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Newbie help!


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Hi all,

Newbie here so please ben gentle!

Today is my birthday (seriously!) and I've always been interested in space stuff and astronomy, so for my present from her indoors, I asked for a telescope. As I wanted a fairly decent one I did some research and decided on a Sky-Watcher Skymax-127 SynScan AZ GOTO - this was a bit over the budget for the birthday present so I made up the difference in the cost.

Anyway - I've jsut opened up a nice box with the 'scope and I've putting it altogether.

I've got the optical tube on the tripod (that one screw holding the expensive optic give me the creeps :)) and now I come to the eye piece. I've got a 90 degree mirror, and couple of other lenses - a 2x barlow and some other eye relief lense.

Question is - what do I do with these? I assume I screw in the 90 degree mirror (the screws just meet the metal surround - right) but what do I do with the other bits?

Sorry for the dumb questions...

Looking forward to have a go with this tonight!

Cheers

Lee

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Hi Lee,

The 90 degree mirror (diagonal it's generally called) fits into the back of the scope - there should be a tube with a thumbscrew fitted to the back of the tube for the diagonal to slide into - tighten the thimbscrew to hold the diagonal in place.

To use the scope you just need to put an eyepiece in the diagonal - use the eyepiece with the largest number in mm ie: 25mm to start with while you get the hang of it. Eypeices with smaller numbers, eg 10mm give more magnification and the barlow lens goes between the eyepiece and the diagonal to double the power of the eyepiece.

Take lots of time in daylight to get used to the scope, align the finder and work out what all the bits do (the manual might help a bit but keep asking questions as well). In the darkness all the time spent in daylight will pay off !.

Edited by John
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Hi,

Thanks for the fast response!

OK - So I've got the diagonal attached and the 2x Barlow 1.25" lens attached. What about this other bits I have? I have a Super 10 Long Eye Relief and a Super 25 Wide angle Long Eye Relief - I'm assumeing these are lenses of different magnifacations - so which oen shoud I start with?

Also - I've got the finder attached but I'm assuming I need to align it (and the 'scope) - can I only do that once it's dark?

Edited by LSainsbury
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Take out the Barlow for now and just insert the 25mm eyepiece.

Aim the telescope at a distand object, such as the pointy bit of a church steeple in the centre of the field of view, something obvious like that.

Then switch on the Red Dot Finder (I'm assuming it came with an RDF!) and adjust the position of the superimposed red dot until it is sitting on the target, you keep both eyes open when you do this, look at both the target and the red dot.

Once you are satesfied that the dot is aligned, then swap the eye pieces so that you now have the 10mm fitted, then reset the RDF if need be.

Then, insert the Barlow between the diagonal and the 10mm eye piece, and see if the dot is still on target, make any adjustments needed.

Now you are ready to play!

As for setting up the goto, sorry, can't help you there, having never used such new fangled devices!

The shorter the focal length of the eyepiece, the greater the magnification it gives. Divide the focal length of the scope by the focal length of the EP and presto! that's the magnification. A 2x Barlow does exactly that multiplies what you have by 2.

Edited by yeti monster
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Like John suggested, remove the barlow and replace it with the 25mm eyepiece 1st. That will give you the lowest magnification. With the 2x barlow fitted, it basically turns the 25mm into a 12.5mm. Now that you have the finder attached, point the scope at a object far enough away so that you can focus on it whilst looking through the eyepiece. Try to get it as close to center as you can. Then adjust the screws on the finder until the same object is located in the center of the field of view of the finder. This is alot easier to do in the daylight, but please remember the very 1st basic rule. Never look at the sun through a telescope, unless you have the right equipment, and you know what you are doing.

Hope this helps.

Andy

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Oh, and welcome to SGL and to astronomy, you'll love it here!

Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY as well :D

Birthday, new scope, forecast of clear skies - what more could you ask for :)

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Great! Thanks for the advice. So basically from what I've got - I use the Super 25 first then the Super 10 and then the 2 x Barlow 1.25 to give the highest magnification - correct?

So I can find I object in the distance - and go for it.

I know not to point it at the sun - common sense really - unless you have all the correct filters - but worth repeating I suppose! :-) Ohh - got a moon filter with it as well so that will be good for tonight!

It didn't come with an RDF - just a manual (if you call it that) screw adjustment type...

Thanks for the birthday wishes as well - 39 today - gulp - the big one next year!

Edited by LSainsbury
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RDF = Red Dot Finder - it's an alternative to the optical type of finder and easier to use in my opinion (sorry, I guess you know that !)

Don't be in a rush to use high magnifications - low and medium magnfications are often better and some astro objects are large in the sky so you just don't need to magnify them much - it's the light that the scope gathers thats the key thing. Use of high magnifications can lead to frustations early on as i) often the seeing conditions in the UK don't allow it and ii) the vibrations and wobbles of the scope get magnified just as much as what you are trying to look at !.

Edited by John
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RDF - yeah - I kinda know what the theroy is behind it.

Pity it came with a cheaper one though - suppose I can always upgrade it later?

My finder is the same as the one in the photo here.

