Please Help!!!

Don't be shy! If you're just starting out, here's the place to ask that first question

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mrchris
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Please Help!!!

Post by mrchris »

Hi everyone,

I am a new member of the society and need help with my new telescope.

I recently got a skywatcher explorer 130p with synscan goto mount for my birthday and have been trying for days to figure it out...

I have read what little instructions came with it and think I know what I am doing until I actually try to do it.

Tonight was a perfectly clear night and I set up my scope in the field input the date, time, long-lat etc correctly and chose 2 star align, it then told me to choose a star, base on my google sky maps and stellarium software I found one and went for it. I was convinced I had it until i chose a second star and it started slewing in the complete opposite direction and landed abou 180 degrees away from where that star actually was!!!

Does anyone have any ideas???? Does the software really expect you to know exactly which star you need to be pointing at, because when I look in the viewfinder I have a chose of about 50 and havent a clue which one it is....

Am I missing a big step??

Sorry for the essay, just really frustrated. Im sure more questions will foloow as I encounter more obstacles.
David Frydman
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Post by David Frydman »

Hello and welcome,
Because I am not computer literate and have only used pre GoTo scopes I cannot help you.
But I can tell you there have been many similar queries and if you wait a while one of the GoTo users will hopefully help you.

Can you now while it is maybe clear just use it without the GoTo and look at Jupiter or the Moon first with low magnification eyepiece then with about 100x.
At least you could do some observing before you get replies to help with the GoTo.
Even if you get it working try it first with the lowest magnification eyepiece.

Good luck.
Regards, David
David Frydman
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Post by David Frydman »

The scope seems to come with 26x with 25mm eyepiece and 65x with 10mm eyepiece.
With the 26x the field of view is probably just under 2 degrees or say 3.5 Moon widths.
If you can attach the 6x30 finder and use the Moon you should be able to align the finder. If not do it in the day with a distant T.V. aerial or similar.

If you are able to just point it without the GoTo then you can look at Jupiter and the Moon with the two eyepieces.

David
mrchris
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Post by mrchris »

Thanks David,

Really appreciate that. Last night I managed to see Jupiter quite clearly by ignoring the alignment process beacause I knew where it was. Apparently you can only move the mount using the computer or it breaks the clutch so I had to switch it to alignment mode and pretend I was aligning it just to move it to jupiter, this worked though and I was very impressed.

Hopefully someone with the GOTO knowledge can help me too.

Thanks again

Chris
David Frydman
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Post by David Frydman »

Dear Chris,
Usually a knowledgeable user turns up after a day or so. So hopefully somebody will answer your questions.
I am only used to old fashioned scopes.
As far as I am concerned you just point and look.
It amazes me how many people buy these GoTo scopes, and then have problems, I think mainly because they understand modern technology and gadgets when I don't
I don't even use a mobile phone.

It is good you bought a short focus instrument which has a wide field of view rather than a long focus Maksutov GoTo. These have small fields of view and even when set up correctly don't find objects unless you are very accurate in levelling etc.

If you don't have an eyepiece giving more than 65x you will probably want to get a 2x Barlow such as the TAL or a higher magnification eyepiece, giving say 100x or 110x.
If you wear glasses you may need a long eye relief eyepiece..

At least you can find Jupiter and the Moon.
Try Orion's sword stars under Orion's belt. That should be easy to find.
If you are up at say 2.30 or 3a.m have a go for Saturn near Spica i think.

Enjoy the clear skies when you get them.

Regards, David
Brian
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Post by Brian »

Dear Chris, Welcome to the forum :)

Sorry to hear of your alignment problems, be assured that you are not the only user to be sometimes mystified by the behaviour of your GoTo telescope or find the operating instructions don't make sense, and you certainly won't be the last :)

I don't have this mounting, but forum member "smerral" does and he gets excellent images using it. Hopefully he (another Brian) will pick up this thread and respond. If not maybe a PM is in order, I'm sure he will be pleased to help .

One comment I can make is that power problems can have the effect you are seeing. Most experienced synscan users will have a mains power adapter or external battery (jump-start type) pack as on-board cells soon deplete and are affected significantly by cold, dropping voltage quite quickly.

Regards,
Brian
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Wellingborough UK.

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Ender Of Days
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Post by Ender Of Days »

Check the power, they do go funny when the power drops even by a slight amount !
I haven't got the same scope but Id be doing a Motor Calibration check and stuff like Training the Drives etc,

Also with my scope I have to return it to the Home Position if it ever goes wrong,not just north,they get very easily confused :lol:
aint no speed limit where im comin from ..
lets hit the highway doing 69


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M54
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Post by M54 »

If all the data is correct including time zone = 0, DST = Off and you had the time as PM. The PM could be the one missed as I am not sure if it defaults to AM or PM and that would shove it 180 deg out.

Pick bright stars that are sat alone, Meades will always chose Arcturus if it is anywhere around as a start.

Sirius is also isolated (but low), and Aldeberan. Aldeberan is close to a group but they are faint by comparison.

Procycon and Capella are 2 others that would be the only bright star in the view for alignment.

Deneb is bright but low and in the milky way so probably best avoided.

For your scope and the system I would probably opt for Capella or Procycon and the first.
Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear mrchris
I have no experience of using Skywatcher Explorer 130 telescopes myself but I have an aquaintance who had one for several years and it proved to be an excellent telescope.
I think the scope and mount (especially not assembled) is quite portable. If your problems persist think about contacting your nearest astronomical society with a view to taking your 130 scope to a society observing session. I am sure that some of the society members will try to help.
If you do not have transport possibly an experienced local society member might be prepared to visit you and provide practical help.
However, be careful, do not assume that every member of an astronomical society knows what they are doing. Don't let any\every Tom,Dick or Harriet loose using your "good" telescope.
I think a good advisor will try to explain every step he makes as they go along.
Be patient and best of luck with your future astronomy and telescope observing in particular.
Best wishes from Cliff
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