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Best way to add Push-To capabilities to a Dobsonian?

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17 replies to this topic

#1 darthteddy93

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 01:00 PM

Hi guys and gals, 

 

I have a Skywatcher classic dobsonian and I often find it frustrating that I can't find anything in the sky during my sessions other than the obvious like planets, moon, Orion Nebula, etc. I've tried using a few apps and even Turn Left at Orion but I think it would be better for me personally to purchase some kind of aftermarket add-on for my telescope that would help me find things.

 

I am hoping for anything that's under $100. So far this seems to be my best option: https://romer-optics...ds-of-dobsonian. I've contacted the business owner and he said that he's working on a Skywatcher version of this product. Anyone have experience with the existing product? 

 

I'm essentially hoping to spend less time looking for objects and more time actually observing as the looking part is not fun for me. 


Edited by darthteddy93, 21 April 2019 - 01:00 PM.

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#2 scngc7317

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 01:12 PM

I started out with these charts and a Tetrad to learn the sky.

 

https://www.highpoin...vol-1-2-messier


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#3 jeremiah2229

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 01:22 PM

Just my thoughts and from my own personal experience the best addition (and to compliment what you have in books and such) is a RACI. And one like this that you can change eyepieces to match the conditions of the sky and the object(s) you are searching for. And you will be "learning" the sky as you go where if you are just "pushing to" you're learning to "push" and not "find".  ;)

 

 

Peace...


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#4 J A VOLK

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 01:26 PM

You can use a digital inclinometer on the OTA, and a azimuth circle on the base. A phone or tablet planetarium app will tell you the altitude and azimuth for your location at present time of the object you are looking for. With a low power eyepiece the object should be in view.

Edited by J A VOLK, 21 April 2019 - 01:50 PM.

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#5 coopman

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 03:51 PM

Here is a looooong thread about it.

https://www.cloudyni...degree-circles/


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#6 MawkHawk

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 07:11 PM

My buddy has the EZ Push To on his Z8 and he says it works quite well.


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#7 alexantos

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 07:59 PM

If you are a crafty man you can build setting circles. Then with a Software that gives you Alt/Az like Stellarium, you can easily find your way in the sky. And don't forget that the scope must be leveled.

Take a look at the Alt and Az that I've made.

They were set on a Bresser(Explore Scientific) Dob, but I believe that they could be adapted on a Skywatcher.

 

Alexandre



#8 darthteddy93

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 08:06 PM

You can use a digital inclinometer on the OTA, and a azimuth circle on the base. A phone or tablet planetarium app will tell you the altitude and azimuth for your location at present time of the object you are looking for. With a low power eyepiece the object should be in view.

 

Thanks everyone for your suggestions but I think I'll be going with this suggestion. I hope others with similar problems will find your suggestions helpful. 



#9 WyattDavis

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 08:22 PM

Are you in LA proper? How bright are your skies?



#10 S.Boerner

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 12:39 PM

If you are a DYI guy check out Dave Ek's digital setting circles page.  https://eksfiles.net...etting-circles/  They are not too particularly difficult to construct. 

 

If you want to buy look around https://sites.google...pes/dobsondream  There are some options for SkyWatchers.  Check to see if there are some options for your particular scope.



#11 Richie2shoes

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 02:02 PM

Here are 2 examples of setting circles.  For the Onesky, I put the circle between the two ground boards and notched the upper board so the pointer moves and the circle is stationary.  For the AD12, I put the circle on the top board, with the pointer on the lower board so the pointer is stationary and the circle moves.  Both pointers are held in place with a small magnet on a piece of metal, I used an old tape measure for both.  There are advantages and disadvantages to both options.  For the stationary circle, I polar align the scope and have about a 30 degree window of adjustment.  For the stationary pointer, I have metal all around the base so I can focus on any target, look up the azimuth and then put the pointer at the correct setting.  However this means that the pointer may be on the opposite side of the scope from the eyepiece.

 

AD12
onesky Sc


#12 whizbang

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 05:38 PM

+1 what Jeremiah2229 said.

 

With an RACI you can see many objects, M13, M15, M35, M36, M37, M38, the Orion Nebula, The Andromeda Galaxy, M44, M45, The double double Epsilon Lyra, Mizar, the double cluster, etc.  They are easy to "find" when you look in the right angle correct index finder and just see them.

