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Equipment Discussions >> Equipment

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Madratter
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/14/13

Re: Celestron or Meade ? new [Re: starhunter345]
      #5636719 - 01/22/13 11:46 AM

Quote:


Anyways friends, I finally decided to go with Celestron Nextstar 6 SE GOTO, after reading lots and lots of material from “CloudyNights”.





Enjoy the new scope. A tremendous amount can be seen in a 6" telescope. There are literally hundreds of deep sky objects that can be seen (if not 1000 at a dark site). And that isn't counting planets, lunar details, variable stars, double stars, new comets, and the like.

Do be aware that poor collimation can make a SCT like this one seem like a dog when in fact, collimating it properly can make a huge difference.

Enjoy, and make sure you take it outside!


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bierbelly
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/23/04

Loc: Sterling, VA
Re: Celestron or Meade ? new [Re: starhunter345]
      #5636836 - 01/22/13 12:48 PM

Quote:

Thank you so much friends for your grand welcome and sharing excellent thoughts on my question and guiding me on that…..

Actually, here in India I stay in Mumbai a highly polluted city in the world, so dark sky is next to impossible for me, and I also aware that for my hobby I need to go out of city at least 100 miles away… and I am going to do that on each of the weekends from now....:)




WATCH OUT FOR TIGERS!!!

Quote:

Regarding deciding on 6" Celestron telescope (SCT) is due to budget constraint, because we don't have a direct shop or a direct dealer of Celestron / Orion /Meade etc. in India,(so this cost me double the actual price after import) and I have also seen that there is no direct shipping possible from any of the major sites like Amazon, telescope.com etc. I know Ebay does that but I don't have good experience with ebay global / India in past…

I was in US (Texas – Austin) for some while last year for company's work and I enjoyed the darker sky then that time I decided to buy one 11” telescope of Celestron over there, but then I got to know that importing Telescope in my country is a very BIG Deal and still if I am importing the same and taking along with me then I need to salute each Custom officer (corrupt ppl) ……:(

Anyways friends, I finally decided to go with Celestron Nextstar 6 SE GOTO, after reading lots and lots of material from “CloudyNights”.
I strongly recommend Cloudy Nights is the excellent site for anyone who is interested in gaining information on Astronomy / Astrography / on Equipment / for Beginners, because here you get knowledge based on Experience and not just a theory / concepts. As well for any in-depth material and all kind of queries regarding Astronomy gets well answered.

I feel myself proud to be a member of such a excellent and extraordinary site. Thanks to site administrator for the same for giving me a membership.

Thanks each of you who guided me. I will keep you all posted on my progress. Also I will require your help on buying accessories like eye-pieces, filters and many more thing.

Once again Many Thanks to you all…...God Bless you all ..:)

Regards,

- Mohit




Due to the poor availability of commercially made telescopes in India, have you considered making your own 6" reflector?


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CJK
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/05/12

Loc: Northeast TN
Re: Celestron or Meade ? new [Re: Madratter]
      #5636841 - 01/22/13 12:50 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Priority should be aperture.




I simply can't agree with this. I have big scopes (20"). I have small scopes (4"). I use all of them for deep sky observing.

In my opinion, useability is far more important than aperture. If it is something you can and will take outside, you will see far more than with some bigger telescope that is just too much effort.

There are many hundreds of objects that can be seen in a telescope as small as 4 inches.

I'm not disputing that aperture is nice to have. I own the 20" for a reason. But I don't think it is the priority.

-- Shifting gears as to whether the OP should get a goto scope or not, we don't have enough information. A lot depends on what you want to look at and how. Some people are stamp collectors. They like getting as many objects logged as possible. A goto scope can make those people very happy. On the other hand, some people really enjoy the hunt and knowing the context of where an object actually is, etc. A goto scope for them may be nothing but added expense. Some people are in the middle. I'm one of them. Sometimes I enjoy just seeing a lot of different objects fast. Sometimes, I like taking my time and doing it the old fashion way.




Couldn't agree more. Great post.

-- Chris


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coutleef
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 02/21/08

Loc: Saint-Donat, Québec, Canada
Re: Celestron or Meade ? new [Re: CJK]
      #5636888 - 01/22/13 01:10 PM

once you own your 6se, if you ever have whatever problem ask the question un the nexstar forum on CN, a forum further down in the list of forum. we are a nice group of folks just asking to help out a new SE user

good luck


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starhunter345
member


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: Celestron or Meade ? new [Re: coutleef]
      #5638210 - 01/23/13 03:20 AM

Hello Friends,

Thank you once again to each of you for more and more guidance and also for your knowledgeable thoughts.

