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Cant see anything but spread out stars in 10 inch dobsonian intelliscope

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#1 Matthew Schramm

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 10:43 PM

Hello, my name is Matthew Schramm and I am posting this forum since I have had the Dobsonian 10 inch telescopes for a few days now and have been unlucky with observing. I usually get good alignments with the accuracy being under .5. The only problem is I cant see anything but stars that are spread out, I cant see any planets, nebulas, galaxies, most messier catalog items and more. The light pollution where I live is at a low and I have the telescope perfectly collimated. I have been using all different eyepieces such as a 6mm, 10mm, 18mm, 25mm, 32mm and a 40mm with barlow lenses and still cant see any planets, galaxies, nebulas, etc. I'm still quite new to this but tonight I had a perfect alignment of w=0.0 and still couldn't see anything even when moving the telescope around and searching for lets say Jupiter.


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#2 zxx

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 10:50 PM

Jupiter should be easy to find ,do you have a finder scope?


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#3 Taosmath

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 10:52 PM

My guess would be an alignment problem.

 

If you know what Jupiter looks like in the sky, you could do your alignment and then do a push to Jupiter..  If Jupiter is in your widest EP (40mm) then your alignment is working.  If it's not in the eyepiece, how far off is it? Up to a degree is possible but if it's more than that, you've got an alignment problem.

 

If you don't know what Jupiter looks like then wait a few days and do a goto on the moon.  Or any star that you know.


Edited by Taosmath, 12 July 2018 - 10:52 PM.


#4 Cajundaddy

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 10:55 PM

During the daylight, line up your finder scope and main scope on a distant light pole or tree at least 10 miles away and get your target centered in both.  Make sure you can get good focus with your scope and just the 32mm EP.  After dark, slew the scope to Jupiter which is shining bright in the Southern sky, center it in the finder, and have a look through your main scope.  There it is!

 

Getting everything lined up and focused during the day makes night observing much easier.


Edited by Cajundaddy, 12 July 2018 - 10:57 PM.

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#5 Redbetter

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 11:14 PM

I don't understand the explanation of the problem.  It sounds like you are saying the scope won't come to focus because all you see are "spread out stars."  Or are you saying you can't find anything?  If it is lack of focus then I don't see how you could know if the collimation is perfect. 

 

Assuming instead you are saying you can't find anything.  What do you use as a finder and is it aligned with the optical axis of the scope?  If not then what you see centered in the finder will likely not even be in the eyepiece.  And is you are doing the alignment based on the finder position without centering in the eyepiece of the scope, then the warp error is meaningless because it doesn't apply to the direction the scope is pointing.  So either in the daytime or at night, align your finder with the scope, then do your calibration alignment.



#6 havasman

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 12:36 AM

The 1st times I took my XT10i out I couldn't see squadoosh either. Nothing at all. I almost gave the whole thing up for a bad idea.

 

This can be solved. Daytime alignment of your finder scope to your main optical axis is the best place to start. The alignment object doesn't have to be so distant but you must be able to see the same thing in your finder that you see in your scope. Start with your low power ep, 32 is good. Once that's aligned then start trying again to find an object at night. One of the best available now is IC4665, a very bright and very large open cluster with 25 or 30 very bright stars that should be easily visible in both your eyepiece and finder. It is larger than the moon. The stars are scattered but easily picked out from the field.

 

You should be able to find Jupiter w/o using the intelliscope function. Sight down the scope tube and then look in the finder to see the planet. It might take a bit of searching but it's there. Then go to the scope to observe as you have already verified everything's aligned. Then tell the intelliscope to find Jupiter. If everything comes up zeros or close to it then you're good to go. If it sends you across the sky when you already have the planet in the finder then you have another matter to investigate. Go to the manual for problem solving. Come back here if you need more help.

 

Intelliscope works quite well. I recommend it often. Get yours debugged and you'll be a happy camper soon.


Edited by havasman, 13 July 2018 - 12:37 AM.


