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Telescope Advice

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  • Bill Davis Jr
    Hello to all, I have been to a couple of Delmavra Stargazers meetings and I like to the few Programs that have been proposed in the Emails I have read. About a
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 29, 2004
      Hello to all,

      I have been to a couple of Delmavra Stargazers meetings and I like to the few Programs that have been proposed in the Emails I have read.

      About a year and a half ago I purchased my first real telescope. It was a Meade LXD55 10" Schmidt-Newtonian. This telescope included a Autostar controller for GOTO capability.

      This telescope, after which I purchased, I found out is prone to be problematic. Mainly on the Mount side and not some much as the Optics. There are two options to correct this. One is to have the mount sent out to a company to do what in known as a "Hypertune" to the mount. Where as the mount is completely striped down, removal of the factory grease, all gears are sanded down and polished and then re-greased for reassmebly. Or the other option is a DIY Hypertune. I choose to do the DIY Hypertune.

      Also one of the procedures of the Hypertune is to replace a set of Set Screws on the gears and motor that drive the R.A. and DEC. These are where the problems are. There is a Brass and Aluminium gear that is held on to the motor with a Set Screw. This Set Screw is known to come loose. There are four set screws 2 for the R.A. and 2 for the DEC. Three of which I could only replace. So I had to ship the motor out in it housing to have the set screw replaced.

      On the motor is attached the Encoder wheel that drives the GOTO. This part is very thin and very fragile. Somehow either during my packaging or during shipment this Encoder Wheel became severely damaged. From what I understand almost to a point where my GOTO telescope has now become a Push-To. These Encoder wheels are also Very hard to find.

      I have now come to point of making a decision. Still being relativity new to Armature Astronomy I liked the capability of the GOTO telescope. But this makes the opportunity of learning to Star Hop.

      What would you do?

      Thank You,

      Bill
    • marc feuerberg
      Bill - most people that stay in amateur astronomy for any length of time will tend to use go-to scopes as a shortcut to allow them to spend more time at the
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 30, 2004
        Bill - most people that stay in amateur astronomy for
        any length of time will tend to use go-to scopes as a
        shortcut to allow them to spend more time at the
        eyepiece. But they do this after gaining the
        experience from not using a go-to. For people new to
        the hobby, go-to scopes can really be a hindrance,
        rather than a help. By using go-to right from the
        beginning you are really denying yourself a big part
        of the enjoyment in astronomy. The first few months
        are great, you get to see lots of objects, and you
        have great gadgetry to tinker around with. But can
        you tell the difference between any globular clusters?
        See, when you find one on your own, you tend to stay
        on it and enjoy it a bit. With go-to, you tend to
        race around to the biggest and brightest objects.
        That gets dull pretty fast, whereas without go-to, you
        get the satisfaction of finding an object, which
        doesn't sound like a big deal when I'm here typing
        about it, but when it happens out in the field, just
        you and your scope, it is immensely rewarding. Bob
        Bungy has written the best, in my opinion, discussion
        of this go-to vs no go-to question, and I wish I could
        point you to that, but I can't remember where/when he
        posted it.

        Anyway, I speak this from direct experience, my first
        scope was a LX-90, nice scope, but I had a hard time
        maintaining my enthusiasm after about a year. Then I
        got a little 5inch refractor with no go-to
        functionality, more as a grab and go at the time, and
        I started having a blast. The LX-90 promptly started
        collecting dust, and was sold 3 months later.

        So back to you, my advice to you is to pick-up a
        different scope, put the LXD-55 aside for a while.
        And it doesn't take much, a little scope works great.
        I often recommend to newbies the Celestron 4 inch
        refractor, but on an alt/az mount - rather than the eq
        one that comes standard. Put a good finder on it,
        along with a red dot finder or telrad, get some good
        charts, and you're guaranteed to have a good time.

        And part and parcel of finding objects on your own is
        the pleasure of logging them. Lot's of newbies avoid
        this because it sounds overwhelming. But again, it
        adds to the overall level of enjoyment because you get
        to see your progress. Also, having a list of targets
        in hand when you begin an observing session makes a
        big difference. Doesn't mean you can't just fool
        around and look at what you want, but it does give you
        some structure. Lastly, in addition to keeping an
        object log, I now keep an observing diary, thanks to
        the good advice of others on this email group, and I'm
        really excited about being able to look back and see
        who I was with, and what was going on, and all the
        other little important details of an observing session
        that make it special but don't get recorded in the
        object log. Thanks you guys, great idea!

