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getting back ito astromony

Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:49 pm

Hi many years ago i purchased a diy kit from fullerscopes 8 1/2" mirror on a equatorial mount, had to drill all the holes for spider and mirror etc as tube was just a tube by some luck and really reading about focal lengths etc it work really well later fitting a motor to it working off a car battery , good old days that was when i was about 22 years old now I'm pushing 73 years ,
I thinking to go back to it again now retired, Technology has changed a lot I know,
I was looking to get a 10" to 14" goto telescope meade type ,also to work of my laptop if i got too cold,,how do to you interface to a computer to move telescope around ,as the remote lead is not that long is there a usb link on the telescope for this ,and i understand you can buy a eye piece with a usb connection , I know you can buy software for computer ,but just wondering how it all fits together
I do understand its all about light gathering power not some much about magnification ,
any advice please

Re: getting back ito astromony

Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:40 pm

These sorts of questions are very relevant to some of us. When I set up my observatory 4 years ago it was with a thought to an eventual upgrade for the days when full automation might be the only way I can continue to observe. At the moment I am happy to wrap up warm and sit in the unheated observatory, but the chances are that will change eventually. I have plans to convert it, if and when that happens.

The obvious and simplist way is to have a 'warm room' - a heated summer-house, back room, or the like. Power, focussing, control, usb for cameras etc travel the 6ft or so from your telescope/observatory via long cables to your warm room.

The other way is to rig up everything to a computer near the telescope, then use your local wifi network to control that computer with another computer in the house. A lot of the telescope functions can be controlled by a computer using an 'ASCOM' - which is a standard driver for operating the mount, focusing etc.

The other way is using a 'smart phone' and 'apps', of which I know next to nothing, but there are others here who do!

The bottom line is that it IS possible, but you will have to throw some money at it.

As far as telescopes are concerned all modern telescopes with a 'goto' computerised mount can be controlled in this fashion. An SCT type telescope Meade/Celestron/SkyWatcher etc will do that.

One important element with size of telescope is 'weight'. I used an 8" SCT for decades quite happily until I ended up with bursitis. It ceased to be fun carrying out stuff when I couldn't lift my arms higher than my chest. That's when I got the observatory. Since then I've upgraded to an 11", but unless you carry heavy weights for a living, you won't be moving something that size around. So if you are looking for a 10 - 14", as you say, you should consider permanently housing it in some kind of observatory, or at least, a permanent outside storage facility.

Re: getting back ito astromony

Sat Dec 08, 2018 12:01 am

Apart from revisiting your old telescope if you still have it, you may wish to consider using binoculars.

A lot of what I suggest depends on your primary interests: deep sky, solar system or the Sun.

Re: getting back ito astromony

Sat Dec 08, 2018 12:16 am

thanks for reply

Re: getting back ito astromony

Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:14 pm

Feel free to ask any follow up questions. Another option is get a small lightweight telescope. There is plenty to see with a small telescope, and it would be no bother to carry about. If you want to go for a bigger telescope, I'm sure we can help you set things up.
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