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EZ PUSH TO

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#26 clearwaterdave

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 03:28 PM

Who said anything about being up a ladder?? I can't imagine observing from on top of a ladder.,If your up a ladder they probably are not the best choice.,On you average Dob they work very well.,If your FOV is .6* you need to find another ep to do your sweeping with.,I can't believe we're even discussing this.,I'm done.,

#27 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 07:06 PM

Who said anything about being up a ladder?? I can't imagine observing from on top of a ladder.,If your up a ladder they probably are not the best choice.,On you average Dob they work very well.,If your FOV is .6* you need to find another ep to do your sweeping with.,I can't believe we're even discussing this.,I'm done.,

 

I suggested that the EZ PUSH TO could probably be adapted to most any scope, it's not limited to just GSO Dobsonians.  On my average Dob manual setting circles do not work because they have scope have square bases.  As far as another eyepiece, the eyepiece in question is the 31mm Nagler... 

 

As I said, I think EZ PUSH TO could be a game changer.  If one could adapt them to other mounts, at-az refractor and reflector mounts, to manual Gems, they offer a lot of promise.  

 

Jon


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#28 beatlejuice

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 09:55 PM

I suggested that the EZ PUSH TO could probably be adapted to most any scope, it's not limited to just GSO Dobsonians.  On my average Dob manual setting circles do not work because they have scope have square bases.  As far as another eyepiece, the eyepiece in question is the 31mm Nagler... 

 

Jon

 

Actually you should still be able to use manual circles. If the base and ground board have equal dimensions, and are squares, all you would have to do is cut out a notch in the middle of the open side of the base and place a degree circle on the ground board with a diameter equal to the length of the sides of the ground board.  The notch would follow the circle in all directions even with a square rotating on a square.

 

Eric


Edited by beatlejuice, 10 January 2017 - 12:52 PM.

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#29 aeajr

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 12:09 AM

 

It's use is a bit limited , it can only be used on a small number of scopes ,& it isn't compatible with IOS. 

Maybe it will be made useful to more than a handful of people later. 

 

Seems to be a fairly new product.  The videos are only out there since October.  There is always testing to be done.

 

Compatible Brands: Zhumell Z Series Dobsonian, All GSO Dobsonian, old version of Astro-Tec, etc. 

 

I presume those are what they have tested so far.  Considering the list of scopes and the number of android devices out there I would say this is a good start.  Certainly there are a lot of Z series users on Cloudy Nights.  I don't know what other brands use GSO Dobsonians.

 

Ya gotta start somewhere.  But If you could get a Z8 with this for $500 rather than an XT8i Intelliscope for $660 the $500 package would be very interesting.   But even more interesting because you could get the Z8 for $400 and add this later if you wanted it.   You can't so that with the Intelliscope. 

 

 

 

Since it has been pointed out to me that the OP might be interested in alternatives I went looking.  

 

SkyCommander appears to be about $400

http://www.buytelesc...s-encoder-cable

 

 

I never heard of the Beti system but it seems similar to the EZ Push To -   But I am not sure if it includes the encoders.  This is Australian based so I presume that is Ausi $ not US $  About $129 if I read it right.

http://www.astrodevi.../BETI/BETI.html

 

 

By using the phone as the computer you cut a lot of cost out of the system.

 

I contacted the makers of the Beti system.  $129 seemed like a great price but it is not a complete system.  It does not include the encoders, wires or who knows what else.  So, that knocks that one out of the price range and potentially out of the ease of implementation game.


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#30 Eddgie

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 09:01 AM

Eddgie you make it sound much harder then it is to use manual circles.,Bend down to the ground.,give me some credit here.,you look at the hand-set to see which way you need to push.,I look at the tablet to get the ALT/AZ#s.,you look at the hand set and move the scope till it tells you to stop.,I move my scope till the pointer is on the numbers.,I don't have to get down on the ground to see the numbers.,I can see them just fine sitting comfy in my chair.,I can even pick my targets during the day.,write the time and ALT/AZ# down and just bring the notepad and a small clock out to the scope.,I can't see how an Intelliscope type thing can be much different then manual circles.except for the cost,and the fact that electronics can go haywire.,manual circles probably will not.,

 

It is not just "Bend down".

