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Degree Circles

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#1276 jtsenghas

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 07:29 PM

Alternatively, for a reasonable price you could purchase a gauge that has an unlit LCD display and resolution of 0.1 degrees, like this one. Since you presumably need a dim red flashlight to read an azimuth circle, why not use it on the inclinometer too? 


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#1277 AnalogKid

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Posted 01 January 2019 - 04:14 PM

Thanks, AnalogKid. What is it exactly? It looks like a vinyl portfolio or some sort of wrapping.

Sorry about that.  It's a red, clear, frosted report cover.   I tape it on, and use the top piece of tape as a hing.  THis way I can lift it up and use it during the day if needed like when setting up (have since installed a bullseye level in the base) or this past summer, I would use venus to calibrate, and go look for Jupiter, and Saturn before they were naked eye. Still too light out with the cover in place, so I would flip it up.

THis is why there are two chunks taken out of the report cover.   The tape got so worn, the first cover fell off and I didn't know.  If you PM my, I can send you my address, and if you send a SASE, I can send you a chunk



#1278 brentknight

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 04:51 PM

I have used a piece of red electrical tape on my gauge.  It definitly dims the display, but I was unhappy with the "frosting" effect it had on the readout -- numbers were a bit blurry.  I got some Dim-it sheets https://www.amazon.c...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1, and this fixed the problem.  Sharp numbers and good dimming on the display...



#1279 Natdiamond

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Posted 02 March 2019 - 01:54 PM

I recently acquired a new to me Z12 dob. I had office depot print and laminate my 25" circle for the base last night for $12. My plan was to mount it to the lower base. Then cut a viewing window in the upper base. Then use a magnetic inclometer on top of the OTA. But I like this much better! I am going to experiment with manipulating an office binder clip. So I can leave 2 flat lips that I can CLAMP to the bottom base. Leaving enough clearance between the 2 plates. If successful, I could potentially clamp the pointer to the bottom plate. No magnets or screws. Maybe?
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#1280 Marvin452

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Posted 26 June 2019 - 05:55 PM

Here is a source for a decal of the azimuth circle:

Callie-graphics.com

$25.00 shipped for a 21" circle
Just send Callie your pdf and its size.

I've used her services many times in the past and she has never let me down.

#1281 Richie2shoes

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Posted 02 July 2019 - 06:27 PM

I recently acquired a new to me Z12 dob. I had office depot print and laminate my 25" circle for the base last night for $12. My plan was to mount it to the lower base. Then cut a viewing window in the upper base. Then use a magnetic inclometer on top of the OTA. But I like this much better! I am going to experiment with manipulating an office binder clip. So I can leave 2 flat lips that I can CLAMP to the bottom base. Leaving enough clearance between the 2 plates. If successful, I could potentially clamp the pointer to the bottom plate. No magnets or screws. Maybe?

I thought this was a great idea.  When I added the circle to the top of the base on my AD12, I tacked metal strapping to the bottom base and used a magnet/clock hand as the pointer but I wasn't happy with the set up.  First the strapping didn't fit right and second, the corner of the uprights on the dob base would hit the pointer and knock it out of alignment.  

 

The problem with the binder clip is there's not enough space between the ground boards.  First I clipped the binder clip to a scrap of plywood about a quarter inch narrower than the ground board and heated it with a torch so it would stay open. Then I used a dremel to cut off the rolled end of one side of the clip and used JB Weld to attach the rolled part to top of the clip, towards the back.  I took a spring from a ballpoint pen, glued a plastic pointer (actually a tine from a plastic fork) to one end of the spring and attached the spring to the silver part of the binder clip.

 

It works great.  I can clip onto the bottom board where ever I need and the spring keeps everything lined up.  There's just enough tension left in the clip so I don't have to worry about it slipping off.

 

clip pointer
pointer


#1282 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 05:22 AM

Anyone else think this thread should be a stickie?

