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Found 158 results

  1. Hi all, I have posted in another thread that I have purchased a Celestron StarSense autoalign accessory so I thought I would create a dedicated topic to review it and feed back how I get on with it. I got it from Rother Valley Optics for £295 although I think the price has now gone up to the RRP of £329. There was a slight delay in delivery due to low stock in the UK but to RVO's credit it was only a week which I thought was pretty good. On unboxing I was suprised how much bigger it was than expected. It is very solidly built from good quality plastic and metal - no movement or flexing of the case when gripped or squeezed. In fact if you handle it with your eyes closed you would swear it was solid metal. It is supplied with 2 mounting brackets. The one it comes fitted with is the larger of the two. You may need to change it to the smaller one depending on your scope. According to the manual use the large bracket with: All Celestron Schmidt-CassegrainsAll Celestron EdgeHDsNexStar 4SE Maksutov-Cassegrainand the small bracket with: Celestron 6” f/8.3 RefractorNexStar 102SLT RefractorNexStar 127SLT Maksutov-CassegrainNexStar 130SLT ReflectorAll Celestron Reflectors and Refractors Packaged with the Advanced VX MountAll NexStar GT optical tube assembliesSeveral other optical tubes from other manufacturers which use a similar finder dovetail base.I have a NexStar 127SLT Maksutov-Cassegrain so needed to fit the smaller bracket. The supplied manual gives very clear instructions with photographs that show you how to change the bracket. You need to loosen the allen screw holding the bracket in place and remove the lens shroud by unscrewing it in order to slide the bracket off but it is very simple. Just make sure you put the two large orange washers back either side of the small bracket when you slide it on. Then the lens shroud is screwed back on. It doesn't mention tightening up the allen screw once you have changed the bracket - hopefully most people would work that out for themselves. I wasn't sure what orientation to leave it in but assumed it would need to match the view the scope sees so I rotated it to match once it was attached to the OTA then tightened the screw. There is also a replacement hand control which has the extra functionality to control the StarSense - this replaces the existing NexStar+ hand control and plugs into the same socket on the mount. A new cable is also supplied. That's about it - here are some pictures showing how I changed the bracket and the StarSense mounted on my scope. I'm waiting for a clear evening to try it out now. I'm hoping to video it in action as it aligns itself and if I manage I'll post the results in this topic. I'd also be interested to hear from anyone else who has used it on the Nexstar 127 and especially what orientation they set the device to in it's bracket - perpendicular to the OTA or level with the horizon (so the logo on the back is horizontal). I'm not sure if it makes any difference - maybe the device adjusts for that when it solves the images it takes of the stars. The StarSense as supplied with the large bracket fitted. (AA battery included for scale). With the lens shroud and bracket removed. With the small bracket fitted and lens shroud replaced. Note orange washers either side of bracket. Attached to the OTA (The CDs are not part of my setup - just there to stop it rolling )
  2. "Come take a look at what I brought for tonight's session." "What the hell is this pathetic little thing? It's just a funny little toy!" One hour later: "Stop fooling around with that Firstscope already and come take a look through the 12" dob." "Nah, I'm good." Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, the mighty Celestron Firstscope 76; and I put thit to you, this funny little thing is probably the best astro purchase I have ever made. Ok, now, I'm fully aware that most of you will skip this review with derisive grin, but before you do, consider the following: Optically, It is a fully capable newtonian refelctor with a primary mirror diameter of 76mm, which, given its inherent lack of chormatic abberation, will outperform most of the cheap entry-level acrhomats. And it gets better. With just 300 mm focal length, it gives low magnification and amazing widefield views, which is especially handy with some large objects you will struggle to fit in your large telescope's field of view. For example, Adromeda Galaxy is way more enjoyable in the Firstscope than in my 12" dob (despite the fact that the dob allows me to see the dustbands clearly), and I really mean it. Same goes with Pleiades, or moon/planet(s) conjunctions or large star clusters. Supplied eyepieces are, as you would expect, fairly poor, but at least totally functional. But, if you are already into this astro business, chances are that you have some fairly decent eyepieces lying around unused, so why not use them with this little toy? I had a spare TS 17mm 70° ERFLE eyepiece myself, so I assigned it to this half-pint for good. Ok, the