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#1 pinkeye0

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 12:57 AM

Can telescopes on a goto mount be aimed manually as they would be placed on a normal tripod?


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#2 cargostick

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 01:12 AM

Yes, you can release the clutches and move it manually.  You can also slew using the hand controller that comes with most goto mounts.



#3 sg6

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 01:40 AM

Yes is the answer but as ever a few "conditions".

 

If you request the mount/scope to goto Albireo then assuming it is in the center the scope is pointed at Albireo. If you then release the clutches and point at say M57 then you may be looking at M57 but on many mounts it still thinks it is still looking at Albireo. It knows nothing about the movement you performed. Might be able to rescue the goto but little questionable but you would have to do something - even just a Sync of scope to a target.

 

Alternatively you can have the scope goto Albireo and manually slew via the handset to M57 and by rights the scope should know it has moved and so know where it is aimed at least in terms of  RA/Dec. As all movement was via the mount electronics it should determine where it is aimed.

 

Finally are the Dual encoder mounts when if you release the clutches and swing it round manually (as in 1) the encoders determine where it has been moved to. I have one of those and never tried it. Just expect to lose all the goto alignment even if it shouldn't - I don't trust them to do it right.

 

So in a way depends on what you have, what you do and how you do it. And in my case how much you believe they will do as advertised.

 

My other approach is it is a goto, use it as a goto. I can swap to a WO Ezy Touch mount for just looking around.


Edited by sg6, 03 June 2020 - 01:41 AM.


#4 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 04:03 AM

Can telescopes on a goto mount be aimed manually as they would be placed on a normal tripod?

 

I believe that it depends on the individual mount.  Some require power and the use of the hand controller to move in one or both axes. In general, if it is possible, it probably won't be as easy as with a mount that's strictly manual.

 

Do you have a mount in mind?

 

Jon


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#5 Jethro7

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 05:40 AM

Can telescopes on a goto mount be aimed manually as they would be placed on a normal tripod?

That depends on your mount, if the mount is a closed loop system, it will return to the object that you last went to. If it is a open system, you will loose your alignment and have to  redo your alignment procedure again. I.E. Orion Goto dobs are closed loop systems and the Celestron Goto's are open systems. 

 

HAPPY SKIES AND KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro



#6 junomike

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 07:09 AM

A GEM GOTO Mount can be used manually and still track as it has a "Tracking Rate".

I use this feature on Planetary/Lunar nights when no GOTO is needed.

 

An Alt/Az will loose it's tracking once you move the OTA unless it has dual encoders (like the Synscan Dobs).

My SW 12 Synscan and Orion xx16g both have the dual encoders and will track and GOTO after loosening the clutches and

manually moving the OTA or if moved/bumped by accident.


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#7 Jeff Lee

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 07:44 AM

SW and Orion AZ-EQ's have dual encoders for those who what to manually move the mounts.



#8 aeajr

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 07:58 AM

Can telescopes on a goto mount be aimed manually as they would be placed on a normal tripod?

As has been stated already, some can and some can not.  It depends on the design of the mount.  Any of them can be pointed by using the arrow keys on the handset, if that is what you mean by manually.

 

When I say pointing them manually I mean with the computer off, dead batteries or with no batteries in the mount. Manual would also mean that you can push the optical tube to a new position after alignment and the GoTo will not lose its alighment.  

 

Meade ETX series scopes can be pointed manually even with no batteries.  You can leave the computer off, release the clutches and point it wherever you like.  I have two and do this often.  

 

Celestron Nexstar SE series scopes can only be moved with the handset. If the battery dies or if you have a motor failure you can't use the mount/scope. 

 

Most GoTo mounts, once aligned, can't be moved without the hand set or they lose their alignment and can't find anything.  If you bump the mount and shift its position, they have to go through the alignment procedure again in order to find things. 

 

Some, like the Orion StarSeeker IV tripod mount or the Orion XTG or XXG series Dob mounts can be aligned and used as GoTo mounts but still allow you to swing the scope by hand without losing the GoTo alignment.   

 

Net Net, it all depends on which mount you are talking about and what you mean by "manual".

 

 

Be aware that there are also PushTo mounts that provide computer assistance, like the GPS in your car. They show you where to point the scope but there are no motors, you move the tube.   The Orion Intelliscope series and the Celestron StarSense Explorer would be examples.


Edited by aeajr, 03 June 2020 - 08:27 AM.

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#9 MrRoberts

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 10:04 AM

Some mounts can and some cannot. Many of us have a secondary manual mount (such as ES TWL1) that we keep handy and/or use as a grab and go set up.


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#10 dlwmacgregor

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 10:12 AM

This thread brings up my first question.

