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What will the new generation of classics be like

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#51 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 05:36 PM

1)  I am looking at joining a local astrophtography group.  I would be the OLDEST in the group at 58.  Just the opposite of what you mostly find today.

2)  Instant gratification.  Seems prevalent today and the live stacked images I get from my venerable Pentax 75EDHF in just 30 seconds are amazing.  See below.  And, I suck at imaging smile.gif

 

Steve   hey I have that Pentax    it is a classic     maybe a new topic is in order  i got that Revolution imager thing for safe outreach with Covid but I have not gotten around to it    quick question    what mount are you using with our classic Pentax  camera?



#52 Terra Nova

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 05:49 PM

I wonder if people will even look through telescopes in the future.

 

Maybe not.  There are already a growing % of CNers who rarely (if ever) actually look through a scope.  

 

Digital Imaging is the primary fad now -- relatively cheap & easy, with live or fast feedback; and as you've described, can be a group activity.  AND, even more important, can be done on a Smart Phone -- a very popular device, platform, and way of life for many under-30s.

 

Electronically Assisted Astronomy (EAA) is also growing in popularity, as gear prices come down while capabilities go up.  I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds interesting & promising -- even to an Old Guy.

 

WHY?

 

Lots of us urbanites, visually limited by light pollution, "stuck" with mostly lunar/planetary, and the brightest DSOs when we use our eyeballs.  I can see [pun intended] the attraction.  On one hand, kind of a downer for a culture on its way out; but, OTOH, at least some small % of younger folks at least want to look to the skies... 

 

So, current telescopes that are designed (or can be adapted to) function as electro-digital-optical systems, may be the highly desirable Classics 30 years from now.  Or, this digital mania is a fad, and folks will return to the I wanna see for myself!  paradigm.

EAA stacking cameras can easily be adapted to classic telescopes. You can easily get started with a turnkey system like the Revolution Imager which includes camera, small display screen, cables and a power source. Mallencam offers several nice options too, I put my own together with a Samsung SCB 2000 video camera with onboard stacking and a 1/3″ Super HAD CCD chip, a 0.5 focal reducer, a Diamond VC500 USB analog to digital capture device and my MacBook Air. Fast apos like my Genesis SDF, Vixen ED102SS, Vixen 120S, or my 6” F4.5 Newtonian work well mounted on the LX70 GEM with its dual drives. The only thing is that it’s so much stuff to drag out and drag back in and all that kind of destroys the experience for me. I’m lazy and like the KISS principle more and more the older I get. Now the image intensifier eyepieces are much more appealing. Just plug it into your focuser and look thru the eyepiece port. The only problem is that they cost as much as a premium apo or a used, nicely outfitted Questar. That’s too rich for my blood at this point.


Edited by Terra Nova, 01 January 2022 - 05:51 PM.

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#53 grif 678

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 05:50 PM

No way i will ever image with a scope. Just too much work and i don't even know how to take a pic of the moon or have anything to take pics. My point and shoot cam does not work with a scope.

Ditto


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#54 Steve_M_M

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 06:05 PM

EAA stacking cameras can easily be adapted to classic telescopes. You can easily get started with a turnkey system like the Revolution Imager which includes camera, small display screen, cables and a power source. Mallencam offers several nice options too, I put my own together with a Samsung SCB 2000 video camera with onboard stacking and a 1/3″ Super HAD CCD chip, a 0.5 focal reducer, a Diamond VC500 USB analog to digital capture device and my MacBook Air. Fast apos like my Genesis SDF, Vixen ED102SS, Vixen 120S, or my 6” F4.5 Newtonian work well mounted on the LX70 GEM with its dual drives. The only thing is that it’s so much stuff to drag out and drag back in and all that kind of destroys the experience for me. I’m lazy and like the KISS principle more and more the older I get. Now the image intensifier eyepieces are much more appealing. Just plug it into your focuser and look thru the eyepiece port. The only problem is that they cost as much as a premium apo or a used, nicely outfitted Questar. That’s too rich for my blood at this point.

That does sound like a lot.  Attached is a picture of what I bring out.  I slide this all onto the mount, plug the power into the ASIAIR, a wireless signal is generated and from there everything is through my phone.  Setup is about 1 minute after mount is set up.

