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EZ PUSH TO

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#76 mhinagoya

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 05:39 PM

It would seem like nobody is willing to be the guinea pig here. Don't blame them. smile.gif

I have an Orion XT-8 and I just ordered the system a few minutes ago. I know I will have to fab a few things to fit the system to my scope, but that's nothing new. I will keep good notes/records and take pictures so I can post everything once I have it installed and working.

 

Forgive me. I didn't introduce myself.

 

I'm the guinea pig.

 

(Bill)


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#77 aeajr

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 05:42 PM

I will be very interested in how that XT8 goes.



#78 Juan Rayo

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 06:03 PM

Me too, good luck!

#79 pgrunwald

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 11:04 PM

This is my replacement XT10 base.  I would like to add goto.  Will EZ Push To work without major surgery? 

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#80 mhinagoya

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 05:22 PM

The kit arrived today, well packaged, intact, and complete.

I immediately checked the base bolt for length and while smaller than the stock bolt (diameter), it is the correct length or at least close enough to work, so a couple of plastic bushings, a self locking nut, and a "T" nut from the hardware store, and we will be in business on the Azimuth. Very encouraging. I also checked clearance from the azimuth encoder to the mirror cell and we have plenty. No worries there. If I were willing to remove the pivot bolt, center drill and tap it, I could use the original bolt. I'm considering my options on this one. I really like the idea of using the original bolt.

 

Looking at the altitude encoder, the foot spacing is far too narrow to simply screw the plates to the frame and set the magnets down on them. The scope side of the bearings appears to be far larger than the kit is intended to fit, so I will have to fab up a couple of 'extension' plates. Again, no big deal. A few minutes with a piece of mild steel, a grinder with a cutoff wheel, a drill press, and a can of black spray paint, and we should have a good/functional mounting surface. I may even be able to do it in one piece.

I did see that the side to side slop in the tube to mount interface would cause issues, so I will have to find an acceptable (non binding) way to take the lateral movement (side to side) out of the scope tube to base fitup. These encoders are dependent on axial stability of the bolt shaft. I.e. Once fit and shimmed, the magnet can't be moving in and out of the encoder. It must be stable. I have an idea on how to fix this cheap and simple,  so I will pick up the part(s) while I am at the hardware store. I just need to measure the gaps so I know how much I have to shim out.

 

I did check the threads on the spring bolt in the bearing and much to my astonishment, it was an SAE thread. 1/4 X 20. So, I picked up a six inch stainless 1/4 X 20 bolt to modify in to a new spring bolt. As it turns out, this may not be necessary. If you're interested, stay tuned. I will have a lot more information after I have had time to take some measurements.

 

I will take photographs and make simple line drawings of the actual modification / installation once I begin.

 

I will figure this out. It isn't that complicated and it isn't that difficult.

 

So far, I don't see any show stoppers to fitting this to the XT-8. Yes, it will require a bit of creativity, but nothing overly complex, and certainly nothing expensive.

 

Bill.

 

Edited for grammar.


Edited by mhinagoya, 31 July 2017 - 05:25 PM.

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#81 psh

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 05:19 PM

 

PSH:

 

Hello and welcome.gif to Cloudy Nights.

 

And thank you for sharing this all this information, it's very exciting.  

 

I have had my 10 inch GSO for 14 years now.. it's never been my biggest scope but it's been a good scope.. and yes, I remember when the first GSO Orion XT-6s and XT-8s came out, I bought a used XT-8 in 2001. When Orion switched to Synta, that seemed to out GSO in a bad situation. But GSO responded by just making a better scope.

 

 
 
(10 inch GSO, 12.5 inch Discovery, XT-8 by GSO)
 
One suggestion:. 
 
Provide a driver so that the EZ-Pushto could be used with Sky Safari...  
 
Jon

 

Hi Jon,

 

We did not provide Sky Safari solution.

 

We only provides the quick handheld app on iOS/Android.