After reading through all your thoughts ....some of the early / quick questions raised in my mind ....which are as follows......

FYI: I ordered my Celestron 6 se but its under shipment and I will get it after 2 more weeks.... so your thoughts on my questions will be a JUMP START for me ….:)

Questions:
1) How do I make sure that when I start using my scope, its perfectly "Collimated"? Because it is coming from US and in shipment may be its collimation may get hampered..Honestly I am a beginner and till today never used telescope, only just piped-in through School-Lab telescope or telescopes available in Planetarium (managed in controlled conditions ... so by taking into that consideration.. How can I make sure that my scope is perfectly collimated? Can I know some simple testes? .

2)As per my dealer's recommendation, in this package I also bought Celestron eye-piece set, I think in that pack I have some 6 eye pieces and 9 filters (approx), so my question is
- How shall I use these different types of eye pieces and filters and on what occasion? is it that for viewing different stars, nebulae or messier object these accessory can be of help ?

3) How as a beginner should I calculate the magnification?

4) Actually, I don't want to use GOTO option on regular basis, I want to learn Astronomy ....I think you will feel this statement very funny..:) but seriously I want to learn Astronomy so I am going to use GOTO as my backup plan, if I got stuck some where then Celestron's 4000+ database will help me there...:) So you may ask me questions like …..if you want to learn Astronomy then why don't you go for Telescope with EQ mount, good Aperture like 8" or more? but then I heard from people that EQ setup is little tricky than Altazimuth and its time consuming for a beginner...because initially if I am getting stuck up in my telescope’s setup rather than viewing through it ….then that may hamper my interest in hobby, as well time is also a factor (just one night in weekend).
- So my question is how do I effectively use my Telescope to learn Astronomy? Can I learn my astronomy hard way by using this telescope?

5) Shall I install 8SE OTA on 6SE Mount ….. if I want to buy in future?

6) Shall I use this Telescope for Solar viewing ? Which are the good Filters for solar viewing? Will this telescope get useless after solar viewing? OR shall I buy different refractors for the same…..is yes then which one? and what should be its right aperture?

7) Is it possible to increase 6SE capacity more than its currently holding? like by purchasing some good eye pieces etc..(you may find this question funny) but I am just checking probability …

8) Can I use this telescope to take photographs of some stars, messier objects? If yes then can you please suggest some good cameras and its required accessories too?

9)Is it good to buy Celestron Power Tank?

I have some general question like,
a) Some of the big aperture telescope’s have cooling fan at the bottom, so why they use that for? What is cooling fan function in telescope?
b) For Planetary observations what should be the choice like Refractors or Newtonian ? and what should be right aperture ?

Currently these questions raised into my mind, if you can guide me on that then as I said earlier it will be JUMP START for me ….

As well as thanks friends on alerting me on TIGER threats…..it is becoming serious threat now in my area too.

Once again thanks to each of you and waiting for your reply on my questions

Regards,

- Mohit


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MikeBOKC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/10/10

Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Re: Celestron or Meade ? new [Re: starhunter345]
      #5638421 - 01/23/13 08:47 AM

Lots here. Let me take a stab at some of your questions and I am sure others will chime in:

Most SCTs arrive pretty well collimated. To make an initial check, defocus a star and see if the rings look like a donut, well balanced all around. You can google SCT collimation for references, but unless the rings are visibly out of whack don't sweat it. Unlike Newtownian reflectors, SCTs hold collimation well.

On eyepieces, the shorter the focal length (the number on the barrel like "9mm" the higher the magnification. You determine the power you are using with any given eyepiece by dividing the focal length of the eyepiece (say 10mm) into the focal length of the specific telescope (say 1500mm) to get the magnification, 150x in this case. You will find that on many objects like planets, you can only go so high in magnification on a given night before the image gets mushy. That is a product of the seeing and transparancy conditions, meaning stability and clarity of the atmosphere.

The Nexstar scopes are driven by the hand controller and mount motors, so it does not lend itself easily to non-go-to star hopping. You can do it, but the go to system is there for a reason. You can learn the sky with go to -- just study the star patterns where your scope is going.

