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Intelliscope

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#1 patindaytona

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 11:05 PM

I really don't think it's even worth the trouble using that. I tried past few hours several times. Even when it did say that is was around 0.4 warp factor,  when i punched in some object it was several degrees off.

I know my way around the sky fairly good already.

It's an expensive item. Hate to not take advantage of it, but............


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#2 NorthernlatAK

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 11:24 PM

It may be the stars you are choosing. Some pairs work better than others. Stars that are closer than 60° don't work so well, and its better to stick to the area of the those stars are in. If you switch to a different part of the sky it wont work as well either. Also make sure you have a fresh battery. Close to zenith becomes quite tricky.

Edited by NorthernlatAK, 21 August 2019 - 11:27 PM.


#3 NorthernlatAK

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 11:39 PM

Also after doing alignment, switch to a low power ep and it should be within that field. If not, check the finder scope or telrad etc.

#4 StarryHill

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 12:26 AM

I really don't think it's even worth the trouble using that. I tried past few hours several times. Even when it did say that is was around 0.4 warp factor,  when i punched in some object it was several degrees off.

I know my way around the sky fairly good already.

It's an expensive item. Hate to not take advantage of it, but............

I wonder if your azimuth encoder disk is slipping. I had inconsistent accuracy until putting double-sided tape on the disk. Accuracy has been good since, especially if I use an illuminated reticle eyepiece to get a good warp factor. 

 

My guess is that, for most users, the Intelliscope feature is more of a novelty than an often-used device. But there are two times in which I think it may remain useful even to seasoned stargazers: early twilight when the sky is still fairly bright and for dim targets in dim regions of the sky.

 

IMHO, I think it's a decent value for what you get. I just wish Orion didn't make you choose between Intelliscope and GOTO on its larger reflectors -- it would be nice to have the option of a cheaper version with neither.


Edited by StarryHill, 22 August 2019 - 12:36 AM.

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#5 Myk Rian

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 06:20 AM

I have an XT8i. Never have used the HC.

Myk

#6 macdonjh

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 08:22 AM

patindaytona,

 

If you know how to star hop well, I understand your frustration.  I had two scopes with IntelliScope and really liked both.  One was an XT6i Dobsonian I used with my son.  The IntelliScope helped him (and me) find objects quickly so he didn't get frustrated.  A little trouble shooting as has been suggested in previous posts may help you make the system work well.  It is certainly capable of much better performance than you are reporting.

 

One of the things I liked best is, as you do, I could just leave the thing off if I was observing the moon or one of the bright planets and didn't need any electronic help.



#7 epee

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 10:39 AM

Remember, since the Intelliscope does not feature tracking, acquiring, centering and entering the second alignment star must be done with haste as the Earth is spinning as you work. I'm almost strictly a planetary guy at home and so I don't use the feature often, but I willingly sacrifice careful centering of the second alignment star so I can press the enter key quickly. A red-dot finder helps in speedy aiming. 


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#8 patindaytona

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 11:45 AM

Since I couldn't get complete vertical using the bubble level, i found another bolt. Cut it shorter. Even so, I end up having to screw it in till the base wood on the outside began to bulge a little. (wouldn't know it unless you looked for it.

Ok, the base was level as i could get it using the bubble level. After that, i had been all along using the telescope horizontally and placing the level onto it so it was level.

Ok, then i used the intelliscope to acheive vertical. (Closest i can come is 89.7 degrees.

BUT................if i use the level across the vertical tube instead.....it's off! Not alot, but you can see the bubble is not purely in middle. In other words, think of it this way....the vertical stop bolt in TOO far in now.

Indescrepancy here. What would you use? Stay to the level for the horizontal and the vertical and forget the intelliscope? Or, is the intelliscope more dependable?



#9 patindaytona

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 11:46 AM

I wonder if your azimuth encoder disk is slipping. I had inconsistent accuracy until putting double-sided tape on the disk. Accuracy has been good since, especially if I use an illuminated reticle eyepiece to get a good warp factor. 

