alignment difficulty

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robertmoore
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alignment difficulty

Post by robertmoore »

In my current location I only have a narrow rectangular 'slot' of sky overhead - north to south. There is no way I can align my Meade (alt-az) GoTo telescope. If I have bright stars they are not sufficiently separated. Are there any other methods of aligning this telescope? I know polar alignment is possible using the Sun's shadow, but I have seen nothing for alt-az. At present I face the prospect of a winter without observing. All my expensive gear is idle! If I could get lined up in my location I would like to do some visual observing in the northern circumpolar region.

Robert
Brian
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Re: alignment difficulty

Post by Brian »

Hello Robert and welcome.

Can you give some information about your instrument, particularly what are the mounting and handset models?
Just for info I have an old (15years) Meade LX90 with Autostar controller and its possible to just "sync" with a known star by pressing "enter" twice, meaning the system knows where it is without doing a 2-star setup. Don't know if similar is possible with your systen?

regards,
Brian
52.3N 0.6W
Wellingborough UK.

254mm LX90 on Superwedge, WO ZS66SD, Helios 102mm f5 on EQ1, Hunter 11x80, Pentax 10x50
ASI120MC Toucam Pros 740k/840k/900nc mono, Pentax K110D
Ro-Ro roof shed
John G
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Re: alignment difficulty

Post by John G »

Hello Robert,

You say you have a rectangular slot north to south, are you able to choose a star in each quadrant? Usually or certainly with Celestron and SW you need a decent separation between stars and also between 30 and 70 degrees as well, but it may be different for Meade. If you can 2 star align on any stars then then perhaps as Brian mentioned you can then sync on another star to improve the pointing model, some systems allow you to add further sync stars thus overall improving accuracy.

Would be interested to know what system you use.
John
Evolution 9.25 // OO UK VX6 // Vixen SD 81S // TS 72 Apo // Encodered AYO II // Pentax 9x50
Kay Burton
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Re: alignment difficulty

Post by Kay Burton »

I was lucky with the view, I can turn around and look at any part of the sky. But I have a hardware problem. I have an old telescope, shabby. I don't even know his brand. The lenses are weak enough in it and I want something more powerful already. But I am not very good at hardware. Can you please tell me, from these options https://homemakerguide.com/best-telescope/, does it make sense to take or not? Here and at prices are different, but I do not look at cheap ones, because their power will be small, but I want to see as much as possible. Or maybe you can advise me as a beginner a suitable option, understandable to use.
RMSteele
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Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:32 am
Location: New Farnley, Leeds lat 53.8N long 1.6W
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Re: alignment difficulty

Post by RMSteele »

Hello Kay, the link you give does not seem to work properly. When I search it, I just get a title in cyrillic script! Maybe if you could tell us roughly where you are in the world (I don't automatically assume you live in the UK) and what your budget is, the equipment experts might be able to advise you better. Also, what is the aperture of the telescope you have now? Is it a reflector (mirrors) or a refractor (lenses)? What kind of a stand does it have? We all start with a shabby telescope. Mine was an old hand-held naval telescope with a crack in the front lens. It magnified about 20 times. It was enough to show the Moon and a few other things when I rested it on the garden fence.
Kind thoughts to you, Bob
Kay Burton
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Re: alignment difficulty

Post by Kay Burton »

I live in the USA. This site was given to me by Google. I'm counting on up to $ 500 (if it's really possible to buy good optics for it). Now a telescope with a refractor. The stand is an ordinary tripod. The magnification is somewhere in the 20-25 times, I will not say for sure, I am not an expert.

Thanks for your help, Kay.
Brian
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Re: alignment difficulty

Post by Brian »

Hello Kay.

I'll stick my neck out and suggest that you should go for a medium-sized refractor telescope on some sort of alt-azimuth mounting. I suggest a refractor because the optical system should be stable over time and not require the "constant" fettling that reflectors require to keep them in alignment.

I am thinking a 100/120mm (4inch) diameter objective telescope will give reasonable views of many objects, planets and brighter deepsky. Also, these days you have a choice of alt-az mountings, from simple push-to hand driven, to sophisticated computerised tracking mounts, even some that will use your mobile phone to find targets.

