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Nexstar 8SE on its way!


tonyjh2
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Originally posted this in the wroing section, so have reposted to here.

Very excited as I have a Celestron Nexstar 8SE winging its way to me - should be here tomorrow morning. Yeeha!

Just hoping for some clear skies. Apologies in advance to all stargazers in the Herts/Bucks area as I've probably doomed us with cloudy nights for the rest of the week.:hello2:

Have gone into overdrive thinking of all the accessories I'll add to it in due course. I already have a dew shield (essential) and a Maplins 5 in 1 17Ah Jumpstarter that has a 12V DC cigarette lighter. I presume the 12V connector will work with the mount just fine, but forgot to ask when ordering. Does anyone know for certain?

Anyway, once I've had a chance to set it up (having of course ignored the manual) and had a bit of a play, I'll be more than happy to do a "first impressions" report.

Watch this space.

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Good luck with that- I got mine in January. First one was a dud and had to go back to Celestron to be condemned. Second one is superb and I am very happy with it.

My advice is don't do what I did and actually read the manual- it is quite a useful document!

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The mount was dodgy. They were very good about replacing- got it all sorted out in the space of a week. Where are you getting yours from? I used Harrison Telescopes-very impressed.

I was out again with mine last night and had a wonderful time. Saturn was amazing and for the first time ever I saw it with 4 moons. I've spotted Titan before but last night it was just like viewing Jupiter with 4 strung out in a line- Titan, Dione, Tethys and Rhea. I also got a really good view of M51, M96 (another first), M65 and M66. Not bad for 45 minutes in the garden.

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Slangers,

Thanks for the update and glad you got the gear sorted.

Great to hear you had such good viewing of Saturn last night. I've just posted a comment in "Beginners" on how (after spending a couple of hours familiarising myself with the whole set-up), I got 15 minutes or so of viewing time on Saturn. I'd have liked more, but it was gone 1.30 am by then and my bed was beckoning :(.

Until about 1.00 am, the sky was intermitent cloud/fog to say the least - evidenced by the planes using their spots, so I'd almost given up hope of any viewing, but the sky cleared and I managed a short session. My view of Saturn was not great, but I was tired and I would not have been too surprised if someone had pointed out I still a lens cap on :D. I'm aware it's very much down to conditions and the EP's etc, but the view was of nothing more than a bright disc (slightly bigger than a star) using the 25mm Plossl EP. If I'm honest, I was hoping for perhaps a hint of the rings, but this probably requires a Barlow or different EP? Early days and still learning so not too disheartened.

Re your question, my first port of call was to FLO on the strength of postings on SL and my eye was originally on the 6SE having had some misgivings about the capability of the mount with the 8SE. However, after chatting for a few minutes with FLO, they suggested unless I was imaging that the mount was generally OK. It was unfortunate that they had no stock of the 6SE in any case and having decided to hell with my original budget and to go for the 8SE, they were not able to price-match Rother Valley - £1,125 and were honest enough to suggest I go & buy.

As I went through a lengthy decision process before arriving at the Nexstar 8SE (I went from a Mak 127 to 12" Dob and back several times over), I've decided to do a write-up in the hope it might help others get to the end point a little quicker, but I'm going to wait a week or so until I've had time to learn the system properly. Seeing aside, I'm impressed with the tripod and the GoTo operation.:p

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Your scope should give great views of Saturn, even with the 25mm ep the rings should have been evident.

Interesting. I'm 99% certain I was looking at Saturn. I pretty much know where it should be, checked this on Stellarium and also used the Align on the GoTo system to locate it. Perhaps I need new glasses. :D

Do you think collimation could be that far out as to result in very little detail?

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No way it was collimation. I suspect you weren't looking at Saturn. With the same scope as you I am seeing the Cassini Division and markings on the planet. You should have had a view that had you running around the garden shouting "wow"!

If you used the Align and did not get to Saturn then there are two options:

1) Your collimation is seriously, majorly off. I doubt this and you can easily check it (tells you how in the instruction manual).

2) Your align is off. Which method did you use to do it? Do you have a GPS set up, or did you have to manually enter time and location. There are lots of ways in which that can go wrong (daylight saving time, date in US vs UK format). Was your scope absolutely level? I find this is my biggest headache- the slightest deviation from level can make the Goto function near-worthless.