 

It used to be permanently attached to the top of this forum. 

 

Jon 


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#1283 Old Rookie

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 06:23 AM

Yup.  Lots of good info here.



#1284 jtsenghas

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 11:59 AM

I'd like to see it as a sticky again because I've found the need every few months to direct others who are looking precisely for these things to it.

 

It's a bit intimidating in length after 13 years, and only the last several pages are necessary to get a complete up to date take on it. With modern phone apps like Sky Safari these tools are easy to use. Remember that when this thread came out in 2006 the "Sky Scout" was listed as A Sky and Telescope Magazine "Product of the Year"! 

 

I'd like to encourage people to use for the altitude readings modern digital angle gauges with two readings, only one of which can be zeroed. The Wixey I mentioned in post 1276 is a delight to use at a dark site with a dim red flashlight used on it and the analog azimuth circle.

 

I haven't researched other angle gauges that have unlit LCD displays, but that is the way I prefer to go. I am equipping my 12.5" scope (nearly done) the same way.

 

Take note of the various circles offered recently including the one I recently shared on this thread. I drew it for maximum readability at a distance. 


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#1285 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 01:20 PM

I'd like to encourage people to use for the altitude readings modern digital angle gauges with two readings, only one of which can be zeroed. The Wixey I mentioned in post 1276 is a delight to use at a dark site with a dim red flashlight used on it and the analog azimuth circle.

 

:waytogo:

 

Excellent.  I remembered your recommendation of a specific Wixie and wantedmtobtry it out. I have a Craftsman which works for my purposes, spotting Mercury and Venus in the twilight. The display is bright green. But I have experimented with using it at night and the green is just too bright and I haven't figured out a way to dim it properly.

 

I was near a Rocklers the other day so I went in to look at their Wixie's but couldn't figure which one you'd recommended. I walked out empty handed. I searched for the post and couldn't find it.. :)

 

So this is a stroke of good luck for me. The Wixie that can be illuminated with a red light is the 365..

 

In the past, I have asked the mods to make this threadca stickie as it's filled with useful information and I frequently post a link to it. Maybe if others ask as well, it can happen.

 

Jon



#1286 jtsenghas

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 08:21 PM

One feature I like about that model Wixey is that the screen can be tilted upwards so that if it is mounted lower down, such as on an altitude bearing, it can be read without requiring the user to stoop. 

 

When the screen times out, you merely have to poke the "ON/ZERO" button to bring it back on and displaying current coordinates. You do have to be careful, however, not to pile that button BEFORE it time out, or you will accidentally re-zero it.

 

This is the view looking down from my eyepiece with that display tilted up. I can see both the Wixey and my azimuth circle from there. With the vernier scale on the circle I don't have to bend over to read both altitude and azimuth to a tenth of a degree. High power eyepiece finding WORKS!

 

Screenshot_20190808-212412_Gallery_compress26.jpg


Edited by jtsenghas, 08 August 2019 - 08:28 PM.

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#1287 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 09:28 PM

One feature I like about that model Wixey is that the screen can be tilted upwards so that if it is mounted lower down, such as on an altitude bearing, it can be read without requiring the user to stoop. 

 

When the screen times out, you merely have to poke the "ON/ZERO" button to bring it back on and displaying current coordinates. You do have to be careful, however, not to pile that button BEFORE it time out, or you will accidentally re-zero it.

 

This is the view looking down from my eyepiece with that display tilted up. I can see both the Wixey and my azimuth circle from there. With the vernier scale on the circle I don't have to bend over to read both altitude and azimuth to a tenth of a degree. High power eyepiece finding WORKS!

 

 

 

I bought the Model 365 at Rockler's this afternoon, it was $40.  I like it, it seems accurate, I was able to find Jupiter about an hour before sunset.  I am not using an azimuth circle, just depending on intuition and sweeping.