As for purchase I strongly suggest you buy from a bona-fide, well established astro-dealer. That way if you get problems, you will almost certainly have support available from them. As you are in the US, I suggest you have a look at the Orion Telescopes site at:

https://www.telescope.com/

or the Celestron website at:

https://www.celestron.com/ will list their dealers in the US


I will now don my steel helmet and wait for others to join in this thread :)

Regards
Brian
52.3N 0.6W
Wellingborough UK.

254mm LX90 on Superwedge, WO ZS66SD, Helios 102mm f5 on EQ1, Hunter 11x80, Pentax 10x50
ASI120MC Toucam Pros 740k/840k/900nc mono, Pentax K110D
Ro-Ro roof shed
RMSteele
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Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:32 am
Location: New Farnley, Leeds lat 53.8N long 1.6W
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Re: alignment difficulty

Post by RMSteele »

Actually Brian, I agree. I notice the Orion site advertise a 90mm refractor of 910mm focal length. IF, it is identical with the excellent Skywatcher version it will have a lens cap that has a removable 60mm central aperture that converts it to a 60mm f15 instrument - ideal for double stars and for projecting the Sun (without overheating a 15mm plossl eyepiece that has a reasonably wide open - plastic these days - field stop). The only downside to their reasonably priced 90mm refractor is that it appears to come with a "budget" aluminium tripod and a slim equatorial head. Still, it's a versatile, lightweight scope and would leave enough left in the kitty for a decent x2 barlow lens and a diagonal and some other bits and pieces. Bob
Last edited by RMSteele on Wed Oct 07, 2020 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
RMSteele
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Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:32 am
Location: New Farnley, Leeds lat 53.8N long 1.6W
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Re: alignment difficulty

Post by RMSteele »

And.... in case anyone suspects me of mixed messages here, I should add that my earlier advice to Kay about NOT observing the Sun at present has not changed. Bob
Brian
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Re: alignment difficulty

Post by Brian »

Hi Bob.

It is these shaky EQ heads that make me suggest an alt-az mounting, especially for a beginner. To be honest, I think a modern driven alt-az mount has so much going for it that small equatorial heads may have had their day. That said, I have a 102mm f5 Helios refractor on an EQ1 head with a simple motor drive in RA. I have used this over a number of years successfully to image with a webcam. With experience and patience it can be done, but a beginner might soon give up trying.

I believe that the Orion US telescopes are made in the same facility as Skywatcher ones. The Orion "beginner" refractors look to be in Kay's price range.

regards,
Brian
52.3N 0.6W
Wellingborough UK.

254mm LX90 on Superwedge, WO ZS66SD, Helios 102mm f5 on EQ1, Hunter 11x80, Pentax 10x50
ASI120MC Toucam Pros 740k/840k/900nc mono, Pentax K110D
Ro-Ro roof shed
Kay Burton
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:10 am
Contact:

Re: alignment difficulty

Post by Kay Burton »

Brian wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 3:32 pm Hello Kay.

I'll stick my neck out and suggest that you should go for a medium-sized refractor telescope on some sort of alt-azimuth mounting. I suggest a refractor because the optical system should be stable over time and not require the "constant" fettling that reflectors require to keep them in alignment.

I am thinking a 100/120mm (4inch) diameter objective telescope will give reasonable views of many objects, planets and brighter deepsky. Also, these days you have a choice of alt-az mountings, from simple push-to hand driven, to sophisticated computerised tracking mounts, even some that will use your mobile phone to find targets.

As for purchase I strongly suggest you buy from a bona-fide, well established astro-dealer. That way if you get problems, you will almost certainly have support available from them. As you are in the US, I suggest you have a look at the Orion Telescopes site at:

https://www.telescope.com/

or the Celestron website at:

https://www.celestron.com/ will list their dealers in the US


I will now don my steel helmet and wait for others to join in this thread :)

Regards
Hello! Thanks for the recommendations. For me, as a beginner, this is very interesting information, because I did not consider such options due to the fact that I am not good at telescopes. I will definitely take a look and then write which option I chose!
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