Dobsonian retro Kit?!
YOU BET! Now available for dobsonian telescope: a complete ServoCAT tracking and GOTO controller kit. What does it include? Everything you need for the add on! You can use JUST the ServoCAT for tracking only (no DSC or PC required) or you can use the ServoCAT with either an Argo Navis or Sky Commander DSC system for complete GOTO operation. Once installed you will enjoy endless hours of TRACKING at the eyepiece! High power? Groups, Public viewing? NO PROBLEM! No RESET issues related to platforms, No extra weight and height related to platforms, No PC REQUIRED… VERY easy usage – actually NOTHING to it at all! Completely in the background – do your 2 star alignment and OFF YOU GO. Track, GOTO, Slew, explore to your hearts content.
If comparing to other “tracking” or track and goto “boxes” … consider this: The ServoCAT IS COMPLETE! It includes NEW (not surplus) DELUXE LO COG Skewed Armature high dynamic range Servo motors. Not “Pulls” from abusive industrial applications! NEW! Also it includes your additional gearing with sealed bearings, precision machined housings, stainless steel precision shafting, stainless steel hardware. All the components you will need NOW for you to install TODAY! No unsightly scopes of mixed used parts.
Also note: the ServoCAT is so simple to use – NO PARAMETERS TO SET in most cases! No “tweaking”, no “tuning”, no adjusting this parameter and that in hopes it works better. As many customers have said (see the CloudyNights review for one of them) “It simply works and works FLAWLESSLY”.
If comparing make sure it is a COMPLETE and valid comparison. Only then will you realize the ServoCAT is just as inexpensive AND it is RELIABLE, FULL FEATURED, and simple to use! With FULL PROTECTION built in, with a design that is not just “small” but rather is made to be robust you can’t go wrong for YEARS of problem free operation. And if you have a question: we are HERE to answer it. This IS our only business – it is not a side job! We have been here for over 6 years and will continue to be here for years to come – making sure you are supported. Out in the field – 10:30 PM and you have a question? No problem – give us a call and we will help you out! Just some of the materials we use in the manufacturing of our product:
-Stainless Steel hardware -Precision stainless shafting
-Double sealed Stainless shaft bearings
-Custom machined aluminum parts
-Deluxe Lo-Cog Skewed Armature Servos
-Custom made cabling
-BUILT IN High Voltage motor drive – not just 12V!
-THREE microprocessors to “share” the load – no anemic processors here that won’t allow future expansion and upgrades!
-Includes FULL instructions as well as an installation VIDEO!
Remember the old axiom: you get what you pay for! OVER 600 VERY SATISFIED CUSTOMERS KNOW THIS ALREADY! And it is offered as an option on literally a dozen+ manufacturers of telescope products including the likes of Obsession, StarStructure, Plettstone, Webster, SDM and many others. There is a reason why this is the case!
Will it fit my dob?
In ALL CASES TO DATE: IT WILL FIT! The only items that might change in some minor hardware or teflon. Contact us with the particulars of YOUR scope and we will do what it takes to get you TRACKING in no time!
Dobsonian retro Kit: Complexity and time required?
Most people can handle what is required to install the kit. Templates are provided where necessary to ease the installation and ensure it is done right. Tools required are a hand drill, screw drivers, and some drill bits (a large one is required – obtainable at your local hardware store for usually $5-10). We have tried to reduce the time and feel that, as one customer stated: “if I an Arts major can do this in a 1 bedroom apartment – ANYONE CAN do it!”. We estimate it can be done in under 5 hours TOTAL (and it has been done in less!). Depending on your level of comfort allow 4-6 hours. Not a great deal when you consider you can start on a Saturday morning AND BE USING IT THAT NIGHT!
Dobsonian retro Kit: What if I want EVERYTHING NEEDED? What’s the BOTTOM LINE?
The kit comes complete – what is needed to finish your scope for its usage would be the following items:
> A pretty precisely cut round ground board that is 3/4” thick and warp free. Since some will want to make this themselves and save we offer this as an option.
> [NOW OPTIONAL – DSC NOT REQUIRED FOR TRACKING ONLY!] A DSC (Digital Setting Circle) of your choice – either the Argo Navis (we offer this) or the Sky Commander
The encoders for the above DSC installed on your scope as normally done. We offer the encoders as well as the installation hardware for these items. We offer high resolution (better pointing accuracy) encoders but lower (4000) count encoders will do.
