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mrjaffa

Beginner help with using scope.

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I took my scope out for the first time a few nights ago and found it rather difficult to use. I have a Skywatcher 200p EQ5 and have only used a very amateur smaller scope previous to that.

I wasn't prepared enough which was my first mistake. Was too cold and should really have had a chair and a stool.

My main problem at the moment is just using moving the scope about the sky. I first found it very difficult to just find anything in the finder scope. Then once I did find something, I just couldn't reach the adjustment knobs whilst looking through the eye piece. I can loosen the locks and twist the scope so that I can then reach the knobs but when I do that the tube slips a little and will no longer be balanced.

When I need to make a large movement I sometimes find it difficult too as the counter piece ends up moving above the scope so I know I'm not doing that correct.

Any suggestions?

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Its a bit daunting ...

Have a google or you tube there are some good videos about that might help

How to Align an Equatorial Mount:

Edited by knobby

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I have seen a plastic strip used behind a tube ring cable tied on, you can sometimes get 1 meter rulers made of a very cheap plastic that bend well. Another comon thing to use depending on flexibility is the lid off electrical plastic mini-trunking.

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I have seen embroidery rings used with great results,or you could use an extro tube ring fully tightened.Stick with it and it will become second nature using the scope.

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Thanks for this guys. I've seen many YouTube vids on setting up and alignment but not just on actually using the scope.

Could anyone give me some examples of these tube rings? A link or something?

Also. What is the home position? Is this something I need to concern myself with. Is it just simply having everything pointed north to begin with?

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I find I avoid the slipping problem by just loosening the declination clutch, moving the scope to a horizontal orientation, and then twisting it in the rings. I can make out the SkyWatcher logo on the tube just well enough to judge if I'm moving it away from the balance point. It takes a minute or two, so I give it a small advance of the RA knob to cover that. Then I just swing the scope back up until the object I was observing pops into view, and carry on.

If it helps, mrjaffa,  I've had the same scope and mount only a few weeks longer than you, and at first I had similar problems and more besides, but things have already improved massively. Still can't reliably find the declination knob first time though.  :mad:  At least the RA one stays put!

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I find I avoid the slipping problem by just loosening the declination clutch, moving the scope to a horizontal orientation, and then twisting it in the rings. I can make out the SkyWatcher logo on the tube just well enough to judge if I'm moving it away from the balance point. It takes a minute or two, so I give it a small advance of the RA knob to cover that. Then I just swing the scope back up until the object I was observing pops into view, and carry on.

If it helps, mrjaffa,  I've had the same scope and mount only a few weeks longer than you, and at first I had similar problems and more besides, but things have already improved massively. Still can't reliably find the declination knob first time though.  :mad:  At least the RA one stays put!

I mark the balance point on the tube with a small piece of masking tape, the same on the dovetail, that way I don't need to spend time balancing my scope every time I set up.

Mrjaffa, if you are having trouble I would suggest you have a play with your scope/mount in daylight, it really does help when you can see what you are doing.

Good luck and don't give up.

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mrjaffa.......you will overcome these issues, just keep at it and follow the tips and advice already given.  The problems your having are not new, their  unique to the system you have.- EQ.

Setting up during the Day (already mentioned ) is your best bet. You mentioned adjustment knobs? get everything sorted during the Day, then learn how to Polar align your EQ, and then try and enjoy the rest of the session??

On a lighter note, your a likely contender at present to join the Dob-Mob. I had no problems setting up my 127EQ , just didn't like all the messing about  with Polar set-up, and  the continual adjusting throughout the session. I  took  advice and reviews from other users, invested in a Dobsonian, and  so far absolutely NO REGRETS. You could possibly build/buy a mount, but  your sky-watcher is ( I assume ) the 1200mm Explorer, not sure it would fit if you bought a Skyliner mount! 

Edited by Charic

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With regards to the counter weights being higher than the scope when you make a large adjustment, this happens when you cross the meridian which is an imaginary line that runs from one celestial pole to the other.  When this happens you need to do what is termed a meridian flip and all this means is to move the scope through RA 180 degrees and then find your target by adjusting the Dec. You will now be able to follow target by tracking with the RA control only if Polar alignment is good and counter weights will continue to get lower.

The attached link is a great place to start for balancing your scope and this guy uses a third tube ring as described above https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGduG2jB9ec hope it helps

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I took my scope out for the first time a few nights ago and found it rather difficult to use. I have a Skywatcher 200p EQ5 and have only used a very amateur smaller scope previous to that.

I wasn't prepared enough which was my first mistake. Was too cold and should really have had a chair and a stool.

My main problem at the moment is just using moving the scope about the sky. I first found it very difficult to just find anything in the finder scope. Then once I did find something, I just couldn't reach the adjustment knobs whilst looking through the eye piece. I can loosen the locks and twist the scope so that I can then reach the knobs but when I do that the tube slips a little and will no longer be balanced.

When I need to make a large movement I sometimes find it difficult too as the counter piece ends up moving above the scope so I know I'm not doing that correct.

Any suggestions?

