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StarFather

Alignment problems with Celestron130SLT

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I have a Celestron 130 SLT Nexstar. I have tried for 3 nights to get it to alin and it keeps saying failed. Not sure what I am doing wrong. Any help would be great. This is all for my 12 year old daughter and so far all I can show her is the moon. Which she loves

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2 hours ago, StarFather said:

I have a Celestron 130 SLT Nexstar. I have tried for 3 nights to get it to alin and it keeps saying failed. Not sure what I am doing wrong. Any help would be great. This is all for my 12 year old daughter and so far all I can show her is the moon. Which she loves

This happens.  Make sure you have entered lat and long correctly, also precise time and date (month first).  And initially, just do a one-star (or Moon or planet) until you build up confidence/experience. 

Also, level the 'scope, and be sure to align the finder.  You can easily do that with the Moon, a distinctive star, or even a distant chimney (during the day).

One other thing - for better accuracy, do alignment at slightly higher magnification.

Batteries?  Make sure they're fresh.  A power tank or mains-based supply is better.

You'll soon crack it - it gets very easy after that!

Then show your daughter Caldwell 14.  (Align Success - Deep Sky button - Caldwell - zero/one/four.)  That should really get you both fired up for astronomy.  Have fun!

Doug.

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2 hours ago, StarFather said:

I have a Celestron 130 SLT Nexstar. I have tried for 3 nights to get it to alin and it keeps saying failed. Not sure what I am doing wrong. Any help would be great. This is all for my 12 year old daughter and so far all I can show her is the moon. Which she loves

I am not familiar with the Nexstar setup, but Doug's suggestions, above, seem reasonable. I used "align a celestron 130 slt nexstar" in Google, and there seems to be plenty of additional advice including videos.

Geoff

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Awesome thank you fro the advice I will try that tonight. I did order the 2 inch eyepiece kit for the scope. Hope that helps as well. Do you think their “auto aling camera” is worth the money or is it just a gimmick?

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3 hours ago, StarFather said:

Do you think their “auto aling camera” is worth the money or is it just a gimmick?

If you mean the Starsense, that's a matter of opinion.  At its current  price it probably costs nearly as much as your 130 SLT outfit. :hmh:

I have one on my C8 SLT and I like it because it simplifies the setup. I don't have to fiddle about doing alignments, and I don't have to level the tripod. I can just lug the outfit outside and turn it on (actually I still have to connect a battery, enter the time & date, remove covers and fit a dewshield, but these are not exacting tasks.)

Doing a 2-star align is not hard once you are used to it, but if you can avoid it :icon_biggrin:

I always found the 3-star align was a lot of work, and it's only needed if you can't identify the stars.

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I have the Starsense camera and system built into my Skyprodigy mount as part of the original design.

It needs reasonably dark sky to get enough stars in the image, so that it can plate-solve and work out where it is looking. If I can see lots of stars, so can the camera, but if I start the alignment process before adequate darkness, it gets confused, has several tries, then gives up, requiring a power cycle to start again. I got the Skyprodigy 70, for under £200, as the cheapest way to buy the Starsense, and have a spare mount for my other OTAs (after a slight modification to the plastic cowl over the dovetail clamp). There have been a couple of occasions when it announced that it was aligned, but GoTo was tens of degrees off, but a restart sorted it out. There are menu options to compensate for light pollution, including a full Moon, but I find the "standard" settings work for me.

On an average evening, I can do a "Brightest Star" 2-star alignment on my equivalent Skywatcher Skymax mount with the Synscan system, probably 45 minutes earlier than with the Starsense, as the brightest stars (Capella, Sirius, Arcturus & Vega) are visible close to sunset. I only need to spot 1 star, because the Synscan system does an automatic slew to the second star, and it usually places it in the field of view of the finder, and often in my 32mm eyepiece. However, I still have to wait the 45 minutes before I can start observing, so no real gain, and plenty of time for the British weather to change from clear skies to 100% cloud.