Yes I think the 8 inch Nexstar OTA rides just fine on the Nexstar mount.

You can use this scope for solar with a white light glass solar filter. Check with your dealer. The Nexstar system also has a solar alignment option which will let you do a one-step alignment on the sun and track on it.

As for eyepiece upgrades, don't worry now. Use what you have coming, get familiar with the scope and its capabilities and read up on eyepieces in the eyepiece forum here.

The Celestron power tank works fine. Many also use the standard jumo start batteries with 12v plugs.

Hope these observations have helped. You have a nice little scope . . . just enjoy it.


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Mark Costello
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/08/05

Loc: Matthews, NC, USA
Re: Celestron or Meade ? new [Re: starhunter345]
      #5641109 - 01/24/13 05:28 PM

Well chosen, Mohit. I've worked with a 4" refractor and now enjoy using a 5" refractor. From that I'm guessing a 6" SCT will show you A LOT and could keep you hopping for the rest of your life.

Don't forget to let us know about it's first night out and here's hoping you haven't brought any monsoons to the Mumbai area (the India version of the telescope curse? ). May God bless you as well.

Edited by Mark Costello (01/24/13 05:32 PM)


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hamdul
sage
*****

Reged: 06/23/09

Loc: Litchfield NH, USA
Re: Celestron or Meade ? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5642944 - 01/25/13 04:37 PM

Mohit,
Here is a great site for scope calculations. Just fill in the data and it calculates Magnification, FOV, etc.
http://www.nexstarsite.com/Downloads.htm
Fred


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starhunter345
member


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: Celestron or Meade ? new [Re: hamdul]
      #5688056 - 02/18/13 11:24 PM

Hello Friends,

Finally Last week I received my first Telescope - Celestron Nextstar 6SE. It is just excellent scope for me as a beginner…
So from last entire week I am busy with its settings and understanding its entire mechanism.
As a first time user of telescope I got stuck on various points like,
1) Alignment:
I am still learning on Alignment. I found that my Red dot Star Finder (Star Pointer) has some problem, that is when I am pointing to star and then try to watch from my eyepiece and try to center the star then its not happening, even when I chose One Star Alignment and then I point my star pointer to center of Moon and click on Alignment, then Hand Control says Alignment Failed, but when I keep Star Pointer one inch above (from right side) of Moon entirely, and if I click on Align button, it show me “Alignment Success”.
I do still not understand it correctly how this suppose to work…. I tried doing all adjustments on star finder ….
due to this I am not able to use GOTO feature effectively .....Please share if you have any thoughts on this

2) Using Hand Control from computer:
This is little bit tricky and I got a hack on it yesterday after I installed some third party drivers on my laptop, so now it works as expected. I am going to share a documented steps after I fully done with it, so may be it will be useful for a beginner like me.

But the amazing thing is I have seen Jupiter from my scope through 6MM eyepiece and it was Heavenly Experience for me, even I saw Ganymede and Io around him. I also seen Ganymede’s shadow over Jupiter, though it was very minute, but seen one beauty-spot over Jupiter

Then I saw Full Moon (after applying Moon filter I was able to see its craters very easily by 25mm and later using 6mm too).

I also observed Sun and its dark spots too (after applying Solar Filters) its Amazing....

Really, I feel the Telescope is the only instrument to see beauty of Heaven…..its just Amazing …I have no words to explain how I am happy after seeing some couple of objects through my Telescope

I also bought some of the accessories like
1) Eyepiece and Filter Kit (this I found very useful because It have entire set of eyepieces and filters …I used Moon Filter while observing Full Moon and it really reduces light and give ease to eyes)
2) Oxygen III Narrowband Filter (though I have not yet started with deep sky, but my dealer insisted me to buy)
3) UHC / LPR filter (I have not yet used this)
4) Orion USB eyepiece camera, I am learning still how to use in night sky
5) Solar filters …. I observed our Sun and I was able to see Sun-Dark-Spots
6) Power Tank : I have not yet received its in shipment

Though I am still learning on my telescope features, I found this scope is just excellent for me as a beginner.

Once again, Thanks to each one of you for guiding me a lot and giving me very good knowledgeable tips on my Celestron 6SE telescope.


