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iOptron SkyGuider Review

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#1 Charlie Hein

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 09:57 AM

iOptron SkyGuider Review

By John Crisp

#2 ScottAz

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 11:38 AM

Thank you for the review. I have iOptron's ZEQ25 on order and I found your take on the SkyGuider very informative. Thanks!

#3 gdd

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 06:27 PM

At what focal length did you perform your tests?

Thanks,

Gale

#4 oldgazer_rt

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 05:47 PM

Hi - Always good to see a review. Product looks very well made. Also curious about the focal length you used for your testing. Does the unit require to power inputs: 1 to the led and one to the panel?

I have used the Sky Tracker with focal length up to 200mm and exposure times up to 30 sec with excellent results - posted on CN early last year.

#5 George N

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 06:53 PM

Hi - Always good to see a review. Product looks very well made. Also curious about the focal length you used for your testing. Does the unit require to power inputs: 1 to the led and one to the panel?

I have used the Sky Tracker with focal length up to 200mm and exposure times up to 30 sec with excellent results - posted on CN early last year.


I just got one of these at NEAF (10% discount - no shipping, no tax). I've only used it one night under awful conditions. However I was able to take some 3 minute exposures with a 150mm lens with no trailing. I'm thinking that the mount will do even better.

The light for the polar scope plugs into the main panel, so there is only one power supply needed. I used the optional AC adapter for power, and will have to get a battery power cord.

I did not have a problem with the ball head hitting the motor, but maybe I just didn't get to that 'feature' yet! :cool:

You can put 2 ball heads on the SkyGuider, to get twice as much exposure time, or a large mosaic panel - as long as you have 2 cameras.

The manual says it can handle 11 lb on one end, with 5 lb on the other (replacing the counterweight).

The SkyGuider can also be auto-guided, but in RA only.

I'm thinking it could handle a DSLR and light (carbon fiber?) 80mm APO for imaging, with a guider on the other end of the "dec" bar. This afterall the lower 'half' of their z25 mount.

The iOptron ball heads are very nice pieces. They are probably underpriced. They do not fit 1/4-20.

My only issue so far: the tripod is very short, so I had to sit on the ground in order to polar align. That will require some sort of ground cover during wet/cold weather. Another minor point: while the soft cases are neat, the plastic leg spreader does not fit in either of them, so you end up with three 'things' to remember when packing up.

Also note, as shipped, the Sky Guider does not come with ball head(s) or any power cable or power supply. Make sure you have them, or order them with the mount.






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