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Just took the Skywatcher 80mm Pro outside to align the finder scope. It was pretty easy to do. The ridge line you see in the distance has a radar site on top of it. It’s many miles away. My question is, how well do these finder scopes hold their setup? How often should I check it?



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Posted (edited)

I always check every time I observe. Usualy just needs a minor tweek to get it perfect. BTW aligning on a terestrial target will only get you close to being aligned and you’ll find you’ll still need a fair bit of adjustment to get it right. Easily done though by choosing a bright star for the fine tuning. 

I use a crosshair eyepiece in the scope while adjusting the alignment. 

Edited by johninderby
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1 hour ago, johninderby said:

I always check every time I observe

The same for me. It's astonishing, that a decent and well mounted RACI (Baader Vario finder) is almost always slightly misaligned, when I've rolled the 18" out of it's shed. Precise alignment is important, when I'm searching fainter DSO's, that don't show directly in the RACI, and I have to rely on the star patterns. Only minor tweaks, as John said above. Polaris is well suited for this (bright enough, and does not move), and you can add the star/seeing test at the same time.


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If I'm doing a 2-star align, I usually aim to fine-tune the finder after hitting the first star. 

If the finder is too far out so I can't hunt down the target star, I'll slew off to a distant street light, get it centred in the EP and then sort out the Finder, then I'll move back to finding star #1. 

But basically - every time. If you're covering your scope or stripping it down, then every time is worth doing.  Always worth checking, and if it's not moved out of alignment you're fine. 

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Don’t worry. With a nice wide field scope like yours, it is obvious when it is out and takes seconds to adjust.

Just pop a low mag eyepiece, line it up on a bright star/planet. Park the said star bang in the middle of the field of view. If the the star isn’t also in the center of the finder fov, adjust acordingly. 


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You're pretty much checking it as you go along through your sessions, right off the start you'll know if its off then make adjustments, there's no real timeline for checking finder scopes, its an endless tweaking here and there.

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