Most of my viewing will be done from my back deck because it has the best view (southern sky).

I do have a smaller front deck with a limited northern view (trees).

The question is, if I align the GoTo mount on the back deck and then the next night I need to move it to the front deck do I need to  re-align it?

My instincts say yes but I am new to motorized mounts.

Thanks.

 

Doug

 



#11 Don W

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 10:51 AM

Yes, you will need to re-align it.



#12 dlwmacgregor

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 10:58 AM

Thank you Don.



#13 hcf

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 11:16 AM

This thread brings up my first question.

Most of my viewing will be done from my back deck because it has the best view (southern sky).

I do have a smaller front deck with a limited northern view (trees).

The question is, if I align the GoTo mount on the back deck and then the next night I need to move it to the front deck do I need to  re-align it?

My instincts say yes but I am new to motorized mounts.

Thanks.

 

Doug

On almost every mount, you will need to realign.

The only exception that I know of is a platesolved goto like this one, if you leave the camera on the scope.

https://www.cloudyni...-project-ps-g2/



#14 Andrekp

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 04:32 PM

Maybe think of it this way:

 

if your scope is mounted alt-azimuth, then there are two motions happening at any point to get your scope to track the sky.  And what the motors are doing is changed according to where the scope thinks it is pointing.  So, once you are aligned, and you move the scope aim, and the computer doesn’t know it, it may not track correctly at the new aim point.  It likely won’t if you move the aim more than a small amount.  As some have pointed out, some mounts will keep track of this and will still be working.  Others will still work, so long as your change was using the motors in the mount to slew.

 

if your scope is mounted equatorially, once you are aligned and tracking, only one motor, the RA drive needs to be moving.  And it always moves the same way at the same rate no matter where the scope is pointing.  So, on the eq mount, once you are aligned, if you loosen the clutches and move the aim point, then tighten the clutches, it should still track the sky just fine, as your RA motor is doing what it always does.  Though you may have confused the computer.

 

you can, in theory, move any scope after alignment, but you have to be able to set it up again in the new spot, without moving the two axis at all.  For example, in spot one you align and GoTo Deneb. Now you move the scope to a new place in your yard.  If you can set it back up so it is still looking at Deneb, without moving the tube (I.e move the tripod legs in orientation and length), you MIGHT get reasonable tracking.  You also (more likely might not.  It’s easier if you are aligned equatorially and you can use a polar scope in resetting the positioning.  YMMV.  It is possible, but not easy, and you are likely not to get it right.  It’s just easier to take a moment and realign if you move the scope.



#15 dlwmacgregor

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 05:25 PM

Great insight from everyone in easy-to-understand terms. That's why I joined here after finding this web site.

With all these good pieces of advice I should be able to hit the ground running once my scope arrives.

Thanks.



#16 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 06:13 PM

As already been mentioned the Celestron NexStar SCTs can't be moved manually.  However, the Celestron NexStar Evolution SCTs can.



#17 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 07:26 PM

https://nexstarsite....olution2018.pdf

 

NexStar Evolution features manual clutches that allow you to manually move the altitude (up/down) and azimuth (left/right) axis without using the motors This can be useful for daytime terrestrial use or when storing the telescope.



#18 aeajr

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 10:23 AM

In relation to alignment and re-alignment.

 

When you align the scope/mount you tell the mount where it is, which way it is facing, the time and date.   These are valid for that exact spot.  Move the mount 6" and you have to realign.  Go to another location and you realign.

 

If you have the scope somewhere you can leave it and not move it, such as in an observatory then you can "park" it and turn it off.  When you turn it back on it assumes it has not been moved and the alignment is valid.  Again, this is common for scopes that live in observatories.

 

There are GoTo scopes and PushTo mounts that can do auto-alignment by various methods.  You turn it on and it does its thing and then it is aligned.  Sometimes it takes 5 minutes and sometimes it takes 30 seconds, depending on the mount and the method.



#19 dlwmacgregor

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 10:57 AM

Good information Voyager 1. Thanks.



#20 Andrekp

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 12:32 PM

In relation to alignment and re-alignment.

 

When you align the scope/mount you tell the mount where it is, which way it is facing, the time and date.   These are valid for that exact spot.  Move the mount 6" and you have to realign.  Go to another location and you realign.

 

If you have the scope somewhere you can leave it and not move it, such as in an observatory then you can "park" it and turn it off.  When you turn it back on it assumes it has not been moved and the alignment is valid.  Again, this is common for scopes that live in observatories.

