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  1. #1
    Epoch's Avatar
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    Default Beginner needing help w/ equipment



    Hello everyone. I need help and hope everyone here can guide me to eventually find the answers I need. I have always liked Astronomy. I had a LX200 12" Classic which I only used visually. I was by no means an expert using it...just a beginner and did not have many of the proper accessories I should have had for it. Just kind of got the scope and that was it.

    HOWEVER recently, a relative of mine passed away and left me his awesome telescope setup which is compromised of the following:

    -Celestron CGE Pro 1400 - 14" OTA w/ CGE Pro mount/tripod mounted on a ScopeBuggy
    -Starlight Instruments 2" Feather-Touch focuser w/ their Boss II digital focuser control system to automatically focus the system based on temperature and such
    -AstroTech Laser dot finder along w/ stock finderscope from Celestron
    -AstroTech Quartz diagonal
    -A bunch of Televue eyepieces
    -AstroZap 14" Heated dew shield w/ power supply & bands to heat eyepieces and such
    -Celestron GPS SkySync module
    -Nexstar+ hand controller
    -Hotech ACT-M2 laser collimator (2" inch model)
    -Starlight XPress SXVR-M26C CCD Camera (10 megapixels)
    -Starlight Xpress SXV-AO-LF Active Optics/Adaptive Optics w/ OAG (off axis guider) assembly & a whole bunch of adapters
    -Starlight Xpress Loadstar Autoguider
    -Starizona SCT corrector/field flatter/.75 reducer
    -Some sort of light pollution filter (IDAS LPS-P2 48mm MBT & IGAD)

    This is most if not all of the equipment I was given by his wife who survives him.

    I got all of this for free so I know I have been blessed with this equipment.

    Now, I wish to continue doing visual work while advancing my knowledge further.

    ...PLUS...

    I wish to eventually do Astrophotography. Now, if you go to the following website:

    - Russell Archer's Astronomy Blog

    You will see that Russell Archer actually does Astrophotography on an LX200 which is mounted on a ScopeBuggy so I know it is possible to do AP with/on a ScopeBuggy.

    Question1: I need to be able to learn how to polar align this CGE Pro mount very well while still having it on the ScopeBuggy. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated on this since I have never dealt with a CGEM mount before.

    Question2: I need to know how to put all the AP equipment together so I can do Astrophotography. Again, any and all help on this subject would be greatly appreciated.

    -George

  2. #2
    jaetea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beginner needing help w/ equipment

    Hello and welcome to the forum and congrats on the new (to you) equipment. That is quite a list.

    Whether the scope is on the buggy or not, you'll still need to do a polar alignment to get the most out of your new setup. There are many fine articles on the web on how to polar align the CGE Pro. Just make sure the wheels are retracted/locked so the mount won't move anywhere. That would be bad!

    Putting together the AP gear is more intuitive than you think. Try it first, if it doesn't provide images, or you can't get focus then take a picture of the pieces parts assembled, post it here on the forum and we'll take it from there.

    Clear skies,
    JT
    Last edited by jaetea; 10-23-2014 at 12:32 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Beginner needing help w/ equipment

    You have some very nice equipment. My advice, with regards to question 2, is put it on the backburner for now. Not saying that it can't be done, but it's frustrating and difficult trying to learn AP at the same time you're trying to figure out a new scope/equipment. That's not even the hard part. You also have to learn the software used in AP and then there's the post processing learning curve!

    I think I saw a youtube video not too long ago about polar aligning a CGE Pro mount. I can check later when I'm on a pc and post a link. One thing, if you're going to view from the same location, mark the wheel locations to aid in faster alignment the next time you setup.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by JSKCKNIT; 10-23-2014 at 12:30 AM. Reason: add info
    Corey

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Beginner needing help w/ equipment

    Hello there. Thank you for the reply. Much appreciate it.

    Is there a best way to stabilize the ScopeBuggy so I can adequately do a polar alignment and prevent vibration?

    Thank you.

    -George

  5. #5
    Epoch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beginner needing help w/ equipment

    Wow! You guys are very helpful here. Thank you for the advice and help.

    I forgot to mention that I also got the Sky X and MaximDL with this whole setup.

    - George

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    Default Re: Beginner needing help w/ equipment

    Small bites enjoy like a fine meal. Mount first.
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    Default Re: Beginner needing help w/ equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Epoch View Post
    Hello there. Thank you for the reply. Much appreciate it.

    Is there a best way to stabilize the ScopeBuggy so I can adequately do a polar alignment and prevent vibration?

    Thank you.

    -George
    Hey George, that was quite an inheritance. Make the best of it - learn astronomy and help others appreciate it. =)

    With all that gear on the buggy, you shouldn't have much problem with vibration, just make sure you are on level ground. With pneumatic wheels, if you do have any problems, you are limited in what you can do, short of jacking it up onto blocks (not recommended).

    At the point where you are doing serious astrophotography you can revisit any vibration issues. In the meantime, I agree that your focus should be on getting to know how to get the most out of your gear for visual astronomy, including learning to consistently PA. Once you have that down, it will be easier for you to successfully do astrophotography, and figure out whether any problems (and there will be problems!) are more likely equipment problems or user error.

    I got my CGEM from a fellow in FL. If you decide you need to get rid of any of that excess gear... ;-)
    ~~Aaron
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