Question about Orion SkyQuest XT8 Dobsonian Telescope

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Confused with RA setting circle with Orion XT8 Dobsonian

I recently purchased an Orion XT8 Dobsonian telescope with equatorial mount. Was able to do 'polar alignment'; however, getting confused with setting right-ascension circle because the RA setting knob moves along with the RA circle.

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An Orion XT 8 DOB cannot be polar aligned??? The mount is ALT AZ ---

You would need an equatorial platform to polar align. There are no setting circles on a stock XT??

Posted on May 16, 2009

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Manual for TwinStar 1000mm focal length telescope and equatorial mount


Equatorial mounts need to be polar aligned to work correctly. Once the scope is polar aligned (see manual or look online for polar alignment instructions), turn on the RA motor. Loosen your RA and DEC locks and find a object you want to view, The motor should keep the object in view for a while (depends on how good the motor tracks and how good your polar alignment is.) Spending 10 minutes polar alignment on my C8 keeps the object in view for about an hour without adjustment.

Dec 16, 2011 | Celestron Optics

Tip

Buying your first telescope


So you got the Astronomy bug or a young child and you want to buy a telescope. Here are some suggestions:

1. Never buy a telescope from Wal Mart or CostCo, or Ebay unless you know EXACTLY what you are buying. Most of the scopes on Craigslist.com are also junk or toy telescopes. (I have bought two telescopes from craigslist.com; BUT I knew exactly what I was buying!)

2. Do NOT buy an equatorial mounted scope as your first telescope. You must polar align the scope to use it, and most cheap low cost EQ mounts are shaky and not actually built to support the telescope. Can you find Polaris, and point the EQ mount toward Polaris? Unless you polar align an EQ mounted telescope, it cannot be used!

3. Locate a local Astronomy club and attend their meetings and star parties. You will get to look through the member's telescopes and ask questions. Do this BEFORE you buy your first telescope.

4. Usually we recommend a small Dobsonian mounted reflector as your first telescope. See this web site: http://www.telescope.com/control/dobsonians/classic-dobsonian-telescopes Try to buy one that is at least 6 inches in aperture. An 8 inch Dobsonian would make a great beginner telescope! The 4.5 inch makes a good child's telescope.

These are easy to use and POINT at objects in the sky, and you get the largest aperture for the least amount of money.

5. Buy several Astronomy books. For example, "Turn Left at Orion", and "Nightwatch". Read these before you spend your money. Also download a free monthly star chart at www.skymaps.com You can also subscribe to Astronomy magazine, or Sky & Telescope magazine.

6. NEVER buy a telescope that advertises MAGNIFICATION. This is the least important quality of a telescope, which is made to gather the light from dim and small sky objects. 575 power magnification written on the outside of the box is a LIE! Also, the pretty pictures on the box were taken by the Hubble Space Telescope! You will NOT see color in that 70mm telescope you are planning to buy.

7. The MOUNT is just as important as the actual telescope. A cheap department store toy telescope on a shaky mount will frustrate the beginner. You CANNOT buy a usable telescope for less than about $200. Sorry but that's just the way it happens to be!

8. A nice pair of either 7x50mm or 10x50mm binoculars should be considered as your first TELESCOPE purchase, along with a Star Chart. Learning your way around the sky is a big part of the hobby. A pair of 10x50mm binoculars is almost the same aperture as that 60mm telescope you are thinking about buying! The binoculars have a wider field of view which will help beginners SEE and LOCATE more sky objects.

7. The Astronomical League has a list, by State, of Astronomy Clubs on their web site:
http://www.astroleague.org/societies/list Join a local Astronomy club!

Again, DO NOT buy a telescope until you learn a little bit about the different types of scopes (Refractor vs Reflector) and their strong and weak points for each scope design.

Here are example of scopes NOT TO BUY!

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=12538000 EQ shaky mount

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=8402684 Cheap GOTO computer scope- plastic gears

http://www.opticsplanet.net/meade-114eq-ast-model-45-f-88-equatorial-telescope-04056.html another shaky EQ mount

http://www.opticsplanet.net/tasco-50x50-telescope-and-microscope-combo-red-49tn.html I don't know about the microscope, but the telescope has the same aperture as a pair of binoculars!

http://www.opticsplanet.net/tasco-novice-402x60mm-refractor-telescope-30060402.html You might be able to see the moon and a few of the planets but with 60mm of aperture it's just too small and the mount is very shaky

Read this web site to learn about the different types of telescope designs.
http://www.texasastro.org/telescope.php

