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Everything posted by PlanetGazer

  1. From my experience, I learned so much about the sky from trying to align the GOTO than my manual EQ scope. Note that aligning the GOTO scope is not a straight forward task for a complete beginner, you would have to learn the bright stars and their positions in the sky with a map/app to align your scope to it. It requires patience in the first sessions. + it's an Alt-Az mount, so you can push it manually any time. A manual scope, however, would force you to learn more of the sky extensively on the long run. Also, an equatorial manual scope will require you learning Right ascension-declination grid to set-up your mount, the scope doesn't move in an upright motion on an equatorial mount If you ask me, a manual EQ scope is a good choice early on on the hobby. If you consider the GOTO, I would recommend that you search more on how to use GOTOs before buying it, hopefully it will lead to an informative decision. Edit: just noted that the scope you bought has an EQ1 mount, note that both EQ1 and EQ2 are note that sturdy.
  2. nice picture there! This could be of topic, but I wonder how you clean such a big a mirror? Clear Skies
  3. Have a look at these: 1. https://www.firstlightoptics.com/beginner-telescopes/skywatcher-heritage-130p-flextube.html 2. https://www.firstlightoptics.com/reflectors/skywatcher-explorer-130.html This one requires learning how equatorial (EQ) mounts work 3. https://www.firstlightoptics.com/beginner-telescopes/skywatcher-skyliner-200p-dobsonian.html If your are going to go deep in this hobby, pick this rather than buying one now, and another later Before you buy, search for better deals, and you can price match at FLO
  4. This could help as it shows the different types of viewing conditions, if you do a star test, qouted from Astro Baby's website: http://www.astro-baby.com/astrobaby/help/collimation-guide-newtonian-reflector/ " Collimation perfect. Airey disk shows neat concentric circles. The innermost are dark due to the telescopes central obstruction caused by the secondary mirror. Collimation is out of adjustment – Results such as these suggest the primary mirror is not well aligned. This is simple to correct in the field by adjusting the primary mirror collimation screws. Small adjustments only are needed. Atmospheric turbulence – The air around the telescope and in its line of sight is being disrupted by rising heat or by higher altitude turbulence. You cannot star test with this present. Pinched Mirror – this is the classic ‘heart’ shape indicating the primary mirror has become stressed. Initially check that the collimation adjusters are not over tight. If the problem persists you will need to remove the primary mirror cell and make sure the clips holding the mirror to the cell have not been over tightened. Another common cause of ‘pinching’ is often over tight tube rings. Tube currents – the telescope has not cooled sufficiently to the outside air temperature. Allow the telescope more time to cool down. Astigmatism can be caused by poor collimation but also by poor quality optics. Secondary mirrors which are not flat either because of bad collimation or bad polishing are typical causes. Usually caused by incorrect figuring of the primary mirror. This cannot be corrected by the user. It indicates faulty optics in the mirrors design or production. These show typical patterns for mirrors with poor optical surfaces. This may be caused by roughness of the mirror caused by poor polishing or damage from poor cleaning. This is not correctable."
  5. Agreed! I also had the same issue with my 10 inch, I left it to come into equalbrium with surrounding temperature and manged to get a good view. Though in the last two weeks, I'm not getting the best views, as Jupiter is getting away from us. I also noted that some nights have a turbulent atmosphere where viewing planets deteriorates extremely, specially when the planet is not up at a high angle. May I ask what have you used to capture this image? Edit: just realized it's not your image, my bad
  6. yep, it's the same as the one I have. My scope came with the CollapsibleGoToDobsonian manual, and a synscan manual, both are similar regarding alignment. Noted, thanks for the heads up. Reading all the feedback, I can conclude that I will have to test it on a main (AC) power source, and see if it works (that would be me asking my friend to bring his car that have an AC plug). If it works then, I would have to find a permanent working solution for my battery and charger, as I don't have an observing site with an AC power available. Thanks all for the contribution, I will update this topic after my next session. Clear Skies
  7. Oh! well thanks for that, I will have to try this next time! I will confirm this after my next session Daylight saving is set to no all times, local time zone doesn't use Daylight saving. All data entry shouldn't be the problem, as I have tried using the Synscan app which enters all data automatically once you allow it to connect to the web and allow location on before the start of linking the app to the scope.
  8. what would make the clutches slip other than heavy weight or cold temperatures? I did use a heavy 5mm eyepiece X-Cel, but was not using the heavy finder with it, only a light red dot finder. Temperatures are high since I received the scope. The scope is new anyways, received it in early August.
  9. Well I was in a dilemma since I received the scope whether to keep it or take it, but the frustration made take. I regret taking it apart. I will have to find an alternative. regarding the clutches, they are embedded inside the box yes.
  10. Well I checked the voltage before and after, and it does increase, a five minutes charge increased it from 11.7 V to to 12.2 V , this is based on the handset reading. I could charge it at a regular plug (AC), but would have to order a special charging cable. According to the the Synscan Manual, the requirement is 10 to 15 V and 1 Amp. I remember reading that it requires 12 V and 2 Amp in another manual, but I guess the difference is little, in which both cases is covered by 7Ah by the battery.
