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8SE StarPointer Alignment Problem, new question.

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#1 CoreyS

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:31 PM

Hello, I just got my 8SE today and assembled it, took it outside to check it out in the daytime and align the StarPoiner and got it aligned horizontally but vertically the dot is too high but set at it's lowest setting, is this a known problem? if not what can I do to fix the problem? I just spent $2000 for this scope and accessories and can't afford a better aiming system as of yet so any help would be appreciated.

Thank you.
Corey

#2 WarmWeatherGuy

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 02:47 AM

There are screws that attach the finder to the scope. If you loosen them you can move the finder in the right direction before re-tightening them. Then possibly the range of normal adjustment will reach proper alignment.

#3 Tel

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 03:46 AM

Hi CoreyS,

A very warm welcome to CN and to this forum in particular ! :bow::bow:

Just to add that if the above still doesn't achieve the correct height for your Star-Pointer, you may have to use an improvised shim under its mounting bracket which I know some of our collleagues here have had to do.

Best regards,
Tel

#4 CoreyS

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 04:08 AM

There are screws that attach the finder to the scope. If you loosen them you can move the finder in the right direction before re-tightening them. Then possibly the range of normal adjustment will reach proper alignment.

Are you talking about the screws that hold the StarPointer to the mount or the screws that hold the mount to the scope?

#5 CoreyS

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 04:12 AM

Hi CoreyS,

A very warm welcome to CN and to this forum in particular ! :bow::bow:

Just to add that if the above still doesn't achieve the correct height for your Star-Pointer, you may have to use an improvised shim under its mounting bracket which I know some of our collleagues here have had to do.

Best regards,
Tel


Thank you for the welcome, I was debating on the shim idea but being a new scope and new to all this I didn't want to start turning screws until I knew forsure that I won't wreck something (knowing my luck I loosen a screw and the mirror goes out of alignment cause it was a dual purpose screw, lol.)

#6 Tel

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:38 AM

Hi GoreyS,

Have no fear ! The primary mirror will remain solidly where it is and won't be moved out of alignment. :waytogo:

Under all normal circumstances, any adjustment to the optical alignment of your 'scope's primary and secondary mirrors is made only via the three small collimation screws on the fore-end secondary.

Best regards,
Tel

#7 Tel

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:49 AM

There are screws that attach the finder to the scope. If you loosen them you can move the finder in the right direction before re-tightening them. Then possibly the range of normal adjustment will reach proper alignment.

Are you talking about the screws that hold the StarPointer to the mount or the screws that hold the mount to the scope?


Hi CoreyS,

It doesn't matter where you shim, (if shimming is necessary), so long as you achieve alignment of the StarPointer with the main 'scope tube.

Personally, I'd be inclined to shim between the Star Pointer's main mount and the 'scope tube to produce the desired degree of "tip" required. A little fiddly, but a thin sliver of cardboard should do the trick.

Best regards,
Tel

#8 hopskipson

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 07:04 AM

Sometimes I find if I mount the pointer in the dark it doesn't seat properly. If I then loosen the screws and re-seat it I'm able to align properly

#9 ben2112

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 07:54 AM

Sometimes I find if I mount the pointer in the dark it doesn't seat properly. If I then loosen the screws and re-seat it I'm able to align properly


+1

I put my Star Pointer on and it wouldn't align properly. While turning the bottom adjustment screw, the whole thing went pop and got loose. I moved it forward some, tightened down the screws where it mounts. BAM!! I was able to adjust it and it was spot on. From that experience, it has to sit almost perfectly.

#10 Doug Michel

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 12:37 PM

You will almost certinally need to shim to get the pointer to aim low enough, you cannot adjust the alignment knobs enough I found, target was always above. Luckily my pointer got broken and I was forced to replace and went with the TELRAD which is an easier pointer to use anyway.

