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Orion Go-To Dob questions

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#1 Eddgie

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 10:12 AM

I cannot find it but it seems like I saw a video that suggested that the Orion Go-To dobs could be pushed manually as well as being Go-To.

When you push manually, does the scope computer update the pointing position?

Can I put in a target and have the option of pushing the scope to that location rather than having the motors slew there?

Perhaps it would be easier to explain what I want to do.

I want to use the Computer more like a digital setting circle for moving between objects, but once I get to the object, I want the scope to track.

The goal is to use a small battery pack and conserve current by simply pushing the scope around rather than having it slew, which I am sure takes a lot of current.

It would seem that the tracking would take very little current and that I should be able to run the scope for a typical session with a smallish 12v battery pack (rechargeable batteries, of course).

I really don't need "Go-to" so much as I want tracking and DSCs, but I am hoping to eliminate power cords too if at all possible.


Thanks....

#2 ATM57

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 10:34 AM

I cannot find it but it seems like I saw a video that suggested that the Orion Go-To dobs could be pushed manually as well as being Go-To.

When you push manually, does the scope computer update the pointing position?

Can I put in a target and have the option of pushing the scope to that location rather than having the motors slew there?

Perhaps it would be easier to explain what I want to do.

I want to use the Computer more like a digital setting circle for moving between objects, but once I get to the object, I want the scope to track.

The goal is to use a small battery pack and conserve current by simply pushing the scope around rather than having it slew, which I am sure takes a lot of current.

It would seem that the tracking would take very little current and that I should be able to run the scope for a typical session with a smallish 12v battery pack (rechargeable batteries, of course).

I really don't need "Go-to" so much as I want tracking and DSCs, but I am hoping to eliminate power cords too if at all possible.


Thanks....


I had a XT8g and a XT12g. Yes, they can be slewed by hand without losing alignment. Dont expect a smooth DOB feel when slewing by hand though. Both axes have adjustable clutches for the drives. I would reccomend slewing with the drives. At the higest rate you can move around the sky pretty fast. Also, your pointing is more accurate it you use the motors instead hand slewing. I used a small battery pack and never ran out of juice during an observing session. Make sure you level the base and use at least two stars for alignment. My most accurate searches were the result of going to the general location of my target and using a local star for realignment which is easy to do.

Keith (Scopejunkie)

#3 Eddgie

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 10:54 AM

Perfect. Thank you.

If the scope can run a couple of hours doing a couple of dozen slews off of a 10 amp battery pack, that should be plenty of run time.

And I don't really care if it is not smooth to push-to, but if I don't need to because the batteries will hold out, then it does not matter because in that case I would just use Go-To.

Thanks again.

#4 panhard

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 11:29 AM

I run a 7 amp hour pack that fits inside the base of the dob I usually get 3-4 hours out of it.

#5 Billytk

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 04:47 PM

I use a small motorcycle battery that rides on the base below the hand controller and it has lasted at least 2 all night sessions.

#6 c.bernardino

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 05:14 PM

Ed,

I have a xx12g for 2 years by now and about power consumption my experience tells me that:
1) a 7.2 Ah battery last a full night (8h aprox) and there's remaining energy
2)a 17Ah battery last 2-3 nights.

There was only 1 time that power runs out: a 10Ah battery died on the 2nd night... there was -5ºC (23ºF???)and that decreases battery performance.

Keith stated several wised words but there's a point that I do not experienced so for

... Also, your pointing is more accurate it you use the motors instead hand slewing....


Sorry I don't agree with that. I respect Keith opinion but it's not what I felt over the last couple of years. Usualy I push manually the scope, and then I order the goto system to point the object. never failed or lost precision... precision might be lost during the night but not becaus of that.
There is a routine that you could perform, during the night, to improve goto performance ... but thats not really needed.

sorry for my (bad) english, I'm doing my best,

yours,

Carlos

#7 Eddgie

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 07:48 PM

Usualy I push manually the scope, and then I order the goto system to point the object


Perfect. This is what I had thought I would do to both save battery power and because well, Go-To is not always that fast.

