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A review of the Unistellar EVscope


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A review of the Unistellar EVscope

 

Well here is another product that has received a lot of hype and press, but without divulging much useful information about the telescope itself. Well needless to say, the hype worked on me….and I took delivery of my (used) Unistellar EVscope today.

 

Why did I buy, and why should you?

 

I’ve been in the hobby since I was 13 years old. Over the years I’ve had everything from homebuilt 6F8 newts, to 11” SCTs to Questars and Televues, and you know what? - M13 and all the rest look exactly the same today as they did 40 years ago - so something had to change. I thought about getting into astrophotography as a way of perhaps looking at this differently, but there is a considerable investment in equipment, a steep learning curve, and generally you need to be attendant at your telescope when imaging.

 

So the EVscope checked several boxes for me.

·         GOTO – check

·         Self-aligning – check

·         Portable – check

·         Astrophotography for idiots – check (albeit on a limited basis)

·         Ability for scope to operate remotely (ie: me indoors) - check

 

So what follows is a brief description, first impressions and first-light performance.

 

What is it?

 

A close up of a logo

Description automatically generated with medium confidenceThe EVscope is essentially a Newtonian based camera in as much as the parabolic 4.5” F4 primary mirror focuses its image directly onto a Sony IMX224 sensor located in the position that would normally be occupied by the diagonal in a Newtonian or secondary in a Cassegrain.

 

The Sony IMX224 is a color sensor with a resolution of 1.2 Million pixels (1305 x 977).

 

 

 

The OTA is carried on a single fork arm ALT-AZ Goto mount with an integral lithium ion battery supposedly good for up to 10 hours. Also packed in there is a lot of computing power as evidenced by the scope’s ability to;

 

1.      Recognize any star field you point it at and derive its internal map from that. (Plate solving)

2.      Offer full GOTO and tracking capability.

3.      View in both live view (no enhancement) or enhanced vision (EV) which takes frames every 4 seconds and stacks them internally in real time to provide an enhanced vision rendering of the target.

4.      Cancel out field rotation that you get with any non-equatorial mounted telescope.

5.      Sets up its own wireless network so it can access your phone or tablet to:

a.      Get current GPS coordinates and time

b.      Send real time pictures to your device (and 8 others)

c.       Your phone or tablet runs the Unistellar app which is a free download from Google Play or the Apple store.

 

 

The eyepiece is not really an eyepiece in the sense that we’re all familiar with, but a ‘window’ looking at a Hi-res OLED display. You see on this display (and on your phone or tablet) whatever the main Sony chip sees. The sensor image is roughly the equivalent of 50X optical magnification. There is no facility to be able to change magnifications, although can zoom digitally on your device.

 

However, it is the EV mode that makes this scope different. While it is true that astrophotography has been around for decades, and no one thing that the EVscope does is groundbreaking – the EVscope accomplishes this without all the gear, wires, setup and steep learning curve necessary to get results with a more traditional setup.

 

It is this ability to capture and stack 15 images per minute with the commensurate increase in brightness and detail of the target that allows the EVscope to make some of its extravagant claims. I have an 8” SCT (which mathematically has 3X the light gathering power) and I can tell you that, with the possible exception of M42, the lowly 4.5” mirror on the EVscope reveals a lot more detail, brightness and color of the Messier and NGC objects when in EV mode – the magic of light stacking vs. raw aperture.

 

Open box

 

The EVscope arrived packed in the usual double cardboard box. Well protected. Once you get the outer wrapper off, you will be met with the following promise.

A picture containing indoor

Description automatically generatedText, letter

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Opening the inner box reveals the following

a)                   EVscope in parked position

b)      Tripod

c)                   Accessory box for the AC adapter

d)      Quick start manual and user manual

 

 

 

 

 

First impressions.

 

The scope and tripod together weigh approx. 20lbs. I wondered what the EVscope would be made of. The answer is aluminum for the OTA tube and plastic cladding for the lower end cell and mount cladding. The fork arm/base /rear cell have aluminum skeletons but in truth is, I was a bit disappointed.

 

With this scope commanding almost $3000USD, you’d like to think you could get away from the ETX black plastic syndrome, but the scope does have some heft to it, hinting perhaps at a substantial aluminum frame beneath the cladding.

 

The tripod is basically a heavy-duty camera tripod and the feet are tipped with squishy rubber pads which seem to allow a lot of ‘wiggle’.

