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Can someone help simplify DSC vs. GoTo? Why would I want it?

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#1 John from CT

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 08:01 PM

I have a goto scope now and love it and want it in any scope i get in the future.  I have skysafari wired in and its just awesome making an evening of viewing something to be excited for.  I've heard of DSC in other posts and don't the difference?

 

Folks have made it sound superior and I'm curious why.  For me,  selecting an object and hitting enter and having the scope goto the object and stay there is exactly what I desire.  If I have to calculate and try to find the location myself I'll likely pass.



#2 Jim Waters

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 08:11 PM

DSC's tell you were to move the ALT and AZ to find a target.  Its 'manual' movement of the scope.  GoTo uses 'motors' to move the scope to the target. 

 

Both mounts must be aligned first to use them.  



#3 Bean614

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 08:17 PM

So you know: DSC stands for Digital Setting Circle.



#4 havasman

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 08:18 PM

If you have a go-to/track scope you have DSC's controlling those functions.

 

Nexus DSC is a product, a brand of DSC. They are now the leading product in the category. The numerous advantages are very well documented in the forums and include library size and elegance of man/machine interface. They are adaptable to almost any, and maybe ANY, platform.

 

You may want them. You may not. But there's plenty of information relevant to the choice already recorded. It make take some research but as Einstein said, an explanation should be as simple as possible but not simpler.


Edited by havasman, 12 December 2017 - 08:19 PM.


#5 junomike

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 08:43 PM

For me a DSC Push-To set up is favored over a full GOTO system for two reasons:

 

1) Portability/Grab 'n' Go (In my case at least).

2) Dual set-up Mount (again, In my case however I'd prefer an AZ-EQ6 over it).



#6 bvillebob

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 08:54 PM

I think it's mainly on Dobs where people (like me) prefer DSC over GOTO.  Having GOTO on a large dob means lots of money, complexity and weight.  The weight cost on a GOTO base can be very substantial, and taking it apart and putting it back together again can be complicated.  The most common GOTO system runs $2K-$3K as I understand it. 

 

I have DSC on a couple of my scopes (Nexus) and love it.  Simple, light, hardly uses any power, and I can instantly point my scope at anything I want and it will be in the field of view.


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#7 Ken Sturrock

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 08:57 PM

It depends on what you want to do. For imaging, I use GoTo mounts because they need to move under computer control. For visual, I often use a DSC computer on an alt-az to help me if I need it. I like that it's optional, silent, runs for months on a nine volt battery and is much faster than my GoTo mounts. They both serve their purposes.



#8 walt99

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 11:17 PM

"By the way, with some DSC systems, you can still use sky safari wirelessly. After selecting the target, simply push the telescope until sky safari shows you have arrived."

 

I've got Sky Commander and wireless SkySafari on an iPhone  with a Universal Astronomics alt/az.  Simple to set up.  No polar align and just two alignment stars.

 

Works great,  just push to the object on the map and it's there in the eyepiece.  But it doesn't track.

 

My dream rig would be the same system on a Losmandy GM8.  Pust to the object on the map,  and it would track from there.


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#9 MG1692

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 12:15 AM

I have a goto scope now and love it and want it in any scope i get in the future.  I have skysafari wired in and its just awesome making an evening of viewing something to be excited for.  I've heard of DSC in other posts and don't the difference?

 

Folks have made it sound superior and I'm curious why.  For me,  selecting an object and hitting enter and having the scope goto the object and stay there is exactly what I desire.  If I have to calculate and try to find the location myself I'll likely pass.

Well the thing to remember. There is no right or best way to enjoy this hobby. Some people enjoy the hunt of star hopping. Others like the applied technology and the ability to press a button and step back

 

No particular way is superior. And if any one claims that they are doing themselves a real disservice. 


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#10 jallbery

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 12:43 AM

Most non-goto equatorial mounts have setting circles--  marked circles that show the right ascension and declination at which the scope is pointed. You can use these circles to locate objects (provided you know their RA and Dec), but they require setup-- you have to have an accurate polar alignment, and then you have to make sure the circles themselves are properly set.   And you need circles large enough to be readable with reasonable accuracy.

