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FREE Printable Setting Circles

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25 replies to this topic

#1 DavidOpticsmart

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Posted 07 October 2015 - 10:31 AM

Since we're no longer selling Dobs, I wanted to offer the printable setting circle files to amateur astronomers as a gift.  The files are in PDF format and are designed to fit current 8”, 10”, and 12” GSO-made Dobs (and will likely fit older generation GSO Dobs, as well as other brands like Skywatcher and Orion, as long as the base diameters are similar).  The files were originally created in Adobe Illustrator by a professional graphic artist, but I recently had a friend convert them to PDF file format.  I can NOT guarantee that the scaling is exactly perfect in the PDF files (although I think it is) so you may want to take your baseboard to Kinko's with you to make SURE that the printout comes out the right size.

 

My intention was to upload the files here, but the forum has a file-size maximum of 500KB, and these files are significantly larger than that, so you will need to download them directly from our site:

 

 

Setting Circle for 8" Dobs

Attached File  CLOUDY_NIGHTS_Setting_Circle_for_8_Inch_Dobs.pdf   1.47MB   1191 downloads

 

 

Setting Circle for 10" Dobs

Attached File  CLOUDY_NIGHTS_Setting_Circle_for_10_Inch_Dobs.pdf   1.12MB   663 downloads

 

 

Setting Circle for 12" Dobs

Attached File  CLOUDY_NIGHTS_Setting_Circle_for_12_Inch_Dobs.pdf   1.09MB   632 downloads

 

 

**  VERY IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER  **

 

I am making these files available for FREE and can't "support" them in any way.  So if you can figure out how to get the file printed and can figure out how to attach it to your Dob, then please use with my compliments.  But please understand that I won't be able to answer any questions, make any modifications to the files, or offer any other kind of assistance.  I suspect that once a few members here have used the files, they will be able to answer any questions that newbies might have.


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#2 mrowlands

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Posted 07 October 2015 - 11:31 AM

Cool!  Thanks David.

 

Mike R.


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#3 DavidOpticsmart

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Posted 07 October 2015 - 01:10 PM

You're welcome!!


Edited by DavidOpticsmart, 07 October 2015 - 01:11 PM.


#4 Pinbout

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Posted 07 October 2015 - 02:43 PM

the 10 and 12 are on 25" square artboard so they would need to be printed on a 36x48 sheet.

 

the 8in can fit on a 24x36 since the artboard is only 22" square.


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#5 dmgriff

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Posted 08 October 2015 - 01:39 PM

Thanks so much!!!

 

 


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#6 dhines32

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Posted 08 October 2015 - 01:59 PM

This is awesome. They look great. Thanks!!!


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#7 vtornado

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Posted 19 August 2016 - 03:58 PM

Thank you so much.

 

I am having trouble finding objects in my DOB in my light polluted skies.  So I just want to try these

at low cost, so I want to print it out just using normal paper 8.5 x 11.

I had trouble printing them out because I would only get what would fit on one page.

 

However ...

If you download the real adobe reader instead of using your browser to load the pdf file, 

there is an option in the print dialogue,  to print to poster.   Pick that and adobe will correctly print across multiple pages.

 

I figure I can use a ruler and protractor to mark the board, and package tape each piece in its proper

place.  Thereby eliminating error creep if I were to just try to lay each piece next to the other.

For the 8" DOB, this prints on 9 sheets of regular paper or 6 sheets of legal.

 

If this actually works, I will bring  it into a professional print shop where it can be printed and laminated

for a better look and more accuracy.


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#8 vtornado

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Posted 20 August 2016 - 08:29 AM

My first problem ...  By marking the board and laying each piece independently, the pieces over lapped slightly. Ooops.  I layed them on the floor and found that the printed size is about 19.5 inches

and my orion skyquest dob altitude board is 19"   I don't know if these circles were made for another brand of dob,  maybe there are different size boards, maybe the software, or printer changes the diameter.

Well I put them on anyway with packing tape.   So I am aware that I have about 2 degree error

in each 60 degree segment. 

 

The next time I print them I will try the scale button, and see if printing at 97% will get the circles just right.



#9 Oscar56

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Posted 27 August 2016 - 04:33 AM

Thanks David. I am going to try to enlarge to fit my 16" dob. 



#10 Pinbout

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Posted 27 August 2016 - 08:28 AM

Thanks David. I am going to try to enlarge to fit my 16" dob. 

