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MaggieMay

Pathetically New Learner Needs Assistance!

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Hello everyone!!

This seems like a friendly, informative board and I hope you clever bods can assist a very (very!) new learner!!

I have acquired (been given actually) a Seben Navigator II (yes, I'm aware of the bad feedback this has been given - but I have it now!), apart from taking it out of the box, I have no idea how to set the darn thing up!! (I know you're cringing out there!).

I've gotten as far as putting all the bits together, but can't see a blessed thing (or heavenly body come to that)!

I really thought that I could just point it at the night sky and be overwhelmed at the visions to behold through the viewfinder! Suffice to say, underwhelmed doesn't come close!

There are no instructions so I'm absolutely stuck!

I am genuinely star struck and would dearly love to view the night sky and learn more about it, but it would appear I am a technophobe!!

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated and once again apologies for my ignorance!!

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Welcome to the forum

Make yourself at home...

Best thing is to get used to the scope in daylight but make sure you don't/can't point it at

the sun.

Put in an eyepiece and point the scope at say some houses or whatever in the distance

and then turn the focuser until you can see an image.

If the view through it is totally black then the chances are you've not removed the

dust cover from the front (similar to leaving a lense cap on a camera)

Try that and shout back, don't be afraid to ask.....

:D

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Welcome to SGL, no such thing as a stupid question here. We've all been there!!

Is it one of these you have? http://tinyurl.com/2dxsrg .

:D fresh from the online translator!

Nice aperture, sorry - opening though...

Andrew

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Hello Philip and Tony

Many thanks for your ultra-quick replies.

Yes, Tony, that's the beast I have!!

Philip, you made me laugh about the dust-cover, 'cos the first time I tried I DID leave it on!!

I've since taken it off(!!) Now I need the basic layman's language steps to go the next step!!!

Thanks for your nice comments guys x

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S'ok... :D.

So what specifically do you want to know? I noticed it has a German Equatorial Mount, are you having trouble setting that up?

Tony..

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Oh dear, you've lost me already with the words 'German Equitorial Mount'!

I've set the telescope up but haven't been able to see anything out of the main eyepiece, just the finderscope thingy, so need to know how to align??

Then I want to know what to do when night time comes....

for example, how do I see Mars??

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A German Equatorial Mount is the tripod and metal lump that the telescope (the tube with the mirrors in) itself sits on top of. The idea is that you align the mount with (in our case if you live in the Northern Hemisphere) the celestial North Pole and then you move scope about on the Right Ascention (RA) and Declination (Dec) Axes to find your objects in the sky. Have a look at this: http://tinyurl.com/3xlphk .

Meanwhile, have you tried pointing the scope at something far away? If you trying to look at a wall say, 6 feet from you, you aren't going to see nothing. Try the highest thing at least 200 metres away and try it. This may sound stupid, but are you using the focusing wheels (the smallish wheels underneath where the eyepiece goes) to try and get something in focus?

Just to satisfy my curisoity, take the cap off and check if there's a mirror at the bottom of the tube and another one at the top end nearest you, if you look down the eyepiece hole, you should be able to see it. If you haven't got both of those, then you're not going to see anything...

Tony..

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Hi and welcome to the forum.

Do you have a local astro society in your area (you don't say where you are based) who will have people who will be able to help and advise you.

Although it's not the same brand, it might be worth having a look at one of the Skywatcher telescope manuals which can be found here: http://www.opticalvision.co.uk/documents/22.pdf

The manual is for their 8" inch reflector so much of it will be relevant.

Hope it helps.

Geoff

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Maggie,

The main purpose of the mount is to hold the telescope so you can point it wherever you want.

The second purpose of your mount is not quite so obvious. If you point the telescope at a star and watch it for a while, you'll find that the star will appear to move, even if you keep the telescope still. This is due to the Earth rotating rather than the star moving. Your GEM (German Equatorial Mount) is designed to make it easy for you to follow the star. Unfortunately, to take advantage you have a bit of work to do when you set it up.

Basically, you need to point the mount "north" and also upwards at a fairly precise angle to the ground. For starters you can use a compass to point it north - it will be close enough for now. The angle you point it upwards at is equal to your latitude on the Earth's surface - there should be some sort of adjuster and angle measuring thingy on your mount. You can find your latitude from Google Maps, Multimap etc.