 

My guess is that, for most users, the Intelliscope feature is more of a novelty than an often-used device. But there are two times in which I think it may remain useful even to seasoned stargazers: early twilight when the sky is still fairly bright and for dim targets in dim regions of the sky.

 

IMHO, I think it's a decent value for what you get. I just wish Orion didn't make you choose between Intelliscope and GOTO on its larger reflectors -- it would be nice to have the option of a cheaper version with neither.

I bought this used Starry. I didn't assemble it. So, i don't know alot about the assembly. Is the encoder disk the silver one where the outside knob tightens into it? Not sure what you mean it's slipping.



#10 epee

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 12:31 PM

I bought this used Starry. I didn't assemble it. So, i don't know alot about the assembly. Is the encoder disk the silver one where the outside knob tightens into it? Not sure what you mean it's slipping.

If the center bolt isn't tight enough the encoder disk and slip around the center bolt like a merry-go-round. The best fix is to stick it down with cellophane double-sided tape that is use in picture framing (not the foam double-sided tape used in picture hanging).

You can download the owners manual from the Orion web-sight. It contains the assembly instructions and how to adjust the "vertical stop". This is critical to the accuracy of the Intellscope and must be precise. A tedious procedure it is, thankfully, only required once as long as the screw and nut remain locked in place.


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#11 NorthernlatAK

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 12:47 PM

The azimuth is underneath the base. If you take your base apart, it's the washer that has a magnet attached to it. Put a double-sided sticky piece of tape on it and that should solve your problem.

#12 patindaytona

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 12:49 PM

Hope you can follow this.........

I used the bubble level on horizontal telescope till level.

I then used the intelliscope (pressing the enter + on at same time). Alt/Azimuth

It always starts out at zero

So, i tilt the telescope to vertical and it showed 89.7 degrees i think (good enough because i was causing the outside of the rocker box to buldge from the screw i put in as far as i could).

All sounds good.....but when i double checked the vertical by placing the bubble level on TOP of my telescope, it was not exactly centered (bubble). Off some.

 

I reversed it this time and started the telescope in vertical (even though the bubble level said it was off somewhat)

I used the intelliscope to check the horizontal this time instead. When it said 90 degrees, i used the bubble level and it was accurate (as expected).

 

I would think the intelliscope is very very accurate in determining 90 degrees. I believe it is right. Why is my bubble level off between vertical and horizontal? I have a feeling that measuring the vertical that that flange covering the outside of the tube there, is perhaps causing inconsistance.



#13 patindaytona

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 12:51 PM

The azimuth is underneath the base. If you take your base apart, it's the washer that has a magnet attached to it. Put a double-sided sticky piece of tape on it and that should solve your problem.

Oh, ok. Is their any way to know if it's slipping without taking the base off? Can you see if it's doing that while the base is still together?



#14 epee

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 01:13 PM

Oh, ok. Is their any way to know if it's slipping without taking the base off? Can you see if it's doing that while the base is still together?

Download the Intelliscope Cumputerized Object Locator manual from the Orion if you don't have one. Near the back there is a section on "Hidden Fuctions". One of these functions is an encoder check; you enter the code and rotate the scope while watching the coordinate number scroll on the handset. Anything other than a progression in relation to how you are moving the scope indicates a problem.



#15 StarryHill

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 01:13 PM

I bought this used Starry. I didn't assemble it. So, i don't know alot about the assembly. Is the encoder disk the silver one where the outside knob tightens into it? Not sure what you mean it's slipping.

The azimuth disk is part of the base. It's about 2" in diameter and has a ring of soft magnetic material. There is an electronic 'pickup' a few millimeters away that reads the movement of the disk as the telescope is turned left and right. It is important that 1) the disk doesn't slip and 2) the distance between the disk and the 'pickup' is just right.