Geoff

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Ok AWSOME. I think I am going to buy the auto aling but I do want to try the two star auto aling. Thank you all so much. 

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I think Starsense (SSA) unit on its own is a later version of the system than what is in the Prodigy. Certainly SSA does not need a dark sky as I have aligned mine at dusk and it worked fine. It is a useful piece of kit but you will still need to feed it your location and time details but once done it can save time and get you very accurate GOTOs. In all honesty though considering its price I would recommend mastering the Auto 2 star as this is also very accurate. Have a look here http://www.nexstarsite.com/Book/Updates/AutoTwoStarAlign.htm as this gives a lot of the information you may not have realised is available.

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ok so i noticed that my latitude and longitude my be part of my problem. my longitude it a negative but the scope docent seem to give me an option to input it that way. Does it matter or am i over thinking this?

 

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Posted (edited)

Your profile says your in Delaware US so if correct and using latlong.net the location using required format of degrees minutes and seconds for the town of Salisbury Delaware is 

38 21 23 N latitude 

75 33 51 W longitude 

Do your coordinates look similar? Based this on Delaware the state but there is apparently a town on Ohio with the same name which would mean different numbers. 

 

 

Edited by JG777

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Posted (edited)
On 23/04/2018 at 14:05, JG777 said:

 In all honesty though considering its price I would recommend mastering the Auto 2 star as this is also very accurate. Have a look here http://www.nexstarsite.com/Book/Updates/AutoTwoStarAlign.htm as this gives a lot of the information you may not have realised is available.

Hi StarFather,

I agree witrh JG777 in that you should initially go for "auto 2 star" alignment (an option on your handset). Read the manual and find out how to get the scope into "auto 2 star" alignment procedure.

You will need to identify "by name" at least one bright star (a phone app can help you achieve this) then pick the star from a list on the handset (use up/down to scroll through the list of stars in the handset). Now, get the star centered in the eyepiece and let the scope choose the 2nd star (for alignment).

- Try to find "polaris" (the north star) it does not move in the sky so its a good choice for the first star. Look for the big dipper and the bottom two stars of the "box" point to the north star. Again, use a phone app and you will find it easily...

- defocusing the star to a "one inch" circle can make it easier to centre in the eyepiece (than a tiny dot) :)

The scope will automatically move to the second star and you just need to centre it in the eyepiece and hit enter (There will only be one bright star near the field of view so center the brightest star that you see).

- if the 2nd star the scope chooses is behind a house/tree etc then you just choose another bright star by using up/down from a list on the handset (make sure you choose a bright star at least a quarter turn right or 90 degrees right from the first), again use your phone to get its name and then choose that name from the list presented on the handset rather than the default name)

- after a few iterations you will have the procedure smooth and silky!

Make the most of these "moony" skies as they are a great time to get to grips with alignment procedure then you are ready for the darker nights when the moon is not there :)

I would avoid "three star align" it is way to fiddly and the longer you take in the alignment procedure then the more likely it is to "fail". Time taken to align is critical to success too.

As someone said above "one star align" is a way to start and build confidence but be aware that it is the least accurate and your goto may not centre objects very well (especially if you choose to align to the moon or a planet - this should be avoided!)

Best of luck,

Alan

P.S. I also owned a starsense camera when I had a CPC1100 and they are great value. They do not need dark skies and can get perfect alignment as long as you can see one or two stars visually then the camera can see many more! Our eyes are no match for the camera when it comes to "seeing" ability :)

But do give "auto 2 star" a few tries before spending big money. Also consider that if you buy starsense then you can take it with you to your next Celestron scope in the future should you upgrade.

Alan

Edited by alanjgreen
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I did go ahead and order the Starsense and a 2inch eye piece kit by celestron for our scope. unfortunately it is raining here for the next few days but i will be trying to align it with the two star auto method. I did download sky portal and have been playing with that. Thank you all for all your help. I will most likely be back after i get all the new stuff. Will probably need help setting it all up. LOL

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