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Encoders? DSC? Why not use SkySafari on phone instead?

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#1 CharlesStG

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 04:31 PM

My APM 120mm apo binocs give over 2 degrees fov at low power. I was thinking of getting the APM fork with encoders and Nexus, but prefer the losmandy dovetail on the bigger APM 150mm fork to adjust balance. So, I asked myself, with over 2 degrees fov, why do I even need a Nexus DSC when maybe SkySafari on a smartphone might be sufficiently accurate for rough go-to? The idea being to mount your phone on your mount head and use a lockable pivot to calibrate the SkySafari to the mounted binocs and tour the sky. Has anyone tried this?
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#2 photoracer18

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 04:54 PM

Something like this to mount the phone on your mount might be a start. Then build a frame for the phone.

 

https://www.amazon.c...la-450189519483

 

Just remember you can't tilt the phone to look at it unless its pointed at what you want to see. Not exactly sure how you would view it from the back and slightly above behind the eyepieces holders of your binos. Would work with straight thru binos on a high mount, just not sure about 90 degree eyepiece holders.

 



#3 CharlesStG

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 05:10 PM

Good points. Well, my binocs have 45 degree eyepieces, so it might not be too bad. Wonder if the phone screen could be mirrored on my 10" notebook? Hmmmm....

Edited by CharlesStG, 03 January 2020 - 05:11 PM.


#4 junomike

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 05:47 PM

You can use SkySafari on a phone or tablet as a star map for the wider DSO's.  Encoders, DSC's and even Setting Circles are favored for smaller DSO's in area's of the sky where Stars are less populated.



#5 PPPPPP42

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 11:44 PM

I use sky safari pro as a star chart on my phone or iPad with my 127mm refractor on a manual alt/az mount with just a simple red dot finder and with my wide eyepieces I have no trouble getting close enough to find targets that can’t be seen with the naked eye, even with the 5.5mm. Binoculars field of view should be easy.

I think there is some sort of angled equivalent to the red dot if that were needed.

I also use it on my iPad to control my cpc800 with WiFi though that doesn’t really apply here.



#6 Steve D.

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Posted 04 January 2020 - 05:50 AM

Charles,

 

Congratulations on your giant binoculars.   I just wanted to share some things I've done as well as what I'm working on to more efficiently find things.

 

First of all, using this universal finder base, I was able to attach my Stellarvue 9x50 RACI finder.  Much, much better than the red dot finder I was using.  https://www.stellarv...-dovetail-shoe/

 

But secondly, I'm working on a project to add a manual finder system similar to the one for my dob in the link below.  Using this pointer and a digital level, I can put objects in the FOV of a 14mm Delos eyepiece (.83 degree field.)  I won't need that kind of accuracy for the binos.  I use Sky Safari to get he degree coordinate and elevation.

 

https://www.cloudyni...brid/?p=8930451

 

This is how far as I've gotten.  The backing is a 1/8th" wood panel for support.  Like most of  my projects, it takes me about three iterations to get it right.   Two more to go...

 

 

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#7 CharlesStG

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Posted 05 January 2020 - 09:21 PM

I really appreciate all the sharing of experiences, links to cool products to consider and sound and interesting! advice. 

 

Steve,  Getting so close now to put the binocs to first light here.  I had mount and eyepiece considerations to take care of first.  The mounting of my cellphone would be pretty simple as it's small. A tablet would require more planning. I DO like your idea of using the digital level and setting circles combined with info provided by SkySafari to find objects. That sounds very interesting and would like to see more photos if you have them which may better explain just how you are going about this method of acquiring objects in space.

 

Charles



#8 Steve D.

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 12:20 PM

I really appreciate all the sharing of experiences, links to cool products to consider and sound and interesting! advice. 

 

Steve,  Getting so close now to put the binocs to first light here.  I had mount and eyepiece considerations to take care of first.  The mounting of my cellphone would be pretty simple as it's small. A tablet would require more planning. I DO like your idea of using the digital level and setting circles combined with info provided by SkySafari to find objects. That sounds very interesting and would like to see more photos if you have them which may better explain just how you are going about this method of acquiring objects in space.

 

Charles

I got side tracked and need to jump back on this project before the spring.   I'll try to get back on it over the next few weeks.



#9 ArsMachina

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Posted 12 January 2020 - 05:19 AM

Working very well here ...

(APM 25x100 ED, Gitzo GHF2W, Velbon Geo N830, iPhone 11 Pro Max)

 

IMG 0649
 
Jochen

 


Edited by ArsMachina, 12 January 2020 - 05:23 AM.

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#10 CharlesStG

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Posted 12 January 2020 - 10:24 AM

Hi Jochen,

 

That set-up looks really inviting! Ulano Rubylith Masking Film is recommended by SkySafari to cover the face of a phone or tablet as preferable to using software to provide a red screen.  I bought a sheet of it and it also allows you to go to other applications as needed while observing -- like answering a phone call, lol!

 

Weather last night was rainy with winds pushing trees against our fence, but tonight looks like it will be good for astronomy as all calms down and clears.

 

Charles



#11 Sean Wood

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Posted 12 January 2020 - 05:00 PM

IF you have an Android OS phone/device take a look at Skeye. It's a basic charting program sort of like Sky safari BUT with the caveat of being designed specifically do virtual DCS's like you're talking about here. It allows you, in the set up process, to add axial offsets so you can mount the phone/device in any orientation. Then you tell it what you're looking at though a couple of alignments and it offsets the motions to represent the offset. It's a little finicky to magnetic fields, as all these type apps are. but if you notice some drift over the observation session it allows quick easy alignment adjustments without having to redo the entire setup. It's a little iffy for usability with narrower fields of view like with a telescope but would work well for wide fields like binoculars. Even if you have an iphone it would be worth picking up a cheap older android phone to use with this. The app will work with phones probably as much as 3-5 years old.

http://lavadip.com/skeye/index.html

 

https://play.google.....lavadip.skeye 


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#12 duck2k

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 08:52 AM

I just use Sky Safari (hand held to look where to star hop from), to locate my objects.  I was tempted by the encoders and Nexus, it would take away the thrill of the hunt (so to speak).:)


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#13 CharlesStG

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 10:37 PM

I just use Sky Safari (hand held to look where to star hop from), to locate my objects.  I was tempted by the encoders and Nexus, it would take away the thrill of the hunt (so to speak).smile.gif

I completely agree duck2k -- the finding is highly rewarding! And it seems we have similar binocs, too.

 

And Sean,  Thank you for that reference to Skeye.  I will check it out!  In the meantime, I'll find my way the old way which is still a delight and I actually like to plan sessions and hunt down the prey of the evening.


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