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Thread: Leveling a GoTo Dob mount?

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    Larry Bradt's Avatar
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    Default Leveling a GoTo Dob mount?



    Hello again!

    I was wondering if having my GoTo Dob base perfectly level was absolutely necessary to get good alignment and tracking.

    I don't have a dedicated observing area just yet. I'm sure, as I get better at this, that I will have a preferred area but for now I'm moving around to locate objects.

    I guess my question is does close count? If I use the 2 star alignment and my mount is slightly off level, will it affect my GoTo?

    Thanks!
    Scope: SkyWatcher 10" GoTo Dob
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    Default Re: Leveling a GoTo Dob mount?

    1 degree off. Makes a big difference in the sky. So I would try and have it as level as possible, for astrophotography. For viewing not as much, close works.
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    Default Re: Leveling a GoTo Dob mount?

    Close is good (DON'T sweat the small stuff), the goto routine makes adjustments according to where you say the alignment star is. Of course the more level you are and the more precise with the location of the alignment stars (reticle EP here!) the more accurate the goto. Precisely centering the alignment stars is much more critical than the precise leveling of the base.
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    Default Re: Leveling a GoTo Dob mount?

    It should be as level as possible since you do not have a tripod to adjust to ground conditions.
    You can buy levelling posts to do it, but will have to modify the base slightly for them to work.
    If it is putting objects in the FOV and you have no issues viewing I would not worry about it though.
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    Default Re: Leveling a GoTo Dob mount?

    Usually close is close enough.

    If you really want to obsess over it you could build a leveling base.



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    Default Re: Leveling a GoTo Dob mount?

    I use 100mmx150mm pieces of 6mm plywood to get the base reasonably level. I have three of them, if they can't get the base level I move the scope somewhere else...
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    Default Re: Leveling a GoTo Dob mount?

    Thanks!

    My main concern was the accuracy of the GoTo feature. I was wondering if the level of the base was a contributing factor.

    Reticle EP on the way!
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    Default Re: Leveling a GoTo Dob mount?

    Lets just say that a level base makes the goto calculations a little 'easier' but if it is not level the calculations will try to compensate for it. Within reason of course.
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    Default Re: Leveling a GoTo Dob mount?

    Based on experience with an Orion 10" go-to, leveling helps a lot and using 12.5 mm illuminated reticle to align 2 stars and still some objects are near edge of fov in 18mm 82 degree ES ep. I use a dolly with 5/16 leveling carriage bolts to get scope base fairly level front and back.

    Leveling my manual 12" dob with settling circles is critical to finding objects via az/alt data from skysafari or stellarium.
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    Default Re: Leveling a GoTo Dob mount?

    Getting it stable is more important than getting it absolutely level. The alignment should account for the base being slightly off level, but if it can wobble as the weight moves around then it'll not GOTO accurately.
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