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Thread: Celestron 130 red light finder- basic newbie question!

  1. #1
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    Default Celestron 130 red light finder- basic newbie question!



    Just spent a frustrating night trying out my Celestron 130 telescope for pretty much the first time under clear sky without much joy. It didn't help that moon was not visible from my back garden or any of the planets so even when we found a star in the magnification lens we couldn't be sure it was the same one we were looking at in the zero magnification lens. However it was very difficult to find anything in the magnification lens anyway. It seemed to revolve around setting the red dots in the finder first but I trawled the internet and youtube for tips and couldn't find the answer to my questions. So anyway I have a couple of very basic questions and would be grateful if you assume I have the knowledge of a 5 year old in answering which may actually be optimistic!

    First question- have I got the basic principle right that stage one is looking in the finder lens (zero magnification) to locate something in the sky and then aligning the red dots (with both eyes open) to have the object you are looking at bullseyed in the centre of the lens with both dots in line? You would then expect to see the same object in the 20mm magnification lens?

    Second question- If I've got the first part right, from what I was doing it seems to me it simply isn't possible to have the red dots aligned from any angle- ie if I move my head to right or left or further back or forwards the object will just disappear from the finder anyway and the red dots will move as well so I don't understand where my head/eyes should be in order to say I have a bullseye.

    Also I understand the lower model 110 doesn't have the red dot finder so how would you find an object in the sky with that model- just to understand the principles that might allow me to skip the red dots!

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    Default Re: Celestron 130 red light finder- basic newbie question!

    Don't get discouraged.

    Align your finder scope with the OTA during the day.
    Aim at a distant pole or tree and get the tree in the eyepiece, then adjust the finder so the dots are on the same tree.
    With my RDF it makes no difference where my head is, so long as I have the dot on the target it will show in the eyepiece.
    Remember to focus the eyepiece at night, it will be different from the daytime tree.

    Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars are all visible with Neptune and Uranus later in evening.
    Dowload Stellarium, a free planetarium program that will show you what is in your night sky and where/when.

    Have fun and I hope this helps somewhat.
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    Default Re: Celestron 130 red light finder- basic newbie question!

    Hello Richard! Welcome to the forum and thanks for joining us!

    The purpose of using two eyes with the red dot finder (RDF) is so that one eye can watch the red dot, while the other eye can look past the finder at the sky. You do NOT have to do it this way, but you can if you like to. Closing one eye to focus on the red dot can work too. All about personal preference. You may, however, find things a bit easier with the two eye methodology.

    The red dot finder is mainly for targeting brighter stars near a target to get you close. This works quite well, and can even land you right onto a bright planet, the Moon, and brighter alignment stars (for GOTO mounts).

    Clinton's advice above about aligning the finder to the telescope during the day is excellent. Having the red dot aligned with the scope makes things much easier.

    Keep trying! This is a small part of the learning curve and once you get past this bit of a hurdle, things will begin clicking. You will get there.
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    Default Re: Celestron 130 red light finder- basic newbie question!

    Thanks for taking the trouble to reply but I'm still baffled sorry!

    The bit that is causing me trouble is the quote:

    "With my RDF it makes no difference where my head is, so long as I have the dot on the target it will show in the eyepiece."

    That's not the case with me so far anyway! ie) I have both red dots bang on the star in the centre of the finder but if I move my head/eyes just a little bit the star moves out of the finder. Even if I hope I have got it right with the angle and look through the eyepiece there's nothing there. Is there something I am missing on the alignment of the red dots? From what you are saying about aligning in the daytime am I actually supposed to be adjusting something physical on the telescope so that red dots stay in the centre of the finder anyway regardless of how I position the telescope. Am I supposed to be calibrating the telescope rather than finding an object and then moving the telescope up, down or sideways until red dots and star are centred?

    Thanks for the encouragement, I won't give up but I am heading towards Plan B which is to try and find someone who knows what they are talking about and offer them, pizza, beer and cash to run me through it for a couple of hours

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    Default Re: Celestron 130 red light finder- basic newbie question!

    This bloke rambles on a bit, but this is how to align a Celestron reflex sight to the telescope itself.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1c9TImkdJfA
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    Default Re: Celestron 130 red light finder- basic newbie question!

    Quote Originally Posted by Shorty Barlow View Post
    This bloke rambles on a bit, but this is how to align a Celestron reflex sight to the telescope itself.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1c9TImkdJfA
    Good post; I did not know there was a two-dot finder like that one. Looks like a PITA to me.
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    Default Re: Celestron 130 red light finder- basic newbie question!

    Quote Originally Posted by richardbajor View Post
    Thanks for taking the trouble to reply but I'm still baffled sorry!

    The bit that is causing me trouble is the quote:

    "With my RDF it makes no difference where my head is, so long as I have the dot on the target it will show in the eyepiece."

    That's not the case with me so far anyway! ie) I have both red dots bang on the star in the centre of the finder but if I move my head/eyes just a little bit the star moves out of the finder. Even if I hope I have got it right with the angle and look through the eyepiece there's nothing there. Is there something I am missing on the alignment of the red dots? From what you are saying about aligning in the daytime am I actually supposed to be adjusting something physical on the telescope so that red dots stay in the centre of the finder anyway regardless of how I position the telescope. Am I supposed to be calibrating the telescope rather than finding an object and then moving the telescope up, down or sideways until red dots and star are centred?

    Thanks for the encouragement, I won't give up but I am heading towards Plan B which is to try and find someone who knows what they are talking about and offer them, pizza, beer and cash to run me through it for a couple of hours
    The confusion seems to come from the fact that this is a new type of finder. Most of us have used RDFs with a single dot. This is the first I've seen of this finder, where you have to line up two dots. Looks annoying, frankly. It seems like it would be difficult to keep your head still to line up the dots. But you won't have to do it every time you observe, just to get an initial alignment.

    What you want to do is go out in the daytime. Locate with your eyes an object in the distance. Without looking through the scope, move the scope so that it is pointing toward the object. You can sight along the tube of the scope to get as close as you can. Use your lowest power EP. Look through the telescope, moving it slowly around until you see the object (This is all using the main scope, NOT the finder.)

    Using the slow motion controls, center the object in your view in the telescope (again, not the finder). The object can be anything, but try to choose one specific point on the object to center the scope on. Be as accurate as you can in getting the point as close to the center as possible.

    Don't move the scope anymore at this point. Now look through the finder until the dots and circles are aligned with one another. It seems like the circles are there to help you align the finder during the day, as those circles won't be visible in the dark, only the red dots. At this point, the object won't be centered; you are just trying to get the dots and circles aligned with one another. Once the circles and dots all line up, adjust the finder with the thumbscrews so that the circles and dots all center on the point of the object you initially centered the scope itself on.

    Now your finder and scope should be aligned. At night, point to a desired object. I suggest starting with the Moon. Look through the finder and move the scope (not the finder) until the red dots line up and are pointing at the part of the Moon you want to look at. That should now be visible in your scope. If it is not in the center, you may need to move the scope slightly using your slow motion controls. If it is way off, then your initial daytime alignment was not done correctly.
    Last edited by Voyageur; 10-11-2018 at 02:47 PM.
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  8. The Following User Says Thank You to Voyageur For This Useful Post:

    richardbajor (10-11-2018)

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    Default Re: Celestron 130 red light finder- basic newbie question!

    Thanks Voyageur- I feel much more confident that what you suggested will work- although knowing my luck they won't!

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    Default Re: Celestron 130 red light finder- basic newbie question!

    You’re welcome. Sorry for the double post. The second one was supposed to be an edited version of the first, but it showed up as a separate post. The second one is clearer.
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