View Full Version : Down the Road

2006-May-13, 05:36 PM
Let's say you own an 8" Skywatcher Dobs (which I do enjoy). You've been admiring the 12" Lightbridge and have a real interest in seeing DSO, but would also love to have Goto and tracking (I love software/electronic gizmos/the prospect of tracking and taking images). I live under suburban skies and will travel maybe once every 2 months to better skies. In a year or 2 from now you know that you'll have money available to:

a) Orion Sirius Goto-Mount (throw the OTA on rings) or
b) 12" Lightbridge and sell the 8"

So which is the way to go? It's always fun to set goals...

2006-May-15, 06:01 PM
If you like gizmos and want GOTO, you might consider a 12" SCT. Given the two choices you present, I'd go with the 12" lightbridge. As a dob mount, it won't have goto either, though you could use 'push to', using encoders on the dob base similar to the 'intelliscope' versions of the Orion dobs.

2006-May-16, 05:08 PM
Thanks for the response redshifter. I'd love to get my hands on a 12" SCT but price-wise is a little out of my range right now. When I think about it, I could get the 12" Lightbridge and then sell the 8" with proceeds going towards encoders...

Dave Mitsky
2006-May-17, 07:43 AM
Are you still contemplating doing imaging with the 12" Lightbridge? While not impossible, it's far from the best choice for that purpose. For visual observing, the Lightbridge makes sense.

Here's a photo of a Lightbridge on an equatorial platform that I took at the 2006 NEAF.

Dave Mitsky

2006-May-17, 11:32 AM
Over time I am becoming increasingly interested in DSO's so perhaps the 12.5 " Lightbridge makes the most sense for my budget. I'll just have to live with planetary imaging being the best I'll be able to do. (I have a neximage).

Right now though, I'd be very happy just to be able to use my 8" Dob. We've had about 10 days of overcast (and rainy) skies with at least another week more to come. Must be something to do with global warming...or maybe it's just Spring.

I think I'll have to check out that show one of these days (about 7 hour drive from where I am at), looks like alot of fun.

2006-May-22, 02:43 AM
"Bartelization" will enable Lightbridge for GoTo.... It is not very expensive addition, and it works :-)

2006-May-22, 01:48 PM
Bartelization? Please expand on the topic...

2006-May-22, 10:13 PM
Bartelization? Please expand on the topic...

Oh.. I am sorry, I assumed everyone knows about this wonderful person (Mel Bartels) and his website....
Here is the link, you will find all your answers there :-)

I "bartelized" my 10" dobson, and I am using his software for couple of years now and it is everything you may ever wanted or needed to have, because it is developed by people who actually use it (open source, freeware). This site is also the starting point to the wast knowledge base about almost everything about stepper motors and servo systems, useable not only for ATM. I highly recommend it to everyone to visit and have a look from time to time.

2006-May-23, 10:35 AM
Thanks Bojan. Looks like some fun project. Stepper system or servo system? Hmmm.

We've been without clear skies for almost the whole month of May (at least 3 weeks in a row). Weds. looks promising but transparency is poor (I guess i'll have to take it.). I tried standing out in the middle of the street with my arms raised, yelling "clouds depart, begone with ye infernal creatures!" But that didn't seem to work. Maybe I should just move to Arizona.

2006-May-25, 12:24 AM
Stepper.... it is a cheap solution (free - but not "cheap" :-) )
I am using one Fujitsu Stylistic1000 (b/w LCD tablet PC with 12V adaptor, no built-in keyboard, got it on ebay for 70AU$). Steppers are from old floppy drives... and yes, I have a friend with machine shop and big mechanical waste bin:-)
The project took a while and it is still not finished yet (this is the well known wrath of ATM.. but is is also a pleasure).
This kind of weather is a perfect time for those things :-)

2006-May-25, 05:29 PM
Boy, I've got alot of reading to do. I am going to look into how much effort is involved using a floppy drive. I have plenty of those lying around.

2006-May-26, 03:39 AM
I am sure the effort will be justified at the end :-).
Especially if you start with already existing mount, the task is much easier to adapt something that is already there. and I started with the fiberglass tube (with mirrors etc). On that website there are plenty of ideas and solutions :-)