 

And, a plugins on Stellarium.  The clips is shared on Youtube ( https://www.youtube....h?v=3SPv9r_Q3ys )

 

You need a Windows laptop with BT to enjoy EZ PUSH TO on Stellarium.

 

Thanks for your suggestion.



#82 psh

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 07:10 PM

This is my replacement XT10 base.  I would like to add goto.  Will EZ Push To work without major surgery? 

If you would like GOTO system, you should consider GSO manufactured Dob.  There are two bearing system on azimuth and altitude rotation.  The friction and balance are the headache issue if the motors are not powerful. Besides, the AZ-ALT system is not a good choice for photography.  The level bias and any constructed fault cause the tracking poor.  EQ mount is much easier if the polar scope is applied.

 

Certainy, EZ PUSH TO is easily attached on your DIY system.  I have ever thought the GOTO on Dob.  The problem is how to implement the goto mechanism properly.


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#83 pgrunwald

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 07:28 PM

Sorry,  I meant push to



#84 mhinagoya

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 01:03 PM

Please consider this the first installment of installation instructions.

 

First, the holes in the base are way too big for the supplied bolt. That's the down side. The up side is that the supplied bolt is exactly the right length.

 

The new bolt diameter is .302 and the hole diameter is .520. Obviously, this isn't going to work. Way too much slop.

 

I went to Ace hardware and found a bushing with the correct threads that would fit the .520 hole (could be driven in).

 

jk58ITX.jpg

 

In retrospect, I didn't really NEED this bushing, as I could have simply screwed the bolt to the base plate and poured the sloppy

hole full of JB weld. Either way would have worked equally well. If you choose the epoxy method, you might want to put a coat

of paste wax on the bolt and underside of the flange so you can remove the bolt if you ever need to.

 

I tapped the bushing in place, ran the bolt in, and screwed the flange of the bolt to the underside of the base.

j44JwNu.jpg

 

The underside

 

40NT8Q0.jpg

 

I bought those screws at the hardware store. They are #4 screws 3/4 of an inch long.

 

The bolt is installed and I have test fit everything else and it is going to come out perfect on height.

At the moment, I am waiting for some Devcon 10110 to set up in the turn table hole. I couldn't find any bushings

that would fit both the hole and the bolt, so I decided to simply put some tape across the bottom of the hole, flip

the table over, and pour it full of epoxy. Once set up, I will drill it to the appropriate diameter to minimize the slop

in the fit to the bolt.

 

If you're interested, please stay tuned. More to come.

 

P.s. This is actually going much easier than I had hoped.

 

Bill.


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#85 mhinagoya

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 09:31 PM

The epoxy has now set up and I drilled a pilot hole down through the center, or as close as I could eyeball it. Close is good enough.
I 'through drilled' the hole to the bolt size plus about .008, then measured the flange on the flanged washer to find out what size counterbore I needed and how deep it needed to be. Simple, the flange was a few thou over 1/2 inch and about 5/16 long. I used a 1/2 inch drill bit and while constantly checking my depth, counterbored the epoxy for the flanged washer. I left it a bit tight so I had to tap it in place.
The test fit to the base was good, so I installed the thrust bearing, washer, a self locking nut I had purchased at the hardware store, then checked the reduced diameter of the new bolt for length. Too long. I needed for the magnet to sit on the shoulder of the bolt, so I had to file off part of the smaller diameter. I did a try and fit till the magnet would seat on the shoulder of the bolt, then set the encoder down on it to check for fit.
Note: Don't forget to put one of the small steel plates under each leg of the encoder when checking fit.

Perfect fit!!

 

9rFuAkZ.jpg

 

Next step was to use painter's tape to mark where the little plates go.

 

dsrn5Nm.jpg

 

Then, pull the plates from the encoder and install them using four of the supplied screws.

pnvKxtK.jpg

 

The azimuth encoder is now properly fit.

