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What Am I Doing Wrong?! 12.5 Dob

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Posted by Buz Buzbee on February 28, 2002 15:10:43 UTC

Hi. I got my 12.5 dob yesterday. I got the scope early in the day, but the rest came rather late. Anyway, I put it all together and was anxious to go out and look. I got to admit, the focuser was really crappy, just like everyone said. I'll have to buy one of those Crayfords that I hear so much about I guess. The viewfinder was crappy as well. I believe that I got the collimation right. The book told how to set it, and I believe I did it right. I mean, not "laser technology right", but pretty damn close. The scope is huge and unwieldy. I expected that. I had to lube up the alt/az bearing. Those pads are worthless. I'll be making the trip up to Wal-mart and getting some of those magic slider things. I am a novice, so I kind of didnt know about the "Star test" for collimation untill after I put the scope away and read the rest of the book. I'll do that tonite. Well, I pointed the thing at m42 and got a great view ot the nebula. I thought it was pretty awesome. It did, however take me some time to get the viewfinder centered correctly. I looked at the plaides and that was nice. Then, I tried to look at saturn. Once again, all I could see was a bright disk with a ring around it, not very much more impressive than with my 80mm reflector. Jupiter was the same... not much more impressive. In fact, for some reason, I couldnt even get jupiter to focus all the way. I dont know if it was the focuser itself, or less than perfect seeing conditions. I mean, it seemed like a pretty clear night to me... Since I was in my backyard last night, and there are trees and a house in the way, I was restricted to the southwestern/western/northwestern sky. Soon, at about 11 or so, the moon rose up enough over my house to look at it, but the heat waves coming from a nearby fire diffracted the image in my scope. I'll have to look at it some other time. Overall, deep-sky images were pretty good. I was dissapointed in the planetary views though... Any advice about this? I couldnt even use my barlow cuz the focuser didnt move in towards the scope enough to focus that image.. Any advice on this? I feel like I'm doing something wrong. Could anyone please help me out with this? P.S. Could a collimation problem be giving me these fuzzy views of the planets? I got a pretty good view of M42....

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