If you do all that, the axis about which you can turn your telescope (or if you have motors they will turn the scope) will be parallel to the Earth's axis - think of it is a line through the Earth between the south and north pole - pointing out into space near to Polaris.

The above is quite simplified, but it should give you the idea. Its not as hard as it sounds.

Mike

PS Maggie May is the missus and my song from when we were first going out - thanks for reminding me.

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Hi Maggie welcome on board. Firstly if you dont have a compass, go and stand outside when the sun is shining at around mid day, turn so your left shoulder is towards the sun, North will be roughly in the direction of your other shoulder (right one) the weather (hopefully) looks good for the weekend, remember where north is and have a look for a set of stars that look like a saucepan, 3 roughly in a row then what looks like a bowl at the end of them, thats the plough. If you have a look at the Saucepan end of the plough there are two stars one above the other, if you imagine a line going directly through these two stars follow the line until you see a star which will roughly be directly north, watch it for a while and note that it does not move, well that is polaris (the north star) if you go out later look again it still has not moved far.

Ok sorry to sound like a schoolteacher, but knowing where the north star is will help you understand the equtorial mount on which your scope sits. The rule of thumb is that the mount itself needs to be aligned to the north star, in your case for the moment try and line up the eyepiece of your telescope with the north star, this is a great way of learning how to handle the mount as the way it moves is pretty odd to say the least. Have a look at the 3 legs on your mount, one of them hopefully will have a letter N on it, this leg points north, make sure you dont place just any leg facing north.

As mentioned above, your co ordinates are roughly based on the height of polaris compared to where you are on the planet, in the UK my position is 51 degrees north, hence Polaris is roughly 51 degrees above me. If you clench a fist and hold it out at arms length so your knuckles are along the top then the height between the bottom of the fist and the top of the knuckles is 10 degrees, works well as a rule of thumb (or fist come to that)

Im hoping you can now see through the scope, best thing at the moment is to point the telescope at the moon as basically it cannot be missed, play with the mount moving it from polaris to the moon and back again, after a while you will find it comes as second nature. If you have a guide book with the mount give it a good read as these mounts tend to have locks on the which need to be un done so the mount will move then done up again when you want it in a particular position. See how it goes. :D

As for Mars, well, mmmmm you will see it one day, but dont loose any interest in an attempt to hurry up and see it, as once you get the scope working just pointing it above you will give you plenty of hours of the wow factor, think of mars as something to spoil yourself with once you have spent a few weeks searching a few constellations.

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Good luck Maggie and don't let the Seben put you off, there is so much to see (even if you do freeze most of the time)!

Gary

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Hi there,

As a fairly new starter myself I difficulties that you are facing. You will find that you make many breakthroughs but the journey there can be rather frustrating. Firstly don't expect to see views that we see in magazines and the internet. We see things very differently through our 'scopes. Practically it is vital that you learn your way around your telescope following the guide in the manual and articles on the web. Take time learning how to set it up, i.e. polar alignment but also learn what can be seen in the sky at any moment in time. Turn Left at Orion is a good book for this.

Persever, because when you see things for the first time it is well worth it. If you want a quick hit tonight and have a low Southern horizon the bright 'star' low down for an hour or two after dark is Jupiter. Point your telescope at it and you will not only see the planet but also several of its moons. If you do this remember that Jupiter is around 500 million miles away! I am always amazed at the distances of objects we observe, when you really get into astronomy you'll be observing objects thousand and millions of light years away. Also the moon is up tonight in the south so have a go at that.

You may also find it useful to download a planetarium piece of software. Have a look here http://www.stellarium.org/

Finally ask loads of questions here, there are loads of great pepole only too willing to help.

Regards,

Chris

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Philip, Tony, Andrew, Geoff, Mike (delighted I reminded you of you and your girl's courtship!!), Proflight2000, Gary, Chris - you have been an enormous help and inspiration - I am SO grateful, thank you so much.....

I was worried that my ignorance would annoy those of you so far ahead; I'm very aware of my inadequancies but you have been so kind, generous and considerate with your comments, I am most grateful.

I shall put your great advice to work in a couple of weeks once back off holidays and will keep in touch.....

Best wishes

Maggie x

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