 

With all that said, I still like KISS.  And taking my single axis RA drive Pentax out on it original mount with its fine .965" eyepieces is still a joy.  The Quantum Q6 fits more into the hassle category  smile.gif
 

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Edited by Steve_M_M, 01 January 2022 - 06:06 PM.

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#55 Bowlerhat

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 06:11 PM

I wonder if people will even look through telescopes in the future. 

Maybe not. I think the margin for visual is quite hard. You need large telescope to use it sufficiently if you live near the city, at least for visual. But then again even if you don't - how many are willing to haul them around? it can be a hassle to go to dark sites. Large scopes takes a lot of space, and expensive.  Astrophotography on the other hand is just a matter of exposure - it can be done even in the middle of the city, or everywhere pretty much. Even people are tapping into phone astrophotography.

For many of us here mostly we love oddballs, build quality and mechanics, but this doesn't really exist on modern scopes or just entirely different.


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#56 39cross

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 06:14 PM

My nominee for future classic is the Skywatcher 100ED and its cousins. Superior performance and good build quality at a popular price point. If we'd had this refractor back in the 60's or 70's instead of the ubiquitous 60mm's it would have been a different ballgame.
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#57 Bowlerhat

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 06:16 PM

 I will say that if you ask some of these people to point to polaris, the big dipper, the summer triangle, Arturus, or anywhere in the sky, many(or some) have no idea.  To me amateur astronomy is changing more than ever and that last part makes me sad.  It doesn't feel like real amateur astronomy.

I wonder if the shift in gears would shift the knowledge. But it would be concerning.


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#58 Steve_M_M

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 06:26 PM

1)  I am looking at joining a local astrophtography group.  I would be the OLDEST in the group at 58.  Just the opposite of what you mostly find today.

2)  Instant gratification.  Seems prevalent today and the live stacked images I get from my venerable Pentax 75EDHF in just 30 seconds are amazing.  See below.  And, I suck at imaging smile.gif

 

Steve   hey I have that Pentax    it is a classic     maybe a new topic is in order  i got that Revolution imager thing for safe outreach with Covid but I have not gotten around to it    quick question    what mount are you using with our classic Pentax  camera?
 

To answer you and bowlerhat I added a couple comments in the imaging with classics thread.


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#59 Bowlerhat

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 06:30 PM

To answer you and bowlerhat I added a couple comments in the imaging with classics thread.

I reckon with the way 75EDHF designed, since it was intended for photography it fits the bill nicely.


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#60 Matty S

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 07:10 PM

I reckon with the way 75EDHF designed, since it was intended for photography it fits the bill nicely.

It's a Pentax! They built clever optics for clever people (still do) and I would think they had an eye on future imaging - I mean, pics are their thing, right?

I await the day these guys emerge from the shadows again to offer some awesome new telescopic imaging gear. Probably won't happen in my lifetime but hey, I can dream, can't I?grin.gif


Edited by Matty S, 01 January 2022 - 07:10 PM.

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#61 Matty S

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 07:25 PM


 

Lots of us urbanites, visually limited by light pollution, "stuck" with mostly lunar/planetary, and the brightest DSOs when we use our eyeballs.  I can see [pun intended] the attraction.  On one hand, kind of a downer for a culture on its way out; but, OTOH, at least some small % of younger folks at least want to look to the skies... 

 

So, current telescopes that are designed (or can be adapted to) function as electro-digital-optical systems, may be the highly desirable Classics 30 years from now.

You're so right about everything classic and I respect your opinions dearly BUT I sooo hope you're wrong about that. I take the occasional, crappy snapshot through the lens of the moon or a bright planet to ooh and ahh the uninitiated on social media but to think of that as being all there is? I revel with starlight through the lenses right into my eyes - it's still as pure a magic as it was when I was a kid. Without that, I'm afraid I'm out and done, sell out and move on to... um... model shipbuilding, ya... idea.gif  or adult coloring books...?
 


Edited by Matty S, 01 January 2022 - 07:28 PM.

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#62 ccwemyss

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 10:06 PM

Reading what people write in the Finds thread, it seems that there are two nostalgia aspects at play in whether a classic is desirable. One is the, "I got back the scope I had as a kid," and the other is the "I finally got one of the scopes I always wanted as a kid." Taking "kid" broadly as, the early years of the person's life when they were into the hobby, but then either left it for a while, or stayed with it but not being in a situation to buy their dream scope. 

 

I wonder what today's younger generations are (a) getting as a starter scope and (b) dreaming of owning?

