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#1 Linked-In-The-Stars

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 08:00 AM

Hello All!!

 

I'll try to keep this short and quick and get to my point here. So, since winter here has been brutally cold as of late I haven't been able to do any real observing, during those cold cold nights and when they were clear I would use a simple pair of binoculars to get a quick fix before I froze. Surprisingly enough I was able to see quite a bit which was nice and exciting, and for the first time I was able to see the orion nebulae, and really faintly be able to tell where andromeda was due to the hint of light and some star hopping. So to my question, I was finally able to pull out my 10" Lightbridge last night, I grabbed a few wide FOV eyepieces, and took to the skies with them. I again, tried locating the orion nebulae with a 56mm, 33mm and a 26mm, and was not able to see anything like I saw with the binos. (The light/gases/clouds surrounding it) Now I know the moon wasn't helpful as it was probably 3/4 full, but I was able to locate a few stars easily in the constellation and I tried star hopping a bit more but couldn't see the light emitting from the nebulae like I had with the binos. Is this because of the power of the dob? Maybe that I'm so zoomed in I am not able to see this? Or is it more so from the moons brightness that diluted from what I saw in the binos? When I used stellarium to try and star hop it did seem like I was really zoomed out there into orion's constellation, and was quite a bit trickier to navigate it and really find what I was looking for, but I thought with the wide FOV's that if anything that alone would've helped. Or is it just that tricky on a manual dob? I'll continue to play around but just looking for some insight as I have yet to do any sort of upgrade to my dob to help in the search for dso's. Thanks for the help! CS...

 

Dustin



#2 Tangerman

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 08:05 AM

If you couldn't see the Orion nebula, you were probably not quite looking in the right spot. Star-hopping is much easier to do with something like a right-angle correct-image (RACI) finderscope. Were you using any sort of finder? It would make it much easier to find


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#3 kathyastro

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 08:09 AM

For sure, you should have been able to see the Orion Nebula.  So my guess is you were having trouble aiming.

 

First, make sure your finder is perfectly aligned with the main scope.  Do an approximate alignment in the daytime on a distant target, then follow up at night aligning it on a bright star.  To align the finder, first get a recognizable object centred in the eyepiece of the main scope.  Then, without moving the scope, adjust the finder mount until the same object is dead-centre in the cross-hairs.

 

When searching for an object, first get it centred in your perfectly-aligned finder.  Then, use a low power eyepiece to centre it in the main scope.  Only then should you try higher magnifications.


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#4 Linked-In-The-Stars

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 08:10 AM

That was initially my first thought, I wasn't quite in the right spot. I have a finderscope picked out but I have not invested in it yet so the only thing I have right now is a simple chincy red dot finder. Which is almost zero help at all. So between trying to use stellarium, and my eyepieces, you can see how finding it could become quite difficult. I do plan on buying it within the next month along with a collimating set to be sure everything is aligned. Thank you for your input!!



#5 kathyastro

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 08:15 AM

That was initially my first thought, I wasn't quite in the right spot. I have a finderscope picked out but I have not invested in it yet so the only thing I have right now is a simple chincy red dot finder. Which is almost zero help at all. So between trying to use stellarium, and my eyepieces, you can see how finding it could become quite difficult. I do plan on buying it within the next month along with a collimating set to be sure everything is aligned. Thank you for your input!!

Although red dot finders aren't quite as useful as finder scopes, the same applies to them: you have to align them before they are useful.  Because they don't magnify, it is even more important to start with a low-power eyepiece.


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#6 sg6

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 08:19 AM

As I guess the Lightbridge is 1200mm and a 56mm EP gives 21x and so 2.33 degree you should have found M42 and should have easily fitted it all in. I have assumed 2" eyepieces and the field of a Plossl.

 

So would guess you didn't have M42, maybe M43 which is smaller but so close to M42 that I would expected M42 to amble into view.

 

Does read a bit odd that you have not previously seen the Orion Nebula, it is a naked eye object. M31 is more difficult - surface brightness is low even though the final magnitude is "bright". How much LP in Elkhorn ?

 

Slight "warning" on finders: There about 5 options and getting the one that is right for you can mean working through all 5 varieties.