 

In many cases, it also involves moving from your position and it involves having a flashlight handy.

 

There is no one thing here that makes it more trouble but a combination of small things.

 

You still have to have a tablet or phone, and you now need a flashlight.

 

You look up the object, then you have to get your flashlight out and turn it on. 

 

Now you have to get out of your chair and read your scales because most of us would not be able to read them in the dark even with a flashlight. 

 

Then you have to get back settled. 

 

The setup the OP is looking at in my own opinion would just be easier and if it is easier and quickly you do more efficient observing.

 

I know that alt-az scales work and work well, but given my choice and the price point here, I would sure prefer to use the phone based Push To.

 

While I may have exaggerated the effort of the task, the point is that for $100, you get a much easier system to use.


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#31 Eddgie

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 09:11 AM

And the above logic is why I eventually went Go2.

 

The alignment time is far more than made up during a session because of the speed of going to a new object. 

 

I was much faster using DSCs than using setting circles, and Go2 was even faster still.

 

And when I eventually went to a power switch and did not have to change eyepieces for much of the session, my observing productivity peaked.

 

With all of these changes I probably doubled the number of objects I could study in a session. 

 

DSCs are as much about getting the most time at the eyepiece as they are about being able to find things.

 

At least they were to me.. I went to DSCs in 1995 and have never looked back.  I still do a lot of low power Alt-az star hopping, but for everything else, I use Go2. because it has proven (for me anyway) to provide great efficiency (And DSCs were almost as efficient). 

 

For me it was the amount of time saved more than the effort because the effort is not large.  It just takes more time to use Alt-az circles.


Edited by Eddgie, 10 January 2017 - 09:27 AM.

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#32 Eddgie

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 09:26 AM

And this is one of the reasons I love love love the dual loop Go2 on the Orion Dob. For a long slew, I can pull up my next target then manually push the scope to roughly the part of the sky that the target  is in.

 

Now I can hit the Enter button and let the scope do the final movement to the target while I move my observers chair and reset the height and move my equipment case.

 

I can be half way across the sky with my eye to the eyepiece in seconds. 

 

And I get fine tracking and fine slow motion. 

 

People think everyone uses Go2 because they don't know how to find things without it.

 

I use it because it is super fast and I can spend much more time looking though the eyepiece.

 

DSCs are almost as fast. Manual circles are faster and easier than star hopping.

 

It would seem then that efficiency is desirable because all of these methods work, but with decreasing difficulty as you move up the tree.

 

The OP seems to think DSCs will be a big improvement and from my own experience, would say he is right. 

 

 



#33 aeajr

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 10:09 AM

Anyone know if this is any good?  I am very new to the hobby and interested in a way to help locate objects in the sky.  I understand the Nexus DSC is fantastic but, not sure I want to purchase one at this point.

 

 

http://romer-optics-...ds-of-dobsonian

 

There are several YouTube videos on the device as well.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=7PAQw1XXEqo

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=SWtsKenCNro

 

 

Thanks for reading.

dobsonianhopewell,

 

It occurs to me that I don't see that you have told us if you own a scope today or if you are just doing research.   

 

If you are looking for this kind of capability, it is available, ready to go, in the Orion Intelliscope line.  I own the Orion SkyQuest XT8i Intelliscope. This is an 8" Dob with a push to system integrated at the factory.  

 

The line spans from a 6" tabletop to an 8" solid tube all the way to a 14" truss Dob.

http://www.telescope...rd=Intelliscope

 

The system is easy to use and works great.  

 

If you compare the Orion XT8, a standard manual dob, to the XT8i, considering the options that are included, the Intelliscope adds about $150.   And I have seen them in the used market. I was about to buy one new when I found a used one that I could drive over and pick-up.   Very happy with it.    I use the Intelliscope about 50% of the time and manually 50% of the time.   My next step up will likely be the Orion XX14i Intelliscope or the XX14G GoTo Dob.

 

I just realized that I did not even know if you had a scope  yet or not.

 

EZ Push To looks very interesting but it appears to be very new.  Exciting but perhaps unproven.

