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Trouble with my finder scope

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Took my 300p dob out again last night found Arcturus and Saturn but trying to find anything else through the finder scope just seems a nightmare for me, With the naked eye i can see some constellations like Ursa Major then trying to find the base of the pan i just cant do it, Did anyone else have this problem? Also what will nebulaes galaxys and clusters look like through the eyepiece? i know some are very dim (thats how i feel) :D All in all im a novice and with some learning and you guys helping me im sure ill be up and running soon

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hi frankie,

im not sure how good your finder scope is, but i had an astromaster 130 newt and the finder on it was terrible. just wouldnt work - you line up a star in it, look into the ep and its not there. anyway i got around this by using a wooden stick and some duct tape (bare with me! :D).

first, tape the stick to the back of the scope with about an inch or more above the height of your finder. next, centre your view in the ep on a far away rooftop aerial, and particular window frame, anythign that you can pick out, preferably in the day. then go back to the stick. look through the finder from behind the stick, with the stick in view. centre your object in the finder, then place a mark on the stick where this 'imaginary straight line coming from your object through your finder to the stick' hits the stick.

longwinded, sorry, but if done correctly it gives you two accurate reference points which are further apart than the two in the finder, to line up a star with. worked for me everytime.

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I ditched the finder scope supplied with the ota and fitted a red dot finder. I aligned it roughly during the day on a distant chimney and then at night refined it by using a 20mm ep followed by a 15mm and then 9mm and finally a 6mm on a known bright star. You'll find it works pretty well.


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Do check that the finder scope and the telescope are aligned. Do this in daylight by aiming the telescope at a distant (further away the better) object, get it in the centre of the field of view, then align the finder scope to the same object. The two should then be aligned. The finder scope is of a wide enough field of view that it should not be too hard to find the star (etc.) you want to look at. Getting used to sighting along the finder scope whilst homing in on the target comes with a bit of practice.

I also have a Telrad and that makes it very straight forward to point at your target. Note: Telrad + Finder + scope all need to be aligned onto the same place.


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