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Thread: No Goto - How many of you?

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    Default No Goto - How many of you?



    Just out of interest in this electronic age how many of us are there do our observing in the old school approach with no Goto? Obviously I'm only referring to visual users here an not AP.

    I'm especially interested to hear from those who are doing a reasonably serious amount of observing or who've been at this for quite some time now your thoughts on why you wouldn't consider a Goto mount. And particularly your experiences doing this manually and the dark art of star hopping.

    i work with computers all day, for me astronomy is a way to get away from all that although I admit I've been using SkySafari so far as my star chart but this is now changing to use paper charts instead for various reasons. Using a Goto mount never crossed my mind when I came to eventually buy a telescope (or two). For one it's more faff to lug about then more possibilities of things going wrong that are out of my control but overall I though I would lose out out something that is really the essence of Astronomy and that is discovery. Not only finding an object after a lengthy star hop and possibly a bit of head scratching while trying to match star chart to the EP view, but also on what you find on the way there. I liken it a bit to walking somewhere instead of taking the car. In the car I know that I'll get to where I want (unless it breaks down) but I won't have had time to see anything on the way. Walking I may have taken several different routes and come across some really interesting places to stop and look around and eventually I'll get to where I wanted to go to in the first place but I'll i have discovered a whole bunch of stuff and my experience feels richer although it may have been considerably slower.

    This is not anything against Goto. I fully get it for some the object is the interest and time may be of an essence or maybe the light pollution really is too much to make it feasible. There may be many reasons but for newcomers to Astronomy that are perhaps dipping their toes for the first time in to the telescope world it seems a bit like Goto is the only option for them almost at the expense of a better scope and mount just for the technology of having a computer do it for you.

    I have really enjoyed star hopping doing the Messier 30 list I have come to realise that I am remembering easily the path of the star hop and the location of the object without normally having to refer to a star chart so I can go back very quickly. Having essentially an Alt Az mount for using with the 80ed has made this even quicker to star hop although I probably just need to learn to use the equatorial lines on a star chart to guide me better when upsizing my EQ mount. Actually, I'm seriously thinking of converting my Eq mount to Alt Az mode ( I gather this is easy to do ) though but anyway! I digress. If you've made it this far, well done and I'd certainly welcome anyone's input!
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    Default Re: No Goto - How many of you?

    I have one GOTO mount and it rarely gets used. The majority of my work is old school and I live in a very light polluted area. I also do all my planetary AP with my non goto mounts. Once properly polar aligned I can actually get on target faster than slewing with my LX200. I used to use standard charts but the electronic charts and phone apps are wonderful additions.
    Mark
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    Default

    What can go wrong that's out of your control? You can always disengage the clutches on a goto mount and it becomes a manual mount.
    -Jamee
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    Default Re: No Goto - How many of you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jameedon View Post
    What can go wrong that's out of your control? You can always disengage the clutches on a goto mount and it becomes a manual mount.
    I didn't realise that you could do that to be honest!
    Scopes etc: Skywatcher 12" Dob; Skywatcher 80ED & 120ST; EQ5; Grab and Go Alt/Az; 60mm RACI & Rigel Quickfinder.
    Eyepieces: Tele Vue Panoptic 24mm, Delos 10/14/17.3mm; Pentax XW 5/7mm; ES Maxvision 28mm; Baader Classic 10/32mm
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    Default Re: No Goto - How many of you?

    No GOTO here, for me finding objects and learning the sky is a large part of the enjoyment. And that's with Bortle 8 light pollution. I work with computers too, and enjoy taking a break from them. I do use Stellarium, but not at the telescope. I print out screenshots just to supplement my star atlases, and plot by hand to find fainter objects like asteroids.

    Doing it the old-fashioned way takes me back to my teenage years, when I first tried to starhop.
    Raymond Howard
    Outreach Coordinator, Eastbay Astronomical Society
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    12.5" f/6 custom Dob by New Moon Telescopes, Orion XT8 f/6 "ruby-red" Dob. Finders 13x80 Stellarvue RACI, 9x50 Orion RACI. Eyepieces 34mm Explore Scientific 68°, 24mm ES 68°, 16mm ES 68°, 10mm TeleVue Delos 72°, 7mm TeleVue DeLite 62°.

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    Default Re: No Goto - How many of you?

