Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

stargazine_ep3_banner.thumb.jpg.5533fb830ae914798f4dbbdd2c8a5853.jpg

MikeStickley

A few newbie questions ref the Astromaster 130 EQ

Recommended Posts

Well finally I've had a non-cloudy/rainy night (albeit with nearly full moon) to give a good long test drive of my new (well 2nd hand bargain) Astromaster 130EQ out and I had fun with it and managed to get reasonable views of the Moon, Betelguese (didn't blow up), Pleides, M42 (practically compulsory I bet everyone goes for this 1st time out!) and Venus (bright but boring - not unexpectedably). Overall I'm reasonably pleased given the price I paid. I loved the view I got of the southern highlands on the moon and crater rims just peaking over the leading limb!

I had the expected issues with the bog standard RDF that comes fitted but will just have to wait until the Rigel I've ordered arrives to get any improvement over that.

A few queries/ niggles have arised after this first viewing session:-

1) The slow mo controls feel a bit "gritty" and un-smooth, particularly the RA adjustment - can anyone point me in the direction of a good tutorial on giving these a bit of a service or what may be causing this? The RA seemd to have a bit of a "bounce" in it and when adjusted seemed to go briefly in the opposite direction before jerking back to moving prograde (if that's the word! - I mean following the earth's rotation in the RA axis)

2) I'm aware the mount that comes with this scope is not the best - is the scope worth upgrading to a better mount in future? or would I be looking at replacing both the OTA and the mount, particularly if I wanted to move into astrophotography? (this would be quite a while down the line when budget allows). I guess what I'm asking is would the scope reward getting a decent mount when I've saved my pennies? and then afterwards maybe replacing the tube itself? I know I'd need at least a tracking motor to start with to get longer exposures...

3) Any tips and tricks for a fast but accurate polar alignment? I just kind of did it by eye last night and it was good enough for what I was looking at (I think I'll need to sort the issues with the slo mo controls first to be able to judge how accurately I've aligned) Strap a laser pointer to the polar axis?

4) I've found I've been using the scope with the tripod legs not at full extension as it seemed a little wobbly - this does lead to some rather unusual viewing positions however... Any ideas if I might be doing something wrong here?

5) Collimation - I have a laser collimator but with there being no centre point marked on the primary have no real way to check the secondary - any hints and tips here? The scope seems to be in good order anyway so maybe no rush to dive into this for now.

Thanks in advance for any replies ūüôā I may be away from the computer for a few hours from now so please excuse any slow responses/thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi it's strange no one has answered you I will try I am new myself , tripod if it's the cheap light weight one that comes with EQ1 and EQ2 you can remove legs from the top mount and put child's play sand I it to add weight keep tapping the leg so the sand compacts down , need to see photo of tripod to tell what you have , some EQ mounts have a polar scope of you don't make sure the telescope is inline with the mount point tripod North then adjust the mount to point at Polaris lock the mount on the tripod now Don't move tripod or mount all you can move now is Dec axis of RA axis  using the clutches ( make sure the telescope is balanced), yes you will get some strange looking angles but this is normal , have the scope in the rings tight enough to stay put (balanced) but loose enough to turn so eyepiece is in a position to look into ( no handstand needed) now you should be able to track with slow motion control

Once we know what mount you have you can look for a strip down video etc  , but you may not be able to fix it my EQ1 was bad your lock on a star lock clutch up and telescope will drop 3 inches well got rid of mount 

Keep an eye out on eBay for a good second hand EQ3 or above , this may be worth a look

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Celestron-AstroMaster-CG-3-Mount-For-130EQ-90EQ-Telescopes-In-Yorkshire/293302761663?hash=item444a34f8bf:g:dLgAAOSwmaJcR0Wr

As for photos some thing like this ds  has shorter focus length 

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/reflectors/skywatcher-explorer-300p-ds-neq6-pro.html

Edited by Neil H
More info
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi the Celestron don't seem to Mark there mirror which is a pain I had the powerseeker 114 and to line it up was a guessing game  the skywatcher I have now is marked so much nicer 

So all you can do is get it to were you think it's right , I used to do mine after the scope had cooled down outside just before I used it 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Neil, Thanks for the tips - the mount I have is the one you've linked to on ebay. Ref collimation I guess that's all I can do is to put the dot in the centre as close as I can gauge it...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi I was as you are now there is 3 ways to go buy a really good telescope set up asap or make do with what you have , make do with 130 and look for a better scope , I don't know how your off money wise but a go-to would be the better way to go the tracking is better for taking photos  , the bigger the aperture the better just remember you have to be able to move it and mount the scope  a 300 is 12 inch mirror it's a big scope 

Try and get to a shop or club and look at the size of the scopes being used there is always the dobs best value for money but the mounts are wood so can rot 

Edited by Neil H
Remove words that the kindle add lol
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, MikeStickley said:

Hi Neil, Thanks for the tips - the mount I have is the one you've linked to on ebay. Ref collimation I guess that's all I can do is to put the dot in the centre as close as I can gauge it...