Edited by LSainsbury
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Saturn should be South about 10-11:00 tonight. Not too high but fair enough. Venus is in the west as the sunsets, say 9-10:00. Easy to see it is simply BRIGHT. Forget Jupiter.

Are you intending to use it simply as a scope and drive to whatever you want to. Or do you intend to set up the goto first?

If you intend to set up the goto do you know any of the main stars? I recall that the skywatchers presume that you have some knowledge.

If the finder is aligned then for Saturn and Venus you can use the scope+finder to locate, just use the 25mm eyepiece in the scope.

If you are ging to set up the goto then tomorrow we will try and explain how to set it up. Don't try to use a planet to do the alignment with, stick to stars

Newbury must be about 51.5 N and 1 West, Time zone is GMT and DST is ON.

My suggestion is to set the scope up in the garden, or living room today. Point the whole thing North and get the tube level then do a dummy alignment. More then anything it will give you an idea of what it asks for and you can get prepeared.

Edited by Capricorn
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Saturn should be South about 10-11:00 tonight. Not too high but fair enough. Venus is in the west as the sunsets, say 9-10:00. Easy to see it is simply BRIGHT. Forget Jupiter.

Cool - Venus it is tonight then!

Are you intending to use it simply as a scope and drive to whatever you want to. Or do you intend to set up the goto first?

At the moment - just get used to using it! The Goto system looks quite easy to use.

If you intend to set up the goto do you know any of the main stars? I recall that the skywatchers presume that you have some knowledge.

I used to know a few but that was a few years ago - need to give myself a recap - I'm sure this will do the trick.

If the finder is aligned then for Saturn and Venus you can use the scope+finder to locate, just use the 25mm eyepiece in the scope.

If you are ging to set up the goto then tomorrow we will try and explain how to set it up. Don't try to use a planet to do the alignment with, stick to stars

I was going to try a couple of the alignment procedures ad see how it goes first just to get used it it.

Newbury must be about 51.5 N and 1 West, Time zone is GMT and DST is ON.

My suggestion is to set the scope up in the garden, or living room today. Point the whole thing North and get the tube level then do a dummy alignment. More then anything it will give you an idea of what it asks for and you can get prepeared.

Yep - used the web to lookup the lat / long already - thanks for confirming what I found was correct though.

Already had a play around - the local church has a St Georges cross flying today - I would say it needs a wash! :)

I'm wondering how long the batteries will last though - a few weeks? Supposed how much the motors are used.

Edited by LSainsbury
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Venus will however look like a very small moon shaped white object, even with the 10mm..

Go for the mood first..take your time and you will be blown away.

Then try Saturn. The rings are just something else the frist time you look...And yes that dot near Saturn is its satelite Titan..

Then buy turn left at Orion which lists a 100 objects with maps to help you find your way.

Enjoy...

Mark

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I agree with Mark - Venus is probably not a good choice for your 1st night out - the Moon plus Saturn would be a great place to start. Deep sky objects will be tough because of the moonlight in the sky. Double stars are good on moon-washed summer nights - the famous "double double" in Lyra, Epsilon Lyrae makes a good challenge with your 10mm eyepiece and is well placed later in the evening.

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It didn't get really dark until about 10:15 night and bed was calling so only had about half hour with. I can see that it may take a while to know how to use it correctly! No idea what I was looking at but they were the two brightest object in the northwestern sky.

Going on a slight tangent, I've seen the £69 Skywatcher EyePiece set - worth it? I'm considering it as it's half the price of what it normally is.

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Going on a slight tangent, I've seen the £69 Skywatcher EyePiece set - worth it? I'm considering it as it's half the price of what it normally is.

The eyepiece kits aren't the highest quality, so don't expect premium performance. What they are good for is to allow you to learn which magnifications you like to use most. After you know what you want you can look at something of higher quality.

Edited by Crusader
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Hi all,

Not had much time to play this week, but tonight the sky looks fairly clear - might get half hour in before bed time!

Will Saturn be visable tonight? Any good websites around that I can input my location and it tell's me what's visable?

Might need to invest in some software that does that - any recomendations?

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Might need to invest in some software that does that - any recomendations?

There are 2 freeware packages that are pretty good:

Stellarium

Cartres du Ciel

I use the 2nd one but both have their followers.

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You need to download Stellarium. Its a free planetarium which after giving it your location will show you what visible from where you are. You can also fast forward to any point in the future to see whats going on aswell.

If you google for it you'll find it no problem. You will need a reasonable graphics card for it though. If you dont have one try using Cartes du Ciul, another free planetarium but not as system hungry.

Good luck.

Or see above.....:D

Edited by simon84
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The eyepiece kits aren't the highest quality, so don't expect premium performance. What they are good for is to allow you to learn which magnifications you like to use most. After you know what you want you can look at something of higher quality.

I hear what you said about the set but I went for it anyway.

I'm not sure of the quality yet as I've not been able to get the scope out in the evenings due to the patio being ripped up and replaced.

To be honest at the moment I wouldn't the the differnce between goof and bad!

I posted the form / letter with a cheque on Tuesday this week (after bank holiday) and the set arrived by courier on Thursday! Wow! What quick service from OVL - if you guys are here - thanks for the ultra quick shipping! :D

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