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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Chip in MD
newbie


Reged: 03/24/13

Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: oldgazer_rt]
      #5754307 - 03/24/13 03:35 PM

There's now an Android app on the Google Play store for using the polar alignment scope. It's called Polar Finder and is by techhead. It costs a little over US$1. Uses GPS longitude or manually-entered longitude. Has an iOptron scope mode and a "built-in" scope mode (not sure what that's for). Has Northern and Southern Hemisphere modes. Very simple to use.

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munchmeister
sage
*****

Reged: 04/04/12

Loc: Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
Re: iOptron SkyTracker [Re: Chip in MD]
      #5757933 - 03/26/13 10:51 AM

Good review with photos of Jeff's setup here:

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5699876/Main...


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ZakAttack
super member


Reged: 09/20/06

Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: munchmeister]
      #5774397 - 04/02/13 11:10 PM

The SkyTracker instructions mention that you need a 1/4" to 3/8" tripod adapter screw (or camera tripod bushing adapter) to mount it to a 1/4-20 camera tripod post. I have a Quantaray tripod head with a 1/4-20 quick-release plate. Exactly what kind of part am I to look for?

Dean


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Darren Bly
sage
*****

Reged: 07/24/06

Loc: Bakersfield, Ca
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: ZakAttack]
      #5776419 - 04/03/13 08:47 PM

Here are a few:

http://www.amazon.com/Convert-Screw-Adapter-Tripod-10-pack/dp/B006R38IJY


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ZakAttack
super member


Reged: 09/20/06

Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: Darren Bly]
      #5776486 - 04/03/13 09:08 PM

Thanks, Darren. That looks like just what I need. I had just ordered the Sky Tracker and Ball-Head. The ball-head is currently out-of-stock.

Dean


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working212
newbie


Reged: 02/07/13

Loc: Cleveland, OH
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: Mihai]
      #5781834 - 04/06/13 12:58 PM Attachment (577 downloads)

I have had nothing but success with the Sky Tracker. easy set up and easy to use. Here is a pic i took at 300mm for 30 sec with my Nikon D5000.

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carver2011
member


Reged: 08/07/11

Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: working212]
      #5782293 - 04/06/13 05:52 PM

I just read the review of the iOptron SkyTracker in the May issue of Sky and Telescope magazine. It was a very favorable review, in my opinion, and I will be looking to buy one at the NEAF convention later this month. I'm hoping to use it to image comet c2012ISON if it puts on a good show in November.
Ed


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kyang
member
*****

Reged: 12/09/12

Loc: Fremont, CA
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: carver2011]
      #5782459 - 04/06/13 07:23 PM

Is there any indicator for low battery ?
I got mine setup but still waiting for a clear night...


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Patrick
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/16/03

Loc: Franklin, Ohio
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: luigis]
      #5782547 - 04/06/13 08:12 PM

Quote:

I got one to test, it's nice and solid but it has one fundamental design problem. No Azimuth control.




I added a Feisol PB-70 Panning Base to my iOptron Skytracker to take care of the azimuth movement. It's an inexpensive fix and works well.

On the other hand, it does seem a little odd that iOptron would design in an altitude control but not add anything for azimuth.

Patrick


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Dan Finnerty
sage


Reged: 09/11/11

Loc: Pasadena, CA
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: Patrick]
      #5782996 - 04/07/13 01:16 AM

Tried to see if Amazon had this for sale:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B00573NEEE/ref=dp_olp_new?ie=UTF8&...



The good news is that shipping is only $7.14.


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Chris817
member
*****

Reged: 07/05/10

Loc: Lakewood, Ohio
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: Dan Finnerty]
      #5783973 - 04/07/13 02:52 PM Attachment (600 downloads)

So far it's worked great for me. Had a little trouble the first time out getting it polar aligned, but after the app came out for android, it's been great. With my Canon T3 I was able to do a 300 second exposure at 300mm with an ISO of 400 on M51 from the light polluted skies south of Cleveland, Oh.

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munchmeister
sage
*****

Reged: 04/04/12

Loc: Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: Chris817]
      #5785813 - 04/08/13 12:02 PM

Wow. Nice image. 5 minutes sub speaks pretty well for this little tracker. And a 300mm lens is probably pretty heavy, loaded on to your DSLR.

Any details on this image? # of subs, photoshop, DSS details?


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Chris817
member
*****

Reged: 07/05/10

Loc: Lakewood, Ohio
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: munchmeister]
      #5786180 - 04/08/13 02:44 PM

Thanks. This is just one single image and no Photoshopping, still learning PS and how to stack. It didn't seem too loaded down either, handled my camera with the lens pretty well.

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YuriyT
member


Reged: 07/22/06

Loc: Moscow, Russia
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: Chris817]
      #5788448 - 04/09/13 03:11 PM

Hi, I've recorder the guiding curve of my sample, see details on the graph below.

Amplitude of (quasi) periodic guiding error is +/-50". This means that for long exposures focal length should be below 50 or even 35 mm (it depends on the pixel size also).

It's a pity that guiding error is so high, SkyTracker is really nice piece of engineering, small and lightweight.



Other "unboxing" images could be found in related set on Flickr.


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bilgebayModerator
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 11/06/08

Loc: Turkiye - Istanbul and Marmari...
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: YuriyT]
      #5788530 - 04/09/13 03:35 PM

Thank you for sharing this Yuriyt.

I would love to see the same curve for Vixen Polarie!


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ZakAttack
super member


Reged: 09/20/06

Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: bilgebay]
      #5799571 - 04/14/13 10:27 PM Attachment (528 downloads)

I used the SkyTracker for the first time on April 13th. I had no problems setting it up and using it. The polar scope with illuminated reticle was very easy to use. I left it attached the whole time and periodically checked the positioning. Since the ball-head I ordered hadn't arrived, I mounted a borrowed pan-head mount to the Sky Tracker and then attached a Canon XSi (450D) to it. I took a lot of constellation pictures in somewhat light-polluted skies. It is nice not having star-trails in my pictures!

Here is a snippet of a picture of the Beehive Cluster in Cancer I took with my Canon EFS 18-55mm zoom lens. The settings were: Aperture 4.0, Focal Length 27mm, ISO 400, Time = 60 seconds.


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ZakAttack
super member


Reged: 09/20/06

Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: ZakAttack]
      #5799628 - 04/14/13 11:10 PM Attachment (530 downloads)

Here is a pic of the Big Dipper I took with the same lens. The settings were: Aperture 4.0, Focal Length 27mm, ISO 400, Time = 240 seconds (4 minutes).

Dean


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: iOptron SkyTracker new [Re: ZakAttack]
      #5799647 - 04/14/13 11:28 PM

Dean,

Nice shots. These are single exposures?


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ZakAttack
super member


Reged: 09/20/06

Re: iOptron SkyTracker [Re: Mkofski]
      #5799726 - 04/15/13 12:32 AM

Yes, they are single exposures.

Dean


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Patrick
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/16/03

Loc: Franklin, Ohio
Re: iOptron SkyTracker [Re: YuriyT]
      #5799770 - 04/15/13 01:14 AM

YuriyT,

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

Patrick


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