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taylornate
member


Reged: 01/04/13

First light new
      #5622597 - 01/14/13 12:32 PM

I drove 40 minutes into the country into the heart of the green zone. I'm not sure what I was hoping to accomplish, because my sole means of navigation would be SkEye and I hadn't mounted my tablet yet. I did manage to accidently catch a faint fuzzy in my 8x50 finder and then view it in my 30mm EP, so that was pretty cool! I could hear an animal walking around and breathing which freaked me out a bit. It must have been a deer. Also, it was really darn cold.

After returning home, I figured out a great way to mount my tablet and I didn't even have to buy anything. I took one of the styrofoam shipping inserts and strapped it to the tube, and held the tablet to the foam with rubber bands. So now I'm ready for tonight! I hope the tablet idea works out because the magnetic compass on my Nexus 7 seems to have issues.

Edited by panhard (01/14/13 04:58 PM)


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StarCurious
member


Reged: 12/24/12

Loc: York Region, Ontario
Re: First light new [Re: taylornate]
      #5622855 - 01/14/13 03:11 PM

That styrofoam idea is brilliant. Let us know if it works out.

Post pictures too once you have the tablet mounted.


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lamplight
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/18/12

Loc: western MA, U.S.
Re: First light new [Re: StarCurious]
      #5623220 - 01/14/13 06:50 PM

hey congratulations! please post a pic i cant picture what youre talking about. i have nexus 7 too. i usually bring a book or cloth or something to drape over it after ive consulted it.. even when (i use sky safari) its in "night mode" i find it too bright..maybe once you really get into your night vision that might help..

we had a lengthy discussion here recently about accuracy of tablet compasses and i believe they use GPS, which will give you a better aim at the north celestial pole vs the magnetic pole which isnt really what you want. um... i see you have a dob.. i guess you are not polar aligning.. why the compass comment? anyhow welcome if i didnt already and again congratulations, envious of green zone!!


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panhard
It's All Good
*****

Reged: 01/20/08

Loc: Markham Ontario Canada
Re: First light *DELETED* new [Re: lamplight]
      #5623234 - 01/14/13 06:58 PM

Post deleted by panhard

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taylornate
member


Reged: 01/04/13

Re: First light new [Re: lamplight]
      #5623262 - 01/14/13 07:20 PM

Quote:

hey congratulations! please post a pic i cant picture what youre talking about. i have nexus 7 too. i usually bring a book or cloth or something to drape over it after ive consulted it.. even when (i use sky safari) its in "night mode" i find it too bright..maybe once you really get into your night vision that might help..

we had a lengthy discussion here recently about accuracy of tablet compasses and i believe they use GPS, which will give you a better aim at the north celestial pole vs the magnetic pole which isnt really what you want. um... i see you have a dob.. i guess you are not polar aligning.. why the compass comment? anyhow welcome if i didnt already and again congratulations, envious of green zone!!




I'll try to get a photo up tonight.

Tablets have three types of sensors to determine your location and which way you're pointing:
1) GPS will give you your location and nothing more. If you are driving, it can use the change in location to figure out which way you are going, but we are stationary.
2) From the accelerometer data, the tablet can tell which way is down, and therefore, the inclination/altitude.
3) A magnetic sensor which I referred to as the compass tells the tablet which way is magnetic north.

All three of these absolutely must be working for the tablet to know where in the sky it is pointed. The N7 seems to have issues with #3. At any given time, if I open a compass app, it may not point north and I can't predict where it will point. It won't stay pointing in one direction--it will move around. There is a way of calibrating this sensor where you swing it around in a circle or figure 8 and that seems to help.

Do you not have this trouble with yours? I know I'm not the only one, but maybe it is a hit or miss type deal.

4) Ok, I lied. Apparently the N7 has a gyroscope as well. So theoretically after an alignment the magnetic sensor may no longer be needed, though the gyroscope would have to be very precise. Does anyone know if any of the common star chart type apps utilize the gyroscope in this way?


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lamplight
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/18/12

Loc: western MA, U.S.
Re: First light new [Re: taylornate]
      #5624238 - 01/15/13 11:38 AM

Hi

star maps /planetarium software on the device can be used very effectively without pointing the device at the sky. I have never used any astronomy apps this way. I use sky safari plus like a star chart. if you can turn off the motion detection of your app I think you'll find it quite usable and more practical than holding something up to the sky all the time. looking at the charts and looking at the sky will show you what the cardinal points are, and how to read star charts better.

if you're looking to solve this issue maybe the subforum "Astronomy Software and Computers" would be of help.


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taylornate
member


Reged: 01/04/13

Re: First light new [Re: lamplight]
      #5625028 - 01/15/13 07:31 PM

Here is my tablet mount:




My second night was pretty cool. I started by finding Jupiter accidently. I just picked a random bright "star" to check the alignment of my finder. I saw that it didn't appear to be a point source in my 30mm EP so I wondered if I messed up my collimation. I put in my 11mm and the cloud bands were obvious.

As I was packing up I saw a few good meteors, including 3 within a total of about 5 seconds.