scope is 76/300, which means it is an F/3.9, which means, in case you are bad in math, that its a pretty "fast" scope. That means that you can't expect to see point-sharp stars across the entire field of view, even with a decent sort of EP, and distortions around the edges of the field of view are very noticible, but hey, don't be picky. It's a firstscope for Chist's sake, not some fancy hi-tech japanese triplet. Whatever eyepiece you stuff into this thing though, it will probably give something like 15-20x magnification, which means that all of the advantages describe above apply. And, since it has so low magnification, it means that you probably will do without a finderscope. But if you require one, there are some pre-prepared fixture bolts, intended for those terrible 30mm plasticky finderscopes you probably have buried deep down in your astro stuff drawer that is full of stuff you were too fond of to throw away, so problem solved. The primary mirror sits solidly in the back of the tube, which means its uncollimateable (is that even a word?). However, the primary mirror is somewhat adjustable, so if you are skilled enough, alligning the optical assembly properly will not be a major issue. I myself made a centre spot on the primary and alligned the optics as best as I could using laser collimator; it was fiddly, but doable. Build quality of this little dwarf is, considering its class, amazing. It is not some cheap department store telescope that breaks into little pieces in a light breeze. The tube itself is made from metal and the plastic focuser assembly feels solid enough to withstand for ages (if you treat it well). It all sits on a sturdy alt-az (dobsonian type) chipwood mount, which means that it is very stable, giving it advantage over a pair of big binos. Oh, and did I mention that it is a table top? What was I thinking - guys, it's a table top scope, allright? I bet most of us use table or a surface of some sort when observing, so no big deal. The scope then is small, robust and very light, so it is an ideal grab-and-go; I call it grab-and-throw actually, because I just take it as it stands and throw it into a boot of my car when I'm going observing. It's designed to take some battering (with children in mind), so it is unlikely that you will ever knock the optics out of allignment, or break anything. Practicality-wise, it is as straight forward as it seems. You just grab it, put in on a table, remove the dust covers, and without it cooling down (image distortion with such low magnifications is negligible) you are ready to use it. No finderscope needed, you just aim from the hip and fire. One thing that seems a bit odd is the positioning of the focuser on the OTA, which makes it a bit awkward when you try observing something near the horizon, but hey, drill some extra holes in it an rotate it anyway you want it - even a toddler can do that. Most significant I think is the Firstscope's didactic value - it scores high in quite a few areas. First, it is absolutely superb for when you want to explain to someone how a newtonian telescope works, because it is as simple and as clear as it can be. Then, it is utterly foolproof and totally intuitive to use; you must be a total idiot to not know how to use it. Learning-wise, it is not wrong to point out that the views from the scope are very basic, which gives you some idea as to what the pioneer astronomers saw with their modest equipment. It is wonderful to think that you see the Jupiter and its moons roughly as Galileo did. Moreover, the IYA edition was designed with astronomy outreach in mind, so you have the OTA covered with names of notable astronomers, so if you get even a little bit curious, you can google for hours, finding out why were they so significant to deserve a place on this telescope, which is absolutely magnificent in my book. Then, you have the fabulous IYA sticker on it, which, for me, was the main reason (I am not ashamed to admit it) why I bought this pigmy scope. The IYA project allowed me to access a wide range of educational resources on astronomy otherwise unavailable in my country, so I fell I owe it one. And I bet I'm not the only one. So why was this little nipper the best astro purchase I have ever made? Well, I bought it brand new (auction of a last piece in stock) for the equivalent of only £24!!! I bet you will have little problem finding one second hand) Allow me to point it out: BRAND NEW FOR ONLY £24 !!! The eyepice I use with it was almost twice that price! Your significant other, your child, your toddler, your grandpa, your grandpa, your dog, your friends, they all can use it with ease. The wide field of view, the simplicity, the quality, the practically and above all, the amazing didactic value, and only £24 ??? I rest my case!
  3. I just received the Celestron NexStar 94004 Rolling Carrying Case I'd ordered for my NexStar 8SE. As the case has only been on the market since February, I went ahead and wrote up a review of it. If you're interested, you can read my review on BestBuy.com (where I bought the case from). Enjoy!