 

The Intelliscope has been around for years with a large installed base.  Older design but a lot of people on Cloudy Nights have them.  If you want this kind of capability in a proven product then the Intelliscope is the way to go.   If you want to be out on the leading/bleedging edge, EZ Push To looks very exciting.

 

Just FYI.

 

Using the Intelliscope Computer Object Locator
http://s7d5.scene7.c...niversal_Video1


Edited by aeajr, 10 January 2017 - 10:34 AM.

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#34 clearwaterdave

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 01:53 PM

I really can't believe what I've read here.,"You look up the object,and then you have to take out your flashlight and turn it on".,well you got me there.,Who in their right mind would ever use a method that involved such difficult steps.,And maybe you didn't read what you quoted me saying but I don't have to get out of my chair to read the circles.,they are right there.,AZ circle between my feet.,ALT circle at my waist.,I don't have to get out of my chair to move my scope either.,my chair rolls.,I don't have to have a tablet out with me if I look things up earlier.,but for this topic lets say I do.,I have to have my tablet.,you have to have the handset.,,I have to look up the target.,you have to look up the target.,I have to look at the circles and move the scope into position.,you have to look at the handset and move the scope into position.,I guess I just don't see where the big difference is in using these two different methods.,you like your go-to.,thats great.,I'm not in any hurry when I'm out enjoying the stars.,I don't feel pressured to "see" as many things as I can in a night. I find using manual circles is so easy I almost feel like I'm cheating.,I'm teaching myself to starhop because the circles make it tooo easy to find stuff.,I'm there at the object but I missed all the cool stuff along the way.,Granted.,as Jon stated they may not work on all makes and models(though I have made them for 5 different scopes..,refractors.,and tabletops,as well as my Z8)(none of which I have to get out of my chair to see).,but neither will most other accessories we use in this hobby,so if they would work for the OP then I think they are worth looking into.,YMMV.,No one seems to know if this EZ finder will be usable for things without buying more then just it.,so the $100 price tag is still a maybe.,If it will work then yes it would be a good thing indeed.,My circles have proven to work very well for me so I'll spent my money on something else.,:)

#35 aeajr

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 02:46 PM

Guys,
 
I think we have gotten a bit off track.   He asked about the EZ Push To and the Nexus DSC as computerized aids to finding stuff.  
 
Yes there are paper circles that can be used.   OK?   Agreed.   Some like them and some do not.   Nuff said on that topic.
 
 
Let's put the conflict aside. It is not helpful to one of our newest members.

 

Anyone know if this is any good?  I am very new to the hobby and interested in a way to help locate objects in the sky.  I understand the Nexus DSC is fantastic but, not sure I want to purchase one at this point.
 
 
http://romer-optics-...ds-of-dobsonian
 
There are several YouTube videos on the device as well.
 
https://www.youtube....h?v=7PAQw1XXEqo
 
https://www.youtube....h?v=SWtsKenCNro
 
 
Thanks for reading.


Edited by aeajr, 10 January 2017 - 02:48 PM.

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#36 xrayvizhen

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 03:34 PM

Upon reading this thread, viewing the vendor's videos as well as reading through the instruction manual on the website, it appears to me that the encoders are magnetic rather than optical. Not that that in itself makes it problematical for me, but no specs on the number of ticks per revolution are given. Secondly, the  encoder installation instructions seem to indicate that the product is geared towards commercial dobs, and the type of bearings typically used on Zhumells, Orions, etc. Therefore I'm left with a number of questions that would give me pause.

 

My azimuth pivot is very much like the one from Astrosystems (in fact I copied it) and the altitude bearing is modeled after Teeters'. (Hey, I never claimed to be an original thinker). So comparing the installation pics to my situation, it would be very hard to convince me that the product can be adapted to any Dobsonian and anyone with a scope with large diameter altitude circles or semi-circles could have problems mounting the encoders.

 

For now, my plan is to do a thorough shake-out of the manual circles I made + a Harbor Freight digital inclinometer in combination with my home brewed computer program I adapted from one of S&T's old BASIC programs that allows me to calibrate & align the scope without having to level it. I've got a database of the 500 best DSO's which should be enough for me to test whether or not a Push-To DSC system of any kind is in my future.   

