Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Celestron Ultima help and info wanted

  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 Turf

Turf

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 29
  • Joined: 09 Sep 2018

Posted 04 November 2019 - 07:35 AM

hi there,

 

i picked up a Celestron Ultima last week from craigslist.  its a C8, on a beefy fork,  on a wedge, on a clock drive.  now i need to learn how to use it and im looking for some help.

 

the telescope came with a few accessories, i have 3 eyepieces, a 26, 11.5, and a 9mm.  the rig had been used for astrophotography in the past and has the adapters to hook on a nikon base camera.  there is an off axis guider and a counter weight.

 

its a later version of the ultima clock drive with PEC.

 

so my first of many questions are what do i do with the off axis guider and counter weight?  is there a thread somewhere about cleaning up old scopes, making sure they are colaminated?

 

i had my first light with the scope a couple of nights ago, and found jupiter, saturn and the moon.  seeing was poor for saturn.  do i want a barlow?  i just don't know where im headed with the scope right now.

 

on other threads about the ultima, they say its a great scope for planetary observing.  that use is great for me.

 

i'd like to pick up a camera and start planetary imaging.  

 

where can i find out more about the mechanics of using the scope?  how to balance it, how to use the off axis guider?  how do the setting circles work?  what are the limitations for dso?

 

i've been following the hobby online, now finally, i have a scope to use and i don't know what im doing.

 

thanks for any help

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_4831.JPG

Edited by Turf, 04 November 2019 - 07:49 AM.

  • tim53, Terra Nova and bbqediguana like this

#2 bbqediguana

bbqediguana

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1000
  • Joined: 28 Feb 2015
  • Loc: Canada

Posted 04 November 2019 - 07:44 AM

That's a nice looking scope! Here's a link to the user manual for it:

 

https://www.ou.edu/l...anual_black.pdf

 

Collimation instructions start on page 98. For the off axis guider and counterweight, you should be able to just remove them if they aren't desired/required.

 

The 9mm eyepiece you have will give you about 220x which is plenty for now if this is your first medium sized scope (which an Ultima 8 is!). All the information regarding balancing and using the scope is in the manual linked above.

 

She's a beauty - I hope she brings you some awesome views! smile.gif

 

Rick


  • Turf likes this

#3 M11Mike

M11Mike

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 867
  • Joined: 02 Apr 2016
  • Loc: Ballston Lake, NY

Posted 04 November 2019 - 07:49 AM

Did you get the owners manual with it???  If not - I would try to track down a copy.  You might be able to find a copy on the internet.  Or someone here on C/N's that has a O/M and would make you a copy.  A C/N's WANT AD for that would be in order.  

 

I recently bought a Celestron scope from the late 80's / early 90's - ran a C/N's want ad for the O/M and other info - a couple of very nice C/N's members got me everything I wanted and more.  Worth a shot if you don't have the O/M.

 

M11Mike     


  • bbqediguana and Turf like this

#4 M11Mike

M11Mike

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 867
  • Joined: 02 Apr 2016
  • Loc: Ballston Lake, NY

Posted 04 November 2019 - 07:50 AM

There you go - C/N's Rick already to the rescue.

 

Thanks Rick.

 

Mike P Ballston Lake, NY


  • bbqediguana and Turf like this

#5 bbqediguana

bbqediguana

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1000
  • Joined: 28 Feb 2015
  • Loc: Canada

Posted 04 November 2019 - 08:02 AM

i've been following the hobby online, now finally, i have a scope to use and i don't know what im doing.

 

thanks for any help

I just re-read your original post in case I missed something... and I did!!! I didn't realize this was your first scope...

 

What a great scope to start with! An 8" SCT is enough scope to last a lifetime, really. I've been in the hobby for over 40 years (and into it seriously for 25) and I'm still using a 8" SCT. Honestly, I'm amazed at how much good information is in those old manuals (M11Mike was right on about getting the manual). It is well worth a read (note: your Ultima 8 is one of several models covered in that manual).

 

The best advice I could give you? See if there's an astronomy club within your area. Taking your scope out to a club's observing session is by far the best way to up to speed with using your new scope. Experienced amateurs love to help newcomers to the hobby and they'll show you how to get your scope set up properly, aligned with Polaris for easy tracking of objects, understand which eyepieces to use on what targets and even help you check your collimation.

 

Ah, you're in for good times. smile.gif My first scope this size was a Celestron Celestar 8 and I remember how much fun it was discovering the cosmos with it.

 

Cheers!

 

Rick


Edited by bbqediguana, 04 November 2019 - 08:02 AM.