 

I'm guessing that (a) would be simple refractors, tabletop dobs, or small newts from Orion, Celestron, Svbony, Gskyer. Maybe the smaller Nexstar goto SCTs and Maks and their cousins?

 

Not sure about (b). A big truss-tube dob? An imaging APO? A bigger SCT or Mak?

 

Then there are some collectors, and the people who love to buy anything old and fix it up. I suspect such people will also be involved.

 

The avid maker community is demonstrating that there is still as desire to build and tinker. I know a lot of young people who are into 3D printing, and I see that as gateway drug into CNC machining, once the limitations of thermal plastics become frustrating. 

 

Chip W. 


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#63 oldmanastro

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 11:19 PM

But isn’t the whole back end of it plastic? And that flip mirror could be a weak point over the years. I wouldn’t count on it being operational in thirty years if it’s not well cared for.

My ETX90 EC just turned 20 last month. The flip mirror is just fine and works very well. If the flip mirror fails there's also the availability of a visual back that can be fitted in the axial port. It allows the use of a a good diagonal and collimation doesn't suffer at all. The plastic back will last a long time if it is well taken care of. I see a lot of the ETXs reaching their 30th anniversary in excellent shape except for the finder. By that time many people will have added a better finder to the little telescope. Some earlier model ETX90 telescopes have already attained classic status. Tube assemblies will survive longer than the plastic fork mounts.


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#64 RichA

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Posted 02 January 2022 - 02:09 AM

Last non newer GO-TO mount was the Meade LX75 i think it was called i got around 3 years ago.  But in the bigger sizes i think only the G11 you can buy non GO-TO. I think it was a LX70.

 

 

It will be the same thing we are going, only difference is the scopes will

be newer.

Astronomy's new telescope collectors will get to do a lot of wood working

restoring dobs this time around, and electronics too repairing control boards

and doing work arounds to keep electronics functioning.

It's just the same thing we are doing, having fun doing the best we can.

 

Robert

Would that control boards were all discrete analog components with through-hole connections.  There are people who repair surface mount, at a cost, but no one can replace customized rom chips and other proprietary components (like cheap plastic gearing in certain spots) which some scopes have, like LX200's.  Once they go, it'll be very hard to keep them running.  The lucky ones will still function as manual push-to-object scopes, but there have been some, heavily elctronicized like Meade's 400 SCTs, I suspect tube assemblies may be taken from non-working fork mounts and put on newer German mounts.



#65 John Higbee

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Posted 02 January 2022 - 07:39 AM

My ETX90 EC just turned 20 last month. The flip mirror is just fine and works very well. If the flip mirror fails there's also the availability of a visual back that can be fitted in the axial port. It allows the use of a a good diagonal and collimation doesn't suffer at all. The plastic back will last a long time if it is well taken care of. I see a lot of the ETXs reaching their 30th anniversary in excellent shape except for the finder. By that time many people will have added a better finder to the little telescope. Some earlier model ETX90 telescopes have already attained classic status. Tube assemblies will survive longer than the plastic fork mounts.

Agree.  Modified my ETX125PE (the one with the aluminum forks) to substitute a zero-power laser sight for the "true north" module...works like a champ.  Have had no problem with the flip mirror, since I leave it in the "non-axial" position.

 

With no desire to re-ignite the "tastes great...less filling" argument over Questar vs ETX 90/105/125, I'll observe that the OTAs for those ETXs are worthy of classics status, based on their superb optics alone. 

 

When the fork mount for my 125 fails, I'll remount the OTA onto a modern GEM.

 

John  


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#66 Terra Nova

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Posted 02 January 2022 - 08:18 AM

