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Well, I did it! Bought the Nexstar 8SE.

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#1 Tony from Tulsa

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 08:43 PM

Hey guys! I've been contemplating it for months now. Yesterday I took the drive to Astronomics with a good friend of mine (Who also bought an 8" Celestron on an equatorial mount).I got it all assembled and have been eagerly waiting on night to fall. Well, its here and so is the cloud cover! I guess I'll spend my time reading the manuals and pushing a few buttons. I can't wait to take it for its maiden voyage. You'll be hearing a lot from me asking for help, I'm sure.

#2 herrointment

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 08:52 PM

Jupiter is waiting!

#3 ourobouros2k2

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 09:23 PM

That is awesome Tony! I know you will love it! Can't escape the new scope curse though.

#4 Midnight Dan

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 10:26 PM

Congrats, Tony! And welcome to the asylum! :smarty:

One thing you can do while waiting for the skies to clear is line up the finder. You can do so during the day by aiming at a distant target like the top of a telephone pole. It's a LOT easier than trying to do it at night. You will probably still need a final adjustment when you get under the stars, but if you do it during the day at least it will start off pretty close.

-Dan

#5 ourobouros2k2

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 11:06 PM

I ended up having to shim between the scope and the bracket to get my red dot finder to play nice. I just clipped a 1/2" piece of black zip tie, wedged it in between the scope and the bracket (at the rear), and tightened back down the bracket screws.

Eventually I recommend that you upgrade to a Telrad. Makes it so much easier.

clear skies!

#6 Maverick199

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 12:57 AM

Congratulations! Keep sufficient power on hand like a Powertank or better still, an AC outlet.

#7 Tel

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 04:17 AM

Congrats, Tony! And welcome to the asylum! :smarty:

One thing you can do while waiting for the skies to clear is line up the finder. You can do so during the day by aiming at a distant target like the top of a telephone pole. It's a LOT easier than trying to do it at night. You will probably still need a final adjustment when you get under the stars, but if you do it during the day at least it will start off pretty close.

-Dan


Congratulations, Tony, on obtaining your new 'scope and welcome to this forum ! :bow: :bow:.

Just to add to the list of "things to do" while waiting for the clouds to roll by, you will also need to balance your tube on the mount and optimise the antibacklash settings: (both of which can be carried out in daylight and, as they say, "In the comfort of your own home") ! :lol:.

If you are unsure though, as to how either is accomplished, you only need to ask. We are all here to help each other.

(Balancing the tube, incidentally, is covered, courtesy of our good CN friend and colleague Art Dent, near the top of this forum's threads under the title of "Links and Best of the Celestron Nexstar Forum" sub-division "Useful Forum Threads". Lots too, of other useful information about your 'scope under the main title) ! :waytogo:

Best regards,
Tel

#8 Peter9

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 05:33 AM

Hi Tony and welcome to the Nexstar forum.

Much of the advice you need has been given above, so enjoy your new 8se.

Regards. Peter.

#9 Arthur Dent

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 10:37 AM

Welcome aboard Tony

Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Here's the thread on balancing the OTA as referred to by Tel (our resident NexStar Guru :bow:)

Balancing the OTA

The "Links and Best Of" thread has lots of useful information and is well-worth a trawl.

Any questions, just ask away.

Art

#10 BigC

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 11:21 AM

Tony,

Good choice!Enjoy!You should see terrific views of the Orion and adjacent objects as soon as the clouds clear.

Did you by chance also get the Celestron eyepiece set as I have ? With a total range of 6 to 32 mm (actually down to 3mm with the barlow) and filters it is enough to explore the limits of the scope.

I hope you got a dew shield,and perhaps a dew heater as well because dew stopped my first session with the 8SE.The stiff fabric dew shield extended viewing by easily an hour here even without a heater.

The mis-shipment of a Nexstar 8SE to me over two years ago inspired me to purchase my very own this fall.I wish now that I had simply bought the mis-shipped scope instead of returning it-would have had two more years of enjoyment!