Regards,

- Mohit


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RobertED
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/11/03

Loc: Smithfield, RI
Re: Celestron or Meade ? new [Re: bcuddihee]
      #5688929 - 02/19/13 01:36 PM

Quote:

If you are going with an SCT, i would suggest an 8" as it has enough resolving power to show detailed views of planets and is really the baseline for resolving globular clusters. It also is forgiving of eyepieces making use of plossls and 68 degree ep's very enjoyable. If you ever decide to go with binoviewers the additional aperture is essential. Anything less, SCT wise, IMO will leave you wanting.
bc





8".....excellent choice!!!!


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hamdul
sage
*****

Reged: 06/23/09

Loc: Litchfield NH, USA
Re: Celestron or Meade ? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5689594 - 02/19/13 07:53 PM

Mohit, I would suggest that you look at Celestron SE site. Lots of good talk aboutyour scope or similar. Here's an article by Tel on alignmen. Very good and important stuff.
Fred

Here's that alignment articl be Tel that I mentioned previously -

Both Francois and Mark have provided excellent suggestions and tips on how to improve the GoTo accuracy of your Nexstar 8SE. For my part, I'm not exactly sure what I can add in these terms so perhaps the best I can do is take you through the whole setting-up and follow-up procedures which I (personally) find, works extremely well for me.

Before starting, you need to balance your 'scope tube away from the mount.

Having therefore placed all accessories, (finder, diagonal, eyepiece etc.) on the tube, rest it on a pencil on a flat, (table top), surface and find the point at which it balances. Mark the point and replace the tube on the mount arm so that there is a little fore-end weight bias.

Now with your 'scope switched on, select "Menu" and then "Scope Set-Up". Press "Enter" and then, by toggling either the 6 or 9 button, find "GoTo Approach".

Press "Enter" to find the "Azm Approach" which must be set to POSITIVE. Then similarly, find the "Alt. Approach" Approach". This might be set to NEGATIVE, the default setting. If it is not on default, set it so. You can always change it following experimentation at a later date. The purpose of this exercise is to get you up and running NOW !

As already mentioned, you now need to ensure that your antibacklash settings are optimised for both the altitude and azimuth axes.

To achieve this, (and the operation can be carried out in broad daylight),keep you 'scope loaded with all usual accessories, (finder, diagonal, eyepiece etc.), level it and, as Venus is currently available in the daytime sky, perform a "Solar System Align" on this planet.

Note there is no need to seek it out, you are merely trying to achieve "Align Success" on the screen of your hand controller. This will ensure the 'scope is tracking which is necessary to antibacklash adjustment.

Thus just point your 'scope to approximately where you think Venus to be at the (daytime) time and date you have entered, press "Enter" and "Align" buttons and your 'scope will be tracking thereafter.

Now slew your 'scope around and focus it on a distant brick wall or a tiled (shingled) roof. The idea behind using a brick wall or tiled area of a roof is to provide an improvised grid pattern on which to work.

Now select "Menu" and by means of pressing either the 6 or 9 button, select "Scope Set-Up". Press "Enter" once again and use the 6 or 9 to toggle to "Antibacklash". Press "Enter" once again.

Let's assume that "Azm. Positive" appears on your hand controller's screen.

Press "Enter". A figure between 0-99 will be seen on your screen.


Set your slew rate to 3 or 4 and then move your scope HORIZONTALLY ONLY across the brick or tiled grid pattern noting how long it takes before the 'scope begins to move, whether the movement is at all jerky in its action and whether, when you have traversed the grid by a reasonable distance, the motion stops when you take your finger off the direction button.

Move the 'scope several times back and forth across the grid in order to get a "feel" for what how it responds. If the drive take up is exceptionally slow, (and allow a few seconds here and there), or the motion is jerky either on drive take up or on stopping, adjust the shown figure in say, increments of 5.

When you are satisfied that you have a smooth action, that there is no great delay in drive take-up and that your 'scope stops when you take your finger from the direction button, then "Enter" the figure you have chosen and move to "Azm. Negative", repeating the exercise once more.

You should have now set both the Azm. Positive and Negative antibacklash.

Now move to adjusting the Alt. Positive and Negative antibacklash in exactly the same way but this time, moving the 'scope tube ONLY UP and DOWN. You will however probably find that the vertical (altitude) axis is much more sensitive in its response to adjustment of the Positive and Negative figures.

The above should now put you in a position to make accurate alignments.

ALIGNMENT:

Choose the "Auto Two Star" method. (This method appears by concensus, to be the most reliable).