 

what size is your base. I can modify the file to fit it for ya



#11 epee

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Posted 27 August 2016 - 11:18 AM

Thank You, that is very generous of you. :)  :waytogo:  



#12 Oscar56

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Posted 27 August 2016 - 12:03 PM

 

Thanks David. I am going to try to enlarge to fit my 16" dob. 

 

what size is your base. I can modify the file to fit it for ya

 

Oops.  I forgot that my " new to me" Lightbridge has a home made base. The previous owner built a baseboard with 3 "wings" that will not accept setting circles. 

 

This is fall I will be taking delivery of a Dobstuff kit into which I will be moving the primary and secondary. Once I start building the kit then I can think about setting circles. 

 

Thanks for for the offer Danny. 



#13 Xia Rubia

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Posted 17 August 2018 - 07:57 AM

Awesome! Thanks so much!waytogo.gif



#14 pgrunwald

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Posted 17 August 2018 - 06:10 PM

Have you seen this?  https://www.cloudyni...for-diy-makers/



#15 Barlowbill

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Posted 17 August 2018 - 07:21 PM

Thank you, David.  Very kind of you and well appreciated by all.



#16 tofumike

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Posted 19 August 2018 - 08:22 PM

Would someone kindly explain how these are supposed to work? I just bought an Apertura 8" Dob. Thanks in advance.



#17 halx

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Posted 24 August 2018 - 09:29 PM

Hey, tofumike!

Welcome to the forum!

 

These are printable Azimuth circles which you supposed to glue to your dob's base. So when the telescope rotated on its vertical axis some pointer on the side of the base over that gauge could show a value on the ring corresponding to the Azimuth direction the telescope is pointing towards.

 

The ability to set that value can be used to point at celestial objects by their coordinates which you can find from a digital star chart/planetarium app (other sources of that information are available but are cumbersome to use).

 

But in addition, you will need an altitude gauge to set the object's altitude too. For that, I'd recommend a digital inclinometer like this one: https://www.ebay.com...24634825&chn=ps

 

The flow is as follows:

1. Select the object you want to see in the telescope on the star chart running in the real-time clock mode (tracking the current sky position for your geographic location).

2. Find the object's Azimuth and Altitude (different apps have different ways of finding that info).

3. Push/pull the telescope around its axes to set the azimuth on the circle and the altitude on the digital inclinometer display.

4. Look into the eyepiece - the target object should be there (may take some practice and better to use with the low magnification for the starter).

 

Important note: With most of the planetarium apps you will have to orient your telescope base to the true north first or measure the constant error and subtract it from the true Azimuth each time manually. The inclinometer calibration might be also in order as well as the precise leveling of the scope base.

If you have an Android phone or tablet, there is a much easier way eliminating that hassle, which I'm aware of. But due to this forum restrictions upon me as a vendor, you have to ask me right here how my product could improve that if you are interested.


Edited by halx, 24 August 2018 - 09:51 PM.

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#18 jag32

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Posted 29 August 2018 - 09:05 PM

Thanks for this

#19 Sean Wood

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Posted 30 August 2018 - 01:45 PM

You can make it easier in the setup by making the setting circles rotatable. Most commercial dobs have a gap between the ground board and the Az carriage. find a piece of Plexiglas that is slightly thinner than the gap. laminate the setting circles to it and cut the outer diameter larger then your Az carriage or close to the same size, but you'll need to cut a window to see the numerals. If you go the inset route you'll still need a slight lip sticking out to be able to manipulate it for rotation After that find center, layout a inner hole to make a ring. This inner ring will need to clear any pads or bearings between the carriage and ground board. Lay the ring centered on your ground board and put some pan head screws inside the inner ring so as to make a false center for the ring to pivot around. Make sure the screw heads are low enough as not to interfere with your Az movement. Also make sure the ring pivots/spins on the ground board uniformly.and smoothly. once reassembled you should now be able to plop the scope down like usual find north or south depending on your orientation and turn the setting circle to set the Az starting point by either finding a easy target and adjusting the circles to that targets Az setting or facing North and setting it to 0.


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#20 halx

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 03:05 PM

That solution, Sean, is so complex that I couldn't even understand it without a drawing smile.gif Which usually means a very little audience will bother building something that elaborate. Especially, when there is a solution which allows to simply glue the ring on and drive a nail as a pointer anywhere above it. Which is easy to accomplish without any tools at all (use a rock as a hammer), more reliable as there are no extra moving parts, and more accurate, as you can recalibrate any moment in under a minute... 