 

Lesson learned: I could have saved myself a lot of aggravation had I just epoxied (JB weld) the lower bolt in. I should have wrapped it with tape to center it in the hole, then drilled the pilots for the three screws. Next would have been to remove the tape and coat the bolt and flange with car wax, let it dry, install the bolt with the three screws, and pour the hole full of epoxy. This would have been extremely easy and very secure.

 

We are ready to start on the other axis.

Stay tuned.

Bill.


Edited by mhinagoya, 06 August 2017 - 03:43 AM.

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#86 Japneet Singh

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 11:51 PM

It sounds like a lengthy process.Do we have to go through the modification process if we have Gso Dobsonian???

#87 mhinagoya

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 03:44 AM

It sounds like a lengthy process.Do we have to go through the modification process if we have Gso Dobsonian???

As I understand it, no. This kit was specifically designed for installation on a GSO Dob. I am fitting it to an Orion XT-8. That is why there are so many extra steps.

 

Bill.


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#88 mhinagoya

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 08:31 PM

The job is actually finished, except for the testing.

The kit came with a big, black knob. This is pretty much worthless when fitting to the XT-8 Orion telescope. However, imbedded in that knob is a very interesting and important piece of hardware.

I took a heat gun to the knob and when it became soft, peeled/pried the cast-in metal insert out of it. Careful, it will be HOT at this point.

The insert:

 

t3KqDl4.jpg

Chbfw3S.jpg

 

Oddly, the inside diameter of this insert is very close to the outside diameter of the knob on the Orion.

 

1WaRz16.jpg

 

I sanded away much of the internal threads from the insert so I could glue / JB Weld them together.

NOTE: This is IMPORTANT!! Remove the screw from the insert, take it to a hardware store, and buy one just like it, except twice as long.

Put the new screw in the insert before gluing the insert to the Orion knob. I didn't do this and had to make adjustments in other areas. Changing this screw will make the rest of the job EASY.

 

Just before I glued them:

 

NRqFdcw.jpg

 

Don't forget to dremel / whittle or somehow gouge out a hollow in the head of the Orion knob so the head of the screw can sit in it.

 

I have to drag the camera out to photograph the rest of the installation, so this is it for now.

 

Hint: You will need a cutting board, some screws, and a few hand tools to finish the job.

 

I'll try to get the rest of the "how to" done before Saturday.

 

Bill.

 

Edited because I left out the part about making a small hollow in the head of the Orion knob.


Edited by mhinagoya, 09 August 2017 - 08:34 PM.

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#89 Japneet Singh

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 10:29 PM

Bro also send a tutorial on the actual demo of the product and How to Online Purchase Ez push To in India

#90 mhinagoya

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 02:48 AM

Bro also send a tutorial on the actual demo of the product and How to Online Purchase Ez push To in India

I will not be running the software on a phone, but on an IPAD. We had a spare that wasn't being used, so I grabbed it. I have already loaded the software and done a test run, just to make sure that the bluetooth worked and that the IPAD could see the encoders. I do have an Android tablet, but it wouldn't run the software for some reason (it's old).

 

I live between Seattle and Vancouver BC, so the air is filled with smoke from the forest fires in Canada. I am really hoping I can test drive the unit this weekend, as the winds are supposed to shift and blow a lot of the smoke out of here.

 

If you have a GSO telescope, the whole installation shouldn't take more than an hour. Perhaps even 30 minutes. Since this system was never designed to be installed on an Orion XT-Whatever, it has taken a lot of extra work. I love a challenge and the entertainment value of making this work has been worth the purchase price.

 

Expect a writeup of the first use. In the mean time, I'll try to get pictures up of the final installation.

 

Bill.

 

Edited for grammar.


Edited by mhinagoya, 10 August 2017 - 02:52 AM.

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#91 mhinagoya

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 07:22 PM

I used a new cutting board to make the platform/mount for the altitude encoder and on the off side, to act as a thrust bearing.