I don't want to sound off putting, as one newcomer to another, but did you realize that a scope using an Equilateral Mount, is going to be more difficult to set up properly and use, than it is to set up a Dobsonian, or Reflector on a much simpler Alltazimuth Mount. I looked at both types of mount before I decided to buy my first scope. Weighed up the pros and cons and decided, I needed something that I could quickly take outside, stand it on a table, point it to the object I wanted to look at, without all the rigmarole of lining it up to the Pole Star, before being able to use it properly.

Yes I would have preferred the more sophisticated EA mount, but as I have no intention of doing any sort of imaging, I would be better off with the simpler Dob type mount, thus saving in cost, which allowed me to go for a slightly larger aperture scope. 

But I do hope you get everything sorted out soon, there is nothing worse than having problems with something, after spending out a few hundred quid. I spent quite a while looking at different scopes within my budget, before I departed with my cash. Still waiting for delivery of my particular scope, but I'm sure I won't have any problems with it and have chosen the right one for me.

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.....On the brighter side, those Equilateral mounts should be easier, being level and equal on all sides?  but I but I do agree, the Dobsonian is easier, Also stay away from those EQUATORIAL mounts :grin:

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Thanks for the replies guys. And that video is quite useful. I see what was meant now by the tube rings. Would like to try and do that. I have indeed set it up in the kitchen, so have been playing with it in the light. Think I'm getting to grips with it.

Geoff, I did research a lot on what to get. And as I said I had used a cheap EQ set up before so knew what I was getting myself into. And I would long term like to do some imaging.

The main problem I have really, is finding a good spot to go to. The last place I tried was no good and I keep putting off going out as I just don't know where to go. But that's something I need to resolve myself I guess.

As I said, that video seemed really good and I think its part of a 5 series by the same chap so will watch the rest.

Thanks!

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Reading the initial post the answer sounds like: A set of RA+Dec motors with the newer handset that allows a faster slewing rate.

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Reading the initial post the answer sounds like: A set of RA+Dec motors with the newer handset that allows a faster slewing rate.

Thant doesn't mean a lot to me I'm afraid. I'm guessing you're assuming mine is motorized? Which it isn't. Hopefully in the future. But I opted for this 200p for decent aperture with a decent mount but was at my limits with the budget.

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I found a Telrad a lot easier than the standard viewfinder when I first got my 200PDS - so much simpler to look with both eyes, one eye looking through the Telrad and the other looking past it at the stsrci was trying to focus on. If you Google 'Telrad star map', you will find a series of star charts for the various Messier objects with the Telrad reticle superimposed to help you fund them

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Setting up during the day will definitely help as you will get used to where all the bits and bobs are. Practice makes permanent (not always perfect if you keep doing it wrong!) so repeat the set up loads of times to get it nailed. I found it helped to balance the scope with the focuser pointing towards counter weights. That means you are stood on the same side as the RA and Dec knobs and should hopefully be easier to use.

I got a 1cm wide strip of PVC plastic from B&Q and some large steel jubilee clips from Halfords. I cut the plastic to length around the circumference of the front tube ring and held it in place with the jubilee clip. I can now keep the main rings looser so the scope can be rotated to a comfortable position. It wan't too expensive either. Might be worth a try.

post-29765-0-21412400-1420386021_thumb.j

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I found a Telrad a lot easier than the standard viewfinder when I first got my 200PDS - so much simpler to look with both eyes, one eye looking through the Telrad and the other looking past it at the stsrci was trying to focus on. If you Google 'Telrad star map', you will find a series of star charts for the various Messier objects with the Telrad reticle superimposed to help you fund them

I'll take a look. Thanks!

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Setting up during the day will definitely help as you will get used to where all the bits and bobs are. Practice makes permanent (not always perfect if you keep doing it wrong!) so repeat the set up loads of times to get it nailed. I found it helped to balance the scope with the focuser pointing towards counter weights. That means you are stood on the same side as the RA and Dec knobs and should hopefully be easier to use.

I got a 1cm wide strip of PVC plastic from B&Q and some large steel jubilee clips from Halfords. I cut the plastic to length around the circumference of the front tube ring and held it in place with the jubilee clip. I can now keep the main rings looser so the scope can be rotated to a comfortable position. It wan't too expensive either. Might be worth a try.

attachicon.gif20150104_153607.jpg

Thanks for this! I'm struggling to understand if you have this extra ring which is tight and keeping the scope secured how you can still rotate the scope.... *scratches head*

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I found a Telrad a lot easier than the standard viewfinder when I first got my 200PDS - so much simpler to look with both eyes, one eye looking through the Telrad and the other looking past it at the stsrci was trying to focus on. If you Google 'Telrad star map', you will find a series of star charts for the various Messier objects with the Telrad reticle superimposed to help you fund them

Try opening both eyes with a standard finder, the same principle works. The only reason for my Telrad is that at real dark sites, I cant see the reticule in the 9x50 finder? so the Telrad takes over. That said, I have to wear prescription glasses to use my Telrad, but I don't need them for the telescope.

Edited by Charic

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Thanks for this! I'm struggling to understand if you have this extra ring which is tight and keeping the scope secured how you can still rotate the scope.... *scratches head*

The extra ring is to stop the tube moving up or down the rings when you loosen the main ones to rotate ... In effect its just a marker to keep or get you back to the position where the tube was balanced
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