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Transforming classic Dob. To tracking telescope?

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#1 MaximusStarHunter

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Posted 24 May 2024 - 09:21 PM

I have an 8” classic dobsonian telescope from Skywatcher’s classic collection. I got it because of it’s cheapness, but am now wanting some more out of it. Would I be able to turn this into a tracking telescope? If so, how would I do it for as non-expensive as possible?

 

Thanks, Maximus



#2 therealdmt

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Posted 24 May 2024 - 10:25 PM

If you’re handy, have tools and maybe some bits and bobs already on hand, and have a bit of an engineering inclination, you could build your own equatorial platform. Otherwise, you could look for a used one. Equatorial platforms are designed to work for a specific latitude, so if you go for a used one, make sure it’s not for a different latitude than where you’ll be observing from


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#3 JohnBear

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Posted 24 May 2024 - 10:58 PM

You may want to look into converting you Dob into a "Push-To" telescope just by adding a 'setting circle' to the base. it is fairly easy to do, doesn't cost much to do (and can also be a FUN DIY project). Juts point the scope to the the specific AZ coordinantes of your target using the setting circle and then adjust your elevation using an inexpensive digital angle gauge (aka Wixie) mounted on the OTA. Its almost as accurate as using a expensive Goto scope - but you do still have to manually track the target as the Earth rotates.  Any astronomy app gives you the coordinates needed for  Push-to. This approach also helps you understand a lot more about the real science of astronomy than the expensive and seemingly magical computerized goto systems.

 

There are a lot of helpful forum topics on making Push-To Dobs. 

 


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#4 ShaulaB

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Posted 25 May 2024 - 12:55 AM

but am now wanting some more out of it.

With practice, people are able to star hop to hundreds of deep sky objects. Working on Astronomical League observing programs, like the Messier list, help people become proficient at star hopping.  Here is a list of AL programs. https://www.astrolea...beticobserving/

 

An 8 inch scope can fit into most vehicles. Driving to safe darker skies is a great way to find and observe fainter objects.


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#5 sevenofnine

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Posted 25 May 2024 - 06:42 PM

From other forum discussions on equatorial platforms, they are really for more expensive Dobs where cost is not an issue. For the rest of us moneyeyes.gif it's more realistic to sell the Classic version and move up to this if finding and tracking is what you want:

 

https://www.skywatch...be-200p-synscan.


Edited by sevenofnine, 25 May 2024 - 06:43 PM.


#6 kfiscus

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Posted 25 May 2024 - 08:03 PM

From other forum discussions on equatorial platforms, they are really for more expensive Dobs where cost is not an issue. For the rest of us moneyeyes.gif it's more realistic to sell the Classic version and move up to this if finding and tracking is what you want:

 

https://www.skywatch...be-200p-synscan.

I respectfully disagree.  Although EQ platforms aren't cheap, a good one can drive different rigs.  I have a large EQ platform that has tracked for everything, a 16-inch dob, an Astroscan, and a small tripod holding a PST.


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#7 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 25 May 2024 - 08:05 PM

From other forum discussions on equatorial platforms, they are really for more expensive Dobs where cost is not an issue. For the rest of us moneyeyes.gif it's more realistic to sell the Classic version and move up to this if finding and tracking is what you want:

 

https://www.skywatch...be-200p-synscan.

 

Equatorial platforms are commonly built in home workshops and are quite inexpensive. 

 

Ed Jones provided this tutorial on building your own platform;

 

https://opticaleds.c...rial-platforms/

 

He also builds platforms though the wait list is sometimes quite long.

 

https://opticaleds.c...orms/platforms/

 

Jon


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#8 Marty0750

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 07:22 AM

You may want to look into converting you Dob into a "Push-To" telescope just by adding a 'setting circle' to the base. it is fairly easy to do, doesn't cost much to do (and can also be a FUN DIY project). Juts point the scope to the the specific AZ coordinantes of your target using the setting circle and then adjust your elevation using an inexpensive digital angle gauge (aka Wixie) mounted on the OTA. Its almost as accurate as using a expensive Goto scope - but you do still have to manually track the target as the Earth rotates.  Any astronomy app gives you the coordinates needed for  Push-to. This approach also helps you understand a lot more about the real science of astronomy than the expensive and seemingly magical computerized goto systems.

