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kfiscus
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/09/12

Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA
Anyone with a Zhumell or similar try the new Halo? new
      #5593379 - 12/28/12 09:33 PM

I'd like to hear some user testimonials. They look like a cool deal.

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Ty Williams
sage


Reged: 05/13/05

Loc: Delaware County, Ohio
Re: Anyone with a Zhumell or similar try the new Halo? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5593631 - 12/29/12 12:22 AM

I had no idea what that was. That's pretty cool. I'm definitely interested in one for my AT10D now. This Halo thing, combined with digital angle readout on the OTA, would be a decent set of setting circles for a dob for not a huge amount of money.

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Gary Riley
sage


Reged: 12/01/11

Loc: White Bluff, TN
Re: Anyone with a Zhumell or similar try the new Halo? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5593633 - 12/29/12 12:23 AM

Hello Ken,

I own a Z12 and was hoping to hear from someone who has used one as well. I agree, it does look like a nice and helpful product.

Clear skies!
Gary


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rlmxracer
sage
*****

Reged: 11/09/11

Loc: Motocross Mecca , CA
Re: Anyone with a Zhumell or similar try the new Halo? new [Re: Gary Riley]
      #5593650 - 12/29/12 12:34 AM

Link????

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Gary Riley
sage


Reged: 12/01/11

Loc: White Bluff, TN
Re: Anyone with a Zhumell or similar try the new Halo? new [Re: rlmxracer]
      #5593716 - 12/29/12 01:45 AM

rlmxracer,
You can check it out on opticsmart's website.

Gary


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MessiToM
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/21/09

Loc: Huntingdon PA
Re: Anyone with a Zhumell or similar try the new Halo? new [Re: Gary Riley]
      #5594143 - 12/29/12 10:53 AM

Meh, for nearly $200 you can have some digital equipment....rTher than a fancy degre wheel
http://www.opticsmart.com/halo-setting-circles/halo-setting-circle-leveling-b...


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panhard
It's All Good
*****

Reged: 01/20/08

Loc: Markham Ontario Canada
Re: Anyone with a Zhumell or similar try the new Halo? new [Re: Gary Riley]
      #5594153 - 12/29/12 10:56 AM

Here is a link for everyone. Halo

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MessiToM
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/21/09

Loc: Huntingdon PA
Re: Anyone with a Zhumell or similar try the new Halo? [Re: panhard]
      #5594202 - 12/29/12 11:32 AM

As was my link
Btw on Amart you can get ALL the gizmos from an intelliscope at the moment for $175


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panhard
It's All Good
*****

Reged: 01/20/08

Loc: Markham Ontario Canada
Re: Anyone with a Zhumell or similar try the new Halo? new [Re: MessiToM]
      #5594489 - 12/29/12 02:01 PM

We must have been looking it up at the same time. tour post wasn't there when I started.

Edited by panhard (12/29/12 02:03 PM)


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rlmxracer
sage
*****

Reged: 11/09/11

Loc: Motocross Mecca , CA
Re: Anyone with a Zhumell or similar try the new Halo? new [Re: panhard]
      #5595459 - 12/30/12 01:40 AM

Thanks, thats a pretty clean set up. Price seems a bit steep though. I just got my Dob a few weeks ago so I'm still learning how to drive. Not much practice yet with storm after storm rolling through.

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Gastrol
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/04/11

Loc: los angeles
Re: Anyone with a Zhumell or similar try the new Halo? new [Re: rlmxracer]
      #5601173 - 01/02/13 12:32 PM

Then there's always the DIY setting circle option which will cost you very little money. But for the non-DIY'ers the Halo is a nice piece of gear.

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sslcm56
super member


Reged: 07/20/12

Loc: Montgomery, Al.
Re: Anyone with a Zhumell or similar try the new Halo? new [Re: Gastrol]
      #5623838 - 01/15/13 05:16 AM

Since I live close to Opticsmart I went and picked one up yesterday. I will give reports later. I just couldn't bring myself to cut a notch in my base for the degree circles that I had so.....

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kfiscus
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/09/12

Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA
Re: Anyone with a Zhumell or similar try the new Halo? new [Re: sslcm56]
      #5625026 - 01/15/13 07:30 PM

I look forward to hearing your thoughts. I'm thinking of getting one for my observing buddy's Z12. Our main scope is a Z12 on an EQ platform. Having a push-to rig might be cool.