Edited by halx, 04 September 2018 - 03:06 PM.


#21 Sean Wood

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 01:33 PM

You do you man...To each their own. Some folks are fine with beating on their scopes with rocks some like a little more elegant, albeit possibly a tad more complicated, solution... lol



#22 Leeseafish

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Posted 07 March 2019 - 02:46 PM

I like tinkering so I've fitted my dobs with an adjustable setting circle, viewport with LED light and a light on a lead to make reading the inclinometer easier.  I wrote this up this evening and here it is as a pdf - http://seafoodacadem...-to-my-dobs.pdf

 

and the setting circle was printed from the files above.

 

I use (the free version of ) SkEye on an android tablet for the alt az coordinates, but I'd appreciate any suggestions for a better one.


Edited by Leeseafish, 07 March 2019 - 02:54 PM.

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#23 Leeseafish

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Posted 07 March 2019 - 02:53 PM

You can make it easier in the setup by making the setting circles rotatable. Most commercial dobs have a gap between the ground board and the Az carriage. find a piece of Plexiglas that is slightly thinner than the gap. laminate the setting circles to it and cut the outer diameter larger then your Az carriage or close to the same size, but you'll need to cut a window to see the numerals. If you go the inset route you'll still need a slight lip sticking out to be able to manipulate it for rotation After that find center, layout a inner hole to make a ring. This inner ring will need to clear any pads or bearings between the carriage and ground board. Lay the ring centered on your ground board and put some pan head screws inside the inner ring so as to make a false center for the ring to pivot around. Make sure the screw heads are low enough as not to interfere with your Az movement. Also make sure the ring pivots/spins on the ground board uniformly.and smoothly. once reassembled you should now be able to plop the scope down like usual find north or south depending on your orientation and turn the setting circle to set the Az starting point by either finding a easy target and adjusting the circles to that targets Az setting or facing North and setting it to 0.

Excellent description Sean.  Your solution is very similar to mine


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#24 Natdiamond

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 09:13 AM

Since we're no longer selling Dobs, I wanted to offer the printable setting circle files to amateur astronomers as a gift.  The files are in PDF format and are designed to fit current 8”, 10”, and 12” GSO-made Dobs (and will likely fit older generation GSO Dobs, as well as other brands like Skywatcher and Orion, as long as the base diameters are similar).  The files were originally created in Adobe Illustrator by a professional graphic artist, but I recently had a friend convert them to PDF file format.  I can NOT guarantee that the scaling is exactly perfect in the PDF files (although I think it is) so you may want to take your baseboard to Kinko's with you to make SURE that the printout comes out the right size.

 

My intention was to upload the files here, but the forum has a file-size maximum of 500KB, and these files are significantly larger than that, so you will need to download them directly from our site:

 

 

Setting Circle for 8" Dobs

attachicon.gif CLOUDY_NIGHTS_Setting_Circle_for_8_Inch_Dobs.pdf

 

 

Setting Circle for 10" Dobs

attachicon.gif CLOUDY_NIGHTS_Setting_Circle_for_10_Inch_Dobs.pdf

 

 

Setting Circle for 12" Dobs

attachicon.gif CLOUDY_NIGHTS_Setting_Circle_for_12_Inch_Dobs.pdf

 

 

**  VERY IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER  **

 

I am making these files available for FREE and can't "support" them in any way.  So if you can figure out how to get the file printed and can figure out how to attach it to your Dob, then please use with my compliments.  But please understand that I won't be able to answer any questions, make any modifications to the files, or offer any other kind of assistance.  I suspect that once a few members here have used the files, they will be able to answer any questions that newbies might have.

Thank you for these. I have a 12" Z12. I opted to mount the circle on the top plate since I didn't want to cut into my base at all. I saw others do it. I'm a newbie. So I didn't realize if mounted on top, the numbers need to be reversed. So, since I liked the design of these circles, I reversed the numbers for anyone else who is interested. I hope that by posting this, I'm not being un-cool in any way. The only one I did was for the 12" dob

Attached Files


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#25 icomet

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 09:44 AM

I just ran across your "gift" to us here on CN. Thanks David. Clear Skies.




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