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emporer

Anybody kind enough to share some setup advice?

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Hi folks,

I'm a complete newbie to astronomy so please bear with me.

I had been looking at getting a scope for my daughter and myself to enjoy and start looking upwards, I purchased a Skyliner 150p Dobsonian telescope which arrived yesterday and is now built and ready to go. The only problem is I don't know how to use it! The manuals don't seem to get into things too much.

I set it up last night, focused the finder crosshairs on what I think was a star, roughly SE direction, admittedly there was some cloud in the sky, but I just couldn't get anything on the eyepiece at all, I tried both 10mm and 25mm eyepieces and all I could see was white/grey haze over the whole eyepiece. Obviously i'm not doing something correctly.

Any guides or advice to help get setup would be greatly appreciated.

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Aligning finder and main.

Put the longest eyepiece in.

Aim main scope at something distant - 1 or 2 miles, NOT the wall opposite.

Centre the distant something. If really lucky a still on street light is good.

Somehow make sure the scope does not move.

Look throught finder and adjust until the same object is in the centre of the view.

Go back to check the main scope, expect things to have moved, so recentre and repeat finder adjustment again until both are centered on the same thing.

Do it during the day as it is light and generally warmer and trees, churches, street lights do not move, stars do.

Chack that there is not 2 adaptors in the focuser, the 200P comes with a 2" and a 1.25" eyepiece adaptor - only one goes in the focuser at any one time just in case yours has the same carefully pull everything in the focuser tube out then put in the 1.25" adaptor alone (if there are two). This causes LOTS of trouble.

Read your hello post. :eek: :eek:

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Welcome to SGL, as Ronin says the focuser needs to be empty just the tube with the knurly screws, place the 25mm EP in and tighten the screws just enough to stop it slipping about, take it very slowly when you try to focus on anything......

This is how the focus tube should look before the 25mm EP is inserted...

DSC_9543.jpg

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Thanks for the swift help folks, much appreciated.

The scope came with an extra adapter, 2 inch one but its not in the focuser tube, that just has the one that was already in it that the 2 eyepieces fit into, assume its 1.25 inch adapter?

For all my ignorance the 2 eyepieces that came with it are 10mm and a super wide 25mm, am I correct in thinking the 10mm will be more magnification but the 25mm will have a much wider field?

I will try and have another go at seeing something tonight if its clear, I do have a street lamp right outside my back garden which lights up half of the garden, its a pain to be honest, not sure if that's impacting on things but I am using the scope turned away from the lamp, it doesn't affect what I can see through the finder, like I mentioned I saw what I think was a star, quite bright, and picked it up fine in the crosshairs but using either eyepiece just gave me a white haze all over, I did think maybe i'd forgotten to take of some kind of lens cover or protective cover somewhere!

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Do I need to align the finder with the main scope? I can see things just fine at a distance through the finder and am wondering now if they are both out of sync sort of, I can't remember reading anything in the manual about aligning both, just picking something out in the finder and getting it in the crosshairs.

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You need to get a book, "Turn left at Orion" is always the first recommendation on here. It will give you objects to look at using naked eye, binoculars and telescope.

If you point the scope at a star, all you will see is a brighter star. You need to be looking at double stars, planets and galaxies for example.  Follow the advice above re the finder and the 1.25"/2" adapter and go looking for Saturn, you should see it low in the south-west about 10:30. You will see the rings, which will hopefully enthrall you and your daughter.

Get and app such as Google skymap, that will help you with a directional, live view of the night sky.

And PLEASE come back if you need more help!

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Hi. It is much easier to align your scope in day light. Focus the scope on a distant object, such as a chimney, telegraph pole or tree. The further away the better. Once you have the object focussed in the centre of your view, using the 25 mm eyepiece look through your finder and place the object in the centre of the cross hairs. Check through the eyepiece again and repeat until the I object stays central.

If you look at the photo in the previous post you will see that only the 1.25 inch eyepiece holder is in place. You are also supplied with a 2 inch holder, but you do not insert this until you are using a 2 inch eyepiece. The first time I tried to set up I paced both holders in the scope and wondered why I could not focus. It's a common mistake.

Once you have your scope and Finder aligned you are ready to observe. Chose something bright and easy to find to start with. There is nothing better than the Moon. Just play about with your scope until you are familiar with its workings. After that you will want to look at certain targets. To do this you will need to familiarise yourself with the ever changing night sky. I would recommend getting a planisphere to help with this. The book Turn Left at Orion is also very good and eventually you will need a star atlas. The Sky and Telescope Pocket Atlas is the one I would recommend.

All of this may sound a little daunting, but a little time and patience will see you reap the benefits of a lovely scope. We have all started out this way and I can certainly remember some of the frustrations I met. But believe you me you will get there in the end.

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Ok, yes you do need to align the finder with the main scope, as described by Ronin above.

The white haze may be that the star is way, way out of focus. Again, as said above, try looking at the top of a tree, or a TV aerial miles away and see how you get on. If you can get a clear image in daylight you should be fine at night.

