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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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kyang
member
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Reged: 12/09/12

Loc: Fremont, CA
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: Patrick]
      #5800682 - 04/15/13 02:19 PM Attachment (391 downloads)

Hello,

I have got several nice photos with SkyTracker/Canon T3i /50mm. When I try on the 200mm lens, I found my cheapy tripod is just too weak to hold the system steady.

Any suggested tripods which are in the reasonable price range (~$100) ?
Thanks.

-Kai

Edited by kyang (04/15/13 02:26 PM)


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Raginar
Postmaster
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: Patrick]
      #5800752 - 04/15/13 02:45 PM

I imagine you could use PEMPRO. Just set it up and use your DSLR in MaximDL.

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munchmeister
sage
*****

Reged: 04/04/12

Loc: Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: Raginar]
      #5801101 - 04/15/13 05:45 PM

Do a search at B&H Photo for Manfrotto tripods, get one with leg angles that can be individually set for a wider, more stable stance and uneven terrain. Forget the center bracket tripods. Oben, Slik, Vanguard, Benro are some good brands, too and have some decent 'pods for ~ $100. I use a Slik carbon fiber and a Manfrotto 055XBPRO.

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carver2011
member


Reged: 08/07/11

Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: Patrick]
      #5803276 - 04/16/13 06:01 PM

Quote:

YuriyT,

What was your process for capturing your PE curves? What software did you use, etc? I'd like to measure mine.

Patrick




Yuriyt I would also like to know your method for measuring the tracking error. I have seen excellent results using the SkyTracker with lens as large as 180mm. Seeing your setup would be of great help. Thank you.
Ed

Edited by carver2011 (04/17/13 03:55 AM)


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Patrick
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/16/03

Loc: Franklin, Ohio
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: carver2011]
      #5803601 - 04/16/13 10:01 PM

Quote:

I would also like to know your method for measuring the tracking error.




I'm seriously racking my brain trying to figure out a way to physically measure the tracking error. In the past I've measured PE on various mounts using a telescope and a CCD camera. I'm not sure what to use since I'm pretty sure that the iOptron won't be able to hold my AT66ED refractor. I also don't think the DSLR in Live View mode will work because it just doesn't pick up on stars that well, and even if it did, how will I interface with PEMPro? Also, the longest lens I have is only 70mm.

If you're out there Yuryt, I'd be very interested to know how you did it.

EDIT: It just occurred to me that perhaps I could mount my 9x50 finder guidescope on the Sky Tracker along with my Lodestar guide cam. Still, the focal length is not that long, but it might be just long enough.

Thanks,

Patrick

Edited by Patrick (04/17/13 12:15 PM)


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MrFancypants
member


Reged: 07/05/12

Loc: Swift Current, SK
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: kyang]
      #5808330 - 04/19/13 09:01 AM

Quote:

Hello,

I have got several nice photos with SkyTracker/Canon T3i /50mm. When I try on the 200mm lens, I found my cheapy tripod is just too weak to hold the system steady

Any suggested tripods which are in the reasonable price range (~$100) ?
Thanks.

-Kai




I bought the Dolica GX650B204 Proline on Amazon and I am extremely happy with it. It cost $84 Canadian. I haven't tried it with the iOptron but it is rated at 17lbs.


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Psion
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 04/27/05

Loc: Czech Republic, Prague
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: Patrick]
      #5837707 - 05/03/13 07:03 AM Attachment (318 downloads)

I've tested the Polarie and the SkyTracker on an artificial star and I have not so bad results.

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Cotts
Just Wondering
*****

Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: Psion]
      #5849935 - 05/09/13 12:31 PM Attachment (508 downloads)

I'd like to revive this thread and talk about the Periodic Error of my Sky Tracker. See photo below with a 105mm lens on a 60Da, with the Sky Tracker purposely mis-aligned by 30 degrees or so, drive engaged and 25 minute exposure. The P.E. is easily seen in this full frame pic where the field of view is 12deg x 8deg. My pics with the 105mm lens at 2 minutes ALL show the P.E. as elongated stars. If you can see the P.E. in this picture it will manifest itself as an equal amplitude elongation of stars when the unit is properly polar aligned....

Am I expecting too much? With a 105mm lens am I limited to 30 second or less subs?

I would like to do 2-minute subs with a 105mm lens... I doubt I would try any longer lens.

N.B. With a wide lens, 18mm, I shot a 10 minute pic and there was no evidence of star elongation - which stands to reason at that image scale. But is the Sky Tracker only suited to wide fields?

Dave


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Astropetev
journeyman


Reged: 03/30/09

Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: Mihai]
      #5873106 - 05/20/13 05:24 AM

That Orion shot looks promising (early in this thread) although 30 second subs are pretty short. It may be due to the compression but the stars look slightly out of focus. If so, with perfect focus even more impressive! But like another respondent I would like to be able to go up to 5 minutes or more at the longer focal lengths (no problem at 40mm or shorter).

I use a modded EQ3-2 at the moment when flying overseas, and although I have to severely limit my other luggage due to the weight (over 10Kg with battery pack), it's been round the world with me. And guided is good for long exposures at 400 mm focal length. If I had to replace it I'd probably go for the iOptron SmartEQ PRO - 7Kg all up, guided and GOTO.

