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Old 18-01-2009, 09:15 AM
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Davekyn (David)
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Argo Navis on the newer GSO ASDX Mount?

Can anyone confirm if the Argo Navis pointing system will correctly install n the newer GSO ASDX mounts? In the process of emailing them. Sounds like an interesting bit of gear. In the product description, it talks more about learning about what your pointing at. I was surprised there was not much talk about locating? Can anyone describe how the system helps to locate other than telling you what you are pointing at?

Cheers
edit......Just noticed the sticky...reading now...anyone know the NEW price on these things...still waiting for a reply from Wildcard-inovations.

Last edited by Davekyn; 18-01-2009 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 18-01-2009, 10:25 AM
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koputai (Jason)
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It's all on the website.
Go to the 'Pricing and Purchase' menu and select 'Online Pricing and Purchase'. It's a Java script, should load up by itself if you have Java runtime on your machine.
Also, while you're there, go to the 'Products' menu, then 'Argo Navis' then 'User Manual'. Download the manual and it will give you lots of info.

Cheers,
Jason.
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Old 18-01-2009, 11:22 AM
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Davekyn (David)
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Thanks Jason...doing that now. It's all beginning to make a little more sense. The TPAS sound very practicle and the whole system very versitile to say the least. I was thinking of adding some gear to my dob...ceartainly looks like a very worthy purchase. I take it you can't use a 12"GSO version on a 16"LB if one was to upgrade?

Thanks Jase...have a good one mate.
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Old 18-01-2009, 11:43 AM
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koputai (Jason)
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I used a Lightbridge kit on my GSO. Will post some pics soon.

Cheers,
Jason.
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Old 18-01-2009, 11:50 AM
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Davekyn (David)
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That would be great...thanks...here are some more of my thoughts on the Argo Navis:
Price looks reasonable for an innovative idea (au$599.00)...bit of a surprise that there is no dedicated USB cable, as the purchase of the USB adapter + the serial cable (I guess this tech has been around for some time?) puts the price up a bit. ($75.00)... Anyone have thoughts on the length of the encoder cable??? Is 1.3m enough or is the 2.6m somehow more practical with a computer setup???
What about Mounting on a dob...do you think it would make sense to attach the cradle on the tube so you don’t have to bend down to look, making for a more ergonomic and practical set-up or perhaps attaching to the tube is a bit over the top?

Researching on the ability to use with planetarium software...any info on this would be fantastic...just keeps sounding better!
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Old 18-01-2009, 12:23 PM
gary
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Thumbs up Argo Navis available for all new GSO Dobs

Hi Dave,

Thanks for the post, for your interest in Argo Navis and your email of this
Sunday morning which I have already responded to earlier today.

Greetings to you up there in Toowoomba!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davekyn View Post
Can anyone confirm if the Argo Navis pointing system will correctly install n the newer GSO ASDX mounts?
We do indeed have a kit for the new GSO mounts. These mounts have the brushed
aluminium tensioning trunnions on the altitude axis.
You can find a copy of the installation instructions here for the Alt axis -
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com..../gso16_alt.pdf
and here for the Az axis -
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com....s/gso16_az.pdf

The encoder kit is listed as Bintel xxxB which refers to the re-badged GSO mounts
that the Binocular & Telescope Shop stocks, which are exactly the same as those from
other suppliers and where xxx is 152 for the 6", 202 for the 8", 252 for the 10", 302 for the 12"
or 402 for the 16" (the 402 has no B suffix).

Note on the GSO Alt trunnion.
For the GSO 16" kits, we require that you ship one of the aluminium altitude bearing trunnions so that
we can modify it. To understand which part I mean, please refer to these installation
instructions for the altitude axis - http://www.wildcard-innovations.com..../gso16_alt.pdf
Please see Fig. 1a and Fig. 1b in the Altitude instructions above.
Do not ship the screws that hold the trunnions on. Fasten them back onto the square nuts
that are inside the slots so you do not lose them. The encoder can be installed on either side
of the telescope, but I recommend the same side as the eyepiece holder.

Typically we can turn around the trunnion and ship it with the complete system within a working
day or two of receiving it. The installation of the encoder coupler into the trunnion does
not modify its function as a tensioning device.



Quote:
In the product description, it talks more about learning about what your pointing at. I was surprised there was not much talk about locating? Can anyone describe how the system helps to locate other than telling you what you are pointing at?
If you haven't done so already, you might want to grab and browse a copy of the
Argo Navis User's Manual -
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com..../argoman10.pdf
The first approx. 30 pages is all you need to get up and going and describes
from how to install the batteries, to performing the once-only initial setups,
to performing a star alignment right through to a tutorial on how to tour
galaxies in Fornax.

