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Skywatcher 150 PL


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Hi!

Okay, complete beginner here. Never touched a telescope in my life. 

My boyfriend bought me a Sky Watcher 150PL for Xmas, I absolutely love it but I'm literally clueless - We set it up together, however I'm not sure I have done it correctly. We followed the manual closely and watched the DVD - I should probably watch the DVD again. I focused the moon on my finder scope, but saw just a blurry mess on my actual telescope (yes I took the cover off!).

 

Can anyone give me any advice? I didn't find the manual very helpful. All YouTube videos are post set up and showing the components rather than setting up and how to use - or they was a different model and irrelevant to me.

Anyway - first time even touching a telescope, no research before hand, not sure were too look, I never chose the telescope so unsure of capabilities although I have looked into it, seems a popular choice. 

Any help appreciated.

Thanks.

Edited by CluelessSkywatcher
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Welcome to the forum.

I'm sure you will get sorted quickly, although it can all be very confusing to start off with.

Perhaps a few photos of your scope setup would help us identify if anything is not right.

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12 minutes ago, Red Dwarfer said:

Maybe the telescope just needs to adjust to the temperature outside for 20-30 minutes ?

Then start with the lowest power lens , usually 25mm kit lens . 

Hi,

I haven't actually taken is outside yet, so it can't be that. I've just kind of tested it in my living room through the window to make sure I can see through it then align the finder scope up with the telescope but I cannot see anything through the lens and the manual is not giving me any clues. I'll pop some pictures on, I think I must be doing something wrong, I just can't figure it out.

Thanks!

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40 minutes ago, CluelessSkywatcher said:

Can anyone give me any advice?

Hi. In daylight select a distant object, hill, tv antenna or similar. Using the 25mm eyepiece, move the focuser in and out until you find focus. Leave the focus there until night time. Now adjust the finder telescope to point to the same place as the main telescope you just focused without moving the main telescope's position.

Now it should be easy to find the moon. You'll need to move the focuser inwards a little to reach focus on the moon. That's it.

Oh, and be prepared for the wow-factor the 150pl will give you on the moon:)

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2 minutes ago, alacant said:

Hi. In daylight select a distant object, hill, tv antenna or similar. Using the 25mm eyepiece, move the focuser in and out until you find focus. Leave the focus there until night time. Now adjust the finder telescope to point to the same place as the main telescope you just focused without moving the main telescope's position.

Now it should be easy to find the moon. You'll need to move the focuser inwards a little to reach focus on the moon. That's it.

Oh, and be prepared for the wow-factor the 150pl will give you on the moon:)

Hi,

Thank you for this! I will do this tomorrow. How do I adjust the finder scope though? It is mounted on the telescope?

Looking forward to moon views!

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29 minutes ago, CluelessSkywatcher said:

Hi,

Thank you for this! I will do this tomorrow. How do I adjust the finder scope though? It is mounted on the telescope?

Looking forward to moon views!

There are adjustment screws, often silver or black, on the finder scope which allow you to adjust it in its bracket. Can you find these?

IMG_5579.JPG

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My finder has little grub screws in the side of the holder that it sits in.  What you do is to sight on a distant object during the day (you can do it at night on a star, but it's easier during the day on a tree or a spire as they don't move relative to the scope) DO NOT GET IT ANYWHERE NEAR THE SUN - THIS IS MOST IMPORTANT FOR YOUR SAFETY.  Then look through the eyepiece and move the telescope until the object is in the centre of the eyepiece.  Then by moving the little grub screws in the finder you move the finder alignment until the same object is now central in the finder.  Now both the telescope eyepiece and finder should both have the object in the centre of their view and are aligned.  Now when you align the finderscope on a star or the moon the telescope should show it in the eyepiece.  You will need to roll the focus adjustment screws so the focus unit moves in and out until the object is in focus and this could require quite some turning.  The algnment of the finder will need checking with each use.

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10 hours ago, Stu said:

There are adjustment screws, often silver or black, on the finder scope which allow you to adjust it in its bracket. Can you find these?

Found them! Unfortunately, it’s raining and snowing we’re i live today, so I won’t get it out, but thank you so much for your help

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10 hours ago, JOC said:

My finder has little grub screws in the side of the holder that it sits in.  What you do is to sight on a distant object during the day (you can do it at night on a star, but it's easier during the day on a tree or a spire as they don't move relative to the scope) DO NOT GET IT ANYWHERE NEAR THE SUN - THIS IS MOST IMPORTANT FOR YOUR SAFETY.  Then look through the eyepiece and move the telescope until the object is in the centre of the eyepiece.  Then by moving the little grub screws in the finder you move the finder alignment until the same object is now central in the finder.  Now both the telescope eyepiece and finder should both have the object in the centre of their view and are aligned.  Now when you align the finderscope on a star or the moon the telescope should show it in the eyepiece.  You will need to roll the focus adjustment screws so the focus unit moves in and out until the object is in focus and this could require quite some turning.  The algnment of the finder will need checking with each use.

That’s great! Thank you so much for your help 

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From what I can see, that all looks good :) 

One thing to check, I think I can see a gap between the dovetail and the tube ring at the top. These should be flush and tight together other the tube might vibrate more that necessary. Worth having a check. I've attached a crop of the piece I mean.

So, next thing is to get that finder aligned but you probably need better weather so you can get outside and aim it at something a mile or so away.