#7 Linked-In-The-Stars

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 08:25 AM

I will have to check my finder this afternoon and make sure that is also aligned. I did notice when using stellarium, and where I had pushed my telescope to, stellarium was showing orion nebulae being further to the left of where I was, but as using my cell phone and trying to use the app and correlate that with my telescope is just as challenging, locating stars such as Rigel was fairly easy, I just couldn't seem to do myself justice last night though. But, I will start with those things and go from there, sometimes I tend to overthink instead of starting out with the simple solutions that most experienced people do, such as making sure alignment is correct! LOL.. Thanks much! Seems we have another clear day and hopefully the evening will be as well so I can try again although the moon is going to be even brighter undecided.gif



#8 Linked-In-The-Stars

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 08:42 AM

As I guess the Lightbridge is 1200mm and a 56mm EP gives 21x and so 2.33 degree you should have found M42 and should have easily fitted it all in. I have assumed 2" eyepieces and the field of a Plossl.

 

So would guess you didn't have M42, maybe M43 which is smaller but so close to M42 that I would expected M42 to amble into view.

 

Does read a bit odd that you have not previously seen the Orion Nebula, it is a naked eye object. M31 is more difficult - surface brightness is low even though the final magnitude is "bright". How much LP in Elkhorn ?

 

Slight "warning" on finders: There about 5 options and getting the one that is right for you can mean working through all 5 varieties.

Yes, they are all 2" eyepieces that I am using, Williams Optics and one Meade 4000 series. Being that I've just gotten into visual astronomy, and I just picked this scope up last August, I was really limited to the fall for observing as winters here are not fun to want to drag this thing outside in the type of cold we get. So I didn't get very many nights of observing, on the other half, most of the time I probably didn't look into what I was really looking at like I am now.

 

I've always been into looking at the night skies just with my eyes, going upnorth and so on and never really studied it other than your popular constellations and planets and so forth. So as far as seeing Orion nebulae, I probably have seen it without even knowing? As you can tell "something" is there just like the pleiades, But never tried with a scope or even binos for that matter. And according to the map it says we are in a Bortle Class 4, without a bright moon as we have right now which probably pushes it to 5 or 6. 

 

Also, as far as a finder scope I suppose trial and error would be best, but I was recommended a few times the Apertura finder is a good scope to add with the illuminated reticle. Any good feedback on a user friendly finder would be appreciated as well for this type of setup. Thanks!



#9 Mrcloc

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 08:48 AM

Red dot finders can be very much out of alignment. Also, trying to use your phone to find the stars isn't easy because it's usually a few degrees off. I found the crab nebula in bortle 7-8 skies in my 8" in the Southern Hemisphere with a red dot finder. So a few tips:

  • Make sure the scope is collimated.
  • Align the red dot finder - it doesn't need to be perfect, but more or less on is fine. I found using a distant light ideal.
  • Look where you have to aim the red dot in Stellarium or whatever - try to remember the pattern in the stars - make sure the app knows where you are.
  • Focus your telescope on a star first before you find a nebula.

Clear skies!



#10 Mrcloc

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 08:55 AM

Any good feedback on a user friendly finder would be appreciated as well for this type of setup.

I don't have as much experience as many others here, but as said above, you'll probably have your own preference. You could probably find a cheap 6x30 finder for $40 new, or maybe something on the classifieds here, and that might give you a reference to compare a magnified visual finder vs the un-magnified red dot.

 

Please chime in, all ye with more knowledge than me. I speak under correction.



#11 Mike G.

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 09:15 AM

make sure the base that attaches the finder to the upper tube is tight.  on my Lightbridge, the base had a tendency to move around a bit, throwing the finder off if you bumped it even slightly.  I took a curved plate of some 1/8" aluminum, painted it black and mounted it to the inside of the upper tube so the mounting screws have something more to tighten down with than the thin sheet metal.  you may not need to go to that extreme but make sure it's tight before you try aligning it.

 

if the Moon is near full, it's going to blast the faint nebula details away.  I would almost suggest waiting for a good night (little or new moon) to try for M42 since when you do find it, it's going to knock your socks off. don't forget to check out the Trapezium, 4 bright stars in the center of the nebula.  on good nights, you can maybe pick up an additional 1 or 2 dimmer stars.

 

good luck!


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#12 aeajr

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 09:33 AM

Hello All!!

 