The rest of the manual exhaustively describes every mode of operation of the
unit by way of a complete reference manual. We are firm believers in providing
all the information that a user is likely to ever need, and more, at their fingertips
and then backing it up with the best possible support in the industry. For example,
we even provided full support on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.

In a nutshell, once you align on any two objects you can recognize (say, for example,
a couple of bright stars or even a planet like Jupiter), the system 'knows' where your
telescope is then pointing from then on. You can then use it in a variety of ways.

For example, you can quickly and easily call up any of the objects in its 30,000
object database and the Argo Navis display will then guide you to it. In this mode,
the display shows two numbers on the bottom line which represent the
angular displacement to the object decomposed in terms of the Az and Alt axis
of your scope. These numbers update in real-time as you move the scope.
For example, the attached image below shows a user guiding to NGC 1097.


You can also point to an object and ask Argo Navis what it is, based on user definable
filtering criteria, such as magnitude, type of object, etc. You can also enter the RA & Dec
object co-ordinates of an object either through the front panel interface or via a PC
connected to the unit and Argo Navis will guide you to those co-ordinates.
The unit will also display the RA and Dec co-ordinates of where the scope is pointing, but
most users will tend to use the in-built catalogs or load their own user defined objects
to locate them, rather than use the RA/Dec menu readout. You can download the orbital elements
of comets, asteroids and artificial satellites. You can tour objects in selected ways.
For example, you can put queries to it such as "take me on a tour of
all globular clusters in Sagittarius of mag 13 or brighter, or "take me
on a tour of all Messier objects above the horizon" or take me on a tour of
all galaxy clusters within 30 degrees of here" and so on.

These queries and in fact all menu operation can be performed with just
one thumb even with mittens on and the names of objects, constellations,
etc. are entered with minimal input from the user courtesy of some
smart name completion functionality we refer to as the Intelligent Editing
System
.

There is a long list of capabilities and you will quickly see why the system is
so popular.

Quote:
Just noticed the sticky...reading now...anyone know the NEW price on these things...still waiting for a reply from Wildcard-inovations.
A full response including pricing details was sent by email in response to
your inquiry this morning. pricing details also appear on our web site here -
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au/purchase.html
Be sure to use the Region pulldown and select your shipping region to be Australia (the default is USA).
Australian prices differ from overseas prices simply because they are inclusive of 10% Australian Govt Goods
and Services Tax which all of us pay in Australia but which is not applicable to those outside of Australia.

Thanks again for the post.

Best Regards

Gary Kopff
Managing Director
Wildcard Innovations Pty. Ltd.
20 Kilmory Place, Mount Kuring-Gai
NSW. 2080. Australia
Phone +61-2-9457-9049
Phone +61-2-9457-9593
sales@wildcard-innovations.com.au
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au
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  #7  
Old 18-01-2009, 01:02 PM
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Davekyn (David)
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THANKYOU! Now that’s what I call service! WOW.
Thanks Gary...Digesting it all now...will most definitely be in contact in the coming weeks ahead. That’s one hell of a response.
Cheers Dave.
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  #8  
Old 18-01-2009, 01:06 PM
gary
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Arrow

Hi Dave,

Thanks for the post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davekyn View Post
...bit of a surprise that there is no dedicated USB cable, as the purchase of the USB adapter + the serial cable (I guess this tech has been around for some time?) puts the price up a bit. ($75.00)
The choice of the venerable RS-232 serial communications was deliberate.
RS-232 has several advantages, including ease of long haul operation (e.g. cabling
lengths of hundreds of feet long are supported), connection to legacy computer
systems irrespective of make, model, vintage and operating system and the fact
that every known planetarium program supports connection to RS-232
connect telescope controllers.

If your PC/laptop does not have a serial COM port, then a USB Serial
Adapter is the way to go. Generic Adapters can be found for as little as AUD10.00
but as we have made clear on several occasions on this forum and elsewhere,
not all Adapters are born equal and the only one we recommend and stock
ourselves is the Keyspan USA-19HS. It costs more than most others but the
difference is that it works.


Quote:
Anyone have thoughts on the length of the encoder cable??? Is 1.3m enough or is the 2.6m somehow more practical with a computer setup???
The encoder installation kit comes with an appropriate length encoder cable.
For scopes in the 4" to 13" aperture class, our 1.3m kit is usually the best
choice. For larger scopes, the 2.6m cable kit is the one to go for.

