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Celestron Nexstar GoTo Setup system

Celestron Nexstar woes.

It seems that several members are struggling to set up telescopes that use the Celestron Nexstar GoTo system. Here are some tips to get you going.

First: Read the Manual – that’s what it’s for, and it should contain everything you need to know. If you don’t have it, you can download the manual for your scope

To give you a heads-up, the setup can be broken down into three parts, assuming you have the scope outfit outdoors, assembled and powered up, with the finder aligned:

One-time settings:

You only have to do these once, unless you are transporting the scope around the UK: The location: you can enter the nearest city, e.g. London or Northampton, which will be good enough. Or you can enter the actual latitude and longitude, 000 45 00 W, 52 07 00 N (if you live in or near Milton Keynes). As you can see, the location does not need to be super accurate, but the default USA settings won’t work!

You also need the time zone, which is Universal Time, or zero (i.e. London time).

And daylight saving time. Use your common sense here: in winter the answer is No.

With a brand new, never used mount you will be prompted to set these settings. Once the mount is used, you will need the manual to search the menu tree if you want to check or change these. The mount will save all these settings.

The Night’s Settings:

You have to enter these each time you power the mount up.

The time and date: note that the date is in the US format MM DD YYYY. And time uses 24 hour clock. The time is not saved with power off. You may have to confirm the Daylight Saving setting.

The GoTo Alignment:

you need to choose one of the several options: SkyAlign, Auto Two Star, Two Star, One Star and Solar System.

SkyAlign uses three stars (or objects) and is mainly intended for beginners who don’t have a clue what those bright points of light up there are named.

If you do know your bright stars, use Two Star or Auto Two Star. ‘One Star’ will also work, but will give you a less accurate alignment, especially if you did not accurately level the mount.

Solar System’ is a very handy option – if e.g. you want to observe Jupiter, you can forget the star aligning and just align on Jupiter. The mount will also be aligned for other objects, but as with ‘One Star’ not very accurately.

Note that aligning on an object is a multi-step process: first align with the finder, then coarse align with the telescope, terminated by ‘Enter’, then fine align with the telescope, terminated by ‘Align’.

Also note that these mounts are not intended to be used in a manual, non-GoTo mode, or without power.

I hope that helps – and remember, Read the Manual!

-Geoff Cowie