 

Several times I would get the message that the ‘EV mode was dropped due to vibration’. It was a breezy night. I wonder if the squishy feet were allowing too much movement?

 

The tripod design allows the angle of the legs to be altered from a narrow footprint to almost horizontal in 3 steps. There are 3 ledges that the leg stop can butt against. Just pull out the detent to allow the stop to clear the lower ledge and butt against the next. It is not spring loaded so be sure to re-seat it.

 

The interface between the mount base and tripod head could also be more rigid. There are only 2 hold-down screws around the periphery, and this allows some movement between the scope and the tripod head. 3 screws would eliminate this issue, and indeed, there is a raised boss in the casting identical to the other two locations that has not been drilled/tapped. This would be an easily fixed oversight.

 

There is also some unwanted lateral play in the AZ axis. This could be contributing to the vibration warnings I sometimes get.  I am currently working with Unistellar to address this issue and will advise the outcome.

 

A picture containing weapon

Description automatically generatedLooking down the tube you will see the primary mirror at the bottom, and the ‘secondary cage’ forming the cross at the top of the tube where the Sony sensor is mounted.

 

Interestingly, the tube is double walled.. Whether this is to help with thermal stability, or to hide the wiring going up to the sensor – who knows? The inside of the OTA is painted a satin black which does a poor job of reducing stray light. A flat black paint, or even better, a textured flat black would help the cause.

 

 

The overall length of the OTA is a bit longer than a 4.5”F4 system would normally dictate. This is because the secondary light reflections that occur in a Newtonian or Cassegrain design that eat up some focal length are missing in the EVscope. It’s straight from the mirror to the sensor with nothing in between, so the OTA is as long as the mirror focal length plus whatever is needed at either end to house the optics and sensor.

 

 

A picture containing text

Description automatically generatedUnderneath the mount arm, there are two ports. The small one (USB-C) is the charging port. The large one (USB-A) can be used for powering a phone or other USB device from the scope’s internal battery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Setting up.

 

The Unistellar documentation is not, well….stellar. It’s bare bones and basically covers taking the scope out of the box and setting it up and how to start the app. Then you’re pretty well on your own.

 

Spread the tripod and level with the integral bubble level. Plunk the mount/scope into the socket and secure with the two thumbscrews, take off the dust caps and the physical stuff is done. Maybe a minute - tops.

 

Press the power button about 2 seconds and it will initially turn Purple, and then to Red as it finishes its boot sequence and establishes its Wi-Fi network. At this point you can acquire the EVscope network on your phone or tablet, and then start the Unistellar app on that same device.

 

A picture containing text, electronics

Description automatically generatedUse the app joystick to depress the scope to point at any open area of sky with visible stars.

 

A note on the joystick. The center yellow circle is the ‘tip’ of the joystick. Drag it onto any of the four direction arrows to move the scope. The further from the center you drag it, the faster the EVscope moves. Fine adjustments can be made by tapping just the arrows. I found it a little cumbersome to use in practice.

 

 

 

 

A picture containing text, electronics

Description automatically generatedTap the Autonomous Field Detection icon to start the alignment procedure.

 

Once the scope identifies the viewed star field with its internal database (called plate solving) it knows where it is and you’re good to go.

 

It seems to be very accurate, which it needs to be to land the image dead center on a small CMOS sensor. The only caveat is that it needs to see a star field, not just a single bright star, so you have to wait a little longer for the sky to darken before you can do an alignment.

 

Tap the ‘Explore’ icon on the lower menu bar to call up the GOTO database. Here you will find most of the popular Messier, NGC and IC targets grouped into several categories. If the selected object’s ‘GOTO’ icon is greyed out, this means it is not viewable at your time/location.

 

First impressions.

 

The EVscope is not a fast slewer, and during a GOTO, it seems to pause a couple of times along the way to review its plate solving algorithms in some wayward part of the sky, but whatever it is doing, it’s doing it well as the GOTO’s were spot-on middle-of-field when done, and they stayed there for as long as you want.

 

A close-up of a cell phone

Description automatically generated with medium confidenceDuring slewing the ‘Live view’ will shows the stars as streaks until the scope settles down to tracking rates. Once on target, it stays in Live view mode unless you tap the EV mode icon. The Live view mode can be pretty grainy on dim objects. You can fiddle with manual controls for the live view mode to provide a less ‘boosted’ image. I don’t know if dimming the live view mode also dims the view for the EVscope’s Sony sensor.

