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The Argo Navis is a rather old design now but there are still quite a few around although many have upgraded to a modern Nexus system now. The AN can be picked up quite cheaply second hand though.

 

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I have 2 of them (one is a back up) and a Nexus DSC. Whilst the Argo is old technology don't let that put you off it still does a superb job in finding targets just as good as a Nexus. During winter I prefer it over the Nexus as the larger dial wheel can be used with gloves on, the keys on Nexus are small and closed in. The limitation of the Argo is if you want to add further catalogues, although you can add personal new objects once you have seen the 30,000 or so objects stored in it ! The older tech means a serial cable to connect to PC and the RJ11 Gary sells for a few dollars.

You can store different locations in it and use it with different mounts. Time and data Information is also kept by a back up battery and remains very accurate. Every 3 months I connect it to the PC and sync the time but generally its only a few seconds difference. I power mine with rechargeable AAs or sometimes the tracer battery.

What I really like about it is its identify mode is completely unrestricted so you can point your scope to anywhere in the sky and see on the LCD what is there, this is a fabulous way to observe as I have found so many new targets this way and with the info on them scrolling on the screen. Its like wandering around a stellar showroom. In comparison Nexus DSC only does this by constellation.

Going the Nexus route is not neccessarily an upgrade unless you really need wifi and GPS, wifi is pointless on Nexus DSC  your better off just getting their Nexus wifi box if connecting phone or tablet. GPS useful if your moving to many different places far apart continually. The Nexus DSC has a better screen and more features in the box if you need them but navigating its menus is not so intuitive and sometimes frustrating.

In terms of the build quality the Argo is the equivalent of the brick outside lavatory, the nexus on the other hand feels a bit fragile, I doubt it would take a drop too well. My Nexus easily suffered a broken encoder port and went back to Australia for repair, and then later on the internal screw casing shattered and that happened when in was stored in the astro drawer. Serge sent me a new case.

So that's a quick summary, If I had to choose between the two it would be the Argo for its simplicity, ease of use in Winter, build quality, and it just gets the job done very quickly. (and it comes with a bracket!) Gary Kopf at Wildcard provides FLO like levels of support and is a pleasure to deal with. 

 

 

Edited by JG777
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