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Degree Circles

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#976 Tom Andrews

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:06 PM

Staples can resize to any diameter you need and it's only $6.00 for oversized (anything larger than 8.5x11 paper) then $6.00 for lamination.



Wish I had that Staples store where I live. $45 was the quote. Used the UPS store for $40. These things seem to be much cheaper in U.S.A. than in Canada.

Eric


Wow! That's crazy! :bigshock:

#977 tag1260

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 10:58 AM

Anyone able to use these UN-LAMINATED ? Staples here says that the 25" diameter that I need is too big to laminate. Also, The quote they originally gave me (with lamination before they decided it was too big) was $22.00).

#978 csa/montana

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 11:09 AM

I would not recommend using the degree circles unlaminated. Dew, etc., would take a toll on them. You might consider having Staples cut the 25" circle in half, and laminate both sides. You can easily match the sides up, when installing them on the baseboard.

#979 tag1260

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 01:29 PM

That's what we just ended up doing. Cutting it in half, then laminating it. Hope it works!!!
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#980 csa/montana

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 02:54 PM

I don't see why it wouldn't. When applying to the base, simply tape the two pieces together on the backside.

Let us know how it works out! :)

#981 edwinh

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 04:45 PM

Late to the party here..I had mentally filed degree circles on my 8" as something to look into a couple years ago, but never got around to it. Got frustrated hunting for something under the light pollution a short time back and started reading through this again.

Decided to try, but in a very low-effort way to test at first. Got a circle protractor from Amazon (the Helix one with green ring on outside), drilled out the center out a bit, used a couple large washers and fixed it to the existing center bolt of the base. Added simple pointer I could peek at in the gap between the tube and base, as several have shown in this thread.

Aligning was easy - the protractor outside ring rotates, so I just focused on Sirius the other night then set the ring according to where Sky Safari told me it was.

I didn't have an angle gauge yet, so just went around slewing the Az to the right coordinate and then guessing the angle and panning up and down a bit. Wow! This really, really works. Even with such a small diameter circle I was able to find things. Needless to say ordered a digital angle gauge the next day.

intelliscope - bah!? who needs! Have been pondering moving to a 10" or 12", and if/when I do, I will for sure do the full scale ring thing on my own, or get one of the Apertura models.

Anyway, thanks all for this long running thread.

I now want to do something like this for my stellarvue M2 head as well...

#982 tag1260

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 04:51 PM

Just finished mine up!! Took it outside to try it out but only had the sun SOooo.....

I got out my Kindle Fire with SkEye installed and guided it to the Sun (don't try this at home) and it lined up perfectly. Just remember to use TRUE North and not Magnetic North.

Thanks to those that came up with this setup. It's a perfectly good alternative for those of us who don't have Go-To.

Thanks again
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#983 Kenmandu

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 05:27 PM

I would love to, but am just unable to read a 50 page thread. Is there a super brief summary to be had?

#984 csa/montana

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 05:39 PM

It is amazing how something so simple actually works extremely well!

#985 csa/montana

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 05:39 PM

Tag, glad you got a chance to try it out; you will love it on the night skies!

#986 csa/montana

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 05:42 PM

I would love to, but am just unable to read a 50 page thread. Is there a super brief summary to be had?


Welcome to Cloudy Nights! Glad to have you join us. I don't quite understand your question; are you asking if there's a "super brief summary" for the degree circles? If so, read the very first few posts of this thread; where I explained how I put it on my scope.

#987 Salamandra

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 01:49 PM

Another one with circles from Spain!

I took Ruud's circle and reversed the color to black background. Got it printed and cutted a notch in the base. I have used black tape to protect the cut.

I glued one flat magnet and printed a clock hand to make the dial. I cut a curtain holder, glued the hand to the holder and ready to go.

[image]http://harmoniamacrocosmica.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/2013-03-17-19-22-291.jpg?w=848[/image]

The azimuth goes with a Wixey level.

I only have to wait for a clear night.

Thanks all of you for the ideas.

#988 Salamandra

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 02:41 AM

Tested it last sunday and works like a charm! :D

#989 stargazer424

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 11:25 AM

What a thread! I am a newb with a 8" dob. I'm considering doing this because although I can locate stars and planets, I have difficulty star hopping to other objects.

A few comments:
Carol (csa/montana) What a great concept. Thank you for starting (or at least promoting) this trend.