What does the Ground Board option include?
This includes a precisely cut flat Birch ground board, bronze center bearing, 3/4” diameter machined stainless steel encoder/pivot post, and all its hardware.
What is the Powered Ground Board?
If you purchase the ground board option you can add to it the powered option. This allows you to plug into a 12V Jack mounted on one of the feet (recessed for protection) and to power your scope THROUGH the ground board! No tangled cord hassles, no in built battery hassles (charging!) Weight, NOT big enough, etc). It comes with a Power Rail that provides up to 9 jacks of switchable power. It also includes a 12V 12’ cable to go to your battery or power source.
One final option associated with the Ground board. If it and the powered ground board option are purchased you can add our LaptopPowerSupply to efficiently power most any laptop off of its required voltage (15 -18V adjustable). No more invertor losses to contend with. Longer battery life, more convenient as the power source is ON THE SCOPE! There is space provided for it, its switch and its jack.
Why a Wireless Handpad?
This is a VERY popular option. This SECOND handpad allows you to go full wireless – no cords at all! FULL CONTROL – nothing lost in the process. It also allows you to plug your standard wired handpad INTO the receiver – thus giving you TWO handpads. One can be mounted on the back of the scope (wired) or where you prefer… the other is hand held and wireless!
Different scope sizes and brands.
There’s a ServoCAT on most all brands of scopes out there starting at 12″. However there are brands and sizes that have not been equipped. We offer a “New scope – first install” rebate to those that want to install the system onto their scope that has not previously been done. This rebate is $250 – 300 depending on the type and is in the form of a rebate after a successfull install has been done. We do ask as a requirement that we are supplied lots of digital pictures of the installation as well as descriptions of any issue to pay closer attention to. Since we provide both written instructions on MANY sizes/brands this process has always been very clean and successful. The DVD video also works well for all installs in that it gives one a sense of how things are done as well as why they are done. Contact us directly if you have a scope you would like to try to retrofit with a ServoCAT.
Dobsonian retro Kit - not for me (to install).
You say sounds great but you are not interested in doing the install yourself. OR you do not HAVE a scope that you CAN install it on but are looking. The option you have is – have it done by the scope manufacturer. Obsession, the worlds premier Telescope maker, currently is installing the complete ServoCAT/Argo Navis Tracking and GOTO system on new orders at a very reasonable price indeed! Other scope manufacturers have expressed interest – a couple are actually in the process of doing installs. Contact them directly to see if they would be interested in doing the install for you.
Will this work on an equatorial mount such as a G11?
The answer is, at this time, up to you. The electronics will do the job… the task at hand is the mechanics. We can recommend motor/gearbox arrangements that will (should) do the job nicely providing slew speeds around 6 degr/sec. The actual amount of work would be mounting and coupling the gearbox to the worm shaft – for most not a difficult task. We are investigating means of making this easier but for those that want the capabilities NOW it is do-able.
What if I have a high precision mount with very low backlash?
The ServoCAT/Argo Navis package will allow one to use just the ServoCAT encoders to run BOTH the ServoCAT as well as the Argo Navis – providing for 22 arcsec resolution (60,000 counts) on mounts that are high precision mounts such as fork mounted EQ’s and the like. Contact StellarCAT for more details.
Can I "see" where I am while using EasyTrack only?
Yes! EasyTrack allows one to use the scope for tracking simply by pointing it at Polaris (the NCP is preferred) and turning it on – voila – it’s tracking! Now you can also connect to a planetarium program using a BBox mode and “see” the scopes position whereever it is in the sky!
What IS the most efficient means of doing a search in the sky?
Without a doubt – a Spiral Search! This is the ONLY non-overlapping path period! Not squares or concentric cirlces that overlap when going from one “size” to another… a spiral IS the only way! And the ServoCAT allows 4 spiral search patterns and speeds selectable by you!
What about backlash?
Contrary to suggestions by others… ALL SYSTEMS have some amount of backlash – PERIOD! It is a MECHANICAL attribute – not an electronic one! Unless you have a VERY EXPENSIVE mount and gear system it simply IS there. The way it is handled is the key. The ServoCAT has automatic backlash compensation built in. All systems are shipped with this parameter set low – it is up to the user on his individual scope to adjust this to the proper value for his or her scope. It is a simple process and we provide all information required to do so.