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Any Go-to or Push-to upgrade kits for a Dobsonian?

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#1 NightGhost

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 08:38 AM

I've got an 8-inch F6 Dobsonian by GSO that I recently purchased, although it's the lesser known NIGHTWATCH variant which has no altitude clutch, the telescope is attached via springs like this. My telescope looks 99% similar to this, just the logo is different.

 

startracker-8-dob-large.jpg.

The way it is mounted, it looks pretty close to the Orion XT8 Classic mount which also has spring based mount.

Now is there any DIY kit or anything that can be used to make this into a go-to or push-to mount? The lesser cutting and drilling I've to do, the better, I'm quite bad at that.

Thanks!


Edited by NightGhost, 21 November 2019 - 08:51 AM.


#2 neell

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 10:08 AM

There is a push-to kit from a german company that works with this kind of GSO dobson. It allows control via Sky Safari Plus or Pro on Android phones (not iOS)

 

www.astroshop.eu/goto-kits/omegon-push-standalone-encoder-system/p,55768

 

Here is a german video testing the system: www.youtube.com/watch?v=44Msu00Z2kc



#3 Richie2shoes

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 10:13 AM

There are kits available, the EZ Push To and Dobson Dream pop up with a quick Google search.  I use a azimuth circle and digital angle gauge.  Cheaper and just as effective.  I have this set up on my AWB onesky and my AD12.

 

Here's a link to a lengthy forum post about it, you can skip to the last couple of pages for the meat of it though.

 

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

 

AD12
onesky Sc

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#4 NightGhost

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 11:07 AM

There is a push-to kit from a german company that works with this kind of GSO dobson. It allows control via Sky Safari Plus or Pro on Android phones (not iOS)

 

www.astroshop.eu/goto-kits/omegon-push-standalone-encoder-system/p,55768

 

Here is a german video testing the system: www.youtube.com/watch?v=44Msu00Z2kc

This seems perfect for my telescope, although it seems a bit costly for a push-to. Will have to search for cheaper variants.

 

There are kits available, the EZ Push To and Dobson Dream pop up with a quick Google search.  I use a azimuth circle and digital angle gauge.  Cheaper and just as effective.  I have this set up on my AWB onesky and my AD12.

 

Here's a link to a lengthy forum post about it, you can skip to the last couple of pages for the meat of it though.

 

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

 

The EZ Push To was made for a different kind of Dobsonian mount, not the spring-type I have. The azimuth circle one seems effective, will check it out, thanks!



#5 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 11:35 AM

I just put a StellarCAT kit on a Richard Berry mount. It's a pretty easy. 

 

Also check AstroDevices. Go to the digital store, there are many model-specific kits there.



#6 stargazer193857

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 02:37 PM

I really like that older style bearing cradle. It not only makes a lighter base, it also is easier to guide the bearings into place. I hurt my back with a 12" that had cradle pads inside the walls, which seemed to require more exact placement and out of view.

#7 Volvonium

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 02:53 PM

A cheap magnet bubble leveler that many people have sitting around + wixey digital inclinometer + free planetarium app like Sky Safari can do a great job at helping you get to the right altitude of a target. After getting to the right altitude, you only need to slew azimuth, using your finderscope or wide field eyepiece to locate it, with minimal star hopping if it is a tighter target.

 

No need to polar align or two star align, since the inclinometer s accuracy is based on zeroing when the tube is level.


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#8 stargazer193857

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 03:03 PM

Not having a bunch of wires would be nice. But the hand paddle is friendlier for dark skies.

An app would need a good screen cover to not ruin night vision.

Edited by stargazer193857, 21 November 2019 - 03:05 PM.


#9 Starman1

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 07:43 PM

All the current DSC models could be installed:

--Nexus DSC

--Argo Navis

--Sky Commander

--Tangent DSC (goes by many names, like JMI)

But, all will cost more than the scope.

If that's OK, then you should review the specs on them to see what you want.



#10 NightGhost

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 01:21 AM

Thanks, I'll check them all out.

I don't understand, why do these cost more than the scope, isn't it just a bunch of high precision motors and a control board?

#11 Starman1

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 10:03 AM

DSCs don't have motors--they are push-to systems.

But the boxes have computer parts and batteries and a lot of extensive programming.

Then there are the mechanical parts: bolts, encoders, wires.

 

If involved with a GoTo system like a ServoCat, there is another control box, hand controller, wiring, power supply, and lots of hardware,

much of it custom because no two scopes seem to be built identically.

 

And production numbers are small, so there is no economy of scale.


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#12 Old Rookie

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 11:23 AM

I've done two dobs using the azimuth circle and digital angle gage and it really is an easy system.  As for cost, it's less than $50 and most of that is for the Wixey.  The balance should cover the cost of printing and laminating the degree circle.

 

There are kits available, the EZ Push To and Dobson Dream pop up with a quick Google search.  I use a azimuth circle and digital angle gauge.  Cheaper and just as effective.  I have this set up on my AWB onesky and my AD12.

 

Here's a link to a lengthy forum post about it, you can skip to the last couple of pages for the meat of it though.

 

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

 


Edited by Old Rookie, 22 November 2019 - 11:25 AM.


#13 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 12:40 PM

Thanks, I'll check them all out.

I don't understand, why do these cost more than the scope, isn't it just a bunch of high precision motors and a control board?

