the difference. The outer shipping box was in rough shape but everything inside was triple boxed. The tripod is as solid as could be. The NexStar tripod looks like a toy next to the VX. I have nothing to compare the VX mount to but it looks very well made. It all went together very easily. I was worried when I did a rough RA balance with just the OTA. There wasn't much room at the end of the counterweight bar and I still had an Orion mag-mini 50 w/SSAG and my Canon to add. No problem though. The dec axis balance was a pain. The OTA is almost all the way forward and I was adjusting a 1/4 inch at a time to get it dialed in. I was in a hurry to take my first AP shots so I didn't spend the time I should have with the 2-star alignment and I only did a very rough polar alignment. The go-to function was still amazingly accurate and did far better than my NexStar ever did. Even with a rushed alignment the mount still put objects in the FOV. I do have a f/6.3 reducer so that helped. The VX seems to hit the sweet spot for my C8. It's light enough that I can carry it without taking the mount off the tripod but plenty beefy enough to handle the C8 with accessories. Money well spent. Celestron C8 XLT Celestron Adv VX Mount Celestron f/6.3 Reducer Orion Mag Mini-50 Guide Scope w/SSAG Canon 450D Backyard EOS
  5. I received a new Celestron C8/Adv VX system yesterday and had perfect weather for first light last night. The mount is super solid and the go-to function is great. This is my first EQ mount after years of using a NexStar 8 and there's a learning curve but not bad. I hurried the alignment because I was itchy to take my first pics but the mount still put objects in the FOV. I decided on M13 for my first attempt at AP. I slewed the mount, took a test picture and my jaw dropped. I knew my alignment was probably not good so I took 10 20-second subs and 10 darks last night and processed them in DSS and Photoshop this morning. For my first deep sky photo I am very happy. There's star trailing and my focus wasn't perfect but if this is the result of an impatient noob, I can't wait to get proficient!
  6. I have a new C8/AVX system being delivered later today. With beautiful weather forecasted for tonight my set up will be the C8/AVX with an f/6.3 reducer, Orion Mag-Mini 50 SSAG, and Canon 450D. I thought I had all the pieces/parts to make this lineup work but now I'm not so sure. I was poking around last night looking for info on using the reducer and saw mention of the proper spacing of the camera from the SCT for focusing with the reduced focal length. My intended line up was going to be SCT->reducer->T-ring adapter->Canon T ring->450D. I am using the Celestron 93633-A T-ring adapter. So my question is will I need a different T-ring adapter and/or spacers to be able to image with the reducer? I guess I just assumed the focus range of the C8 was generous enough that the Celestron T-ring adapter would allow me to image with or without the reducer in place.
  7. After a lot of discussion with UPS today it's not clear whether the mount was on the train that derailed or if the train derailment caused my package to have to be rerouted. Either way the package will be delivered tomorrow with the C8 OTA! Perfect weather is forecasted so first light tomorrow night should be great!
  8. Most people have to contend with clouds when new toys arrive. I ordered a new Celestron C8 / Advanced VX system last week which was due to arrive Wednesday in time for perfect weather and a long weekend. The OTA will be delivered Wednesday but I found out this afternoon that the mount was on a train that derailed in NY 4 days ago. UPS hasn't seen it since. I ordered the scope and mount from B & H Photo. They've been around forever and have a good reputation but I'm not looking forward to what could be weeks of untangling the mess. What I am most worred about is what happens if the package arrives and appears undamaged. A mount tossed around and/or jarred in a train derailment could be out of whack in ways I can't tell by looking. This was going to be my first plunge into astrophotography and I wouldn't know where to begin to determine if the mount was operating normally. Has anyone been in the situation of a lost or damaged shipment via UPS or from B & H? Could anyone suggest how I could quickly determine if the VX was damaged internally? Clear skies and train tracks. Gary
  9. Thankfully no. I spent my Little League days in the early 70s living in Cincinnati and I live and die with the Reds.
  10. I have an Orion Deluxe Mini 50mm guide scope w/SSAG in hand and a new Celestron C8 XLT w/ the Advanced VX mount due to be delivered Wednesday in time for perfect weather and a long holiday weekend. I'm having trouble finding anything definitive on whether the Mini 50 will mount to the C8 in place of the stock finder scope...and if not, exactly what mounting adapters will I need. I've been to ADM but run myself in circles there trying to figure out the different possibilities. This scope is replacing a 2000 NexStar 8 OTA and the mini 50 definitely doesn't fit that scope's finder mounting holes. I don't know if the current C8 OTAs are set up differently. Is there anyone out there with a C8 XLT and a mini-50 who can point me in the right direction? Can the Orion mini 50 fit the C8 finder mounting holes out of the box? Also, are there other mounting holes available on top of the scope where I could put a rail or a finder scope? Thanks! Gary
  11. I've loved astronomy since I got a small toy refractor for Chirstmas 40 years ago and thought I discoved a galaxy until I focused and got my for look at Saturn! I'm taking the plunge into AP with a Celestron C8/Adv VX, Orion mini-50 SSAG and Canon 450D. It should all be here and set up next Wednesday. It looks like the weather is going to cooperate. Can't wait!
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