 

 

 

 

 

So you’ll want to tap the EV icon and this is where the magic happens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A celestial object in space

Description automatically generated with low confidenceThe EVscope then starts taking frames 4 sec apart, stacking and processing them to present a gradually improving image of dimmer astro targets. Brighter targets may only seconds to image, dimmer ones may run to several minutes depending on how dark your skies are.

 

In my fooling around the first time out, it only needed 20 sec to provide a nice pic of M42 and M82 – the Cigar Galaxy.

 

And I saw the Crab nebula for the first time ever….

 

And obviously, from this article, once you have the images on your phone or tablet, it’s easy to manipulate them.

 

The nice thing about all of this is that other than the preliminary setup, I was sitting comfortably in my den about 25 ft away while the scope was outside in freezing temperatures. I was able to move to the other end of the house which would have been about 40ft away at that point and still had a signal.

 

The scope seemed to be well focused and collimated when it arrived judging by the star images. Both the focus and collimation are manually adjusted with the app software providing the necessary feedback. There is an included Bahtinov focusing mask located under the front dust cap. Between the mask and the app-based cues for collimation, it is not difficult to do (easier than a standard Newtonian).

 

A couple of things seem to disorient the EVscope.

 

1.      If there are clouds or obstacles in the way of the FOV, then the scope cannot see a ‘plate’ to solve. It’s not like a regular GOTO where you tell the scope where it is on the face of the earth and what time it is and the controller then predicts the target location from there on. That GOTO system does not care about obstacles, it will cheerfully point at your target on the other side of a barn. By comparison, the EVscope navigates by comparing star fields to its internal maps. If any of the FOVs are blocked when it drops out of warp to have a recon, then the GOTO is aborted, and it returns to tracking mode.

2.      If excess vibration detected, the scope will drop out of EV mode. As mentioned, the rubber tripod feet or ‘squishy’ and there is excess play in the AZ axis that may be contributing to this issue…

 

Conclusions

 

So far, it is early days, but I am encouraged. The EVscope allows me to view the same old objects in a completely new light (no pun intended) and to save those views to my phone/tablet for use any way I want.

 

I am able to see things I could never see in my strictly visual scopes, or if visible, as my wife would say….meh...

 

So instead of doing a Messier marathon and saying ‘yeah, I think I saw it’, you can now have an image of each one for your Messier log. And like our hobby in general, the next night, the seeing or the next image could be better than the last.

 

The moon and planets can be viewed with the EVscope and indeed, they are GOTO objects in the Apps target list, but it is important to realize that this is not the EVscope’s intended purpose. The EVscope excels at aggregating light and detail from dim objects. The moon and brighter planets will require that you fiddle with the manual adjustments in live view mode. EV mode is not required. Just bear in mind that you are only dealing with 450mm of focal length so the planet views are going to be very small. However, for the moon and bright planets, any decent scope will do.

 

When it comes to looking for and viewing dim astro objects, there are basically two solutions:

 

a)      Big aperture, with all the attendant problems with portability. And at the end of the day, most faint fuzzies stay exactly like that – faint.. even in bigger scopes.

b)      Light stacking ie: Astrophotography. The EVscope is well along the way to astrophotography, albeit with limited resolution and light grasp compared to more professional setups. The meager 4.5” EVscope can show more of deep space objects than you could ever hope to see with direct vision. I’m sure there are some 24” newt owners that would dispute that statement, but please refer to my comment in point a).

 

So if you want to see more of deep sky objects than is possible with visual observing, and you’d like to be able to take pictures of these views, then this is perhaps a good fit for you.

 

I know that there are Astrophotographers out there that will sneer at this little scope, and there is no argument that for the money, you could get a much more capable telescope optically, and/or a better resolution AP setup - but you still have to carry it all out, hook it all up, learn how to use it, and accompany it with your computer while you’re taking the pics. And then you need to process the images through various software to tease out the details. I’ve done some basic webcam stuff and then processed it through a couple of stacking programs. I found it time consuming, tedious and not straightforward.

 

So the EVscope can get you into basic AP without the various components, wires, cables, computers, frostbite and steep learning curve.

 

I can take the scope outside, set it up and capture a decent image of M42 before the Pro AP guys have even finished carrying all their AP gear outside. And for now, I’m good with that.