#11 CoreyS

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 10:10 PM

ok, so I shimmed the StarPointer and finally got it aligned so tonight I finally got to have some fun viewing the sky, It was cloudy and cold out I started with the 32mm that came with the scope and looked around and low and behold a very bright object in the sky and I said to myself Jupitor wants to play peak-a-boo with the clouds so I aligned the scope and there it was but small like a little star. I grabbed my Barlow 2x lense and used it with my 32mm eyepiece and took another look ok, it's a little bigger but still no detail, I grabbed my 17mm eyepiece and put that in, ok now it's bigger but still mostly looks like a star with two very faint red stripes and looking a little shakey, I figured Id try to go even bigger with my 8mm eyepiece now it's really shakey but deffinitaly bigger now but still white with the red stripes it was very hard to keep in the viewfinder (I didn't do an alignment cause it was cloudy and I didn't know if there was a way to align it with just Jupiter.) so I followed it for the most part but with the telescope shaking so much I didn't get as good of view as I would like but it was still breath taking for a first good look.
So couple new questions

first, how do I stabalize the scope to reduce or stop the shaking? I didn't feel any shaking on the deck and the telescope visually didn't even look like it was shaking or feel like it was shaking, but through the eyepiece it was shaking.

second, how do I focus it to the point to see it like a planet than a bright star with red stripes?

third, is there a way to align it without knowing whats up there for star names and with so few stars to choose from.

Thank you for all your help with these questions and I look forward to sharing more exciting first big experiences with you guys.

#12 WarmWeatherGuy

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 10:19 PM


first, how do I stabalize the scope to reduce or stop the shaking? I didn't feel any shaking on the deck and the telescope visually didn't even look like it was shaking or feel like it was shaking, but through the eyepiece it was shaking.

second, how do I focus it to the point to see it like a planet than a bright star with red stripes?

third, is there a way to align it without knowing whats up there for star names and with so few stars to choose from.


With high power the slightest movement shows up in the eyepiece. You will learn how to keep your hands off of the telescope while viewing and live with the vibration when it is very windy.

You will get better views of Jupiter when you have better seeing conditions. You won't see much in the way of colors though. Even the Great Red Spot (GRS) looks fairly monochrome unless you start doing astrophotography.

You can use "Solar System Align" to be able to have the telescope track Jupiter when that is all you can see due to the clouds. In this mode you would select Jupiter, center Jupiter, and then the telescope would start tracking.

#13 Tel

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 06:59 AM

Hi CoreyS,

Assuming wooden decking from which you are viewing, this is notorious for producing vibration in practically any 'scope set-up and particularly, as Warmweatherguy emphasised, when using high magnification eyepieces (EPs).

Much better is to pitch your 'scope tripod on a soft, vibration absorbing surface such as grass or, failing that, solid concrete where your movement around the 'scope is unlikely to transmit footstep vibration.

Patios, made up of individual slabs however, are not a good place on which to absorb vibration as the slabs may rock slightly under your weight.

Note too that for those more solid surfaces, such as the aforementioned concrete, Celestron anti-vibration pads will also help to dampen vibration: not so on grass though.

By the way, an 8mm EP should only be used with these 8" 'scopes under the most favourable of seeing conditions. Ten to one, if you were to move, say to a 12mm EP, you would indeed have a smaller image than the 8mm presents but it will inevitably be significantly sharper and thus give you bettter resolution of the cloud bands under the less than ideal weather conditions you currently seem to be experiencing.

Hoping this helps,
Best regards,
Tel

Footnote. I would also advise that you undertake one of the many alignment options available to you before you begin to observe. EP swapping, their subsequent focusing while at the same time trying to track the desired object manually, is not conducive of relaxed viewing.

#14 CoreyS

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 10:23 AM



first, how do I stabalize the scope to reduce or stop the shaking? I didn't feel any shaking on the deck and the telescope visually didn't even look like it was shaking or feel like it was shaking, but through the eyepiece it was shaking.

second, how do I focus it to the point to see it like a planet than a bright star with red stripes?

third, is there a way to align it without knowing whats up there for star names and with so few stars to choose from.


With high power the slightest movement shows up in the eyepiece. You will learn how to keep your hands off of the telescope while viewing and live with the vibration when it is very windy.

You will get better views of Jupiter when you have better seeing conditions. You won't see much in the way of colors though. Even the Great Red Spot (GRS) looks fairly monochrome unless you start doing astrophotography.

