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Can’t get my NexStar to align, what am I doing wrong?

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14 replies to this topic

#1 PROTODOPE

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 11:49 PM

I’m new to this and I cannot get my 5se to skyalign. I’m putting in lat/Lon, time/date, yada yada. Then I pick three bright stars and it fails every time. Do I need to pick specific stat? Anyone know what newbie mistake I might be making?

#2 NYJohn S

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 12:01 AM

Try auto 2 star align or 2 star align. It seems to be more reliable.
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#3 PROTODOPE

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 12:04 AM

I don’t know what any of the Stars are which is why I was hoping the sky align would help me out

#4 mikenoname

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 12:19 AM

If you posted this in the Celestron subforum you might get better help:

 

https://www.cloudyni...estron-nexstar/



#5 GoFish

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 12:35 AM

You can use the North Star (Polaris) as your first alignment star, any night of the year (assuming you are a northern hemisphere observer). 

 

Then you only need to learn 1 or 2 more stars per season.

 

Currently, one of the bright stars in Orion would make a good 2nd star. Betelgeuse and Rigel are both easy to learn.  Also, Aldebaran in Taurus is easy to spot. 

 

Hang in there. After a short while aligning your SE mount will become second nature. If it makes you feel any better, I’m pretty good at this and have never gotten the 3-star auto thing to work. 


Edited by GoFish, 26 January 2020 - 12:38 AM.

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#6 PNW

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 12:44 AM

I use the auto 2 star align. The controller picks the alignment star and slews close to it. All you have to do is center the closest bright star.


Edited by PNW, 26 January 2020 - 12:45 AM.


#7 MickTaurus

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 05:26 AM

I don’t know what any of the Stars are which is why I was hoping the sky align would help me out

You should get star charts, or SkyPortal/Stellarium app (both free), and start learning a few stars/constellations. 


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#8 brisdob

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 06:41 AM

Check and double check your settings for location, time, time zone and daylight saving.  I found that auto two star gave me the most reliable alignments.


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#9 spereira

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 08:27 AM

Moving this to Celestron Computerized Telescopes, for a better fit.

 

smp



#10 sg6

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 08:59 AM

As above double check the data, may be better to do a reset and enter it all again.

One is that you say lat/long if I recall it wants long/lat. Trouble is we talk and so think of Lat and Long and so quite a few enter those 2 the wrong way round.

 

No indication of your location as that means you would get told the timezone setting also - all useful as I think the scope defaults to UTC -8 as "normal". My Meade likes -0 and does not like +0.

 

Time with the correct Long/Lat/UTC is as per your watch and DST will likely be Off or No at this time of year.

 

A reset is because you enter data and the scope seems to determine numbers or values that do not get changed so are incorrect but used.

 

I think for any old star you have to do the 3 star alignment, never sure of Polaris and I tend to avoid. So you will have to stand around and work out 3 sensible option/alternatives.

 

Deneb should still be around, then say Rigel or Betelguese, then Castro or Pollox. In the Rigel/Betelguese area you also have Aldebaren. And a bit more East(ish) is Capella. That is 6.

Don't get lazy and use Betelguese+Rigel+Aldebaren as they are likely too close to each other.

 

If you do a 2 star align, then again stand there and identify say 3 or 4 of the above. Then level mount, level scope OTA, aim OTA North. Then do the alignment.

 

By rights the scope does not need to be level, but the scope has less errors to determine if it starts out that way. Make it easy for the scope and so yourself. And as I say - it looks like you know what you are doing, if nothing else.

 

Unfortunately Goto problems are generally data so user faults, then comes the set up of the scope - level everything you can within reason. And you have to know a few stars - which goes against the mantra that you will not learn the sky. You have to learn some to just get started.


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#11 GoFish

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 09:44 AM

As above double check the data, may be better to do a reset and enter it all again.

One is that you say lat/long if I recall it wants long/lat. Trouble is we talk and so think of Lat and Long and so quite a few enter those 2 the wrong way round.

 

No indication of your location as that means you would get told the timezone setting also - all useful as I think the scope defaults to UTC -8 as "normal". My Meade likes -0 and does not like +0.

 

Time with the correct Long/Lat/UTC is as per your watch and DST will likely be Off or No at this time of year.