 

Jon


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#1288 Richie2shoes

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 04:01 PM

I built myself the following laser pointer for my setting circles.  I used a metal case similar to an altoids case, a laser pointer that emits a line, a battery holder (CR2032 x 2) with an on/off switch and a remote operated relay switch.  I drilled a 1/16th" hole for the laser beam.

 

My first attempt used 3 AA batteries, but it was heavier than I wanted and too cramped inside the box.  The on/off switch on the battery case is important because the remote relay switch will draw power even if the laser is off.  The remote is a keyfob with an A and B button.  Button A turns the laser on, button B turns it off.  The laser emits enough light that I can see the numbers in the dark.

 

I have it velcroed to a 2" spring clamp.

 

Laser pointer inside off
 
Laser pointer
 
Laser pointer inside on

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#1289 joelfarr

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Posted 23 September 2020 - 07:52 PM

degreecircle.jpg

 

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone here for the great ideas! This thread really helped me. I actually tried a couple different solutions but finally landed on this one. I personally feel like this is the best functionally AND the most attractive! Requires a bit of accuracy when setting it down, but I've got ~30 degrees (+/- 15) to adjust with the moveable pointer. Going to give it a go for the first time tonight...just wish all this smoke would leave!

 

 


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#1290 AhBok

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 08:45 AM

Nice job!
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#1291 joelfarr

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 08:59 PM

I found a great deal on a Zhumell 10" Dob that I couldn't pass up so I get to do this all over again. This time, rather than using the online wheel generator (https://www.blocklay...r-printeng.aspx), I decided to design my own... The online generator is great, but doesn't give you the cleanest/clearest lines when printing it this large. And I wanted to change the font. So for anyone interested, here is yet another option for you if you have a ~22 inch circular base and you want to do the cutout method as seen in my picture above.

 

 

Attached Files



#1292 joelfarr

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 08:59 PM

And here is the reversed version

Attached Files



#1293 stubeeef

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 09:10 PM

I wish I knew how to do that. I have the block layer version, don't hate it but wanted what you made....I had it printed on 3mm thick aluminum and plastic sandwich. On a dob I hope to get some day....still being made


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#1294 coopman

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 09:14 PM

Thanks Joel.


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#1295 jtsenghas

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 04:51 AM

Nicely done, Joel. It appears that among us we've offered some good choices.  Yours could also be adapted to my ring style circle as well. 


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#1296 Danny78

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 01:42 PM

Wow, why don't all dobsonian mounts have this simple addition included as an industry standard

It'd cost pennies extra and I'm sure everyone would be happy to pay a tiny bit more for this
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#1297 stubeeef

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 06:40 AM

Because they’d lose money on goto sales is my guess.



#1298 joelfarr

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Posted 08 October 2020 - 11:55 AM

Because they’d lose money on goto sales is my guess.

This and the additional headache it would create to change up their production/manufacturing line on these mass produced Dobs likely wouldn't be worth it. Not to mention (as seen in this thread) people prefer different styles/methods to get the job done. I agree though, it sure would have been nice to just buy it already like this!



#1299 junomike

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Posted 10 October 2020 - 08:26 AM

Wow, why don't all dobsonian mounts have this simple addition included as an industry standard

It'd cost pennies extra and I'm sure everyone would be happy to pay a tiny bit more for this

Material wise it wouldn't be much but time wise it would be excessive IMO.  Extra steps, drying time would all add to the cost and people are looking at the cheapest price

available.



#1300 aeajr

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Posted 16 November 2020 - 10:23 AM

I had not seen this thread before.

Carol, really nice job on that AZ circle.

I know this is an old thread, but it is worth bringing back so others can see what you did.

I am interested to know if you still use this method to find things or have you moved to a different approach.


Edit: when I viewed the first page on my phone I didn't realize there were recent posts. I have seen this excellent thread before.

Edited by aeajr, 16 November 2020 - 12:09 PM.



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