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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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TONGKW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/16/07

Re: New compact camera tracking mount new [Re: chboss]
      #5426593 - 09/18/12 12:44 AM Attachment (167 downloads)

I find this set up to be not stable enough for a DSLR with a telephoto lens.
For more serious attempt on astrophotography, I find it necessary to put on some balance weight system (my homemade version is shown here).
In fact some companies has already started to market these balance weight system for the Vixen Polarie and other star trackers.
http://telescodeliver.blogzine.jp/kousakukoubou/cat11381474/


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chboss
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/24/08

Loc: Zurich Switzerland
Re: New compact camera tracking mount new [Re: TONGKW]
      #5428403 - 09/18/12 10:28 PM

Proper balance is always an important point, great idea for the balancing system and thank you for the link!

regards
Chris


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chboss
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/24/08

Loc: Zurich Switzerland
Re: New compact camera tracking mount new [Re: chboss]
      #5440535 - 09/25/12 08:00 PM Attachment (130 downloads)

Some update regarding the setup shown below.
Yesterday I had the chance to observe Jupiter at 100x whit the FS-60Q for about 45 minutes. Tracking was smooth but I need to align the mount more accurate for these high magnifications.

The small hole for polar alignment is not easy to use. From my position on a balcony I can not see Polaris. At the moment I am using my mobile phone to adjust angle and north direction.
I am considering adding Vixens solution for angle and direction alignment.
But overall it is working well with this high load

best regards
Chris


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orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: New compact camera tracking mount new [Re: chboss]
      #5440851 - 09/25/12 11:26 PM

i have learned to my cost that the compass and tilt sensor in the typical mobile phone (i have a GNex) are quite inaccurate. the compass is far more inaccurate than the tilt sensor, so altitude adjustment can be fairly close.

useful only for visual. if you try AP with a "phone alignment" your DEC will rapidly run away due to bad azimuth alignment.


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PGW Steve
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/03/06

Loc: Winnipeg, Canada
Re: New compact camera tracking mount new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5445759 - 09/28/12 08:07 PM

I've got an Astrotrac that I use with their wedge and head with CW system. I have no problems with 5 minute exposures at 400mm once I do a DDA (digital drift alignment), my new term.

I was intrigued by the Polarie for wide field, ~50mm stuff and under for 2 minutes, plus slimmed down travel. Last new moon, at our club star party, I gave the Polarie a good workout with a 50mm on a 60Da. Great stars for 2 minute shots, I never tried more length, or time. I have the PAS and it works great. I just took the Polarie to Switzerland and it delivered the goods.

I picked up the Nano prior to my Swiss trip, because of its tiny size. I had high hopes for it as it feels solid. The sight hole is useless for PA and 2 minute shots at 50mm were horrible. I tried PA again and got closer, but it still was lacking. Until I come up with a small, accurate method of PA, the Nano isn't getting any star time.

The Polarie is a fantastic rig, the PAS is awesome. I'm glad I bought both, I can't see this being accurate with the same sight hole as the Nano. The Astrotrac too, is better suited for longer focal lengths. It needs a bit more gear to really get the most out of the longer focal lengths. Working within each trackers comfort zone, they excel. I'm looking forward to assessing the Nanos tracking once polar alignment isn't a factor, because that is the bottom line.


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chboss
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/24/08

Loc: Zurich Switzerland
Re: New compact camera tracking mount new [Re: PGW Steve]
      #5447745 - 09/29/12 11:53 PM

Hi Steve

Great report and comparison.
I have to agree with your view that the polar alignment is an issue with the Nano. The sight hole is difficult to access and just not practical to use.

With some iterations on my balcony, with no north view, using the mobile phone as tool, I have got it to track prety well for planetary observations with my telescope. I think the easiest way would be to adapt the Polaries's alignment tool to be used with the Nano. This is probably the way I will go.

The tracking itself is very good and smooth so there should be no problem tracking longer focal length when properly polar aligned.

best regards
Chris


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Tamiji Homma
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: California, USA
Re: New compact camera tracking mount new [Re: chboss]
      #5447780 - 09/30/12 12:26 AM

Hi Chris,

Have you looked at Toast-Pro? Maybe too expensive for the U.S. market.
http://www.toast-tech.com/pro/index.html

I had a chance to take a look at Nano Tracker at PATS. It is quite compact.
I'm considering when Hutech starts taking order.