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sslcm56
super member


Reged: 07/20/12

Loc: Montgomery, Al.
Re: Anyone with a Zhumell or similar try the new Halo? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5625684 - 01/16/13 06:19 AM

I LIKE IT! Here in Alabama it has been raining for days so I won't get to use my HALO until Saturday or Sunday.
My thoughts..... Well, When I put my weight on it there was a little flex but it is very strong. I think I could stand on it without it breaking. I do weigh about 140 lbs. more than my AD10. The feet are about the size of an old silver dollar so they shouldn't sink into the ground. I have never sat my scope directly on the ground anyway. The leggs have about 4" of travel so you can REALLY account for some uneven placeing. I can at last let up on the Az tension on the base of my scope. There are locking nuts on the leggs that I don't really see much use for but if I had an OBS that would be a different matter. The compass/level is about the size of a quarter. It's a bit small if you are going to take into account magnetic declination while you are setting it up but you don't really need to since the pointer is on a little slideing base. The compass is just as it should be for aligning the HALO with north and getting it level. I don't know about useing an EQ platform since it adds about 2 3/4" to the size of the AD10 base. I do plan to find out at tax time though.
With everything being what it is....I would buy it over again. I can't wait to get it out in the field! PLUS my scope just looks GOOD sitting on it!
If your like me and just can't wrap your head around cutting a notch in the base of your scope I really would recomend one. I have a $6.00 analog inclinometer that I got at Lowes but they have a Wixey at Opticsmart that they use for demo and I have to figure a way to get one w/o the CFO quitting her job.


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munchmeister
sage
*****

Reged: 04/04/12

Loc: Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
Re: Anyone with a Zhumell or similar try the new Halo? new [Re: sslcm56]
      #5705650 - 02/28/13 04:09 PM

Quote:

I LIKE IT! Here in Alabama it has been raining for days so I won't get to use my HALO until Saturday or Sunday.
My thoughts..... Well, When I put my weight on it there was a little flex but it is very strong. I think I could stand on it without it breaking. I do weigh about 140 lbs. more than my AD10. The feet are about the size of an old silver dollar so they shouldn't sink into the ground. I have never sat my scope directly on the ground anyway. The leggs have about 4" of travel so you can REALLY account for some uneven placeing. I can at last let up on the Az tension on the base of my scope. There are locking nuts on the leggs that I don't really see much use for but if I had an OBS that would be a different matter. The compass/level is about the size of a quarter. It's a bit small if you are going to take into account magnetic declination while you are setting it up but you don't really need to since the pointer is on a little slideing base. The compass is just as it should be for aligning the HALO with north and getting it level. I don't know about useing an EQ platform since it adds about 2 3/4" to the size of the AD10 base. I do plan to find out at tax time though.
With everything being what it is....I would buy it over again. I can't wait to get it out in the field! PLUS my scope just looks GOOD sitting on it!
If your like me and just can't wrap your head around cutting a notch in the base of your scope I really would recomend one. I have a $6.00 analog inclinometer that I got at Lowes but they have a Wixey at Opticsmart that they use for demo and I have to figure a way to get one w/o the CFO quitting her job.




I am interested in the 12" Apertura with the Halo and would love to hear more about your experience with it. Easy to "align?" How accurate is it once aligned? What do you use to get the Alt Az coordinates of your chosen object?

TIA


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Carl N
super member
*****

Reged: 03/18/12

Loc: San Diego, CA
Re: Anyone with a Zhumell or similar try the new Halo? new [Re: munchmeister]
      #5705726 - 02/28/13 04:49 PM

I have the Apertura 10" and I have the Halo. First, let me say that I went the route of installing an Orion set of encoders and the Computer Object Locator like someone said above. While it worked fine, it was NOT a simple hook up. The altitude bearing systems are completely different on the Orion compared to a Zhumel/Apertura/GSO and require some ingenuity. Additionally, the friction systems between the ground/top board are completely different and require you to eliminate the nice GSO roller bearings and substitute in Teflon pads.this changes the whole gap between these boards. Personally I love the GSO race bearings sandwiched between the steel doughnuts. Very adjustable and smooth. The Teflon... Not so much. In most, including my, cases you will also find that you have to rewire the encoders because you will have to install them "upside down" from the Orion method. This is easy, but not something everyone may want to get into.