First, the encoder mount:

8jvHpSu.jpg

 

I simply clamped the cutting board to the side of the telescope base and drew around the base profile from the inside with a sharpie. This is how I got the front and back profiles. It is also how I figured out where the cutout went. The feet of the encoder sit over the two screws in the telescope bearing, so the cutout has to be smaller than the bearing. I left the original screw in the insert that I glued on the Orion screw with JB weld and that was a mistake. As I said above, the right solution would have been to replace it with one twice as long. Had I done that, I wouldn't have had to inlet the base plates for the magnet in to the cutting board mount. I would have had enough extension adjustment that I could have just bolted the plates to the surface of the mount.

I also had to bevel the inside of the bearing cutout to clear the head of the lower screw so it didn't deflect the mount when the altitude of the tube was changed. As the cutting board was about .250 thick, there was plenty of material there to allow for such a bevel. The screw pattern is essentially random and what made sense to me at the time. There is virtually no mechanical load on this thing, so it isn't critical. It only has to be stable.

 

Here, you can see the fit of the altered spring hand screw with the insert glued on it and how I adjusted it for the correct offset of the magnet to the encoder:

 

16XNIKB.jpg

 

Last but not least is making a thrust bearing for the off side, so the telescope doesn't move from side to side when you change the altitude. This was simply eyeballed in place. Since it was ok to set it low enough to clear the screw head, no bevel was necessary.

 

cc284on.jpg

 

Hopefully, some of this smoke will blow out tomorrow and I can test this tomorrow night. If the encoders work as advertised and if the software functions, there is no reason why it won't work as designed.

 

Stay tuned for a usage / function report.

 

At this point, total cost is somewhere in the neighborhood of $120 US Dollars. In my mind, that is a heck of a bargain for what amounts to a set of digital setting circles with push-to software.

 

The final proof will be in the function. We shall see. . .

 

Bill.


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#92 mhinagoya

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 07:24 PM

I forgot to mention that I cut the plastic with a coping saw (by hand) and while I finished the cuts and made the bevels with a couple of power tools, it could have been done nearly as easily with a couple of wood rasps and/or a Dremel with some sanding disks.

 

Bill.


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#93 Roger Corbett

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 10:20 AM

Impressive adaptation and installation!

 

Hope that the add-on DSCs get integrated with Sky Safari.   That's what holds me backing from buying it! 


Edited by Roger Corbett, 16 August 2017 - 10:20 AM.


#94 mhinagoya

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 03:04 AM

Impressive adaptation and installation!

 

Hope that the add-on DSCs get integrated with Sky Safari.   That's what holds me backing from buying it! 

Thank you kind Sir. Honestly, it wasn't all that difficult. The originator mentioned to me in an email that I could set it up with their software and then run it with Sky Safari. I'm not certain on how that would work, but I have loaded Sky Safari in to my tablet for testing. It has been cloudy, so I haven't been able to give it a test drive. The bluetooth does work and I have a power supply that works**, so all I need is to be able to see enough stars to align it for testing.

Another thing; I have deftly avoided owning a cell phone for many years and will continue to do so. We had an unused Mac tablet laying around, so I re-purposed it to run the software. My initial impressions are most favorable, as it set up easily with no bluetooth issues and the software looks good and appears to run clean on the tablet.

 

I will thoroughly test sky safari if I can figure out how to integrate it.

 

I hope the inventor/seller is paying attention to this thread. In my opinion, there is a huge untapped market for an Orion kit, especially if they will write a plugin or interface for Sky Safari. They could change the altitude encoder mount (longer, offset legs) and include a replacement pivot bolt, and the kit would fit the Orion XT telescopes as easily as it fits the GSO.

 

It's a hundred bucks. Nobody else even comes close to that price for digital setting circles. If this works well, even with the required modifications, it is a screaming deal.