An 8" scope is going to wow! you with great views of everything,Whether Dobsonian,SCT,ot EQ Newtonian ,8" scopes are a size which maximizes views while still being easily portable.I can carry an 8" Newton and mount in one go,not so with a 10";same thing with the Dobs:the 8" was a one-trip,the 10" demanded two trips.

And the 8SE,tripod and all is easily carried;haven't got my hands on a 10" SCT.

#11 THEPLOUGH

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 11:24 AM

You won't regret one minute of the $$$$$$$$ spent once you get a look through the eyepiece... :waytogo:

#12 engchris

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:59 PM

Congrats! You'll love the 8SE! It has provided me with many, many "WOW!" moments. There is a little bit of a learning curve with getting the alignment just right sometimes but once you get it down it works great. You will be blown away by the Orion Nebula, Jupiter, and the Double Cluster, as well as many others as soon as those clouds clear. If you have any problems you'll find tons of good advice here. I sure did.

#13 SubaruB4

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 09:06 PM

Enjoy!

#14 jhirsch

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 09:45 PM

Great news!!! :goodjob: You'll be amazed when compared to your "crapiscope". BTW. We will expecting a first light report.

#15 Tony from Tulsa

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 10:46 PM

Thanks guys! I got it into the backyard tonight. Had a little bit of trouble getting it aligned. It didn't like the moon, so I used Jupiter and two stars. Fourth try was the charm! A couple of questions: 1, how do you shift from solar system tracking to lunar tracking on the fly? And also, 2: I used my stock Celestron 25mm eyepiece to find and focus on Jupiter with fairly clear results. When I shifted to my AstroTech 12mm eyepiece, I just couldn't seem to get in into a very clear focus. It appeared a little fuzzy. I do not have a Barlow yet, would that help the magnification and clarity? Jupiter was plenty bright, but not very clear. The conditions outside were not the greatest. There was a lot of atmospheric turbulence. Any suggestions on getting better, clearer magnification? Other than that, a great time was had by all. Beautiful scope, and lots of potential once I know what I'm doing!

#16 chuck56

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 11:36 PM

Was the scope dewed up?

#17 Tel

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 04:24 AM

Hi Tony,

Your hand controller should be switched to Sidereal tracking by default: i.e. when you switch on and press the Menu button, you should see "Tracking" appear on the HC's screen. (If not, then press either the 6 or 9 buttons to scroll to it).

When "Tracking" is present on the screen, it is likely to be accompanied by the word "Mode" beneath it. If you then press "Enter" you will note "Off" appears. This only means that there is no tracking unless an alignment has been made.

Now press "Undo" and the screen will return to "Tracking" and "Mode". Press either the 6 or 9 buttons and this will change to "Tracking" and "Rate".

Press "Enter" and "Track Rate" and "Sidereal" will appear. This is the default rate. However, should you want to track the Moon or Solar System objects, press the 6 or 9 buttons once again to scroll to either "Track Rate Lunar" or "Track Rate Solar".

When you have made your selection, press "Enter" followed by enough presses of the "Undo" button to return you to the on screen "Nexstar Ready" etc.

Note however, that when using your 'scope for visual rather than imaging use, it is doubtful you will see any difference whichever rate you select: such difference, in my experience, being too subtle for the eye to recognise.

With this in mind therefore, I would recommend you ensure your 'scope is attuned to "Tracking Mode Alt./Az". and "Tracking Rate Sidereal" and stick with these settings.

As far as viewing Jupiter is concerned, Our good friend Mark Lewis, (mclewis1), has just taken up this topic with "jalesi" on the latter's thread here on this forum, entitled "6SE First Light". Take a look at what he has advised. I'm sure you will find it helpful.

Best regards,
Tel

#18 Tony from Tulsa

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 07:21 AM

Was the scope dewed up?

Not that I could see. I definitely need to order a dew shield.