I don’t think anyone is disputing the fact that ETXs have attained classic status, they definitely have and they still have a strong following and are noted to generally have very good optics. But I thought that the original topic, and granted this thread has gone far afield of the original topic at several junctures, but I thought the OP posed the question as to what telescopes of current or nearly current manufacture will become the classics in generations to come. In other words, what scopes are going to hold up, be in use, and be sought after when they are fifty or sixty years old (the age of many of our current classics). The point that I was making about the ETX as opposed to something like a Questar or Quantum, is that they have so much integrated electronics and so much plastic that I can’t see them holding up. The software will be obsolete and no longer supported, the circuit boards may be burned out and ICs not replaceable, and I wouldn’t have a lot of faith in the plastic parts, housings, forks, etc. when they have been around for that long. The Questars and Quantums (and I’m NOT getting into a price argument here as that’s irrelevant to the question) are made of metal and glass almost entirely, the drives are simple and not go-to, and I think the possibility of service and parts in the future is better, (face it, Meade’s future is in serious doubt). Yes, the point is well taken that the ETX can be deforked, and that it can work with a separate diagonal attached to the axial port, but those transformations take almost everything away from the original design concept as a standalone ‘mini-observatory’. There are lots of small Maks available as OTAs with good optics and that are cheap. Synta makes most of them. We have already acknowledged that they will likely become tomorrow’s classics. The old ETX optical tubes will simply assimilate into that population. They will have lost their distinctive character based on their original design concept. That was my point. And, I think over time, owing to the big plastic rear end of the ETXs, that when the flip mirrors cease to work, and problems arise with focusing and collimation as they surely will, owing to the plastic), those old ETX optical tubes will become less and less desirable and most will probably cease to exist.


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#67 Matty S

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Posted 02 January 2022 - 10:04 AM

 problems arise with focusing and collimation as they surely will, owing to the plastic), those old ETX optical tubes will become less and less desirable and most will probably cease to exist.

Truth there. My ST80 has a plastic lens cell and will, I'm sure, eventually succumb to time as well. I'll enjoy it while it lasts and seek out a metal cell (ED?) version in the meantime.grin.gif



#68 Terra Nova

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Posted 02 January 2022 - 10:17 AM

Truth there. My ST80 has a plastic lens cell and will, I'm sure, eventually succumb to time as well. I'll enjoy it while it lasts and seek out a metal cell (ED?) version in the meantime.grin.gif

I’m not aware of an 80mm F5 with ED glass. A metal cell would probably not be hard to come by. You might have to cannibalize another Synta scope to get one tho. I think the tubes would be the same diameter, if you could find a beater Synta (or Vixen) 80x900mm you might wind up with a collimatible cell.


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#69 clamchip

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Posted 02 January 2022 - 11:25 AM

A problem keeping the modern boards working is micro electronics.

I've been building radios and other neat things since the dawn of the transistor

but these "micro" components are almost beyond my abilities.

Here's one for a Meade LX200GPS sensor board, try replacing these.

Robert

 

post-50896-0-88176200-1519423874_thumb.jpg


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#70 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 02 January 2022 - 12:12 PM

Like the older and more economical Towas of the 1950s and 60s, I can see the also economical Chinese refractors becoming classics. The 4.7" and 6" f/8 models will probably reach that status as well as the 4.7" f/5 (120ST). The Synta Maks are on the list too. Like many of us, a lot of people started with more economical scopes like these Syntas. Even if they end up owning APs or Televue scopes, nostalgia will bring them back to the old Syntas just like it did to us and our old Towas.

 

:waytogo:

 

The scopes I think of as classics are the RV-6's, the 60 mm and 76 mm F/11-F/16 refractors and similar, everyday scopes, the scopes people owned and used, not the scopes people lusted after.

 

Today such scopes would be the achromats and ED's, the Maks and the SCTs, even the commercial Dobs. Despite the fact that I do most of my observing with Dobs, have a hard accepting them as classics.

 

My 10 inch GSO is now 20 years old, I've had it for 19 years..5 more years and it qualifies as a classic.

 

Jon


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#71 Terra Nova

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Posted 02 January 2022 - 02:05 PM

EAA stacking cameras can easily be adapted to classic telescopes. I put my own together with a Samsung SCB 2000 video camera with onboard stacking and a 1/3″ Super HAD CCD chip, a 0.5 focal reducer, a Diamond VC500 USB analog to digital capture device and my MacBook Air.  

 

That does sound like a lot.  Attached is a picture of what I bring out.  I slide this all onto the mount, plug the power into the ASIAIR, a wireless signal is generated and from there everything is through my phone.  Setup is about 1 minute after mount is set up.

Hi Steve, nice looking setup. For me when I add a telescope and a tracking mount to all the electronic/video components, It is a lot! That’s what dissuades me from setting it all for for an hour or two’s observation. Even with a smallish telescope it’s still a lot of stuff to drag out, plug in, un plug it all and drag it back inside. Especially since when I view from home, nine times out of ten, I’m by myself, and usually when I’m with others, I’m at a dark site and would rather be viewing than playing with electronics. It is fun when others do come over to watch a lunar eclipse or have a ‘moon party’. Then I even bring out the big heavy monitor set up lieu of the laptop. The last time that happened was in April of 2020 when I had my Questar set up for video of the moon. The camera was an old AVA Planetcam.