I took a few pictures at Hutech Booth if you are interested.
http://www.pbase.com/tammyhomma/2012pats

Tammy


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orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: New compact camera tracking mount new [Re: Tamiji Homma]
      #5447926 - 09/30/12 04:25 AM

the original TOAST is guaranteed +/- 5" periodic error, has a 240-tooth worm wheel that is 133mm in diameter. Heck that's a bigger worm wheel than the one on my AP mount! (and that PE rating is Tak EM200 class)

while the TOAST Pro is +/- 7" periodic error, 150-tooth 83.5mm wheel.

http://tan14.com/Others.htm

the TOAST Pro is about $1300 USD. Pretty expensive, yes. That's Tak Teegul level. Probably better PE though.


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chboss
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/24/08

Loc: Zurich Switzerland
Re: New compact camera tracking mount new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5447980 - 09/30/12 07:10 AM

Hi Tami

I checked out the "Toast pro" at Kyoei, at the time I decided to buy the Nano. It seems to be well made with a nice finish. But it is quite big and heavy, on the other hand it can certainly carry a lot of load. The price is definitely on the high side, as Orly already mentioned. For that money you could get a small GEM that would do an equal or better job.

Thank you for the images of PATS some nice equipment, I noticed they showed the same Nano/Borg mount combination that I am using

best regards
Chris


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chboss
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/24/08

Loc: Zurich Switzerland
Re: New compact camera tracking mount new [Re: chboss]
      #5451461 - 10/02/12 08:14 AM Attachment (111 downloads)

I decided to find a solution for the polar alignment issue with the Nano.
Since I have no view to Polaris an optical solution was no option, so I decided to adapt the "Polariemeter" Vixen sells for their Polarie on the Nano.

I installed a flash shoe that is normally is used to fix an external photo flash to a tripod. One has to be careful to align the shoe as good as possible to the polar axis... not so easy.

So the flash shoe on the Nano Tracker looks as follows...


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chboss
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/24/08

Loc: Zurich Switzerland
Re: New compact camera tracking mount new [Re: chboss]
      #5451467 - 10/02/12 08:19 AM Attachment (97 downloads)

With the flash shoe in place it is possible to mount and remove the Polariemeter as needed. The Polariemeter itself is easy to use, setting angle and using the bubble level and the compass to align to the polar axis. My feeling is that the tool itself is not overly precise... it needs quite some movement until the bubble moves.
However my alignment was quite good so I could easily track Jupiter for several minutes at 120x without correction. With some fine an improvement would certainly be possible.

best regards
Chris


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chboss
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/24/08

Loc: Zurich Switzerland
Re: New compact camera tracking mount new [Re: chboss]
      #5473012 - 10/16/12 10:25 AM Attachment (131 downloads)

In my quest to see what this small tracker can do I have imaged Jupiter with a B/W camera and the Tak FS-60Q. No comparison of course with the big SCT's but it is surprising what can be achieved.
The GRS leaves the scene on the right side of the planetary disk and the moons Ganymede, Io and Callisto are visible from left to right.

regards
Chris


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core
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/23/08

Loc: Mostly in Norman, OK
Re: New compact camera tracking mount new [Re: chboss]
      #5473083 - 10/16/12 11:02 AM

Chris,

That is some very nice work indeed! I'm tempted to put your combo (Borg Alt-Az + Nano or Polarie) on my acquire list for my FS-60C travel setup!


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chboss
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/24/08

Loc: Zurich Switzerland
Re: New compact camera tracking mount [Re: core]
      #5476188 - 10/18/12 01:18 AM

Hi Peter,

The FS-60C should work perfect with this combo since it is shorter than the FS-60Q. I find my setup to be on the limit of stability especially imaging planets at 1500mm focal length. The tracker is not the problem but using the balhead of the tripod to adjust the latitude angle.

I am considering adding an angle plate, which would bring the center of gravity to the middle of my tripod. The setup is shown on this website:
http://www.kyoei-tokyo.jp/shopdetail/003013000002/order/

best regards
Chris


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Traveler
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 08/19/07

Loc: The Netherlands
Re: New compact camera tracking mount new [Re: chboss]
      #5645577 - 01/27/13 07:56 AM


There is another new compact camera tracking mount on the market: it is the Skytracker from Ioptron.

Click this link for more information.


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