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Red Dot Finders


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Hi

Is anyone else having issues with red dot finders. Mine is a stock item that came with the scope. It started playing up after the last really cold session, and is now hit and miss if works at all. Just wondering if damp can cause them to fail.

cheers

ali

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The cold will pay havoc with the battery (but i dont think this is the issue). Maybe the battery is just a dud and needs replacing.

Did you leave it switched on for a long time? Its very easy to switch it on and forget to turn it off.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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Hi Ali,

I hated the red-dot finder that came with my SW Mak. The dot was just too big and too bright. Rather than point at things, it obliterated them. Use the opportunity to invest in better.

I now use a Quikfinder to get me in the general area and a 9x50 finderscope to get me on target.

Andrew

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I've had the same battery in one of my RDF's for about 5 yrs now. I turn it off religiously though after i use it.

I'd say just replace the battery and see how you go.

Also worth checking is the little screw in the centre of the on/off wheel. A couple of yrs ago mine worked itself loose and the RDF became very flakey.

The screw i mean is circled in yellow here:

post-18019-133877734736_thumb.jpg

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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The one that came with my first scope (1145pm) was totally useless. It was touch n' go whether it would work or not. Very erratic performance. It was replaced by FLO with no problems and the new one worked OK. Judging by other comments I've read though, the models that come with SW scopes are of only average quality.

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The Baader Skysurfer III is a low cost RDF that works very well. It has a larger projection lens, more dew protection and a smaller (ie: more precise) dot than others. £20 or so from First Light Optics.

Edited by John
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The one that came with my first scope (1145pm) was totally useless. It was touch n' go whether it would work or not. Very erratic performance. It was replaced by FLO with no problems and the new one worked OK. Judging by other comments I've read though, the models that come with SW scopes are of only average quality.

They are all just generic bog standard RDF's. I bought a SW Heritage 130P (cost just over 100 squids) which included a RDF. Just before Christmas i bought a Celestron 8SE (cost just short of 2000 squids) and the same generic RDF was supplied.

Go figure.

I'm fast coming to the frame of mind that RDF's are useless and i will soon switch to a telrad or something. Although i do have a finderscope (8x50.....i think). Maybe i'll adapt that to use with my 8se.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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Thanks for all the advise, I have changed the battery three times. I only got the scope in January. It must be an iffy finder, I switched it on to align tonight but it did not work so I left it on and started to align manually by the time I had aligned Venus and Jupiter the red dot had come on. I might write to Celestron and see if they will do anything about it, I won't hole my breath though.

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If you bought the scope new then the dealer who supplied it should sort you out with a replacement finder.

The big companies don't deal directly with customers as far as I know. These people have dealt with Celestron for years so may be able to help:

Celestron.UK.COM | Telescopes | Binoculars | Spotting Scopes | Microscopes | SkyScout | SkyProdigy

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Personally I think a decent RDF and a 50mm optical finder compliment each other rather than compete. For getting the scope to within a degree of the right part of the sky I find a decent RDF is excellent. For detailed star hopping to zero in on an object such as a faint planet or binary star, thats where the 50mm optical finder comes in, although that can be achieved with a low powered wide field eyepiece in the main scope as well.

Everybody will have their preference though - luckily there are a number of choices available today :)

Edited by John
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Bought an Astro Engineering RDF for my Dob a few years ago, best thing I ever bought. Use it without fail every time I use the scope. Have gone through a few batteries due to the moron operating it leaving it on for days but otherwise has been completely reliable. Has variable brightness as well so won't obliterate the target but can be used when the sky is reasonably bright too.

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My red dot finder that is on my new 114 Celestron is very good compared from others I have seen, the dot is small, just the right brightness, in fact it's so small you can still see a star you can hit with it.

Yes the only problem for me is where the red dot is placed on the Telescope, have my bed eye the op side to where the Red Dot is placed.

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I have only ever used a RDF but I have no problems using it ( when it works ).

If the dot is dimmed on a lower setting, I can still see the target object without a problem, but I agree with Paul S, if the brightness is ramped up it appears to increased the size of the dot. If I don't get anywhere with the company I bought it from ( F1 Telescopes ) I will have a look at the Skysurfer III.

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Just thought I had better mention F1 Telescopes, I phoned them up and they will replace the RDF, they were very helpful and even told me that they had a few other faulty finders coming back to them. If the next one is dodgy I will upgrade for something more reliable.

Thanks for everyone's input.

Ali

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Have tried a few types now, bog standard SW one, Telrad (very good), 8x50 and a flash type.

Apart from the Telrad all seem as good as each other and i dont like them.

But now i use a green laser finder,the best yet, and for the batterys and the cold....i wrap a gel hand warmer around it....:D

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