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  1. #21
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    Default Re: problems aligning NexStar



    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy892 View Post
    Dear SXINIAS
    Could you explain what you mean by a "gotos?" I'll look into a reticle eyepiece.
    Sandy
    GOTO refers to commanding the mount to point the telescope towards a specific object or location in the sky.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy892 View Post
    That sounds like useful advice. I have trouble reading the display on the hand controller as it writes over itself. Thank you!
    Sandy
    Hand controllers do not like the cold. Attach a chemical hand warmer (Hot Hands) to the back of the hand controller with a rubber band.
    - Rick
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  2. #22
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    Default Re: problems aligning NexStar

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy892 View Post
    Dear All
    I wondered if there was any general advice when there is an "alignment" failure. I was using the alignment procedure with 3 objects and 4 times it failed. I varied one of the stars also, without success. I have been able to successfully align in the past, so I don't think it is my Nexstar 8 SE. Also, it was about 29 degrees and I had trouble with the hand controller moving the scope -- is that to be expected?
    Thanks for any advice,
    Sandy
    Make certain you are entering the time, date, and location properly. Answer 'No' to Daylight Saving Time. Be certain of the alignment stars you are using.

    What mount do you have with the 8SE?
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  3. #23
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    Default Re: problems aligning NexStar

    A few pointers from a fellow nexstar owner:

    1. A lithium powerpack is essential in the cold. I use this one and have no complaints. Low voltage makes the mount act funny and the cold drains alkaline batteries.
    2. I have had the most success using the two star alignment method. If you can see Polaris from your observing location you only have to know the location of one other bright/recognizable star. Betelgeuse is my go to this time of year.
    3. The celestron GPS unit is pricey, but is a very nice luxury to have if you can afford it. I purchased mine shortly after forgetting to bring my phone/watch out observing with me. The unit provides date, time, and location information to the mount automatically.
    4. In the cold months I stick a hot hands toe warmer to the back of my remote to keep the LCD working properly.
    5. No doubt a reticle eyepiece will help you get more accurate alignments. The batteries in mine died last year and I haven't bothered to replace them. Most of the time I just defocus my alignment star and center in my 12.5MM eyepiece.

    Good luck with the scope and clear skies!
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  4. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Tim456 For This Useful Post:

    Gamewarden (01-09-2019),Sandy892 (02-22-2019)

  5. #24
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    Default Re: problems aligning NexStar

    Hello -- I am working my way through the Nexstar 8se manual and I find that the labels on the buttons of the hand controller do not correspond to the instructions in the manual on the "Object Catalog" (page17). I don't have a "list" key. I do have "stars" and "solar system" (obvious even to me), but how to I enter something like Messier 44 (the beehive)? Also, I see people talking about "goto" mounts. I don't know what that refers to. Thanks for the patient help.

    Sandy
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  7. #25
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    Default Re: problems aligning NexStar

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy892 View Post
    Hello -- I am working my way through the Nexstar 8se manual and I find that the labels on the buttons of the hand controller do not correspond to the instructions in the manual on the "Object Catalog" (page17). I don't have a "list" key. I do have "stars" and "solar system" (obvious even to me), but how to I enter something like Messier 44 (the beehive)? Also, I see people talking about "goto" mounts. I don't know what that refers to. Thanks for the patient help.

    Sandy
    I checked my manual and it seems you are right! It looks like an image of an old controller layout. To see Messier 44 (M44) you would hit the DeepSky button (#3). Then Select Messier from the list of catalogs and type 44, then Enter. Your scope will then "Go To" the object if it is above the horizon and within the ability of the scope to see it. If it is too high or too low the scope will not be able to "Go To" the object due to it's inability to go there (slewing parameters). You pretty much would need to wait.

    I just checked M44 and it should be about 58 degrees above the horizon tonight at 8pm, so the "Go To" should work. Assuming you are properly aligned.

    Good luck.
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    Default Re: problems aligning NexStar

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy892 View Post
    Also, I see people talking about "goto" mounts. I don't know what that refers to.
    A "goto" mount is a mount that can find and go to a specific object in the sky. Your SE is an example of a goto mount. A camera tripod is an example of a non-goto mount.
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  9. #27
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    Default Re: problems aligning NexStar

    Hello and thanks for all the useful help. I am now using the 2 star alignment method with the SE and it seemed to be more successful. Now that I know a few stars it is easier. However, I am having trouble focusing on stars when I use the "go to" to specific stars on the hand controller. Last night I focused all the way each way and never found a star (Polaris). I was using a 20 mm eye piece. Should I use the 25? Perhaps I should have focused on the moon first to get in the correct range?

    Also, I see people talk about how portable the SE is, but carrying it with the tripod is pretty heavy. Do most people carry the tripod separately from the scope? We are afraid of dropping the scope when putting it on the tripod. Any suggestions would be most welcome.

    Sandy
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  10. #28
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    Default Re: problems aligning NexStar

    A couple quick things from a fellow newcomer to Nexstar. Precise SkyAlign (or two star alignment) leads to precise GoTo results.

    My Astromania $37 illuminated 12.5 reticle eyepiece used along with my 32mm plossl EP (in your case that 25mm) are the keys to MY reasonable precision. I find a star in the red-dot scope, insert the 32mm and center that star and hit ENTER, then swap to the illuminated and re-center the star into the little central 'box' lit up and hit Align. Then on to the next two stars. Works like a charm and eliminates some of the guesswork of when the star is centered.

    Regarding your focusing issues - it is advisable to turn the focus knob VERY-VERY slowly. Turn the knob too quickly and it IS possible you could be shooting past clear focus without realizing it?

    That 8SE looks to be a phenomenal telescope by the way. For assembly I have been advised to rotate the mount so that the large knob used to tighten the scope rail is facing UP, not down like they show in the instructions. This gives you a flatter surface for the scope tube's rail as you snug it on to the mount arm.
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  11. #29
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    Default Re: problems aligning NexStar

    Hey, I'm a newbie of sorts myself, and I have the 102SLT. I was having a lot of problems using the sky align, but my success greatly improved when I started paying more attention to the little level that comes on the base of the SLTs. I know it is a simple thing, and I would guess that you know about it, but I didn't realize how important it was until I felt the frustration of repeated time-consuming alignment failures. Also, make sure you keep your software up to date. That can cause a lot of issues with these computerized scopes. Good luck!
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  12. #30
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    Default Re: problems aligning NexStar

    Leveling the scope is critically important when using the 2 star sky align. Actually the only time you can forego the scope level is if you ever do an alignment with a StarSense. 2 Star Sky Align uses 2 stars to achieve the alignment, while StarSense uses many more.
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