    Dave, I don't have a Goto and I agree with everything you say. It does require patience and the willingness to spend time searching for something. I am not very experienced and am just learning the sky, so sometimes it takes me an hour or more to find something and sometimes I don't succeed that night. But when I do find something, there is great satisfaction because I learned that area of the sky in the process and made the effort to find something.

    Now, if you're all about the observation and not about the process of learning the sky and finding the object, then Goto is the best bet and I don't fault anyone for going down that route. Everyone has their preference.

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    Default Re: No Goto - How many of you?

    I'm a star-hopper, no goto. Just my preference. I enjoy star-hopping. It can be a puzzle, and a challenge, and I enjoy that part of it. I find it to be a rather meditative experience. To me, it brings a level of understanding of the visual arrangement of the night sky, an intimate learning of the constellations. I just like it. Probably because this is how I started out with my binoculars.

    That's just what I get out of it. I certainly understand the necessity of goto in LP conditions, and I do understand that lot's of folks prefer to spend time looking at the target instead of futzing with the tedium of star hopping. That's great too!

    I do use Stellarium at the scope on my PC though. Mainly because I have no star charts. I know I can print charts via Stellarium or Cartes du Ciel, but with my ink jet, the print-outs would get a bit illegible in the dew anyway.

    I'd love to have a nice hardbound star atlas or several, or something spiral bound to take out to the scope. I think that would be a better way to maintain dark adaptation.
    Bryan

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    Default Re: No Goto - How many of you?

    I have a GOTO and a PUSH N GO(tracking but not GOTO). I'll be honest while the GOTO is good, I only ever use when travelling theses days. I prefer to use the Push n Go. I think it gives a more intimate experience with the night sky and while it can sometimes be a little frustrating finding the objects, personally, I find it a lot more rewarding. The good thing is when you get the hang of star hopping, which I am still working on. You tend to have a good sense of where to go next time you want to have a look, your own built in star map, that is invaluable in my opinion. I think its nice to set the gear up and then just be able to swing the scope round to your desired object, find it in the finder scope and start observing, knowing the sky is a great feeling. It's also great when you've been fumbling around in the dark(ooh errr), and then ....BINGO!!..that "got ya" moment is without doubt an important part of the experience and will cement the position for next time. imho.

    P.s ..I do use Sky safari on my Iphone.

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    Default Re: No Goto - How many of you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jameedon View Post
    What can go wrong that's out of your control? You can always disengage the clutches on a goto mount and it becomes a manual mount.

    Quote Originally Posted by Davesellars View Post
    I didn't realise that you could do that to be honest!
    I learned that too very quickly with my old Meade DS2114 GOTO scope. In fact, I can zero in on Jupiter faster than having the GOTO mount do it for me. But then, I already know where Jupiter is (I can see it clearly with my eye, across the street, above the trees in my neighbors back yard).

    Manually align to Jupiter with GOTO Alt-Azimuth mounted scope
    1) Disengage clutches, but not too much. You don't want the whole scope & mount flopping around.
    2) Use the red dot finder (if you have one) and gently move the scope around, up, over, etc... until the RDF is pointed at Jupiter.
    3) Observe!

    Use the GOTO Alt-Azimuth mount to align to Jupiter
    1) Disengage clutches
    2) Use the supplied compass and align the scope to magnetic north
    3) Set scope tube to 0° level.
    4) Engage clutches.
    5) Turn on GOTO motor drive and follow the LCD screen display instructions (date, time, etc..)
    6) Choose either EASY, 1 star, or 2 star, alignment system from menu screen.
    7) After scope slews and aligns itself, choose OBJECT from the menu screen.
    8) Choose Jupiter from the Solar System menu.
    9) Scope will slew to Jupiter (or very very closely thereabouts).
    10) Use the buttons on the remote (up/down/left/right) to fine tune the alignment.
    11) Once Jupiter is 100% aligned, press the ENTER key and hold for a second or two and release. Scope will make a "beep" sound and will then be absolutely, positively, locked onto Jupiter and will continue to track it and keep it centered in the eyepiece.
    12) Observe!
    Older model Meade DS2114 style reflector telescope -- (I can't complain - it was FREE!)

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    Default

    I get enough of the thrill of the hunt feeling when I'm looking for golf balls in my driving range. When I'm using my scope it's always auto GOTO my target. But I do AP only. I've never stuck an eyepiece in my ED102.
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