How accurate is the Celestron Nexstar SE6/8 Mount?
Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:47 AM
I understand this is more of an entry level GoTo type mount, maybe even for new astronomers who don't generally understand the skies or know whats out there, but there has to be some veterans out here who have owned this type of mount who can talk about the pointing accuracy of this mount.
Can the mount for example, put deep space objects in the field of view of your C8 consistently? Can you enter NGC or IC objects or other objects in the database by those catalog names, or enter coordinates in RA and Dec in the keypad, and it goes to those objects accurately and consistantly?
I'm asking because sometimes during my back yard observing, I cant always star hop to objects I want to find in the sky because my seeing conditions aren't always that good, but my C14 can still find objects i point to. I generally use my manual setting circles to find objects I cant star hop to, but sometimes, when using my long tube refractors, my mount is so high i have to get on a ladder to read the setting circles, and a simple mount like the Celestron Nexstar SE6/8 Mount set up with a lazer pointer and my TV-85 refractor on it could make finding objects in my back yard pretty easy.
Any comments on the pointing accuracy of this mount for those that have owned this type of mount?
Thanks for your time in responding.
...Ralph in Sacramento.
Posted 28 January 2013 - 04:38 AM
Posted 28 January 2013 - 07:10 AM
As you say, it is an entry level mount in terms of goto accuracy. When properly set up, a normal goto will usually put objects somewhere in the field of a 25mm EP with an 8SE scope. Don't expect dead center.
As others have said, Precise Goto does an excellent job. It finds a bright star nearby the target of interest and allows you to align on it first before the final slew to the target. I use this frequently when going for very difficult targets that I'm not sure if I will be able to see or not. It gives me the confidence to know that if I don't see it pretty close to dead center of the field, then it's not visible.
Posted 28 January 2013 - 07:45 AM
Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:09 AM
Yes, you can input RA/Dec coordinates - that's how I go to 90 percent of my doubles and variable stars. And yes you can also enter the NGC and IC numbers as well. The SE mount uses the standard Celestron hand paddle, so you can expect similar performance.
The SE mount is an alt/az, so you want to be careful picking alignment stars. Similar to a Dob, the accuracy is not as good when going to objects directly overhead.
Posted 28 January 2013 - 11:57 PM
I had a 5si for several years and it worked very well.
I can sometimes only see 5 or 6 stars from my home in the DFW nebula so if I am going to look at anything dimmer than Mars I have to have a go to mount. If you search there are several threads about aligning and using the mount. You will enjoy it if you learn it's quirks.
Posted 30 January 2013 - 08:04 AM
Posted 04 February 2013 - 05:22 AM
I'll do my best to quote some tips but they have it already explain very well.
NOTE: the following is just an example and some info my be wrong
Depending on how you balance your OTA you can change the setting for approaching stars and you want to be slightly front or back heavy. If front heavy you want to be moving the scope upwards when positioning alignment star and set the approach option in menu to this. Same can be done with azimuth. This example we will use right and up and our directions.
So you will always approach alignment stars with up and right on the controller. If you go past the star you cannot center with left or down so you will have to go back past the star and use up and right only till you center.
Another adjustment you can make is backlash in the gears and it helps with gotos and tracking.
I would definitly read their guides if you're considering a nexstar mount. They have helped me immensely.
As to your original questions I'm really pleased with mine. It's the only mount I've ever owned but with a good initial alignment its always been very accurate.