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Viewing woes


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Hi everyone,

Managed to get out for the third time with my Celestron CPC800, but this time I had more than the supplied 40mm EP. I also had a 17mm baader Hyperion and a Orion shorty barlow(x2).

After finding a dark spot with good horizons all around with no clouds I set up my scope, or tried too! Everytime I tried sky align it failed. I had forgot my instruction booklet, so instead of using the hand controller I undid the motor locks and slew it manually, big mistake. Aligned once I realised it needs to work out motor position.

Also should my time be set for daylight saving. I am in the uk.

I tried out all my new bits of kit on the moon and was really happy with the views. I then turned my attention to mars which is still high in the sky. Before with the 40 mm EP it was really just a small red dot in the middle of the view. I thought going to the 17 and barlow I would have been able to make out some detail on mars, nothing at all just a marginally larger red ball.

What am I doing wrong or do I just need more mag? No other planets were visible. After 1.5 hours cloud hAd made it's way to my location. Tried for Orion and could see it but not very clear.

Decided to call it a night and as I was putting my scope away noticed the collector plate had a lovely film of ice over it. This would not have helped.

Would a dew shield stop this happening. Also do I need a dew heater? I reckon I could make one after all it is just a wire with a pot to restrict current to get more heat any designs people would like to share? Or just the main paramaters, volts obviously 12 v, what about current we talking mA or less or even more.

Going to makes my own dew shield. Where do I get the foam?

Also myscope is 8 inches so what mag do people use to see the planets?

Thanks for Reading


Edited by Kerrp30
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Welcome to one of the drawbacks of SCT ownership......dewed up corrector plates!

A dew shield will help but it's more of a light scatter shield rather than dew shield. Perhaps in an area that only has slight to moderate dewing problems it would be effective but not in an area that is prone to dew. For effective dew control it has to be a heater strap and controller. Can be a bit pricey. I paid £25 for the strap for my 8" SCT and £45 for a Blinky dual channel controller. But the dew is no longer a problem......when my darn 2 week old Maplins Powertank decides to work that is.

Mars has it's boring side to us at the moment. You should have still glimpsed the North Polar Cap and a dark marking around it but if your corrector had already started going by that point, you wouldn't have seen it. A large red ball would be about all you would see.



Edited by russ
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Alignment - you can point close to the first alignment object with the clutches loose, but they should be tightened at that point & stay tight until you're packing up. Loosen the clutches before carrying the scope to reduce load on the drive gears etc.

DST - No until March 28th. Then Yes until the end of October.

Power for planets - with an 8" scope, x200 is not far off right, you may be able to go to x240 on exceptionally good nights. If you can't get a sharp focus you have definitely gone too high. If you can't see detail, maybe the air isn't being helpful - "smeared" seeing caused by jet stream turbulence is common in the UK, and "boiling" or wobbles similar to what you get looking at the bottom of a swimming pool caused by local air turbulence is pretty well universal - especially if you're looking above houses or your scope isn't fully cooled to ambient (will take 2-3 hours).

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