  4. I decided a couple months ago that i am going to upgrade to an EQ mount. I am currently imaging with an Astrotrac but as much as i like it, i have outgrown it and am wanting to move onto building up a proper imaging rig. My plan is to buy a mount within the next couple of months and use my DSLR and 200mm lens for imaging until next year when i will be adding a scope to it, or i may even buy an autoguider before that. I want the mount to be reasonable, meaning i want it to be decent with enough features and payload capacity that i won't have to upgrade it for at least a couple of years. I have narrowed it down to 3 mounts: The Orion Atlas EQ-G, Skywatcher EQ6 and the Celestron CGEM GOTO. I understand that the Orion and SW are the same mount. Both are just under £1000 which is my budget. The CGEM is about £300 more, but i am willing to stretch to that is it is worth it. So what would you get if you had to make the decision? Are there any major differences between the EQ-G and EQ6 other that looks, and what does the CGEM have thats worth the extra £300 on the price tag (other than good looks). Would be great to hear from someone who has had experience with any of these mounts. Also, if anyone has another mount they would recommend then i'm all ears! Cheers
  5. http://www.celestron.com/astronomy/celestron-radial-guider.html I've been offered one of these second hand and wondered of anyone has one, or knows if it's compatible with my setup? I have a Celestron C9.25, Celestron f6.3 focal reducer, Celestron SCT T-adapter with T-ring, and Canon EOS 600D DSLR camera. I'm new to imaging, and wondered what other peoples opinions are before I agree to buy it. I've read a few posts on here that say the distance between the DSLR sensor and the focal reducer is critical, and should be 55mm (I might have this totally wrong). Is it really that critical? and does this OAG setup work with my scope? I know that they're all made by Celestrion, but I don't know if that alone makes everything compatible. Thanks for your opinions, and help
  6. A month or so ago I was fortunate enough to acquire a Celestron 5SE from the FLO clearance thread. Have delayed posting the first / second light because I'd hoped to have had more "eyepiece time" - sadly the skies have had other ideas, so here's my thoughts from 1st and second light. Been stargazing for just over a year. I chose this scope to replace a 10” dobsonian that was physically too large to take in the car on holiday with family. I also own a Skywatcher 102 short tube on the AZ GoTo mount Wanted something with similar magnification to the Dob, but more portable, am not (yet) proficient at star hopping, so GoTo was a must. I also assist on Public Open evenings with my local Astro Society, so the tracking facility is highly useful as you can talk to the visitors without constantly having to nudge the scope back into position. My garden at home has a fair amount of light pollution from neighbouring houses and two sodium-discharge streetlights that make it difficult to spot DSO. It’s very easy to assemble the tripod and mount, attaching the mount to the top of the tripod takes a little practice to find the “sweet spot” in the dusk, but easily done. Attaching the eyepiece tray which also braces the tripod legs is a bit of a faff; some Celestron images show the spring above the tray, but the instructions suggest fitting the spring (with steel washer) underneath the tray – which is how I assembled it. Once set up, Venus was very bright in the sky and the only object visible, so powered up the scope and used solar align to put Venus in the centre of the supplied 25mm Plossi. Have never really seen Venus at a decent magnification, but was able to clearly view the crescent phase – unlike my refractor, there was no false colour. Swapped eyepieces with the 8mm Celestron so at 156 times magnification, the image was perhaps a little “mushy” but great to view. Once it had darkened enough to see Mars, I used the GoTo function, selected Mars and found the scope out by quite a bit once it had slewed. Think here that the Solar Align will be great for tracking one object on those evening when we start earlier and have just the one object visible until skies darken, but would not use it for anything else. Once the skies had darkened sufficiently I used the Sky Align and chose Regulus, Procyon and Capella – this time the GoTo worked perfectly and I spent a few minutes going to various objects and getting acquainted with the handset menu options. Once I could see Saturn above the roofline, I spent most of the rest of the evening with the 8mm eyepiece admiring the view, even at 156 x magnification, the system kept Saturn centred even whilst I went indoors to make a cup of tea and feed the cat! I've had one truly epic evening at Seething where the skies played ball and saw The Wild Duck Cluster and the Swan Nebula. From a dark sky site, the 5SE is great, it's portable enough to carry in one go and yet has the magnification needed, with a reasonable amount of light gathering power. I'd recommend buying the Lowepro type backpack to store and carry the scope, mine came from WEX and was £90 but am very happy knowing that it is well protected whilst stored and being carried from any bumps and scrapes. The scope dews up very quickly, so you'll need a dew shied almost immediately. Likes Ease of set up, accuracy of GoTo and the magnification provided and portability. Like less The lens cap – it falls off too easily and leaves the front glass exposed – should bayonet or screw on perhaps. The brace bolt / spring / washer - I can just see at the end of a long cold evening me undoing the bolt and hearing the spring ping off never to be seen again – tempted to paint it a bright yellow – what have other Nexstar users done? Very pleased, great views, no colour fringing, decent sized objects in the eyepiece, am going to enjoy looking at the Globular Clusters when the nights are darker.