 

Lots of us have had problems with the disk slipping and that's why double-sided tape helps.

 

Getting the distance just right depends on the placement of the washers and on the tightness of the main bolt. The manual explains how to get the spacing and tightness right and, more importantly,  also explains special features of the hand controller to measure how accurately the 'pickup' is measuring movement. The manual is available online.

 

Be careful to not get things too tight -- the magnetic material on the disk can be easily scratched and damaged by nearby screws. Since you bought used, Orion probably won't sell you a replacement if this were to happen.



#16 patindaytona

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 01:22 PM

Download the Intelliscope Cumputerized Object Locator manual from the Orion if you don't have one. Near the back there is a section on "Hidden Fuctions". One of these functions is an encoder check; you enter the code and rotate the scope while watching the coordinate number scroll on the handset. Anything other than a progression in relation to how you are moving the scope indicates a problem.

I checked that. It's hard to understand that part of it, but I'll go look again.

I did see the magnetic encoder underneath. I didn't take it apart, but pressed the base with some pressure using just my hands and didn't see any slipping at least.


Edited by patindaytona, 22 August 2019 - 01:23 PM.


#17 patindaytona

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 01:25 PM

The azimuth disk is part of the base. It's about 2" in diameter and has a ring of soft magnetic material. There is an electronic 'pickup' a few millimeters away that reads the movement of the disk as the telescope is turned left and right. It is important that 1) the disk doesn't slip and 2) the distance between the disk and the 'pickup' is just right.

 

Lots of us have had problems with the disk slipping and that's why double-sided tape helps.

 

Getting the distance just right depends on the placement of the washers and on the tightness of the main bolt. The manual explains how to get the spacing and tightness right and, more importantly,  also explains special features of the hand controller to measure how accurately the 'pickup' is measuring movement. The manual is available online.

 

Be careful to not get things too tight -- the magnetic material on the disk can be easily scratched and damaged by nearby screws. Since you bought used, Orion probably won't sell you a replacement if this were to happen.

First thing I even checked was that i don't think the "locking nut" will unscrew from the top of the main bolt in the base, will it?



#18 patindaytona

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 01:29 PM

The azimuth disk is part of the base. It's about 2" in diameter and has a ring of soft magnetic material. There is an electronic 'pickup' a few millimeters away that reads the movement of the disk as the telescope is turned left and right. It is important that 1) the disk doesn't slip and 2) the distance between the disk and the 'pickup' is just right.

 

Lots of us have had problems with the disk slipping and that's why double-sided tape helps.

 

Getting the distance just right depends on the placement of the washers and on the tightness of the main bolt. The manual explains how to get the spacing and tightness right and, more importantly,  also explains special features of the hand controller to measure how accurately the 'pickup' is measuring movement. The manual is available online.

 

Be careful to not get things too tight -- the magnetic material on the disk can be easily scratched and damaged by nearby screws. Since you bought used, Orion probably won't sell you a replacement if this were to happen.

When you say getting the distance just right......when i look under there, see i have just a little bit of a gap remaining between the last washer on top and the bottom of the upper part of the base. Should I tighten the lock nut another turn?



#19 StarryHill

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 01:51 PM

When you say getting the distance just right......when i look under there, see i have just a little bit of a gap remaining between the last washer on top and the bottom of the upper part of the base. Should I tighten the lock nut another turn?

No, don't just start tightening since you can damage the disk. I know because I did. Fortunately, Orion sent me a new disk.

 

If this were mine, I would take off the base and put two short pieces of double-side tape on the encoder disk. Then I would very carefully follow the manual directions about how much to tighten the bolt. Finally, I would use the special features of the hand controller to measure if the spacing/tightening is right and make adjustments as needed.

 

Yes, this can be tedious but, once you get it spot-on, you should have an Intelliscope with consistently good accuracy.


Edited by StarryHill, 22 August 2019 - 04:26 PM.

