For the first time ever, I successfully found Uranus about a week ago. It was my second serious attempt to find it.
I carefully starhopped to it, using the free mobile phone version of Stellarium. I find the app (and this version of the app specifically) very useful for starhopping. It only shows stars down to magnitude 8. This is what I'm going to see easily in the scope, so I am able to quickly identify small asterisms and star patterns without being misled/confused by the much fainter stars that show up in better versions of Stellarium.
For the time of night (and also at the very moment I type this) Uranus is almost exactly 12 degrees directly "down" from Hamal - the brightest star in Aries. That meant I was only moving in one direction from my staring point.. I located Hamal fairly quickly with unaided eyes and got it in the scope. Then I slowly made my way down 12 degrees, matching up stars to what was shown on Stellarium on my way down. I eventually found Uranus. Fortunately, it is part of a horseshoe shaped pattern of stars that just fit into my field of view with a 25mm plossl (my widest field eyepiece at about 1.8 degrees). Once I had a positive ID, I started increasing the magnification.
Unfortunately, the night I did this was a night of miserable seeing (2/5 or "poor" on Astrospheric). Stars were starting to blur at a little over 100x, and anything over about 125x was useless. As a result, I could not resolve Uranus as a disk in the eyepiece or in my smartphone photos (which were actually much worse than the view through the eyepiece thanks to the seeing).
Still, I was excited in that at least I knew I'd found it. It will be that much easier to find again on a night of favorable seeing.
Of course, the way I found it was something I've practiced a lot and that works well with my equipment and conditions (meaning my scope, my widest field eyepiece, the version of Stellarium that I use, my eyesight, and the view from my backyard). You may find other methods that work better with your equipment and conditions, but you will find it eventually.
When you do, it will probably be a great feeling. It was for me. Neptune is still on my to-do list...
Good luck, and happy hunting!
Edited by CBM1970, 16 September 2021 - 09:36 PM.