  7. Hi All. Need your help on my first try at M51. After stacking around 1 hour+ of 2 mins exposures this is what I got. I wasn't able to use darks and flats because I had a problem with the darks that I took during that night. I'm getting a slight red tone on the background when I enhance with levels and curves in Photoshop. I took the image in a fairly dark site but I used a UHC filter to see if it has any help on the image. My equipment is a Celestron C6N reflector, Nikon D90, and a Baader UHC filter. Thanks!
  8. Celestron Sky Q module. Purchased new back in 2015 to use with a CGEM (which is also up for sale). The device creates a WiFi signal which you can connect to with an iOS or Android device so that you can control the mount with Apps such as Sky Safari (that is what we used). Alternatively you can use Celestron’s free Sky Portal App. £70 including delivery. The item is also up for sale on UK ABS
  9. Hi need some expert advice, I have been looking at the celestron 800 edge hd cgx. is this kit any good and can someone clarify that this is a go to mount with a hand controller capable of slewing to any object in its database (the same as celestron nextstar), if so how does the handset work around doing a meridian flip? i have also been looking at the celestron cpc 1100 gps xlt, if I fit a hyperstar to this telescope would I be able to do astrophotography with this telescope without buying the hd wedge, as I know it will make it roughly a f2.3 and I would be able to take 20 second exposures. sorry for all the questions but I know you guys are the font of all knowledge!
  10. Hey guys, I'm not sure if anyone is interested in this but I'm always forgetting where certain features are in the hand controller so I created this menu tree for the CGX with the current firmware. Man, what a pain it was. I didn't realize how deep the structure was until I started handwriting it out. And then I find out the manual for the CGX-L has the menu tree in it! Why didn't they include it in the manual for the CGX? They are pretty much identical though I went into a little more detail in mine. CGX Menu Tree I can send it to anyone that wants it as a PDF if you send me a private message with your email address.
  11. Can someone please take a look at this video and tell me what they think.I've got a horrible noise coming from the Dec motor only in one direction.https://youtu.be/4E-oRAANk_QThanks!
  12. Hi there, Is there such a thing as a Vixen dovetail bar specifically designed for the EdgeHD? I note that there are CGE specific bars in the classic Celestron orange livery, but I have been unable to find a vixen style equivalent. I need the bar for my 8” Edge to allow the mounting of my new Guidescope mount. If no exact equivalent, can someone recommend an appropriate replacement. I am wary of plumbing for just any old generic bar. I would prefer direct attachment to the OTA as opposed to the use of radius blocks, need to keep overall weight down. Kind Regards Paul J.
  13. Hi everyone! I am looking for a good beginner’s telescope that we could enjoy for years to come. My 10-year old son has wanted a telescope forever and is constantly reading up on the sky in encyclopaedias. For my tight single-mom budget, I have found two options that seem appealing (I am enclined to go with a Dobsonian over a refractor, following comments on better image clarity): 1. Skywatcher 130mm/f650 with EQ mount (2nd hand for CA$125) including 25 wide angle, 10mm and 3.6mm. 2. Celestron PowerSeeker 127 EQ (new for CA$200 including taxes) including 20mm, 4mm and 3x Barlow lenses, The Sky software and a 2-year warranty (and although the website calls it a "refractor" telescope, I’m pretty sure it is a Dob). Could you please advise me on these two options? Thank you ?