 

A reset is because you enter data and the scope seems to determine numbers or values that do not get changed so are incorrect but used.

 

I think for any old star you have to do the 3 star alignment, never sure of Polaris and I tend to avoid. So you will have to stand around and work out 3 sensible option/alternatives.

 

Deneb should still be around, then say Rigel or Betelguese, then Castro or Pollox. In the Rigel/Betelguese area you also have Aldebaren. And a bit more East(ish) is Capella. That is 6.

Don't get lazy and use Betelguese+Rigel+Aldebaren as they are likely too close to each other.

 

If you do a 2 star align, then again stand there and identify say 3 or 4 of the above. Then level mount, level scope OTA, aim OTA North. Then do the alignment.

 

By rights the scope does not need to be level, but the scope has less errors to determine if it starts out that way. Make it easy for the scope and so yourself. And as I say - it looks like you know what you are doing, if nothing else.

 

Unfortunately Goto problems are generally data so user faults, then comes the set up of the scope - level everything you can within reason. And you have to know a few stars - which goes against the mantra that you will not learn the sky. You have to learn some to just get started.

I have a few disagreements that I hope sg6 will not object to me raising. 

 

First, there really is never a reason to use the NexStar 3-star alignment with an alt-az. It takes longer, does not add accuracy, and frequently fails. This method goes in the file of other “good” ideas that didn’t pan out. 

 

Next, unless Polaris is not visible from your location, it is an excellent choice for an alignment star for alt-az mounts. Almost everyone can find it easily and it is not likely to be mistaken for something else. It has the added benefit of being in the same spot every day of the year, all night long. If you observe from the same spot then it can be found each night using terrestrial references. 

 

Finally, unless you are using StarSense, there is no need to start with the scope pointing a particular direction, or the OTA level. The quickest way to get up and running is to point the scope generally towards the first alignment star before powering up. That way you don’t have to slew to the other side of the heavens using the drive motors to get the first alignment star. 

 

Although the alignment process calibrates out the effect of the mount being off-level, like sg6 I still recommend leveling the tripod. The reason is because the mount will point a lot closer to the 2nd alignment star (auto 2-star method) if it is level. This will save hunting time. 


Edited by GoFish, 26 January 2020 - 09:46 AM.


#12 NYJohn S

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 09:55 AM

Kie other's have said,

I don’t know what any of the Stars are which is why I was hoping the sky align would help me out

Like others have said, Get yourself a phone app like Stellarium. You'll be able to identify 2 alignment stars to make sure you're centering the correct stars. It's a good way to start learning the sky. That way you can be sure to select alignment stars that are not behind a tree or a neighbors house. Use the compass mode, point the phone at the sky and try to match up the brightest stars. Select one of those as an alignment star.

Center the star in the finder and hit enter.

If you've aligned the finder to the telescope the star should now be in the eyepiece. Center the star in the eyepiece and hit align.

Repeat both steps for the second star and the hand controller should display align success.

Enter a bright object like M42 or M35, to test the alignment. It should be in view using your 25mm eyepiece. You can even pick you first alignment star to see if it goes back to it.

Make sure you have a good power source or fresh batteries. If the power is weak you can have all kinds problems including the telescope spinning in circles.

Good luck
John

Edited by NYJohn S, 26 January 2020 - 05:23 PM.


#13 Gamewarden

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 11:05 AM

I will add make sure all your data is correct and do the Auto 2 star align, I almost never get results using the Sky Align.



#14 brisdob

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 04:03 PM

I just saw an excellent point made on another thread about the same problem - when you stand behind the telescope it should be on the right hand side of the mount ie the mounting rail is on the left of the tube looking from behind.



#15 rcooley

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 02:20 PM

FDCA66A1-9282-42B2-8914-A589BB3B3DED.jpeg

 

I found that once i got an adjustable chair, i was finally able to sit comfortably low enough to dial in my red dot finder.  that really helped me get my alignments down in the beginning. prob the best upgrade i bought when i first had my 4se. here it is, (behind my evo) ready to line up polaris. also, as others have noted, the “Star Walk” app, or any other app on an iPhone or iPad (or any other pad or phone) are a big help identifying stars. Invaluable in the beginning! Now I just use the Skyportal app that came with the Evo if I need to confirm a target star. Also... two-star auto is the way to go.


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