 

EVscope Pro’s

 

·         Good introduction to basic astrophotography. It adds another dimension.

·         Accurate GOTOs and tracking

·         Fully integrated package so no wires, hookups or compatibility issues.

·         Works with any Android or Apple mobile phone or tablet with WiFi.

·         Capable of revealing very faint astro objects and saving the image files.

·         Good basic App interface. (would be better with a proper manual)

·         Very portable (OTA and tripod less than 20lbs)

·         No other accessories required.

·         Small learning curve.

 

EVscope cons

 

·         Expensive

·         Fully integrated package. If anything fails, you have a paperweight.

·         Limited capabilities compared to more sophisticated setups. Reports are that Unistellar is working on upgrades to make their scope more AP friendly for those that want to have more control. After all, it uses the same Sony IMX224 sensor as a couple of popular aftermarket AP cameras.

·         Sparse documentation for scope, and, in particular the Unistellar App. (to be fair though, they responded quickly to two questions I asked them)

·         Not really intended for the brighter solar system targets (although they can be imaged…)

·         Not good for terrestrial use.

 

 


  • kc6zut, Bob Campbell, okiestarman56 and 17 others like this


100 Comments

Good day all, my main hobby since the late 60s has been astronomy, mainly visual astronomy.  I'm an A.L. Master observer so I know the sky backwards and forwards.  My large scope is currently a pier mounted alt/az Celestron 11Edge HD.  I've started dabbling in imaging, i.e. with an EAA Mallincam 16mb color sensor.  I've used PhotoShop, astronomer version, for post imaging enhancement.  By the time I get everything connected, focused, etc, it's a chore even though my scope is already set up.  Post processing is another chore.  I've achieved some decent images but galaxies seem to be beyond my abilities.  Open cluster and nebulae are good.  I'm really interested in the Unistellar EVscope.  Anything that can take the chore out of imaging and put the fun back in is OK with me.  I desire point and shoot capability!  I don't give a whit about producing the best image for Sky & Telescope.  I want to see nice images of faint objects from my mag 5.5 backyard.  I'm probably going to buy one.  I DO WISH one could buy a larger version, say an 8 or 10" with a larger sensor.  I would be happy to pay more money for more capability.

    • ziggeman and BromoGNU like this

Very promising product category. I am all for making stuff easier to use and expanding the audience / hobby.

 

But the eVscope is an overpriced product with deceptive marketing. They have not invented any of the technologies they claim to have. They have just rebranded the innovations the community has come up with and are using this marketing to charge such a outlandish premium to the gullible layman user.

 

I am sorry if I have offended anyone here but it is what it is. It is clearly dishonest marketing.

 

But it you are willing to pay the premium and it brings you joy I would say go for it. But do it with your eye open.

I think you could argue the same of Apple’s iPhone launch 14 years ago. Screens on phones weren’t new, touch interface wasn’t new, software keyboard wasn’t new. However they pulled all these technologies together like no one else had before, and refined them into a sleek user friendly and unified experience all other manufacturers emulated. Yes there is an Apple premium, but nowadays there are many affordable smartphone alternatives. That’s not to say there’s no place for existing rigs, but that there’s place for a new innovative product category. The the big incumbent players such as Celestron, Meade and Orion seem to have missed this opportunity  ..much in the same way Nokia were left sleeping at the wheel 14 years ago. Hopefully though, they won’t let this go and it will prompt them to offer competing products so we all benefit.

    • dave253, ziggeman and BromoGNU like this
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Dave Mitsky
Jun 08 2021 11:37 PM

For anyone interested this is an example of mosaic created using this scope. Other examples are here https://evscope.myportfolio.com/

 

Your images were better than I expected.

    • ziggeman and BromoGNU like this

I was an early adopter of pre-iPhone smartphones.  They had all the bits but were clunky, balky and at time you, as a user, had to dive in a fix things.  Once apple came along, and then google, it was all nailed down pretty well, and the clunky stuff quickly vanished.

Another thing when people are talking prices vs picture quality.  The amount of integration and fussing is ignored, as well as the cost of one or more laptops.  But even then the cost of the parts isn't all that out of line for a "better than" setup to these smart telescopes.  Having been inspired by someone claiming one could do "better than" for less than half the cost, if you wanted to replicate with say a larger sensor with a larger image size - it easily can be higher than the eVscope or its rival Stellina.
 

