Jump to content

1564402927_Comet2021Banner.jpg.a8d9e102cd65f969b635e8061096d211.jpg

Born again astronomy fan


Toltec
 Share

Recommended Posts

I had an interest in astronomy in my teens and through to mid twenties, even studied it as an elective at university, life however intervened and that was three decades ago. The plan was always to take another look when we eventually had a chance to move out of the city, but that always seems to be a few years away so after accidentally catching a few youtube videos I decided, why wait? 

Quite a few videos and lots of reading later I picked up a used Skymax 127 on an Allview mount with goto. It didn't have any eyepieces so I picked up a few cheap used ones to get going and work out what I wanted, these have duly been used to take a look at the Moon, Jupiter and Pleiades. Had several goes at setting up the alignment, might need to get an eyepiece with reticle as the goto gets close, but not quite close enough to get objects into a 25mm eyepiece. Is that pretty normal?

Watched lots of astrophotography videos and looked at far too many expensive otas and mounts, need to learn to walk first though and I plan to stick with visual for a while. Off up to the East Yorkshire coast this week and hoping to be inspired with what I can see compared to the murk that qualifies as a clear sky inside the M25. That is why I chose the Mak to begin with btw, portability, that and the simplicity of the optical design just calls to me.

TL:DR

Used to do astronomy, stopped, forgotten most of what I knew and the rest is likely out of date, want to start again.

Edited by Toltec
  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi 👋 Your journey is similar to my own in that i rekindled my teenage and early twenties love of astronomy. I also bought a 127 Maksutov Go to ,and a 8” Dobsonian. With regards to the accuracy of your go to mount, I generally manage to get my targets in the FOV. I started with a 32mm EP to increase my chances, but once I was accustomed to the nuances I swapped to a 25mm 60 deg. When you are centering the stars finish with the up/right keys. I now use a 12.5mm reticle EP for accuracy. If you don’t have one then I found that centering the star as best as possible with a short focal length EP, then defocus the star to a disc as this enables you to judge the centering better Hope this rambling helps 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, bosun21 said:

Hi 👋 Your journey is similar to my own in that i rekindled my teenage and early twenties love of astronomy. I also bought a 127 Maksutov Go to ,and a 8” Dobsonian. With regards to the accuracy of your go to mount, I generally manage to get my targets in the FOV. I started with a 32mm EP to increase my chances, but once I was accustomed to the nuances I swapped to a 25mm 60 deg. When you are centering the stars finish with the up/right keys. I now use a 12.5mm reticle EP for accuracy. If you don’t have one then I found that centering the star as best as possible with a short focal length EP, then defocus the star to a disc as this enables you to judge the centering better Hope this rambling helps 

Thanks, I did wonder if defocussing would be better, going on what Vega looked like earlier I need to tweak the collimation as well. I noticed a 10" goto dob on astrobuysell, I managed to resist because it is miles away and my wife would not be too happy if I kept it in the dining room. Maybe give it a month or two first.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Before you touch the collimation in your Mak ensure that you have exhausted every other avenue first. Make sure that your telescope has cooled down to the ambient temperature as even less than a degree can throw your collimation out. Try and select a bright star high enough to lessen the amount of atmosphere your looking through. Try and not select a star above a house or dwelling as the thermals will have an effect. It’s also paramount that the star is centered as accurately as possible. Good luck 👍 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Toltec and welcome to the site. Hope you have a few clear nights on your trip 👍

11 hours ago, Toltec said:

Had several goes at setting up the alignment, might need to get an eyepiece with reticle as the goto gets close, but not quite close enough to get objects into a 25mm eyepiece. Is that pretty normal?

Pretty much until you get a bit more used to it. Rather than aligning your rdf during the day on a remote point, set if up at night by centering a bright star in your telescope eyepiece then center that with the rdf. Then with the goto, center initially with the rdf then switch to the eyepiece. Hope it helps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, welcome to SGL!

If you get a zoom eyepiece, you can keep on increasing the zoom incrementally while keeping the alignment star centred. I always do a two star alignment and I try to ensure the alignment stars are as far away to each other as possible.  If your go-tos are still off, make sure your power supply is giving the correct voltage. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to SGL - I am a year in to a similar re-kindling and am loving the Mak 127 too!

Really capable instrument especially under a dark sky.  My use of it was transformed by the addition of a 9x50 RACI Finder and a Telrad side by side so much more time observing vs frustration! 

Have fun! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, Peter_D said:

Hi, welcome to SGL!

If you get a zoom eyepiece, you can keep on increasing the zoom incrementally while keeping the alignment star centred. I always do a two star alignment and I try to ensure the alignment stars are as far away to each other as possible.  If your go-tos are still off, make sure your power supply is giving the correct voltage. 

Good point about the voltage, I'm using a power tank that came with the scope. The seller threw it in as a freebie as they said it was well used. The battery charges, but the low level indicator comes on pretty much straight away. I've already opened it up to check the battery size and I'll get it replaced and hopefully that may help. 

I picked up a second hand Baader MKIV on Monday. I did wonder about changing the zoom to centre, but thought that might be worse to change between stars. Dropped into RVO today and bought a crosshair eyepiece anyway. 

And a dew shield. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Got out this evening and had a look at M42, Uranus, 32 Eridani (nice and sharp with clear separation) and Beta Monocerotis (could just about see it was a triple).  Alighnment is still a bit out, but only by just under half the view at 24mm. I used a 23mm illuminated reticule eyepiece I picked up from RVO last week which has helped a bit. I could see from Gemini around to the south/south/west and Sirius was just above the tree line by half eleven. I have added a Svbony helical focuser using a mak to sct adapter and that proved really useful to get a finer focus, particularly on the doubles, you cannot see as you adjust due to shake, but the focus locking screw makes a nice lever and position guide so I could make incremental changes to get a sharp focus.

I had a look around with an old pair of Zeiss 10x50 binocolars as well, I think I found Andromeda, but it was more of a fuzzy patch than anything else. Need to crack on and relearn the sky and what objects work well in the mak 127. 

I think the bug haswell and truly bitten again, there is a local club/group so I think I'll make contact with them. 

 

 

Edited by Toltec
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome back to astronomy.

I suspect that many of us had the same journey: initial interest in our childhood and teens, then "life gets in the way"! I retired in 2018 and rekindled my love of astronomy, which to press had been entirely visual.  Since then, I have purchased a 12-inch Meade LX200 and got myself a Canon 6D DSLR.  That set up has its limits, but I'm confident that I will continue to improve my results and spend a lot more money on this wonderful hobby.

Wishing you all the best

Mark (ex-West Yorkshire, now in Dorset)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
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
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.