  14. I bought a pair of these 15x70 Celestron binoculars which arrived yesterday. Typically the weather is awful but they have been great for watching aircraft take off from Wellington airport. I’m going to blog about them here if you’re interested. Here’s some pics:
  15. Hi all, I've recently acquired an Explore Scientific ED80CF to use on my Evolution/AVX mounts. I'll be using it with an Atik Infinity camera and Starsense for alignment. The hope is to mount an RDF and a Starsense camera, but at the very least, the Starsense only. I'd like to use the bigger SS mount as it will allow me to swap it between this an my C6 tube without the use of Allen keys etc. See the images below for reference. As you can see, there's not a huge amount of space. I'm guessing that the existing mount can be removed and the RDF can replace it. Should be easy enough... How would I mount the SS though given that the tube has a foot and not rings? Could I add a set of clamshell rings for the SS? Is this wise on a CF tube? If anyone has any better ideas then please let me know! Cheers, Ed
  16. Hi, newbie at using a telescope. I have recently got a Celestron astromaster 130eq. I finally got chance to use it last week viewing the moon, I got some brilliant views and images. Using the 20mm erecting eyepiece and 10mm eyepiece that came with the telescope. (Pictures below to show that all was fine) I also have a 6mm plossl eyepiece, 15m Kellner eyepiece, 2x Barlow, and red, blue and moon filters. This morning with it been clear and Jupiter and Venus is clear view I Set up my telescope as normal, got the planets into view on my telescope used the 20mm eyepiece to clarify it was In view and it was just the a small white dot which I expected. So I started to reduce down the eyepieces to get a closer view and as I was slowly trying to focus all I could see was the secondary mirror in the lense. I tried a range of my different lenses to try and get it into focus even starting at the 20mm and working my way down and I just couldn’t see anything without the secondary mirror housing in view. at one point I could see something behind the secondary mirror image however I couldn’t make out what it was despite trying to focus slowly in and out. Looking at forums and advice could it be that I’ve actually locked on to a star which is further away hence why I can’t focus. Please help.
  17. Hi guys, Having had difficulty in aligning and never actually managing to get my AVX to track to the standard I know it can, is the Celestron StarSense gadget the answer? I know I can align my scope accurately if I put the effort in and having moved last year I’ve been unable to have my mount fixed on a pier so I’m seriously considering this piece of kit as an easier way to align and to motivate me to get out more often. Please share your thoughts..... Adaaam75
  18. I'm after a focus knob for a modern Celestron C9.25. Mostly likely will be where someone has replaced the factory focus knob with a fine focus model such as the Feathertouch.
  19. Guest

    Hello from SW England

    Getting back into astronomy after many years. Really tasted the thrill as a youngster: eg Jupiter Saturn conj of 1981 viewed through a 4" refractor Splitting the double on the 'tip of the sword' of Cygnus - which as I recall were red and green. Naked eye all night sessions in Spain and New Zealand. For the last couple of weeks I have been getting off to dark skies a few miles from where I live and using 8x32's and I have just bought some used Celestron (Echelon) 16x70's which came a couple of days ago - since which time, in accordance with the Laws of Physics, the skies have been cloudy! I am probably going to get an Orion parallelogram tripod, but there are long waiting times - in the meantime would love to know of any advice people may have on monopods / heads and a mount that will fix to the Echelons.
  20. Hi, I wonder if someone could please advise me on a few issues I seem to be having with my new Celestron Evo Edge HD 8" Telescope. The motors appear make a strange sound. This occurs when the scope is stationary, when adjusting the position manually or going to an object automatically. I have made a short video demonstrating the sound and can be heard during the first part of the video. Then after adjusting the position slightly it stops, then later on returns again. I don't believe this is a tracking noise as it intermittently occurs. Please note I am not referring to the louder motor noise but the quieter noise in the background. Another issue I am having is when I connect my tablet to the Telescope via the inbuilt Wi-Fi, the power status light, wifi light and tray light all appear to flicker slightly as if there is an electrical issue. I can't believe that I should expect the tray lighting to flicker??? If anyone could advise if the above is normal or not, I would be most grateful. Thanks, Jamie.