I think you could argue the same of Apple’s iPhone launch 14 years ago. Screens on phones weren’t new, touch interface wasn’t new, software keyboard wasn’t new. However they pulled all these technologies together like no one else had before, and refined them into a sleek user friendly and unified experience all other manufacturers emulated. 

To me, the best thing about the EV is the ability to see color DSO in a matter of Minutes through the eyepiece and on screen. I’ve saw faint DSO objects in color that were only gray smudges through my other expensive telescopes. Not to mention saving images with the push of one button.
76053A9B EAEE 4A62 817A 30D3B985B640
evscope-east veil

 

 

    • dave253, Jon_Doh, eyeoftexas and 2 others like this

To me the worthwhile benefits of this telescope are its light weight and smaller size.  It truly is a grab and go and you can set up and using it in minutes vs a traditional mount, telescope and camera equipment.  My current set up sans camera takes me four trips out of the house.  Second advantage is useability in light polluted skies.  My skies have gotten horrible in recent years and driving to a dark site takes an hour.  Not to mention time to drag all the equipment out of the house and pack it in the car.  Seeing an object develop in the mind piece with detail and color emerging are mind blowing to me.  

 

Yes, I might be able to get better pictures with a typical astro set up, but the time I save in set up, cool down and processing is worth it.

 

BTW, thanks for the review and to the other owners who added their experience.

That's where EEA and AP are headed. Not so much that one will cancel the other, but eventually, the differences will become blurred and at that point it will come down to portability, ease of use and cost.

Once a new entrant in a marketplace matures, it always boils down to basics like that!

And with just 2 companies, it's a good start, let's see how things roll out with the major makers, and who eventually buys these companies.  Because as startups, this is likely the goal of their investors.
 

To me the worthwhile benefits of this telescope are its light weight and smaller size.  It truly is a grab and go and you can set up and using it in minutes vs a traditional mount, telescope and camera equipment.  My current set up sans camera takes me four trips out of the house.  Second advantage is useability in light polluted skies.  My skies have gotten horrible in recent years and driving to a dark site takes an hour.  Not to mention time to drag all the equipment out of the house and pack it in the car.  Seeing an object develop in the mind piece with detail and color emerging are mind blowing to me.  

 

Yes, I might be able to get better pictures with a typical astro set up, but the time I save in set up, cool down and processing is worth it.

 

BTW, thanks for the review and to the other owners who added their experience.

I think for me the "killer app" would be the $1500 50mm Vaonis offering next year.  That would be a nice spontaneous "hey it's suddenly not longer cloudy and I only have a few hours to do some observation"
 

I suspect that before I want to make the leap into full blown AP, that EEA will have advanced to the point that there is no difference.

 

Just my take.

I happen to agree.  I recall two other times that Amamteur Astronomy was "doomed" was film to CCD; And even worse was the "Go-To" revolution.  Same kinds of arguments, same kind of attitude.

And I think automation has progressed so far in all the rest of our lives, that this next new thing will end up as common as a go-to mount, and AP and EAA will kind of blur together and be much better and easier.  Even outside these Smart scopes, you can see the convergence they give today, coming together with camera companies, etc.  Next real step is going to be losing the laptop.
 

Photo
bmwscopeguy
Jun 12 2021 03:59 PM

I happen to agree.  I recall two other times that Amamteur Astronomy was "doomed" was film to CCD; And even worse was the "Go-To" revolution.  Same kinds of arguments, same kind of attitude.

And I think automation has progressed so far in all the rest of our lives, that this next new thing will end up as common as a go-to mount, and AP and EAA will kind of blur together and be much better and easier.  Even outside these Smart scopes, you can see the convergence they give today, coming together with camera companies, etc.  Next real step is going to be losing the laptop.
 

I guess I can understand the reluctance of dedicated AP guys. Despite embracing electronics when it suited them, they still pioneered the way as to what was possible with amateur equipment.  To see all that dedication and learning swept away by technological change would be a bitter pill to swallow. Sort of like a carburetor mechanic facing fuel injection, or CRT technician looking at LED displays...

 

But that doesn't mean change should not or will not come. Nor does it mean nit will be bad.

 

The AP guys have set a standard that EEA will have to catch up with.