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#20 epee

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 07:33 AM

First thing I even checked was that i don't think the "locking nut" will unscrew from the top of the main bolt in the base, will it?

Tightening and loosening the lock nut is rather cumbersome. You need to dismount the scope, turn the base on it's side and get a 10mm (I think) wrench on both the nut and the screw. 

 

No, don't just start tightening since you can damage the disk. I know because I did. Fortunately, Orion sent me a new disk.

 

If this were mine, I would take off the base and put two short pieces of double-side tape on the encoder disk. Then I would very carefully follow the manual directions about how much to tighten the bolt. Finally, I would use the special features of the hand controller to measure if the spacing/tightening is right and make adjustments as needed.

 

Yes, this can be tedious but, once you get it spot-on, you should have an Intelliscope with consistently good accuracy.

This is good advise. You don't know how carefully the base was put together and adjusted. The best means of insuring all is well is to disassemble the base from the groundboard and do it yourself. Compare the appearance of the circuit boards to the photos in the manual. Apply double-sided cellophane tape to the bottom of the azimuth encoder and you'll never have to be concerned with it slipping again; no matter how tight or loose you have the center bolt. Check the appearance of the altitude encoder circuit board and make sure that the altitude encoder rotates freely. Finally, using a carpenter's level, level the base through 360 degrees of rotation (shim the feet with coins and paper) then turn the tube to vertical place the carpenter's level across the top of the tube and bring that to level through 360-degrees of rotation by adjusting the "vertical stop" on the inside front of the base. Once all this is done and you're sure the electronics are working, any more accuracy is up to your technique.  



#21 patindaytona

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 07:47 AM

Last night it was way off. What i did while still outside, was moved the vertical slightly (not all way against the stop). I tried it, and it was much better.

So that's telling me that using the intelliscope to determine the vertical was not as good as using the level bubble and comparing THAT with the horizontal level bubble also.

Brought it in and took an educated guess at making the vertical (lesser).  Will have to try it again tonight, but it should perform at least better.

Besides that, their are other varibles that I'm sure you know, like alignment of the two stars doing it quickly due to the earth's rotation. Getting stars that are not so close to horizon, or the zenith.

So, these are also factors. Because of that, it would be very hard to know just what the perfect "vertical" would be.

I'll try it out tonight and get back to you on this.



#22 junomike

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 07:44 AM

My experience (through others having them) is that they are more frustrating then not.  Accuracy is mediocre at best and Star-Hopping with  SkySafari (or knowledge) was actually faster.

Then there's the dreaded "power off" feature (depending on which version you have).

These were ok at one time  but IMO that time has come and gone.

Once good thing however is the mirrors in these OTA's are excellent.



#23 patindaytona

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 09:26 AM

My experience (through others having them) is that they are more frustrating then not.  Accuracy is mediocre at best and Star-Hopping with  SkySafari (or knowledge) was actually faster.

Then there's the dreaded "power off" feature (depending on which version you have).

These were ok at one time  but IMO that time has come and gone.

Once good thing however is the mirrors in these OTA's are excellent.

Glad I'm not alone with this. Much much faster too find things yourself. And when you're showing someone, they're more impressed by this than depending on the device.



#24 StarryHill

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 01:24 PM

I agree with you about the value of being able to find targets manually. But it is also nice to have an Intelliscope that works properly if/when you would like to use it. I've set up two different intelliscopes -- one worked great from the start; the other had slipping and spacing problems, and the special 'hidden' features of the hand controller helped me figure this out. If you are interested in seeing how well your intelliscope encoders are working, take a look at this....

 

 https://www.telescop...29229_08-11.pdf

 

On page 22 you'll find instructions for special diagnostic tools in the hand controller. One tool, the Altitude and Azimuth test, will let you know if your azimuth encoder disk is slipping. If it reads right for a while as you move the telescope but then stalls or jumps, it probably is slipping. The other, the Encoder test, will let you know if the spacing and tightness of your azimuth encoder is set right. Once I did these and corrected the problems, I have had good accuracy. 