And thank you all for the info on power consumption.

I am pretty much decided I think on the XX12g now I think.

I decided that making a short set of truss poles would be the way to go, and will find a super-low profile focuser.

Goal is to go 100% binoviewer, and I think that by going to a low profile focuser and cutting 2" or so from the trusses, I will be OK.

Once I get it, I will do a design program to be sure. Maybe have to bump up the secondary a bit in size, but that does not bother me.

Again, thanks, all for the help.

#8 Starman81

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 09:50 AM

Ed, a few points from a new XTg series owner (XT8g):

- There is no option to use the scope in an 'Intelliscope'-like fashion. From what I understood, you want to select an object and push-to until you get there--the XTg's do not have that functionality. I am not sure why no one understood your query. You cannot do this. The best you can do if you do not want to use the motors to slew to an object is to find the object yourself and use the ID function to make sure you have your target in the eyepiece. Being an experienced observer, I am pretty sure you will not need to use that function 99% of the time. Or you could push the scope near the object and then use the GoTo to have the motors take it the rest of the way. That way, you could easily save on battery life a good deal. Bottom line: you will have tracking but you will not have DSC's.

- I have still not quite worked out my vibration issue at medium-high to higher powers. Not many others have reported this, but it has made planetary/double star observations above 150x unsatisfying in my case. You can track the status of that in this thread. It is interesting to note that Gary Seronik noted the same issue in his S&T review of the XT10g.

- This great portable power pack is what I use: Anker Astro Pro 14400 mAh.

#9 Tim D

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 12:35 PM

For Tracking- you can do a two star alignment, but as I noticed at star parties you have to wait until it is dark enough for those stars to shine. So for a quick fix, you can go to Auto-Tracking mode by pointing the OTA at due North and making sure it is level. At Choose Menu, Scroll down to Tracking and select Sidereal, lunar, or Solar system and it will start automatically. I then select Utility function and select Show Position, which will show the current Dec and RA, Alt and Azm, or Ax1 (the angular reading of the elevation) and Ax2 (the azimuth axes of the mount). Use the scroll keys to choose your desired reading. You can then use a computer/app to get current Alt/Azm readings from your desired target and Push to/Manually move your OTA to what ever you want. The readings will adjust on the hand controller to what ever you push the scope to and will track. This is great when it is dusk and you want to view the Moon or Planets, but haven't done a Two Star Alignment, which you can do at any time by just going back to Setup menu. So in a way, it is kind of like a Intellscope.

As far as vibration- No I do not have any vibration in my scope, but if you are referring to visible movement during high power then yes I have seen that. As the goto dobs track you can see the Stepping Movement during tracking and that should be expected. These scopes are designed for pure visual observation and are not designed for photography.

For those of us that have or owned the Classic Manual Dobs in my opinion these scopes are pure luxury while still maintaining all the things we love about Dobs.

Hope this helps,
Tim

#10 mark379

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 12:43 PM

I cannot find it but it seems like I saw a video that suggested that the Orion Go-To dobs could be pushed manually as well as being Go-To.

When you push manually, does the scope computer update the pointing position?

Can I put in a target and have the option of pushing the scope to that location rather than having the motors slew there?

Perhaps it would be easier to explain what I want to do.

I want to use the Computer more like a digital setting circle for moving between objects, but once I get to the object, I want the scope to track.

The goal is to use a small battery pack and conserve current by simply pushing the scope around rather than having it slew, which I am sure takes a lot of current.

It would seem that the tracking would take very little current and that I should be able to run the scope for a typical session with a smallish 12v battery pack (rechargeable batteries, of course).

I really don't need "Go-to" so much as I want tracking and DSCs, but I am hoping to eliminate power cords too if at all possible.


Thanks....


