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lord love rocket

Just Bought a Celestron 114 Nexstar Slt

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I already own a Skywatcher 1145. Had absolutly no complaints about that scope, however due to time restraints and damned awful weather don't really get as much time for this hobbie as one would like.

Therefore, thought if I get a Go To scope could utilise time as best as possible and let the scope work out what would be worth looking at.

Anyway, first night was really hit and miss, was really cloudy and couldn't get scope to align with 3 stars.

Second night less cloudy, scope was aligned (said it was) however it wasn't.

So my questions to those who have used this system.

I live in Southend in Essex, I have selected as London as my location (nearest city). I assume this is right or should I enter an exact GPS location (could get from my sat nav).

The time I input is right, however not sure if I should enter Universal time, daylight saving time or time zone??????

When I align do I have to align to the brightest of stars or will any old star do?

Is the Skywatcher scope better than the Celestron scope, if so, to attach the Skywatcher to the Go TO Mount I believe I will have to purchase a Dovetail, could anyone point me to what one I will require.

What lead will I require to download the most upto date software.

Finally, any tips any of you could give re this system would be really grateful.

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Congrats on your new scope. The NexStar SLT mount is pretty good. A few things.

Make sure you choose the brightest stars you can, a lot of the faint ones are not in the alignment database.

Set the location (long/lat) as accurately as you can, the info can be had from multimap by searching on your postcode.

Input the current time, as accurately as you can, a little either way, I don't think makes any difference, ensure that the option for DST is off at the moment, and turn it on when the clocks change.

The date is in US format... mm/dd/yy

Make sure you level the tripod as accurately as you can. I did a comparison between the bubble level that is provided and a true level using a spirit level, the bubble level was out quite a long way, so I never used it.

Get yourself some form of external power, don't use AA batteries, they can't deliver enough grunt for long enough.

I can't comment on the specifics of the scopes, but a normal skywatcher dovetail will work fine, I used a medium sized one from FLO as it allows some leeway to balance.

Make sure you align your finder with the main tube in daylight.

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It the scope pointing completely in the wrong direction or only just missing the object.

The Celestron mount should be just as accurate as the Skywatcher AZ GOTO Mount.

Inaccuracies in alignment can be due to the smallest error like having the date order wrong as jgs001 mentioned.

When aligning on a star make sure it is right in the centre of the field of view. Find the star at low magnification then put in a higher mag EP like a 10mm. When you "OK" the alignment push the button as quick as you can as the star will drift off centre quickly.

When the scope is locating an object use a low magnification eyepiece.

Mike

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Hey thanks for the replies.

I think I have figured why the scope was out thanks to JGS001 date input in US format, I was entering in Uk format so the scope thinks the date is 3rd of Feb instead of 2nd of March. :lol:

The Scope was sort of in the right area but not not near enough, once i put the correct date in we should be fine.

I think with the other tweaks i.e. correct grid ref for location and hopefully clear skies we should be up and running.

Got the adapter as found batteries struggling.

Do you think it would be worth buying the cable (not sure which one) to connect mount to computer to download latest software from Celestron?

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I'd suggest see how you get on with it, if it's working fine for you, then I wouldn't worry about updating it. I never bothered with mine. One thing that may well help align, when you swap to a high power ep, defocus the scope, so the star looks like a fuzzy blob, rather than a small point, it's easier to centre.

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Your scope will reward buying higher quality eps, which you can take to your next scope as well. Other than that, just enjoy the scope. You'll have a great deal of fun with it.

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Hi, once again thanks for the replies.

The tip about de focusing was a good one really helped with the alignment issues.

Well so far I am still a little perplexed.

I found that trying to align 3 stars could be a little hit and miss, so then I tried Autostar 2 star alignment, basically you pick 2 stars out of a pre determined list, the first you align then the second the scope tries to auto align the next star you have picked and you tweak with controls to zoom in. Once you have locked on, you should be alligned.

Now as I am new to this I am not too familiar with all stars, so I used Dubhe and Polaris. Do you think I may be using stars that are maybe a bit too close together?

Anyway, I used this setup last night, and found that the once it had locked on, I would then ask it to find the moon so as to confirm all was aligned. No problem zeroed in straight to the centre. However, when I then did the "Tour" I couldn't see certain objects, for example Andromedas Galaxy. Do you think that this is because my scope is too weak? or is it a case maybe skies at this time, not dark enough? I was looking around 9 Pm and due to being new, spent a lot of time going from indoors to outdoors, obviously not too good for night vision.

I have yet to Collimate the scope, and have bought this item which hopefully should help

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&item=260369270757

However, using this scope I can cleary see the rings of Saturn as well as the Comet, I have seen Venus, so I thought I would be able to see the Andromeda Galaxy.

Is dew the problem, after spending 2 hours in the freezing cold, as soon as I bring the scope back in I can see how much dew is collected on the outside of the scope, maybe this may be restricting my views.

I am really enjoying this new found hobbie, however find that it can be frustrating at times.

Re the eyepieces, I have invested in 2 Meade Plossl eyepieces as well as a Meade x2 Barlow lens. Must say how impressed I have been with them in comparison to the standard lenses. I also have invested in various coloured filters, haven't really used other than the moon filter.

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Nice one, glad you got out and it's working well for you. If the Goto is taking you to the moon nicely, then the alignment has worked. You need to use a low power ep for Andromeda, it's huge. Even then you're going to be seeing only a faint glowing patch.

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I think the idea is to use 2 stars as far apart as you can, rather than close together, so I think you're on the right lines.

Where abouts in the country are you? I'm near London and have terrible troubles with Andromeda in the light pollution, so don't be too put off!

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