Sky Tour

Sky Tour

The goal of all Tele Vue products is to enrich your observing experience. We view our products as a success if they cultivate your enthusiasm for amateur astronomy.

One sentiment that many Tele Vue owners have expressed is their delight in owning a telescope package that is quick to set-up. So, even when there isn't the time for an extended observing session, they can still easily "just take a peek" at the sky. In other words, the equipment itself doesn't become a rationale NOT to observe.

This recurrent theme weighed strongly in shaping a computer locator. The compact size and simplicity of our Sky Tour computer belie its power and elegant functionality. It creates a unified system that is easy for every family member to carry, set-up and use successfully. We paid special attention to making Sky Tour easy to learn and giving it a sensible database. We felt it was important to include a field guide with star charts and a full listing of the objects in the computer database. With this information and the exceptional performance range of Tele Vue telescopes, both novice and advanced amateurs can stretch their observing experience with every session. 
- Al Nagler

Sky Tour Introduction

The Sky Tour object locator adds "brains" to your Tele Vue mount. With its exclusive Lorenzin 2000+ database and refinements such as dimmable red light display, backlit button names, 10-character speed-adjustable scrolling display, and advanced "identify" capability, Sky Tour brings the hand-held computer to a new feature/performance level -- a Tele Vue level of convenience and ease of use. When Sky Tour is added to Tele Vue mounts, the total system is simple enough to encourage beginners, yet deep enough for experts to maintain a lifetime of observing enthusiasm.

For the amateur telescope maker, you can purchase the Sky Tour computer and encoders for integration into most any telescope mount. The Sky Tour computer can be initialized and custom calibrated for the following types of mounts: altitude-azimuth, German equatorial, fork mount, and equatorial table.

Locate 2000 Objects

More than just a star listing, Tom Lorenzin's 2000+ database is a collection of interesting and observable double and triple stars, bright and dark nebulae, galaxies, star clusters and colored stars most suited to Tele Vue telescopes.

The 2000+ objects are organized into six catalogs: NGC (New General Catalog), M (Messier), IC (lndex Catalog), ST (Star), NS (Non-Standard), and PL (Planets). For quick reference, an additional FAV (Favorites) catalog is available to store 99 of your favorite objects.

Sky Tour Fun

Tele Vue believes that the fun of astronomy is in the observing. Set-up and equipment operation is kept to a minimum. Sky Tour instructions are easy to follow and include step-by-step diagrams. A simple phone plug connects the computer to the Tele Vue mount. Turn Sky Tour on, align the marks on the mount head, sight two known stars from a choice of 31 and Sky Tour is ready to lead you on your evening's journey outside the Solar System. If you need Sky Tour to find the planets, input the current date choose your planetary target. A little familiarity with the stars, and the alignment will take slightly longer than it did to read this paragraph!

Sky Tour's functions are organized into nine "modes." They are: Star Fix, RA DEC, Catalog, Guide, Align, Identify, Timer, Install, and Encoder. Once Sky Tour is aligned, you'll enter the Catalog mode and choose an object to view. Catalog mode displays location, brightness, size and other object information, including the chart number that contains the object in the popular Sky Atlas 2000.0 star atlas! Then switch to Guide mode to show you the direction to move the scope in order to center the selected object. Finding over 2000 objects is as simple as that!

Sky Tour also gives you digital setting circles by converting Alt/Az positioning into Right Ascension and declination. The RA DEC mode lets you hunt for any object in the sky just by looking up its RA and DEC position.

Sky Tour: the Teacher

As you scan the sky, the Identify mode will point you to the nearest object of your choosing. For example, say you wanted to know if there was a galaxy in a nearby field-of-view. Enter the Identify mode, choose "Find GX" from the nine object types. If there is a galaxy nearby, Sky Tour will identify it and guide the way. It's a wonderful way to learn about unfamiliar regions of the sky.

The Identify mode is fun for explorers who like to scan the sky just to see what they can find. When you think you've found something just ask Sky Tour's Identify mode to "Find Any "

Sky Tour Meets TheSky

Sky Tour position cursor on TheSkyX sky chart.

Versions of Sky Tour from 1.86 onward can interface with TheSky astronomy program from Software Bisque, Inc. Connecting your TheSky equipped Pocket PC, Windows, or Macintosh computer, to Sky Tour yields instant access the TheSky's copious object database. Locating and identifying celestial objects is easy, as your screen displays a sky chart indicating exactly where your telescope is pointing at all times. TheSky's real-time centering display easily guides you to the target.

  • Display: Red L.E.D., 10 Character
  • Display Dimming: 5 levels
  • Display Resolution: 1 minute right ascension, 0.1 degree declination
  • Display Modes: STAR FIX - alignment mode using convenient star list
    • RA DEC - current right ascension and declination
    • CATALOG - complete database of celestial objects
    • GUIDE - shows direction and distance to object
    • ALIGN - uses full database to fine-tune alignment
    • IDENTIFY - identifies object by type
  • Database Tom Lorenzin 2000+ catalog includes: 110 Messier objects
    • selected NGC objects
    • selected IC objects
    • selected Non-Standard objects
    • selected Stars, colored, double, multiple
    • 31 alignment stars
    • 8 Planets
  • The customizable FAVorites database can hold 99 objects
  • Coordinate Epoch:  AD 2000
  • Telescope  Mounting  Types:  Tele Vue Alt/Az
    • Dobsonian Alt/Az
    • Custom Alt/Az
    • German Equatorial
  • Alt/Azimuth Setup: Requires 2 star alignment - no input for latitude, longitude, date or time required.
  • Encoder Resolution: 2160 step, 0.167-degree/step (10-arcminute/step) encoders
  • Sampling Rate: 0.5 millisecond
  • Maximum  Slew Rate: 160 degree per second
  • Sidereal  Clock  Accuracy: 0.01%
  • Dimensions: 2.8 x 4.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Weight: 6 ounces including 9v battery
  • Power Requirements: 5.1 to 14 Volts DC Reverse polarity protected