For reviewing purposes, I skipped over the short Chapter 6, focused on Sky Portal operations, as I’ll do that chapter after I have a chance to connect to my tablet and test some of the operations. I thought of doing the same for Chapter 07, Connecting a PC, Mac, Tablet or Smartphone to Your Tablet, but it’s a short chapter, and easily dispensed with here.… Read the rest
Chapter 5 (of Michael Swanson’s “The NexStar User’s Guide II”) is entitled NexStar and StarSense Hand Control Operations and you would be right if you assumed this was going to more like a software manual than a telescope manual. It is a highly specific reference manual for the use of the hand controller and reading it page by page is for the hard-core geek only.… Read the rest
Chapter 4 of Michael Swanson’s “The NexStar User’s Guide II” is entitled Alignment and is the chapter that made me want to buy the book and read it cover to cover. Readers of the blog know that I struggled with alignment for my NexStar 8SE (Solving alignment problems with the Celestron NexStar 8SE) and Michael’s online resources were helpful in resolving some of them, or at least narrowing the problem.… Read the rest
I like to blog about non-fiction books as I read them, as it helps me both synthesize and retain the info. Chapter 3 is a general overview on all the computerized scopes in Celestron’s arsenal, and I found myself liberally highlighting as I read it. Here are some highlights:
- P.57 — a great overview of the different processors in the mount, including some of what the processors in the mount do (drive the motors) and the hand control (determining the correct tracking rate)…I was initially confused about something in the manual, as it said the hand controller sends the update to the mount every thirty seconds.
I mentioned previously that it helps me to blog about NF books as I read them — kind of like transcribing my notes into something more coherent that my brain can recognize. Chapter 2 on Astronomy Basics in the NexStar User’s Guide II is a similar outcome. Here are some thoughts:
- P.12 — Constellations…There are 88 constellations that divide the sky…I always assumed there were WAY more than that.
I have a Celestron NexStar 8SE telescope, and I have had some, umm, challenges dealing with alignment issues (Solving alignment problems with the Celestron NexStar 8SE). When I started surfing the ‘net to find some solutions, it didn’t take long to find out about Michael Swanson, the resident online expert for all things NexStar.… Read the rest
A new owner of an older 8SE asked me what I thought were the priority accessories to get to go with the stock package (mount, OTA, and 25 mm Plossl). I thought it would be an easy answer, and then realized it is almost as difficult to answer as what scope would be best for someone.… Read the rest
I’ve blogged about my challenges and successes (Finally learning with the Celestron NexStar 8SE and Solving alignment problems with the Celestron NexStar 8SE), so I thought I would do a quick summary of the proper way to align my scope in case it helps others.
Here are my “four” options, although the first two are obviously tongue-in-cheek:
A.… Read the rest
I had one of those handheld telescopes when I was a kid, and I tried to look at the stars, but well, that went about as well as you think it might have gone. I couldn’t see diddly except for the moon. And even then, I never saw ridges. Then five years ago, I bought a real telescope (Celestron NexStar 8SE below) and attempted to embrace my new hobby without a lot of success.… Read the rest