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Hi all,

After many, many hours of trying to set up my scope so that I can find anything in the night sky by simply turning my scope to coordinates listed in the stargazing mags, Ive finally given up and called it a day. Cant even get past the polar alignment procedure.  What a flipping nightmare. 

Took some time levelling the EQ5 mount and definitely a struggle seeing the ball level in the dark, even with a torch.

Then its impossible to see polaris through the polar scope cause its just appearing too faint, and seems to be surrounded by other stars that only appear to be there when you look through the view finder. Then you can't see the reticule (i think thats what its called) cause its too dark. Shine a light across and you can see it but the stars then disappear. 

Ive pretty much run out of patience cause I've had this mount and 200p scope for a while now, and not really getting to use it. I simply have too many interests to be able to dedicate the time and effort required to keep trying to set this lot up...I suppose I want the easy life.....

Is there such a scope that doesn't need polar aligning, will goto at the press of a button, and doesn't need collimating etc etc???

And does anybody know the best place to sell the gear I have to part fund a new setup, or a decent shop that does part ex?

Any help greatly appreciated :-)

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HI. sorry to hear you are having problems. I think perhaps taking a step back might help. Have you considered just trying to find your way around with a set of binoculars and a star hopping book first? 

I always find setting expectations early to be quite key to this hobby. So lets say you sell this setup, and get one that will do as you say (so a celestron mount and sky sync for example)....do you realise what it will show you? I assume you know its not all hubble-esqe views. Before you sell up and go for another scope, have a read of the 'What can I expect to see' thread by Qualia...its here. It might help decide on whether or not you really want to invest yet more money in something that supplies quite subjective returns (IMO).

The weather does not help that much either....;-)  

Good luck.

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Your not alone. I was out tonight with my dob and after spending 45 mins searching for my target, failed and gave in. Owned a scope for almost a year now and still get disappointed (often).

I think what I am saying is don't give in. Folks who have been at this for years often get frustrated too, not just newbies like me. If it was easy, everyone would do it.

Mark

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Hi Blazar. Yeah, Ive viewed Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, Venus, Abdromeda etc. But they are easy to find and Ive simply pointed to scope where it needed to go and viewed them. I wanted to see if I could locate Uranus and I spent hours the other night with no such luck. I had iPad apps for guidance (star walk etc) but you know what its like...everything is upside down, back to front etc, and just gets really confusing. The only way for me to do it currently is to set up my scope so that I can turn it to the correct coordinates and locate objects that way. But its just not working for me and I'm wasting hours outside just getting more and more wound up. I don't get a lot of free time, so Im thinking its probably a better idea if I look for a fully automated scope which although will cost more, would at least mean that id get to see what Im looking for and not just spend hours outside in the cold, surrounded by disappointed family and friends who were hoping to get a glimpse of the objects Id promised to locate! 

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There are scope that do it all the Meade LS6 will do it, but they cost a fair bit. I think yuu can add bits to the Skywatchers to do the same.

If you want to stick at it and observe something then I suggest the Meade ETX-80, I can almost hear the gasps from people as they reach for their keyboards to protest. :eek: :eek:

The scope is small, and very easy to set up. The ease comes from it being a short refractor with a wide field of view. You literally set the mount level, aim the OTA level and North then select Easy Align. The scope will pick 2 stars and will go to them in turn. You simply centre each and press OK when each is in the middle. Thats it. With an eyepiece like the BST 25mm the view is so wide it is almost impossible not to get the star in view. So far my 70 hasn't failed.

Not the biggest and people will look at you and cast odd glances, but they are so easy to use.

The 494 handset is not the greatest thing, so you may use a few more button presses but the sheer ease means that you will actually get it set up and it will go to objects. Which from memory is the purpose of doing this. :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

In general I find the Meades easier to get set up, that may just be me.

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Well the AVX or other mounts and the recent Skysync seem to be perhaps what you need. might be good to have a read up about them on the FLO website etc. must admit even using the AVX and its 'huge' database of objects, sometime I do think when looking through the EP....Is that it? 

Sometimes it is the realisation that you have found something that is the 'fun' of the hobby. knowing you have finally nailed a target. do you have 'turn left at orion' book? that was great when I had a non motorised set-up. its basically a step by step guide to star hopping and finding objects. well worth a purchase...perhaps instead of chucking in the towel just yet....go on just one more try ;-)

Edited by Blazar

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Yeah, got quite a few book, and seen quite a few objects in the night sky. And i was fortunate enough recently to have met a guy on a recent cruise who just happened to be into stargazing and brought some binoculars onboard. He was able to find objects in the blink of an eye...very impressive. And I definitely agree, there is a lot of satisfaction when you've finally found an object you've been searching for. Its just that I see major problems trying to polar align the scope, and thats really the starting point for viewing objects in the night sky. It just seems such a trick operation, and Im usually quite good at stuff like this. Perhaps I need to ask a mate to lend a hand, perhaps even to hold a torch cause it gets frustrating trying to to a million things at once when you're already in a weird yoga position whilst truing to align the mount. Its not that I want to give up, it just that I'm not sure I'm actually able to line up the mount etc.

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You sound like the perfect customer for that new celestron, fully automated and controlled from your iPhone. Very simple.

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Yeah, thats what I was just looking at...the Evolution. Sounds promising. Does a scope like that mean you don't need the gps bits, sky sync, polar alignment hassle etc?

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Don't give up, this hobby has a habit of kicking you when you're down (and then stamping on your face) but in weird sort of way that makes the times when you find something difficult all that more rewarding.

I 'bumped' into Uranus tonight whilst working my way through the objects of pisces after spending about three weeks trying to find it!

Have you got a head torch? If not might be worth buying - I find mine invaluable (its actually a runners head torch but does the job) and leaves your hands free for fiddling with your polar alignment probs....

If you live close to an astro group I'm sure if you popped along with your scope someone would help you set it up too

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Yes. It does it all. Very very simple. Seems it's right up your alley. I've read nothing but good things about it of which there are lots of. I completely understand as when time isn't available it's nice to have a point n click setup.

Yeah, thats what I was just looking at...the Evolution. Sounds promising. Does a scope like that mean you don't need the gps bits, sky sync, polar alignment hassle etc?

Edited by Liquid360

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Sounds promising. Im just looking to make things as easy as possible. Id love to have the time and patience to work through the whole setting up processes but I just don't have that time. So if a scope like this is capable of easy set up, then theres my answer. I realise it not everybody's cup of tea, but it certainly looks like it may be mine. But I think I'll look to keep my old scope in the hope that one day perhaps when i have more time, I can spend some time on the setup processes needed for such a scope. Gonna have a look at the scopes recommended on here...cheers everyone. 

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Having read the review of the ETX-80 I can recommend the Celestron Nexstar series for ease of alignment. Bolt it to its tripod, level it, enter lat/long and time. Doesn't matter what direction it's pointing in. Then choose three bright stars (any stars, you don't need to know what they are), center them in the eyepice and that's it. No prior knowledge of astronomy required.

Then choose your target from the handset and away you go.

Simples.

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I had a nexstar 8SE and overall it was ok for me. you will need quite a few extras for this type of scope such as power pack or mains adaptor, dew shield, maybe dew straps depending on your area but they should cost the earth.

One good thing about the Nexstar and similar scopes is they are very forgiving on eyepieces so you wont need to shell out on expensive glass unless of course you want to. Go on, bet you want to  :evil:  :grin:

Steve

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I'd recommend seeing if there is a local astronomy group you could go to and get some help.

Alternatively, where abouts are you located? There may be someone on here who is near by that could pop round and give you some guidance.

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