Edited by StarryHill, 24 August 2019 - 05:15 PM.


#25 chrysalis

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 02:46 PM

I couldn't keep from responding wink.gif .

 

I've had the Intelliscope for (gosh, really???) 14 years now. It performs great every time as long as it is set upright at first.

 

To me that means:

Put the base on as level ground as you can - I use my garage floor.

Put the scope into the mount "VERTICALLY"

Measure horizontalness on top of the tube (no cap if you are brave enough) both left to right and front to back - both must be as dead on as you can 

Set the vertical stop as exactly as you can to this spot and never move it - this is critical...I once found (however it happened) that the vertical stop screw had screwed in or out further - and it completely threw off the capability. Repeating the above procedure brought it back into proper behavior.

 

Some folks mentioned speed to align - yes indeed! I try to move apace from first star to second star and typically get acceptable warp value

 

Some other folks mentioned about which stars to use - as far apart as practical seems a good rule of thumb. In the winter, the pair Sirius - Polaris works really really well. (Note that you canNOT use Polaris as the first star... wink.gif ).

 

Last cool "secret" - 2nd, 3rd, 4th (etc) object alignment. Look in the manual. Doing this typically improves overall performance but more specifically it does so in the area of the most recent alignment object. After your initial alignment, if you want to get better accuracy in  region, here's what the manual says: (page 21):

 

The Realignment Function
This function is useful for obtaining a new alignment fix during an observing session
to correct for small pointing errors. Use this function only when pointing accuracy for a
certain area of the sky appears to be poor compared to other areas of the sky. This is
evident when objects in one area of the sky consistently fall at the edge or just outside the
field of view (of the 25mm eyepiece) when the numbers on the LCD screen read 0.0 0.0.
This can happen if the alignment stars initially chosen during setup are somewhat close
to each other (less than 60˚ apart) or if the area of sky being viewed is a considerable
distance away from the alignment stars chosen.
To improve pointing accuracy in a specific area of the sky, select an object in the locator’s
database from that region, and use the guide arrows to find the object. Precisely center
the object in the eyepiece (preferably a high-powered one). Now, press the FCN button,
and the R.A. and Dec. coordinates of the centered object will be displayed. Then, press the
Enter button. The LCD screen will now display “ALIGN OBJECT 3” on the first line, and
will be flashing the object currently centered in the telescope on the second line. Pressing
Enter again then realigns the IntelliScope system to the object centered in the telescope.
The LCD screen will display a new “warp factor” associated with the new alignment. If this
number is greater than ±0.5, you may want to consider resetting the controller to perform
another two-star alignment. Turn the controller off, then on again (with the Power button),
to do this.
If, instead of pressing Enter a second time after pressing the FCN button, you press
one of the arrow buttons, the list of initial setup alignment stars will be displayed. If you
wish, you can select one of these alignment stars to realign on. Do this by scrolling to
the desired alignment star using the arrow buttons, center the star in the telescope, and
press Enter.
In general, it will not be necessary to use the realignment function, but it is a handy feature
to have at your disposal. Also, be aware that while pointing accuracy will increase in the
area of sky around the object realigned on, it may decrease in other areas of the sky.

 

Another nifty feature is the ability to switch the readout so that you can read celestial coordinates in DEC and RA directly. Once you have done your nightly alignment, just push the FCN button and you get a continuous readout in RA and DEC.  I have tried this for objects the COL doesn't know about (like Pakan's 3). It takes some getting used to but can be done.

 

Using the COL, I have observed upwards of 150 objects in one night.

 

If you select object type STAR and then scroll to STAR VARIABLE - most of these are carbon stars and quite colorful. 

 

Also - the wider field EP, the better. I now default to my 100 degree ES (14 mm is go to EP).


Edited by chrysalis, 24 August 2019 - 04:11 PM.

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