#7 aeajr

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 02:00 AM

Hello, my name is Matthew Schramm and I am posting this forum since I have had the Dobsonian 10 inch telescopes for a few days now and have been unlucky with observing. I usually get good alignments with the accuracy being under .5. The only problem is I cant see anything but stars that are spread out, I cant see any planets, nebulas, galaxies, most messier catalog items and more. The light pollution where I live is at a low and I have the telescope perfectly collimated. I have been using all different eyepieces such as a 6mm, 10mm, 18mm, 25mm, 32mm and a 40mm with barlow lenses and still cant see any planets, galaxies, nebulas, etc. I'm still quite new to this but tonight I had a perfect alignment of w=0.0 and still couldn't see anything even when moving the telescope around and searching for lets say Jupiter.

I own the XT8 intelliscope.   Identical operation, just a little less aperture.

 

Did you align the finder scope during the day?  You must do that first.

 

 

Your statement, "I can't see anything but stars" is confusing as most of what is up there is stars.   Messier objects are made of stars.  Galaxies are made of stars. Nebula are made of stars.    What were you expecting to see that you are not seeing?

 

Jupiter is very bright and easily seen naked eye so I don't understand why you could not see it. 

 

What two stars did you use for alignment?  What eyepiece did you have in the scope when you centered the star in the eyepiece.    Remember that during alignment you have to center the star it in the eyepiece, not the finder scope.

 

When you say you can't see anything, what do you mean?   

 

What planets did you try to see.   Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars are all naked eye visible right now. I don't need a telescope to see them.

 

What galaxies did you try to see?  What was the procedure you followed?

 

What Messier objects did you try to see?

 

What time was it when you were trying to observe these things?

 

What eyepiece were you using?

 

Without specifics there is no way to help you.

 

Ed


Edited by aeajr, 13 July 2018 - 11:02 AM.


#8 Mike W.

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 07:31 AM

Matthew, make sure the stars you're aligning on are the stars the scope is asking for, there are a bunch of stars up there, you could double check the star with skysafari or other phone app.



#9 epee

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 08:01 AM

In the very back of the Intelliscope Manual there are diagnostic functions. One of these will check your motions relative to the encoders. Use it and see if the progression through the degrees of arc are smooth and continuous or if they jump and freeze. If the former, your azimuth encoder is slipping. The easiest way to fix this is to fix the encoder disk in place with cellophane double-sided tape; the type used in picture framing NOT the foamy stuff. 

 

Likewise, I find that speed in centering and entering the second alignment star is critical to accuracy. The reason is, the Earth is rotating at 1000 mph and this is adding error for every second you take between pressing ENTER for the first and second star. My technique is to pick my alignment stars and make sure I can find them quickly, especially the second star. You can take all the time you wish carefully centering the first star, but once you hit ENTER, the race is on. I find speed more important than precision in centering the second star. As stated above; a well aligned finder scope is necessary. I find that, even with a finder, I tend to loose orientation unless the alignment star is significantly brighter than the other stars in the field. For this reason many Intelliscope users mount a red-dot, reflex finder, simply for alignment purposes.

 

At least in the generation of handset I have the date is off with regard to finding planets.



#10 csrlice12

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 10:48 AM

Regarding planets, its much easier to use the scope manually.  The Intelliscope function for planets can be tedious...maybe use it if you're after Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto (showing my age).  A mentioned, align the finder and check collimation.  I highly recommend a Telrad finder.


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#11 vtornado

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 11:08 AM

Hello Matthew, Welcome to the forum.

 

I don't have and intellescope, but I wanted to say hello to a close neighbor and sky gazer!.

 

As the others say.  This sounds like an initial alignment problem.

I don't know how to do any of that but ...

 

As others say in the daylight, align your finder to your main scope.   Use the top of a utility pole,

phone pole, flag pole etc.  Something about 500 feet away.   Use your highest focal length eyepiece in the main scope.

 

The next clear night, don't worry about alignment find Jupiter manually.  It is about 30 degrees over the horizon, fairly straight south at about 10:00PM CDT, very bright.   Now you can check everything out optically.  Your collimation, your eyepieces etc.   Also make sure your scope cools for about an hour before using it.

 

With a 10 inch dob, you should be able to see multiple bands, the great red spot, transit shadows, festooning of some of the belts.  (note sometimes there are no transit shadow, or GRS).

 

Then you can work on the intelliscope part.  You may???? even be able to use Jupiter as one alignment object.

