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Starwatcher2001

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About Starwatcher2001

  • Rank
    Star Forming

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Interests
    Visual astronomy, scuba, technology, DIY, fossils, ancient sites, birdwatching
  • Location
    Teesside
  1. Welcome aboard SGL David. Good to have you with us.
  2. Welcome aboard Jonny. Good to have you with us.
  3. Welcome aboard SGL. Good to have you with us. Nice photo!
  4. I've got the 40mm Celestron Plossl and it works well for me and my wife. I've got glasses like jam jar bottoms and she doesn't wear any. It's got AFOV of 40 degrees giving a TFOV of about .68 degrees in my 9.25. It has an eyerelief of 28mm, which is crucial to me as I've got astigmatism so can't use long focal length eyepieces without glasses. I also have a 32mm Bresser Plossl that's got a AFOV of 50 degrees and gives the exact same TFOV.
  5. First time with a scope, nails a planet and its moons and gets a photo. Not a bad start at all. To set your finder scope up, point the main scope up at something a good few hundred yards away (chimney pot is a good choice). Then look through the finder and twiddle with the knobs until it points at the exact same place as the scope. As the mount seems a bit wobbly, this might take a few iterations. For extra points and accuracy, put a higher power eyepiece in and get it smack on again. That should make finding things at night a lot easier. If you can get away from that streetlight, that would improve things. If you've got any clear sky during the day, the Moon's a cracking object to look at, and also handy for getting used to the scope.
  6. Welcome aboard SGL Greywolf. Good to have you here. What a useful post to kick off with!
  7. Found myself at the Moors National Park Centre in Danby, North Yorkshire, on Monday. I was delighted to see notices that they are "Dark Skies Friendly". After picking up a leaflet and talking to the staff, although they close at 5pm, it seems that you can just turn up during the evening, park for free in the carpark and set up your scope in the grounds. Anyone been there and tried it? I'm wondering how secure it might be in the middle of nowhere with around 3k of kit with me. It looks to be Bortle 4, which is a lot better than my 7/8 on Teesside, and is only 40 min drive from here, and very tempting (if the clouds and would kindly clear off). https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/54.465853, -0.896282 I know there's another popular site at Dalby Forest Observatories, but that's a lot further for me.
  8. That's a new one on me. I've never seen a pair of bins with fixed focus. The adjustment on one eyepiece is so you can get correct focus in both eyes, even if one of your eyes is weaker than the other. Oh sorry, welcome aboard Kyle!
  9. Welcome aboard SGL. Sounds like stray light is getting in, but for it to stay in the same place as you move around the sky is a bit odd. Maybe it's opposite the focuser. Do you have a dew shield on it at all? If not, might be worth making a quick one out of card and duct tape to see if that keeps stray light out. If so, make a more permanent solution. Might be worth covering the front during daylight and seeing if you can see any light through the focuser. It could be stray light getting past the primary at the bottom of the tube (depending on the design).
  10. Welcome aboard SGL Les. Good to have you with us.
  11. Fantastic. I'm glad you've sussed it out. Thanks for letting us know what the answer was, your post may help other people in the future with the same problem. Clear skies and enjoy your scope.
  12. Hi Pocky. The wifi module itself will allow connectivity to your phone or tablet. The phone/tablet can then run apps like Skyportal that can connect to, and take advantage of the capabilities of your scope. They'll provide you with star maps and object databases that will help you locate objects to look at, and can command the NextStar to move to those objects, and that kind of thing. But, as far as I know they don't provide any other alignment abilities that aren't already built into your scope's controller. I think using a tablet is more intuitive as the display is bigger and messages are better, but it's basically doing the same alignment process as you'd do with the handset. StarSense on the other hand is the camera system that can do the automatic alignment process using the StarSense hand controller. It takes images of the sky, performs "plate solving" to work out where it's pointing, and makes the alignment process somewhat easier. This will work happily without WiFi. If you have the StarSense camera system AND the Wifi module, then SkyPortal (or SkySafari, my favourite) will automate the auto-align from your tablet or phone, this time using using the scope's StarSense controller software that's capable of using the camera system. I hope that all makes sense. I already have Wifi in my Celestron Evo, and the StarSense came with it (bought all second hand as a package). I love it, but I'm not sure I would have paid the asking price for it new. It does make setting up quicker and easier, but has its own set of challenges and be quite frustrating to start with. It took me a few evenings of messing around to get it all working for me when I first got it. There's a learning curve whichever way you go. Personally, I'd try to conquer the difficulties you're having with the existing NexStar alignment process. We're all very happy to answer your questions and help you on here . The £370 or so for StarSense and the Wifi, might be better spent on some good eyepieces and other goodies to go with your scope? All the best, Mark
  13. Hi, and welcome aboard. Sounds pretty weird to me. Let me suggest some obvious stuff you may have tried to see if you've missed anything or give you ideas. Does your 8SE still work correctly with the old "non-StarSense" handset? If you do a three-star alignment, does it consistently find objects correctly? If that's the case, we can probably eliminate mechanical issues on the scope itself. I had a problem whereby I wasn't tightening the alt clutch quite tight enough and it was slipping slightly throughout a session. Presume you're starting off with the tube reasonably level? I use a bubble level and also point mine South, but I don't think that matters. Also remember to take the cap off the camera (been there, done that). Since covered the cap in bright tape to remind me. Doing the automatic StarSense align, it should be moving to 3-4 different areas of the sky, stopping, taking a shot, then plate solving. Does it seem to be doing all this stuff (or at least going through the motions) before it declares "alignment complete" ? When you updated the firmware, I think it's likely cleared out any user info... including the camera calibration! I think you only need to recalibrate the camera offset if you use the camera on a different scope, mount it in a different position, reload the software, or do a full reset. When you drove some hours away, did you use the location of the new place you were observing, or leave it set to home? Might explain why it was off, but I can't think why it would look downwards. If you've got WiFi on your scope, it's worth trying with the SkySafari or SkyPortal applications. I know it's an extra link in the chain, but it does have two advantages: it takes location and time from your tablet or phone, removing any ambiguity, and I find the diagnostic messages are better. It's easier to see what's going on. I don't know what the clearance is like on the SE8, but on the 9.25, I move the tube as far forward as it will go when setting up. That gives adequate clearance between the diagonal and mount, even at the zenith. If you can't get that clearance for some reason, there's an option on the handset that you can use to prevent the scope attempting to go above a specific angle: Menu | Telescope | Setup | Slew Limits. That at least might save you diving for the off-switch. Good luck. If none of this helps, come back and we'll scratch heads a bit more.
  14. Welcome aboard. I'd also recommend looking at stars, in particular doubles, which can be studied from light polluted back yards (I'm in Bortle 7/8). Finding them will likely require a goto scope of some kind, but once you've found them there's a lot to observe and learn. You can learn to estimate magnitudes, watch over time as variable stars change from one magnitude to another, look at how the brightness and colours change depending on the type of stars and distance. For doubles you can try the challenge of splitting them at lower and lower powers, and learn how to measure the distance and angle between them. As you are young, you'll be able to re-visit them over the years and see how some of the gaps change as they orbit around each other. If this piques your interest, here's some pointers: https://skyandtelescope.org/observing/celestial-objects-to-watch/observing-double-stars-for-fun-and-science/ https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/360851-colour-contrasting-double-stars/ https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/359653-a-double-star-challenge-epsilon-lyrae/ There's lots of other threads on SGL, just search for "observing doubles". Cheers, Mark
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