    • dave253 and ziggeman like this

Disruptive technology is always difficult to stomach, particularly when people are so invested in the old. Just look at the current debate of fossil fuelled cars versus EVs. Once the technology becomes mainstream, competitive, cheaper and more advanced, it will be difficult to go back where we were before.

I sort of get the overall impression that cobbling a working EEA setup together is a bit like building your own computer in the old days. Remember? Buy a case/tower, a motherboards, drive, video card, sound card - but not those ones because they won't talk to the whatsit, and these ones are a lot quicker when you pair them with those other thingamajigs.

 

Looking to avoid this in an EEA setup.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

FYI: Building a computer was way easier. I've had my eVscope for over a year and love it. They've made improvements in the software that reflect in the images. High ALT obs may lose tracking because of rotation. I have the loose AZ also. 

 

The scope is solid. How do I know, well it's all my bad. Stupid me thought the mount was cradled and secured properly in one instance, and the scope fell off the tripod, twice. Later I shook out the gravel, removed and cleaned the mirror, put it back together and voila, good as new except for some minor tube scratches and a few minor mirror pits from stones.

 

I'm trying to get a 953FL scope to act as a good astrophotography setup. Learning curve and equipment cost are so much more investment than the first homebuilt computers. Once you know it all it would be much easier, but getting to that point is an adventure.

 

I do wish Unistellar put in a slightly better sensor than the 224IMX since it was designed for DS objects and not planetary. But the images are decent.

Photo
bmwscopeguy
Jun 14 2021 06:58 PM

Disruptive technology is always difficult to stomach, particularly when people are so invested in the old. Just look at the current debate of fossil fuelled cars versus EVs. Once the technology becomes mainstream, competitive, cheaper and more advanced, it will be difficult to go back where we were before.

Ford is introducing an F150 full electric pickup truck.

 

It has good range, enviable performance and a competitive price. If they pull this off, it will raise EV stakes to the next level. Ford sold twice as many F150's last year as Tesla did all models.

 

It will be a game changer. And if it catches on, if I was a fuel injection or internal combustion mechanic - I might be looking for transition courses....

 

If we want the virtues and benefits (not to mention investment portfolios) of tech - we can't complain where that leads. If enough people deem a new technology as worthy, how can you suppress that march towards a new paradigm?

 

So AP guys....educate the EEA side of things as to what you consider important, where you think EEA falls short, and what can be done to arrive ata standerd of performance that satisfies both camps.

 

If you don't, the market will simply overtake you, and you'll have no input.

    • hdavid and Scout666 like this

One point that is not made in the review is when you download your observations they do go to a remote server... for a purpose. You can request access to your data if you like, but I download for contributions to Unistellar's citizen scientist program. I and several others will observe occultations and EXO transits then submit them to their program for light curve and variable star analysis. We've also, as a team, contributed observations to determine the shape of an asteroid. I've viewed objects at 13.5+ magnitudes with this scope so it's really an adventure without the pain.

 

Edit

I also live in a light polluted area of the SF bay and can see many DSO's. I did an experiment recently and found that going from near sea level to the top of Mount Diablo near 3600' with the eVscope will let you collect photons at about twice as fast at higher elevations. So if you live in a dark location or at altitude your seeing will be way better than mine.

    • hdavid likes this
Photo
bmwscopeguy
Jun 14 2021 07:57 PM

One point that is not made in the review is when you download your observations they do go to a remote server... for a purpose. You can request access to your data if you like, but I download for contributions to Unistellar's citizen scientist program. I and several others will observe occultations and EXO transits then submit them to their program for light curve and variable star analysis. We've also, as a team, contributed observations to determine the shape of an asteroid. I've viewed objects at 13.5+ magnitudes with this scope so it's really an adventure without the pain.

 

Edit

I also live in a light polluted area of the SF bay and can see many DSO's. I did an experiment recently and found that going from near sea level to the top of Mount Diablo near 3600' with the eVscope will let you collect photons at about twice as fast at higher elevations. So if you live in a dark location or at altitude your seeing will be way better than mine.

I can't think what they'll make of my EVscope data.

 

If I want want to upload my rudimentary pics, I don't care, they won't get anything from them.

 

Anyone that Googles my address can get my lat/long coordinates....so what is left?

 

And here's the thing, this community sharing thing is completely voluntary. They only get data from me IF/and WHEN I download (and that is an option BTW, it is not mandatory). The scope will still function even if your internal scope storage is at 100% and you never download.

