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Finderscope upgrade/replacement for Skywatcher 200P???


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Hi all,

I haven't played that much with my Skywatcher Explorer 200P,

however, I just don't like the bundled finderscope as I find myself

unable to keep it correctly aligned and focussed.

What would be a better, easier (at a decent price) replacement

for that ? Possibly something that once aligned will stay firm and steady

and I won't have to align it again at every session.

Are red dot finders any good?

Clear Skies.

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Hmmm.... have you set up the finder properly? They do hold quite well but there are some common mistakes a lot of "newbies" make. Sometimes the rubber "O" ring gets missed out - without that you don't stand much chance of a good firm alignment so check that first. It's also possible that you aren't using enough magnification to get a good alignment.

Focus the main tube on a distant object like a pylon or church spire 1-2miles away. Use a 15mm - 20mm eyepiece to center it during the daytime. Then assuming the finder is held firm in its ring - adjust it so the tip of the spire is exactly in the middle. Ths will be enough to find planets. Center the main tube on a planet at night and look in the finder - it will be off center - adjust it and then pop in an 8-10mm eyepiece and repeat. That'll give you enough accuracy for most objects. HTH :)

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Hmmm.... have you set up the finder properly? They do hold quite well but there are some common mistakes a lot of "newbies" make. Sometimes the rubber "O" ring gets missed out - without that you don't stand much chance of a good firm alignment so check that first. It's also possible that you aren't using enough magnification to get a good alignment.

Focus the main tube on a distant object like a pylon or church spire 1-2miles away. Use a 15mm - 20mm eyepiece to center it during the daytime. Then assuming the finder is held firm in its ring - adjust it so the tip of the spire is exactly in the middle. Ths will be enough to find planets. Center the main tube on a planet at night and look in the finder - it will be off center - adjust it and then pop in an 8-10mm eyepiece and repeat. That'll give you enough accuracy for most objects. HTH :)

Hi brantuk,

thanks for the advice.

I think the way I did the alignment is pretty much correct, I have no issues with the alignement technique (I've learned it when I was a kid with some pretty good Konus instructions and I setup a few small finderscopes in the past) however now I'm not sure about this rubber "O" thing, I will have to take a look at it. Is it supposed to be an additional piece of rubber that was in the box or something like that?

Given the size of the equipment, I might still consider a replacement as using the optical finderscope isn't always comfortable for me.

Clear Skies

Edited by TziuRiky
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I find an 8x50 finderscope or RDF in combination with a low power eyepiece works for me, but so many other people swear by a Telrad that I think it's worth a go if you're struggling with an optical finder. An RDF is great if you want to get the scope pointing at a bright object and star-hop from there, but you can really only use it for pointing at things you can see with the naked eye. It's not particularly helpful if you want to find something that has no easily recognisable naked-eye stars close by.

James

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I had this problem until I realised I'd missed the o-ring. That makes all the difference.

If you need one, after trial and error I fourths that what I needed was a 46mm diameter 2mm thick nitrile o-ring. It cost me a whole £2.30 on eBay for a bag of 10. Pm me your details and I will post you one out free - I have spares now.

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Hi Ricky - yep the "O" ring sits around the finder in a grove about an inch behind the lens. Then when you put it in the bracket it makes contact with the inside circumference of the bracket and holds it uniformly in place all round - leaving a "spongy" feel which allows adjustment at the rear. In my experience the ring is usually just chucked anywhere in the box as an afterthought and it's easy to miss if new to this type of finder. Yet it's such a critical item without which the finder bscomes useless.

If you still decide to go with a replacement you have three options - Telrad, Right angled correct image finder (RACI), or RDF (red dot finder). I use all three across my scopes but on the dob I have a RACI and a Telrad. They all have their merits and pifalls - I guess the one thing mine all have in common is a RACI which helps avoid back and neck aches. I avoid straight through finders like the plague lol. There's a lot to be said for a Telrad which is invaluable when used with star maps. :)

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Thanks Guys for all the suggestions, links and infos.

I'm always learning something new in the SGL school :D

SplintUK : That's extremely kind of you! I will first see if mine is still around, if not, I will give you a shout :D

Clear Skies :)

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i've got the same scope and upgraded the finder before i even bought it because of what people said about the supplied one. i got one of these and it's great. makes looking through the finder so much more comfortable and the corrected image really helps me to find things more easily, particularly as i currently start by using bino's to search for the location and then move to the finder so having the finder the right way up works very well for me.

http://www.harrisont...___Bracket.html

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  • 6 months later...

I use a combination of a telrad on a 4" riser and a RACI finder although the telrad mainly just gets used as a giant red dot finder, I find the telrad needs aligning a lot, it would be better if the aligning knobs could be pushed into the body to keep them out of the way

Edited by jabberwocky
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I replaced my small red dot with a wider baader surfer (bigger window for viewing) but eventually added a RACI and so glad I did. Gives me a new dimension in viewing wide field, helps with the 'fun' side of star hopping even though I have a goto (it is a temperamental one!) and I shine my Green laser down the optics of the RACI to project out onto the sky so I don't usually even need a RDF!

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Hey,

I find the Explorer 200p finder scope very good actually. The optics are good, and the views are crisp and sharp. Yet, it's quite uncomfortable when the telescope is pointed up more than 60 degrees, unless of course you're a giraffe. I'm going to piggyback a SkyWatcher ST80 on top of the 200p OTA to act as both a guider scope and a finder scope.

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I put mine right up near the top next to the finderscope when i had that set up. so all three are in line.

Everyone has different ideas on the exact placement but you will need to get youself behind the telrad for observing

and that can twist you up! So further up the tube the better.

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