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SkyView Pro Mount Question



 
 
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  #1  
Old September 24th 04, 07:29 PM
Doink
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Default SkyView Pro Mount Question

Greetings all!

Has anyone ever actually used the setting circles on a Skyview Pro mount?
Can they be used to actually locate objects once set on a known? or, is
this a waste of time trying?

Doink


  #2  
Old September 24th 04, 09:23 PM
David Nakamoto
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Personally, I've not found any setting circles accurate enough to put an
object in the FOV of anything but the widest FOV telescopes. I don't expect
the ones on the Pro to be any different. Why they're still being supplied
on mounts is beyond me.
--
Yours Truly,
--- Dave

----------------------------------------------------------------------
'raid if you're afraid you'll have to overlook it.
Besides, you knew the job was dangerous when you took it.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
"Doink" wrote in message
...
Greetings all!

Has anyone ever actually used the setting circles on a Skyview Pro mount?
Can they be used to actually locate objects once set on a known? or, is
this a waste of time trying?

Doink



  #3  
Old September 24th 04, 11:36 PM
Doink
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Default

I don't expect miracles but can they at least assist? They seem a LOT
better than the circles on the CG-5 mount.

Doink


"David Nakamoto" wrote in message
news:an%4d.497$Wu1.38@trnddc02...
Personally, I've not found any setting circles accurate enough to put an
object in the FOV of anything but the widest FOV telescopes. I don't
expect the ones on the Pro to be any different. Why they're still being
supplied on mounts is beyond me.
--
Yours Truly,
--- Dave

----------------------------------------------------------------------
'raid if you're afraid you'll have to overlook it.
Besides, you knew the job was dangerous when you took it.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
"Doink" wrote in message
...
Greetings all!

Has anyone ever actually used the setting circles on a Skyview Pro mount?
Can they be used to actually locate objects once set on a known? or, is
this a waste of time trying?

Doink





  #4  
Old September 25th 04, 01:47 AM
Howard Lester
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"David Nakamoto" wrote

Personally, I've not found any setting circles accurate enough to put an
object in the FOV of anything but the widest FOV telescopes. I don't

expect
the ones on the Pro to be any different. Why they're still being supplied
on mounts is beyond me.


Dave, I'm surprised at you for saying that. My old Edmund mount with its
"useless circles" worked nicely for me. All I needed to do was find a nearby
bright star, set the circles to its coordinates, then move the mount's axes
to get the circles' pointers to match the desired object's coordinates
and... it's in the eyepiece! The telescope in question was a 6" f/8 - not
exactly set up for wide field.

Howard Lester




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  #5  
Old September 25th 04, 02:09 AM
Martin R. Howell
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On Fri, 24 Sep 2004 15:36:32 -0700, Doink wrote:

I don't expect miracles but can they at least assist? They seem a LOT
better than the circles on the CG-5 mount.

Doink



While I am not familiar with the mount in question (or the setting
circles), I would offer the following: I have a Meade 4500 Newtonian
reflector which comes with the very inexpensively made (from top to bottom
and the setting circles in between) mount and tripod. . .one of those cheap
extruded aluminum jobs.

But guess what. . .the circles do work. . .at least as well as could be
expected from an approximately two inch diameter right ascension and three
inch diameter declination circle. At this diameter, fine and accurate
scribing of minutes or degrees is not possible so the divisions between
them are large. Therefore, it takes the best guess-timate possible when
offsetting from the coordinates of a known star to the coordinates of the
sought after DSO. . .and practice here, while not making perfect, makes for
"good enough." Equipped with a 25mm EP, the 910mm focal length scope can
be directed with these toyish setting circles closely enough to the desired
faint object such that it can generally be swept up in less than a minute
of scanning after arriving at the dictated position.

Since my big scope (the 12.5 incher) is used on dark and moonless nights
where its ability to snare fainter galaxies is optimized, the Meade 4500
comes out when the moon is up and nearing full as it is now. It is outside
at this moment and ready to go. Before the night is over, its setting
circles most certainly wil be used to attempt to locate Uranus - which will
probably be unstarhoppable due to its anticipated proximity to the foiling
moon. Once I have Uranus in the field of view, an attempt will be made to
image it with a hand held digital camera.