 

Your scope is very inexpensive. 

 

But even then, you are using the wrong lens to view this situation.

 

When you see how much easier and more productive this makes observing, the value proposition is clear.

 

Unless of course your time is worth Zero.



#14 photoracer18

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 04:44 PM

Stellarcat go-to maybe the best. I once owned the Dob Driver II system. Push-to is easy depending on how your dob is mounted. JMI sells kits for generic custom mounting but they work better on truss tube Dobs. I have the parts to eventually add push-to to my NightSky 16 which I could do as a project this winter. Just need the space in the house to do it. I will have to add a custom stand for my Argo Navis as part of it.


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#15 photoracer18

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 05:08 PM

The big expense for push-to is the computer and the encoders. 8k encoders will work fine but 20k are even better as more accuracy. But the price on large body encoders goes up fast the more tics they have. I have both 8k and 10k ones. Computers can be cheap if you don't want more than say planets and Messier objects as you can get that from a Meade Magellan I or II ,or a JMI NGC-microMAX for maybe $50, but that is only a 245 object database. Price goes up based on processor speed and number of objects in the database. The largest Tangent DSC like the Celestron Advanced Astromaster, Orion Sky Wizard 3, Lumicon Sky Vector 3, and the JMI NGC-MAX will set you back from $100-$150 used. Those are 12,046 object databases. Argo Navis for close to double that price is 29,000 plus (including 1100 you can add yourself).But the AN also has dual processors one specifically for tracking encoder movement so you can move the scope a lot faster and/or use even denser encoders without it losing track. The Nexus DSC is the ultimate doubling the price of the Argo Navis. The Tangent computers are no longer updated (version 3.52 is the last and has been for awhile). Argo Navis has free updates and can be downloaded. Likely same with Nexus.


Edited by photoracer18, 22 November 2019 - 05:10 PM.


#16 kyle528

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 05:31 PM

I have a Nexus II, which was a bit pricey, but SO worth it. It's really nice when I have other folks who want to look through the scope, I simply stand next to them and watch the screen, if they bump the scope, I don't even have to look through it to get them back on target. Also very handy for taking folks on a "tour" of the sky, I just look at my screen and push right to the next target without any standing and waiting or starhopping, etc... 


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#17 Starman1

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 06:13 PM

The big expense for push-to is the computer and the encoders. 8k encoders will work fine but 20k are even better as more accuracy. But the price on large body encoders goes up fast the more tics they have. I have both 8k and 10k ones. Computers can be cheap if you don't want more than say planets and Messier objects as you can get that from a Meade Magellan I or II ,or a JMI NGC-microMAX for maybe $50, but that is only a 245 object database. Price goes up based on processor speed and number of objects in the database. The largest Tangent DSC like the Celestron Advanced Astromaster, Orion Sky Wizard 3, Lumicon Sky Vector 3, and the JMI NGC-MAX will set you back from $100-$150 used. Those are 12,046 object databases. Argo Navis for close to double that price is 29,000 plus (including 1100 you can add yourself).But the AN also has dual processors one specifically for tracking encoder movement so you can move the scope a lot faster and/or use even denser encoders without it losing track. The Nexus DSC is the ultimate doubling the price of the Argo Navis. The Tangent computers are no longer updated (version 3.52 is the last and has been for awhile). Argo Navis has free updates and can be downloaded. Likely same with Nexus.

The Argo Navis head is AUD $359 (about USD $247)

The Nexus DSC head is US $349.95

Though, to be fair, most people get the Nexus with WiFi, cables, & charger for USD $404.95

A power cable ups the Argo Navis to USD$265, but still not WiFi or with a rechargeable battery, so it's fairer to compare it to the lower priced Nexus DSC without WiFi.

Some difference in price, but nowhere near double.  And 2.3+ million objects in the database (>73K in flash memory).  Nexus is compatible with encoders to one million ticks

and you cannot move it fast enough to confuse its readout.  

Having used both, I regard the Nexus to be a more updated head unit, though Argo Navis works just fine.



#18 clearwaterdave

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Posted 23 November 2019 - 02:51 AM

These push-to circles work very well.,I made mine for $00.,using a protractor a sharpi and some fiberglass pieces I had.,I have these on my Z8.,Onesky and refractors.,like I said.,cost was $00 and they were easy to make.,and they work.,

  Good luck.,

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#19 NightGhost

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Posted 23 November 2019 - 02:56 AM

Thanks for the help! For now, I'll be getting a DobsonDream...er waiting to get a DobsonDream (contacted astro-gadgets, he said that the kit for my telescope is under testing but will be available within a few weeks).

 

On another note, is software enough to de-rotate the images?

Also equatorial pads are 3 times the cost of my OTA+mount



#20 Starman1

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Posted 23 November 2019 - 10:29 AM

Thanks for the help! For now, I'll be getting a DobsonDream...er waiting to get a DobsonDream (contacted astro-gadgets, he said that the kit for my telescope is under testing but will be available within a few weeks).

 

On another note, is software enough to de-rotate the images?

Also equatorial pads are 3 times the cost of my OTA+mount

The answer to your last question is that if there is no rotation in the images, software will rotate them to stack correctly.

But no software will remove the rotation smear in a single image.



#21 NightGhost

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Posted 23 November 2019 - 10:33 AM

Yeah, I meant rotation on multiple images. I take short exposures but many.


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