All that said, I did it and it worked. In fact PM me if you want to acquire my kit that have everything you need.

I removed all that and went to the HALO with a Wixie angle gauge. I can tell you it works perfectly. If you check on Opticsmart's web page you can download the instructions. It really is simple.
- Align Halo to North
- put the dob inside
- place the angle gauge right over the bearings after calibrating it on a level surface
- point to an object with known alt/az
- adjust the magnetic pointer to the correct az
- notice any deviation in your angle gauge and add/subtract that deviation for future push-to's.

The last point references the fact that the angle gauge really is the weakest link in the whole setup. Once calibrated the HALO is perfectly fine for getting within a 12mm crosshairs eyepiece. The alt cannot be adjusted though. If the angle gauge is 1 degree off after pointing to a known object, you can't replace the value it shows. So you have to "know" how far off it is. My other complaint, minor, is that the Wixie does not have a backlit display. So I have to use a red flashlight to see it at night.

These issues plague anyone using manual setting circles for a dob. The HALO itself is very nicely done. I looked I to making something like this, before I went the digital route, and I can't I aging I would have gotten near the accuracy and quality of fit and finish myself. Though I might have gotten it done cheaper.

The leveling legs work great. The numbers are visible without much light, and it works perfectly with Skysafari or SkyQ planetarium software on my iPad to give me the coordinates to push to.

I also have taken to putting the HALO on top of my Round Table Platform for tracking. I level the HALO on top of the platform. Once I push to an object I turn on the platform to track. When I want to dial up the next object, I reset the platform to its start (level) position, use the Halo/Wixie to point, then restart the platform motor.

I have used a concrete bit to shallow out 3 indents on my back patio that the platform feet sit in to always be polar aligned. I can put out my platform, mount up the Halo and dob, calibrate the wixie, and be observing on a push to with tracking in a matter of 5 minutes.

Carl


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kfiscus
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/09/12

Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA
Re: Anyone with a Zhumell or similar try the new Halo? new [Re: Carl N]
      #5705979 - 02/28/13 06:56 PM

Thank you for the detailed and helpful report.

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Carl N
super member
*****

Reged: 03/18/12

Loc: San Diego, CA
Re: Anyone with a Zhumell or similar try the new Halo? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5707302 - 03/01/13 02:43 PM

By the way, Rockler woodworking store, google it, sells the Wixie pretty competitive price.

I agree that the compass/level is pretty hard to be precise- but you don't need precise on North, just close. Level though is important. I used a 4ft carpenters level to set the adjustable legs, marked their location at my observing station and then cupped the concrete where the feet go. Now my Halo is alway level cause I use the same setup location and the legs are locked for that location.

Carl


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munchmeister
sage
*****

Reged: 04/04/12

Loc: Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
Re: Anyone with a Zhumell or similar try the new Halo? new [Re: Carl N]
      #5707920 - 03/01/13 10:36 PM

Surfing around, I found the Intercomp Digital Angle Gauge which has a backlit LCD display, magnetic base, sides, display rotates. More expensive than the Wixey at $69 but still a lot cheaper than DSC/ computer setup.

I just really like the idea of staying as close as possible to the "self guided" search and does not require a lot of extensive setup and alignment. And I have a carpenters level. ;-) Thanks for the report.

EDIT: Just noticed that the Apertura/ Opticsmart site has the "preinstalled setting circle" for $99, somewhat cheaper than the Halo, but does not have the leveling feet but it would allow the same, simple alignment and, with a digital angle gauge, allow the same "push to" finding, along with an alt az app on your smartphone. Right????

Edited by munchmeister (03/01/13 11:38 PM)


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edwinh
super member
*****

Reged: 03/01/08

Loc: Chandler AZ
Re: Anyone with a Zhumell or similar try the new Halo? new [Re: munchmeister]
      #5708022 - 03/02/13 12:30 AM

Angle gauge - I haven't tried yet but have been looking. There is a sears digital torpedo level with backlight and it uses normal batteries not button cells, I am getting that to try out. $35.

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