 

** A power supply that works: Actually, I have two. I bought an external battery for charging cell phones from that huge on-line auction site (Eb**) for $10 or $12. While waiting for it to arrive, I realized I had four 18650 3.7 volt rechargeable batteries laying around, so I sourced a holder for two of them, soldered in a USB female cable end, and had a 7.4 volt battery pack with a spare pair of rechargeable batteries. This was actually the easiest part of the whole job, and that being said, none of it really amounted to much. A cutting board, some epoxy, and five or six dollars worth of bits and bobs from an Ace Hardware store. I'm not trying to minimize anything, as it did take some work, but it really wasn't much.

 

If anyone is interested in my home-made power supply, I'll take a few photographs and explain how to do it. Just let me know.

 

More to come. . .

 

Bill.

 

Edited for spelling.


Edited by mhinagoya, 17 August 2017 - 03:06 AM.

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#95 mhinagoya

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Posted 26 August 2017 - 10:44 AM

This is embarrassing.

I didn't originally intend to 'fess up' on the board, but as it is turning out to be a learning experience, perhaps my foolishness will benefit someone else.

 

I had a clear sky last night, so I took the scope out before it got dark, tweaked the collimation, leveled the base, and covered it for later viewing. Around half an hour before midnight, I took my stuff outside (Ipad, battery, red flashlight, eyepiece case, etc.) and proceeded to attempt to set up the push to system. After an hour, I finally gave up and went back to star hopping. The seeing wasn't great, but it was the first clear sky I have had in a month and I wasn't going to waste it.

 

Why did I fail?

 

I had scanned through the setup instructions and they looked simple enough, so I didn't read them carefully. I didn't try a daylight setup (when I could have actually seen what I was doing), either.

I failed because I didn't read and comprehend the instructions. I failed because I didn't do a simple daylight 'run-through' where it would have been easy to work out my mistakes. Simple as that.

I also had an issue with one of the batteries I took outside. It kept turning itself off because of the very small load the "Push To" system places on it. Fortunately, I had a battery pack I had made and it worked perfectly.

 

I have already read the manual through a few times (CAREFULLY). Today, I will be doing a dry run setup and I will practice till I have the process committed to memory.

 

I can't yet tell you if the hardware works as advertised, but I can tell you that it won't work if it isn't set up properly.

 

Bill.


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#96 mhinagoya

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 04:27 AM

Failed again.

 

Altitude encoders, orientation left or right.

 

I have to find out what that means. It is one of the choices I need to make during setup and I don't know which is correct. I don't even understand the question and the documentation doesn't mention it.

 

Looks like I may have to write a set of intelligible instructions for this software/hardware, assuming I ever get it working correctly.

 

I can make it function. I move the scope and the screen scrolls. Unfortunately, nothing on the screen looks like anything in the general direction the scope is pointing.

 

Another hour of fighting the setup without success, and yes, I printed and laminated the instructions and followed them. Too many things in the software that the instruction manual doesn't address.

 

This system might be great, but the documentation is weak (I'm being kind here).

 

I'll contact the author/seller and ask him.

 

Bill.



#97 Adun

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 09:31 AM

Hi Bill

 

I can make it function. I move the scope and the screen scrolls. Unfortunately, nothing on the screen looks like anything in the general direction the scope is pointing.

 

Perhaps there's a star alignment step that must be done in the software (of the app) that you are missing.

 

My recent low cost encoder DSC project starts on "zero". When I turn it on it believes it's aiming north, so until I do the first star alignment with Skysafari, it behaves like you just described: "nothing on the screen looks like anything in the general direction the scope is pointing". One star alignment is all it takes.

 

Regarding the "Altitude encoders, orientation left or right", probably the encoder will behave differently if placed left of the scope of right of the scope. The system needs to know this to properly interpret rotation to either up or down altitude movement. I use an accelerometer for altitude in my project, but it has the same thing.


Edited by Adun, 27 August 2017 - 09:43 AM.

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#98 mhinagoya

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 06:46 PM

I really hope you are right.

I have printed the instructions, laminated them, and placed them on a ring where I can flip through them during setup (reading with my red flashlight). Perhaps I am missing a step, or the IPAD is skipping a step (entirely possible).

