GoTo & Tracking Systems
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Laptop Specs
A No-Harm GoTo Dob

A view from the front. The factory tube and altitude bearings are used. There are no visible modifications to the mount or scope.

Here is a quote from the owner or the 10" Orion:
" Lenord,
I want to thank you for doing a great job on constructing a goto system for my Dobson telescope.  It's performance is incredible, I am getting pointing precision of 0.55 arc seconds (+/- 0.08 SE). You have certainly earned your money!  In many ways this system out performs the system I used in the Airforce to visually track satellites and for the fraction of the price.
If you ever decide to build field rotators, let me know, your the man!....Keep in touch, again, great job!!!! "


The whole scope is sitting on an azimuth axis base. To connect it, you just set the whole scope on it. Depressions are cut out for the three feet on the bottom of the factory rocker box.


The gear on the side is a 11.75", 360:1 hard plastic gear. The geartrain is under the box on that side. The box deadens sounds and keeps the worm clean.

This entire conversion is removable from the scope. You can take all of the gearing off and then sell the scope as it was when you purchased it. This can be done for larger truss type scopes too.

Features list:

  • Unlike other GoTo systems, all of our systems are GoTo telescope controls for a lifetime. The circuitry, motors, computer, cables, software and (usually) the gearing, can be used on other mounts (Dobs or GEMS) with a little modification to the new mounting.
  • It does NOT use encoders, none are  required or even recommended.
  • There is no Field de-rotator included in any system but the system is quite capable of using one for astrophotography.
  • Stepper motors that are quiet enough to talk over in a normal tone of voice when tracking and nearly silent when slewing.
  • Time tested software and hardware.
  • No permanent modifications to the telescope mount itself. Almost all of our systems are removable should you upgrade to a larger mounting.
  • A small 17 amp hour gel cell battery is good for one night of observing.
  • Resolution is at .225 arc seconds for this mount. Better resolution is available on request.
  • Laptop can be an old 486 and can be included with your order.
  • Software is included and pre-configured.
  • Telephone and e-mail support is available for free.
  • Instructions for operating the software are included.
  • This system is GoTo pointing accurate to within a fraction of an arc minute.
  • Start up time is less than 2 minutes.
  • A one button grand tour mode is standard.
  • Unlimited database, custom made, DIY and large database included free.
  • Easy 2 star alignment.
  • Custom made grand tour files are available for free and can be sent to you via e-mail or floppy. Install time for these is 1 minute.
  • Multiple mount error correction routines are standard.
  • Gearing backlash control is standard.
  • Laptop can have Guide installed, a planetarium program that graphically displays the night sky. Access from inside the scope software with one key.
  • Laptops and the circuitry can usually be powered from the same battery. There is no need typically, for a power outlet.
  • LX-200 interface for control with other computer programs, standard.
  • 40 microsteps per full step of the motors. Typical number of microsteps with the gearing is 5, 760,000.
  • Drift compensation standard (allows lunar tracking at high power for CCD work)
  • Realtime display of coordinates.
  • Built in observing log is standard.
  • Wireless mouse operation available.

  • Here is a picture of a laptop and the pcb together. We attach the two with long pieces of industrial strength velcro. The laptop just sits on top of the pcb. BOTH can be made to run off of one single battery at your request. I have done this with quite a few laptops and all have worked perfectly running off of 12 volts.
    Other completed No-Harm Dob conversions:
    10" Home-Made Oak Dob
    14" Discovery Dob

    Electronics and software by Mel Bartels
       Conversion design by Lenord Stage
    GoTo & Tracking Systems
     5000 Green Hollow Dr.
    Arlington Texas 76017-5910
    (817) 468-0154