 

The Romer solution is interesting though.


Edited by xrayvizhen, 10 January 2017 - 03:37 PM.

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#37 aeajr

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 04:59 PM

http://romer-optics-...th-easy-push-to

 

They offer a package of a GSO 8" Dob.  Looks something like a Z8 package.    The package includes the EZ Push To system.  I asked if it comes installed on the scope of if I would have to install it.

 

If it comes installed this could be very competitive to the Intelliscope, at least at the package level.



#38 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 06:21 PM

For now, my plan is to do a thorough shake-out of the manual circles I made + a Harbor Freight digital inclinometer in combination with my home brewed computer program I adapted from one of S&T's old BASIC programs that allows me to calibrate & align the scope without having to level it. I've got a database of the 500 best DSO's which should be enough for me to test whether or not a Push-To DSC system of any kind is in my future.

 

 

I think you will be happy with the digital incinometer in combination with the manual circles. I have a Craftsman digital level that I use for finding Venus and Mercury in the sunset/sunrise.  The altitude measurement is accurate enough that a precise azimuth angle is unnecessary.  

 

One night I setup my 10 inch and was quite surprised how well it worked just to level the scope, and then adjust the altitude of the object, I made practice sweeps that were 15 degrees, maybe 20 degrees that ended up on the object.  With the added precision of the manual circles on the azimuth axis, it should be plenty accurate.  

 

The biggest issue I have with the Craftsman digital level is the color of the illumination, it's green and I have not yet figured out how to preserve my dark adaptation and still see the numbers. A digital level with red numbers would be ideal.. White would be good because one add a red filter.

 

As observers like Dave have shown, manual setting circles/degree wheels can be effective.. The heated discussions were not about the effectiveness of the methods but whether or not the EZ PUSH TO experience is significantly different (I will avoid the term "upgrade").

 

Jon


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#39 aeajr

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 06:25 PM

This is the response series I exchanged with Romer Optics.  I have rearranged it to it is old to new, top to bottom like the forum rather than new to old typical of e-mail.  The message is in italics to separate the mail stream from my comments.

 

 

On Jan 10, 2017 3:58 PM, "Ed

 

http://romer-optics-...th-easy-push-to

 

I was looking at your web site and found the 8” GSO Dob packaged with EZ Push  To.

If I buy this, is the EZ Push To system already installed or do I have to install it on the telescope?

 

Best regards

=============================================

From: Romer Optics
Sent: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 5:22 PM
Subject: Re: GSO Dob with EZ Push To

 

If you purchase the GSO Dob with PUSH TO, you have to install them just like you setup the Dob.

 

The location of screws are drilled already for easier installation on Dob, and just take you 3 minutes more to install Dob. 

 

In most condition, Dob is separated when storage.  The PUSH module is designed for the purposes, devices is detachable because of magnetic design.

 

Our PUSH TO need Android phone with resolution of 720p or better because the sky map on interface  displays hundreds of stars.  You can not use 3rd party app at this moment because the other app did not provide precise alignment for Dob.  You know AZ mount is popular for its convenience, but system is more complicated.  Without alignment, the accuracy would be poor depending on some issues.

 

Best Regards,
Eric
Romer Optics LLC

 

=====================================================
On Jan 10, 2017 4:28 PM, "Ed

Thanks.  I looked at your installation instructions and I don’t understand them so I will pass.

 

A step by step installation video would help.

 

Best regards

 

=================================================

From: Romer Optics
1-10-16

 

Thanks for your advice.  We will upload the video soon.

 

Our design originally considers the upgraded possibility for those people have bought Dob already.   Certainly, for those plan to buy new one as well.

 

If you are not a beginner, the most economic solution is to buy 16 inches Dob from Zhumell Z series and EZ PUSH TO kit. 

 

Eric

 

=========================================

 

 

I presume that the 16" Zhumell comment is a typo as I was asking about an 8" scope.  


