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eddieNY
2003-Jul-06, 12:46 AM
A couple months ago my dad's friend bought him a telescope. I finally had some free time today so I just finished putting it together but I sort of ran into a dead end. I don't have the instruction manual and I know nothing about how to use a telescope. Now that I have a telescope (something I always wanted) this is a hobby I really want to get into. Can anyone give me advice as to what steps I should take when I go out with it for the first time tonight?

Also it reads this near the eyepiece. Can someone explain what it means?

D = 114mm F = 910mm f/g

I assume it means the length of the barrel and the diameter of the miror. Any site references or tips for me, the absolute beginner, will be greatly appreciated.

The model name is: Meade Electronic Model 114EQ-DH
Here are pictures of it:

http://216.119.90.22/pictures/uploads/pic1.jpg

wedgebert
2003-Jul-06, 02:59 AM
A couple months ago my dad's friend bought him a telescope. I finally had some free time today so I just finished putting it together but I sort of ran into a dead end. I don't have the instruction manual and I know nothing about how to use a telescope. Now that I have a telescope (something I always wanted) this is a hobby I really want to get into. Can anyone give me advice as to what steps I should take when I go out with it for the first time tonight?

Also it reads this near the eyepiece. Can someone explain what it means?

D = 114mm F = 910mm f/g

I assume it means the length of the barrel and the diameter of the miror. Any site references or tips for me, the absolute beginner, will be greatly appreciated.


I don't know, but I'm guess 114 mm is the diameter of the mirror and 910 mm is the focal length.

As to being lost, I suggest you stop pointing the telescope at the celing and moving it closer to the window so you can see outside. Try finding a cute neighboor to make sure the telescope works :roll:

aurorae
2003-Jul-06, 03:02 AM
Also it reads this near the eyepiece. Can someone explain what it means?

D = 114mm F = 910mm f/g



Yes, the first number is the diameter of the primary mirror, and the second number is the focal length.

It's a 4 and a half inch newtonian on a german equatorial mount.

There's lots of info on the web, also you can probably find some good books in your local library. You also might do well to visit your local astronomy club.

Do you have another specific question?

GarethB
2003-Jul-06, 12:22 PM
Step 1: Get a good book about the night sky with maps of the star positions and read it, then re-read it.

Because of the earth's orbit around the sun, some objects are only visible for part of each year. A good book will have chapters for each month of the year and notes about the best objects to look at for each month.

A pair of binoculars can be handy too. When I'm not trying to look at anything specific I'll spend some time looking around the night sky with the binoculars first. When I spot something interesting, I point the scope at it for a closer view.

Here is a link to an online manual for the non-electronic version of your scope. http://www.meade.com/manuals/m4500/index.html
It won't explain how to use the electronic drive your scope has, but it will explain how to operate it manually. I had a quick search but couldn't locate an online copy of the manual for the electronic drive your scope has. You may need to order one from Meade.

A couple of hints. If the air is warmer inside the house than outside when you take the scope outside, give it a little time to cool down. A small scope like that shouldn't need too long, maybe 10 or 15 minutes (You should give your eyes a similar amount of time to adapt to the dark. They will be much more sensitive to faint objects).

Don't expect to see things they way they appear in photos. Many of those pictures were taken with huge scientific telescopes costing millions, not small backyard scopes costing hundreds. Also, the brain has trouble interpreting colours from faint objects, so something that has a lot of colour in a picture can have very little colour through your scope.

Schultze
2003-Jul-06, 01:51 PM
I have that same tripod/mount under my Meade 395 90mm refractor.

It's fairly simple and pretty stable for small tubes like we have.

The on-line manual can probably explain how to set it up more clearly than I can describe on a BBS, but if you have trouble with it or have a question please post again.

In order for it to track properly you will have to perform a polar alignment which should be described in the manual.

Crimson
2003-Jul-06, 02:14 PM
If you need help finding the stars and constellations, try these books:

See the Stars: Your First Guide to the Night Sky by Ken Croswell (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1563977575). The simplest guide to constellation identification ever written--perfect for beginners, and includes large, full-color photographs of the prominent constellations. However, it only works between about latitudes 25 and 55 degrees north.

Stars (Golden Field Guide) by H.S. Zim et al (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1582381577). Somewhat more advanced--this is what Crimson used long ago (though it had a better cover back then).

However, you don't really need a telescope to learn the constellations. The best way to learn the constellations is with just the plain old naked eye, plus perhaps a pair of binoculars.

Schultze
2003-Jul-06, 02:21 PM
Agreed. You will most certainly not be able to learn the constellations through a telescope.

If you don't know what you are looking at with respect to the sky, you'll never be able to figure out where you're going with a telescope.

The Bad Astronomer
2003-Jul-06, 05:26 PM
I would also strongly urge you to seek out
a local astronomy club (http://www.badastronomy.com/bitesize/astroclubs.html). They will be happy to help you, I'm sure!

kilopi
2003-Jul-06, 06:14 PM
In order for it to track properly you will have to perform a polar alignment which should be described in the manual.
eddieNY, why don't you have the instruction manual? Is it available?

darkhunter
2003-Jul-06, 08:19 PM
This might help (http://www.meade.com/support/index.html)