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Red dot finder = revelation!!


Simms
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Seriously, after weeks of messing about with a finderscope I today bought myself a RDF (looks like a reflex site off a semi auto weapon) and once I zero`d it in on Beetleguese - finding Messiers has become a lot easier when using something like `Redshift` on my iPad to locate. Great little tool to have in ones kit!!

Edited by Doc
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Having started off with a finderscope I'd agree that an RDF is a completely different experience. I don't think I'll abandon the finderscope just yet though. Sometimes it's easier to used when you can't see what you're after in the RDF window.

It's always very pleasing when you put the red dot where you think some galaxy ought to be and then look through the eyepiece to find it right there, mind :D

James

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I find either a RDF or a telrad so much easier to use then a finderscope. If you enjoy star hopping then swap for a telrad as it's even better.

Btw I've edited a word in your original post.

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I have to agree with Doc, I started off with the supplied 6x30 finder and found it very difficult, changed to a Telrad and find it a vast improvement.

BTW am I the only one to forget to switch the Telrad off when I've found my target :D:icon_scratch:

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hmmm tempting, I've never used an RDF or Telrad. What experiences do you have when trying to find extremely faint DSO's ?

Matt

Well, I first used my RDF last night and personally I cannot, for the immediate future, see me going back to my finderscope - however, I feel that may be due to the light polluted area I live in the finderscope doesnt really help me. Using the RDF and Redshift/Stellarium on my ipad last night I could `eye in` the general area and with my 40mm EP on I found that 90% of the time I had the DSO in view. I think being able to have both eyes open and the red dot (or cross or circle, depending on which one I had selected) projected directly onto the nightsky just seemed more intuitive to me - also I always struggled to get used to the inverted view my finderscope gave me so this helped matters considerably as well.. I guess its a case of different horses for different courses, but Iam certainly chuffed with the results - it actually, for me, made last nights observing all the more enjoyable.

Here is the one I purchased from Skies & Scopes..

ScopeTeknix (MRF) Multi LED Reticule Reflex Finder on quick release foot for Orion, Sky Watcher, Helios etc

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BTW am I the only one to forget to switch the Telrad off when I've found my target :D:icon_scratch:

I frequently leave mine switched on at the end of a session, mostly I remember some time later. But a couple of times I've left it on overnight by mistake. Not had to change the batteries yet though.

I think the Telrads/Quikfinders are excellent, one problem I have though is "losing" the target circles in the sky and spending literally minutes trying to adjust my viewing angle until I can see it again. I must look ridiculous craning my head around and in and out until I pick it up again. :p

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I virtually never use a finderscope. Telrad all the way!

In response to Matt's question: very faint DSOs don't show up in a finderscope so I don't see what advantage it would have over the Telrad. I just use an atlas to point the scope at the right patch of sky, then I search with my lowest power. Perhaps I will use Uranometria if it's a tough job.

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I have to agree with Doc, I started off with the supplied 6x30 finder and found it very difficult, changed to a Telrad and find it a vast improvement.

BTW am I the only one to forget to switch the Telrad off when I've found my target :D:icon_scratch:

Deffo not the only one :p

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I use both a RDF and a finder scope.

I use a Rigel Quikfinder to lock onto the nearest bright star to the DSO I want to look at, then I use my finder scope to star hop to the exact position of the DSO.

It works every time.

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Well, I first used my RDF last night and personally I cannot, for the immediate future, see me going back to my finderscope - however, I feel that may be due to the light polluted area I live in the finderscope doesnt really help me. Using the RDF and Redshift/Stellarium on my ipad last night I could `eye in` the general area and with my 40mm EP on I found that 90% of the time I had the DSO in view. I think being able to have both eyes open and the red dot (or cross or circle, depending on which one I had selected) projected directly onto the nightsky just seemed more intuitive to me - also I always struggled to get used to the inverted view my finderscope gave me so this helped matters considerably as well.. I guess its a case of different horses for different courses, but Iam certainly chuffed with the results - it actually, for me, made last nights observing all the more enjoyable.

Here is the one I purchased from Skies & Scopes..