  21. Hi. I'm new to astronomy and want to buy my first telescope. I have narrowed it down to skywatcher 130/650 eq2, celestron 127EQ and skywatcher hertitage 130p flextube. I live in the city so I have to take into account the light pollution not to mention the INSANE shipping costs to my country so my budget is around 200 pounds. I know all three are very good scopes but I want to mention the CONS due to which I have selected one yet. skywatcher 130/650 eq2: The eq2 mount will be a hassle to understand and carry to the roof most expensive of the three (almost out of my budget) celestron 127EQ: The people I've asked all have the same opinion that skywatcher is much much better than celestron (even though both are owned by the same company) so I sort of don't want to buy it. But since the price of it is so good I want to believe that it's good. skywatcher hertitage 130p flextube: I was pretty much stuck on buying this until someone popped my bubble by saying: " not terrific .... the focuser is helical, doesn't support very heavy weight you need to DIY build a black cover or shroud to cover the extended exposed area , otherwise the contrast would be poor unless at a very dark site the base for the red-dot is fixed or not dovetail base ..... not compatible with other finderscopes example right-angle-correct-image 30 and 50mm and you need a sturdy surface to put it , like a table " so what's the point of having it if the scope has bad contrast. Which one should I pick?
  22. Hi guys & girls, So 4 new questions in one thread..... 1) Are there any obvious compatibility issues I'm missing (other than mount adaptors) that would prevent me from purchasing a mount from a different manufacturer to the OTA? 2) Call me a snob but I like new stuff. Brand new out of box, registering purchase with manufacturer for warrantee, no hidden issues, no "scuffs and scratches" etc..... As my budget is at least a year off for my dream scope/mount/tripod etc (9.25 SCT, please don't focus on scope choice!) I am considering getting the mount early then buying the OTA when I can afford it. This will allow me to step closer to my observatory dream set up and mount my current Sky Watcher 130 on it whilst I save! The draw back is buying separately = no savings. Should I wait (over a year) and save £300+ on a joint mount/OTA deal purchase or save a couple more months and and get the mount early, thus paying listed price for both mount and tube separately and missing a deal? £300 is a lot of cash to me! 3) Can you guys recommend other SCT's with similar aperture (8-10") and performance who aren't the main brands of Celestron/Meade etc. I see more and more equipment mentioned that I've not heard of that must be good but not mainstream gear, similar to Specialized/Trek/Giant road bikes etc. 4) Are there lesser known mounts out there too that can hold their own? (excuse the pun). Thanks for listening! Adaaam75 Clear Skies
  23. could not manage to make stellarium work on my celestron nexstar 6 se.. Between downloads Drivers com ports and whatever else i couldnt manage maybe I could trouble someone that can make it all sound like english
  24. Hello, I have recently bought a 76AZ and seen some incredible sites of the Moon, Venus was good to observe too (all through the 20mm) However Mars was a disappointment probably due to its size; and when I attach the Barlow Lense the zoom is there but the quality is definitely compromised. (Also find trouble with focusing as it shakes finding it hard to find the 'sweet spot') I am asking for some advice on how to 'tune up' or get the best out of my 76AZ, and for any advice on what optics/eyepieces to buy as I have read that the standard ones are not the best of quality. The finder scope is also terrible and will probably resort to fitting an Air Rifle scope in its place! Although guess work with two people works reasonably well! I would love gain any valuable Pointers & Tips anyone may have on how to use this telescope to its maximum performance or what things I can do to improve the quality etc. you can also be honest and say I need to just upgrade ha ha Thanks a lot in advance! ?
  25. New Celestron 8SE owner and not impressed. Alignment is a bitch. I finally "succeeded" with the three-star align and then the scope would only take me sort of close to where I wanted to go. Had to adjust manually. How spot on is alignment supposed to be? Tracking? I can't tell from the inadequate instruction manual how to engage tracking once I'm on an object. The whole exercise was supposed to allow me to do some astrophotography with my Canon 5D and related camera-to-scope attachments. Finally, I was surprised to learn (I think) that one needs to go through the alignment process for each session. The "computer" apparently doesn't hold the alignment. That right? Again, I can't find any reference in the instruction manual! If this is the case, it's certainly inconvenient. Any help or advice will be appreciated.
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