I don't know about you, but this years late start of the NHL hockey Season, has been a great reason to do some other things;
(which is mostly an excuse to order pizza in, eat chicken wings, and drink beer anyway ......:),
One of them being to get more familiar with some of my telescope equipment.
One of the things I like to do is check out new models of telescopes (and eyepieces and accessoriess) by various manufacturers, mostly to become familiar with the operation of them and in some cases the software involved.
Manufacturers tend to add more and more features to products, some useful, some not.
There are a few things I would like to bring to your attention to make your observing a bit easier, since the fall
tends to be one of the better time to Stargaze, since it gets dark early, you can pop out for a few hours, and still
get to bed and get up for work the next day, in somewhat decent shape.
1) Make sure your power supply is fully charged if using a portable battery
Nothing worse than going out, aligning the scope, then the battery conks out. A real pain if there ever was one.
I keep an extra backup Celestron Powertank 17amp in reserve just so I don't have an issue with this.
It's worth the extra cost, just to avoid this common aggravation. (Seen it at starparties on a regular basis).
2) Update your telescopes firmware/ For example, Meade Instruments just released a new version of firmware for
their computerized models, with some bug fixes in it. The downloads are usually free, just go to the manufacturers website
and look for the support and downloads files.
3) Use Dew Prevention equipment! I use Kendrick dew heaters and controllers to keep my scope dew free.
Don't be caught with a dew covered telescope! Will put you out of the game in no time! And it ain't pretty neither.
4)Learn some of the basic constellations and names of the brighter stars.
Grab a planisphere one evening, and just spend
a few hours studying it, and learning the names and positions of some of the brighter stars in the sky.
This makes getting your bearings down a lot easier.
Don't really strictly on your instrument's computer functions to
identify Stars for you..
That is how alignment mistakes are often made. This is not an issue for some of the newer Self aligning scopes such
as Meade Lightswitch or the Celestron SkyProdigy.
5) Read the manual! Yep, it can be useful in terms of dealing with minor issues, such as aligning your finderscope,
collimation. Glance through the manual that came with your instrument. Can't find it? Many can be found online
at the manufacturers website.
There are many more tips, and perhaps you would like to share a few of your own: If so, please send them here.
As for the NHL, they better watch it, because once people get hooked using their telescopes during hockey
season, they might not want to go back and watch Hockey, since they might find stars and planets to be far more interesting...just sayin'.
Khan Scope Centre
3243 Dufferin Street
Toronto, Ontario. Canada
Toll Free: 1 800 580 7160 or Local 416 783 4140