 

Oh BTW Lemont does not have low light pollution.  Compared to down town yes, compared to a truly dark sky no.  Some ways to asses are ... Can you see all the stars of the little dipper?  Can you clearly see the belt of the Milky Way?

 

good luck.

You have chosen a great scope.

VT



#12 aeajr

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 11:17 AM

Regarding planets, its much easier to use the scope manually.  The Intelliscope function for planets can be tedious...maybe use it if you're after Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto (showing my age).  A mentioned, align the finder and check collimation.  I highly recommend a Telrad finder.

I agree.  I never use the intelliscope for the bright planets, I target manually.   Uranus and Neptune, I use the Intelliscope.



#13 Mountaineer370

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 10:22 AM

Hi Matthew.  It's been a few nights since your original post.  Have you had any better luck?  Lots of good suggestions here.  It would help if we understood your level of astronomy experience.  Your post begs the question:  Are you able to identify planets like Venus and Jupiter with the naked eye?  If so, then you should be able to easily point your telescope manually to those.  In doing so, the importance of having a correctly aligned finderscope cannot be overstated.  Personally, I prefer a Telrad or other red-dot or reticle finder over the standard finderscopes that come with most telescopes.

 

I hope you'll post again and let us know how things are going. 



#14 Matthew Schramm

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 01:39 PM

Hi Matthew.  It's been a few nights since your original post.  Have you had any better luck?  Lots of good suggestions here.  It would help if we understood your level of astronomy experience.  Your post begs the question:  Are you able to identify planets like Venus and Jupiter with the naked eye?  If so, then you should be able to easily point your telescope manually to those.  In doing so, the importance of having a correctly aligned finderscope cannot be overstated.  Personally, I prefer a Telrad or other red-dot or reticle finder over the standard finderscopes that come with most telescopes.

 

I hope you'll post again and let us know how things are going. 

There was a problem with my encoders. I talked to Orion customer support and I am being sent new encoders. May fix the problem since when I would do an encoder test it seemed as if my altitude encoder was bent from the shipment.


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#15 Brapp

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 03:09 PM

I don't know much about intelliscopes but your description sounds more like an optical problem than a software problem.

My 10-inch dobsonian needed a focuser extension sleeve before the eyepieces could focus. Does your box include one of those?

Have you ever had good views with this scope, or has it always been out of focus?

#16 havasman

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 03:33 PM

There was a problem with my encoders. I talked to Orion customer support and I am being sent new encoders. May fix the problem since when I would do an encoder test it seemed as if my altitude encoder was bent from the shipment.

Recommend you do some observing while you wait for parts. You should be able to find planets and the moon as well as some brighter stars w/o the intelliscope system and doing so will verify that your scope is otherwise fine. I've never had a problem with any eyepiece coming to focus in an XT10i. That's found in other scopes. You need to know your finder's aligned and that the system functions.

I use DSC's all the time and recommend them. But they WILL temporarily fail on you. Rarely but surely. You should be able to confidently manipulate the scope and observe w/o them.

BTW, a Telrad zero magnification finder is a really good $42 addition to an XT10i.


Edited by havasman, 15 July 2018 - 03:35 PM.

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#17 Redbetter

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 04:26 PM

I ordered my big Dob with three finder systems:  Telrad, 80mm RACI, and DSC's.   The only one that never showed me a single thing was the DSC's.  I showed the nav computer a few things, it never returned the favor, missed by a mile on bright naked eye objects.  The encoders checked out, but the way the whole mount system worked with them was problematic and seemed to have compound sources of error.  Because I was already a star hopper, I would punt on the DSC's after a few failed alignment checks.  I didn't let it ruin dark sky sessions.  I tried tackling the problems different ways in the backyard, upgraded some parts, and eventually decided it wasn't worth the effort.  I finally removed the extraneous gear as it was in the way for packing, loading, and even mirror cleaning. 

 

Too often I see folks packing up because their power supply failed, they had cord wrap, etc. with their go to mounts.  Similarly I see too many people waste most of their dark sky time trying to get things aligned and leveled just right, and with some I never do see them actually observing anything before they go to bed.  Meanwhile, I am observing the whole time and long after they are asleep.  My observation:  these time savers sure do waste a lot of dark sky time... 

