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UC-22 - Come if you can and judge for yourself at the April CalStar

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#1 gdjsky01

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 03:29 AM

Hi all. I am going to do my best (already have the time off, and the van is rented) to be at Lake San Antonio for the Spring version of CalStar (the California Star Party). About 90 minutes outside of Paso Robles CA.

 

Of course I know most of you can not make it, but if you can, stop on by! There won't be that many UC-22s there. I have all the PPE needed. Judge for yourself rather than take my word for the flaws. Take pictures. Take videos. I'll simply let you decide. 

 

I'll show you the issues I had. Maybe my ATM friends will be there for you to query or ask. And you can see the current item in its current state (which I hope will be WORKING!).  No hyperobole. Just come on out if you can. An informed buyer is a good buyer!

 

April 11th to the 14th at Lake San Antonio. Even if you don't care, well... its a wonderful get together with lots of large Dobs!

 

Clear skies!!


Edited by gdjsky01, 02 March 2021 - 03:35 AM.

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#2 nicknacknock

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 04:53 AM

Jeff,

 

For those that cannot attend, if you would like to make a video, upload it to YouTube and share a link here, I am sure it would be most instructional.

 

Ideally you will point out the original problem, any mods you have done and how the scope functions after the mods. Given what you documented so far here, I am sure a video will be very helpful!


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#3 CHASLX200

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 06:39 AM

Cali just as well be Mars as it is so far from me.


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#4 starman876

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 07:47 AM

Hi all. I am going to do my best (already have the time off, and the van is rented) to be at Lake San Antonio for the Spring version of CalStar (the California Star Party). About 90 minutes outside of Paso Robles CA.

 

Of course I know most of you can not make it, but if you can, stop on by! There won't be that many UC-22s there. I have all the PPE needed. Judge for yourself rather than take my word for the flaws. Take pictures. Take videos. I'll simply let you decide. 

 

I'll show you the issues I had. Maybe my ATM friends will be there for you to query or ask. And you can see the current item in its current state (which I hope will be WORKING!).  No hyperobole. Just come on out if you can. An informed buyer is a good buyer!

 

April 11th to the 14th at Lake San Antonio. Even if you don't care, well... its a wonderful get together with lots of large Dobs!

 

Clear skies!!

Thanks for all the info you hav provided on the UC series.  Sure has changed my mind about buying one.  Well let me expand on that,  buying one with the servo cat.    Do you think the scope would have less issues without the servo cat?



#5 dustyc

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 04:14 PM

When I got my 15" UC I didn't want the extra complexity of alt/az tracking. However prior to buying mine I quizzed a club member who has a 22. He advised that if you have to stand on a ladder then get tracking. Since the 18 and 22 were taller than me at eyepiece height I went with the shorter model. Without tracking pretty much any dob is simple with not much else to go wrong.



#6 ram812

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 11:48 PM

I grew up just south in Los Osos/ Morro Bay and Lake San-an-tone ( what we used to call it) has killer dark skies at most times of the year. We'd go there and Lake Naciemento for more dark skies ( And night striper fishing before it got polluted.) Lots of parking. Good times!
CS, Ralph

#7 a__l

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 01:46 PM

https://astromart.co...style-dobsonian

 

Read the paragraph:

Homecoming/Setup concerns/Troubleshooting

 

These are large telescopes. There may be problems installing ServoCat. These problems are easily fixed. There may be problems with the ServoCat itself. This is also easily fixed.
The problem with the mirror is a separate curious and controversial question, it goes beyond the discussion in this topic.



#8 gdjsky01

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Posted 05 March 2021 - 12:19 AM

https://astromart.co...style-dobsonian

 

Read the paragraph:

Homecoming/Setup concerns/Troubleshooting

 

These are large telescopes. There may be problems installing ServoCat. These problems are easily fixed. There may be problems with the ServoCat itself. This is also easily fixed.
The problem with the mirror is a separate curious and controversial question, it goes beyond the discussion in this topic.

 

I will simply say that I have higher expectations.

 

"People that pay a premium price for an item sold as a premium, functional, brand new item, with no other caveats, but instead get something that needs work to even function as designed, deserve to be serviced by the seller or compensated by such." Despite asking for either, I got neither. Telescope, car, appliance, home, whatever. I can not think of how one can argue with that. One can not 'easily' fix a design that has issues. Otherwise one would create their own. However not everyone can create a telescope, nor a car, nor an appliance, nor a home. That is why we rely on experts. frown.gif


Edited by gdjsky01, 05 March 2021 - 12:21 AM.

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#9 a__l

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Posted 05 March 2021 - 04:54 AM

In your case, the ServoCat and the telescope did not dock well. Products from different manufacturers. This happens often and there is no one to blame. Need someone else to solve the problem. In fact, limiting side slip is easy.



