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First Light: Beginner with AVX and C6R learning on the fly.

beginner Celestron refractor
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#1 Echolight

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Posted 31 May 2020 - 01:58 PM

I've never been much interested in manuals and instructions. So I figured I'd just wing it! And by golly, that's what I did.

 

As a general note, this setup is a decent ways from what any normal newbie would call a grab and go. But I thought it would be a pretty cool backyard scope. And I can put almost anything I want on the mount, within reason.

 

Setting up the Celestron AVX 6 refractor was several trips in the making. The actual mounting of the large-ish telescope was no problem at all. And I had the un-accessorized C6R OTA set up on the AVX mount early in the day in our semi-rural backyard at the outer edge of the urban light dome.

 

After pointing the mount as close to my guestimated north as I could figure, I had initially set it on there with the tripod legs as low as they would go. But quickly realized that the legs would need to be fully extended to keep the eyepiece at least a couple feet off the ground when nearing zenith. So one at a time, I lifted the assembly and extended each of the three legs fully.

 

Worrying that the diagonal may contact the tripod during the AVX mounts erratic movements,, as I had read about,, I started looking for options of a pier extension. And I found this inexpensive solution in a thead on CN that I plan to later incorporate.

https://www.cloudyni...pier-extension/

Even though I never had any part of the scope hit the tripod, a taller pier would be prefererred so the tripod legs wouldn't need to be extended so far. But 8 inches might be the practical limit for plastic.

 

Later in the day, I adjusted the altitude adjustment to match the latitude of my location, which I had learned was the actual altitude of the North Star.

 

And then went on to add the diagonal, eyepiece, finder scope, and slide the scope in the rings and adjust the location of the counterweights for optimum balance.

 

After if got mostly dark, I went outside for the fun to begin. I hooked up my powerpack, which I had previously run a 100 foot extension cord to. Then plugged in the hand controller and went to aligning. But the mount would only go one way. After a fit of running around in circles, I finally figured out what that extra coiled phone cord was for and was back in business. WooHoo!!

 

I need to get some large posters of the night sky and constellations to study. But I chose the moon for the alignment because that was the only thing I could readily identify.

 

The moon was BLINDINGLY bright! I didn't notice any CA, and the moon showed some really nice details through the Baader zoom equipped C6R. It focused clearly up to 300x with the Ultima SV 2x barlow. Although I believe the other half of the moon will have more to look at in a couple of weeks, when I hopefully I will have acquired a cheap used DSLR for some snapshots. Can't wait!

 

I tried a moon filter to reduce the brightness, but it seemed too dark.

 

Not being well acquainted with most named stars, I went on to slewing to a slew of available options, that were either hidden by trees or below the horizon, before I finally found Vega.

 

Vega was a sparkling bright blue star in the eyepiece. And I had learned my first star with the help of the Goto!

 

I tried a couple of clusters, but didn't see much. Not sure if it was alignment or seeing. Hopefully with some more practice I'll have better luck.

 

Then I landed on Spica. A binary that I read can't be resolved as a double with a normal telescope.

This star appeared very colorful. Not sure if it was the fast achro acting up with CA, or that's just how it looks.

 

Took a little break and went back out to see Jupiter and Saturn after they made it above the treeline.

 

I was surprised how easily I could see Jupiter's four Galilean moons. Jupiter itself looked light yellowish with faint dark reddish-brown stripes. CA was not evident to me. If I remember correctly, magnification at just under 150x was the sharpest.

Although I couldn't resolve a ton of detail, I was encouraged with the views of Jupiter on my first night out with a real telescope.

 

And lastly, following close behind Jupiter was Saturn.

Looked like a yellow cartoon alien head with black c-shaped eyes at first.

Running the magnification up to around 190-200 seemed to provide the most clarity, with some ring separation visible. No noticeable CA.

 

I was out pretty late. But it was a good first night. 

 

Already planning on building a litte shed that I could store a carted 10 or 12 inch dob in, that could become the new yard scope. And if/when I get the big dob, may move down to a 4" f/7-ish ED for a more grab-n-go refractor to mount on the AVX then.

 

But the BIG 6 inch f/8 achro is a nice start and about half the price of a fully assembled 4 inch ED OTA.

And I detected no CA on any planets or the moon. Maybe it was there on the bright stars. But I'm not sure.

 

And the AVX didn't disappoint. Easy enough to use for even a dummy that didn't read a lick of the instructions. And decently stable when pushed to the limit with a nearly five foot long 20+ pound refractor.

Edit to add: Tracking is a splendid thing to have on a telescope.

 

The Baader zoom...I don't know. It's a solid piece mechanically. And I like the features of being able to use it in either a 1.25 or 2 inch diagonal. And that it is threaded for camera attachments. And it is reported to have a wider field of view than other zooms. But with my limited experience, I can't say that the view is anything extraordinary. Maybe it is, but maybe it's not worth five times as much as the lower end zooms. Seems a bit of an extravagant luxury until I can confirm otherwise.