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If you align during the day please make sure you locate where is the sun first and point your scope opposite or as far away possible, again, be really careful about this. Blindless is quick and painless... You lose vision without realizing it.

Edited by Vox45
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Many thanks folks, its all very confusing right now, i'm just not understanding aligning main and finder, the post above mentions using the 25mm eyepiece to look through the finder, yet the finder has no eyepiece attachment and its only the main scope that I can use eyepieces with. That has got me a bit confused, should this be a case of looking at something distant through the finder until its centered in the crosshairs and then it 'should' be visible on the main scope with a bit of focusing?

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I have only recently got my first scope, also a dob and had terrible problems setting it up. I had both eyepiece adaptors in the focuser tube! haha

On Saturday just passsed, I found saturn. My jaw dropped. You can see it with the naked eye so its fairly easy to find with scope. If you find the plough, in the same way you can follow the Eastern end of the "pan" to find polaris, you can follow the eastern line of the "handle" to find Saturn.

Good luck!

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The scope came with an extra adapter, 2 inch one but its not in the focuser tube, that just has the one that was already in it that the 2 eyepieces fit into, assume its 1.25 inch adapter?

For all my ignorance the 2 eyepieces that came with it are 10mm and a super wide 25mm, am I correct in thinking the 10mm will be more magnification but the 25mm will have a much wider field?

I will try and have another go at seeing something tonight if its clear, I do have a street lamp right outside my back garden which lights up half of the garden, its a pain to be honest, not sure if that's impacting on things but I am using the scope turned away from the lamp, it doesn't affect what I can see through the finder, like I mentioned I saw what I think was a star, quite bright, and picked it up fine in the crosshairs but using either eyepiece just gave me a white haze all over, I did think maybe i'd forgotten to take of some kind of lens cover or protective cover somewhere!

Regarding the adapters, yes, that sounds right. It's fairly common for people to put the 1.25 inch adapter into the 2 inch one, and put that into the scope (been there, done that). You only need the one and that sounds like what you're doing.

About the eyepieces - yes, your understanding is correct.

White haze all over could just be wildly out of focus. When you swap eyepieces you'll often have to refocus, sometimes drasticallly. Oh, don't forget to unscrew the 'focus lock' screw if you'd tightened it up - otherwise the focusser won't move despite the know going round (yeah, been there, done that too)

Do I need to align the finder with the main scope? I can see things just fine at a distance through the finder and am wondering now if they are both out of sync sort of, I can't remember reading anything in the manual about aligning both, just picking something out in the finder and getting it in the crosshairs.

Yes, you will have to align it, and you'll probably need to do this before each session - but you get used to it, it takes seconds. Stick the low-power (25mm) eyepiece into the scope, look into the scope, and point it at something distance (I like to use a tree on the horizon at dusk, but bright stars, far away lights, and even the moon have been used on occasion). You'll need to focus too so you can see what it's pointing at, and ideally you want what you're using to be at least a couple of miles away.

You now have your scope directed at a fixed (or very slowly moving) point you can identify. 

Now look through the finder scope. You should see a crosshairs - but it probably won't be pointing at the target you directed the scope at. Use the 2 screws to adjust the finder scope so the cross hairs points at the same target.

Job done, both are aligned. If you move the scope so the crosshairs of your finderscope point to a new target, the main telescope will be pointed at the same thing.

So for me, this is usually:

  • Find tree on horizon to use as my reference point.
  • Looking through scope, find that tree on the horizon.
  • Look through finder scope and adjust until crosshairs are on the horizon.

Once this is done - that both the scope and finder show my tree - my finder and scope are aligned.

Just to  (over) complicate matters, I'd also recommend getting something like a Telrad or Rigel Quickfinder as a second finder scope. Unlike the one with the scope, these do not magnify anything at all; rather they project little red rings onto a window that you look through. This has a similar alignment routine; I just do the same thing for it as the finder. They're really useful for the 'getting in the right area' bit of finding something. I tend to use Quickfinder to get me in roughly the right place, then the finder scope to get closer, and then swap to my lowest power eyepiece to get closer again.

Edited by AndyWB
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Sorry again, I got East and West mixed up :/

To anyone: Is there a way I can edit my posts so when I mess up I can correct it rather than having to do a new post?

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Sorry again, I got East and West mixed up :/

To anyone: Is there a way I can edit my posts so when I mess up I can correct it rather than having to do a new post?

You can only edit your posts after you have posted 50 times, and then, I believe, only for up to 30 mins after you submitted the post.

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emporer,

Whilst I totally agree with the Telrad/Rigel advice (I have one and they really do make life easier), please be assured that you can get a tremendous amount of enjoyment out of your scope "as is" and you do not need to be throwing more money at the hobby just yet!   You need to crawl to the edge of the slippery slope rather than run to it!

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emporer,

Whilst I totally agree with the Telrad/Rigel advice (I have one and they really do make life easier), please be assured that you can get a tremendous amount of enjoyment out of your scope "as is" and you do not need to be throwing more money at the hobby just yet!   You need to crawl to the edge of the slippery slope rather than run to it!