What aperture GSO were you considering?

Quote:
What about Mounting on a dob...do you think it would make sense to attach the cradle on the tube so you don’t have to bend down to look, making for a more ergonomic and practical set-up or perhaps attaching to the tube is a bit over the top?
The cradle is designed to be mounted in variety of manners.
Some like to mount the unit on the OTA near the eyepiece,
for example -
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com....sdm_berry1.jpg
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com..../martini01.jpg

some like to mount it on the side of the rocker, for example -
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com....s/kennedy2.jpg
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com....s/fullum_1.jpg

and others go for a "stalk", for example -
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com....osypowski2.jpg
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com....s/edwards2.jpg
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com....scheirman1.jpg

If mounting on the top end, the weight of the unit, including AA cells,
is 500g and should be taken into consideration.

Quote:
Researching on the ability to use with planetarium software...any info on this would be fantastic...just keeps sounding better!
Argo Navis will interface with all known planetarium programs that have telescope
interfaces. The reason it can do this is that Argo Navis can run a variety
of protocols through its serial ports. For example, one of the most common
protocols is that used on the Meade telescopes. Therefore, using the
Argo Navis menuing system, one can configure the appropriate communications
Baud rate on the port and define the emulation "startup" command to be 'Meade'.
When interfaced to a planetarium program, you simply tell it you are
connected to a Meade telescope and it will then provide you with features
such as tracking cursor support (i.e. as you move the scope the planetarium
program shows where you are pointing on the map of the sky). You can even
click on an object on the planetarium and it can transmit the co-ordinates
to Argo Navis and then Argo Navis will show you how to 'GUIDE' to it.

Argo Navis comes with a CDROM which includes a software utility we call
Argonaut. It allows you to upgrade your firmware and to download the
orbital elements of asteroids, comets and satellites. It also gives you
the ability to load about 1100 of your own user defined objects. That's
on top of the in-built ~30,000 objects already in there. You can even
add your own comments and observing notes. And when you are finished
with those objects you can erase them and load another 1100.

Argo Navis is also supported by third party programs such as AstroPlanner
& Skytools which assist you in creating your own observing lists from their
databases of millions of objects.

The serial ports also provide the capability to interface to third party
servo motor controller systems such as the ServoCAT and Sidereal Technology
control for full motorized slew and track. These motor systems tend to be optimized for
scopes in the 14" to 48"+ class.

However, manual 'PUSHTO' operation is a breeze as well and thousands
of users around the world use the system in this way.

There is also an Argo Navis User's Group at -
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/argo_navis_dtc/
which you should feel free to join if you have not done so already.

The features go on and on so be sure to browse the manual at your leisure.

Thanks again for the post and for considering Argo Navis.

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
sales@wildcard-innovations.com.au
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au

Last edited by gary; 18-01-2009 at 01:29 PM.
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  #9  
Old 18-01-2009, 01:13 PM
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Davekyn (David)
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Well mine is a 12" dob and I like the idea of having it mounted near the eyepice, as I like to feel at one with my scope as I move from one spot to the other...

I now understand about the serial conection...very well explained & now I can answer of few questions I get from time to time from my fiends on the topic...thankyou...still taking much of everything in as you respond...time for a late lunch..then I'll check much of your detailed response out then...

Once again...thanks for being so specific with it all. I remember once hearing about this system a few years ago, but thought it was to everwhealming at the time to take it on borad...however with the suport of forums like these, and more time in the hobby now...I can't beleive I waited this long to try it.

Have a good weekend Gary!
Later...
Dave
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Old 18-01-2009, 01:19 PM
gary
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Migration between mounts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davekyn View Post
Thanks Jason...doing that now. It's all beginning to make a little more sense. The TPAS sound very practicle and the whole system very versitile to say the least. I was thinking of adding some gear to my dob...ceartainly looks like a very worthy purchase. I take it you can't use a 12"GSO version on a 16"LB if one was to upgrade?

Thanks Jase...have a good one mate.
Hi Dave,

Thanks for the post.

When migrating from the newer 12" GSO to a 16" LB, one can retain the
encoders themselves, typically all of the Az encoder hardware kit and the only thing that
changes is the Alt encoder hardware.

You can find a scanned copy of the LB16 install instructions on our web site here -
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au/purchase.html
You can see in the instructions that the LB16 has a three-pronged bracket that
attaches to the Alt trunnion and a different Alt tangent arm bracket.
These components can be purchased separately and simply email us for
pricing if you need a 'part kit'.