Could I locate the planet without the circles? Maybe. But I enjoy using
this piece of equipment which many assume are unfunctionable and probably
see little use by the public. That is a shame if for no other reason than
the tremendous source of joy that arises from locating an object with
circles is never realized by many.

There you go, Doink. I hope you found something in my response which
addresses your concerns.

--
Martin
  #6  
Old September 25th 04, 02:22 AM
Doink
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Default

Hi Martin,

That's exactly the the information I was looking for. I would like to give
those SCs a try....thanks! GREAT post.

Doink (Chris)
"Martin R. Howell" wrote in message
.. .
On Fri, 24 Sep 2004 15:36:32 -0700, Doink wrote:

I don't expect miracles but can they at least assist? They seem a LOT
better than the circles on the CG-5 mount.

Doink



While I am not familiar with the mount in question (or the setting
circles), I would offer the following: I have a Meade 4500 Newtonian
reflector which comes with the very inexpensively made (from top to bottom
and the setting circles in between) mount and tripod. . .one of those
cheap
extruded aluminum jobs.

But guess what. . .the circles do work. . .at least as well as could be
expected from an approximately two inch diameter right ascension and three
inch diameter declination circle. At this diameter, fine and accurate
scribing of minutes or degrees is not possible so the divisions between
them are large. Therefore, it takes the best guess-timate possible when
offsetting from the coordinates of a known star to the coordinates of the
sought after DSO. . .and practice here, while not making perfect, makes
for
"good enough." Equipped with a 25mm EP, the 910mm focal length scope can
be directed with these toyish setting circles closely enough to the
desired
faint object such that it can generally be swept up in less than a minute
of scanning after arriving at the dictated position.

Since my big scope (the 12.5 incher) is used on dark and moonless nights
where its ability to snare fainter galaxies is optimized, the Meade 4500
comes out when the moon is up and nearing full as it is now. It is
outside
at this moment and ready to go. Before the night is over, its setting
circles most certainly wil be used to attempt to locate Uranus - which
will
probably be unstarhoppable due to its anticipated proximity to the foiling
moon. Once I have Uranus in the field of view, an attempt will be made to
image it with a hand held digital camera.

Could I locate the planet without the circles? Maybe. But I enjoy using
this piece of equipment which many assume are unfunctionable and probably
see little use by the public. That is a shame if for no other reason than
the tremendous source of joy that arises from locating an object with
circles is never realized by many.

There you go, Doink. I hope you found something in my response which
addresses your concerns.

--
Martin



  #7  
Old September 25th 04, 05:58 AM
David Knisely
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Default

Doink posted:

Has anyone ever actually used the setting circles on a Skyview Pro mount?
Can they be used to actually locate objects once set on a known? or, is
this a waste of time trying?


Yes, I have used them on my SkyView Pro 100 for low-power work (2+ degree
field of view), but they are somewhat hard to read due to their small size and
lack of any magnifier for the area around the index marker. Most decent
analog circles are over 4 inches in diameter and have verniers for finer
precision, but you won't find these on most mass-market scopes. With a good
polar alignment and some care in calibrating the circles, you may get to
within a degree of your target with the SkyView Pro's circles, but otherwise,
the circles are more window dressing than terribly useful. Clear skies to you.
--
David W. Knisely
Prairie Astronomy Club:
http://www.prairieastronomyclub.org
Hyde Memorial Observatory: http://www.hydeobservatory.info/

**********************************************
* Attend the 11th Annual NEBRASKA STAR PARTY *
* July 18-23, 2004, Merritt Reservoir *
* http://www.NebraskaStarParty.org *
**********************************************


  #8  
Old September 26th 04, 02:06 AM
Sketcher
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On Fri, 24 Sep 2004 11:29:18 -0700, "Doink"
wrote:

Has anyone ever actually used the setting circles on a Skyview Pro mount?
Can they be used to actually locate objects once set on a known? or, is
this a waste of time trying?


