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Mcphisto

Reticle problem.

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Took my scope out last night to a nice dark sight but had terrible trouble getting polar aligned due to there being no red light in my reticle. I have a fairly new EQ3 mount. Is there something I'm doing wrong or a way to switch it on? I was using a power pack for power so no issues there!

To compensate I held a red flashlight above and got it fairly close but it was still off a bit.

Also, even though it was a really dark place, no street light etc and just two passing cars. I couldn't get good night vision. Is it because I wear glasses, but every time I looked into the scope things seemed a bit washed out. It was pretty good seeing as I could barely make out the Milky Way.

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Does the EQ3 now come with an illuminated reticle ? As far as I know it doesn't so you will need to shine a small torch covered with red film /nail varnish across the front opening of the polarscope to it.

Peter

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Reticles or cross-hairs can be hard to see against a dark sky - I can never see my finder crosshairs (but don't really need to so it's OK). To be visible they need to be either illuminated or else thicker. Illumination with a dim red torch should work fine. If mechanically possible you could introduce an opening next to the reticle (at the focal plane of the eyepiece) so it could be illuminated by ambient light or a dim LED.

Wearing glasses should not, in itself, affect night vision. I wear glasses and after half an hour in the dark I'm seeing stuff I couldn't see at the start. People vary and perhaps your adaptation is a bit below average (the rare, extreme case is "night blindness"). To preserve night vision you want to expose yourself to as little light as possible - even a dim red torch shining on paper can be enough to leave a bright after-image in the eye when you look through the scope. Also you say the Milky Way was barely visible which suggests that either the site wasn't particularly dark or else there may have been haze in the air. Check on subsequent visits to the same site - maybe you just got a bad night.

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I didn't think the reticle in the EQ3-2 polar scope was illuminated in any of the models. I used the "shining the torch down the scope tube" trick for a while, but that became a pain in the neck (quite literally :) fairly quickly, so I made up a small LED illuminator that fits in the upper polar scope opening. If you have a look through the DIY section you will find quite a number of variations on the theme. It does make setting up so much easier.

James

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Ah! My bad! I read somewhere about the red light and assumed it applied to the EQ3 too! How daft am I? But thanks for all the replies and I'll defo be looking in the DIY section. Thanks again!

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I've found that you don't necessarily need to shine the torch from the top. If you hold a torch to the side of the polarscope by the setting circle, enough stray light finds its way into the scope for the reticule to become visible

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