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Well didnt I feel stupid!!


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I decided to set up my new skyatcher 120 startravel refractor at lunch time today in the hope that we may get some clear skies tonigh (wishful thinking i think!). But little did I know that i was going to encounter a problem that almost had me sending the scope back where it came from.

I unpacked it and got it all set up on the mount...so far so good. Fitted the red dot finder, diagonal, and put in a 25mm eyepiece. Took of the lens cover and decided to set up the viewfinder ready for tonight.

Well this is where the problem started. Looking through the eyepiece i couldnt focus on anything at all, theres tree's some distance away and they wouldnt focus, there's an old chimney not too far away and that wouldnt focus either! I could see the chimney etc but it was like seeing double and like looking through a swimming pool, everything was wavey and if i moved my eye around then all i got was ripple's.

After about 20 minutes of changing eyepieces, moving the scope around, checking, double checking and triple checking the lens, i sat down in a grump and sulked for a few minutes. I then looked out the window and instantly figured out the problem. I had put secondary glazing up at the weekend and it wasnt as smooth as glass and had ripples in it, i was looking through the windows with the scope so i was getting the same effect through the eyepiece. I quickly set up outside and had the finder setup in about 30 seconds and had perfect views through the eyepiece!

Well im glad no-one was around to witness my stupidity, but thought id share this experience on here in the hope that im not the only one who has done something as daft :D

Ive learned 2 things today, firstly, always setup a new scope outside, and secondly the AZ3 mount barely holds the weight of a 120mm short tube refractor.

Mark.

Edited by staryeyes
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Just as well you sussed out the cause before you returned to the dealer. I wouldn't fret about it, most of us have done silly things.

All you are, is a bit wiser now. No harm done:).

Ron.

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Nice one Mark.

It is reassuring to know I am not the only one who make stupid mistakes.

My best one to date was stripping down the entire wiring harness in my Obs to find out why my camera was not working only to discover I had left the end cap on the scope.

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We are all beginners in the greater scheme of things which means we get to benefit from doing daft things from time to time. Glad you found the solution to your problem which is the important bit - just have to wait for the clouds to clear now!

Clear skies

James

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I couldn't work out why I wasn't getting an image the other night.

End caps off, cameras on, mount on, USB hub on and all USB leads plugged in.

Slewed to a star - nothing!

Slewed to another - still nothing.

Opened the door from the warm to the scope room and...

...It helps if you open the roof first!

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So far it's just been the oldie of leaving the lens caps on for me.

Oh, that and the other night just plonking my notebook, star chart, S@N magazine, etc etc straight on the lawn. Packing up after observing and soaking wet everything.

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and secondly the AZ3 mount barely holds the weight of a 120mm short tube refractor.

Mark.

Hi Mark,

Best thing i ever did was to upgrade to an AZ4 mount for my ST120, i have the alu leg version and its excellent.

Al

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Hi Staryeyes,

At least now you can set up your scope properly, just think if you had done that in the darK!!.

I have the st120 as my grab & go, i converted the top of the az3 to a dovetail clamp, This allows better balance with a diag & ep in. When at home it goes on the AZ4. I have also found that so long as you have the slo mo alt control in you can keep that tight and it does not droop!!.

Cheers

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Don't feel daft, I think we've all done similar. ;)

Leaving the lens cap on is the main one for me too.

Although, setting up in the dark a few months back, I released the clutches and almost trashed the scope as it spun towards the tripod legs. It took me a good few seconds to realise I hadn't put the counterweights on!

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We are all the same when it come to something new "Please read is before you start"

20 secs later we start 2 mins later cannot find something ,trow toys out the pram phone shop sit down and look at book again ,Then say silly book do not make it clear from the start "It was not me its the book not right.

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Love the one about not opening the observatory roof Parallax. We could do with a sticky thread entitled "Stupid things we have done", it would make hilarious reading, maybe even publish it ;)

I am sure I have done a few as well, one example:

I could not find a guide star, was fiddling around with the guide ring screws for quite a while before I realised I was not in focus.

Duh!

Carole

Edited by carastro
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I couldn't work out why I wasn't getting an image the other night.

End caps off, cameras on, mount on, USB hub on and all USB leads plugged in.

Slewed to a star - nothing!

Slewed to another - still nothing.

Very similar in silliness, did all of the above, but with the roof off, went outs to look at the scope, and it was pointing in the opposite direction at the wall of the observatory, planetarium software was 12 hours out..doh:o

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My best (worst) mistake was while demonstrating Solar viewing at the South West Astro Fair. I was using a WOZ66 with Solar filter and when I looked through the eyepiece could see some black marks. Three times I removed and cleaned the eyepiece and diagonal before a colleague pointed out the marks were large sunspots! FAIL! All this in front of a group of excited kids and parents!

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My best (worst) mistake was while demonstrating Solar viewing at the South West Astro Fair. I was using a WOZ66 with Solar filter and when I looked through the eyepiece could see some black marks. Three times I removed and cleaned the eyepiece and diagonal before a colleague pointed out the marks were large sunspots! FAIL! All this in front of a group of excited kids and parents!

;) Very funny!

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Hi Mark,

Best thing i ever did was to upgrade to an AZ4 mount for my ST120, i have the alu leg version and its excellent.

Al

That's next on my list of purchases Al :)

My best one to date was stripping down the entire wiring harness in my Obs to find out why my camera was not working only to discover I had left the end cap on the scope.

This makes me laugh everytime i read it ;)

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Stuff like this happens, do not whither. I myself banged my head on the wall, stunned by my stupidity, when I was running around the scope one night, trying to figure out why the DSOs I know seem to be so dim (optics dewed up? collimation wrong?), only to find, after half an hour fo running, shouting and swaring around, that I have forgot to remove the moon filter from the back of my eyepice ;)

Edited by assasincz
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Stuff like this happens, do not whither. I myself banged my head on the wall, stunned by my stupidity, when I was running around the scope one night, trying to figure out why the DSOs I know seem to be so dim (optics dewed up? collimation wrong?), only to find, after half an hour, that I have forgot to remove the moon filter from the back of my eyepice ;)

Good job us stargazers have a sense of humour i guess :)

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Picked out the double cluster a few nights back, got to the right place and couldn't get it all in the FOV. Strange, viewed it several times recently with no problem. Moved it around in the EP, no go. Sudden bright thought - what EP am I using. You guessed, still had a 9mm (x83) in from viewing the previous object.

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