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I am new to astronomy, and recently purchased a Celestron Starsense Explorer LT 114AZ, and just for a start, I used the finderscope to locate exactly a random star, and I looked through the eyepiece and just saw a blurry white image. I was using a 25mm eyepiece lens, and then decided to put on the 2x Barlow lens with the 25mm lens, and nothing changed. Is this normal? What should I do to improve?
Ok, after lots of research, I finally decided on the above and just ordered with FLO. Now got a few weeks wait so can keep exploring the sky manually with by binoculars and learn as many pitfalls as possible about the Evo 9.25”. The only accessory I ordered for now is a dew shield, but I’m expecting I will want to get a 2” visual back, star diagonal and wide angle eyepiece (possibly 0.63 focal reducer too) to get the max field of view possible when I so choose. Any views on whether StarSense is worth it - it seems pretty simple to align without it (I may come to regret saying this)
So why am I posting? Just after any and all advice for a beginner, in particular regarding maximising field of view down the line (the relatively narrow FOV was the only real downside of the Evo 9.25” for me) and any recommended accessories to enhance my viewing pleasure over time. Any other general top tips also very welcome.
I look forward to being able to help others in due course when I have something more than roughly zero knowledge and experience!
Christmas came early; my new C11 scope with CGX-L mount has arrived; so have many accessories including the entire ZWO ecosystem (2600MC camera, 174MM mini guide camera, ASIAIR Pro controller, ZWO electronic focuser, small guide scope). Unfortunately ZWO does not provide much documentation / set-up guides...
I need some help setting this up and to make sure that I don't screw up something during my first attempts before I learn more about how to use this well... Particularly I am considering whether best to learn step-by-step or should I try to automate and connect as much as possible so that I start learning immediately via the ultimate set-up I intend to have (i.e. via ASIAR app)?
1) Setting up for visual:
A) Can the CGX-L GoTo mount guide decently enough itself to follow equatorial movement once a visual target is identified and in focus or should I immediately set-up the ZWO 174MM guide camera and do auto-guiding through ASIAIR pro even for visual? When attaching accessories to the rear end of the scope, I saw there are 6 screws in the back row - are these all safe to use for mounting guide scopes etc.? (see #1 comment in the attached image) C) For visual - should I set-up the ZWO 174MM guide camera through the ZWO mini guidescope or should I set-up the Celestron Off-Axis-Guider even for visual? D) Should I learn to focus first using the manual focuser of the Celestron, or should I install the ZWO electronic focuser asap to connect with the rest of the system; will the electronic focuser help me at all if I don't use an OAG to provide focus feedback back to the ASIAIR pro? I'm a bit lost on this one here... E) What is the best way to mount the ZWO ASIAIR Pro to C11? I was thinking to attach it to the underside of the dovetail of the OTA (see #3 comment in the attached image). Does this make sense? What mounting adapter should I buy to make this work? is there any other even better way of attaching the ASIAIR controller? F) In the original package there were two screws attached to the underside of the dovetail on the OTA - see #2 comment in the attached image. G) eyepiece comment: don't worry about the eyepiece - I have the celestron one mounted while I play with the set-up; I have a Nikon 17-14 NAV HW and TeleVue Ethos 8mm and Panoptic 41mm for actual viewing.
2) Setting up for photography
A) I saw a lot of C11 EDGE HD image trains with a similar camera set-up so I will do my best to make this work... will come back if more questions; however I have one particular question here: once the scope is set-up for astrophotography with the entire image train well adjusted... but then you quickly want to switch to visual (e.g. kids come up and you want to spend 30min visual observing the target before going back to imaging)... what is the best way to switch between one an another? At what point to you "break" the image train and insert the 2" diagonal?