 

Digital Setting Circles came along after computers got small and cheap enough.   They were a common add-on to equatorial fork mounted SCTs (with tracking motors) for a while.  With the DSC, you could get greater accuracy for the RA/Dec location, and the computer could have the coordinates of popular targets.    And as the Dob revolution took off, the DSC idea was adapted to work with Alt-Az coordinates.

 

The big difference between DSCs and goto is that a non-Goto DSC scope does not have automated slewing to the target.  The DSC computer tells you which way to move the optical tube, but it can't move it for you.  For this reason, DSC scopes are sometimes called "push-to" scopes.

 

The advantages of a push-to scope over a goto is as follows:

  • lower cost
  • quieter operation
  • Quicker moves, provided the operator knows where the objects are

Of course, to achieve the above, you have to give up the scope slewing to an object for you.

 

You add encoders to your RA and declination axes and 



#11 John from CT

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 12:37 PM

 

I have a goto scope now and love it and want it in any scope i get in the future.  I have skysafari wired in and its just awesome making an evening of viewing something to be excited for.  I've heard of DSC in other posts and don't the difference?

 

Folks have made it sound superior and I'm curious why.  For me,  selecting an object and hitting enter and having the scope goto the object and stay there is exactly what I desire.  If I have to calculate and try to find the location myself I'll likely pass.

Well the thing to remember. There is no right or best way to enjoy this hobby. Some people enjoy the hunt of star hopping. Others like the applied technology and the ability to press a button and step back

 

No particular way is superior. And if any one claims that they are doing themselves a real disservice. 

 

I think superiority lies in the mind and hands of the operator. One man's superior is another non starter.


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#12 John from CT

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 01:06 PM

For me,  the noise of a goto never bothered me, its not like siren going off.  I have become accustomed to finding an object on my app and having the scope go there with confidence, so I simply refine the position, focus and view. Calculating and hunting doesn't appeal to me at all.

 

HOWEVER ...

 

After researching it seems that I can indeed use my existing skysafari application and "push to"  using the app as a GUI to ensure rapid alignment with objects. Also taking goto off the table in shopping for a DOB sure opens up the market a LOT! Superior used DOBS are suddenly in play.


Edited by John from CT, 13 December 2017 - 01:08 PM.


#13 MG1692

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 03:26 PM

 

 

After researching it seems that I can indeed use my existing skysafari application and "push to"  using the app as a GUI to ensure rapid alignment with objects. Also taking goto off the table in shopping for a DOB sure opens up the market a LOT! Superior used DOBS are suddenly in play.

I am pretty much in the same place. I have been toying with a dob in the 12 - 16 inch range. And I am confident I can convert a fully manual dob into a push to without any issue. And as you suggest taking GOTO of the table improves the cost to aperture ratio extensively. 


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#14 seasparky89

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 07:03 PM

I use both systems.  For rapid finding, then tracking of objects, go-to is the way to go.  Also, it lends itself better for imaging, especially with GEMs.  But, for ease of set-up and minimal power requirements, I find that my push-to systems are best.   Even my ST-80 on a Telepod mount with the Sky Tour push-to system provides a whole night of observing many objects (power requirement - one 9 volt battery!).

 

Stan



#15 John from CT

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 07:55 PM

That's one thing that presents me with the biggest conflict.

 

I have zero weight, space, power or anything limiting me what so ever. My current goto has been literally perfect for years and as such, to me is still the very best accessory for scopes, I LOVE it and nothing that's more manual is better, at least for ME. If there was a high end 20" dob with goto ... Id buy it with no trepidation what-so-ever.   But, as I said,  the push-to solutions with my software is acceptable to get me to the the DOB of my choice. 



#16 JMW

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 07:59 PM

I prefer to manual slew to the target using the DSC information for guidance. It is silent and fast. I can push my scope faster than any motor driven mount I have used. The Nexus DSC has rechargeable batteries so I don't need additional batteries to power a mount. It is lighter than a motor driven mount of the same quality. The experience is very easy on my FTX or DM6 mounts. I have ServoCAT on my Webster D14. I bought it used and it came with it. I only engage the clutches when I am doing very high magnification viewing or public outreach.

 

I have a G11 and a AP900GTO for imaging. I don't use them as often as my manual push-to mounts for visual use.



#17 Ken Sturrock

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 10:59 PM

That's one thing that presents me with the biggest conflict.
 
