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Just purchased first SCT, NexStar 6SE

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#1 Philip Levine

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 01:31 PM

This will be my first Schmidt-Cassegrain scope, I wanted something more portable than my 10" dob mounted reflector.
Bought it used on eBay, with the Celestron case of eyepieces and filters. Hoping to pick it up tomorrow locally, and don't know what to expect performance-wise from this scope. Guess I will become a regular on this forum.

#2 Midnight Dan

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 06:38 PM

Hi Philip:

Congratulations on your purchase! The 6SE is a very nice, and very portable scope. You should enjoy it! It certainly won't show you what your 10" dob can, but it will be a lot better than your vast array of binoculars! (That's a LOT of binoculars! :grin:)

-Dan

#3 Skip

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 11:22 AM

Hi Philip,

WELCOME to our forum and congrats on the 6SE purchase!! :bow: :bow:

As you can see from my sig line, I have one (have had it for nearly six years) and it is a great little scope. Very small learning curve that any of the gang here will be more than happy to help you with. :)

As for the Celestron eyepiece/filter case, you will mostly likely find that the more powerful EPs in it won't be of much use on the 6SE. The strongest EP in my livery is a 6mm and I so seldom can use it that I almost never even attempt it. Atmospheric seeing is the culprit. I can sometimes use the 8mm on my Hyperion zoom, but even that is a bit rare. My most used EP on the 6SE is my Hyperion 13mm, with my Hyp (or Celestron) 24mm running a close second. The Hyperion zoom is a great zoom EP, but on the 6SE it is a bit clumsy. The size of it interferes with tightening the screw that holds it in the star diagonal. It gets the most use on my 10" dob. :smirk:

Again welcome and come back often. :grin:

#4 Maverick199

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 11:40 AM

Congratulations on your purchase. The 6se is said to be the 'Goldilocks' of the scopes. Hope you checked everything before buying.

#5 orion61

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 04:27 PM

One great thing you can do is use the 6 to find obects and have the dob set up next to it so you can dial in with the big scope.. but you will be suprised what you can see with the 6, just a lot smaller scale..
enjoy.. I have one too..

#6 Philip Levine

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 08:08 PM

Hi All,
I had the 6SE out for a short time last night.
After reading the different threads and resources on this forum (thanks guys)
- I made sure the tripod was level, centered the scope on the mount; and did a successful 2 star alignment right off the bat.
- ordered a 12v battery to scope cable from ScopeStuff
- ordered collimation screws from Bob's Knobs
I'm familiar with collimation of reflectors, but not SCT's.
The seeing was not the greatest last night, and star images as viewed through the scope looked a little dim, but symmetrical. I viewed the SCT collimation section on "Uncle" Rod Mollise's web site, but didn't want to attempt any adjustment via the original equipment secondary screws - being sure my screwdriver would slip out and scratch the corrector plate. Bob's Knobs are on the way.
So, I have one question on SCT's and collimaton, if the scope is uncollimated, can the view appear dim, or unsymmetrical, or some combination of both?
thanks,
Phil

#7 JustPlainBill

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:45 PM

Don't mess with the collimation screws until you are absolutely sure it needs to be collimated. Just keep the knobs safely tucked away until such time as that, I have the same idea in mind myself. It isn't uncommon for factory collimation to hold and be sufficient for quite some time (assuming factory collimation was good from the beginning).

The first thing I'd suggest is looking to the diagonal. The reflectivity isn't all that great. Personally, I'm looking at the Astro-Tech AT1D. I believe Astronomics has it for $70 or so, and you get the cloudynights discount. It has a 99% dielectric coating and 1/10th wave accuracy, so the image should brighten up a bit.

Some would argue for a 2" diagonal, but I'm not too sure on that. Just speaking for myself, I have no 2" eyepieces and can't really afford them. I'm not going to debate whether or not the 2" EPs would perform well on the 6se, given its baffle size.

#8 Skip

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 01:34 PM

It isn't uncommon for factory collimation to hold and be sufficient for quite some time (assuming factory collimation was good from the beginning).


I agree. As I mentioned I've had my 6SE for almost six years. It was well collimated from the factory and I haven't touched it since! Still holding coolimation - and I've hauled it all over the place.

#9 Midnight Dan

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 01:47 PM

I'm familiar with collimation of reflectors, but not SCT's.


Unlike reflectors, SCTs rarely need collimation. I collimated my 8SE about 6 months after I got it. Then I got a set of Bob's knobs figuring I'd install them next time it needed collimation. Been a couple of years now and Bob' Knobs are still sitting in a drawer.

I'd check the collimation using a star test. If you're familiar with reflectors you should know how to do this already. If it's not off, don't mess with it. If it needs collimation, I'd recommend going ahead and doing it with a screwdriver first time. You should only need a small adjustment. Just be sure and leave the screws very tight when you're done. My guess is it will be a very long time after that till you need another adjustment.

Couple of potential issues with Bob's Knobs. First is that you have to fully remove the original screws and replace them with the thumbscrews. This can throw the collimation way off if you're not careful and it can take some time to get it back perfectly. Another issue that I've heard people report on, is that it seems like once you have Bob's Knobs installed many people find they have to collimate more frequently. Not sure if this might be because they don't tighten them as much as you would with a screwdriver or what.

But these are just potential issues. I have no personal experience (yet) and am just repeating what I've read in some of the forums. I think most people who have installed them have no problems, and love them.

-Dan

#10 TonyDralle

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 10:19 AM

First is that you have to fully remove the original screws and replace them with the thumbscrews.


When replacing the original screws with Bob's knobs, be sure to replace the screws one at a time. It might seem obvious, but bears mentioning, that you should replace each original screw with a Bob's knob before moving on to the next one.

It's also a good idea to re-collimate the scope as each new Bob's knob is installed.

- Tony

#11 jacklbartlett

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 11:04 AM

I agree. As I mentioned I've had my 6SE for almost six years. It was well collimated from the factory and I haven't touched it since! Still holding coolimation - and I've hauled it all over the place.


I've had my 6SE for over a year and carried it over 1100 miles in the trunk of my car. Still holding colimation.

#12 Philip Levine

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 07:58 PM

Thanks All, for the advice, I'll go slow installing Bob's Knobs, until I absolutely need to recollimate. Definitely know about replacing one screw at a time, don't need any "kerplunk" on the main mirror.

My next purchase to consider is the star diagonal (guess we just love to tinker). My aging eyes can use every photon I can grab, and sounds like a 2" eyepiece will provide a wider fov. I've been reading the threads, a SCT 2" dielectic coated diagonal with 99% reflectivity seems to be the way to go.
I'd love to hear any feedback from 6SE owners on which 2" star diagonal they are happy with.
thanks for any feedback.
Phil

#13 katie

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 09:55 AM

I agree. As I mentioned I've had my 6SE for almost six years. It was well collimated from the factory and I haven't touched it since! Still holding coolimation - and I've hauled it all over the place.


I've had my 6SE for over a year and carried it over 1100 miles in the trunk of my car. Still holding colimation.


Add my 6se travel scope to that list. We keep it in the Motorhome and it has been bounced across the country four times. First outing of each year, take it out, check the collimation. To date have not needed to do anything. It is, as someone else stated, the Goldilocks of scopes.






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