One of the advantages of Argo Navis is that you can migrate from one
scope to another in exactly this fashion. Like premium quality eyepieces,
you can take it from one scope to another when you upgrade.

The sky is pretty much the limit as you can see in this picture of an Argo Navis
installation on a 48" scope -
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com....arbarella1.gif
(Argo Navis mounted on Alt trunnion)

You can well imagine this particular user could pick any telescope computer
that money could buy but that Argo Navis was the solution of choice for
this dedicated observer.

Thanks again for the post.

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
sales@wildcard-innovations.com.au
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au
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Old 18-01-2009, 01:26 PM
gary
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Hi Dave,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davekyn View Post
Well mine is a 12" dob and I like the idea of having it mounted near the eyepice, as I like to feel at one with my scope as I move from one spot to the other...
Personally, I prefer to use it up near the eyepiece too. If the weight is an issue
it can be addressed with some counterweights.

Quote:
Once again...thanks for being so specific with it all. I remember once hearing about this system a few years ago, but thought it was to everwhealming at the time to take it on borad...however with the suport of forums like these, and more time in the hobby now...I can't beleive I waited this long to try it.

Have a good weekend Gary!
Later...
Dave
Thanks Dave. After a while, the system becomes 'second nature'
and you can typically perform an alignment and then get up and going
finding stuff within a couple of minutes. The tough part is deciding
when to pack up for the might, because the system can just
keep delivering objects on demand limited only by the skies and
your own endurance.

We are here to support our customers both before and after sales.

Enjoy your afternoon!

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
sales@wildcard-innovations.com.au
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au
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Old 18-01-2009, 01:49 PM
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Davekyn (David)
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Not sure if your still about there Gary...will email later anyways...just had a look at the mod on the asdx gso trunnions (the aluminium tension knobs?)

As mine is the 12" GSO ASDX Tube version and not the 16"...did you need me to send in the trunnions as well?

I just looked at the moddifications pictured in your atatchment and was wondering will this impede on mobility of the scope. Is there anything I have to do differently when moving the scope outside as normally I would simply unscreww the trunnions and move the base oustside first followed by the OTA in two quick succesive moves?

Basically can I still carry it out the some with care given to the modified trunnions.
Cheers
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Old 18-01-2009, 02:36 PM
gary
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GSO Dob trunnion modification

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davekyn View Post
Not sure if your still about there Gary...will email later anyways...just had a look at the mod on the asdx gso trunnions (the aluminium tension knobs?)

As mine is the 12" GSO ASDX Tube version and not the 16"...did you need me to send in the trunnions as well?

I just looked at the moddifications pictured in your atatchment and was wondering will this impede on mobility of the scope. Is there anything I have to do differently when moving the scope outside as normally I would simply unscreww the trunnions and move the base oustside first followed by the OTA in two quick succesive moves?

Basically can I still carry it out the some with care given to the modified trunnions.
Cheers
Hi Dave,

All the new GSO Dobs have the same aluminium trunnions across the range
of apertures. So irrespective of aperture, you need to ship the trunnion for
installation of the Alt encoder coupling. We machine the coupling in order to
do this. I have attached 'before' and 'after' photographs of a trunnion
modification.

The previous generation GSO Dobs had tensioning springs rather than
the aluminium tensioning trunnions. We have a different kit for the
previous generation GSO Dobs.

Normally you will keep the Az encoder installation in place and there are
no special new requirements with regards transporting the scope once it
is installed.

For the Alt encoder, you always keep the trunnions screwed permanently to the
OTA whether using the scope or transporting it. Nothing different here compared to
normal usage. Our Alt encoder coupling has a socket head screw that you simply
unfasten and then the encoder and its associated tangent arm bracket become free.
You remove the encoder and its bracket when transporting the scope. However, the
coupler and the trunnion stay there and to remove the OTA from the rocker,
you simply un-tension the trunnion handles as normal and lift the OTA
out. With the Alt encoder coupler in place, it extends out by about 12mm (1/2")
so it has minimal impact on the overall width of the scope.

Only one trunnion is modified.

I find it easiest to move the base outside first and then the OTA in the
way you describe. Reverse the order when packing it up. Some people
improvise a hand trolley to move the entire scope in one go.

Best Regards

Gary Kopff
Managing Director
Wildcard Innovations Pty. Ltd.
20 Kilmory Place, Mount Kuring-Gai
NSW. 2080. Australia
Phone +61-2-9457-9049
Phone +61-2-9457-9593
sales@wildcard-innovations.com.au
http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au
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