I'll try to keep this short and quick and get to my point here. So, since winter here has been brutally cold as of late I haven't been able to do any real observing, during those cold cold nights and when they were clear I would use a simple pair of binoculars to get a quick fix before I froze. Surprisingly enough I was able to see quite a bit which was nice and exciting, and for the first time I was able to see the orion nebulae, and really faintly be able to tell where andromeda was due to the hint of light and some star hopping. So to my question, I was finally able to pull out my 10" Lightbridge last night, I grabbed a few wide FOV eyepieces, and took to the skies with them. I again, tried locating the orion nebulae with a 56mm, 33mm and a 26mm, and was not able to see anything like I saw with the binos. (The light/gases/clouds surrounding it) Now I know the moon wasn't helpful as it was probably 3/4 full, but I was able to locate a few stars easily in the constellation and I tried star hopping a bit more but couldn't see the light emitting from the nebulae like I had with the binos. Is this because of the power of the dob? Maybe that I'm so zoomed in I am not able to see this? Or is it more so from the moons brightness that diluted from what I saw in the binos? When I used stellarium to try and star hop it did seem like I was really zoomed out there into orion's constellation, and was quite a bit trickier to navigate it and really find what I was looking for, but I thought with the wide FOV's that if anything that alone would've helped. Or is it just that tricky on a manual dob? I'll continue to play around but just looking for some insight as I have yet to do any sort of upgrade to my dob to help in the search for dso's. Thanks for the help! CS...

 

Dustin

I don't know what binoculars you are using, but assuming they are 10X50, they will have about a 6 degree field of view.

 

I don't know what the apparent field of view is for your eyepieces, but assuming the 56 is a 2" Plossl I am guessing it has a 50 degree AFOV.

 

FL scope / FL eyepiece = magnification

 

Apparent Field of View (AFOV) eyepiece / magnification = approximate field of view.

 

1270  /  56 = 23X

 

50 / 23 = 2.1 degree FOV, Field of View (approximately)

 

So  your eyepiece is giving you about 1/3 the field of view of your binoculars.   That is a pretty good field of view for a 10" scope so you are getting about as wide as you can get on that scope.

 

This means, with a properly aligned red dot finder you need to be able to get closer than 2 degrees to your target to see it.

 

However, the Orion nebula should look wonderful in that eyepiece.  Then you just work up the mag level as you get in closer and closer.  But use the 56 mm eyepiece as your finder eyepiece, teamed with your red dot finder.

 

Things look different in a telescope.

 

The Pleiades, for example, looks GREAT in my binoculars. But when I get it in my eyepiece I lose all of the surrounding context so it looks like a bunch of very bright stars.   I like it much better in my binoculars than in my telescope.

 

Also, with binoculars you are using both eyes, so you get a greater feeling for depth.  With a telescope you are using one eye so you lose that stereo vision effect.   This is more apparent on larger targets, in my opinion, then smaller targets. 

 

 

That was initially my first thought, I wasn't quite in the right spot. I have a finderscope picked out but I have not invested in it yet so the only thing I have right now is a simple chincy red dot finder. Which is almost zero help at all. So between trying to use stellarium, and my eyepieces, you can see how finding it could become quite difficult. I do plan on buying it within the next month along with a collimating set to be sure everything is aligned. Thank you for your input!!

You should be able to see the Orion Nebula with your eyes alone so a red dot finder is all you need, if you have taken the time to align it with the scope.  Red dot is all I would use to get the Orion Nebula into my low power wide view eyepiece.

 

If you have not aligned the finder to the scope than you are going to have a LOT of problems finding things.  This is something best done during the day.

 

Page 11 of the manual tells you how to do it.

https://www.meade.co...lightbridge.pdf

 

Note that finders tend to get bumped.  I do a quick alignment of my finders when I start each night's observing session.  I use a bright star, put the red dot on it, center it in the eyepiece and adjust the red dot to match the eyepiece.  I do the same with my 8X50 RACI finder.  I do this every observing session. 

 

 

Finder Scopes
https://telescopicwa...n-finderscopes/

 

 

Understanding Telescope Eyepieces
https://opticsaide.c...-for-telescope/

 

Understanding and using a Barlow Lens
https://telescopicwa...ens-and-how-to/

 

 

Tips:

Top right of the screen you will see your screen name with a little down arrow.
Go to My Settings.  This is where you can make a number of changes.


You can set whether you want to receive private messages from people and how
you want to be notified about posts.


SIGNATURE:   Also, I recommend you create a signature (my settings)
where you can list your telescope your eyepieces or whatever you wish.  My
signature is at the bottom of this post.  A signature helps people help you
because they know what you have.  We get a lot of requests from people
saying, "I am new, what eyepieces should I get?"   Now we play 20 questions
to find out what telescope they have, what eyepieces they already own, etc..


BUDGET: When asking about things to buy it is good to provide a budget.   An
eyepiece can be $30 or it can be $300.  If we don't know your budget we
don't know how to advise you. 

Terms like "budget priced" or "low cost" have absolutely no meaning.  What
is low cost to me may be expensive to you.  We need numbers. In fact, consider
rephrasing to something like this, “I have the following telescope and
eyepieces and this much to spend.   What would you suggest?"   Give it a try.