 

And I dont want to hear from any conspiracy theorists about how we never know of there is a secret WIFI backchannel or some such. You're using the internet now, you have a smartphone - so you're already exposed, it's too late to worry about the evils of EVscopes - you're already a gonner....lol

 Who wants to do star hopping and setting circles to maybe find any object? 

I do!

Searching for something with an atlas give me satisfaction , and is a big part of the fun for me.

    • moonrakercat and ziggeman like this

I can't see enough stars in my sky to do star hopping.

Last Sunday night I just plonked my eVscope out on my wooden back deck, no pier, minimal levelling, no polar alignment, didn't even bother focussing it from last time (not that this is hard), pressed the go button and within 20 minutes had captured this. Bortle 5 sky, slightly foggy night with street lights nearby. The view in the eyepiece was even better, the photo doesn't do it justice. Never in my 40+ years of astronomy with a myriad of scopes and looking through other 25"+ scopes have I ever really been able to see the Helix as anything but the faintest smudge. This is truly a revolution!
 

Helix nebula
    • Jon_Doh, alder1, BinoGuy and 3 others like this

 

Last Sunday night I just plonked my eVscope out on my wooden back deck, no pier, minimal levelling, no polar alignment, didn't even bother focussing it from last time (not that this is hard), pressed the go button and within 20 minutes had captured this. Bortle 5 sky, slightly foggy night with street lights nearby. The view in the eyepiece was even better, the photo doesn't do it justice. Never in my 40+ years of astronomy with a myriad of scopes and looking through other 25"+ scopes have I ever really been able to see the Helix as anything but the faintest smudge. This is truly a revolution!
 

Helix nebula

 

Perfectly put. I’m in total agreement as this is my exact same experience. I imaged the Horsehead Nebula low to the horizon (apx 20 degrees and setting), with Street lights only meters away, and from a city balcony. Previously using my C8/GEM and conventional astrophotography rig I struggled to reliably find this target let alone image it. With the fully automated eVscope, I press a button to auto align, another button to goto, and another to start imaging and stacking in real-time directly within the scope. Within a few seconds I see the image appearing on my iPad. Love it!

 

Horsehead Nebula through street lights on a city balcony
    • Jon_Doh, BinoGuy, Thandal and 2 others like this
Scout, that’s a remarkable picture. You too, dhein. The eVscope seems like it can really deliver.

Thanks for the informative review! I saw an ad for this scope on FB and had a lot of questions, all of which you answered. Overall, it sounds like a "nice to have," but that price is too steep for me now, although I may consider a used one like you did. The remote operation sounds appealing, since there are many dark and clear, but very cold winter nights I'd like to do some observing, 

Photo
steveincolo
Jun 17 2021 05:34 PM

The "Sixty Symbols" Youtube channel has an amusing discussion with one of the professional astronomers on the channel and his use of the eVscope.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=glOWZoFnB8w

Scout, that’s a remarkable picture. You too, dhein. The eVscope seems like it can really deliver.

For a little 4.5" telescope it certainly does. For the first time ever, you can actually view more than just faint fuzzy blobs in a quick and easy to use telescope. Not only that, in full, impressive colour. It's truly a revolution.

    • Jon_Doh likes this

This matrix of skills provided by Unistellar for the eVscope I think is a very honest view of where the scope best fits in the market and for what market it is trying to fulfill.

Unistellar matrix
BUT if you are someone starting out, who is looking to see if they like the hobby with this as a possible entry to bigger things, then there is really no room to grow, and 3-4K is a lot to spend on something that locks you in.  For a little more money, you will get a lot more performance and not much more in terms of learning curve.

 

Just my take and reasonable folks can disagree. 

 

Cheers!

JMD

I suspect a typical customer of theirs (just a guess) is someone who used a telescope as a kid, has a good job and kids now, and was thinking it would be fun to get something like this to introduce their kids to astronomy.  Given the visual you get through the eyepiece and on the phone looks nicer than what a naked eyeball view would look, and it sets itself up on its own, as a parent you can be a STEM teacher superstar.

I think someone who wasn't already exposed to astronomy at some point in their life would freak out at the cost of the systems we are tossing around here - especially with the learning curve and technical expertise ... and the smart telescope system.  Sticker shock and then the $200-300 telescope that will end up in a closet in most cases.

JUst my thoughts on who would do this.

 



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