#10 nicknacknock

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Posted 05 March 2021 - 05:44 AM

I think what Jeff is trying to convey, is that he purchased the scope with the servocat system as one unit. Therefore he had reasonable expectation that the seller (Obsession Telescopes) would have ensured a good fit (docking well to use your wording).

 

While it may be easy to limit side slip, per your posts in the thread I linked to above, the point is that again, the buyer has reasonable expectation that no DIY / ATM projects would be necessary and that the scope as a unit (WITH the Servocat system) would perform.


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#11 starman876

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Posted 05 March 2021 - 08:43 AM

I run into these issues all time with contractors.  They will try to bid an a system with parts from different vendors to underbid the company who is supplying a system that they designed and built.  The result is normally a system that under performs.  While UC might build most of the scope the aftermarket parts it appears are not carefully intergrated into the scope structure and therefore have issues.  Sounds to me like the scope is a compromise  of what can be and not the ultimate design that performs like intented.  Normally engineering specifications dictate how something should be built, but sales and schedules dictate a few shortcuts that are needed to get the product out the door and ensure that a profit is made while keeping the cost attractive.


Edited by starman876, 05 March 2021 - 08:43 AM.

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#12 a__l

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Posted 05 March 2021 - 08:25 PM

no DIY / ATM projects would be necessary and that the scope as a unit (WITH the Servocat system) would perform.

It doesn't work that way. My example is ArgoNavis and ServoCat.
The problem started with incomprehensible positioning errors on objects for several nights on 24" scope. I eliminated several reasons, but errors remained. It took over three months.
As a result, the problem turned out to be in adding "ticks" of encoders.
Both Harry began to write that this was not his problem. Having understood the problem, it is already easier to solve it.

But the seller (telescope maker) doesn't have time to do that kind of work. He will go bankrupt.
Browsing CN, I saw the same problem with a 28" Webster owner from Australia.

Problems are always possible with large telescopes. These are rare telescopes from the seller.


Edited by a__l, 05 March 2021 - 09:05 PM.


#13 nicknacknock

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Posted 05 March 2021 - 10:39 PM

Well, I respectfully disagree and most people would on this issue, because the scope and servocat were purchased as one unit and the vendor should ensure they work together.

 

Never seen anybody walk into a car dealership and buy a car and an engine and try to make them work together, when the dealer advertises selling a car with  an engine already bolted in it and functional as expected...


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#14 turtle86

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Posted 05 March 2021 - 11:36 PM

Well, I respectfully disagree and most people would on this issue, because the scope and servocat were purchased as one unit and the vendor should ensure they work together.

 

Never seen anybody walk into a car dealership and buy a car and an engine and try to make them work together, when the dealer advertises selling a car with  an engine already bolted in it and functional as expected...

 

Very good point, especially since the scope in question costs almost as much as a new car! lol.gif


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#15 Kunama

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Posted 05 March 2021 - 11:40 PM

I think what Jeff is trying to convey, is that he purchased the scope with the servocat system as one unit. Therefore he had reasonable expectation that the seller (Obsession Telescopes) would have ensured a good fit (docking well to use your wording).

 

This seems like a logical and fair expectation, Obsession should sort this issue or stop offering the ServoCat as a fitment if they cannot make it work reliably.


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#16 Bob4BVM

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Posted 06 March 2021 - 01:02 AM

It doesn't work that way. My example is ArgoNavis and ServoCat.
The problem started with incomprehensible positioning errors on objects for several nights on 24" scope. I eliminated several reasons, but errors remained. It took over three months.
As a result, the problem turned out to be in adding "ticks" of encoders.
Both Harry began to write that this was not his problem. Having understood the problem, it is already easier to solve it.

But the seller (telescope maker) doesn't have time to do that kind of work. He will go bankrupt.
Browsing CN, I saw the same problem with a 28" Webster owner from Australia.

Problems are always possible with large telescopes. These are rare telescopes from the seller.

Wow, after 15 years building indus. control systems, and another 20 years selling same for the biggest names in the business, I never once encountered a customer with your low level of expectations ! Where were you all my life , I could have used a break once in a while !

:)  CS

Bob


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#17 CHASLX200

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Posted 06 March 2021 - 06:29 AM

The Argo Navis never worked on my new 15" Obsession. It was just the DSC's.  I liked the Sky commander much more on my Starmasters.


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#18 niallk

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Posted 06 March 2021 - 10:21 AM

Argo Navis + 10k encoders have worked impressively accurately on my 2015 15" Classic. I regularly aquire targets within the 100° afov at 240x... no need to change down magnification to aquire a new target.

