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Equipment Discussions >> ATM, Optics and DIY Forum

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scholastic sledgehammer

Reged: 10/07/12

Loc: Ohio, USA
equatorial platform and setting circles new
      #5822555 - 04/25/13 04:41 PM

I just built my equatorial platform and it's sitting here i n the house testing it with my telescope on it for it's first run. Now I have kind of been looking at it and wondering how my setting circles are going to work? Am I no longer able to use them ? Will they not line up as the scope moves through out it's cycle? Is there a certain ritual that I need to go through?

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Reged: 10/02/07

Loc: Parsippany, NJ
Re: equatorial platform and setting circles new [Re: tag1260]
      #5823316 - 04/25/13 10:51 PM

You should read through the instructions for your DSC system. Many systems have an option that will allow the use of a tracking platform.

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super member

Reged: 11/27/12

Re: equatorial platform and setting circles new [Re: StarDusty]
      #5823420 - 04/26/13 12:09 AM

I would think that in Principle it should work just like it would if it was off the platform on flat ground. You would align the Circle in the same direction that you align the EQ Platform. And the EQ Platform only tilts left and right. So the numbers on the Setting Circle should still be pointing in the same direction as if you were using it without the EQ Platform.

The only thing I would think that you might need to do is to level out the EQ Platform when using the Setting Circle to find your targets. Then once you find the target you just turn on the EQ Platform to track. So every time you need to find a new target you would have to reset the EQ Platform first before find it and tracking it.

That is how I thought it worked from reading up on it.

Edit: Note the reason I said that you might need to level the EQ Platform is do to adjusting the Altitude when finding a target using the Setting Circles. If it is tilted then your Altitude adjustments would be going in the wrong direction.

Edited by VectorRoll (04/26/13 12:16 AM)

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Post Laureate

Reged: 12/02/04

Loc: Hockessin, De
Re: equatorial platform and setting circles new [Re: VectorRoll]
      #5823892 - 04/26/13 09:35 AM

If your using a digital setting circle (DSC) system like an NGC-MAX type unit, what you need to do is turn off the internal clock. When your using digital setting circles on a typical Dob, the unit is converting the position of the scope which it knows via the encoders to RA and DEC and then back again. Since the sky is rotating, the unit uses an internal clock to keep track of that as well and does the offset from when the unit was first calibrated. If you place the telescope on EQ plateform, the rotate of the sky is cancelled out since the the scope is now being tracked in RA but the DSC system does not know this in it usual mode of operation so it would continue to apply the offset to compensate for the movement of the sky.

- Dave

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Reged: 03/17/13

Loc: Sacramento, CA
Re: equatorial platform and setting circles [Re: DAVIDG]
      #5827672 - 04/28/13 02:06 AM

Sky Commander has an EQ platform function.

When you reset the platform, you reset the platform function and it does not lose it's "place".

Using it without a platform is it helpful to re-train the computer by getting the object in the eyepiece and telling it to calibrate on the targeted object.

That helps prevent "drift" as you slew around the sky.

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