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StarBlazer123

Celestron Powerseeker 76AZ- need some advice please!

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Hello, 

I have recently bought a 76AZ and seen some incredible sites of the Moon, Venus was good to observe too (all through the 20mm) However Mars was a disappointment probably due to its size; and when I attach the Barlow Lense the zoom is there but the quality is definitely compromised. (Also find trouble with focusing as it shakes finding it hard to find the 'sweet spot')

I am asking for some advice on how to 'tune up' or get the best out of my 76AZ, and for any advice on what optics/eyepieces to buy as I have read that the standard ones are not the best of quality. 

The finder scope is also terrible and will probably resort to fitting an Air Rifle scope in its place! Although guess work with two people works reasonably well! 

I would love gain any valuable Pointers & Tips anyone may have on how to use this telescope to its maximum performance or what things I can do to improve the quality etc. 

you can also be honest and say I need to just upgrade ha ha

Thanks a lot in advance! ?

Edited by StarBlazer123

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Hello StarBlazer, welcome to this forum.  The blunt truth is that you are probably already using the telescope close to its expected performance. Replacing the eyepieces will certainly improve the view and you could always retain them if you upgrade in the future. You have already had good views of the Moon and Venus, these are currently a couple of the best targets. Mars, as you have found, is too far away for a good view, you will have better results with Jupiter later in the year. I would recommend getting a decent 32mm eyepiece, the lower power will open up so many more objects that the telescope is suitable for.  Hanging a weight from the tripod usually improves the stability.  :icon_biggrin:

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3 minutes ago, Peter Drew said:

Hello StarBlazer, welcome to this forum.  The blunt truth is that you are probably already using the telescope close to its expected performance. Replacing the eyepieces will certainly improve the view and you could always retain them if you upgrade in the future. You have already had good views of the Moon and Venus, these are currently a couple of the best targets. Mars, as you have found, is too far away for a good view, you will have better results with Jupiter later in the year. I would recommend getting a decent 32mm eyepiece, the lower power will open up so many more objects that the telescope is suitable for.  Hanging a weight from the tripod usually improves the stability.  :icon_biggrin:

Thanks a lot Peter, 

Yes I will probably have to look at upgrading then ?... can you recommend any telescopes? 

In the meantime I will look out for a 32mm eyepiece, are the sizes universal?

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Eyepieces are usually standardised as 1.25" or 2" fit.  The best upgrade for the outlay is probably a 150mm Dobsonian or for a bit more, the 200mm.

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The eyepieces are likely Huygens, half suspect they will say H20 and H10 on them. So a plossl or two should hekp - the problem is how much do you want to spend per eyepiece.

In the Plossl option: Sky's the limit do a budget option at £12, then it is around the £23, GSO plossls seem to be around £25-35, Vixen's are £40, lets not enter TV plossl area (£70++).

Magnification: your scope is 76mm dia and 700mm FL. I tend to suggest that realistically you can expect 70x-80x, after that anything is best looked on as a bonus. Do not expect what they say. Mars needs a lot more, so do not expect Mars to be more then a small red disk. Jupiter should be OK at 70x, likely worth dropping to 60x. Saturn is the "problem". Really you want 120x and that means a 6mm eyepiece. For that it could mean lookig at something like the Altair 6mm at £55. Big price jump. However as Saturn is not going to be making a convenient appearance until mid 2017 (July/Aug) no real rush.

Any chance of a slightly better location the England? Oddly it helps to suggest things.

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Yes, as Peter drew says, a 150mm to 200mm dob, but maybe a large refractor. You need to learn the pros and cons of each type of scope before you commit money.

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Looks like the scope has done its job and got you interested in astronomy.

Loolking at the standard eyepieces, the 4mm is much too powerful for the aperture of this scope and i would not expect great views from it.

Looks like you have a 20mm eyepiece and have been using it on the moon. Great start, keep observing the moon as it grows (waxes) and shrinks (wanes), concentrate on the "terminator" (shady side) and you should see different features as the terminator moves across the surface.

Also point your scope at "orion" and in the region below "orions belt" (called orions sword), you should be able to see the nebula?

The 3xbarlow and the 20mm should be useable together as that gives equivalent of a 6.5mm eyepiece (20 divided by 3) and should be around x100 magnification (best you can get from your aperture)

 

Do you have an upgrade budget in mind?

if its small then as has been suggested a 32mm plossl eyepiece would be good, you could also try it with the barlow?

- keep you eye on the classifieds for a red dot finder (better one)

- the book "turn left at orion" (£20) will show you where objects are to be found and give directions to find them, also has sketches showing what a small scope will show at the eyepiece

if its bigger, then use it for a new scope with more aperture and better mount (skywatcher dobsonian 150p or 200p are the usual recommendations and provide best bang for buck you will get)

- do you have an young relatives? you could pass the scope onto them when their birthday comes around!

- but don't spend a lot of money on this scope, just enjoy it as it is!

 

Edited by alanjgreen
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Thanks for the great responses everyone! I know telescopes are expensive and I would probably look at £300 mark and above if I have to. 

Cant wait to try and find the Nebulae near Orion's Belt! 

I would be happy spending 20-40 pounds on an eyepiece if you really think it is worth it. Plossl seems like the preferred brand! I have used the Barlow with the 20mm and with the Moon it has good effects however it seems like the scope is set up to work perfectly with just the 20mm. As focusing with Barlow is hard I will have to try and counterweight it!

My wallet won't allow it yet but an interesting thing I thought of is the  Celestron C8... is this too complex? I would rather save up for this, if this scope is sublime, than buy a dobsonian and then buy this at a later date- telling myself it will save money ?

 

I am near the Peak District, Derbyshire/Staffordshire so a 20min drive I can be in some good dark sky spots but I don't know if there are any Gem spots or specific places I don't know of?

Edited by StarBlazer123

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SCTs (C8) are very versatile scopes for sure. My main scope is a C11. I like them because they are compact and can handle plenty of magnification. The key thing with them is you need a rock solid mount. I like the CPC mounts and the Nexstar mount as they are made for visual use. Many other EQ style mounts are available but these can leave the eyepiece all over the place.

for a good C8 nexstar second hand you are looking at 800. 900 for a CPC.

Only you know how long you need to save this much? Only you know how long the 76 will keep you going. (I got 6 weeks out of my 1st scope) :)

The 8" Dobs are a nice compromise between aperture and price, maybe not as good on planets and globular clusters as SCT but better for big stuff like nebula and open clusters due to the fact they can show a wider field of view.

Dobs take less time to cool and don't suffer as badly from dew!

Whatever, don't rush into anything. Think about the things that are important for you and post any queries here. Ask for opinions on scopes etc

if you do decide to change then don't buy any upgrades for the 76, wait for the next scope...

take your time!

Alan

Edited by alanjgreen
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