View Full Version : Newb that's in over his head

2011-Feb-16, 04:57 AM

For starters, I got into astronomy just recently. ie the last 6 months. I'm hooked, but I have no idea what I'm actually doing.

I recently received a Meade Star Navigator 102. So yea, I don't know how to work it really. Part of the problem is that I've been viewing it outside my apartment where there is quite a bit of light pollution. However, I'm still clueless as to electronically align it. It's always so off when I do.

What are some really basic guides that you folks recommend? The manual didn't seem that helpful.

Thanks in advance,

2011-Feb-16, 05:04 AM
Thread moved to Astronomical Observing, Equipment and Accessories where I think you're likely to get the answers you seek.

forrest noble
2011-Feb-16, 05:05 AM
You might take these questions to the "Astronomical Observing, Equipment and Accessories" forum.

Astronomical Observing, Equipment and Accessories
(Discuss telescopes, binoculars and anything you need to watch the skies.)

There are many that hang out there that may more likely by able to answer you related questions. Good luck.

I see PetersCreek beat me to it by moving the thread.

2011-Feb-16, 06:34 AM
You've discovered why I can't recommend computer scopes for beginners. Far better to do it the old fashioned way, learn the sky.

This is also why I've been recommending here for years before buying a scope attend a few star parties before you buy the wrong scope for you even if it means driving for hours and staying in a motel. No newbie can read the hype in ads and make an intelligent decision. They tend to hype what is insignificant and omit the significant for instance.

There are many good astronomy clubs in Florida. Without a location I can't help with finding one other than to google your town or area and add the word term astronomy club. Also there are websites to help http://www.skyandtelescope.com/community/organizations is one.

The learning curve for this hobby is extreme. A club can make it manageable. Many will assign a mentor to each newbie that will be available for help throughout the month, not just at meetings. Then you can repay the service as you become more experienced and help other beginners starting up the learning curve.

I don't know and never could fathom inexpensive scopes like the one you have. I was a supervisor of a public observatory for 27 years. When such scopes hit the market we were flooded by people like you that couldn't figure them out -- neither could we without a lot of study. One of our volunteers, now a supervisor was the only one of us that could handle all that came through the door. The rest of us threw up our hand as each one was different in some way, even those of the same model number would vary as new programming was installed so what worked on one brought in 4 months ago didn't work in the apparently same one today. Drove us nuts trying to learn them all.

Some mistakes were common, not entering time or date properly, not starting from a park position when required, steps not followed in exactly the order specified and on and on. Sometimes slop in the mount was the problem so it was more a mechanical issue. Reset the gears for better mesh and tighten things down so no sag. The list goes on. Hands on help from a club member who can read your manual and examine the scope for mechanical issues would be your best help.

Unfortunately there's no magic pill to avoid the hard work of learning this hobby.


2011-Feb-16, 02:45 PM
I appreciate it Rick. My google-fu did indeed find a club locally. I'm going to keep trying :-)