6. Align the finder with the main scope.

It is convenient to align the finder with the main scope such that when you center an object in the crosshairs of the finder, that object will also be in the field of view of the main scope.

To align the finder, you will need to move the telescope. Before you move the telescope, make sure that both the R.A. and Dec. locks are unlocked. Moving the scope with the locks engaged can greatly damage the drive gears. The R.A. and Dec. locks were covered in step three.

If you are using an LX200 with the keypad, you can control the telescope with the keypad. See the link at the bottom of this page for instructions on keypad use.

Start by placing a bright star (the brighter the better) in the field of view of the main scope. This might be a little bit of a challenge at first, but practice will make this step easier. A telrad might also help.

Once you can see the star, center it in the telescope's field of view and then lock the telescope in place. Look through the finder, you should be able to see the star but it will not necessarily be at the center of the crosshairs.

You will notice that the finder is held in place by screws that are attached to the two metal rings of the finder bracket. There are three screws on each ring. To move the finder so that the star moves to the center of the crosshairs, choose one ring of screws that you will work with. (Always work with only one ring of screws at a time. If you are going to switch rings make sure that the screws of the ring that you are currently working with are tight against the finder before you loosen the screws of the other ring. This will ensure that the finder is never free to slide from the finder bracket to the ground.) Working with two hands (two screws, each hand working with one screw) and looking through the finder, loosen one of the screws while tightening the other one. This will move the finder and thus the star in the field of view. You will have to work different combinations of two screws at once in order to get the movement that you want but with a little practice this will become easy. Once the star is at the center of the crosshairs make sure that each of the three screws on the ring that you are working with are snug up against the finder.

A quick alternative way to align the finder follows:

Center a bright star in the main scope. Look through the finder and instead of adjusting the finder so that the star moves to the center of the crosshairs, just note and remember where the star is in the finder field of view (in relation to the crosshairs for example). Then when you move to some other object, place the object at the location you noted and it will be centered in the main scope. While this is quick and relieves you from adjusting the finder, you will find that it is not quite as accurate as the above method.

 

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