Mostly a waste of time . . . but read on:

I've not used the Skyview Pro mount, but I *have* used the smaller
diameter circles on a GP-DX mount:

After returning from a starparty (at a different latitude) I set up
the mount one evening and carefully re-aligned it using Polaris and
the built-in polar alignment scope. For subsequent observing sessions
I carefully set the mount and tripod up in the exact same location.
After leveling the tripod I can rest assured that the mount is polar
aligned "close enough" for my purposes.

One *day* quite recently I took the tripod and mount out, carefully
set it up at my normal spot, leveled the tripod and attached the
scope.

Using an objective solar filter and a low-power eyepiece I focused the
scope on the sun, compared the Dec. reading to the sun's actual
declination and adjusted the RA circle to read the correct value.
From there I shifted the scope in RA and Dec. to the proper values for
Mercury and removed the sun filter. Mercury was easily spotted in the
wide-field eyepiece. The magnification was gradually increased; and I
made a sketch of the innermost planet of our solar system.

The point of the above story: If it can be done with my smaller
circles it ought to be possible with the larger circles on the Skyview
Pro.

All this being said, I rarely use setting circles as an aid for
finding celestial objects. Most of the time the view in a finder can
be compared with the stars plotted on a suitable star atlas. It's
usually faster, easier, and more accurate for me to use a finder and
starcharts.

P.S. I've found (large) homemade setting circles on homemade alt-az
mounts to be easier to use accurately than most commercial circles on
equatorials. A programmable calculator can be used for coordinate
conversions. There's no need to 'polar align'. One simply levels the
tripod, points the scope at any known object, convert coordinates,
adjust the azimuth circle and you're set.

Before GoTo and before owning an equatorial I gained plenty of
experience in this area. I used my alt-az circles as a first step in
identifying unknown objects while comet hunting (before LINEAR, etc.).
Often it was still necessary to consult charts before I could be
absolutely certain of what I was pointed at.

The sky is full of faint fuzzies. I've seen telescopic fields that
had more than 10 deep sky objects in them. Very few analog setting
circles would be accurate enough to help in telling which DSO is
which; but a glance at an appropriate star chart would show the whole
DSO 'asterism' along with field stars.

In my opinion setting circles can be useful, but for most purposes
there are better ways of finding and identifying DSOs.

Sketcher
To sketch is to see.
  #9  
Old October 2nd 04, 06:17 AM
Martin R. Howell
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On Fri, 24 Sep 2004 11:29:18 -0700, Doink wrote:

Greetings all!

Has anyone ever actually used the setting circles on a Skyview Pro mount?
Can they be used to actually locate objects once set on a known? or, is
this a waste of time trying?

Doink



Doink,

I just came back in the house from successfully having used the little
"toy" setting circles on my Meade 4500. First I leveled the mount with a
bubble level. I did that this afternoon and it must have taken about 2
minutes maximum. Soon after dark I went out and turned the scope in
declination until that circle read ninety degrees. Then I fine tuned
Polaris into the field of view of the finderscope by adjusting the polar
axis angle by way of the adjusting bolt which raises or lowers this axis
and by turning the equatorial mount in its top of the tripod location.
Then I centered the scope on Markab in Andromeda and carefully entered its
r.a. numbers as best as I could guess-timate on the circle. Checking the
declination circle revealed it to be spot-on the area of 15 degrees, 12
minutes. Then I slowly turned the scope so that the coordinates of NGC752
(an open cluster in Andromeda) were read in declination and right
ascension. Looking through a 25mm eyepiece, I was so close to the object
that I located it in less than 30 seconds.

I had planned to try to scarf up M34 and M33 with the setting circles while
in the area but the moon had gained the upper hand. . .maybe tomorrow
night.

They work.



Regards,


Martin
  #10  
Old October 2nd 04, 08:12 AM
Martin R. Howell
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On Sat, 02 Oct 2004 05:17:47 GMT, Martin R. Howell wrote:



Then I centered the scope on Markab in Andromeda


I mean Pegasus.


Martin
 




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