LINKS: If you are asking a question about a specific product I suggest you
provide a link to that product so we know exactly what you are talking
about.  For example, Orion sells the Starseeker IV 150.   Well, it turns out
there are two different telescopes that could be described by that name.
One is a 150 mm Newtonian reflector and the other is a 150 mm
Maksutov-Cassegrain.   Which are you asking about?

If there is no link then people will answer
based on the one they think you are asking about rather than the one you
want to know about.

Part of what makes Cloudy Nights so great is that people are very happy to
help one another.  These tips just make it easier for us to help each other
or to understand what is being discussed in the thread.  I hope you find
these tips helpful.


Glad you decided to join us in the sky.   smile.gif


Edited by aeajr, 24 February 2021 - 09:50 AM.

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#13 Linked-In-The-Stars

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 09:45 AM

 

 

 

SIGNATURE:   Also, I recommend you create a signature (my settings)
where you can list your telescope your eyepieces or whatever you wish.  My
signature is at the bottom of this post.  A signature helps people help you
because they know what you have.  We get a lot of requests from people
saying, "I am new, what eyepieces should I get?"   Now we play 20 questions
to find out what telescope they have, what eyepieces they already own, etc..
 

 

 

Hey I learned something! LOL I've been wondering how the heck everyone had their things listed down at the bottom of their messages! I've been meaning to do this and thought it was the signature but I was not positive! Thanks for all the feedback and tips! I've got a long road ahead but, I am excited to say the least! Thank you all!!!!!


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#14 Mizzmi27

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 10:26 AM

That was initially my first thought, I wasn't quite in the right spot. I have a finderscope picked out but I have not invested in it yet so the only thing I have right now is a simple chincy red dot finder. Which is almost zero help at all. So between trying to use stellarium, and my eyepieces, you can see how finding it could become quite difficult. I do plan on buying it within the next month along with a collimating set to be sure everything is aligned. Thank you for your input!!

I am very new at this as well but as others have noted your red dot finder just probably isn't aligned. I actually find mine quite helpful though it can easily lose alignment (and sometimes mine has trouble even turning on). But if you've got it even close to being aligned you shouldn't have any issues placing the red dot in the middle of the orion nebula and then having it in your scope.


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#15 sevenofnine

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 12:02 PM

O.K. I'll say it...Don't be fooled! (like I was lol.gif)...I assumed that once I aligned my red dot in the daytime that it would stay that way. Nope. I knocked it out taking the scope into the backyard. So my routine now is to always double check it on a star before each viewing session. Good luck and happy hunting! waytogo.gif


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#16 Linked-In-The-Stars

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 08:00 AM

Well, quick update from  yesterday! Took to aligning my red dot on my scope yesterday and ran into a big issue. It will not align due to the mount itself, (seems to be off) and one janky little set screw they give you to set and tighten it down, that is towards the front of the mount or top however you wanna think of it, which when tightened, rotates my red dot further out of alignment compared to my ep. When looking through the red dot, and centered on an object, my ep is off several inches, and vice versa when I am centered on my ep, my red dot is off quite a bit, which I would assume at further distances, this would be a huge problem...And if not tight enough, then it's loose! face palm...I will be ordering a new mount and finder scope this weekend, so it will be gone altogether..But again, disappointing to say the least. Several inches off on my scope, would probably multiply the degree I am off at bigger distances..Thanks for all your input and advice, I will update again once I get things straightened out! Thanks!!!!



#17 KBHornblower

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 10:08 AM

Once again a manufacturer appears to be negligent in pinching pennies on the finder.  In my fantasy world I would cheerfully wash out the head honcho's mouth with soap.

 

What do you mean by "my eyepiece is off several inches"? 



#18 Linked-In-The-Stars

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 11:11 AM

Yes, I definitely would agree on the finder subject. I guess I’d rather pay a little extra to get something more fine tuned along with the scope, something of more quality instead of having to invest and change completely (to a point). Although it is nice to be able to pick something out you like and will enjoy for some years. Anyhow, I suppose I could’ve worded what I meant by EP being off or finder etc. so in short, if my finder was on target (let’s say) or centered on a distant object, my EP was not on that target by several inches, to get my EP on that same target I had to push/turn my telescope to the right several inches to center the EP on said target. In doing so obviously then my finder was off target and EP on. Didn’t matter what I tried even trying to adjust the red dot it would not center and be aligned with each other. The single set screw is a huge problem, though, doesn’t make sense at all to be “square” or “aligned correctly. And the mount the red dot comes on is plastic and flimsy, a slight push and it twists, turns. So simply I need a stronger better built mount, and a better finder. Because at this time they will not align with each other. Not to mention on a different note when I received my telescope the secondary unit had cross threaded threads on the unit itself, so when I attach my tubes it was a bit sketchy tightening to say the least, as when you tighten you’re essentially making it worse, I’ll have to re-tap them because they want to send me new knobs first instead of a secondary unit. Doesn’t make sense either when the problem is on the unit itself. Ahh well I really enjoy my scope I shouldn’t complain but it’s nice to be able to talk about the things I enjoy and many enjoy that people will understand. Lol

