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Setting up finderscope


Guest kiaratrak
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Guest kiaratrak

Hi everyone. I'm new to this with a cellestron nexstar 130 slt. Ive read the finderscope needs to be alligned and i understand how to do it. My question relates to how to look through it. The manual says both eyes open so one eye looks through the scope and the other looks at the object. How close should my head be to the scope? I presume it's with head tilted to the side i do this. It's probably a stupid question but i want to get it right because obviously the changing position of my head relates to the positioning of the red dot. Also would you recommend doing this in daylight or night? Thanks Kiara

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Hi Kiara,

Most red dot finders have a bright enough setting to use in daylight, and maybe yours has a dimmer control. Set it dimmer at night and brightest in the day. It is usually easier to align the finder in daylight or at dusk, but you need a fairly distant object like a church steeple or something at least a few hundred yards away. Your eye needs to be along the line of the scope looking straight through the finder maybe a few inches back from the finder, so your cheek will usually be quite close to the scope tube. Get the object ( steeple, chimney or a bright star at night ) positioned centrally in the telescope eyepiece first using your lowest power wide angle eyepiece. Takes a bit of fiddling until you're used to it. Then use the adjustment dials on the finder to position the dot on the same object and your aligned. Using both eyes is easier since one eye will see the object in the finder while the other sees a wider view. Then you are set to get your 2 star alignment done by finding and accurately positioning the scope on the relevant alignment stars.

Not sure about the tremors, but keeping well wrapped up and warm will stop you shivering. You need to be comfortable whilst observing.

Hope this helps.

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Thanks ill give that a try :) it wasn't shivering lol it was just the slightest touch of the eyepiece made the image wobble. ...

This is one of the reasons people upgrade to better tripods, mounts. A more solid, stable support will help reduce the problem. For now you just need to be careful and try to avoid nudging or shaking the scope, since in the eyepiece the movements are magnified by the power of the eyepiece.

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I've read somewhere else to tighten everything right up to try and keep it stable

If parts are loose then tighten, but don't over tighten anything. Smaller scopes can be more prone to vibrations especially at higher magnification. Get used to using low magnification first.

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Guest Tweedledum

Also try to minmise the tripod height. Hanging  a weight from the centre helps to stabilise it too... For weight read bag of spuds, naughty child, sibling if they are being no help.... :D


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Also try to minmise the tripod height. Hanging  a weight from the centre helps to stabilise it too... For weight read bag of spuds, naughty child, sibling if they are being no help.... :D

:rofl: Strictly textbook advice there.
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Guest kiaratrak

Well i didn't manage to align the scope today but we did get out once the cloud cleared for a couple of hours. Got a nice look at the moon. Totally lost the feeling in my feet until i came in to get the star map and they decided to cramp lol.

I actually don't think the tripod is the issue. There's easy play when you try to focus the eyepiece. Just touching the eyepiece causes it to move a fair bit. Although I'm sure the tripod could be improved also.

In principle the idea that the scope knows where it is after aligning sounds great but mine has never worked. I tested this tonight by asking it to find rigel and it was off. Perhaps I'm doing the alignment wrong?

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Guest kiaratrak

Thanks baz I'll check that out. Ron i need to check the alignment on the finderscope but it's good enough for me at the moment just getting started. The trouble i mention here is i follow the process of entering all the alignment data and choosing and centering three bright stars in the sky but then once supposedly aligned in the sky the scope fails to point to the right place for objects i should be able to see. Like i say i tested it last night by asking it to find rigel and it wasn't right.

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Guest kiaratrak

Ah baz i also read that thread the other day! Yes I'm going to have to try and fashion a pendulum weight. Oh my other half will be so pleased i have another project for him lol

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You can align the finderscope in daytime, find as distant an object as you can (usually a TV aeriel) Find it in the scope then adjust the finderscope onto the object. You can fine tune it before a night session if needed.. :)


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Just a thought. If you don't have the finderscope well aligned, then you might be centering the wrong alignment star in the telescope eyepiece whilst doing your goto setup. If so this would put all your gotos out.

So the finder needs accurate alignment before doing your 3 star goto alignment.

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Just a thought, check the date input, it may need to be the American version, (MM/DD/YY) this will cause you problems, also check daylight saving is off.


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Guest kiaratrak

Daylight saving is off. Ill check the date settings Thanks. Im confident that I'm getting the right stars but i will endeavour to align the scope to be sure. Itll have to be another day now though as I've run out of time. Thanks all

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