Sky Safari + Android for "push to like" assist?
Posted 24 December 2012 - 10:36 PM
Posted 24 December 2012 - 11:31 PM
Posted 24 December 2012 - 11:55 PM
What I really meant was if I don't have pushto or goto telescope, can I rely on the Pointer Display for guidance to manually push my OTA towards a target - assuming I have a tablet mounted firmly and aligned with the OTA.
I haven't bought my first telescope yet. It seems to me I don't need Azimuth, Altitude setting circles (nor RA, DEC for equatorial) at all since the only axis that matters ultimately is the OTA itself, pointing at the object.
What surprised me was when I held a 10 inch tablet with the elbow on a desk (with no telescope), I was able to control the tablet "axis" to the point that even within 1 degree FOV I was able to "merge" the object into the cross hairs of the Telrad view in Sky Safari Plus on the tablet. I am hoping this is "good enough" pushto without the computers and sensors on the mount.
Posted 25 December 2012 - 02:47 AM
Once you learn the constellations pretty good you would be able to skip the first step because getting your scope pointed roughly at an object is really pretty easy. You just find the location in sky safari of the object you want to view and note its relative position to some stars in a constellation, then you find the constellation and those stars in the sky. It is really easy once you learn the constellations.
The real problem is that some things are so faint they could be dead center of the eyepiece and still be overlooked. This is where using sky safari really comes in handy, because you can zoom in and work with more stars than you would have available in a paper atlas. When you match up the stars in the eyepiece with the ones in sky safari you can be certain the object is there. Then you can use adverted vision to try and see that object, or say with certainty that it was not visible on that night.
Posted 25 December 2012 - 06:20 PM
The compass is not really accurate enough to replace digital setting circles. I find that I'm doing pretty good if I the compass is within 5 to 10 degree of actual.
The gyroscope is more accurate and in theory you can center a star in the scope and on the device and turn the gyro on. Then as you push the scope around, the display will show you where you are pointing. The problem is the gyro does drift over time so it loses its accuracy. We have hopes of eventually trying to correct for this to turn your device into digital setting circles. Just got to find the time to work one it,
Posted 26 December 2012 - 08:09 AM
Posted 26 December 2012 - 03:58 PM
I am trying to decide whether to buy a pushto scope such as the Orion 8i, but I am hesitant, having read a few bad user experiences on CN with such headaches as warped rocker base that makes the Intelliscope feature inaccurate, as well as cold weather problems with the hand controller. This suggests to me that the quality control is not consistent, and since I am from Canada I would have more difficulty with returns and warranty issues. This is not a knock against Orion but my acceptance that it would be difficult to maintain flatness of a rocker base made out of wood.
Question: how would you demagnetize the OTA? Is there a mass produced Dob OTA not made of steel (e.g. aluminum)?
Posted 26 December 2012 - 04:49 PM
Posted 26 December 2012 - 11:24 PM
I think between Skeye and Skysafari Plus, I will wait for the tablet based push to solution to guide the scope well enough.
Posted 29 December 2012 - 01:05 AM
The process is easy just pass the metal through the field going in the direction of the objects longest axis. If you use the handheld unit put a towel on your tube and run the unit the length of the tube making sure to go completely off each end and rotate the tube around till you go over the entire thing. It may take multiple passes around the tube depending on how strong the bulk tape eraser is. Make sure not to turn the handheld unit off in the middle of the metal as this will just magnetize the metal further. You may have to take breaks if the handheld unit over heats, and it will generate heat,it could fry the coil inside of it. If you can't touch it or you can smell it getting hot its prob best to let it cool down.
Edit: You'll want to be sure to remove all electronics from the tube prior to attempting this as the electromagnet could fry them.
Posted 29 December 2012 - 09:36 AM
I do know that you can use Skeye along these lines, but it requires the tablet to be attached to the scope which is a little impractical on the C-8 unless someone can give me some ideas.
Posted 29 December 2012 - 10:18 AM
You ask an interesting question. This is a subject I have investigated and I fear the cost of adding encoders and control module for connection to a computerized device of any type will be higher than simply purchasing a new (or used) Go-To computerized mount such as the Celestron CG-5 or CGEM which will have the means (a serial port and encoders built in) to plug and play with any computer/tablet etc.
However, an online source you can check for a digital readout kit is http://www.jmitelesc...com/buy_ngc.htm (JMI)...
There are a number of places that sell parts and kits for adapting older mounts if you do a search online for Telescope mount digital readout encoders.
An interesting article with good information is here:
Ultimately, after researching the subject of adapting my old mount, I ended up purchasing a new Go-To mount for about the same it would cost to adapt my old one. Since that point in time, my collection of gear has grown to include a Celestron GGEM DX, a Celestron CG-5 ASGT, and a Losmandy G11/Gemini II. The CG-5 is my grab and go for portable use, the CGEM DX is my mainstay for serious imaging, and the G11 I am just starting testing and evaluation following a major overhaul after 4 years of use... All three of these mounts I use via control from a laptop via serial ports with the exception of the G11 which has a built in TCPIP Ethernet port for mount control and go-to positioning via Stellarium planetarium software.
No more cold nights outdoors for me, I run my imaging from a Desktop PC while enjoying the warmth and comfort of being indoors...
Posted 29 December 2012 - 10:27 AM
Posted 29 December 2012 - 10:49 AM
In this day and age of electronics devices with this type of capability, the manufacturers package as much functionality to increase marketability. You end up paying for the whole package whether you want it or not.
Therefore you will pay about the same for a digital readout kit as you will for a new mount with all the capability built in.
Posted 29 December 2012 - 11:31 AM
Also check out the SkEye website. Users have posted pics and ideas for mountings in the "Documentation" section. The manual/users guide is there also. There's some good info there.
My concern with using SkEye on an older scope like the older C-8 would be what metals the scope tube and or mount are made of. If steel or cast iron they would most likely interfere with your sensors so badly that accuracy would be squat.
Posted 29 December 2012 - 05:57 PM
I just bought Skeye Pro for $9 to support their development. You don't need wifi or anything to communicate with encoders and such. All you need is to attach the tablet to the OTA. Then you need to find a star in your scope, and correspondingly on the tablet you need to find the same star (use the search function) and press "Align".
I am still researching through this, and Sean already posted a link to how people attach the tablet to their OTA's. What is so smart is you don't have to align the axis of the tablet to that of the OTA. One option I am considering is to buy a set of tube rings with 1/4-20 adapter on top of the ring, and mount the tablet on this gadget from Orion:
If you already have the 1/4 20, then you just need the Orion kit.
It would hopefully keep the tablet far enough away from the OTA for magnetic interference to be detrimental. According to the Skeye site, even with magnetic interference, aligning by more than one star would mostly mitigate it. I suspect that after some alignment, it will become accurate enough, especially if you search a rather close by bright star (and align) just before you search for your faint target.
Read through till the end of the user review via the link from my earlier post - I am encouraged.
Posted 29 December 2012 - 05:59 PM
If you have Android phone or tablet, there is a free version of Skeye for you to try out - near your scope.
Posted 29 December 2012 - 10:36 PM