On the other hand, if iOptron add a guide port to the skyTracker, then I'd probably reach for my wallet :-)

Cheers,
Peter.

http://www.madpc.co.uk/~peterv


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derangedhermit
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/07/09

Loc: USA
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: Psion]
      #5882462 - 05/24/13 02:39 PM

Quote:

I've tested the Polarie and the SkyTracker on an artificial star and I have not so bad results.



How long was the exposure? The Polarie looks much smoother when looking at the lines on-edge.


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derangedhermit
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/07/09

Loc: USA
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: Cotts]
      #5882504 - 05/24/13 03:01 PM

Quote:

I'd like to revive this thread and talk about the Periodic Error of my Sky Tracker. See photo below with a 105mm lens on a 60Da, with the Sky Tracker purposely mis-aligned by 30 degrees or so, drive engaged and 25 minute exposure. The P.E. is easily seen in this full frame pic where the field of view is 12deg x 8deg. My pics with the 105mm lens at 2 minutes ALL show the P.E. as elongated stars. If you can see the P.E. in this picture it will manifest itself as an equal amplitude elongation of stars when the unit is properly polar aligned....

Am I expecting too much? With a 105mm lens am I limited to 30 second or less subs?

I would like to do 2-minute subs with a 105mm lens... I doubt I would try any longer lens.

N.B. With a wide lens, 18mm, I shot a 10 minute pic and there was no evidence of star elongation - which stands to reason at that image scale. But is the Sky Tracker only suited to wide fields?

Dave



Dave, looking at that image, even at 2 minutes you're still going to be throwing away a lot of subs.

This thing looks pretty much ideal except for the error in tracking rate. The spec says "DC servo motor". If that's true (closed-loop feedback) then I assume that it is meeting its design specs.

The Polarie looks better to me, although I agree with the cons v the iOptron that have been mentioned. With polar scope, that's $550+ US. Now we're in a price range where stronger EQ mounts are entering the picture.


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DzmitryK
journeyman


Reged: 09/18/08

Loc: Tallinn, Estonia
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: derangedhermit]
      #5902237 - 06/04/13 05:23 PM

Hello,
I'd like to share my experience.
With the help of EQAlign 2.2 software, I measured PE of my tracker using 135 mm lens and QHY-5 camera (7.9"/pix). I got +/-20" periodic error and the period of about 512 sec. Here is the graph (horizontal/vertical axis are in sec and arcsec respectively; Blue line represents RA, yellow - DEC drift):




I also made a number of sample shots with 135 mm lens, and was able to get perfectly round stars using exposures up to 120 sec. The tracker also performed satisfactory at 180 sec - I got approximately 50/50 ratio of good images and images with slightly elongated stars. And no good images were obtained using 300 sec exposures. Here are the links to crops of the sample shots in 100% scale (120, 180 and 300 sec).

120 s

180 s

300 s

Unfortunately, I also had an unexpected problem with my tracker: it stopped to work after 8 hours of use in total. It was sent back for repairing, and, as I was informed, the problem was in the defective gear motor. The motor was changed. Hope it will not happen again.


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astroSc0rch
newbie


Reged: 06/21/13

Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: DzmitryK]
      #5933080 - 06/21/13 02:02 PM

looks like they have a new model

here

i'm new to this discussion - it looks to me like the topic initially involved an iOpteron SkyTracker with a white body - now there are two models on their website, a white body and a black body...


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cloe
member


Reged: 12/02/04

Loc: Canada
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: astroSc0rch]
      #5934270 - 06/22/13 09:23 AM Attachment (460 downloads)

one shot of the milkyway(approx,200sec.)using a Sigma 10-20mm lens.Sky was a bit hazy due to thunderstorms.
Used photoshop to bring out contrast,colors etc.
Fun piece of equipment


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munchmeister
sage
*****

Reged: 04/04/12

Loc: Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: cloe]
      #5934983 - 06/22/13 04:53 PM

Quote:

one shot of the milkyway(approx,200sec.)using a Sigma 10-20mm lens.Sky was a bit hazy due to thunderstorms.
Used photoshop to bring out contrast,colors etc.
Fun piece of equipment



Very nice. What was your ISO setting?


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derangedhermit
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/07/09

Loc: USA
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: luigis]
      #5942401 - 06/27/13 01:12 AM

The iOptron SkyTracker has been updated to model 3302. The two touted improvements are:
- azimuth (panning) base (answering the #1 complaint,I guess)
- load increase to 7.7 lbs (from 6.6 I think)

The adjustable az base is self-explanatory. The load increase: marketing or mechanical improvement? Anyone know?

It seems to be the same list price, at least for an introductory period. I'm not sure if it's available in the US yet.


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Psion
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 04/27/05

Loc: Czech Republic, Prague
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: derangedhermit]
      #5948995 - 07/01/13 01:58 AM

New payload is marketing I think. I can't see any improvement.

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Darren Bly
sage
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Reged: 07/24/06

Loc: Bakersfield, Ca
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: Psion]
      #5951244 - 07/02/13 12:09 PM

Any improvement would be internal.

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calypsob
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 04/20/13

Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: Darren Bly]
      #5972213 - 07/15/13 01:09 PM

Well if you are still after a tripod http://bit.ly/12Qw1cD. This is a little over budget but is rated at 22 lbs. go find another carbon fiber tripod less than 500 and you will see that this is a great deal

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park
member


Reged: 08/20/11

Loc: Hangzhou, China
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: Patrick]
      #6031992 - 08/17/13 11:45 PM

Patrick,

Did you find a way to amount a finder scope on SkyTracker?

I'm very curious.


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