As its all totally new to us I imagine it will be a while before I start looking at spending on other stuff, although when I get stuck into something I tend to have a bad case of upgrade-itus!

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Regarding the adapters, yes, that sounds right. It's fairly common for people to put the 1.25 inch adapter into the 2 inch one, and put that into the scope (been there, done that). You only need the one and that sounds like what you're doing.

About the eyepieces - yes, your understanding is correct.

White haze all over could just be wildly out of focus. When you swap eyepieces you'll often have to refocus, sometimes drasticallly. Oh, don't forget to unscrew the 'focus lock' screw if you'd tightened it up - otherwise the focusser won't move despite the know going round (yeah, been there, done that too)

Yes, you will have to align it, and you'll probably need to do this before each session - but you get used to it, it takes seconds. Stick the low-power (25mm) eyepiece into the scope, look into the scope, and point it at something distance (I like to use a tree on the horizon at dusk, but bright stars, far away lights, and even the moon have been used on occasion). You'll need to focus too so you can see what it's pointing at, and ideally you want what you're using to be at least a couple of miles away.

You now have your scope directed at a fixed (or very slowly moving) point you can identify. 

Now look through the finder scope. You should see a crosshairs - but it probably won't be pointing at the target you directed the scope at. Use the 2 screws to adjust the finder scope so the cross hairs points at the same target.

Job done, both are aligned. If you move the scope so the crosshairs of your finderscope point to a new target, the main telescope will be pointed at the same thing.

So for me, this is usually:

  • Find tree on horizon to use as my reference point.
  • Looking through scope, find that tree on the horizon.
  • Look through finder scope and adjust until crosshairs are on the horizon.

Once this is done - that both the scope and finder show my tree - my finder and scope are aligned.

Just to  (over) complicate matters, I'd also recommend getting something like a Telrad or Rigel Quickfinder as a second finder scope. Unlike the one with the scope, these do not magnify anything at all; rather they project little red rings onto a window that you look through. This has a similar alignment routine; I just do the same thing for it as the finder. They're really useful for the 'getting in the right area' bit of finding something. I tend to use Quickfinder to get me in roughly the right place, then the finder scope to get closer, and then swap to my lowest power eyepiece to get closer again.

Many thanks for this, very much appreciated. Reading what you have posted about the focusser I think the lock may well be the problem, i'm not home until later so can't check it out but I definitely didn't touch any focus lock on it, I didn't even realise that is was there! must have missed it in the manual and from what you say that the focusser can still move with the lock on makes sense as to why the white hazey image i'm getting never changed when adjusting the focus. I'll check it out tonight.

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Focuser lock -that's a good one! You are correct, you can turn the focuser knobs with the lock on and the tube will not extend/retract.

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......... when folk say focus on something distant like a lamp post or aerial  when aligning the finder scope to the telescope, this implies,  just look across the street  to a neighbours garden. You really need to focus on something that is the furthest away on your horizon, to get the best alignment. Start with a 25mm, then try the 10mm to ensure pinpoint accuracy. Lock the telescope to the target, then align the finder to the same target.



Only one adaptor should be in the focuser tube, 2" for 2" eyepieces or the smaller "2 - 1.5"  for the 1.25" eyepieces.


Always best to start with your wide field, low power eyepiece ( the one with the larger number ) get this on target, then swap over to the higher power to get closer/ larger image, but as the image gets larger, it gets to a stage where any further enlargement/magnification will actually destroy the image, and make it darker too under certain conditions!


Also make sure the focuser extends and retracts when you turn the wheels. If it doesn't, loosen the lock nut under the focuser. You can adjust this for the best tension?


.......and due to my distractions here and slow typing, some of these issues have already been mentioned, but they are standard issues to overcome if your not familiar?


Don't fret or panic, take your time, enjoy the learning process.

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Ok so had a wee play last night before it got dark, got the main scope and finder aligned (hopefully!), the only thing I could do it with was the corner of a house roof a few hundred yards away so perhaps not the best but its a start. I was intending to use the scope later when it got dark but by then the sky was very cloudy so I didn't bother.

Hoping for a clear sky in the coming nights to get out there and gaze!

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If the view through the scope with the 10mm eyepiece is identical and as central as the view through the finder scope then they will be correctly aligned. Once you remove or adjust the finder then it won't be aligned - it never goes back on as precisely and you will have to re-align.

Even when aligned in daylight, there will however still be a tiny error - so when you look at a star dead center of the eyepiece at night, you will need to do a small tweak or two to the finder to get the cross hairs spot on it - any bright star will do. When everything is centered in both, then you can be sure the alignment between scope and finder is correct. Ensure the scope is well focused and the star is a pinpoint light source during aligning.

Then comes the hard bit - learning where everything is and how to star hop to it all lol. Hth :)

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Hi folks, so after waiting for a half decent clear evening I finally got one tonight, so out comes the scope onto the decking, the moon was a half moon tonight but using both 25mm and 10mm eyepieces it was glorious, my daughter was fascinated! I need to spend some time looking at where the other planets are I think and trying to get a peek at them next, overall though mighty impressed with the images I saw tonight.

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