Kerry (Sky Captain) I like what you did there with the red LED setup. I am staring at my cubicle desk and the cap to the cord feed which isn't even being used! I also like the adjustable setting circles, but I don't have access to a workshop for this. Maybe I can get a sheet of very thin plexi-glass and score/cut it myself...

Everyone else: Nice setups!

A few questions/concerns.

1. Are the digital levels/inclinometers accurate enough? I am looking at either the Wixey WR300 Digital Angle Gauge or the Craftsman Digital Torpedo Level

2. How is everyone printing out and attaching their degree circles? I downloaded the PDF and I can print it out in several sheets. What is the cost of having Staples (or Kinkos) print it and laminate it.

3. I am a bit tentative to cut a hole in the base of my brand new telescope. Anyone else have anxiety over that? Any thoughts on avoiding cutting?

#990 csa/montana

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 10:29 PM

Glad to hear it's working well for you! :)

#991 csa/montana

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 10:54 PM

What a thread! I am a newb with a 8" dob. I'm considering doing this because although I can locate stars and planets, I have difficulty star hopping to other objects.

A few comments:
Carol (csa/montana) What a great concept. Thank you for starting (or at least promoting) this trend.

Kerry (Sky Captain) I like what you did there with the red LED setup. I am staring at my cubicle desk and the cap to the cord feed which isn't even being used! I also like the adjustable setting circles, but I don't have access to a workshop for this. Maybe I can get a sheet of very thin plexi-glass and score/cut it myself...

Everyone else: Nice setups!

A few questions/concerns.

1. Are the digital levels/inclinometers accurate enough? I am looking at either the Wixey WR300 Digital Angle Gauge or the Craftsman Digital Torpedo Level

2. How is everyone printing out and attaching their degree circles? I downloaded the PDF and I can print it out in several sheets. What is the cost of having Staples (or Kinkos) print it and laminate it.

3. I am a bit tentative to cut a hole in the base of my brand new telescope. Anyone else have anxiety over that? Any thoughts on avoiding cutting?


1. Either of these you mentioned work very well. Yes they are very accurate.

2. Best thing to do is take the PDF to either Staples or Kinkos & ask then what they now charge to print & laminate it, for the size of your base.

3. You don't have to cut a hole in the base. See my photos at the beginning of this thread. I mounted the degree circle on the top board, and the needle on the bottom base board. No cutting needed.

#992 Sky Captain

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 11:00 PM

Glad you found the thread Dan, its quite a resource.

Kerry (Sky Captain) I like what you did there with the red LED setup. I am staring at my cubicle desk and the cap to the cord feed which isn't even being used! I also like the adjustable setting circles, but I don't have access to a workshop for this. Maybe I can get a sheet of very thin plexi-glass and score/cut it myself...


DON'T use plastic! (if you can help it)
I recently had a plastic shop cut a degree circle for my new scope, spray adhesived the printed and laminated degree circle to it no problem...but if the weather is hot or really cold, the plastic will shrink or expand and it causes bulges in the laminated circle.
Of course it still works and may be slightly off in the area of the bulge, but becareful. A peice of aluminum is just as easy to cut with a jig saw yourself.

I'd get the Wixey if you have a choice.

Staples do all of mine, usually $12-$15 I think. But mine are the larger size. Might be cheaper for an 8" scope.

#993 stargazer424

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 04:08 PM

Thank you for the responses. I didn't think about the material expanding and shrinking due to the temperature.

What about dew? Does that affect the spray adhesive or lamination?

Why the Wixey over the Craftsman? I was thinking of the Craftsman because it would better double as a household level due to its length. For example if I was hanging a photo. Though I guess the Wixey would work for that too.

#994 Sky Captain

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 09:51 PM

For spray adhesive I use either 3M Super 90 or 3M Super 77. Both work great, and no problems with dew or moisture for that matter.

I like the Wixey because of its size (small), and I only use it for astronomy so it won't be accidently damaged doing other tasks...always know where it is.
What ever model you chose, make sure to have extra working batteries with for back up.

#995 stargazer424

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 03:37 PM

My Wixey gauge got delivered this morning. I will be prototyping an idea for my degree circles tonight, combining several concepts from this thread. My prototype will just be paper glued to posterboard. I am still working on an idea for the final version.