        So that's my advice, don't agonize over the gadgetry,
        or sending your scope to get hypertuned, or whatever.
        Pursue a path that allows you to enjoy astronomy.
        Equipment should empower your puruit, not obstruct it.
        marc


        --- Bill Davis Jr <bdj470@...> wrote:

        > Hello to all,
        >
        > I have been to a couple of Delmavra Stargazers
        > meetings and I like to the
        > few Programs that have been proposed in the Emails I
        > have read.
        >
        > About a year and a half ago I purchased my first
        > real telescope. It was a
        > Meade LXD55 10" Schmidt-Newtonian. This telescope
        > included a Autostar
        > controller for GOTO capability.
        >
        > This telescope, after which I purchased, I found out
        > is prone to be
        > problematic. Mainly on the Mount side and not some
        > much as the Optics.
        > There are two options to correct this. One is to
        > have the mount sent out to
        > a company to do what in known as a "Hypertune" to
        > the mount. Where as the
        > mount is completely striped down, removal of the
        > factory grease, all gears
        > are sanded down and polished and then re-greased for
        > reassmebly. Or the
        > other option is a DIY Hypertune. I choose to do the
        > DIY Hypertune.
        >
        > Also one of the procedures of the Hypertune is to
        > replace a set of Set
        > Screws on the gears and motor that drive the R.A.
        > and DEC. These are where
        > the problems are. There is a Brass and Aluminium
        > gear that is held on to
        > the motor with a Set Screw. This Set Screw is known
        > to come loose. There
        > are four set screws 2 for the R.A. and 2 for the
        > DEC. Three of which I
        > could only replace. So I had to ship the motor out
        > in it housing to have
        > the set screw replaced.
        >
        > On the motor is attached the Encoder wheel that
        > drives the GOTO. This part
        > is very thin and very fragile. Somehow either during
        > my packaging or during
        > shipment this Encoder Wheel became severely damaged.
        > From what I understand
        > almost to a point where my GOTO telescope has now
        > become a Push-To. These
        > Encoder wheels are also Very hard to find.
        >
        > I have now come to point of making a decision. Still
        > being relativity new
        > to Armature Astronomy I liked the capability of the
        > GOTO telescope. But
        > this makes the opportunity of learning to Star Hop.
        >
        > What would you do?
        >
        > Thank You,
        >
        > Bill
      • Tim Milligan
        Bill, I agree with marc. If you like Deep-Sky observing, I would suggest at least a 10 Dob. Since you already have a 10 inch scope I don t think you will be
        Message 3 of 3 , Jul 30, 2004
          Bill,

          I agree with marc. If you like Deep-Sky observing, I would suggest
          at least a 10" Dob. Since you already have a 10 inch scope I don't
          think you will be happy with anything smaller. If you can
          afford/haul it, go alittle bigger. Maybe a 15 inch Dob. You will
          really like the views compared to the 10. Remember, aperture rules!
          If you are going to buy another scope for Deep-Sky, you should go
          bigger (if you can) and you will get the most bang for your buck
          with a Dob. Discovery Telescopes makes some nice Dobs with great
          optics.

          Tim

          --- In delmarvastargazers@yahoogroups.com, Bill Davis Jr
          <bdj470@c...> wrote:
          > Hello to all,
          >
          > I have been to a couple of Delmavra Stargazers meetings and I like
          to the
          > few Programs that have been proposed in the Emails I have read.
          >
          > About a year and a half ago I purchased my first real telescope.
          It was a
          > Meade LXD55 10" Schmidt-Newtonian. This telescope included a
          Autostar
          > controller for GOTO capability.
          >
          > This telescope, after which I purchased, I found out is prone to
          be
          > problematic. Mainly on the Mount side and not some much as the
          Optics.
          > There are two options to correct this. One is to have the mount
          sent out to
          > a company to do what in known as a "Hypertune" to the mount. Where
          as the
          > mount is completely striped down, removal of the factory grease,
          all gears
          > are sanded down and polished and then re-greased for reassmebly.
          Or the
          > other option is a DIY Hypertune. I choose to do the DIY Hypertune.
          >
          > Also one of the procedures of the Hypertune is to replace a set of
          Set
          > Screws on the gears and motor that drive the R.A. and DEC. These
          are where
          > the problems are. There is a Brass and Aluminium gear that is held
          on to
          > the motor with a Set Screw. This Set Screw is known to come loose.
          There
          > are four set screws 2 for the R.A. and 2 for the DEC. Three of
          which I
          > could only replace. So I had to ship the motor out in it housing
          to have
          > the set screw replaced.
          >
          > On the motor is attached the Encoder wheel that drives the GOTO.
          This part
          > is very thin and very fragile. Somehow either during my packaging
          or during
          > shipment this Encoder Wheel became severely damaged. From what I
          understand
          > almost to a point where my GOTO telescope has now become a Push-
          To. These
          > Encoder wheels are also Very hard to find.
          >
          > I have now come to point of making a decision. Still being
          relativity new
          > to Armature Astronomy I liked the capability of the GOTO
          telescope. But
          > this makes the opportunity of learning to Star Hop.
          >
          > What would you do?
          >
          > Thank You,
          >
          > Bill
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