Eddgie
I have had one of these scopes for three years now, and absolutely love it.
I have the 10 inch version.
As for what you are asking about digital setting circles, it does display Coordinates but Does not Count down manually to them like an inteliscope. Once the initial alignment is done however, you can manually push the scope to whatever target you want to and once you arrive at it manually the tracking motors will keep it in the eyepiece automatically.
I use this feature quite often and go back and forth between star hopping and full go to all the time.
As for eliminating the power cord scenario, I have figured out a way to eliminate having a power cord on the ground.
I am constructing a small tray that I will mount to the telescope base. From there, I will be able to slide the 12 V power supply in and out at will.
In this manner the battery pack will ride on the base while the scope is doing it's tracking, therefore eliminating tripping over a power cord in the darkness.
Hope this helps...
Mark

#11 csrlice12

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 12:48 PM

as long as it's not too heavy that's a great idea. Don't want too much weight on any one spot of the base though, it might strain the motors some in AZ...

#12 mark379

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 12:56 PM

Oh yes as far as how long the power supply lasts. The seven and for our usually lasts about for five hours, but I have since switched to the dynamo 17
And I can run full power from sunset to sunrise.

#13 Bill McNeal

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 12:58 PM

Speaking of weight, I'm considering a XT12G.

Will the GoTo/tracking motors play well with large eyepieces, like the ES 100? I heard something about needing counterweights. Is this true? I could not find any counterweights on the Orion website for their Dobs.

#14 mark379

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 12:58 PM

When I get it finished, I will let you know how it goes. With a dynamo 17, I don't think it'll be that bad. With some of the other aftermarket units I can see your point though.

#15 mark379

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 01:05 PM

Speaking of weight, I'm considering a XT12G.

Will the GoTo/tracking motors play well with large eyepieces, like the ES 100? I heard something about needing counterweights. Is this true? I could not find any counterweights on the Orion website for their Dobs.

I have no problem with a 31 Nagler +, Paracoor .
The 12 g will have a greater advantage with adjustable clutches.
If one had to, you could always purchase a counterweight / bar setup from scope stuff. I use that with my xx14i.
Best
Mark

#16 Bill McNeal

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 01:07 PM

As the goto dobs track you can see the Stepping Movement during tracking and that should be expected. These scopes are designed for pure visual observation and are not designed for photography.


I was hoping for a smooth tracking motion instead of stepwise. Is this effect jarring when viewing at high power and you see big apparent steps during tracking?

#17 Tim D

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 05:48 PM

I can only see stepping movement very slightly at 200X and above. Nothing big or crazy and its only like every 20 seconds or so.
Tim

#18 Starman81

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 09:40 PM

I can only see stepping movement very slightly at 200X and above. Nothing big or crazy and its only like every 20 seconds or so.
Tim


The type of jumpiness I'm talking about is bad enough that there is zero chance of seeing the Cassini Division when observing Saturn on a night of good seeing or pleasing double star views at 171x. I took the suggestion to place a shim between the two particle board base pieces in question. Double-sided tape was used and it is the suggested thickness 1/16". Indoor testing shows that this produces the desirable gap, but when moving the scope by hand, the OTA does still slide back into contact with the right side bearing. I CAN move it a little bit so that it doesn't. All this doesn't mean anything until I get it out under the stars and see if that was the cause in the first place or not.

#19 mark379

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 09:28 AM

I cannot find it but it seems like I saw a video that suggested that the Orion Go-To dobs could be pushed manually as well as being Go-To.

When you push manually, does the scope computer update the pointing position?

Can I put in a target and have the option of pushing the scope to that location rather than having the motors slew there?

Perhaps it would be easier to explain what I want to do.

I want to use the Computer more like a digital setting circle for moving between objects, but once I get to the object, I want the scope to track.

The goal is to use a small battery pack and conserve current by simply pushing the scope around rather than having it slew, which I am sure takes a lot of current.

It would seem that the tracking would take very little current and that I should be able to run the scope for a typical session with a smallish 12v battery pack (rechargeable batteries, of course).

I really don't need "Go-to" so much as I want tracking and DSCs, but I am hoping to eliminate power cords too if at all possible.


Thanks....


