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Thread: No Goto - How many of you?

  1. #11
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    Default Re: No Goto - How many of you?



    Quote Originally Posted by Davesellars View Post
    but overall I though I would lose out out something that is really the essence of Astronomy and that is discovery.
    I do have to disagree with you here. The essence of astronomy is data acquisition and how much you desire to acquire in a given amount of time. After 20 years of star hopping, I purchased a GOTO specifically for my variable star program. I went from spending sometime up to 15 minutes locating a star that might or might not be there, to doing a measurement every three minutes. I also found I was observing stars that were classed as under observed simply because I could find them, where as others could not.

    There is no right or wrong way to pursue this hobby, just the way that suits you. Some have talked about the thrill of the hunt and the excitement of discovery, I have no patience for that. Get to the object and get observing. What you need to do is think about what you want to get out of the hobby, what elements give you pleasure and then purchase equipment that best suits what you are trying to do. There are garages all over the world with telescopes gathering dust because either people sucked at star hopping and gave up before honing their skills, or because of the learning curve of GOTO technology was beyond their patience level.

    Sure a manual scope will beat a GOTO in zeroing in on Jupiter, but how many objects in the sky are that bright and that obvious. But on a marginal night lets see who gets to NGC 891 first.
    Last edited by MG1692; 02-12-2015 at 05:08 AM.
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  3. #12
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    Default Re: No Goto - How many of you?

    I am purely a visual observer, with no plans or aspirations for doing AP. I have been doing it the "old fashioned way" for decades, and wouldn't have it any other way. When I am star hopping I feel an intimate association with the night sky, and many times I find interesting double stars, or patterns of stars, or even other DSOs that I wasn't looking for during the process. These are things I would miss if I were using go-to or push-to. There are many objects that I don't even need to use a chart for any longer, as I can remember the star hop to their location. I find the hunting an integral part of my enjoyment of astronomy, and find it fun and relaxing. Sure, I have my share of times when I don't find targets, but I never look upon those as failures, but rather a part of the learning process.

    I admit that I actually tried digital setting circles (Argo Navis) a few times with my 17.5 inch. I found I simply disliked the experience, so I removed them and sold them off. I didn't feel like I was cheating by using them, but it was that I missed the hunting process that I love so much.

    All the above being said, I do understand the attraction of both go-to and push-to for visual observers. But I know myself well enough to know its not something I will ever want.
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  4. #13
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    Default Re: No Goto - How many of you?

    With a strong skill set, and intimate knowledge of your equipment, manual finding is pretty easy for most of the Messier objects. There are lots of us amateur astronomers who do the old school thing every night. I'll admit that it took a long time to get there, and it's still not faster than a computer guided scope if you ignore the setup time. But when you include time spent to align the scope, the combination of setup and finding is actually easier and faster for the first dozen bright targets. After the first dozen, autoguiding will take over as faster, but many of us don't look at more than a dozen targets in a night, anyway. I will tip my hat to autoguiding for those objects that are nondescript and very dim. When I had access to a big scope on a pier, dim targets were a lot easier to find after an alignment check. If your desire is to find objects that don't stand out well against the background, autoguiding is very useful.
    Dave

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    Default Re: No Goto - How many of you?

    I'm "old school" as well - no goto anything for me yet and I too live in a highly polluted area. I even rarely ever use my finder scopes any more as I've gotten petty good with finding my targets using low power EPs and going to higher power ones if need or wanted. But I do use Stellarium with my scopes to I'm not totally in the "dark ages"

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    Default Re: No Goto - How many of you?

    I had a goto before but this time I stuck with the push too with encoders. Star hopping is not my thing and I run everything off the deepsky spreadsheet. Find the objects to image pop up the chart and push too the target. I usually time things so I change out batteries when its time for a new target so I have to be outside anyway. Use a polar scope for rough align and refine with PHD2 and my guider. No clutches on the losmandy stuff so its quick to move. I just don't move the scope enough to warrant goto really. I was comet and asteroid hunting with my old stuff and it was fully automated so goto was necessary. But for imaging just dont see the need. I have an argo navis and with the mount modeling turned on the pointing is middle of my camera FOV pretty much all the time. Takes much less time for me to move my rig into a new position than it would to slew it with a goto. I've yet to move it too fast for the Argo to keep up and that was faster than I feel comfortable with so I don't have to stand out in the cold as long with the push too either

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    Default Re: No Goto - How many of you?

    I've been using telescopes since the 60's and didn't even know about GoTo mounts until a few months ago when by chance I came across a cheap Nexstar GT mount with a Plus controller for less than 20 bux, I bought 5 of em to Play with, I still don't know Crap about em LOL, but I'm learning and I think they are Kewl... I always built my own clock drives for my EQ mounts, but for many years I just cranked handles and was happy, the only reason for the clock drives was to take Pictures with my old Honeywell Pentax, it's just recent that I have used the internet and found all these Kewl Progies to use with Astronomy.... I'm a retired Electronics Field Engineer .... I know Hardware but don't know Crap about Software.
    Now I find myself doing all kinds of upgrades, guess as I get older I get Lazier

  8. #17
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    Default Re: No Goto - How many of you?

