Questions about "goto" telescopes

From: Edward S Light (
Date: Wed Jun 09 2004 - 19:27:44 EDT

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    Dear SeeSatters
    I'm very interested in hearing of the personal experiences,
    suggestions, etc., regarding the usability of the current
    crop of commercial computerized "goto" telescopes - notably
    the offerings of Celestron and Meade - for satellite observing.  The
    questions that come to mind include:
    (1) Can these instruments - especially the fork mounted
        ones - be asked to "goto" a specific altitude and azimuth?
        Or must one enter right ascension and declination?
    (2) Can these telescopes be operated purely manually - without
        electricity or batteries?  Can they be manually aimed?
        Do any of them have mechanical slow motion controls?
        (I have in mind a Questar I had the pleasure of using
        in the early 1970s which had very nice manual slow motion
    When adjusted for inflation, the amount of "bang for the buck"
    available today is truly amazing, and I'd appreciate hearing
    of the experiences, etc., any of you may be able to share.
    To avoid cluttering up this list, please reply privately.
    Thanks in advance.
    Clear and dark (except for during transits of Venus) skies!
    Ed Light
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