Edmund 6" Reflector
Posted 31 August 2006 - 02:53 PM
Posted 31 August 2006 - 04:05 PM
Welcome to CN!
You probably have just one motor on the RA axis, and it's probably an AC motor (and probably by Hurst or Bristol).
The idea of getting the motor to 'track' is simple. The motor drive counteracts the apparent motion caused by Earth's rotation - 1 revolution per day.
What you have to do is point the RA axis -- the axis parallel to the optical tube that probably has the motor drive in it -- towards Polaris (the North Star). Everything in the sky will appear to rotate around Polaris, so if you point the axis at Polaris and plug in the motor (assuming it works and all the gearing and clutches are in good order), and then you move the scope to an object, leaving the RA axis pointed at Polaris (in other words, moving the mount but not changing its orientation on the ground), then your object *should* stay in the eyepiece's field of view. The closer you are to Polaris, the more likely that object will stay in your eyepiece for a long time.
The process is called polar alignment, and you'll do well do to some research on it.
You likely have a pretty good telescope there, optically speaking, so enjoy using it. I'd recommend that your first purchases be a unit-power finder like a Telrad or Rigel, a planisphere or good star chart, and then one or two good eyepieces ("good" being a very subjective term, but there are a few you just can't go wrong with). Then get out there and enjoy it!
What part of the country to you live in? You might check and see if you have an astronomy club in your area that has regular star parties. Take yourself, your wife (very important!) and your scope to that event, and you'll usually find people more than willing to help you learn more about how to use your scope and where some of the more frequently viewed objects are. If they're anything like most clubs I've visited, they're also more than willing to let you look through their scopes as well, which could end up costing you a lot of money... (Okay, so maybe you don't want to take your wife; when she finds out how much some of those scopes and mounts actually cost, she may put the kibosh on you. But, then again, she may get just as interested as you, and then it's all good. )
Again, welcome to CN, and feel free to ask questions anywhere along the way -- we actually like that here.
Posted 31 August 2006 - 05:03 PM
I appreciate the welcome and the advice. It looks as though all the clutchs and such are in good order. I'll have to post some pictures. I, in all honesty, have never really been able to take this scope out and plug in the drive. And your right, it is just an RA drive (can't remember the maker right off the top of my head) with an AC motor. I've plugged it in at the house just to make sure it worked and it does. Now that we are in the country, a long extention cord is in order I guess...LOL.
I do have a Rigel quick finder mounted to it as well as my little portable 4 1/2 shortie that I've had for awhile. I bought that one because it is so much more portable that the Edmund but the views can't compare. I also have a nice collection of Plossel eyepieces that I've accumulated over a period of time thanks to Ebay. If I remember I think they are 40, 25, 18, 10 and a 6. I'll have to look. It's been a while since I've had everything out. Looking forward to using everything again. I even have a homemade laser collimator.
Posted 31 August 2006 - 05:11 PM
Long extension cord -- nah. Get a battery and an old single-axis drive controller/inverter. Those can be had for pretty cheap, and will run your 110VAC drive off of a 12v battery -- and let you go anywhere.
Sounds like you're good to go otherwise.
Posted 31 August 2006 - 06:38 PM
Keith (Oh, BTW, welcome to CN and all of the good natured comments that goes along with the package)
Posted 31 August 2006 - 08:42 PM
Posted 01 September 2006 - 10:53 AM
Man some people have all the luck!!
I you go to Edmunds website http://www.edsci.com they have a book called
"All About Telescopes" by Sam Brown
That book has a great polar alignment section as well as a good section on using the setting circles.
it is all done using Old Edmund scopes.
i Highly recommend this Book
Please post some pictures of your scope
Thanks and good luck
Posted 05 September 2006 - 03:34 PM