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#40 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 06:28 PM

The Intelliscope has been around for years with a large installed base.  Older design but a lot of people on Cloudy Nights have them.  If you want this kind of capability in a proven product then the Intelliscope is the way to go.   If you want to be out on the leading/bleedging edge, EZ Push To looks very exciting.

 

 One caveat when considering Orion's Intelliscope:

 

Orion only provides support and parts for the original owner and apparently the burden of proof is on the owner.  The system is proprietary so if you purchase a used Intelliscope system and need parts, you are pretty much stuck, dead in the water.

 

Jon


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#41 Roger Corbett

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 06:30 PM

I'm waiting for this:

 

Me (whispered voice):  "Hey, Siri!"

 

Siri (soft response):  "Yes, Kirk."

 

Me:  "I'd like to look at NGC 4565"

 

Siri:  "No problem, Captain!"

 

(soft, barely audible purr as scope moves into position.)

 

Siri:  "It's in the eyepiece, sir!"

 

----------------------------------- 

 

Or,

 

Siri:  "Certainly, Captain.  Move your scope to the right a fair amount.  Now up.  You're getting warmer.  A little more.  You're getting hotter.  Back a little to the left.  You've got it."

 

Or, at the eyepiece:

 

Siri:  "Move one field to the right.  Do you see the triangular shaped grouping?!

 

Me:  "Yes, indeed."

 

Siri:  "One more step in that direction, Captain, and we'll be there..."

 

----------------------------------- 

 

Duck-and-cover time as those scenarios lend themselves to a Doonesbury-type mocking of Siri a la Newton!

 

Siri (excitedly):  "No problem, Captain.  Calling your cousin Henry C at 4-2-6-2-5..."  (NGC 4565)

 

Siri (patiently):  "India is a country in Asia. Population..."  (Yes, indeed)

 

Siri (irritated):  "No, Captain, I said, right!"

 

----------------------------------- 

 

Last, but not least. in more advanced uses...

 

Me:  "I see an 8th magnitude star near the center of a trapezoid."

 

Siri:  "That star is not on the map!"

 

!!


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#42 Roger Corbett

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 06:36 PM

Amazingly, Saturn was only about 1 degree away on the night of that famous discovery; something I've never seen mentioned!

 

(That is, assuming I've entered the time, date, and location correctly into Sky Safari!)


Edited by Roger Corbett, 10 January 2017 - 06:38 PM.


#43 xrayvizhen

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 07:39 PM

On the topic of manual circles & digital levels to find objects, (and we do seem to be drifting a little from the OP’s original question) I did do one night of testing with the Celestron Sky Portal app which does require leveling the scope. I calibrated the inclinometer to zero, lined up the 360° mark on the azimuth circle with Polaris while it was in the center FOV of a 15mm EP and leveled the scope as best I could with a circular bubble level. I'm certain the leveling wasn't perfect, but it wasn't that far off either. Truth be told, I didn’t feel this method of finding objects was all that accurate. It got me in the neighborhood of the object I was seeking, but nowhere near within a 1° FOV.

 

So I wrote this telescope pointing program I mentioned in my earlier post that doesn’t require leveling or even aligning the scope with Polaris or any other direction for that matter. It just requires a basic two star alignment and then you’re good to go for the rest of the night. I haven’t had a chance to test it though since it’s gotten too cold for comfortable observing but I do hope this method really works. Over the past 20 years my suburban skies have gotten noticeably more light polluted, thus the need for some sort of assistance finding objects. Before I built my 12 ½” Dob, I became heavily reliant on the accuracy of the Celestron 8SE’s goto capability but with a manual scope it’s hard to star hop when you can’t see the stars.


Edited by xrayvizhen, 10 January 2017 - 07:39 PM.

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#44 beatlejuice

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 09:46 PM

Polaris could be as much as 3/4 of a degree or so away from 0/360 and centering in a high power eyepiece (250x is good)  will both improve accuracy.   And yes level is also of utmost importance (2-way level works great).

 

Back to the program sorry for the interruption.

 

Eric


Edited by beatlejuice, 10 January 2017 - 09:52 PM.