Hi Mike, if you check on YouTube there are a few tutorials on how to accurately add a centre spot to your mirror.

  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 07/02/2020 at 05:47, MikeStickley said:

Well finally I've had a non-cloudy/rainy night (albeit with nearly full moon) to give a good long test drive of my new (well 2nd hand bargain) Astromaster 130EQ out and I had fun with it and managed to get reasonable views of the Moon, Betelguese (didn't blow up), Pleides, M42 (practically compulsory I bet everyone goes for this 1st time out!) and Venus (bright but boring - not unexpectedably). Overall I'm reasonably pleased given the price I paid. I loved the view I got of the southern highlands on the moon and crater rims just peaking over the leading limb!

I had the expected issues with the bog standard RDF that comes fitted but will just have to wait until the Rigel I've ordered arrives to get any improvement over that.

A few queries/ niggles have arised after this first viewing session:-

1) The slow mo controls feel a bit "gritty" and un-smooth, particularly the RA adjustment - can anyone point me in the direction of a good tutorial on giving these a bit of a service or what may be causing this? The RA seemd to have a bit of a "bounce" in it and when adjusted seemed to go briefly in the opposite direction before jerking back to moving prograde (if that's the word! - I mean following the earth's rotation in the RA axis)

2) I'm aware the mount that comes with this scope is not the best - is the scope worth upgrading to a better mount in future? or would I be looking at replacing both the OTA and the mount, particularly if I wanted to move into astrophotography? (this would be quite a while down the line when budget allows). I guess what I'm asking is would the scope reward getting a decent mount when I've saved my pennies? and then afterwards maybe replacing the tube itself? I know I'd need at least a tracking motor to start with to get longer exposures...

3) Any tips and tricks for a fast but accurate polar alignment? I just kind of did it by eye last night and it was good enough for what I was looking at (I think I'll need to sort the issues with the slo mo controls first to be able to judge how accurately I've aligned) Strap a laser pointer to the polar axis?

4) I've found I've been using the scope with the tripod legs not at full extension as it seemed a little wobbly - this does lead to some rather unusual viewing positions however... Any ideas if I might be doing something wrong here?

5) Collimation - I have a laser collimator but with there being no centre point marked on the primary have no real way to check the secondary - any hints and tips here? The scope seems to be in good order anyway so maybe no rush to dive into this for now.

Thanks in advance for any replies ūüôā I may be away from the computer for a few hours from now so please excuse any slow responses/thanks

Your CG-3 equatorial mount is an EQ-2.  I have a Meade, "Large Equatorial" they call it, and also an EQ-2.  Here's my thread on its renovation... 

https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/319273-meade-large-equatorialeq-2-hyper-tuning/

Now, you're not expected to do everything I did.  Just pick and choose according to your ability.  You may not be able to access the lock-nut of the RA-axis with a socket-wrench, to free it up if it seems too tight.  I had to use a larger pair of needle-nose pliers; heavy-duty, and to adjust or remove the nut.

I don't have a 130/650, but I do have this 127/1000 "Bird Jones"...

https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/340294-celestron-powerseeker-127eq/

You might be able to glean some help from that.

Edited by Alan64
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, I got an AM130EQ too, and the first thing I need to say is that for the money, I'm delighted that I got it because it confirmed for me that astronomy is a fantastic passtime and it got me hooked. I have viewed all of the targets you mentioned above; and my first views of Jupiter and Saturn were not far short of religious experiences. I'll always be fond of the 130 for that.

RIght, that's the good news out of the way. If you've decided that you want to stick with astronomy, you will probably want to upgrade. The mount is unfortunately very poor.  There are videos out there for smoothing up the RA and Dec gearing, which is worth doing if you are going to stick with the mount for now. The slow-mo handles are a pain in the ass, always getting in each other's way and sometimes getting stuck against the OTA. When I have my eye on the eyepiece, I can never find the handles without looking. There's a lot of slack in both axes, and I'm not sure there's much you can do about that. The whole thing wobbles like jelly every time you touch it, not to mention if there's a breeze.

