As readers of my blog know, I am an amateur astronomer. And my road into astronomy has not been paved with the remains of rainbows or yesterday’s sunbeams. I have struggled mightily over the last 7 years, including some epic battles with my scope to get aligned.
In the end, two people in the club really helped me nail down my wayward astro gremlins, and now I try to pay it back whenever I can. I have a couple of posts that get a lot of foot traffic about the “proper” way to do alignment of a Celestron GoTo scope, and I’m of the firm belief that users of the SE series of scopes fall into very set categories:
So I know that my type of scopes are popular, and I want to make sure no one is left dangling. It’s a horrible feeling. And since I have experience with it, I tried to do some training tonight for 4 intrepid souls looking for some assistance. Three made it out, betting the fourth might not of expected us to go ahead as it was looking almost like a thunderstorm was coming
One of the three has had a scope before, relatively understanding of the stars, just new to goto scopes; another was relatively new to astronomy but had set up a couple of times; and the third was brand new and had no idea how to get his scope going.
Unfortunately, both the last one I listed and me were not prepared properly for tonight. I started to set up my scope, and after a little bit of time, realized that I totally forgot my diagonal. I normally have it attached, but I did some stuff awhile ago and there was no joy in Mudville tonight. It wasn’t attached and I didn’t think to bring it, thinking the old one was still on there. Nope, removed it some time ago. Sigh. So I didn’t get very far. For the other fellow, the battery on his Red Dot Finder died. For the more experienced guy, something is off with his handset or scope, not sure which. So his worked, but not as well as it should have.
And honestly? That’s the type of thing that can drive you crazy…you think it isn’t quite right, but start to doubt yourself, so having an experienced person say, “No, you’re right, it isn’t supposed to do THAT!” is helpful, if not a solution. We’ll work on fixing that over time though.
I was surprised though about the training. I expected to run through pretty quick, and everybody would be able to replicate my steps. But it didn’t take long for that plan to fall by the wayside. One had problems with his red dot finder, another had problems understanding what he had to do, third was having equipment problems. Each of these meant stopping to help JUST that person. A fourth person would have messed that up.
Others had suggested only doing 1:1 but that seemed SO inefficient. I’m going to do some videos at some point, so this was a bit of a test, and as a test, I would say we’re going to be in beta mode for a long time. But one went away “solved”, more or less.
Today I choose to offer some astro training.
What choices are you making?