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Phone digital setting circles?


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Seeing as smart phones can measure compass settings and inclination, I'm wondering whether there are push-to apps whereby the phone is attached to the tube and reads out like a digital setting circle?

Would the sensors be accurate enough?

Would they be more accurate than the manual circles?

I know compasses and inclinometers are available, but then it would be a case of converting those numbers to ra/dec or alt/az.

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I am going to try the same thing with a handheld digital compass attached to the tube. I am then going to use my ipod to adjust the tube angle.

The only problem that could happen is that these electronic compasses have a 2-10 degrees of inaccuracy either side. Close enough to get you in the right region of sky, but not close enough to put an object directly in the FOV.

You could try and find a target like Jupiter, then find what angle it should read at, then adjust the digital compass accordingly to the same angle and then find another object just using the co-ordinates that it should be at that particular time and see how close it gets you.

Edited by insomnia
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another thing i have found is the digital compass on the iphone is really sensitive to being close to metal, i tried aligning my tripod with the phone on top and when i put it near it it moved round by about a quarter of a turn and moved back to north when i moved it away, so im not sure how accurate any electronic compass would be attached to a scope,mount etc??

Edited by starstalker
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