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Astro Gadget

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#1 Froboz

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 12:09 PM

Has anyone had any experience with a company named Astro Gadget?  I have been looking for a push-to control system for my Skywatcher collapsible tube dob.  My other option is to sell my telescope and purchase an Orion Intelliscope.  As much as I like Orion products, I love my current scope and want to adapt it to push-to if possible.  There are other systems out there, but they are very expensive.  Astro Gadget is a new company headquartered in the Ukraine.  Their site is very well laid out, with many products and good documentation.  So far, they only sell through Ebay, but purchasing through Ebay is not a negative, since I'd be covered by their guarantee of actually getting the product being advertised.  Yesterday I wrote them asking specific questions about the installation and use of what they call their DobsonDream8.  I heard back this morning with well thought out and written answers to my questions.  I'm inclined to order one of their systems, but thought I would check with club members who may have had dealings with them.  If you want to take a look at their site, it's astro-gadget.com.  Anyone?

 

Larry



#2 Sean Cunneen

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 05:52 PM

I ordered a drive system to modernize an old Meade LXD750 behemoth. I am waiting for the steppers and will be working out the details of I nstallation shortly. The price was right, it shipped immediatly and arrived in 2 weeks. Documentation looks good, so far I'm pleased, but I haven't hooked up power yet, so we are a ways off...
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#3 Froboz

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 09:28 PM

Sean, thank you for your input.  It gives me confidence knowing someone else has dealt with them with (so far) positive results.  I'm probably going to pull the trigger on this.  If I do buy the system, I'll be sure to report back here on results.

 

Larry

 



#4 mbrio76

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Posted 18 October 2018 - 09:41 AM

I bought a 4000 step DobsonDream kit few weeks ago for my Skywatcher 8" dob

 

The product arrived in expected time; I mounted it in about 30 minutes, it's very easy.

 

Tested it with Skysafari 6 Plus for Android and it seems to work correctly; I haven't tested it on the field because the weather and the family didn't collaborate.


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#5 Froboz

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Posted 18 October 2018 - 11:28 AM

That is just the kind of information I was looking for.  Thank you for taking the time to read and respond.  I'll be buying my own Dobson Dream system soon and will also report back here what my experience is.  Too bad we're going into winter time with less good observing weather, especially where I live in the Northwest.

 

Larry

 


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#6 mbrio76

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 03:01 AM

As soon as I'll try it on the field I'll write a little report here too ;)



#7 Froboz

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 11:45 PM

Hi Sean;

 

I got my Dobson Dream today, and there are obviously questions I did not think about.  The most important is how the heck you power it.  I see on the WiFi adapter that there is a 12V power input, but no power supply.  What are you using and how is it working out for you?

 

Larry



#8 mbrio76

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 07:30 AM

Hi Larry,

 

I bought a compatible power bank on Amazon (Italy):

 

https://www.amazon.i...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Before buying it, I wrote to the ebay seller:

 

"I visited the manufacturer site and viewed an image where the controller has a plug for 12V power supply: the connector is not provided? Can I use any power bank providing 12V or are there needed conditions?"

 

Reply:
"The connector is not provided. Compatible — any 12V 1-2A, with 2.1mm x 5.5mm Male Power Plug"

 

Massimo



#9 CrossoverManiac

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 03:12 PM

I bought a 4000 step DobsonDream kit few weeks ago for my Skywatcher 8" dob

 

The product arrived in expected time; I mounted it in about 30 minutes, it's very easy.

 

Tested it with Skysafari 6 Plus for Android and it seems to work correctly; I haven't tested it on the field because the weather and the family didn't collaborate.

So, did you get the Bluetooth version?



#10 mbrio76

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Posted 07 November 2018 - 03:04 AM

So, did you get the Bluetooth version?

no, the wifi one



#11 CrossoverManiac

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Posted 07 November 2018 - 10:14 AM

no, the wifi one

Question: are you able to use an Android phone with the wifi version?



#12 mbrio76

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Posted 07 November 2018 - 11:03 AM

Question: are you able to use an Android phone with the wifi version?

yes, I am

 

I use skysafari 6 plus (android version): the app require at least 4.4 kitkat (tested on a tablet with custom rom android 4.4.2 and on a phone with 5.1 stock version)



#13 Dale Eason

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Posted 07 November 2018 - 11:23 AM

Hi Sean;

 

I got my Dobson Dream today, and there are obviously questions I did not think about.  The most important is how the heck you power it.  I see on the WiFi adapter that there is a 12V power input, but no power supply.  What are you using and how is it working out for you?

 

Larry

I use a 12v 7 ah sealed lead acid battery for all of my scope.  Of course then you need a charger for the battery. The 7 amp hour will last me several nights of observing.   When at home I use a 12V 2 amp power supply from my electronics hobby.  


