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Joining the skyscout club

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#1 clovett

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 08:04 AM

I bought a 10 inch lightbridge months ago but I can't find stars to save my skin. I have a astromist for my PDA and some charts but it's difficult for me to get a good reference going. So rather than give up totally I've decided on a skyscout and a scope stuff mounting system. Got one off ebay on the way and when it gets here and I test it (as per scope stuff instructions) I'll order my bracket.

#2 BoriSpider

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 04:22 AM

So Clovett, how is the setup working?

#3 Rich Schwartz

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 09:36 PM

Are you saying that you can mount the skyscope on top of a telescope? Can it then be used as a finder scope?

It's an interesting device, but I find it cumbersome to have to set my GPS coordinates everytime I turn it on. It seems like it should have a writable memory to save your GPS coordinates and UTC offset. Am I missing something?

Thanks,


Rich

#4 DavidD

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 09:59 PM

Rich -

It can be used to a certain extent as a finder.

Are you waiting for the GPS satellites to lock in? Also, it does try to save your last location, but in my experience, it's not very good at it.

David

#5 Rich Schwartz

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 08:13 PM

David -

It seems to take forever for it to find GPS satellites and I end up having to do it manually. This is strange because I can set up my garmin GPS almost right after I turn it on, so I know I have satellites to lock onto.

#6 DavidD

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 11:27 PM

Rich -

The issue seems to be that it wants to find something like 12 satellites before it will stop. Your GPS will find 2 or 3 and then tweak as it finds more.

I had several emails with tech support, but all they resulted in was advice, no fixes. I do seem to recall, though, that it does try to maintain the last location. It could be, though, that once it starts hunting, it loses the data, so the "trick" would be to get into the set mode before it starts searching.

I've toyed with using mine as a finder. The first issue I've had is the tube on both of my main scopes is magnetic. I've tried several different shielding solutions without success. The other issue is mine seems to be just a bit off, with the object just at the edge of the circle, or just out of view. I've suspected it's because AZ doesn't do DST, and I haven't found a way to have it ignore DST. So, I tried it again a couple of weeks ago. Jupiter was still off. However, Vega was dead on. I didn't get any further than that.

David

#7 Scopenik

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 11:42 PM

Both my Celestron SkyScout and Meade MySky took very long to get GPS satellite acquisition. And as you found, a Garmin GPS usually gets GPS acquisition almost immediately (sometimes it too is somewhat slow). It might be that different GPS units are equipped with more sensitive, quick to get GPS acquisition receivers than others. After each time from when the SkyScout started at a cold start such as after changing batteries, it took a long time to get the GPS lock but after it had each start up time after that was pretty quick (until changing out batteries and again starting from a cold start). When you have more time, try to put it down somewhere out in the open on a level surface and leave it until you get GPS lock and then see how it works next time.

As far as it working like a finder scope, it can only get you in the general area of your desired object. You will still have to star hop a bit until you find your target. Telescope mounts that have one of the computers and encoders like a JMI NGC Max, Sky Commander Digital Setting Circle Computer or Argo Navis™ Digital Telescope Computer can guide you right on to your object. The old school of thought was that it was better to learn to star hop and learn your way around than to use a GoTo or Push To computer guided system. I always have had the most luck using some type of computer guided system but many a time I will just grab a telescope and Alt Az mount and find objects either by recognizing them unaided eye or using a planetarium app on my hand held iPhone and then finding it in a finder followed by a low powered eyeypiece. Some of those can be connected to a laptop running a planetarium program like The Sky or Starry Night Pro. When connected like that, the planetarium program screen swings around in sync as you slew your telescope.

A SkyScout can certainly help to zero in on the correct general area and also to help to identify stars as you find your way around.

One way that the SkyScout might funtion better as an accurate finderscope may be when a SkyScout is connected to a compatible Celestron Telescope with their Celestron SkyScout Connect. I have not used it that way and have not read any reviews of that sytem.

Glenn T.


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