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My New Celestron NexStar

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#1 DawieZA

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 10:08 AM

Well after starting by posting in the beginner section I decided on a new Celestron NexStar 6SE as the telescope to revive my must loved hobby. Initially my two main criteria were GOTO and aperture but that soon changed to GOTO and portability (after much appreciated input from the community here). I placed the order for the telescope, battery pack and power cabling on Friday. I should be able to collect it from my local optics shop on Tuesday. I will post some photos of the scope when I get it and share my first light experience here.

So while I am waiting for the telescope I have questions about must have accessories. Looking at the other posts here it seems like a dew cap is one of those must have items but I am not sure if this will apply to the high altitude and dry climate of Johannesburg. Maybe someone can enlighten me? Then I am also thinking of adding a proper finder scope as I am not a big fan of the red dot finder. Looks like the Sky-Watcher and Orion right angle makes are the only ones available locally. Any other suggestions on accessories?

Dawie

#2 jhirsch

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 10:35 AM

Let me be the 1st to welcom you to this little corner of Cloudy Nights. There's a lot of smart folks here and are more than willing to pass along their knowledge. Congratulations on your purchase. You'll love it.

Along with a dew shield I would recommend an observing chair. It will make your time at the eyepiece much more enjoyable. As far as a finder scope I may be in the minority here but I really like using a Telrad. But before you spend the money on a new finder give the RDF a try. Maybe you'll like it.

Jerry

#3 Midnight Dan

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 10:47 AM

Hi DawieZA & welcome to the forum!

It's hard to say for sure if you'll need a dew shield in your environment, but nearly everyone finds that they do. In fact, for most people they need to go farther and use active dew control such as a dew heater and controller. You climate sounds like you could get away without that expense, but I think it's likely you'll need a dew shield. The dew shield also offers other advantages because it acts as protection against stray light, and stray fingers, getting onto the corrector.

The next must-have accessory is an external power supply. The Nexstar mounts only get a bout 2-3 hours of use out of a set of 8 AA batteries so it gets expensive to power it using the internal battery compartment. Most people use a 12V automotive jump start unit, which can be found at local auto parts store or big-box stores.

A good observing chair is worth it's weight in gold. Being comfortable allows you to spend more time observing an object, which translates into seeing more. You'll want something with 8-10" of height adjustment to accommodate the various eyepiece heights when going from horizon to zenith. Here's the one I use:
http://www.bhphotovi...sing_Stool_2...

For a finder scope, the Orion RACI is lightweight and works well. Another option is a GLP (green laser pointer) mounted to your scope. This lets you aim the scope using the visible laser beam so you don't have to bend over to view through a finder scope.

-Dan

#4 DawieZA

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:00 AM

Thanks Jerry and Dan. I will look into getting an observing chair and dew shield when I drop by the optics shop next week. Also FYI bought a PowerTank as well, so batteries should not be a problem. Two questions:

- How exactly does the green laser pointer work as a finder? (cannot wrap my head around that even though I have seen it on quite a few photos)
- Would I still be able to use my Baader Planetarium Hyperion 5mm Modular Eyepiece with this telescope or should I find a new home for it? (worked great with my old 6" giving a nice field of view)

Dawie

#5 Maverick199

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:14 AM

Welcome to CN and Nexstar forums. I have the Dewshield and it works well. If you are in those changing climes, get one. Focal reducer too works well.

#6 Skip

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:15 AM

Hi Dawie,

How exactly does the green laser pointer work as a finder? (cannot wrap my head around that even though I have seen it on quite a few photos)


Once you get the laser aligned with your scope optics and you turn it on, you will see the laser beam pointing up into the night sky. You just aim the end of the beam at your object, look into your EP, and viola! This of course assumes you know the location of your object ahead of time. So, strictly speaking, it isn't really a "finder", just an aiming device. But it every bit as good or better than any other zero mag "finder", and you don't have to bend your back or neck to use it.

Good luck and happy viewing!

#7 NorskeBob

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:34 AM

Welcome and congrats on your purchase:

What works for me:
GSO 8x50mm RACI
Celestron Power Tank
Celestron Dew Shield
StarDust Observing Chair

#8 jturie

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 12:03 PM

Welcome to CN and the Nexstar 6SE crowd! I too am not a fan of the red dot finder and am thinking of mounting either a 6X30 or an 8X50 and sticky-taping the red dot someplace else.

I have the Astrozap dewshield for the 6SE and highly recommend it. Beef up your seeing options by grabbing a low-priced Plossl and a decent barlow lens. I'm going to hold off buying those super-expensive eyepieces until I get a chance to see them thru other folks' scopes.

#9 CelestronDaddy

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 12:21 PM

Welcome and congratulations on a fine scope :grin: Tony

#10 Peter9

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:17 PM

Hi Dawie and welcome to the nextstar forum

Well done on getting the 6se, it is a fine scope.

I have a skywatcher 9x50 RACI alone with a GLP. (see pic) They meet all my aligning/pointing needs.

Enjoy your 6se.

Regards. Peter.

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#11 Midnight Dan

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:29 PM

Thanks Jerry and Dan. I will look into getting an observing chair and dew shield when I drop by the optics shop next week. Also FYI bought a PowerTank as well, so batteries should not be a problem. Two questions:

- How exactly does the green laser pointer work as a finder? (cannot wrap my head around that even though I have seen it on quite a few photos)
- Would I still be able to use my Baader Planetarium Hyperion 5mm Modular Eyepiece with this telescope or should I find a new home for it? (worked great with my old 6" giving a nice field of view)

Dawie


GLP: Like skip said, you just aim it at the sky and see where the beam ends. That's where the scope's pointing.

5mm Hyperion: Yes you can use it, but it will not be useful very often. Due to the long focal length of the 6SE, you will be getting a magnification of 300x with that eyepiece. Most nights, seeing conditions will not let you get clear images above 150-200x. But, on those few nights with good seeing, it will be an excellent EP for high mag views.

-Dan

#12 DawieZA

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:46 PM

Seems like I will have to take a shopping list to optics shop. ;) Maybe a focal reducer will give my 5mm eyepiece some more use? Thanks for the photo Peter, that scope looks good. Also I never knew you could see a green laser's beam. :rainbow:

#13 DawieZA

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:53 PM

Managed to collect my new NexStar from the shop today. Took one last photo with my Omni before it goes to a new home. Waiting for the PowerTank to fully charge before I start setting up the NexStar. Cannot wait. :cool:

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#14 TmaninTn

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 02:11 PM

I am a fan of the green laser pointer, as once you get it aligned with your scope properly you can actually see the green beam pointing towards the center of view in your eyepiece. I don't see the need for any other finder if the purpose is to assist you in aligning the scope.






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