If you are buying a telescope for a child buy a 4.5 inch or 6 inch Dobsonian. If the scope is for YOU, then buy an 8 inch or 10 inch Dobsonian. Like one of these:
http://www.telescope.com/control/dobsonians/classic-dobsonian-telescopes

Or one with a computer hand controller like these:
http://www.telescope.com/control/dobsonians/intelliscope-dobsonian-telescopes

AND WATCH this video- the $800 telescope-- you will learn a lot about telescopes by listening to Andy talk about telescopes.
http://www.andysshotglass.com/800Dollar.html

Notice how much stronger the equatorial mounts appear on this video, and his final recommendation of a Dobsonian reflector as a good beginner's scope in the largest size (aperture) you can afford. Remember-- objects in the sky are VERY small. Your scope and it's finder scope must be lined up exactly pointed at the same spot in the sky; or you will not see anything!

I cannot emphasize this point enough! Telescopes have very small fields of view, no bigger than the tip of your finger held at arm's length!

Here is a free monthly star chart that you can download every month:
www.skymaps.com

Clear Skies!
TelescopeMan

RSS Link to all of TelescopeMan's Audio & Video Astronomy Podcasts

on Dec 01, 2009 | Optics

1 Answer

I have never had a telecope before and have purchased the Celestron 114EQ modelr n 31042 Im looking for step by step instructions on how to use it


Do you have a manual?

This is a small reflector style telescope on an equatorial mount-- the mount must be POLAR ALIGNED in orderr to be used properly. Guess you did not know that when you bought an EQUATORIAL mount.

Read this:
http://www.astronomy.net/articles/4/polaralign.html

Once the scope is polar aligned place the eyepiece with the largest number written on it into the focuser. The moon should be your first target at night. the RA knob and the DEC knobs (slow motion controls) are used to keep the object centered in the eyepiece.

Download this free planetarium software --
www.stellarium.org

Aug 25, 2011 | Celestron PowerSeeker 114 EQ Telescope

1 Answer

I am looking to buy a telescope for my husbands 50th b-day and fathers day. How do i go about choosing one?


Read these two articles-

http://texasastro.org/telescope.php

http://texasastro.org/mounts.php

A 6 inch or 8 inch Dobsonian mounted reflector is what we usually recommend for a beginner. Like this one:

http://www.telescope.com/Telescopes/Dobsonian-Telescopes/Classic-Dobsonians/Orion-SkyQuest-XT6-Classic-Dobsonian-Telescope/pc/1/c/12/sc/13/p/8942.uts?refineByCategoryId=13

Jun 04, 2011 | Optics

1 Answer

I have an Orion SkyQuest XT8 Dobsonian. I have had it for 6 years or so. I can't see anything through the eye pieces. It just has black spots. is it the eye pieces or the telescope?


Put the eyepiece with the largest number written on it into the focuser. Go outside during the day time and practice focusing on a distant object.

Watch this video --
http://www.andysshotglass.com/Collimating.html

May 11, 2010 | Orion SkyQuest XT8 Dobsonian Telescope

1 Answer

The DEC setting circle on my Konusmotor 90 is not fixed


This is a small equatorial mount. The setting circles are very inaccurate on these small telescopes -- you will NOT be able to find anything in the sky, even if you set them properly. Sorry.

You bought an equatorial mounted telescope which is never recommended for a beginner. However I have posted instructions for aligning the mount on Polaris on my profile page in the TIPS section. Read those instructions. You must first align the scope on the North star in order to use the telescope.

Mar 25, 2010 | Konusmotor 90 (91 x 90mm) Telescope

1 Answer

Skyquest XT8


Here is the info page on the Orion web site:
http://www.telescope.com/control/product/~category_id=intelliscopedobs/~pcategory=dobsonians/~product_id=27183

You can also call Orion Customer Service. Some eyepieces will not come to focus. Try the one with the largest number written on it.

Also your scope could be way out of collimation. Watch this video:
http://www.andysshotglass.com/Collimating.html

Dec 15, 2009 | Orion SkyQuest XT8 IntelliScope (48 x...

1 Answer

RA will not track on Orion Atlas mount


Are you sure it's not actually working (tracking)-- can you hear the motor running?

I would contact Orion and make sure you have a manual for the hand-controller-- it may have a setting that turns tracking on or off.
http://www.telescope.com/control/main/

Nov 14, 2008 | Orion Atlas Mount GoTo Upgrade Kit...

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