Hi Eddgie,
Thought you might like this update from my bad back post since you are looking into a 12"...
I was out last night with my c8, my xt 10 G and my XX 14i.
I was wearing my back support lifting belt and that helped some.
In my light polluted suburb of NYC, I can tell you there was a significant difference in Globulars between the 3 scopes.
M 13 for example showed many more faint central stars in the 14" than were observable in the 10". The same can be said between the 10" and the 8". Before I got the 14", I had a full tube 12". There was little difference between the 10" and the 12" on M 13. Under a real dark sky, the 12 showed some more, but not in a suburban sky.
Now for dso's such as m 57 and M31, the difference is very slight between the 10 and 14 inch in the suburbs of NJ, but under a dark sky that all changes. I will be bringing all 3 scopes to the David Levy Retreat in the Adirondacks next week,so I will be able to give a better update than that of last year's memory.

Just thought you should know since you are considering a 12" scope. If it were me, and your Health is fine, I'd try to go 14".
Best,
Mark

#20 billywho

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 11:19 AM

Speaking of weight, I'm considering a XT12G.

Will the GoTo/tracking motors play well with large eyepieces, like the ES 100? I heard something about needing counterweights. Is this true? I could not find any counterweights on the Orion website for their Dobs.


I have XT10G and use the ES 100 20 and 14 all the time (over the last 1.5 years) and never had an issue or needed to counterweight the scope. I did notice the weight issue once, but the scope was almost parallel to the ground, so not a big deal. However, in the long run it might not be a bad idea to add a some counterweight.

#21 Eddgie

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 09:03 PM

There are several goals that make the 12" a better choice for me.

I am trying to go as much to binoviewing as I can an the shorter focal length and slower focal ratio make the 12" more appealing to me [list]

[*]Bigger true field for clusters which are high on my list of targets [*]Lower eyepiece height... I prefer to stay seated especially for planetary observing [*]Less expensive to re-figure (might need it, hoping not to) [*]More compact for trips and lighter for moving

It was carefully considered. I realize that I am stepping down in aperture from the C14, but only a little. I am OK with that, and if I have it refigured, I will go to 96% reflectivity coatings and that will close the gap even more.

It's done though. As I type, it is rumbling towards me on a UPS truck.

#22 Starman81

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 09:14 PM

The focuser's lifting power will give way before you need to add any counterweights--that's how sturdy these are. On a related note, the stock focuser cannot handle my Earthwin PFS-SE w/22 Nagler, so it may need to be replaced anyways.

#23 Eddgie

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 08:58 AM

Ouch. Had not thought of that.

I am still on the fence about shortening and going with native or using a powerswitch type system. I think that the heavy weight of a full up powerswitch system would be hard on the focuser.

If I go native, it would reduce the weight to just the BV body so one more point in favor of going native with shortened poles.

I will have to see if I can buy a set of trusses from Orion, and I need to make the measurements to see how much damage is done to field illumination if I go short.

As long as the center of the field remains fully illuminated, I can tolerate some falloff becuase if I go native, the only eyepeices I would use most of the time would be 24mms with 27mm field stops, so while the edge of a 31mm Nagler might fall off more than I would be comfortable with, if I was using the Binoviewers 100% of the time, it would not matter.

I am totally struggling with this decision though, but once I try the powerswitch I will have a much better feel for it.

Lots of advantages to the powerswitch, but a .61 degree field is a bit tight. Better than I can get with the C 14 and power switch (and almost the same light though put!) but Native would of cousre give me a much bigger low power field and that is sooo hard to ignore.

#24 beatlejuice

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 09:47 AM

Without shortening anything I would certainly be curious as to whether you can reach focus in all 3 power settings without having to remove the binos to make an adjustment.

Eric

#25 dan777

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 07:57 PM

The focuser's lifting power will give way before you need to add any counterweights


But, you may be able to tighten it up. My crayford had a "lifting power" issue when I received it. So I took it apart and re-assembled it. Now I can put a 2" ep, the (latest and heaviest) Orion SteadyPix camera mount and a camera on the focuser with no issue, and yet the operation of the focuser remains very smooth.

BTW, this is a 2-speed focuser.






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