You can use "Solar System Align" to be able to have the telescope track Jupiter when that is all you can see due to the clouds. In this mode you would select Jupiter, center Jupiter, and then the telescope would start tracking.


I try to keep my hands off the scope when viewing but find I'm always fiddling trying to find that perfect focus.

I do have a neximage 5 that when it gets warmer I want to use to try my hand at astrophotography, but I have to learn my scope first and how to utilize my eyepieces and filers (I haven't even started using any of my eye filters yet.) for achieving the best images.

Thank you, I figured there had to be a way to track it, now if I can figure out which setting to use when I don't know any stars yet, lol.

#15 CoreyS

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 10:34 AM

Hi CoreyS,

Assuming wooden decking from which you are viewing, this is notorious for producing vibration in practically any 'scope set-up and particularly, as Warmweatherguy emphasised, when using high magnification eyepieces (EPs).

Much better is to pitch your 'scope tripod on a soft, vibration absorbing surface such as grass or, failing that, solid concrete where your movement around the 'scope is unlikely to transmit footstep vibration.

Patios, made up of individual slabs however, are not a good place on which to absorb vibration as the slabs may rock slightly under your weight.

Note too that for those more solid surfaces, such as the aforementioned concrete, Celestron anti-vibration pads will also help to dampen vibration: not so on grass though.

By the way, an 8mm EP should only be used with these 8" 'scopes under the most favourable of seeing conditions. Ten to one, if you were to move, say to a 12mm EP, you would indeed have a smaller image than the 8mm presents but it will inevitably be significantly sharper and thus give you bettter resolution of the cloud bands under the less than ideal weather conditions you currently seem to be experiencing.

Hoping this helps,
Best regards,
Tel

Footnote. I would also advise that you undertake one of the many alignment options available to you before you begin to observe. EP swapping, their subsequent focusing while at the same time trying to track the desired object manually, is not conducive of relaxed viewing.


The next best thing for me (at the moment would be my cement pad then cause at the moment my grass has 3' of snow on top of it, lol.

I do plan on getting a set of anti-vibration pads to help out a bit with that.

I am planning on getting a 4x magnification zoom lense and a variable (32mm-8mm) eyepiece to hopefully get better views. So if the 8mm is for the most favorable sky conditions then when would I use my 6mm eyepiece?

I learned that the hard way last night, even though it looks stationary that planet is boogying across the sky and by the time my eyepieces are swapped I gotta find it again (I learned a few tricks to help me keep it in the middle but it was definately a challenge to me moving the scope manually and focusing as well.

#16 WarmWeatherGuy

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 10:44 AM

I try to keep my hands off the scope when viewing but find I'm always fiddling trying to find that perfect focus.

Thank you, I figured there had to be a way to track it, now if I can figure out which setting to use when I don't know any stars yet, lol.


Here are a couple of videos that might help you:

How to focus a wobbly telescope

Aligning the NexStar telescope with Auto 2 Star method

#17 ben2112

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 10:48 AM

A little off topic..

Question - Is it because of his location and the angle of his viewing that he has to use a higher power eyepiece to see Jupiter? Jupiter is almost at zenith for me and I can see the bands when I am using the 25mm eyepiece that came with my 8SE. When I use my 17mm, it is that much bigger. Just wondering and still learning.

#18 Bob Griffiths

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 12:45 PM

I see not reason at this point in buying a Zoom eyepiece and the largest spread that I have even seen is a 8-24...

Anyway.. to cut down on the shakes...
1.Just tighten every darn bolt on your tripod..
2. keep the tripod as low as you can comfortably use it..3.
3. Hang that power tank from the spreader bar on the tripod...

A Motofocus definitely will eliminate most of the shakes because you never have to touch the scope at all...

Jupiter is on the large size and it sure will appear bigger then a star which at best is a single small little point of light...

the highest power eyepiece I even carry in my case that I use with my 8 inch scope is an 8.5 mm and Baby it sure does not see a lot of use on anything but the moon .. and on some nights it still provides more magnification then I can effectively use even on the moon...

BTW... I'm willing to bet most of the regular posters on ANY forum will tell you that magnification is not the name of the game and in most of us view at under 100x most of the time..