Edited by Slangers
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Got me thinking whether it was Saturn. Given the problem I had centering using the RDF, it's quite possible the actual view in the EP was wide of the mark compared to the RDF. My goal last night was checking the electronics functioned rather than actually viewing and it was mere luck that the clouds cleared just as I was about to pack up so couldn't resist having a quick peek - probably too much emphasis on "quick" to the detriment of the setup. I'm pretty sure it wasn't Spica but I suppose it could have been another star in the vicinity of Saturn that I couldn't see through the RDF.

I know I avoided the other pitfalls - I used US date format, have my Long/Lat down to the precise seconds, though don't recall if I chose DST in error.

Oh well. Lots to check and I'll be so relieved to find it's just human error, which wouldn't be the first time :D

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I got rid of the RDF- it is useless really. My skies are quite light polluted adn the RDF was only good for picking out very bright stars. One of the best functions on the goto handset is the Precise Goto- I use this a lot as it helps you get away with deficiencies in your original set up.

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Slangers, I am pondering a Telrad, but not sure if this will fit on the SE8 OTA properly. At 8" long, the Telrad's a lot longer than the original RDF. I gather they fix with adhesive tape so no hole-drilling required.

What made you decide on your finderscope and are you happy with it? If I went with one of these, I think I'd be tempted to go for one that corrects the image.

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I'm very happy with my finderscope- I was led mostly by price and a profound dislike of anything involving red dots. It corrects the image and enables me to see a wide star field. It was very easy to fit- just needed to get the right dovetail, replace the RDF dovetail by removing the screws that hold it and then replacing screws to hold new dovertail.

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Have fun with it Tony - I loved my 6SE and was sorry to see it go but upgrading demanded it.

The only two problems I had were :_

1. Battery compartment - the connectors were rubbish and took some work to get the scope working from batteries (working from AA batteries a waste anyway - they drain in no time - powertank or mains adaptor by far the best choice.

2. The power connector inside the mount broke after a few months - If you're handy with a soldering iron it's reasonably easy to fix though - didn't want to send it back just for that.

All in all a great scope and I wish I still had it.

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I got a Nexstar 8SE last week, had my first play around with it tonight, for an hour and half or so.

Kind of winged my way through the handpiece alignment set up, but it seemed to work, lined it up with pollux, procyon and betelgeuse and it kind of took it from there. My garden isn't huge so had to keep moving it around to get things into view.

The finderscope lined up pretty well from the start, so after playing around for a bit, I lined that bad boy up with saturn and and got my first real good look with my own eyes (kinda) at the most beautiful thing in our solar system. I'm amazed how good it looked just with the 25mm eye piece, the rings were very visible and defined, could even see the slight gap between them and the planet, the bands around the planet were faintly visible also. Added the barlow x2 from the celestron eyepiece/filter kit with the 25mm and then a 15mm eye piece for even bigger and more detailed views.

I wouldn't say the sky was great tonight, I couldn't really make out most of Orion with my naked eye or Pleiades which isn't usually a problem.

I got really cold after about 10 mins looking at saturn and decided to call it, shame those warmish spring nights have been and gone (last week).

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Can you advise if the motors are intrusively loud? I wouldn't want to annoy the neighbours if I got one :icon_eek:

I have seen the 8SE on youtube and the motors did sound kinda loud - but that is impossible to judge really as the sound is coming from a small video camera and I don't trust the sound quality.

First hand experience on the loudness if you would please?

Thanks Steve

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Can you advise if the motors are intrusively loud? I wouldn't want to annoy the neighbours if I got one

Hi Steve,

In the short time I had my Nexstar 8SE, I found the noise levels quite acceptable. Naturally, it's noisier with a fast slewing speed so if you were concerned, you can reduce this to negate the noise. The noise whilst tracking is hardly noticeable. Loudness is a subjective issue. I live in a semi-detached with quite a wide garden, which perhaps gives a greater degree of comfort than if I had been using it in a narrow, terraced set-up. Unless your neighbours sit right up against their windows with ear trumpets, I would say the noise levels should be fine.

Incidentally, I returned mine on the basis that I felt the mount was not stable enough for the OTA, with wobbles & vibrations just too prolonged for my liking. However, I know of several people that have been fine with theirs and of course it's my perseption. I don't want to sway you from this set-up especially as this was not the line of your questioning, but just thought I'd mention it if it saves you making a purchase you come to regret. I was able to return mine without much hassle and I'm saving up a bit more for the CPC800 model - though if I can sort out a larger storage area, I might be tempted by the Skyliner 300P Flextube Dob. Decision time again. :icon_eek:

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