  • Turf likes this

#6 mfoose

mfoose

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 613
  • Joined: 18 May 2013
  • Loc: Lancaster, PA

Posted 04 November 2019 - 11:01 AM

Lots of questions that I am sure you will get a lot of different answers for. An 8" SCT is a jack of all trades and many of us here have had at least one over our time in this hobby. You may find some general consensus in the answers, but some will be varied because of our experiences, budgets, and uses for it. There are dozens of threads already started about the questions you asked and I would suggest searching for them in the "cats and casses" forum, though you may find some here in the "classic telescopes" forum as well. 

 

The best advice I could give you is to find your local astronomy club. I will guarantee at least one member there has one is willing to answer all your questions in person and show you how your scope works, how to clean it, how to collimate it, etc. Here is a link to find your nearest one: https://www.skyandte...-organizations/

 

I would not focus on imaging the planets right now. It has a learning curve and the planets are setting now. You should focus on learning how to use your scope before that. You also don't need a barlow with this scope. Collimation matters much more on this scope for viewing details on the planets than a barlow ever will. Your 8" also focal ratio of f/10 which means that you won't need a barlow because your eyepieces already take you to a useful magnification. However, it looks like you have a f/6.3 focal reducer on it currently. It effectively takes the scope from an 8" 2032mm focal length f/10 to an 8" 1280mm f/6.3. It screws onto the back of the telescope before the visual back and diagonal. Removing the f/6.3 reducer would essentially act like a barlow, giving you around a 1.6x more magnification. An f/6.3 reducer isn't a negative accessory though, it just lowers the magnification of your eyepieces and widens the FoV. In fact, for viewing DSOs (deep sky objects) the f/6.3 focal reducer is a great accessory to have and some 8" SCT owners keep it on most of the time. 

 

The ONLY purchase I recommend to you at this time is a 1x magnification reticle finder. I recommend a Telrad. You find them on almost any telescope from a simple 6" Newtonian up to research grade observatory telescopes. Here is a link for a new one from this sites sponsor Astronomics: https://www.astronom...s-and-base.html as a member of Cloudy Nights you get a discount. You may be able to find a used one here in the classifieds for a little less. Simply attach the base on the tube of the scope with double sided tape and you are good to go. I use mine to get myself "in the neighborhood" of the object I am trying to find and then dial it in with the magnified finder. It will help you a lot just learning the sky. In that same vane of learning the night sky, bring out a pair of binoculars.

 

For eyepieces, I can tell you that your 26mm should just about live in your scope right now. Like you experienced, bad seeing will affect your view of the planets and your 11.5mm and 9mm will be too high powered unless your collimation and seeing conditions are. You may want a high magnification on some objects, but your 26mm combined with your f/6.3 reducer will give you a wide FoV (field of view) and help you find objects. For more on eyepieces for an 8" SCT here is a link to a very reputable company's recommendations: http://www.televue.c..._page.asp?id=97 Their eyepieces are premium and the price reflects it. I wouldn't purchase any eyepieces now, but after you get the feel for your scope and current eyepieces you may want to make some purchases. You can find cheaper from other companies, but their article describes what kind of eyepieces best fit the scope and you can go from there.

 

It can be very easy to get sucked into the gear and accessories, especially with a site like this, but get out there and keep observing. Experience is often the best teacher.

 

Congrats on the purchase!


Edited by mfoose, 04 November 2019 - 11:16 AM.

  • BillShakes and Turf like this

#7 Turf

Turf

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 29
  • Joined: 09 Sep 2018

Posted 05 November 2019 - 08:35 AM

thanks for all the help so far.  the manuals and words of encouragement are huge!

 

i had a small refractor many years ago, but youth and inexperience took its toll on that scope.  the c8 is my first big (medium) scope.  

 

in between spotting the planets of jupiter and saturn the other night, i realized i had the 6.3 reducer on the scope.  i saw jupiter with the reducer, then removed it while i slewed over to saturn.

 

the telrad may be very helpful, i was using the side of the scope to align the planets with the dec and ra locks.

 

i checked and no local astro club.  im out in rural colorado.  closest club is 100 miles.  however my remote location means i live under bortle 2 skies.

 

I have lots to learn about astronomy and this equipment.


  • bbqediguana and jcruse64 like this

#8 bob midiri

bob midiri

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4022
  • Joined: 17 Jun 2004
  • Loc: pa 19320

Posted 05 November 2019 - 10:57 AM

Congrats on this very fine SCT, In my opinion the best SCT Celestron ever made!! You received a lot of great info from the group here. It will be a learning curve, but you will enjoy the ride!!




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics