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Found 1 result

  1. Hi, I have a Skywatcher 8inch Flexi/collapsible Auto tracking Dob of 10 years vintage and recently 'upgraded' it with the Skywatcher Wifi plug in module in place of the mini handset and now it is a Goto. This is not an officially approved upgrade - but it works. My question is to anyone out there who did the same upgrade - perhaps by plugging a Goto handset which some did about 9 years back and if they ever tried to update the motor control firmware and with what results. The MC version on my Dob shows as version 2.12.90 but a newer version on Skywatcher site is available but I'm afraid to risk it without asking around. Optional read - some background and why I ask the question above : Been away from the hobby a long time for various reasons so decided to wake up my 8" Auto Dob from years of storage. This was bought about 10 years ago and was just about a year prior to the release of a Goto version. Some folk around here found that using a goto handset (from the Skywatcher range) were able to make their Auto in a Goto by merely replacing the mini handset that came with the Auto Dob. Not wanting to risk the then £150 or more a handset that may or may not work I forgot the matter - that was 9 years ago. There was a lot of discussion back then that the Auto version was really meant to be a Goto but that the motors were not accurate enough or the software was too buggy and Skywatcher got cold feet and dropped the Goto functionality and sold it as a tracking Dob and great scope it is. Returning now I took a gamble on plugging one of their wifi modules (in place of the mini handset) and hey presto it works! Fantastic! Trying it out indoors (what choice with our weather) and just going on an digital inclinometer ( the Azm looks good) it was getting on most 'targets' to within 1 degree and often spot on. Outdoors on the only 2 occasions I had in the last month it was a little disappointing in that it was often missing by 5 or 10 degree both in Alt and Azm. I've done all the leveling, alignments, adjusting the clutch and balancing of the OTA from old posts here on the topic and it did help. A few days ago I read that disabling the auxiliary encoders can really help in getting better and more consistent gotos. My understanding is that they come into play for allowing for manual movements or it the tube gets knocked accidentally in use . The Synscan App has this option but it is not selectable for me maybe because of the old MC firmware I have. This newest version of the on the Skywatcher site states "Firmware: Skyliner Series Dobsonian GO-TO Mounts, Version 2.09 -For 8" to 16" Dobsonian GOTO mounts. Support turning off auxiliary encoders". So I loaded the windows software to flash the MC firmware and got the new version mentioned above but I chickened out on pressing the 'update' button! I'd hate to brick the electronics as this scope was never originally designed as a Goto anyway and it old electronically speaking, so I may be pushing my luck too far as it may not like being flashed over. I am happy with what I have so why risk it - but the temptation is killing me to be more happier! Sorry for rambling on a bit.
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