#19 George N

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Posted 06 March 2021 - 11:46 AM

Argo Navis + 10k encoders have worked impressively accurately on my 2015 15" Classic. I regularly aquire targets within the 100° afov at 240x... no need to change down magnification to aquire a new target.

First -- glad to see this offer to see a 22UC - just wish it was 'post covid' - and a lot closer to me - since I've never seen a UC22 'in the wild'! However, my advice over the years has always been 'go to a big star party and check out the Dobs you are interested in' as better than reading any reviews. Until you've set up an Obsession 36 and climbed up that big ladder in the dark - you have no idea......  cool.gif

 

I've owned a DSC equipped Obsession 20 F/5 for like 18 years - and have used friends' Obsessions for years before. I also own an old Mountain Instruments MI-250 'PushTo' GEM with the same setup. Nearly all 'DSC fails' I've seen over the years ( including my own ) have resulted from a few easy-to-fix issues - the biggest being slipping encoders, something (shroud?, etc) pulling on the encoder, wrong setting in the unit, bad cables. I've never experienced an actual faulty encoder or DSC unit. Mine work 99% of the time - or more often.

 

The StellarCat systems that I've seen work very well - except when they don't - which is rare. The biggest 'negative' (beyond price and the install work) for me - living in the weedy East - is the issue with weeds and grass getting caught in the az drive - which will quickly destroy the precision ground board. I have one friend who always brings a gas-powered weedwhacker on his observing trips - to 'destroy' the weeds and grass on the spot his scope is going on. I've also seen people with plastic ground covers with small holes for the telescope 'feet' to go thru - all aimed at keeping weeds/grass out of the az drive.

 

One year at Stellafane a guy showed up at 6 PM on Friday with an Obsession 18UC --- still in the un-opened shipping boxes!! He was looking for set-up help. I ran for the food tent - but 2 or 3 brave souls opened the boxes and went to work - racing to beat the failing light - under a clear and beautiful sky. The only real 'issue' they had was - the StellarCat slewed/tracked backwards! A walk to one of the few spots there with decent cell service and a quick call to the maker of StellarCat resulted in finding some setting was reversed - and within a minute or two - the 'Cat' was slewing and tracking just fine. While I never did get over to look thru it people I consider advanced observers reported fine views.


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#20 CHASLX200

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Posted 06 March 2021 - 11:51 AM

Argo Navis + 10k encoders have worked impressively accurately on my 2015 15" Classic. I regularly aquire targets within the 100° afov at 240x... no need to change down magnification to aquire a new target.

Mine never worked and i never used it.



#21 a__l

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Posted 06 March 2021 - 03:10 PM

Wow, after 15 years building indus. control systems, and another 20 years selling same for the biggest names in the business, I never once encountered a customer with your low level of expectations ! Where were you all my life , I could have used a break once in a while !

smile.gif  CS

Bob

Have you noticed that owners with large dobsons are not responding to my post?
They have long wires. And the motors run at increased power. These wires must be correctly positioned. Power and signals separately. But on large dobsons it doesn't help. It also does not help with metal dobsons. Electromagnetic noise. When using one battery for ServoCat and ArgoNavis.
Garry (ArgoNavis) writes that ServoCat should filter the voltage better. It does not help.
Garry (ServoCat) writes that ArgoNavis should be better at filtering encoders signals. Ferrite helps this (10,000 tics encoders). But in the general case (on more precise encoders) this is not a solvable problem.
And the manufacturer of telescopes (for example Obsession, Webster and any other) have nothing to do with it.


Edited by a__l, 06 March 2021 - 03:31 PM.


#22 a__l

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Posted 06 March 2021 - 03:54 PM

http://darkskyobserv...m/ServoCAT.html

 

An example of when it was necessary to modify ServoCat and how much time the manufacturer spent on it.
I'm not sure if he solved the EMC problem. In any case, he does not write about it. It's like an extreme case.



#23 turtle86

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Posted 06 March 2021 - 04:39 PM

The Argo Navis never worked on my new 15" Obsession. It was just the DSC's.  I liked the Sky commander much more on my Starmasters.

 

+1  The Sky Commander just flat out works. I've had my 18" Starmaster for 16 years now and the Sky Commander (with Sky Tracker GOTO) has worked like a champ.  The only issues I've ever had were with a cable once going bad and the azimuth encoder slipping, which were very easy fixes.



#24 a__l

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Posted 06 March 2021 - 10:48 PM

Sky Commander has its own problems.



#25 CHASLX200

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Posted 07 March 2021 - 06:45 AM

Sky Commander has its own problems.

I guess they all do. But had many of them over the years and all worked fine for me.  Argo Navis never did work and then a Stellarcat with Agro Navis in another Obsession did not work right.




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