#45 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 07:44 AM

On the topic of manual circles & digital levels to find objects, (and we do seem to be drifting a little from the OP’s original question) I did do one night of testing with the Celestron Sky Portal app which does require leveling the scope. I calibrated the inclinometer to zero, lined up the 360° mark on the azimuth circle with Polaris while it was in the center FOV of a 15mm EP and leveled the scope as best I could with a circular bubble level. I'm certain the leveling wasn't perfect, but it wasn't that far off either. Truth be told, I didn’t feel this method of finding objects was all that accurate. It got me in the neighborhood of the object I was seeking, but nowhere near within a 1° FOV.

 

 

Thinking about your situation, it occurred to me that as long as you have using a digital level that is accurate to a fraction of a degree, level does not matter much.  You are directly measuring the elevation so as long as the optics are aligned to the optical tube, not always true, then in term of the altitude, level does not matter.

 

In terms of the azimuth, a small tilt of a few degrees has very little effect. 

 

If you were using setting circles to measure the elevation, then level would be very important but since you are !Easier the elevation directly, it shouldn't matter.

 

That has been my experience finding Venus and Mercury in the sunset, when I find them, my measured elevation agrees with Sky Safari to within +/- 0.2 degrees.

 

As Eric pointed out, Polaris could be as much as 3/4 of a degree off.  SkyPortal should work if the time and location are exact.  

 

Did you try aligning the azimuth to a known stars azimuth and check the calibration of the level with the elevation of a known star?  

 

Jon


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#46 xrayvizhen

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 08:34 AM

 

On the topic of manual circles & digital levels to find objects, (and we do seem to be drifting a little from the OP’s original question) I did do one night of testing with the Celestron Sky Portal app which does require leveling the scope. I calibrated the inclinometer to zero, lined up the 360° mark on the azimuth circle with Polaris while it was in the center FOV of a 15mm EP and leveled the scope as best I could with a circular bubble level. I'm certain the leveling wasn't perfect, but it wasn't that far off either. Truth be told, I didn’t feel this method of finding objects was all that accurate. It got me in the neighborhood of the object I was seeking, but nowhere near within a 1° FOV.

 


Did you try aligning the azimuth to a known stars azimuth and check the calibration of the level with the elevation of a known star?  

 

Jon

 

Short answer...yes. After aligning with Polaris, slewed all the way over to the east to a rising Orion and realigned on Betelgeuse, making note that the altitude reading, in comparison with Sky Portal, differed by .2°. Throughout the rest of the session, sighting objects that were readily visible either with the naked eye or in an 8x50 finder, achieved varying levels of accuracy, with objects seldom within the FOV of a 25° EP but usually visible in the finder. Like I said, it got me in the neighborhood but I would be happier with better accuracy. 

 

We're supposed to get some unseasonably warm weather in the next few days. If it's not cloudy I'll try again, this time with a laptop running the program I cooked up. I really want this to work as I don't relish spending another $500 or so for a DSC system and the more I look at the Romer system, even though it's only $100, the more I 'm turned off by the magnetic encoders and the method used to install them.



#47 aeajr

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 06:19 PM

Has anyone tried the EZ Push To?



#48 PXR-5

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 09:19 PM

Looks neat, I want DSCs for my GEM, but the prices are outrageous, using an app could be the way of the future ;)

#49 Ken83

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 12:34 PM

Has anyone tried this new setup yet? I only ask because I plan on buying my 1st scope soon and this maybe a nice setup if it works. I've liked the z8 and z10 from what I have read however, I would like some intelligence to my scope because I'm completely new to Stargazing. Obviously the intelliscopes look awesome but the z8 and 10 packages have a few more bells and whistles to start. If I could add this low cost dsc system that would be the way to go.
  • Juan Rayo likes this

#50 wykbbb

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 01:40 PM

Romer Optics added a video about installing EZ PUSH TO on a dob. https://www.youtube....h?v=uPRj3SxQ03g

 

They also added a video and FB post  showing the EZ PUSH TO on alt-az mount (AstroTech Voyager?)  

 https://www.youtube....h?v=TyiaPmaP8TU

https://www.facebook...704227106468587

 

According to this  FB post, it was designed to work with GSO dobs.  However, the owner offered to help people make the kit work  with DIY dobs.

https://www.facebook...704227106468587




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