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An hour with my ETX90

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#1 Jerry-rigged

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:04 AM

So last night was nice and clear, and just a bit cool - Scope time! Decided to use the ETX for the first time since probably November (big dob gets most all my sky time).

Get scope out,
Get eyepices,
Get tripod
get power supply
play with power supply, extra wires, voltmeters
set up tripod
move tripod
level tripod
mount scope
level scope
power scope up - Yea! the battery works!
enter time, date, bla bla bla...
two star align, pick Betelgeuse
mount goes RR-,stops, all lights go out.
curse jerry-rigged battery while getting 110v power supply and extension cord.
re-north and level.
time, date, bla bla bla.
two star align, pick Betelgeuse
Scope says RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR - only moves a bit - D'oh! forgot to lock clutches...
re-north and level.
time, date, bla bla bla.
two star align, pick Betelgeuse
Scope Moves!!! :D :D
Scope does not find Betelgeuse. :(
Spend several minutes trying to look thru tiny finder while ETX is pointed mostly up.
Finally find Betelgeuse.
Hit enter twice instead of once. (which clears the alignment, GRRRR)
Repeat last few steps.
only hit enter once on Betelgeuse this time.
find 2nd star, repeat most of my errors on Betelgeuse.
Finally get scope alignment successful! :D :D :D
(elapse time so far, 45 minutes)
"Scope, Go-To Jupiter"
Scope find Jupiter, right at edge of FOV in 32mm plossl.
Jupiter mushy at 100x :confused:
"scope Go-To M42"
Scope finds M42.
:)
Scope, Go-To M31
Scope points at tree.
:(
"Scope, Sky-Tour"
Scope says "No Sky Tour Found"
:( :(
About this time, I notice dew on the corrector. (nope, no dew shield)(guess that probably explains the mushy Jupiter views too)
Elapse time viewing - 15 minutes. :tonofbricks:
Spend the whole brake-down-put-up time thinking that if I had grabbed my dob, I would have had 15 minutes set up with 45 minutes viewing... :tonofbricks:

#2 Hitech

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 03:14 PM

Sounds like mostly operator errors that consumed your viewing time. Those scopes have a learning curve to them and once you get the hang of them, viewing time happens sooner, rather than later.

#3 jgraham

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 02:22 PM

The trick to getting things up and funning fast is to make sure everthing is set up properly and then do a two- or three-star alignment. At the end of the night use the Park function before turning your scope off. From this point on you should never have to do a full alignment. Just set the scope up in the home position, turn it on, enter the time and date, GoTo a bright star and synch the mount. I haven't done a full alignment with any of my Autostar mounts in years.

#4 rmollise

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 05:35 PM

You don't get out with your scope much, do you? ;)

Get out there with the little guy every clear night and things will be much, much easier.

#5 Jerry-rigged

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 03:27 PM

Yup, I pretty much agree with all of you. If I used the scope more, most of these issues would go away. I have this habit of grabbing my dob, however... :o

About the "Park" command - I take the scope off the tripod between uses (scope goes to my bedroom, tripod to garage), and so far, I don't have any one place I use my scope - depending on what part of the sky I want to see, I may set up in 3-4 different parts of my yard (lots-o-trees). Could I still use the Park? or does it require setting the scope up in more or less the exact place every time? I do have a friend that uses the Park command on his scope, but he has a concrete pad with scope 'feet' markers, and a "north-level/home/park" dot on his garage. I was assuming I needed all that to make the Park work? :question:

#6 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 12:16 AM

Yup, I pretty much agree with all of you. If I used the scope more, most of these issues would go away. I have this habit of grabbing my dob, however... :o

About the "Park" command - I take the scope off the tripod between uses (scope goes to my bedroom, tripod to garage), and so far, I don't have any one place I use my scope - depending on what part of the sky I want to see, I may set up in 3-4 different parts of my yard (lots-o-trees). Could I still use the Park? or does it require setting the scope up in more or less the exact place every time? I do have a friend that uses the Park command on his scope, but he has a concrete pad with scope 'feet' markers, and a "north-level/home/park" dot on his garage. I was assuming I needed all that to make the Park work? :question:


If you move or disassemble the scope, you shouldn't try to use park.






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