Edited by Echolight, 31 May 2020 - 03:51 PM.

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#2 desertstars

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Posted 01 June 2020 - 08:37 AM

 

Tracking is a splendid thing to have on a telescope.

Truth! cool.gif


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#3 Hax

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 04:14 PM

Thanks alot for sharingthis,  I've recently purchased the same setup and im looking forward for it to arrive! Its a great package for the price.. a few members on here have recommended a narrowband, or semi APO filter (ill probably get both) if there is any CA, and it they help bring out natural colors and contrast. Anyways thanks for sharing! once my scope arrives ill likely be making a report like this one :)


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#4 Echolight

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 05:48 PM

Thanks alot for sharingthis,  I've recently purchased the same setup and im looking forward for it to arrive! Its a great package for the price.. a few members on here have recommended a narrowband, or semi APO filter (ill probably get both) if there is any CA, and it they help bring out natural colors and contrast. Anyways thanks for sharing! once my scope arrives ill likely be making a report like this one smile.gif

Thanks for your input.

 

Yeah, it's a cool scope and mount. Big, but not too heavy.

 

I don't know about the filters. Read something about O-III or something.

I'd like to try a slightly lighter shade filter for the moon though. It's really blinding without one. But the one I have seemed too dark.

 

My next upgrade will be a 2 inch dielectric diagonal and a 38 and maybe 20-ish swa or uwa eyepieces. Probably get a 2 inch barlow down the line.

 

And I'm seriously considering a Moonlite focuser.

 

I really don't ever want to have more than three telescopes at a time. But this one is really growing on me and I think it's a keeper. To my mind, it's just about perfect for a light poluted backyard scope.

 

Maybe I got lucky and got one of the ones with really good lenses. Or maybe I just don't know any better.


Edited by Echolight, 06 June 2020 - 05:51 PM.

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#5 Hax

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 06:13 PM

Thanks for your input.

 

Yeah, it's a cool scope and mount. Big, but not too heavy.

 

I don't know about the filters. Read something about O-III or something.

I'd like to try a slightly lighter shade filter for the moon though. It's really blinding without one. But the one I have seemed too dark.

 

My next upgrade will be a 2 inch dielectric diagonal and a 38 and maybe 20-ish swa or uwa eyepieces. Probably get a 2 inch barlow down the line.

 

And I'm seriously considering a Moonlite focuser.

 

I really don't ever want to have more than three telescopes at a time. But this one is really growing on me and I think it's a keeper. To my mind, it's just about perfect for a light poluted backyard scope.

 

Maybe I got lucky and got one of the ones with really good lenses. Or maybe I just don't know any better.

I hear you, I havent gotten the scope, but i think it will be perfect for my current knowledge level. I've also said that about owning 3 scopes too. Do you know what % your moon filter is? I have a 25% one for my Orion Spaceprobe 130ST(newtonian reflector) and it works pretty well. But from what ive gathered i will be getting a narrowband nebula filter for sure, but until i know further that would probably be all i get for now.. im so eager for mine to arrive!

Have you seen anywhere any cases that would fit the OTA? I have been looking but unless i want to spend about 500$ i cant find one that would safely and securely fit. maybe you have had better luck if you were looking.


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#6 Echolight

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 06:33 PM

I hear you, I havent gotten the scope, but i think it will be perfect for my current knowledge level. I've also said that about owning 3 scopes too. Do you know what % your moon filter is? I have a 25% one for my Orion Spaceprobe 130ST(newtonian reflector) and it works pretty well. But from what ive gathered i will be getting a narrowband nebula filter for sure, but until i know further that would probably be all i get for now.. im so eager for mine to arrive!

Have you seen anywhere any cases that would fit the OTA? I have been looking but unless i want to spend about 500$ i cant find one that would safely and securely fit. maybe you have had better luck if you were looking.

I keep mine in a pool box. One of those big storage chests that go by a swimming pool. I gave twenty bucks for it at an estate sale.

I use a five dollar tarp folded over several times to kind of wrap halfway up the sides as padding underneath it. Everything fits in there easily. Two tripods and mounts,  Powerpack,  extension cord, small plastic tool box with wires and accessories, and the scope resting in it's tarp bed on top.

 

Not sure it'll be used much outside the yard. But maybe a cheap sleaping bag wrapped around it and held in place with a couple of bungy cords would keep it from getting scratched up for car travel. If I had to carry it in the back of a pickup, might build it a little wooden bed/crate/coffin.

 

Been thinking about getting an 8 inch dob for a grab and go that I wouldn't have to hook up to anything or align. Figured I wouldn't need the goto or tracking so much at a dark site.

And thought the 8 inch dob tube might fit in one of those hardside golf bag cases.


Edited by Echolight, 06 June 2020 - 06:41 PM.

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