Digital Setting Circles

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Bruce D
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Digital Setting Circles

Unread post by Bruce D » Fri Sep 04, 2020 12:23 pm

I have a dob I'd like to use more often than i do, problem is I've never got the hang of star hopping and i figure DSC is the solution. Anyone have any experience with them you want to share? Preferred brands, and/or models to avoid?
Bruce D
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Paul D
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Re: Digital Setting Circles

Unread post by Paul D » Sat Sep 05, 2020 10:42 am

Bruce on my 16" I use the Nexus DSC. There is no better DSC system out there right now. https://www.astrodevices.com/Products/N ... index.html I was using the Sky Commander XP4 system and it was a great system. Its what Andy uses on his 18". We did a side by side comparison at Stellafane last year and they both performed great. The Nexus has greater options to find objects and a much larger catalog of objects and also tells you exactly what you are looking at. https://www.astrodevices.com/Products/N ... index.html It also is its own WiFi hotspot so if you are using a tablet or computer programs like Cart du Ceil you can actually use the program to tell the Nexus what object you want to find. I have to say its really an incredible DSC its not cheap.

I bought all my encoders and hardware https://www.astrosystems.biz/dsc.htm I would suggest getting the 32,000 step encoders they allow greater accuracy and less chance of slippage, not that I ever had a slippage problem. If you move your scope to quickly with lower step encoders slippage could happen.

Here is also a YouTube video created by Serge who is a real character. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVBjbuJgbn8 I bought my Nexus from Cloudy Nights and I had a question about it. So on the support page on the Astro Devices website it ask for your email and phone number. Well Serge called me from where he lives in Australia and proceeded to not only help me understand what I was doing wrong but then talked to me for over 40 minutes on his dime.

Installing Encoders and hardware is straight forward and pretty easy to do.
Paul...

16" f/5 Night Sky Truss (Midnight Mistress)
10" f/5 Home built Dob with Parks mirror.
Pre-Meade PST
Celestron Skymaster Binos 25-125x80
Meade Travelview Binos 10x50

See that 16" in the sleek black dress? She is all mine. :)
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mark.m
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Re: Digital Setting Circles

Unread post by mark.m » Sat Sep 05, 2020 11:21 am

Bruce:
Many years ago I shifted from using my Dob with star-hopping to using it with a first-generation Meade Magellan 1 DSC (4,096-tick encoders). The transition to the DSC completely changed the experience of using the telescope. Completely! I had previously spent 2/3 of my time finding things and 1/3 observing. That changed to 1/10 finding and 9/10 observing. The improvement was particularly dramatic when the moon was out, because star-hopping is harder when there are fewer stars to see.

The original Magellan 1 software sucked, and I replaced it with some home-brewed software that understood how to use multiple stars to build a proper alignment model. With a good alignment model, the 4,096 encoders were easily enough to put every object into a 3/4-degree FOV eyepiece.

I encourage you to make the upgrade!

- Mark
Mark M
Portsmouth, RI
10" Meade SCT
SBIG ST-9E
GM2000 (10Micron)
American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) observer code: MMU
Bruce D
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Re: Digital Setting Circles

Unread post by Bruce D » Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:51 am

Thanks guys, I plan to get something- a lot of items are out of stock at the moment
Bruce D
Bruce D
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Re: Digital Setting Circles

Unread post by Bruce D » Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:48 pm

Looks like i already have encoders, I'll have to rummage around and see what else i have...
20200917_181104.jpg
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Bruce D
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Paul D
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Re: Digital Setting Circles

Unread post by Paul D » Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:04 am

Bruce if its an older dob you might want to replace them with higher steps. You can see how many steps the encoders are by looking on the encoder its self. I would say the one you have are probably 4000 steps. This is where I bought my encoders from. I would do nothing lower than 10,000 steps. Most new DSC systems will not run accurately with less than 10,000 steps. http://www.webstertelescopes.com/TELESCOPE_ENCODERS.htm I like these because the pins are recessed and there is very little chance they will bend or break. I have since upgraded to 38,000 steps because they were offered to me for a price I couldn't refuse.
Paul...

16" f/5 Night Sky Truss (Midnight Mistress)
10" f/5 Home built Dob with Parks mirror.
Pre-Meade PST
Celestron Skymaster Binos 25-125x80
Meade Travelview Binos 10x50

See that 16" in the sleek black dress? She is all mine. :)
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Paul D
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Re: Digital Setting Circles

Unread post by Paul D » Mon Sep 21, 2020 11:24 pm

Bruce, along with the one that is mounted on your ground board you should also have another longer one that mounts to your rocker box.

Image20170906_101142 by kyphoron, on Flickr

Also if you are going to order one I would do it now, most sites are saying a 6 month wait time on a lot of products due to the pandemic and China not producing goods.
Paul...

16" f/5 Night Sky Truss (Midnight Mistress)
10" f/5 Home built Dob with Parks mirror.
Pre-Meade PST
Celestron Skymaster Binos 25-125x80
Meade Travelview Binos 10x50

See that 16" in the sleek black dress? She is all mine. :)
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bluemax
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Re: Digital Setting Circles

Unread post by bluemax » Thu Sep 24, 2020 4:04 pm

Bruce, I also have the 4096 encoders with Sky Commander (not to be confused with Commander Cosmos) on my Weedwacker 12" Dob and it they pretty good.
Frank N

12.5" F5 single arm Dob

"I'm a seeker too. But my dreams aren't like yours. I can't help thinking that somewhere in the universe there has to be something better than man. Has to be"

Taylor in "Planet of the Apes" 1968
Bruce D
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Re: Digital Setting Circles

Unread post by Bruce D » Thu Sep 24, 2020 7:58 pm

Frank that sounds perfect. With the wide fov these big dobs have i don't need sub arc-minute accuracy. If i don't have all the parts maybe I'll check the 2nd hand market. Or the Gary Hand market LOL!
Bruce D
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bluemax
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Re: Digital Setting Circles

Unread post by bluemax » Fri Sep 25, 2020 6:01 am

Sky Commander (www.skyeng.com) has them for $75 each as well as mounting hardware. That's where I got mine years ago.
Also you could try http://www.webstertelescopes.com/TELESCOPE_ENCODERS.htm
Frank N

12.5" F5 single arm Dob

"I'm a seeker too. But my dreams aren't like yours. I can't help thinking that somewhere in the universe there has to be something better than man. Has to be"

Taylor in "Planet of the Apes" 1968
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