 

Star hopping is reliable and should at least be part of a back up plan.  For bright or naked eye objects it is also faster and easier.


Edited by Redbetter, 15 July 2018 - 05:26 PM.

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#18 Mountaineer370

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 05:23 PM

Another vote for getting out under the night sky while you wait for the new parts from Orion.  There is still so much you can see that you don't need a computer to find for you.  Learning the constellations, the names of the brighter stars, how to recognize the planets, not to mention trying different eyepieces and just becoming very familiar with your telescope, is all time well-spent for any amateur astronomer.  smile.png


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#19 phillip

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 05:41 PM

Encoders won't take away the view, are for locating. Let us know what your seeing.

 

XT8i, XT10

Clave 8mm, 

New Pentax 7mm

Baader 30mm, Baader 10mm


Edited by phillip, 15 July 2018 - 05:54 PM.


#20 Alex McConahay

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 06:02 PM

By “stars spread out” I am guessing you mean you see stars, and they don’t look much different in your eyepiece than they do naked eye. They won’t look much different. A star in a scope may be a little brighter, but will still look like a naked eye star.


Alex

#21 whizbang

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 06:34 PM

Another vote for a telrad finder.   All the stars and planets are easy with a telrad. 



#22 aeajr

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Posted 16 July 2018 - 10:15 AM

There was a problem with my encoders. I talked to Orion customer support and I am being sent new encoders. May fix the problem since when I would do an encoder test it seemed as if my altitude encoder was bent from the shipment.

So, your problem was not optical, had nothing to do with seeing things.  Your problem was with finding things.  Is that correct?   So we were trying to address the wrong problem.

 

Glad you got this worked out with Orion.

 

 

There are many things up there that you can find without the Intelliscope.   And there are other ways to find things besides the Intelliscope.   I love my Intelliscope and when I choose to use it, it is wonderful.  But I often use the scope without it.

 

Here are other ways to find things that you might enjoy trying at some point.

 

Using an angle gauge to help find targets
https://www.cloudyni...y/#entry8120838

 

 

STAR HOPPING

Star hopping 101 – Video play list
https://www.youtube....6B0AD5D29A76981


Edited by aeajr, 16 July 2018 - 10:18 AM.


#23 epee

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Posted 16 July 2018 - 10:23 AM

Right now you have plenty of bright planets to occupy yourself with while awaiting parts. Also, simply scanning Scorpio and Sagittarius will reveal many, many wonderful DSOs and star fields. Get acquainted with the uptown Milky Way.

Edited by epee, 16 July 2018 - 10:24 AM.

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#24 rowdy388

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Posted 16 July 2018 - 11:24 AM

If you want to see stars that are not spread out, point your scope towards Cygnus.

You don't even have to star hop to anything. The whole constellation is full of 

beautiful vistas.


Edited by rowdy388, 16 July 2018 - 11:24 AM.

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#25 Chesterguy1

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Posted 16 July 2018 - 03:23 PM

Assuming:

 

a) you have decent collimation 

b) you have an aligned finderscope

 

The waxing moon will be easy, followed by Jupiter and Saturn.  Jupiter is well placed in the South and the brightest object to be seen.

 

With suppressed light pollution and a modicum of celestial knowledge you can find brighter objects with 10 x 50 binoculars (if you have them) and translate those positions to a finderscope to place your main OTA in the same location.  Brighter DSOs like M22, M57 and M13 among others, are close to useful “finder stars”.  You might practice on those too, until your replacement encoder arrives.  Although rare, electronics are known to develop glitches and there is always the possibility of loss of power.  Having a backup plan can make your night rewarding.  You will need, at minimum, charts or a planetarium program.  Charts can get wet, but they don’t stop working because of a weak or dead battery.

 

In an era before widespread DSC availability I had a “naked” 10” dob.  In the beginning there was considerable frustrating back and forth between chart, finderscope and eyepiece in a yellow-red light polluted zone.  Eventually, it became second nature and I was amazed at the amount of stuff I found with that scope even in a fairly polluted zone.

 

Best of luck.

 

Gogiboy


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