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Thread: This is totally working for me - az & alt

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up This is totally working for me - az & alt



    I thought I was going to be a star-hopper when I got my EQ mounted 114mm Celestron PowerSeeker, but I'm getting lost in my town's light pollution - I haven't found much.

    Then I got an 8" SkyWatcher and I wanted make the most of it. I got a UHC filter to deal with the pollution, but I still needed to find a better system of finding stuff, so... a couple of nights ago I followed a tip I read in one of these fine forums:

    1) I got a digital, magnetized angle reader from the local hardware store. This lets me set my scope's alt (for example: Digital Angle Finder / Angle Gauge ) - it is perfect and accurate and adds some weight for balance.

    2) I use my cell phone's compass to read the digital azimuth - I hold it up against the compass base to get a good alignment.

    3) I do a quick check of an astronomy app for the alt & az - look in the eyepiece, and presto - there it is! Hardly any scanning around to find it.

    I tried this first with the Andromeda Galaxy - a big fat target, just to learn the basics. It worked! There it is, straight over head.

    Then, just to make sure it wasn't a fluke - I lined up on the numbers for the Orion Nebula. Unfortunately, there was a big tree in the way. Defeated? No way! Look through the eyepiece, just to check - and presto: peering through a slim crack in the leaves and branches, there it was, in all it's glory.

    Okay - let's go for a challenge - Uranus! Will it work as advertised? Certainly did! I didn't have a high enough power eyepiece to resolve the disk (my new 6.4mm EP & Barlow is in the mail - two day delivery) - but I know I was looking at it because I checked the astronomy app and the pattern matched. This was a first. I've moved past Saturn!

    So - thanks to whoever posted the "get an inclinometer" tip. I also read about modifying my mount with a huge setting circle, but so far the compass on the cell phone is doing the trick - but I'll keep that hint in mind for a future project.

    You fine folks at AstronomyForum.net are taking my new hobby to a whole new level. Well done, peeps!

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    Default Re: This is totally working for me - az & alt

    Well done to you, too! Yeah, there's a lot of good advice here; so many willing to help.

    Enjoy!

    All the best,

    Mark

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    Mark
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    Skywatcher 10" Dob, SLT102, C80-HD, Vixen-made C80
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    1961 Tasco 12TE 60mm, Tasco 11TE-5 4.5", Tasco 3T 3". And a Canon T3 (1100D)

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    Default Re: This is totally working for me - az & alt

    Good to here that it is working for you Enjoy the skies!
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    Refractors: Antares 105 f/15, Celestron 150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNG 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, UR 70 f/10, Vixen SD115s f/7.7
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    / camera. - Gabrielle

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    Default Re: This is totally working for me - az & alt

    Hi Moffjarjar. I am happy that you are getting a handle on the night skies with your 8" SkyWatcher scope and accessories now. You should be having lots of fun with this equipment going forward. Thanks for your update report Moffjarjar, and the best of wishes for many clear skies now.
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    - Marshall

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    Default Re: This is totally working for me - az & alt

    Wow that's pretty dang good if you nailed Uranus!
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    Default Re: This is totally working for me - az & alt

    How about using some of the free phone apps? I use a surface level app to set up the tripod, why not an app to set the inclination and have one less item to carry along?

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    Default Re: This is totally working for me - az & alt

    That could totally work. Personally, I just don't want to switch between apps too much: I invariably switch to the home screen and get an eyeful of white light. I wish the iPhone had a master "red light" night vision setting: it would be so much more useful. As it is now - I just use the compass, which is a pretty dark app, and avoid the brighter home screen.

    But I hear you - mobile apps have way more power than those "push to" computers used on so many telescopes. Might as well use that expensive computer in your phone that can do it all!

 

 

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