I invested in a SkyWatcher HEQ5 Pro which is apparently an entry-level mount, and I can tell you that there is absolutely no comparison between the two mounts. 

I wouldn't bother with the tracking motor. I got it with the scope, and I've never managed to use it. First off, it will take up the RA slow-mo handle position, which means you can't manually adjust the RA if you fit the motor (unless someone can set me right on that).  It's analog and doesn't have encoders, so you can only control the speed of the motor with a little knob. You will constantly be adjusting the speed up and down, with your eye through the finder if you're trying to track anything. There's no way you will be able to set it accurately enough to let it run on its own without constant readjustment.

The OTA itself is not bad - I'm still using it, although I have bought an SCT and plan on buying a refractor at some stage, and retire the AM130.  On the plus side, it's light and very easy to set up. The optical quality is not fantastic but it's quite usable - for the money, I think it's fantastic. To put this in context, I think that any upgrade that you might consider for the OTA is likely to cost you 5-10 times as much as the AM130 and that may or may not be worth it for you. The irritants for me are mostly around the focuser. It's a bit loose and fiddly and can't be relpaced without some fairly major surgery. 

If you plan on using this for astrophotography, good luck with that. I don't believe that you will manage to get exposure times longer than 20-30 seconds with this, it's too unstable and the tracking won't be good enough. Planetary photography with a webcam is achievable (with sharpcap/ firecapure etc), but DSOs will be difficult. If you use a DSLR, you will need the usual T-adapter, but the focuser won't give you the right back-focus so you have to use a 2x Barlow. Without chaning the focuser (see above), I don't believe there's any way around this, so instead of 650mm FL you have a 1300mm lens. Your field of view is reduced and the shaky mount is made worse. The DSLR/T-adapter/Barlow combination is quite long, and sticks out like a broom handle from the focuser. It tilts, it moves as you adjust the Dec, and it constantly gets in your way. If you bump this set-up accidentally the scope will move off target.

My top recommendation for you is to get a decent set of eyepieces (you didn't mention if you're still using the plastic ones that came with the scope). For a small-ish sum of money you will notice a huge improvement. I got the Celestron ep/filter set in the steel case, and the difference is unbelieveable, but you could get one or two individual Plossls to start with.

Hope this helps and doesn't put you off!

 

Edited by Padraic M
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with allen you have a eq2 with the 130 but that's ok a lot cheaper makers or sellers sell that scope on a eq1 which shouldn't be done, but it lowers the cost for them.

a eq2 is not super great for that scope either but its decent.

Since you ordered a rigel that will be a good finder, you may just have to upgrade to eps to something like Neil did to the Celestron Omni plossls. They are good (yes theres better but not really needed at the start) just better then the ones that comes with the scope.

Now the thing about u not really liking venus the kool thing there is looking and you can see a phase like the moon just a bit smaller. Since its heavy clouded over we cant see any surface details tho.

Before trying to collimate it check to see it really needs it. Many scopes hold it very well and can last many months b4 it needs adjusting. If you just carry it from the house to the backyard it can last a yr or more but if you travel a lot with it in the car then it can need adjusting more often.

As per the mirror you can take it out once it does need collimation and mark it with those o ring repair paper things.

Joejaguar

  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Clear Skies!
      I have Celestron AstroMaster 130 eq. I know how to attach the motor driver, too. I want to dive into astrophotography. But I don't know:
      How can I accurate polar align my telescope, if it doesn't have any polar scope? I think drift polar-alignment is very hard. Is there any other way? How fast must be the motor driver's speed if I don't have polar-aligned telescope yet? I am buying my new Orion StarShoot G4 Monochrome Deep Space Imaging Camera. Is it good that I attach Orion camera on Celestron telescope? I want to buy ZWO 1.25" LRGB Imaging Filter Set. Is it good to attach ZWO on Orion and Celestron? Is it a good choice to select these machines? And finally: is Celestron AstroMaster 130 eq telescope good enough for astro imaging? (I want to image DSO objects.) Thank you for your effort and time.
      Clear skies!
    • By velhoooo
      Hi, I just bought my first telescope, but I really can't see anything but black. I tried a few things mentioned on previous posts, but still all I can see is black. What am I doing wrong? Thank you all for your help.
√ó
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.