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Seajay26

Focusing Issue with Skywatcher Skymax 127

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Hi, I hope someone is able to help this complete novice.

I got a Skywatcher Skymax 127 telescope for christmas (very lucky me) and last night was the first clear night, so out we went.

I set up the telescope as per the instructions, both me and the telescope waited in the dark for half an hour, for the telescope to get used to the cold and me to get used to the darkness. Although this is a tracking telescope, I used it in manual and using the finder pointed the scope at Orion. With the naked eye the belt was clearly visible and although I have never seen them, I know there are lots of stars in the belt.

Through the telescope I could see nothing, but black fuzz. Tried focusing, nothing.

Then I put on the moon filter and pointed my scope at the moon. I could get white fuzz.

So I took it in and put in the back bedroom. This morning, I pointed the scope at a set of trees about 2 miles away on the other side of a valley. They are on the horizon and can be clearly seen with the naked eye to be oak trees. Nothing obscuring them and no clouds. Nothing through the scope, the finder showed plenty of detail.

The best I have got is a fuzzy brown line of a branch of a tree in next doors garden. I am hoping to use the scope for taking wild life shots with my Nikon D90! :sad:

At one time I got a lovely view of something small and round, then I blew the speck of dust off the front of the scope, it had then gone!

Am I doing something wrong, or are the reflectors miss aligned? Before I contact the supplier I would like to know.

My backgarden has no light pollution, although I need glasses to correct an astigmatism in my right eye, I have good vision in my left, needing only a light reading prescription. So I don't think it could be my lens!

Thank you for your help.

Claire

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Hey Claire

I shouldn't have thought you have an issue with your 127, its pretty hard to knock the mirrors out - i've bumped mine a few times pretty hard and its been fine.

Best as you say to test it out in the daylight, make sure you start as far out of focus as the mirror will travel, then slowly turn the focuser until you've reached the opposite focus - its important to do it slowly (even though this can take ages for the full focus travel), if you do it too fast its really easy to travel straight through the point of focus without even realising.

Also make sure you start with a really low powered eye piece, if you try it with a barlow or the 10mm which you get with the scope, you'll find it even easier to miss focus. Best to start with the wide angle eye piece you get with the scope as its much easier to focus, then pop the 10mm or barlow in and slowly fine tune the focus.

Hope you get it sorted! Others on the forum might have a thing to say about mirrors, i've never had a problem personally. I'd be really surprised if it was that though.

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Hi, I hope someone is able to help this complete novice.

I got a Skywatcher Skymax 127 telescope for christmas (very lucky me) and last night was the first clear night, so out we went.

I set up the telescope as per the instructions, both me and the telescope waited in the dark for half an hour, for the telescope to get used to the cold and me to get used to the darkness. Although this is a tracking telescope, I used it in manual and using the finder pointed the scope at Orion. With the naked eye the belt was clearly visible and although I have never seen them, I know there are lots of stars in the belt.

Through the telescope I could see nothing, but black fuzz. Tried focusing, nothing.

Then I put on the moon filter and pointed my scope at the moon. I could get white fuzz.

So I took it in and put in the back bedroom. This morning, I pointed the scope at a set of trees about 2 miles away on the other side of a valley. They are on the horizon and can be clearly seen with the naked eye to be oak trees. Nothing obscuring them and no clouds. Nothing through the scope, the finder showed plenty of detail.

The best I have got is a fuzzy brown line of a branch of a tree in next doors garden. I am hoping to use the scope for taking wild life shots with my Nikon D90! :sad:

At one time I got a lovely view of something small and round, then I blew the speck of dust off the front of the scope, it had then gone!

Am I doing something wrong, or are the reflectors miss aligned? Before I contact the supplier I would like to know.

My backgarden has no light pollution, although I need glasses to correct an astigmatism in my right eye, I have good vision in my left, needing only a light reading prescription. So I don't think it could be my lens!

Thank you for your help.

Claire

Hi Claire,

Sorry to hear of your troubles but without having the scope at hand it is difficult to say, double check the diagonal and the supplied eyepiece to make sure they are properly seated and try to gently and slowly go through the very considerable focus range , if this fails then try and get a second opinion from a person who has a telescope. Other than this you may have to make a trip to either an Astonomical society near you or a friendly shop to get a second opinion before contacting the supplier.

Sorry I couldn't be of much help,

Regards,

A.G

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It sounds like the scope is not focusing at infinity. Check the eyepiece is seated properly. Try the lowest power eyepiece too. Is the focus control smooth when you turn the knob ?

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Yes, assuming the diagonal (eyepiece) etc., is being used normally, it does sound like it's WAY out of focus. With that idea in mind, just keep turning the focussing knob - First clockwise, then counter-clockwise. Nothing will "fall off" - You will reach an end stop in either direction. Somewhere "in the middle", you should be able to see (daylight) objects?

Edited by Macavity
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I agree with the previous posters. During the day point the scope at something as far away as you can, then turn the focuser knob all the way one way and slowly turn it back in the opposite direction until you reach focus. At first you may see nothing other than a pale haze, or just a "doughnut", but you should eventually start to see fuzzy shapes and the scope should come closer to focus. You do need a target a fair distance away though -- think half a mile rather than the end of the garden (unless you have a very big garden :). As others have said, if you go too fast you can easily go right through the focal point without noticing so slow down as you see things start to become more defined.

You'll find the focuser knob rotates a long way. I think it's about 23 turns stop-to-stop, so it feels like it goes on forever.

It's a great little scope and you should have a lot of fun with it when you get the hang of things. It really pays to "practice" during daylight first if you can. Good clear nights are not so plentiful in the UK at the moment and the more familiarisation you can do beforehand the more time you'll spend actually using the telescope.

James

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Hi Everyone

Thank you so much for the replies, and so prompt.

I will try again, and as you all say, I will be patient and do it slowly. The trees about 2 miles away will be my project for now.

I was using the Barlow lens, so will remove that.

Thank you all once again. I will let you know how I do.

Claire

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A distant tree sounds ideal and starting without the barlow is probably sensible.

I meant to mention about the D90 previously. If you get a T ring for the Nikon, you should be able to remove the diagonal and attach the T ring directly to the back of the telescope -- there's a male T thread on the outside of the visual back. I've not tried it for terrestrial photography, but I do use exactly the same configuration with my 450D for imaging the Moon and Sun and it works very neatly.

James

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