View Single Post
Old 27-09-2012, 02:45 PM
Registered User

gary is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Mt. Kuring-Gai
Posts: 5,476
Argo Navis on a 12" SkyWatcher

Originally Posted by andrew2008 View Post
Tossing up between the Argo Navis and buying a goto base for my 12" dob. If it was just ability to find an object the AN would win hands down. Is the tracking a worthwhile addition?
Hi Andrew,

Thanks for the post and for considering an Argo Navis.

A significant percentage of Argo Navis owners use them in conjunction with ServoCAT
servo motor controllers for a complete slew and track system.

Though ServoCAT controllers have been deployed on scopes as small as
12", their price points tend to make them more optimal for scopes in the 14" to
48"-plus aperture range.

One big advantage of the Argo Navis/ServoCAT combination is that you can
typically port it to your "next mount". When aperture fever bites and the budget
allows, it is nice to be able to move your Argo Navis and ServoCAT over
just as one would retain any premium eyepieces.

I like tracking as it avoids having to nudge the scope now and then. Where tracking
comes into its own is under high power where the FOV is small and where the
object warrants extended scrutiny, either because of its inherent detail or
because the seeing is intermittent and one needs to integrate the image in the mind's

So little wonder tracking is such a popular feature particularly with our customers
who have large aperture Dobs. A certain amount of "horses for courses".

But now and then myself and colleagues will spend a night with 18", 20" and 25"
Dobs with the tracking off and nothing but the Argo Navis to guide us to targets
and still have the time of our lives.

We have off-the-shelf encoder mounting hardware kits available for the non-GOTO
SkyWatcher Dobs.

Another approach, and one that is actively being pursued by IIS member "davewaldo"
is to consider building your own new sturdier mount, fitting an Argo Navis to it
and leaving open the option to add a ServoCAT to it later. See Dave's thread here -
and this recent related thread here which lead up to that decision -

In this particular instance, Dave provided us with some dimensions of the ply
he was working with and we presented him with 3D CAD models of custom encoder
installation hardware for him to evaluate. We then fabricated these components
for him at very affordable prices.

Feel free to contact me either my email or by telephone should you have any

Best Regards

Gary Kopff
Managing Director
Wildcard Innovations Pty. Ltd.
20 Kilmory Place, Mount Kuring-Gai
NSW. 2080. Australia
Phone +61-2-9457-9049
Fax +61-2-9457-9593
Reply With Quote