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#72 Terra Nova

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Posted 02 January 2022 - 02:12 PM

It is fun for the moon tho with a group of people. Hopes when the pandemic is over there can be more of it.

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#73 ccwemyss

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Posted 02 January 2022 - 02:16 PM

 I think over time, owing to the big plastic rear end of the ETXs, that when the flip mirrors cease to work, and problems arise with focusing and collimation as they surely will, owing to the plastic), those old ETX optical tubes will become less and less desirable and most will probably cease to exist.

I agree that the plastic scopes will not stand up as well as the metal ones. But don't discount the ingenuity of determined people. I had a student build a 3D scanner in one of my classes so he could duplicate objects with a 3D printer. Another developed his own goto system for a 4" newtonian he had. Think of what some people here have done to resurrect trash can finds. If someone finds an ETX out by a dumpster, or on Freecycle, and learns about how good the optics are, they may also invest that kind of energy to print up replacement plastic parts. 

 

As far as dead electronics go, most people in the maker community would scrap them and start over. You can't replace proprietary ROMs or discontinued chips, but there are newer devices that are more capable and easier to work with. I have an Arduino Nano 33 BLE Sense that has a built in gyro, accelerometer, compass, temperature sensor, pressure sensor, light sensor, microphone, Bluetooth, BLE, and USB, with multiple analog to digital inputs and enough digital I/Os to control several motors, read a keyboard, and drive a display. It's less than 1" by 2", has a full 32-bit ARM processor with floating point and a good amount of flash and RAM memory, and runs on milliwatts. More than enough to replace a dead goto system.

 

Once someone works out software and a circuit board design for fixing up a dead scope, and posts it on the net, others will be able to copy it and/or adapt it to other scopes. You may be surprised to see how long a plastic classic can be kept working. What I don't think we'll see is the kind of restoration to factory new condition that people try to achieve with simpler scopes made from more durable materials. 

 

Chip W.


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#74 Terra Nova

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Posted 02 January 2022 - 02:27 PM

Time will tell. I still have a big collection of movies on VHS cassettes and I still watch them. I even have a fairly ‘new’ low use VCR put up for when my regular one craps out. They aren’t making anymore of them.


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#75 Kasmos

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Posted 02 January 2022 - 02:57 PM

I agree that the plastic scopes will not stand up as well as the metal ones. But don't discount the ingenuity of determined people. I had a student build a 3D scanner in one of my classes so he could duplicate objects with a 3D printer. Another developed his own goto system for a 4" newtonian he had. Think of what some people here have done to resurrect trash can finds. If someone finds an ETX out by a dumpster, or on Freecycle, and learns about how good the optics are, they may also invest that kind of energy to print up replacement plastic parts. 

 

As far as dead electronics go, most people in the maker community would scrap them and start over. You can't replace proprietary ROMs or discontinued chips, but there are newer devices that are more capable and easier to work with. I have an Arduino Nano 33 BLE Sense that has a built in gyro, accelerometer, compass, temperature sensor, pressure sensor, light sensor, microphone, Bluetooth, BLE, and USB, with multiple analog to digital inputs and enough digital I/Os to control several motors, read a keyboard, and drive a display. It's less than 1" by 2", has a full 32-bit ARM processor with floating point and a good amount of flash and RAM memory, and runs on milliwatts. More than enough to replace a dead goto system.

 

Once someone works out software and a circuit board design for fixing up a dead scope, and posts it on the net, others will be able to copy it and/or adapt it to other scopes. You may be surprised to see how long a plastic classic can be kept working. What I don't think we'll see is the kind of restoration to factory new condition that people try to achieve with simpler scopes made from more durable materials. 

 

Chip W.

From a numbers position I think that will be more of an exception and not the rule.

 

As for the last sentence it seems like more people are already moving away from this. As in using classic OTAs with other updates on modern mounts. An example would be the orange C8s. There appears to be a ton of them out there, but at the rate they are being deforked, one day finding one on it's original mount will be rare. The same could be said of old GEM Newts being coverted to Dobs.


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