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brianc99
member
*****

Reged: 11/27/12

Loc: Southern NH
Re: First light new [Re: taylornate]
      #5625092 - 01/15/13 08:02 PM

My old Samsung Tab (original) has no magnetometer, which Skeye's documentation says is required for the PUSH-TO function. It works fine on my phone, but I haven't gotten around to attaching it to the mou t and trying it out. From what I've read, these apps will only stay accurate within a small region of the sky.

Personally, I'm more interested in just learning my way around the sky. It just makes me happy when I'm outside at night, and I look up and recognize something, even when I'm nowhere near a telescope.

Brian


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newtoskies
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/12

Loc: SE Ma.
Re: First light new [Re: brianc99]
      #5625099 - 01/15/13 08:07 PM

Cool to see the Dob with the tablet. Nice light set up that shouldn't off balance the OTA much. Note to self...get a tablet or iPhone.

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StarCurious
member


Reged: 12/24/12

Loc: York Region, Ontario
Re: First light new [Re: taylornate]
      #5626786 - 01/16/13 06:47 PM

Thanks for posting the pictures. I mounted my ASUS Transformer 101 10" tablet with 2 of those styrofoam pieces - I just got my first scope, the Z10 same as yours.

Unfortunately, I can't get the SkEye to work as a PUSHTO aid as the tablet is still too close to the (steel) OTA. For some reason, the azimuth reading is all over the place, almost random.


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taylornate
member


Reged: 01/04/13

Re: First light new [Re: StarCurious]
      #5626793 - 01/16/13 06:52 PM

Quote:

Thanks for posting the pictures. I mounted my ASUS Transformer 101 10" tablet with 2 of those styrofoam pieces - I just got my first scope, the Z10 same as yours.

Unfortunately, I can't get the SkEye to work as a PUSHTO aid as the tablet is still too close to the (steel) OTA. For some reason, the azimuth reading is all over the place, almost random.




Have you tried calibrating the tablet's compass by waving it in a figure 8 like in this video?


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panhard
It's All Good
*****

Reged: 01/20/08

Loc: Markham Ontario Canada
Re: First light *DELETED* new [Re: taylornate]
      #5626946 - 01/16/13 08:24 PM

Post deleted by panhard

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StarCurious
member


Reged: 12/24/12

Loc: York Region, Ontario
Re: First light new [Re: panhard]
      #5627098 - 01/16/13 09:59 PM

Please check PM, thanks.

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StarCurious
member


Reged: 12/24/12

Loc: York Region, Ontario
Re: First light new [Re: taylornate]
      #5627113 - 01/16/13 10:05 PM

I forgot! I have now done so. It is better, but the azimuth reading still seems to vary and not repeatable. I am doing this test inside, as I am not able to get the scope outside. (I need to make a ramp after I build a base with caster wheels. This scope won't see first light until then - likely sometime in the Spring.)

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WaterMasterAdministrator
Moat Keeper
*****

Reged: 02/17/10

Loc: Southeast Idaho, USA
Re: First light new [Re: StarCurious]
      #5627130 - 01/16/13 10:15 PM

I know this sounds silly, but try calibrating the compass while it's attached to the OTA. Also, if you're within 50-100' of power lines (or inside a house), it's very unlikely that the compass will operate correctly.

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taylornate
member


Reged: 01/04/13

Re: First light new [Re: WaterMaster]
      #5627132 - 01/16/13 10:16 PM

Quote:

I know this sounds silly, but try calibrating the compass while it's attached to the OTA




How?


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WaterMasterAdministrator
Moat Keeper
*****

Reged: 02/17/10

Loc: Southeast Idaho, USA
Re: First light new [Re: taylornate]
      #5627136 - 01/16/13 10:19 PM

First, you don't have to do the calibration quickly, and you don't really need to rotate the device in all three axes to calibrate the compass. If you attach the device to the OTA and then rotate the base 360º in both directions several times (again, this doesn't have to be fast, but it does have to be a consistent speed), the compass can calibrate.

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StarCurious
member


Reged: 12/24/12

Loc: York Region, Ontario
Re: First light [Re: WaterMaster]
      #5627148 - 01/16/13 10:31 PM

Thanks for the tip. I won't be able to test this until I can take it out then. I should therefore remain hopeful.

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WaterMasterAdministrator
Moat Keeper
*****

Reged: 02/17/10

Loc: Southeast Idaho, USA
Re: First light new [Re: StarCurious]
      #5627171 - 01/16/13 10:38 PM

Another helpful app that I use in conjunction with SkEye is GPS Status . The magnetometer function is really helpful for determining if there are strong magnetic fields in the vicinity (kind of like a very sensitive metal detector).

I'm sure there are other, similar apps.

Edited by WaterMaster (01/16/13 10:46 PM)


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lamplight
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/18/12

Loc: western MA, U.S.
Re: First light new [Re: WaterMaster]
      #5627600 - 01/17/13 08:31 AM

Guys,

A lot of sources I've read about getting accurate compass reading from a phone or tablet says stay away from metal. I've seen this be an issue with two android devices and the iPad when marking a north/south line for my polar alignments


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