 

*****************************************************************************************************

 

Apparently, you live in heavily light polluted skies like I do.  As a result of BAD light pollution, I spend most of my time observing double stars.  I save the DSO's for drive trips to dark sites.

 

I suggest you consider doubles.  Check out Mizar, ETA Cas, Cor Caroli, Beta Cep, Delta Cep and Albireo and see what you think.

 

I love the color contrast between Cor Caroli and Beta Cep (Blue Doubles) and Delta Cep and Albeireo (Orange and Green Doubles).

 

You can find doubles in Sissy Haas's book "2000 Double Stars for small telescopes" as well as Stellarium, and Sky & Telescope's Pocket Sky Atlas.

 

Get an RACI.  Do doubles.


Edited by whizbang, 22 April 2019 - 05:42 PM.


#13 Feidb

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 02:34 PM

You really SHOULD learn the sky first. While quick and easy seems like a great idea, if you actually learn the sky, it stays with you for a lifetime. Then when whatever doodads you add on to the scope fail, which they WILL fail, you aren't left stranded with a piece of junk you cant find nothing with.

 

I learned the sky, with over 50 years of experience before I got a Sky Commander push to system. I really love it and it's increased my productivity but if it ever fails, I don't need it. I don't have to pack up my toys and go home.

 

On the other hand, this isn't a hobby to me, so that may be a red flag here. I grew into this from a young age and it's a passion. I WANTED to learn the sky and did so since I was sixteen. I'm a looong way from there!

 

I went through plenty of stages of finding easier ways, but never got there until very recently, always falling back on just using charts, finding dark skies and looking up.



#14 whizbang

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 02:31 PM

OP.  Folks here are indirectly answering your original question.  NO, there is no easy way to add "push-to" capability.  So, folks are offering alternative advice.  Good Luck.


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#15 Volvonium

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 03:01 PM

Fellow Angeleno here.  I use a Wixey WR300 digital inclinometer ($~27, use red tape to cover green screen) to confirm my altitude if I'm unsure about being in the right area of the sky.   I'll be adding printed out setting circles to my dob's base in the future as a secondary confirmation.

 

With just a reasonably accurate inclinometer/altitude readout, you eliminate a massive variable....if you're able to push to the right altitude every time, all you would need to do to find your target is to pan left or right to get yourself to the right azimuth heading.  It would literally take seconds.  This assumes the dob is sitting level, you used a red dot/telrad/finder to put yourself in the target's general vicinity, and that you pan the scope slowly enough so that stars remain visible.

 

I heavily rely on Sky Safari Pro on my phone to navigate the stars/get target coordinates.  

 

I'm also in LA County, under Bortle 7-8 skies.  I have to lower my expectations due to the viewing conditions.  Because of the light pollution, even if I do successfully locate a DSO, the view isn't that spectacular if I'm being honest with myself.  It's usually the faintest of wisps in my 10" and nearly imperceptible in my 8"....therefore, the challenge of star hopping and being able to simply spot the object has become personally more rewarding for me.  



#16 sg6

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 03:23 PM

Unless the kit you have identified becomes available I suspect there is very little available. Most manufacturers want to supply the complete system. Skywatcher used to supply a goto kit, then made a goto dobsonian and ceased the kit.

 

Not sure of other solutions. If finding stuff entirely manually just doesn't work for you then it doesn't work. A different finder, chart or app will I suspect make little difference.

 

The other "standard" reply is an eyepiece with the widest resultant field of view possible. Usally that is a 32mm plossl. Sometimes a 40mm provides a little more. The "good" aspect is that the eyepiece does not have to be really good (expensive), it just has to be reasonable and wide.



#17 Starkid2u

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 04:22 AM

OP.  Folks here are indirectly answering your original question.  NO, there is no easy way to add "push-to" capability.  So, folks are offering alternative advice.  Good Luck.

Second that. Buy an Orion scope if you want Push-To. It's what they do.

 

STARKID2U



#18 williew

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 05:48 AM

A simple azimuth solution for a Dob. Got this 6" degree circle. Had to drill a hole in the middle and spray paint the back side white. Mounting bolt was long enough to add a second bolt to gently secure the circle. Circle stays secure but is loose enough to adjust. Had to glue on a permanent pointer.

IMG 0001 9

 




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