My concept will have a rotatable disc (credit to Kerry's [Sky Captain] design). However mine will be larger in diameter than the base. This way don't have to worry about cutting into my base. The pointer will be somewhere on the top part of the base so it always on the side with the EP. I printed out a 21" custom degree circle (Created in Adobe Illustrator).

Being that I have a background in 3D graphics, I like to visualize my projects in 3D. Here are some renders to show how I plan on setting it up.

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My thoughts on the final implementation are to have the degree circles printed directly on acrylic. Not sure if Staples will be able to do something like that, but I have been reading up on how to transfer an laser printed image to another medium using a blender pen. I'll have to test this out on a small piece to see if it works and if it is a permanent transfer.

I also saw an image somewhere in this thread with a protractor lit up by a red LED. Wouldn't it be neat if the degree circle was printed on a clear acrylic that was lit up by an LED? Just a thought...might be distracting to have a glowing 21" circle around the telescope...

Are there other mediums that I could use that are thin enough to be cut with minimal tools but sturdy enough to not bend/fall apart? I don't have any machining tools (or a jig saw).

#996 stargazer424

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 10:36 AM

From 3D prototype to real prototype

I wired up a red LED from a broken mouse and mounted it to a bracket to use as a pointer.

I plan on testing it out at a star party this weekend. Next step is to find a way to print it onto a material more sturdy than paper, or get it professionally printed/laminated and glue it to something more sturdy.

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#997 stargazer424

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 12:08 PM

Success! Well mostly...

Brought my Dob + Degree Circle prototype to a Star Party and tested it out. I aimed my scope at Polaris and moved the degree circle to 0. I used tape to hold it in place so it didn't spin when I turned the scope. I placed my Wixey on the tube and started to test it out on known objects (Jupiter Saturn and some stars) using SkEye to give me the Alt/Az coordinates. It was a little off**, but got close enough to center the object in the finder scope.

Then I put it to the real test. I looked up objects that I had never seen and aligned my scope. Again since it was off I had to move the scope around a little to find them, but in the end I was able to see (and check off my list) M13, M35, M36, M37, M38, M51, M81, M65, M66, NGC3628, and M82! Can't wait to see what is out there.

Now I need to go to some print shops and price out how much it will cost to print it to plastic/plexiglass.

** I realized when I got home that the reason it was off was I forgot to change my location in SkEye. I was 2 hours away from home and it was still set to my home location. Everything would have been off by a degree or 2. Whoops!

#998 DavidOpticsmart

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 05:25 PM

I am looking at either the Wixey WR300 Digital Angle Gauge or the Craftsman Digital Torpedo Level

I'd get the Wixey if you have a choice.

Why the Wixey over the Craftsman?

I like the Wixey because of its size (small), and I only use it for astronomy so it won't be accidently damaged doing other tasks...always know where it is.





Agreed. They both work well, but the Wixey does take up a lot less space on your scope. And the Wixey weighs less too - 115 grams for the Wixey, 240 grams for the Craftsman. So the Wixey will have less effect on your scope's balance and is a bit less likely to move if the scope is bumped.

Side-by-side photos of each:



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#999 stargazer424

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 10:08 AM

Agreed. They both work well, but the Wixey does take up a lot less space on your scope. And the Wixey weighs less too - 115 grams for the Wixey, 240 grams for the Craftsman. So the Wixey will have less effect on your scope's balance and is a bit less likely to move if the scope is bumped.


Yeah, I got the Wixey...works nicely! :)

#1000 skysurfer

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 04:29 AM

Here I set degree circles on my XT10 Dob 6 sheets A4 pasted on an aluminum disk which is placed between the fixed bottom triangle and the rotating box:

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I made a hole in the top rotating base to view the degree scale on the base. The scale disk can be rotated when aligning but does not rotate with the rotating base so the azimuth readout is always seen on the side where the observer is.

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And the altitude scale pasted on the vertical axis:
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Well it's very simple. Set the Dobson base horizontally level in two perpendicular directions and then point to an object with known altitude. Any star charting app will calculate that. Rotate the azimuth only (do not change altitude) until the star is in the field. Ready ! It works even in full daylight (watch out when using the Sun as alignment object!).

Here a picture of my small 80mm telescope with circles.

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In both cases I don't need extra lighting as I use my red headlight attached to my head which I point to the circles for readout. My Android smartphone (with a red screen) is attached with Velcro to the scope tube to read the actual altazimuth coordinates.






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