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Need Help with the Celestron NextStar 4SE

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#1 aoztanir

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Posted 31 July 2020 - 03:15 PM

Hi all,

 

I am a novice astronomer and I really need help with a Celestron Nexstar 4se. I am using a feature called two-star alignment, and it displays successful, however other objects are uncentered when the telescope moves automatically. I have tried for many days to fix this, however, I am most definitely not an expert and really need help!



#2 sg6

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Posted 31 July 2020 - 03:35 PM

Going to suggest your expectations are too high.

The 4SE is a nice instrument but high precision engineering it is not.

Reasonable engineering maybe.

 

When you set it up the better the initial position is to ideal the better. Basically the scope has less user introduced errors to compensate for.

 

First question is how do you aim North ?

Many use a compass and that is pretty close to useless.

If you had a location you could be told your magnetic declination, just in case you are using a compass.

 

So set up is everything.

Data should be set by you not from the pick list. Somehow Celestron never seem to have that right.

 

You need a wide eyepiece, as wide as possible so lets say 30mm plossl.

The 4SE is a Mak and 1325mm focal length.

So a 30mm gives 44x and a field of 1.1 degrees. Here is the odd aspect the field is really +/- 0.55 degrees.

So goto's have to be very good and that is with a wide eyepiece that I half guess you don't have one.

If the scope went to within 0.8 of a degree of the requested target then that target is out of view.

 

If you are going to a planet then planets are a problem. The things move - inconsiderate of them so the software has to calculate where they should be. And Jupiter is presently going backwards. And the processor in the 4SE is close to pathetic. As is the memory. So do not expect PC performance or ability, abacus maybe, PC no way.

 

So where are you and what is your exact detailed setup process.


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#3 mac57

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Posted 31 July 2020 - 03:36 PM

After alignment, use the lowest power ep you have and slowly pan around the spot that your scope wants to point to.  These Celestron mounts are OK, but they are not dead accurate.  I assume that you are using named alignment stars and not the generic two star align.  We all need to learn our equipment when it's new to us, just be patient and you'll get there.  Mark



#4 JohnBear

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Posted 31 July 2020 - 03:43 PM

Welcome to CN!!!

 

You have a nice telescope. Be patient when

learning how to use it - it is not quite as "Easy amd Automated" as the marketers make it sound.

 

Please refer to CN member Polywogg's excellent webpage on SE alignment for beginners here:

https://polywogg.ca/...on-nexstar-8se/

 

It says "8SE" but it is for all SEs. This is by far the best, and most understandable, description of the proper SE setup and alignment procedure I have yet seen.  Refer to Polywogg's method as you study you manual- it should help a lot.

 

Also practice your SE alignment during the day - so you can see what is going on.  Just tell the telescope that it as at night and the time you expect to be observing. Also use your free planetarium apps to show what will be in the sky at the time you specified, and you will be ables to see that the SE gotos are pointing in the approximately right direction. 

 

Probably the best option is to google your local astronomy club and contact to ask if they can refer you to an SE owner that might help you learn how to set it up properly. 

 

Good luck, Clear skies, and Neowise!



#5 WarmWeatherGuy

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Posted 31 July 2020 - 03:45 PM

Use Auto Two Star alignment instead. Make sure the first star is not too high in elevation. I find Polaris ideal as it is not moving much at all. The scope will choose and slew to the 2nd star. I use an eyepiece with crosshair reticles. Getting the alignment stars precisely centered will give more accurate subsequent gotos. When aligning the star on the crosshair have the last movement always the same - up and to the right. So you see the star in the bottom left quadrant moving toward the center of the crosshairs. That way the slop in the system is the same for each alignment. If you don't want to get a reticle with crosshairs then defocus the star a lot. That way it is easier to judge how centered it is.



#6 aoztanir

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Posted 31 July 2020 - 03:46 PM

Hi,

 

So my exact setup process is very simple, I simply place the telescope down, level it and then align it. I can understand what you are saying about the 4se, and I have a 32mm wide angle ep but it always seems to be off by a good amount of height through the view finder. I am not using a compass, the only alignment mehtod I use is two star align.



#7 barbarosa

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Posted 31 July 2020 - 04:27 PM

Auto 2 star is the key, but you need to pick stars you can identify and you need to put the first star reasonably close to the center of your field of view.

 

For Auto 2 star leveling (by eye) is useful in that it improves the accuracy of the slew to the second star. Otherwise it isn't important.

 

Alignment is a process of matching the sky map stored in the hand control with the sky for your location, date and time. You could in fact do the alignment by pointing the scope at nothing 1, and then at nothing 2 with the correct displacement from nothing i  and still get an alignment. 

 

If you get an alignment and slews to targets are off, you can realign on the fly by replacing or redoing the original alignment objects. Instructions in the manual- easy to do.

 

If star alignment defeats you, try one on the moon. it won't be very good, but you can change the alignment on the fly. Slew to some easy to see star, Vega, Arcturus or planet, Jupiter. and align on it. You can do this as often as needed to get a tight slew.

 

The 4SE is a nice scope or a pretty good mount, but like any Mak or SCT is has a narrow field of view, a long focal length EP as suggested can help and you should at some point consider the f/6.3 focal reducer to increase the field.


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#8 aoztanir

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Posted 31 July 2020 - 04:29 PM

Thanks all so much,

 

Would anyone be willing to hop on a quick phone call to help out. Nw if u cant.

 

Thx again!



#9 JohnBear

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Posted 31 July 2020 - 05:43 PM

Call your local astronomy club. It'll be quicker.



#10 barbarosa

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 11:19 AM

Where are you? Time zones and date lines are so inconvenient.

 

Face to face (with masks and separation of course) is probably the best way. There are a lot of Nexstar mounts around and you have a good chance of finding somebody local. Why not start a new thread specifically asking for coaching by  phone or Skype? I don't know how that would work out but it might get you what you need.

 

If you don't connect here there are other English language forumsh north and south of the equator. I;m not a fan all sky but it can work. The third star is a check on the first two, so it isn't more accurate than 2 star. See also this video.

 

There are some good videos on the web, such as this  one on all sky alignment from Celestron.

 

The hard fact is that with a new Nexstar unless  you are getting an error code or using the internal batteries rather than external power, it is always operator error. Most of us have made more then one and if we haven't we will. Dry runs in daylight can be helpful and reading/rereading the instructions as  you go can often discover the problem.


Edited by barbarosa, 01 August 2020 - 11:31 AM.


#11 smiles233

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Posted Yesterday, 05:42 PM

After reading polliwogs post he talks about changing the azimuth and altitude settings.... do you have to change the altitude settings to positive?  Or leave default "negative" and always go up and right as your last moves during alignment. Or is it right and up?



#12 smiles233

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Posted Yesterday, 05:53 PM

I did a factory reset and both are now change to normal and I set up my latitude and longitude I'm going to try soon to a line thanks



#13 aoztanir

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Posted Yesterday, 05:54 PM

Same here, what I have found is that it doesn't make a difference, the align still fails.



#14 Newbutnotreallynew

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Posted Yesterday, 06:00 PM

Hi,

 

So my exact setup process is very simple, I simply place the telescope down, level it and then align it. I can understand what you are saying about the 4se, and I have a 32mm wide angle ep but it always seems to be off by a good amount of height through the view finder. I am not using a compass, the only alignment mehtod I use is two star align.

 Is your red dot finder calibrated to your telescope? This is different from alignment. 



#15 aoztanir

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Posted Yesterday, 06:01 PM

Yeah I calibrated them quite recently...




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