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stargazer1980

I Need some serious help please people!!!!!

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Hi to all and thanks for taking your time to read my questions!

Firstly me and my girlfriend are beginners to astronomy and wanted something around the 200-400 mark for an electronic telescope for lunar, planetary and deep space astronomy so we were advised to go for the celestron SLT 114!

Ok so we got it in the post as you do, unpacked it, set it up and away we went! The first night by pure fluke we saw saturn with our 25mm eyepiece and we were both wowed by the sight of saturn!

After this we thought great! So we ordered an rs232 cable and set it up with my laptop and my software!

Ok this is where the trouble began!............................... Weather we use the rs-232 cable or not, whenever we want to go and look at things there just not in the eyepiece after weve aligned the telescope!

Am i doing something wrong as i was hoping to see more than just a few dots in the sky! I know were not going to see massive celestial objects in our eyepiece but were not seeing anything!

Also when we check our software to see where things are in the sky then click the goto operation on the laptop it seems to go in the opposite direction and goes somewhere completely different to what we want!

Yes i have put in a custom user site using our gps co-ordinates and the correct time!

Any help would be great

Thanks

Darren : )

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Hi Darren,

I am only a beginner myself, but remember facing exactly the same problems myself when I had a Celestron 130.

Firstly you say you have put in the time Have you put the date in USA style as in Month/day/year I found my scope going in completely the wrong direction when I put in day?month/year.

Let me know and we'll go from there, PM me if you wish

Regards

Trudie

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Hi Darren,

I've got no direct experience of the Celestron but two common faults are to get the 'daylight saving' question wrong (sorry, but you have to ask! :)) or you've selected the wrong protocol for the laptop to taking to the telescope. Is there more than one protocol availiable in the supplied software? Trudies suggestion is also a good one, I've made that mistake myself.

Have you managed to get the scope to find objects using the handset? If not I'd concentrate on that first, then try to sort out the laptop problem. Getting computers to control telescopes can be a trial and error process at the best of times and not something to attempt until you are sure the rest of the system is working correctly or you could just be looking at the wrong peice of equipment when trying trace the faults.

I'm going to move this thread to the Equipment Discussion forum, you'll be more likely to get answers there. :)

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I use the same mount and had the same problems. I would tell the scope to go somewhere and it would point to the ground. Again it was the date format that was the culprit, we get so used to entering dd/mm/yy that the USA system of mm/dd/yy is easy to forget. As Gaz says, set up the GOTO and find a few obvious targets using the handset, then when you know that the GOTO isn't at fault, thats the time to wrestle with the computer software. Also go to the Celestron site and make sure that your handset has the latest available software installed. Hope this helps. Oh and use a low power eyepiece at first when looking for the targets, you'll rarely see them first time with a 5mm EP in the focuser.

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yeah im entering the date correctly but gaz has just told me about the daylight saving and that were not there yet and ive been telling it we are lol! Will i actually see anything through the scope or are we talking about tiny little blurs that im not going to notice??

Thanks : )

Darren

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It depends on what you are expecting to see....

You will not see the sky the same as you see in the magazines and in the imaging sections of forums,and it doesn't smack you in the face when you do see it.

But with a bit of patience and perseverance you will see galaxies,nebula,clusters and planets.

Hi powered eyepieces are mainly used for planets/moon and the lower ones for Dso.

Remember that the quality of what you see is governed by the quality of your skies and the local light polution,allow yourself 1/2 hour in darkness for your eyes to become Dark adapted and your observations will be better

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Its all a case of practise and practise and some more practise. The same also applies to the size of the mirror and the light gathering ability of the scope itself. I used to have a 105mm ETX GOTO scope and it was fine for seeing some things, i never expected to see more than the mirror could possibly manage. Like a lot of first time scope buyers I was of the thinking that the pictures you see on the box actually appear, not always the case.

I now have a 200mm mirror and the difference is totally gobsmaking, so the first issue is be prepared to allow for the telescopes limitations etc.

My other mishap and ill be totally honest, is expecting to see it all straight away, the skills I need to learn are to first learn the constellations, get a good star guide and work your way visually without a scope around the night sky, this will then open up the ability to trace certains areas in the sky. Winter was the best start for me personally as Orion is so easy to see, i then found out all the visible stars i could see in orion, then use those same stars as hoppers, find sirius for instance using orion etc and just go with the flow.

The other night i spent ages looking at what i thought was the whirlpool galaxy, only to find out later that it was the cats eye. But keep with it, my worst lesson of all was getting bored with my go to scope as it made me too lazy to work out the sky for myself. I have decided to rough it now and learn the sky for myself, I have noticed that once I find something, a week later I can find it again as I have taught myself where it is. In another 50 years or so I should be reasonaly proficient. anyways best of luck.

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