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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Operator error or bogus red dot?



    I brought my Meade 114EQ out for my first real bout of star gazing this evening. I started out by point my scope at the moon (as us beginners are wont to do) line up my little red dot with the bottom third of the terminator, take a peek in my eyepiece, and hey what do you know? There are craters and mountains and stuff up there!
    Thinking all is well I await real darkness to set in.
    Stars are popping out left and right, I look up, hey there's Vega! Dare I check out Epsilon Lyrae? You better believe I did, or rather I tried. I putz around a bit trying to get my scope pointed pretty much straight up (I think I need some practice with that bit) then take a peek through my trusty little red dot and... nothing. Even with the little LED turned off, only the brightest stars show up in the damn thing. It made for a rather frustrating evening. I managed to find M3, but that was blind luck.
    So my star gazing brethren, what's the deal? Piece of junk finder? Filthy lens(It seems alright in daylight though)? The operator is a flipping moron who shouldn't be trusted with a butter knife? Please, I crave enlightenment.

  2. #2
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    Default

    My first suggestion would be to try the finder during the day. Find a pole or tower or something, line the finder up, see if you see the same thing through the eyepiece.

    Second thing, was there any dew around, it might have collected on the front of the red dot.

    Third thing, the red dot might be dazzeling you. Try turning it down to its faintest setting and see if you can spot more stars

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  4. #3
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    Some red dot finders are not very good from what ive read so it might be the finder,, I have a 114mm reflector in the same catagory as yours and the std finder of plasic lens is a useful as a screen door in a submarine, I used to just get down on a knee and site down the tube as best I could and tighten the screws and then just do little movements each axis till I found what I thought was there, needless to say I was only able to find the brightest of objects.. I suggest a green laser pointer and mount that some how it will be easier to see

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  6. #4
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    Default

    Most red dots, but not all, have a coating on the front glass to allow the dot to reflect. This cuts down on light coming through. So it may be the red dot. Normally though a bright star will show through ok.
    I know the Baader sky surfer V doesnt suffer with this as I have one but its a very expensive red dot finder.
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  7. #5
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    Most Red dots are so darn simple that they are almost impossible to use incorrectly... and once aligned to your scope (best done in daylight on a tree , telephone pole or distant building etc ...

    HOWEVER you stated that you were looking almost straight up... !!! To use a Red Dot your eye MUST be directly behind it if you are standing kneeling or sitting off to the side of the red dot any looking thru it at a slight angle then that red dot will not be aligned with your telescope...

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  9. #6
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    Good advice above-- I suspect the red dot aligned with the moon-- was not actually aligned perfectly with the center of the eyepiece.

    It's really a 2 step process.... first align on the moon and or a terrestrial object during the day time-- this gets you "close" -- then pick a bright star -- a pinpoint light source and align it AGAIN -- this gets your red dot perfectly aligned with the view in the eyepiece.
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  10. #7
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    I think perhaps I was unclear as most of these replies seem concerned with alignment. When I look through the finder at night, even with the red dot off, I am no longer able to see stars.

  11. #8
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    All red dot finders are ZERO magnification-- can you see a BRIGHT star like Vega or Deneb or the moon through the clear glass on the red dot. It's for pointing only-- not for seeing dim objects less than what you would see just looking up. Since the glass is not multi-coated the dimmer stars might just disappear.
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    My experience with red dot finders is mixed. If the red dot finder does not have a way to vary the intensity of the red dot, then its usefulness is rather limited ... read worthless.

    Turn the intensity of the red dot down until it is barely visible and keep both eyes opened. This keeps the stars in the sky visible.

    You may want to think about a $30 telrad. It will make life much easier for you.

    Finding objects near the zenith is tough with any finder.
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