Thus with your 'scope tube pointing North and with the mount arm on your left as you stand behind the instrument. Switch on your 'scope and enter all relevant data, Time, Date etc. (I assume from your previous posts that you are acquainted with the procedure and the necessity for the relevant accuracy here).

Irrespective of what your hand controller offers, choose Polaris as your first star. (I make the assumption that you can see it). If it is not the first star on offer, you will need to toggle either the 6 or 9 buttons to produce it on screen.

Now locate it in your finder and, having done so, press "Enter". You should now see it in your eyepiece, (a 25mm will be quite sufficient), although it may not be in focus.

Keep it defocused as I think Francois suggested, so that it looks rather like a large doughnut. This shape allows you to centralise it in your eyepiece far more easily since your eye is very susceptible to the concentricity of rings.

Thus, by comparing the position of the doughnut with the edge of the field of view, you should be able to centre it very accurately.

However, the doughnut may not be in the the centre to start with. No matter ! Using the direction buttons on the hand controller, move it to the bottom left quadrant of your eyepiece.

Now from this position, move it right and upward to centralise. If you overshoot, take it back to the bottom left quadrant and begin again. When you are satisfied that you have it centralised it, press "Align" and you will be offered your second alignment star.

This star should be between 30 and 70 degrees in altitude and at least 90 degrees from your first choice; Polaris.

Let's assume it has chosen or that you have chosen Altair.

Press "Enter" and your 'scope will automatically slew to this star. If it "lands" nowhere in the vicinity of Altair you will know immediately that something is wrong, but all being well it should be near. Now merely go through the same procedure as you did when aligning Polaris and you should have a good alignment.

Note that your 'scope will be now tracking in sidereal time and that the "Cordwrap" feature will now be "On" by default. (I choose to operate with it "Off" but I leave that to you. If you leave it "On", you may need to set a "No Cross Line").

Now for the GoTo and tracking performance of your 'scope.

If your alignment has been successful, any object you "GoTo" should be within the field of view of a 25mm eyepiece although not necessarily in its centre. Thus if you wish to bring it to centre, (as is normal), use the same movement (bottom left to the right and up) as used when you aligned, to do so.

There is a caveat however:

This procedure should keep your 'scope tracking well when operating between North and South through East but you may find that objects may begin to slip from the field of view in very short time when operating the 'scope between South and North through West. If this occurs, simply align or realign the "slipping" object by placing it in the UPPER left quadrant of the eyepiece and recentralising it by moving it to the right and DOWN.

I have attached the paper describing this method and its effects to this post which I hope will help you further.

Hoping though that this helps overall,

Best regards,
Tel


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starhunter345
member


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: Celestron or Meade ? new [Re: hamdul]
      #5689808 - 02/19/13 09:54 PM

Thank you so much sir...this will definitely going to help me...I will try this entire procedure on my scope.

Just one more question...do you have any pointer (reference link / material) on how to work with Orion Starshoot USB eyepiece web camera in night, I am finding it very difficult to focus the same in night sky, though it works as expected in day time.

Thanks once again for helping me on my queries.

Regards,

- Mohit


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starhunter345
member


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: Celestron or Meade ? new [Re: hamdul]
      #5689839 - 02/19/13 10:11 PM

Thank you so much for this excellent site ...the material on this site is very helpful in calculating the magnification and accordingly we can choose appropriate eyepieces...

Regards,

- Mohit


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starhunter345
member


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: Celestron or Meade ? new [Re: hamdul]
      #5689845 - 02/19/13 10:13 PM

Quote:

Mohit,
Here is a great site for scope calculations. Just fill in the data and it calculates Magnification, FOV, etc.
http://www.nexstarsite.com/Downloads.htm
Fred




I wanted to thank for giving me this site, the material is just excellent..

Regards,

- Mohit


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Scott BeithAdministrator
SRF
*****

Reged: 11/26/03

Loc: Frederick, MD
Re: Celestron or Meade ? new [Re: starhunter345]
      #5690272 - 02/20/13 07:16 AM

Welcome to Cloudy Nights Mohit!
We are glad you joined us.


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hamdul
sage
*****

Reged: 06/23/09

Loc: Litchfield NH, USA
Re: Celestron or Meade ? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5691885 - 02/20/13 10:34 PM

Mohit, Gave you gone to the "Celestron Next Star " site? Lots of good stuff shows up there by great knowligeable people
Fred


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