#19 Tony from Tulsa

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 07:23 AM

Tel, thanks for the tracking advice. I had read the manual, but I guess I was afraid if I changed tracking to lunar, it would stop tracking until I realigned it. What made me think thatyou say? I have no idea, haha!

#20 Tel

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 07:54 AM

Hi Tony,

Conversely though, your 'scope won't start tracking until it's successfully aligned !

But, with regard to tracking, I think you'll be fine sticking to the default, sidereal setting; certainly when viewing the planets, although it is possible that a small improvement in tracking consistency might be perceived if, when viewing the more rapidly moving Moon, you switch to "Track Rate Lunar" should you intend to spend a longer than normal, (whatever that means ?), in observing it.

If you do choose to do this; don't forget to switch back to sidereal rate for all other general purpose viewing !

Best regards,
Tel

#21 ourobouros2k2

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:27 AM

FWIW, When aligning, I always do a 2 star selecting stars at opposite ends of the sky. My alignments were always troublesome with solar system align with exception of when I used the mount for my old solar scope.

My guess is that when you changed eyepieces, the atmosphere couldn't handle the extra mag, blurring out the image. Seeing here in Oklahoma sucks most of the time, so you really cherish the good nights. If the image looked like you were viewing it through moving water, then it was a bad seeing night. You can view factors such as seeing and transparency (and other factors) on a clear sky chart. They look intimidating at first but are easy to catch on to. These really help when trying to determine if the atmosphere in your area will handle high magnification without much distortion.

http://cleardarksky....lsaOKkey.html?1

explanation is posted beneath the chart so you will see that after a bit, it isn't that hard to read.


much luck,
Andy

#22 Tony from Tulsa

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 10:19 AM

Good advice guys. Thank you. Any thoughts on a Barlow? How much will it help with magnification and/or clarity?

#23 Tel

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 12:15 PM

Hi Tony,

I'm sure that not all others share my view, but I have mixed feelings about the use of Barlow lenses.

For pure observational purposes, I have several eyepieces covering the range I feel appropriate to the capabilities my Nexstar 8i, (the forerunner of the 8SE). These relate to focal lengths of 26mm, 21mm, 17mm, 15mm, 13mm and 10mm.

The 21mm, in particular, being a Baader Hyperion, is modular in its construction and thus can, with its forefront lens removed, be used as a 32mm.

EPs are however a personal choice so our colleagues here will have their own ideas as to what focal lengths suit them.

However, with this relatively extensive range of EPs, I feel little need to use a Barlow and in fact in avoiding the use of one, I do not introduce any more glass than necessary between eye and object.

On the other hand, astro-photography presents a totally different dimension where the use of Barlows is concerned, particularly when it comes to imaging the Moon or planets where very high magnifications may often be required but not at the expense of lesser light collection; the camera being a photon accumulating instrument, the eye, not.

As mentioned, this a purely personal view. Other opinions are bound to exist !

Best regards,
Tel

#24 Midnight Dan

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 12:36 PM

I agree with Tel regarding barlows. I have a couple, but rarely use them on the 8SE.

They do have a uses in other areas though. As Tel points out, when imaging some of the smaller targets like the ring nebula, a barlow comes in handy for astrophotography. In faster scopes with shorter focal lengths, a normal range of eyepiece focal lengths can't get you to the highest mags that the scope supports so you need a barlow to help out.

But with a focal length of 2000mm, a normal range of eyepieces fro 36mm to about 5mm covers all the magnifications you could use in an 8SE. I prefer to use less glass in optical train so I'd rather have the eyepieces than the barlow. But on the other hand, for those starting an eyepiece collection, a low mag eyepiece plus a barlow can certainly be less expensive and will hold you over till you have the money for the higher mag EPs.

-Dan

#25 hopskipson

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 04:06 PM

As far as your problem with higher magnification, was the scope at thermal equilibrium? If not it will have a similar effect as poor seeing.

James






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