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#14 Sean Cunneen

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Posted 07 November 2018 - 01:28 PM

I am using a 12vdc 5a regulated power supply. I have a plug on order from eBay. Then, I just have to figure out if the center pin is positive or negative!

#15 Froboz

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Posted 10 November 2018 - 12:05 PM

I bought a 4000 step DobsonDream kit few weeks ago for my Skywatcher 8" dob

 

The product arrived in expected time; I mounted it in about 30 minutes, it's very easy.

 

Tested it with Skysafari 6 Plus for Android and it seems to work correctly; I haven't tested it on the field because the weather and the family didn't collaborate.

Hi mbrio76;

 

I'm still struggling with how to mount this system.  I found appropriate pictures on the Astro Gadget site, but have questions.  For example, is it critical to mount the hardware at a specific angle?  That's the most important question I have.  Thank you for the time you spent answering my previous questions.

 

Larry



#16 mbrio76

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Posted 12 November 2018 - 03:13 AM

Hi mbrio76;

 

I'm still struggling with how to mount this system.  I found appropriate pictures on the Astro Gadget site, but have questions.  For example, is it critical to mount the hardware at a specific angle?  That's the most important question I have.  Thank you for the time you spent answering my previous questions.

 

Larry

Hi Larry: as far as I know, that is not a problem; the metallic arm is only intented to fix the encoder to the mount

 

Massimo



#17 Froboz

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Posted 12 November 2018 - 02:35 PM

Hi Larry: as far as I know, that is not a problem; the metallic arm is only intented to fix the encoder to the mount

 

Massimo

Thank you Massimo.  Now I have all the info I need to get this thing installed.

 

Larry



#18 Froboz

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Posted 12 November 2018 - 07:38 PM

Hi again Massimo;

 

Have you ever wondered why this system is priced so cheap?  I looked up the encoders online and found that they sell for over $300 each, yet I bought the whole thing for $189.00 shipped.  Makes me wonder if they are factory seconds or stolen merchandise.

 

Larry



#19 bvillebob

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Posted 12 November 2018 - 10:11 PM

It's coming out of Ukraine, my guess would be he found a connection for surplused parts and picked up a bunch then figured out what to do with them.

 

There are a lot of enterprising Ukranians making a living the same way, selling specialized electronics items on Ebay, lots of neat ham radio gear such as transverters, preamps and other things coming out of there.  Well educated and energetic folks figuring out a way to make a living in tough circumstances, glad to see them prospering. 

 

I bought 10K optical encoders last year for about $65 each, so that $300 figure seems awfully high, maybe MSRP or such.



#20 Sean Cunneen

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 01:35 AM

Larry, the Ukraine is very close to China and has favorable shipping status with the U.S. don't be so negative!

#21 mbrio76

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 02:48 AM

Hi again Massimo;

 

Have you ever wondered why this system is priced so cheap?  I looked up the encoders online and found that they sell for over $300 each, yet I bought the whole thing for $189.00 shipped.  Makes me wonder if they are factory seconds or stolen merchandise.

 

Larry

I found 1000 ppr encoders on a famous chinese site sold for 20$ ;)

 

Let me know when you'll try the tool on the field!



#22 Froboz

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Posted 17 November 2018 - 07:53 PM

Hi Massimo;

 

You're probably right about the surplus parts angle.  Now I just need to find time to do the installation.  I've been dealing with house refinance issues but I think next week I'll get it done.

 

Larry



#23 mbrio76

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Posted 20 November 2018 - 07:04 AM

I gave it a first try, finally!

 

The session was a bit troubled: a lot of dew, a lot of time since my last observing session, first time with a tablet to be used to push the scope and some trouble with the tablet, so I postpone a final opinion.

 

I expected a better precision... I had to align every time I moved the scope to have a decent result; sometime Skysafari wasn't able to do alignment because the target was too far from the expected position.

 

Anyone has tryied it?



#24 mbrio76

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Posted 01 April 2019 - 11:27 AM

An update:

 

After the last post (20th november 2018...) I contacted AstroGadget's guys explaining my doubts: with their help I was able to find the problem causing the low precision; I badly mounted one encoder... with the dedicated app I checked the resolution, and it was ok!

 

On saturday I had the first night with no moon, no bad weather, no family commitments, so I was free to observe: I'm very happy to say that the DobsonDream now works perfectly! After the alignment, I can push to the target easily and find it into the FOV with adequate precision

 

I'm very satisfied now! Also the support was great!


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#25 dave brock

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Posted 01 April 2019 - 10:47 PM

Hi Massimo;

You're probably right about the surplus parts angle. Now I just need to find time to do the installation. I've been dealing with house refinance issues but I think next week I'll get it done.

Larry


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