 

There are GoTo scopes and PushTo mounts that can do auto-alignment by various methods.  You turn it on and it does its thing and then it is aligned.  Sometimes it takes 5 minutes and sometimes it takes 30 seconds, depending on the mount and the method.

no, if you can move an aligned scope, and keep whatever your last a GoTo was in the FOV, without ever moving the tube, then you are still aligned.  Nothing has effectively changed at that point.

 

put Vega in the center of the FOV via GoTo. Move the scope three feet to the left.  Don’t touch the tube at all, and put a Vega back into the center of your a FOV by adjusting the tripod legs only.  You are still aligned.  Your scope is pointing exactly where it was five minutes earlier in the other spot, and three feet away is well within any movement that changes your “location” As far as the margin of error of the alignment calculation.
 

in fact, I’m betting there is a lot of leeway to move the scope in this manner.  It’s just that it will be very difficult to move it to a different terrain and reachieve the same view angle using just the tripod adjustments.



#21 MaknMe

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 08:28 PM

Most of the time when I want to look at planets, the moon or other bright objects, I don’t even bother aligning my GOTO. I just use the arrow keys to move the scope—pointing it at whatever I want to see. I find tracking pretty easy to do “manually”. I change the speed to 2 or 3 and can usually keep the object where I want it in the eyepiece.

I like to have things drift through the eyepiece. Then I pull it back into view and let it drift again. After a few times playing with it, it becomes pretty easy to do.

I am going to take a look at Mercury in a few minutes. I’ll point the scope west and use the arrow keys.

Edited by MaknMe, 05 June 2020 - 08:41 PM.


#22 JOEinCO

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 03:31 AM

no, if you can move an aligned scope, and keep whatever your last a GoTo was in the FOV, without ever moving the tube, then you are still aligned.  Nothing has effectively changed at that point.

 

put Vega in the center of the FOV via GoTo. Move the scope three feet to the left.  Don’t touch the tube at all, and put a Vega back into the center of your a FOV by adjusting the tripod legs only.  You are still aligned.  Your scope is pointing exactly where it was five minutes earlier in the other spot, and three feet away is well within any movement that changes your “location” As far as the margin of error of the alignment calculation.
 

in fact, I’m betting there is a lot of leeway to move the scope in this manner.  It’s just that it will be very difficult to move it to a different terrain and reachieve the same view angle using just the tripod adjustments.

Not really. You may be pointing at Vega again, but unless you also ended up with the tripod level again when you centered Vega (or even harder: just as far slightly off-level as it was initially), the GoTo slews will not be accurate.



#23 Andrekp

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 07:50 AM

Not really. You may be pointing at Vega again, but unless you also ended up with the tripod level again when you centered Vega (or even harder: just as far slightly off-level as it was initially), the GoTo slews will not be accurate.

that’s the idea people have, but I’m not sure it’s possible to point again at Vega and NOT have the tube in the same orientation to the sky.  Think about it.  



#24 MaknMe

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 09:25 AM

that’s the idea people have, but I’m not sure it’s possible to point again at Vega and NOT have the tube in the same orientation to the sky. Think about it.

Any adjustment that puts the mount off-level would impact accuracy.

But, a quick leveling and realign after moving takes me 5-10 mins. So, it really isn’t a big deal.

My point is that you only really need to use the GOTO for objects you can’t see. Or, if you don’t know the name of the object (e.g., is that star Arcturus or Spica?).

I have heard of too many people who feel like they must align the GOTO to use the scope—it is not required.

I often use mine as a motorized alt-az mount—driven by the arrow keys.

Edited by MaknMe, 06 June 2020 - 09:25 AM.


#25 Andrekp

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 11:56 AM

Any adjustment that puts the mount off-level would impact accuracy.

But, a quick leveling and realign after moving takes me 5-10 mins. So, it really isn’t a big deal.

My point is that you only really need to use the GOTO for objects you can’t see. Or, if you don’t know the name of the object (e.g., is that star Arcturus or Spica?).

I have heard of too many people who feel like they must align the GOTO to use the scope—it is not required.

I often use mine as a motorized alt-az mount—driven by the arrow keys.

Think about it: if you haven’t changed the orientation of the tube, relative to the mount (the computer and drive part), then it is still aligned.  There is only one alignment which will allow a tube, pointed at a Vega, to STILL be pointed at Vega once move.  Getting Vega back in view realigns things all by itself.   Again, I’m saying ONLY adjust the tripod location and legs.  the scope mount remains exactly as before.  You would have to move the scope many miles (an unlikely carry) to change coordinates enough to make the alignment not true.

 

if you don’t move the tube Orientation, but by manipulating the tripod can make it have the same view, then it is still aligned, because there is only one alignment which leaves that true.  If you have to move the tube, relative to the mount, even a tiny bit, you have lost alignment.




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