ScopeTeknix (MRF) Multi LED Reticule Reflex Finder on quick release foot for Orion, Sky Watcher, Helios etc

On the strength of this thread I have just received my "Scopeteknix" red dot finder from ScopesnSkies and quickly fitted it to my Skymax 127.

I targetted the scope, in daylight, onto the top of the local TV mast at Emley Moor some 5 miles away and waited for the skies to darken!!

For a brief moment last night a patch of clear sky appeared and I did a quick test on about the only bright star I could see. The finder was spot on and within the centre of the eyepiece in seconds!! I am now looking forward to trying to track down those "Turn Left at Orion Objects" which I was finding painfully slow using with the supplied 6 x 30 finder scope.

As an aside - what I did find interesting was that when the "ScopeTecnix" arrived it was branded "Rigel RD400" and essentially was a well made rifle scope which was supplied with a mount to fit a range of astronomical scopes. There were no instructions relating to its use for astronomy so I did a bit of "Googling".

Interestingly I found this site:-

multi-reticle finder

Which showed a Stellarvue version of the same scope but with a toned down red dot image for use at night as it seems the Rigel one can be a bit bright. It appears to be an exclusive version to Stellarvue in the USA and they don't appear to ship to the UK.

Also Williams Optics have their own brand:-

WO Red Dot Finder - Telescopes UK: Telescopes & Telescope Accessories in your only London shop

Which appears to be the rifle scope version as it can be used in daylight.

I have two queries:-

1. Who actually makes the finder?

2. If I do find the red dot too bright has anyone found a simple way to reduce the brightness - perhaps by introducing a neutral density filter over the LED?

There are also good reviews of finderscopes on the following sites:-

Multi-Reticle Reflex Finders - Review

Setting Up The Finder - McWiki

Just a short note the ScopenSkies version is depicted with chrome thumbwheels for easy removal but mine was delivered with an Allen Key system - not too much of an issue but just be aware.

Anyway its Red Dots for me!!

Robin

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I have two queries:-

1. Who actually makes the finder?

2. If I do find the red dot too bright has anyone found a simple way to reduce the brightness - perhaps by introducing a neutral density filter over the LED?

1. Not sure - but it sounds like you have the same version as me - as I said in the original post - its pretty much a rifle reflex sight - does yours have 4 or 5 different reticles that you can switch between? My favourites are 1 (very tiny dot) and 4/5 (cross hairs with circle).

2. I can select the power/brightness on mine by turning the power on/off switch - 1 being the dimmest and 7 being the brightest - on number 7 I can see mine clearly in the daytime and at night number 1 is enough. I dont find it too bright at all on number 1.

I have found more DSOs since having the RDF fitted than with my finder scope.

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1. Not sure - but it sounds like you have the same version as me - as I said in the original post - its pretty much a rifle reflex sight - does yours have 4 or 5 different reticles that you can switch between? My favourites are 1 (very tiny dot) and 4/5 (cross hairs with circle).

2. I can select the power/brightness on mine by turning the power on/off switch - 1 being the dimmest and 7 being the brightest - on number 7 I can see mine clearly in the daytime and at night number 1 is enough. I dont find it too bright at all on number 1.

I have found more DSOs since having the RDF fitted than with my finder scope.

It is the same finder!! - and I am delighted to learn that the dimmest setting isn't too bright!! I am now even more looking forward to some clear skies!!

Out of interest does anyone know what the field of view might be when using the circle reticle?? - or roughly how many degrees the whole finder screen might cover?

Cheers

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Just to confirm - clearish skies tonight over W Yorks - first serious trial of the Rigel RD 400 red dot finder - it is indeed a revelation!!! So much easier to find the spot!

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also I always struggled to get used to the inverted view my finderscope gave me so this helped matters considerably as well.. I guess its a case of different horses for different courses, but Iam certainly chuffed with the results - it actually, for me, made last nights observing all the more enjoyable.

Yeh totaly agree, I've been trying to find M51 tonight with no luck, and I put it down to the inverted view of the finder which confuses me and sends me all over the place. I've ordered a telrad which will arrive any day now but I think I will mount them both....I need as many finders as I can get!!!!

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