I have zero weight, space, power or anything limiting me what so ever. My current goto has been literally perfect for years...


Then, I'm afraid that you don't have a conflict. Stick with the GoTo.

#18 jdmiller

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 11:24 PM

Hi John,

 

As others have mentioned already, I really like how quickly I can slew to objects using a push-to system, and I particularly love how quiet the mount is: no whirring of gears.  

 

I use a Nexus system and Sky Safari with a Gibraltar mount (with my 4 inch refractor).  It is a light, elegant system!  I use a very small lithium batter pack that attaches to my mount, so I don't have to carry a heavy deep cycle battery to power everything.  With my Skywatcher 12-inch dob, which also has go-to, I use a serial to wife adapter so that once I've finished an alignment, I can control things through SkySafari.  I pretty much only use the motors on the mount during alignment, for nudging the scope, and for tracking.  I generally prefer to push the scope to the object as I find it faster, even though at times it feels like I am dancing with a water-heater.  I also far prefer to use SkySafari's sky chart rather than the hand controller, though of course I can use the chart to control go-to commands, too.

 

Another benefit I have found with using a push-to method is that I spend time exploring the sky between one object and another.  It feels a bit like walking on the street or riding on a bus, rather than using a sub-way to jump from place to place in a new city.  I typically see more. I have often found sites of interest in the vicinity of an object that I would not otherwise have found had I just jumped directly to the object using go-to.

 

Best,

Jeff

 

 

 

 


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#19 havasman

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 01:05 PM

Not all go-to systems are noisy. My 16" Starmaster's go-to incorporates a quiet little beep when each axis' location is attained so that the operator will know the search is over. The system itself is not heard while in operation unless you're standing close and really listening hard. I was surprised the 1st time I heard one of those systems that is often referred to as sounding like a  coffee grinder.

 

Last Wednesday night's session was with the push-to XT10i and (UniStar Deluxe mounted) AT115EDT, both using Nexus DSC's. That works great and I am used to hand tracking the scopes along. It's not a burden. Push-to is faster. I doubt you'd want a motor moving a larger scope as fast as you would by hand. The only times when I really missed the tracking function was when switching ep's during high power observing. With tracking the object remains centered in the field while w/o it often has to be re-centered. That said, an advantage of a large Dob is higher mag at reasonable exit pupils and there tracking is advantageous and I will not forego it on a Dob > 10".

 

Examining the larger field around an object is equally simple with either system and is just a matter of operator preference.


Edited by havasman, 15 December 2017 - 01:09 PM.


#20 John from CT

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 08:22 PM

Folks,  30 seconds of gear sound is completely nothing to me NOTHING.  Sound is not relevant in anyway. 

 

What I seem to have learned is this; for me....   Push to is more attractive for 1 single reason,  I can get a scope with higher end optics and install push to technology as opposed to locking into a scope with goto where the optics on that scope may not be up to some higher end scopes.



#21 rmollise

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 10:18 AM

I have a goto scope now and love it and want it in any scope i get in the future.  I have skysafari wired in and its just awesome making an evening of viewing something to be excited for.  I've heard of DSC in other posts and don't the difference?

 

Folks have made it sound superior and I'm curious why.  For me,  selecting an object and hitting enter and having the scope goto the object and stay there is exactly what I desire.  If I have to calculate and try to find the location myself I'll likely pass.

 

If you've got a manual mount, it's far easier and less expensive to equip it with DSCs. Digital setting circles are also less power hungry. With my old (and now sold) truss tube Dob, I could go night after night with a single 9-volt battery in my Sky Commander computer.

 

That said, goto systems are usually more full features and often more accurate. Depends on your needs. For imaging? Goto all the way. Visual? DSCs are cool. :) 



#22 rmollise

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 10:20 AM

Folks,  30 seconds of gear sound is completely nothing to me NOTHING.  Sound is not relevant in anyway. 

 

What I seem to have learned is this; for me....   Push to is more attractive for 1 single reason,  I can get a scope with higher end optics and install push to technology as opposed to locking into a scope with goto where the optics on that scope may not be up to some higher end scopes.

 

Not really. You can get a high end optical tube and purchase a goto GEM, anything from 800 dollars to 10,000 and more for it. The choices are very wide.




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