  11. I use a lead acid battery which is 12V & 7Ah, I check the voltage before starting each session using the option on the handset. Currently it's 12.3 V. Below is a picture of the battery (I charge it by connecting it to the car's battery for a few minutes, engine running of course). Is the handset accurate in measuring the voltage? should I get a Voltmeter to accurately measure it? The battery used is 7Ah, that should be more than what is required. I'm sure that I reset the park option, and have done a factory rest as well. and there is no polar scope on a dobsonian. it's an alt/azm mount. Not at all, thanks for your help. Also there is no counterweights on Dobs.
  12. I was doubting that the foam ring is there for protection, though it's not a reliable material and won't last in place with glue only. Do all SW dobs come like this?! I will have to try this next time, thanks for the help! the dob has no clutches, once you point it at something it will stay still unlike non dob mounts
  13. I'm sure it's north in this case, as I know the area well, I only use the compass to point with more accuracy. Thanks for the tip
  14. Other extra info: • One time I tried the 3 star align method, the first star to align was capella, the scope slew to capella, exactly, from the first time! But by the time I completed the alignment, the scope was misaligned with the other stars • There was a foam ring covering the gears between the two wooden layers at the base (glued), it was there the whole time, however I took it apart at the last session. I tried to align after, but no luck. Didn't know the gears were exposed! • Here is what I suspect the problem is, but I could be wrong: • In one of the sessions, I noticed that when the base is level when measured with a spirit bubble, the scope (OTA) is not level, when it's set at zero reading. I would have to move it down minus one of the zero to make it level • could the gears/morirs be faulty? • backlash issues? Uncharted waters for me
  15. I was hesitant to write this earlier, but I wanted to try all possible ways to get my new SkyWatcher 250P GOTO allgined, but to no avail. I have followed the instruction manuals of both the synscan and SW, and managed to get the message "alignment successful" multiple times on the handset or the app. The closest I got when I tried to dial a different star was a 20 to 25 degrees off on the azimth axis. Most times it's off by a margin on both axes. I have tried aligning around 30 times on more than 5 diffrenet occasions, different locations as well. I end up ignoring the thing and switch to navigating manually as the eager friends want to observe instantly, but we ran out of objectes and the planets are not close anymore, so I figured it's time to get deeper DSO's and sort out the GOTO. Here is what I do: • I level the scope to the zero reading on top of the base • I make sure the base is level with a spirit level I bought recently • I point the scope northish, but latley I bought compass to pinpoint north • I plug all equipments in and then switch on the power from a lead acid battery • I enter the date ( US fromat, month before day ) • enter correct time zone obviously • the coordinates in the format of E 000 00 , N 00 00 • As for elevation I use "my elevation" app, not sure if it's accurate. Does this entry have to be that accurate? • I tried both brightest star and the 2 star align methods on the handset (which seems to be the same thing apart from the brightest method having an extra menu asking for which direction you are pointing at) I even used the synscan app and the synscan pro, and tried the 3 star align method. The app uses location and enters all data automatically •I use the top and right arrows as the last press before centring the star in the eyepiece as recommended by the manual These are the steps I follow when I align , is there anythung I missed? Your kind help is much appreciated. Update: issue solved, check the reply in the second page
  16. I have a similar thing on the 10inch SW, i thought that if you remove the 1.25 inch adaptor, you are left with the 2 inch default opening.
  17. Shouldn't the 12 " dob show better views of the planets? I have experienced similar problems with my 10 inch dob against the planets, but after leaving the scope to reach surrounding temperature and observe it while it's at an appropriate angle, I managed to get acceptable views, though not as beautiful as the views I get with my 130 scope. Wonder if the focal ratio has a say on planets?
  18. In a plastic cover, in my office. Far away from children as possible.
  19. Hahaha on the same boat, I was looking at dual speed focusers yesterday, and have already bought a RACI finder, I use the dot sight from the 130 on the 250 as well. I just searched the Lacerta focuser you mentioned and I'm glad that I finally found an upgrade rather than a full focuser change! Thank you In addition, got a UHC filter for DSOs that I'll try on my next session. and thinking of getting a focus mask.
  20. Personally I find either stellaruim or skysafari have the best features. Try skysafari free version, it will recommend best views for each night depending on your location. May I ask what telescope you have/used?
  21. I Admire your commitment! Would love to hear what tips/tricks worked the most for you
  22. Interesting to hear we had the same choices! Wonder what you think of the upgrade and what have changed for you so far, that could be a different topic though.
  23. Try aligning the finder with the scope during day. For GoTo alignment, maybe planispehre or astronomy map will help you navigate the stars that you need to align to. Also, I recently found out that the GoTo have an option of turning of the star filter, so you can pick stars, in-case your observing site is restricted. Otherwise try to use the filter as it recommends stars for optimum alignment. And yes Saturn is stunning, try Jupiter and its 4 moons
  24. I share the same feeling sometimes, just discouraged to take my 10 inch dob outside, or spend too much time to set my EQ mount for the other scope.. Not to mention the hot weather here. I was wondering if a binoculars will be a good solution for those nights. If I use it and calm, I may be encouraged to bring a scope, or maybe not. On another note, observing partners do get me encouraged, even if they are not helpful! Every weekend, for the past weeks, I get back from work, ready up the set, do 3 flights of stairs to carry my 3 scopes to the car+accessories , drive an hour to meet up with the party and stay until 3 AM It's tough but worth it, It was only me for years, now we are 5. The hardest part is going back home late wanting to go straight to bed, but realise I have to carry everything upstairs
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