To get started, just 'plonk' it down with the north leg facing north, and level it up, that should be good enough for visual, no need to be messing around with accurate polar alignment. Use the longest focal length eyepiece you have, probably a 25mm, and aim at something bright with the finder first, get that in the cross hairs and then hopefully it will be in the eyepiece field of view for you to focus properly. If you are lucky you will catch the moon whilst it is still around as that is the easiest target to practise on first.

Keep us posted.

IMG_5583.PNG

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10 minutes ago, Stu said:

From what I can see, that all looks good :) 

One thing to check, I think I can see a gap between the dovetail and the tube ring at the top. These should be flush and tight together other the tube might vibrate more that necessary. Worth having a check. I've attached a crop of the piece I mean.

So, next thing is to get that finder aligned but you probably need better weather so you can get outside and aim it at something a mile or so away.

To get started, just 'plonk' it down with the north leg facing north, and level it up, that should be good enough for visual, no need to be messing around with accurate polar alignment. Use the longest focal length eyepiece you have, probably a 25mm, and aim at something bright with the finder first, get that in the cross hairs and then hopefully it will be in the eyepiece field of view for you to focus properly. If you are lucky you will catch the moon whilst it is still around as that is the easiest target to practise on first.

Keep us posted.

 

Your right there was a slight gap! All sorted.

I should probably also mention my boyfriend took the back apart (the mirrors). I work with microscopes all the time so I know the importance of not touching the mechanisms. After some stern words of frustration from myself, he put it back together (after wiping his fingerprints off with a dog toy), but I’m worried this may be the reason I’m struggling to find an image using the actual telescope. 

Would this be an issue? Shall I take it to a specialist?

I’m so grateful for you help.

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Not sure if it has been mentioned but when aligning the finder to the scope you will need to point the scope at something distant, distant being around a mile or two away.

You may have a problem making sufficent adjustment up or down, sometimes people have to make a small shim to pack one end or the other up a bit. Skywatcher make a variety of scopes and I suspect they use a "standard" finder so the finder and scope are not a perfect match to one another in all cases.

Next is simply convenience, looking at the images the eyepiece is straight up ant the horizontal, people usually stand there and look into the eyepiece by bending slightly, they in effect look down into it. Yours is in a position that will prove uncomfortable. I suspect you will find it better to revolve the scope so the eyepiece is at about a 45 degree angle between horizontal and vertical. With the weights either on or off take care as gravity will either drag the weights down if you remove the scope or drag the scope down if you remove the weights. Either way something plunges towards the ground fast.

As has been said start with the 20mm, unfortunately the 10mm is not great but give it a go when you are a bit more familiar with it all. Try the moon, astronomers complain of the moon but it is a regular and good object. It is not a big an you think. Do you know the main constellations? If not learn a few of the basic ones: The Plough (asterim), Orion, Cassiopeia, Auriga.

Nice scope and a good first scope, it will do just about everything on the visual side you are likely to need. The PL means a "Long" one which is nice, eventually (probably next Tuesday) consider an extra eyepiece or two. Everyone gets extra eyepieces. Reasonable plossl eyepieces will work well but set and tell people a budget per eyepiece. Eyepieces ranges from say GSO ploss's at £25 to TV Ethos at £500.

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14 minutes ago, CluelessSkywatcher said:

I should probably also mention my boyfriend took the back apart (the mirrors). I work with microscopes all the time so I know the importance of not touching the mechanisms.

Eeeek.

Just how much did he take apart? If he just removed the whole assembly and put it back as he found it, all should be well. If he disassembled the mirror cell then the collimation is likely to be well out.

I hope he didn't touch the mirror surface? These are front surface mirrors i.e. The silvering is on the front not the back so you should not touch it at all. It's not like buffing a bathroom mirror!

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6 minutes ago, Stu said:

Eeeek.

Just how much did he take apart? If he just removed the whole assembly and put it back as he found it, all should be well. If he disassembled the mirror cell then the collimation is likely to be well out.

I hope he didn't touch the mirror surface? These are front surface mirrors i.e. The silvering is on the front not the back so you should not touch it at all. It's not like buffing a bathroom mirror!

Yes eek!

he removed the screw shown in the photo. He assembled it back together as he found, however I think this might be the issue.

yes he also touched the mirror surface I think, I was in denial that was the issue but I think it is!

 

image.jpg

Edited by CluelessSkywatcher
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Most likely. You will need to check collimation. I guess you don't have a Cheshire eyepiece? You could, however, use collimation cap. It's not so hard to DIY. 

Your boyfriend is a naughty naughty boy.

 

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6 minutes ago, Erla said:

Most likely. You will need to check collimation. I guess you don't have a Cheshire eyepiece? You could, however, use collimation cap. It's not so hard to DIY. 

Your boyfriend is a naughty naughty boy.

 

?

Doing it myself will mean with the help of my boyfriend! Sounds disastrous already!

it also means a free trip to the cinema as we have to travel to a telescope shop!

so win win! I’ve called one they have quoted £20.  

Eyepieces: 

 

 

image.jpg

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Star wars? ,,,,??

£20 sounds reasonable. Make sure to look at what they do, and maybe get a Cheshire while you are there - it's a tool you really need with Newtonian telescope, they need collimation occasionally and it's really not so hard to do it yourself once you have right tools and an idea how to do it.

Astro society guys is a good call, they would explain what's going on.

Edited by Erla
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