Bob G.

#19 Tel

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 02:44 PM

Hi CoreyS,

According to specification, your 8SE is reported to have a useful magnification of ~X480 which would require a 4mm EP to attain, but in practice, the chances of your 'scope ever performing at this level are almost zero.

Most seeing conditions; even the very good ones will prevent the use of such a short focal length EP. The best you can hope for is perhaps the use of a 6mm and then only on that one special night which seems to come around with regularity once every ten years !

No, for serious viewing, and again only on nights of good seeing, 8mm would likely be the limit and then probably restrict you to lunar viewing where there is more than enough light available to support it.

For planetary viewing and again in accordance with the quality of the prevailing atmosphere, a good rule of thumb is to use that EP within your collection, which gives you the sharpest image. If that should be only, say, with a 12mm, (which will yield a magnification of ~X170), clearly there is no point in pushing this any higher. True, you will see a larger image through use of a shorter focal length, higher magnification EP such as a 6mm or 4mm, but it will a lot dimmer and will lack resolution.

The 6mm can however be useful for 'scope collimation by star testing: the means by which the optical alignment of the primary and secondary mirrors of your 'scope are reviewed and if necessary, adjusted. It should therefore be retained for this specific application.

Finally and I'm sure you'd agree, it cannot be over emphasised that to get the best from your 'scope, it will need to be tuned to give its optimum performance. To this end you might be interested in the attached thread. Look at the 19th post on the thread and it should tell you how to achieve this.

http://www.cloudynig...5417848/page...

Hoping this helps you a little further,

Best regards,
Tel

#20 CoreyS

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 03:04 PM

I try to keep my hands off the scope when viewing but find I'm always fiddling trying to find that perfect focus.

Thank you, I figured there had to be a way to track it, now if I can figure out which setting to use when I don't know any stars yet, lol.


Here are a couple of videos that might help you:

How to focus a wobbly telescope

Aligning the NexStar telescope with Auto 2 Star method


Thank you for the links I will check them out

#21 CoreyS

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 03:22 PM

A little off topic..

Question - Is it because of his location and the angle of his viewing that he has to use a higher power eyepiece to see Jupiter? Jupiter is almost at zenith for me and I can see the bands when I am using the 25mm eyepiece that came with my 8SE. When I use my 17mm, it is that much bigger. Just wondering and still learning.


well the telescope is close to 70 degrees up to view it. the bands are two red stripes in my telescope that are barely visible (looks like a glorified star than a planet) it is a little bigger with the 17 mm for me (and all that is while using a Barlow 2x magnifier with the lense)

#22 WarmWeatherGuy

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 03:22 PM

...

Finally and I'm sure you'd agree, it cannot be over emphasised that to get the best from your 'scope, it will need to be tuned to give its optimum performance. To this end you might be interested in the attached thread. Look at the 19th post on the thread and it should tell you how to achieve this.

http://www.cloudynig...5417848/page...

Hoping this helps you a little further,

Best regards,
Tel


Is this the 19th post in that thread that you're talking about?

#23 CoreyS

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 03:38 PM

I see not reason at this point in buying a Zoom eyepiece and the largest spread that I have even seen is a 8-24...

Anyway.. to cut down on the shakes...
1.Just tighten every darn bolt on your tripod..
2. keep the tripod as low as you can comfortably use it..3.
3. Hang that power tank from the spreader bar on the tripod...

A Motofocus definitely will eliminate most of the shakes because you never have to touch the scope at all...

Jupiter is on the large size and it sure will appear bigger then a star which at best is a single small little point of light...

the highest power eyepiece I even carry in my case that I use with my 8 inch scope is an 8.5 mm and Baby it sure does not see a lot of use on anything but the moon .. and on some nights it still provides more magnification then I can effectively use even on the moon...

BTW... I'm willing to bet most of the regular posters on ANY forum will tell you that magnification is not the name of the game and in most of us view at under 100x most of the time..

Bob G.


The one I was looking at is a Hyperion Zoom 8mm-24mm for $289.95.