 

There are a lot of helpful forum topics on making Push-To Dobs. 

 

It's the method I use. After a bit of practice you can indeed beat a goto in many instances, and you do not even need to add or use setting circles.



#9 Keith Rivich

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 06:18 PM

I respectfully disagree.  Although EQ platforms aren't cheap, a good one can drive different rigs.  I have a large EQ platform that has tracked for everything, a 16-inch dob, an Astroscan, and a small tripod holding a PST.

Yea. My 25 year old wood Equatorial Platform has held all my scopes from the 8" to the 18". I bought it used for next to nothing but it was little money well spent. 

 

Adding a platform to your scope is a fantastic idea. No modifications other then how you want to attach the rocker to the platform. For me the platform takes the place of the ground board, easy peasy. And the platform allows you to move and star hop just like before with the added benefit you can go get that cup of coffee without losing whatever you are looking at. 


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#10 MaximusStarHunter

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 08:37 PM

Thank you for these responses. Do you have any suggestions of good, least expensive tracking equitoral mounts that would work for my heavy dobsonian.



#11 Keith Rivich

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 10:57 PM

Thank you for these responses. Do you have any suggestions of good, least expensive tracking equitoral mounts that would work for my heavy dobsonian.

I don't have any suggestions for a "least expensive" platform. Just keep your eyes open and check the classifieds regularly. 


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#12 kfiscus

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Posted 28 May 2024 - 08:13 AM

I don't have any suggestions for a "least expensive" platform. Just keep your eyes open and check the classifieds regularly. 

 I've bought two used EQ platforms on the CN classifieds over the years.  You have to LIVE there to get one when it pops up.  They sell within hours.  Your concerns are latitude it was built for (plus or minus 5 degrees latitude is preferable), weight capacity, condition, price, and shipping.  I'm fortunate to live at 43.6 and found my two used ones that were built for 45 degrees.  I was able to drive to pick one up, saving a lot of money on freight.

 

Good luck.


Edited by kfiscus, 28 May 2024 - 08:13 AM.

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#13 jrussell

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Posted 28 May 2024 - 09:44 AM

If you're a DIYer up in the ATM forum there's at least a couple of threads on building a hiss drive. It's a plywood platform that uses a bicycle tube that as it deflates rotates the platform. I've been thinking of building one just for the uniqueness of it.


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#14 yong ho jang

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Posted 29 May 2024 - 09:16 PM

I have an 8” classic dobsonian telescope from Skywatcher’s classic collection. I got it because of it’s cheapness, but am now wanting some more out of it. Would I be able to turn this into a tracking telescope? If so, how would I do it for as non-expensive as possible?

 

Thanks, Maximus

If you simply want an easy way to find stars, purchasing the Celestron StarSense adapter and code would be the cheapest option. You can buy the parts you need second-hand or purchase the cheapest StarSense telescope and use only the necessary parts.

 

Another method is to buy or build an equatorial platform. In South Korea, where I live, there are no people making these, so I had to make one myself. There are also methods on YouTube showing how to make one for $100. An equatorial platform can track objects.

 

Therefore, if you have a StarSense adapter and an equatorial platform, you can try many interesting things.

 

That is the same method shown in the photo below. To reduce curve, I attached an auxiliary battery, which also charges your phone, helping you observe for a longer period.

 

Buying an astroid is also a good option, but it is more expensive than you might think.

 

This would be the most economical option.

 

gallery_492317_26434_40295.jpg

 

This is not a method I use anymore, because the Push-To function of SharpCap Pro replaces it.

It is because this method finds targets more accurately when taking photos.

 

I will leave you a YouTube link that might be helpful. It is a video on how to make an equatorial platform for 90 dollars. I found it very interesting, and I think it will be helpful for you as well.

https://youtu.be/Q6o...7VVZ1xk9eJurPH6


Edited by yong ho jang, 29 May 2024 - 09:18 PM.

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