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Help with Celestron NexStar please


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I have no problems using the Sky Align function and catalogue on my new scope but can't see how to then revert to "manual" mode ie using the direction keys and star pointer to slew to observable celestial objects. I tried Celestron's support but I don't think they understood my query.

Can anybody help?

Thank you

Martin

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You should be able to press the direction keys to slew the scope in the direction you want. Remember to use the 'Rate' key followed by the '1 to 9' keys to set the speed the scope will slew. 1 being the slowest and 9 the fastest. Sometimes the backlash in the gearing means it takes a couple of seconds for the scope to react to your directional button presses, especially if you are slewing at a very slow rate.

Edited by Slim
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You should also be able to click UNDO to cancel any sync that you have on the current object. As Slim said, the important thing is to hit RATE and then 9 before you want to use the direction keys to slew manually. The GOTO will be "helpful" sometimes in automatically reducing the RATE value for slow slewing when on a tracked object. It may be that that's making you think the direction keys aren't working when you try and slew manually.

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Thanks for the responses. I've certainly pressed the UNDO button as that seemed the obvious choice. This time I'll try UNDO/RATE/9 and see what happens.

George - while I wait for my copy of "Turn left at Orion" to be delivered and as you have a similar size scope to me (4") can you recommend just a couple of stellar objects worth viewing in the North, East and part South of the sky. All the ones I have found so far simply appear as star-like objects. I have eyepieces from 6mm to 32mm.

Hopefully

Martin

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M3, M13, M57! Once you've found them with a low-power EP, use a high power on them. And of course Saturn (due south late in the evening)... Next to Saturn is a brightish star called Porrima - it is a nice tight double - you may need a high-power eyepiece to split it though.

Edited by Ags
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UNDO should take you back to the display saying NEXSTAR 8SE or NEXSTAR 6SE. Then if you press rate followed by 9 you ought to be able to slew around to your heart's content. If this doesn't work, feel free to PM me for further advice.

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Thanks for all the replies.

I do have Stellarium and the 3 suggestions should be viewable. I hope they are as impressive through a telescope as in the programmes ocular function.

Having pressed the UNDO key I think the handset shows a tiny line turning round and round. I had assumed this meant it was still tracking the last object.

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Hmmm... that doesn't sound like the right response. The rotating line indicates it is still trying to find the last object, not track it. Try pressing one of the arrow keys. This should stop the rotating line. Then press undo and do all else that we suggested. I wonder if you have a fault. Most Nexstar faults are power related. How are you running the scope?

Celestron support can be really rubbish. Where did you buy the scope from? A good dealer may be more helpful.

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I get the spinning line when I've selected an object and, after slewing, it's zero'ing in on the object slowly. The line stops spinning when it's there. That's how it should work.

The mount should be constantly tracking after that point, it's also tracking after you've used the arrow keys. Tracking at sidereal rate however is imperceptible because it's so slow (same as the rotation rate of Earth).

If you hit undo as it's approaching a selected object then it should stop and just track wherever it it currently pointed. The spinning line should stop.

Hope that helps ;)

(Checking the power is a good idea - Celestron mounts work best from a well charged field pack or regulated PSU)

Edited by brantuk
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When you first switch it on, presumably you can make it slew around with the arrow keys? If so, then it sounds as if it is not quite getting to the point where it has found the object it is getting to. This suggests a fault to me. 99.9999% of all Nexstar faults appear to be power related...

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