    Quote Originally Posted by MG1692 View Post
    I do have to disagree with you here. The essence of astronomy is data acquisition and how much you desire to acquire in a given amount of time. After 20 years of star hopping, I purchased a GOTO specifically for my variable star program. I went from spending sometime up to 15 minutes locating a star that might or might not be there, to doing a measurement every three minutes. I also found I was observing stars that were classed as under observed simply because I could find them, where as others could not.

    There is no right or wrong way to pursue this hobby, just the way that suits you. Some have talked about the thrill of the hunt and the excitement of discovery, I have no patience for that. Get to the object and get observing. What you need to do is think about what you want to get out of the hobby, what elements give you pleasure and then purchase equipment that best suits what you are trying to do. There are garages all over the world with telescopes gathering dust because either people sucked at star hopping and gave up before honing their skills, or because of the learning curve of GOTO technology was beyond their patience level.

    Sure a manual scope will beat a GOTO in zeroing in on Jupiter, but how many objects in the sky are that bright and that obvious. But on a marginal night lets see who gets to NGC 891 first.
    Thanks for this reply. This is exactly the kind of discussion I was hoping to invoke and it's very interesting to hear from someone how has come from star-hopping for a considerable amount of time to using Goto.

    I really understand where you're coming from here. Data acquisition is indeed important and if you're doing this for more scientific or observational programs where time (as I mentioned in my initial post) does come into factor other than just the mere act of observing a list of objects for example where time probably does not really matter quite so much then I understand completely the need for Goto.

    Like you say everyone approaches Astronomy in a different way but my initial post was also really a meandering thought on those who are perhaps buying their first telescope why it seems perceived now by the majority (by the numerous post there are here from beginners asking about scopes it seems a reasonable conclusion) that Goto is a must have rather an optional tool - a means to an end depending on what it is you want to do.

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    Default Re: No Goto - How many of you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Davesellars View Post
    Like you say everyone approaches Astronomy in a different way but my initial post was also really a meandering thought on those who are perhaps buying their first telescope why it seems perceived now by the majority (by the numerous post there are here from beginners asking about scopes it seems a reasonable conclusion) that Goto is a must have rather an optional tool - a means to an end depending on what it is you want to do.
    I agree with you here, and it can be difficult guiding beginners in what are the best choices for scopes. The reality is, the choice of scope once you get over a couple of hundred dollars is a series of wants not needs. You dont NEED a GOTO to get into this hobby, you dont NEED a 12 inch dob either etc etc. And you have to realize that no matter what happens, your final choice will be a series of compromise because no particular type size or style of scope is perfect.

    I think it is safe to say, telescopes will gather dust all over the world until the Sun cools simply because people rush into their purchases without considering what is the best investment related to their budget. People will spend all sorts of time considering the pros and cons of a care for $1500.00, but will impulse buy a telescope of the same value in a flash
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  10. #19
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    Default Re: No Goto - How many of you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Davesellars View Post
    Like you say everyone approaches Astronomy in a different way but my initial post was also really a meandering thought on those who are perhaps buying their first telescope why it seems perceived now by the majority (by the numerous post there are here from beginners asking about scopes it seems a reasonable conclusion) that Goto is a must have rather an optional tool - a means to an end depending on what it is you want to do.
    I agree with you here, and it can be difficult guiding beginners in what are the best choices for scopes. The reality is, the choice of scope once you get over a couple of hundred dollars is a series of wants not needs. You dont NEED a GOTO to get into this hobby, you dont NEED a 12 inch dob either etc etc. And you have to realize that no matter what happens, your final choice will be a series of compromise because no particular type size or style of scope is perfect.

    I think it is safe to say, telescopes will gather dust all over the world until the Sun cools simply because people rush into their purchases without considering what is the best investment related to their budget. People will spend all sorts of time considering the pros and cons of a care for $1500.00, but will impulse buy a telescope of the same value in a flash
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  11. #20
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    Default Re: No Goto - How many of you?

    Quote Originally Posted by MG1692 View Post
    I think it is safe to say, telescopes will gather dust all over the world until the Sun cools simply because people rush into their purchases without considering what is the best investment related to their budget. People will spend all sorts of time considering the pros and cons of a care for $1500.00, but will impulse buy a telescope of the same value in a flash
    Indeed. But I wonder if the majority of abandoned telescopes in this world are more to do with the fact that the passion that ignited the purchase was not really more thought out due to the actual logistics and practicalities of Astronomy. For some it may be that the scope / mount is really too large and just too much faff (...and people generally are inherently lazy) so it just gets left. More reasons may be the weather playing a big part - here in the UK it's going to be pretty cold at night for the majority of the year and then you've got the cloud to contend with. Time factors are another big one. When it's a clear night will the first priority go to observing or will like most have other priorities instead first... This is one hobby I think that because of outside factors you'd really want to make sure you've go the time to spare if you're going to lay down a big pile of cash for it... I wonder how many people really take this into consideration?

    Anyway, I digress a little from the thread topic but technology on the scope/mount with Goto etc (or the lack of it) I don't think is the root cause of abandoned telescopes but more external factors.
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