Every bolt is tightened down on the tripod (I use it in a checklist that I use to make sure everything is set up properly)

I will give that a try (I was told to always fully extend the legs)

what will hanging the power tank from the spreader bar do? do I just use a piece of rope or bungee cord?

I couldn't find much info on motorized focusers but did find an Antares 2 Speed Focuser for SCT (not sure if it would be any better.)

I'm still waiting for my turn to view the moon (It pops out from the horizon so late it's too cold to view atm.) the 8mm to me seems like overkill as it is especially when using it while manually tracking.

I'll take detail over magnification any day but right now it's a struggle for detail so I figured I needed more magnification to get the detail.

#24 CoreyS

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 03:48 PM

Hi CoreyS,

According to specification, your 8SE is reported to have a useful magnification of ~X480 which would require a 4mm EP to attain, but in practice, the chances of your 'scope ever performing at this level are almost zero.

Most seeing condition; even the very good ones will prevent the use of such a short focal length EP. The best you can hope for is perhaps the use of a 6mm and then only on that one special night which seems to come around with regularity once every ten years !

No, for serious viewing, and again only on nights of good seeing, 8mm would likely be the limit and then probably restrict you to lunar viewing where there is more than enough light available to support it.

For planetary viewing and again in accordance with the quality of the prevailing atmosphere, a good rule of thumb is to use that EP within your collection, which gives you the sharpest image. If that should be only, say, with a 12mm, (which will yield a magnification of ~X170), clearly there is no point in pushing this any higher. True, you will see a larger image through use of a shorter focal length, higher magnification EP such as a 6mm or 4mm, but it will a lot dimmer and will lack resolution.

The 6mm can however be useful for 'scope collimation by star testing: the means by which the optical alignment of the primary and secondary mirrors of your 'scope are reviewed and if necessary, adjusted. It should therefore be retained for this specific application.

Finally and I'm sure you'd agree, it cannot be over emphasised that to get the best from your 'scope, it will need to be tuned to give its optimum performance. To this end you might be interested in the attached thread. Look at the 19th post on the thread and it should tell you how to achieve this.

http://www.cloudynig...5417848/page...

Hoping this helps you a little further,

Best regards,
Tel


after last night's test I think the 8mm will be getting a lot less use, and when It warms up or the moon decides to pop up earlier then I can test that eyepiece with a moon filter.

That is a good point about the sharpest image, but when I get the sharpest image but lacks detail is that where filters will help?

I'm still reading up on the collimation for my scope and would prefer to collimate in the daytime when I have more light to see what I'm doing for the first few times.

I'm always in agreement for tuneups and will deffinately read that thread for more info.

#25 Tel

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 05:49 PM

Hi Corey,

Here below is a link to the use of colour filters and there applicability in enhancing various planetary features, but to be honest, I personally wouldn't put too much faith in them yielding too much extra in definition.

http://agenaastro.co...ary-filter.html

From what you say though regarding the lack of detail on Jupiter, even with what appears to be a sharp image, might just lay in the remote possibility that your 'scope could have been knocked in transit and that it's slightly out of collimation.

In the first instance you will not be able to check it in daylight as you suggest. It will need star testing.

If you are uncertain how to do this, do you have access to anyone who could perhaps help you to check; for example an astronomy club member, if you belong to such an organisation ?

If not, then checking is staightforward enough if you know what you are looking for. The attached "You Tube" (albeit relating to a Meade LX200), should help, but bear in mind that you will need a good, still seeing night to carry this out.

I'm afraid the "You Tube" text is in German but probably self explanetary. However, if you require a translation, please ask.

The test can be carried out optically using a 6mm EP (Magnification ~ X340) plus the Mk.1 eyeball or, on the assumption that your Neximage 5 will pick up a reasonably bright star to display on your laptop; you can also use this laptop projection to collimate your 'scope should such be necessary.

Here's the You Tube link. I hope it helps you to judge your optical alignment.

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=W4SQJ964D6o

Best regards,
Tel
Edit: I forgot: You could use an artificial star, (purchaseable item), to collimate in daylight or alternatively something like a Xmas bauble, placed at ~15 metres distance and let the sun reflect from it to give you a starlike image in your 'scope.






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