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NS8 GPS Vertigo


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My 500th post and its going to be a long one :lol:

Vertigo occurs when the brain can't work out the position of the head and gives rise to the sensation that the surroundings are moving around in an inappropriate way, normally inducing nausea. My new used NS8 GPS telescope suffers the same problem.

Roger (Celescope) has produced brilliant images with the scope over the past couple of years so when he came to sell it was too good an opportunity to miss. He is a top bloke, ran through the set up and alignment, everything worked a treat. Threw in a full set of eyepieces, barlow, moon filters, aluminium case for EPs, due shield, power pack and vibration supression pads :p:( :(

The scope is immaculate with barely a scuff. The corrector lens is pristine. The forks are very solid and it is like a rock on the heavy duty tripod. Despite this I can carry the whole set up out into the garden with it fully set up which is a huge plus.

The manual is poor and often very ambiguous, whats worse it is sometimes wrong in describing the operation of the scope :D

The scope contains a GPS unit, compass and some bit of wiring that tells it when it is level. So to align the scope, plonk it down, switch on and press align on the hand set. The scope slews around a bit and gets it's bearings. It then slews to the 1st of 2 alignment stars and then asks you to centre the star in the EP. It then finds the second star, once centred the job is done. Unfortunately the first night was a disaster with the scope whirring around endlessly unable to work out its position - tearing hair out time :p:( Tried another set up method but this didn't work as the manual said it did. I managed to get an alignment of some sort but it wasn't very good.

Over the next 2 - 3 sessions I have worked out that the GPS and compass work fine but the level recognition doesn't. There is a way of calibrating this but I've not got round to trying this yet. What I have been using with great success is the 2 star align - point the tube north and level it then choose 2 alignment stars a reasonable distance apart and centre them one at a time. I use an illuminated reticle to centre the stars. This method has the advantage of being much more flexible if a lot of stars are obscurred by cloud. It takes about 5 minutes longer than GPS align.

The scope was in reasonable collimation - central obstruction appeared central at x300 mag but slightly off at x600. This was easy to adjust but a set of Bob's knobs is on order. This little tweak delivered a surprising amount of difference to the appearance of Saturn esp through the web cam with x2 barlow. So for anyone imaging with an SCT - don't rely on defocussed stars at x300, move up to a mag 4 star at x600.

The 2 star alignment works perfectly. Targets are brought easily into the FOV of a 10mm EP (x200). Last night I took the scope out and set it on Mars. Came back 90 mins later and Mars had barely moved :p

I have now had a bit of time to enjoy the views the scope gives. Magnification seems effortless with bright views even at x300 and beyond. Saturn looks superb at x200 with a sharp cassini and banding. Moving up to around x300 brings out a little more detail although atmospheric effects are obviously more evident. I was dead chuffed to be able to make out the encke division - not easy to see but definitely there (wasn't there before accurate collimation).

The moon is blinding without filters and is still pretty dazzling with. The clarity of view through the EP compared to anything I have looked through before is amazing. The only limiting factor is the seeing.

Imaging is effortless. I sit at my little table and play around with the capture settings whilst Saturn stays put on the screen - joy :(

Having finally got some captures of Saturn with good seeing I got round to trying the goto and went on a full blown Messier feeding frenzy :p First off to check the accuracy - M36,37,38. All spot on and looking magnificent with the 40mm plossl. Then, something I have previously been unable to spot, M1 Crab nebula. Nothing there. Eyes weren't dark adjusted after peering at laptop and some light coming from house but all the same thought the goto must be off. After a period of time I thought I could just discern an area of paler sky. this moved with the scope. Guess that was M1. Must have had it previously with the Tal but didn't know about it.

Then it was off to M81 and 82. M81 did look like a galaxy and with the eye of faith I could see a spiral. Could just get both in the FOV of the 40mm. After this I was off on Tour mode which brings up everything currently visible. the knockout of the evening was the double cluster in Perseus - stunning.

Next plans are to go out with the NS8 and the ED80 and practice finding things manually. I'm planning to focus on exploring individual constellations. The goto is a massive help in that I now know what I am supposed to be looking for!!

So I'm dead chuffed and looking forward to doing some DSO imaging. the scope has massive potential for that with being fastar compatible which allows the scope to operate at F1.8 :shock:.

Don't know about vertigo but I'm feeling dizzy with the NS8's potential :sunny:


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Martin you certainly are going to reap the rewards with this set up.

I always find that technology is great when it's up and running, but getting your head around the confusing instructions can make me wonder if it is worth it! But it makes life a lot easier when it does.


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