 

There is so much here that doesn't yet make sense to me, but I am unraveling it, one thread at a time.

I was using an IPAD and following the directions for an Android application. They weren't exactly in synch. This is why I suspect the IPAD might be the gremlin.

 

Things I believe to be pertinent:

 

GPS on a phone or an Ipad isn't really GPS. It is a GPS application but the phone or IPAD doesn't have a GPS receiver / control chip in it. This is done through hosting.

The software was written to run on an Android phone. By running it on an IPAD, I may have sunk my own boat from the beginning, even though the original authors re-hosted it to Apple.

I still don't have an Android phone, but I have bought an Android tablet with genuine/real/actually working GPS. This is a Google Nexus 7, Gen II.

Now, I will be running the software on the platform it was written for, with 'non simulated' GPS.

 

If this doesn't work, I will make a last ditch effort to make this work by running it on the wife's phone. I have been doing everything I can think of to avoid that, but if the Nexus 7 fails, I will have no other option left to pursue.

 

I hope you are correct regarding the altitude encoder orientation. I will work on the assumption that you are correct and see how it pans out.

 

This is a turn key system for $100. I really want it to work. I can live without it, but if it can be successfully adapted to scopes other than GSO, it will make 'push to' available to folks who otherwise couldn't afford it, or who would struggle to afford it. For some odd reason, this is important to me. I don't mind being the guinea pig and I enjoy the challenge, even when it gets frustrating.

 

Everything new has to have someone to try it first and I have been unable to find where anyone else has put this system on an Orion scope. I should have the Nexus 7 in my possession and the rig outside this coming Friday night. I'll follow your suggestion with the encoder and by the way, thank you for your kind and thoughtful post. I've not heard from the seller yet, but it has only been one day. Perhaps he/she will explain what "orientation left or right" means. If not, you are the current expert.

 

Stay tuned. I ain't whipped yet.

 

Bill.


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#99 StarmanDan

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 09:36 AM

There is someone on Reddit that successfully installed one of these units.  Might PM them to see what they did.

 

https://www.reddit.c...view_thumbs_up/



#100 mhinagoya

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 04:58 AM

It's 2:42 am on Saturday morning and I just shut everything down and walked in the house.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

 

Using the Google Nexus 7 with the latest Romer software, I was able to set the 'push to' up and align/offset the encoders.

I'm still not perfectly clear on menu choices or setup sequence. The software instructions are rather. . . thin. (I'm being generous).

 

Since this is a three day weekend in the US, I am going to keep hammering on this till I have it down and when I am absolutely positive I know what I'm doing and that I'm doing it right, I will write a set of intelligible software instructions that actually mirror the software and will enable a literate person to successfully set it up the first try. 

 

First lesson: The seller recommends/urges the buyer to use an android based cell phone to run this. That is probably key to success, although, I have proven that an Android tablet will work. The jury is still out on the Ipad, but once I get the android tablet sorted, I'll return to the Ipad and try again. Do yourself a huge favor. Use a phone (as recommended). I now know I made this far more difficult than it needed to be.

 

Observations:

 

There seems to be a tiny bit of 'hunting' (slow jitter) on the screen, as if there was some interference between the encoders and the software. I am only guessing, but I would be willing to bet that this is an artifact of using magnetic encoders. This isn't a criticism, only an observation. It isn't even annoying.

 

This system is less money than the price of two conventional encoders. Please keep that in mind when tempted to compare it to digital setting circles costing four times as much.

 

Wish list:

 

Usable documentation.

 

Comprehensive list of alignment stars to simplify finding them. This may exist and I'm just not bright enough to have found it yet. I'll keep looking.

 

A real, complete kit for an Orion telescope. Yes, I overcame this obstacle, but it sure would have been nice to have been able to do a "bolt on and go" installation.

 

If you're interested, please stay tuned. I have two more nights this weekend to sort this out (weather permitting).

 

Bill.


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