#19 Linked-In-The-Stars

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 11:15 AM

Wasn’t very short hey? Haha

#20 Paul Sweeney

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 12:50 PM

It is said that a commercial dob is a "work in progress", and in the end you will need to invest to get it the way you want it. Still, it is disappointing that many scopes these days are so poorly made.

Is your finder the type that slides into a shoe? If that is the case, look at the base. There may be a bit of plastic protruding that keeps it from seating correctly. If that is not the case, you might be able to put a shim in the shoe to force the finder base into the right position.

#21 KBHornblower

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 03:39 PM

Yes, I definitely would agree on the finder subject. I guess I’d rather pay a little extra to get something more fine tuned along with the scope, something of more quality instead of having to invest and change completely (to a point). Although it is nice to be able to pick something out you like and will enjoy for some years. Anyhow, I suppose I could’ve worded what I meant by EP being off or finder etc. so in short, if my finder was on target (let’s say) or centered on a distant object, my EP was not on that target by several inches, to get my EP on that same target I had to push/turn my telescope to the right several inches to center the EP on said target. In doing so obviously then my finder was off target and EP on. Didn’t matter what I tried even trying to adjust the red dot it would not center and be aligned with each other. The single set screw is a huge problem, though, doesn’t make sense at all to be “square” or “aligned correctly. And the mount the red dot comes on is plastic and flimsy, a slight push and it twists, turns. So simply I need a stronger better built mount, and a better finder. Because at this time they will not align with each other. Not to mention on a different note when I received my telescope the secondary unit had cross threaded threads on the unit itself, so when I attach my tubes it was a bit sketchy tightening to say the least, as when you tighten you’re essentially making it worse, I’ll have to re-tap them because they want to send me new knobs first instead of a secondary unit. Doesn’t make sense either when the problem is on the unit itself. Ahh well I really enjoy my scope I shouldn’t complain but it’s nice to be able to talk about the things I enjoy and many enjoy that people will understand. Lol

It appears that you accidentally shoved the telescope pretty hard while attempting to align the finder.  You need to use baby step finesse, and check the main scope frequently and restore its aim toward the target as needed.

 

My temptation would be to remove the finder and smash the bejeebers out of it with whatever weapon is at hand.  Then, while waiting for delivery of a good finder, I would practice sighting along the tube to find things.  I would start with the Moon, then bright stars, and finally the Orion nebula.  I would just aim a bit below the target and start sweeping back and forth, raising the telescope slightly with each sweep.  At low magnification M42 and M43 are close together in the field of view, surrounding a cluster of bright stars.



#22 Mike G.

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 03:43 PM

I have one of these:

https://agenaastro.c...dot-finder.html

 

nice adjustment knobs (not screws), assorted bases for different shoes, dims very dim and good dew protection.  much better than the generic red dot



#23 aeajr

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 03:55 PM

Did you call Meade and advise them of the problem?  My experience with their support has been very good.



#24 KBHornblower

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Posted 25 February 2021 - 04:02 PM

Addendum:  I found the instruction manual for your scope online.  There should be a hex screw on top of the finder and another one on the side, to be turned as needed with the included hex wrench.  One screw will move the aim point up and down and the other one sideways.  Do not confuse these screws with the bracket mounting screws.  See figures 19 and 20 on p. 10.

 

https://www.meade.co...ual_REV_00A.pdf

 

That looks like a very sturdy assembly.  For now I retract my remarks about smashing the finder and washing out the manufacturer head honcho's mouth with soap.



#25 AngryGinger81

AngryGinger81

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 43
  • Joined: 04 Jan 2021
  • Loc: Enfield, CT, US

Posted 25 February 2021 - 04:20 PM

I just got a Rigel Systems finder for my scope. I like that it gets very dim and can be set to pulse which makes it easier to see a small or faint object. If I need more accuracy, I have an 8x50 right angle finder I can use from there. I'm new to this as well, so I had trouble getting in the ballpark with the 8x50 alone. I'm sure it gets easier with experience and practice, but a reticle sight is a nice convenience. I can use it with both eyes open so I don't lose the surrounding context. 


  • dudeyes62 likes this


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