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New Avalon StarGo Drive System for Losmandy Mounts

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#1 EFT

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 09:33 PM

Deep Space Products and Avalon Instruments introduced the new StarGo standalone drive system at NEAF this weekend. These are full goto systems that are controlled through SkySafari on Android devices (and we are working with Simulation Curriculum to realize an adapter for their SkyWire in order to have control through iOS devices as well.

The system can be adapted to any kind of German equatorial mount and motors are currently available for the Losmandy GM-8 and G11 mounts as well as EQ-5/CG-5 style mounts. The original Losmandy motors and gearboxes (goto or non-goto) are replaced with a quiet stepper motor and belt drive that completely eliminates the gearbox. If you are looking to get away from the noisy motors and gearboxes, away from the Gemini I/II control system or upgrade your non-goto digital drive system to a smooth, easy-to-use goto drive system, the StarGo system will be just what you need.

The StarGo system comes in a slim carrying case that holds the control module, power supply, manual hand controller, cables and accessories. The control module includes two motor ports, an ST-4 guide port, a DSLR port, a Steeldrive port, USB port, and two auxiliary motor ports that can be used to drive things like focusers or filter wheels (we are working with Starlight instruments to be able to connect their focus motors to these ports).

The StarGo drive system is currently priced at $1160. Motor kits (including two motors, belts and pulley sets) for the GM-8 and G11 mounts are $470 but are available at an introductory price of $400.

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The motor enclosures will be black.

There will be more information and you will be able to order on our website soon. I would be happy to answer any questions you have.

#2 Ricky

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 10:26 AM

Hi Ed,
Would this system be adaptable to the Sirius mount and if so would it be a major improvement over the synscan goto system?

#3 EFT

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 12:06 PM

Yes, the StarGO standalone kit can be used to replace the Synscan system on the Sirius/EQ5/HEQ5. For the Atlas/EQ6 there is a StarGO retrofit kit that replaces the mount electronics and fits right into the space for the original motor board and face plate. The standalone kit is required for the Sirius since the mount electronics are configured differently for that mount so the StarGo must be attached with cables.

The StarGO standalone and retrofit kits have all of the functionality and software of the StarGO system used on the Avalon mounts including Bluetooth integration for control by Android devices with SkySafari.

Below is a picture of the retrofit system for the Atlas/EQ6. Note that the key pad connection has been changed from what is pictured.

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#4 Ricky

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 12:22 PM

Thanks Ed!

#5 MikeCatfin

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 08:16 AM

Hi Ed, so if I understand correctly, this is a competitor to the Gemini system. I assume it has an extensive object catalog? Also does StarGo interface with the Sky X the way Gemini does?
Apologies if these questions are elementary.

#6 EFT

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 07:59 PM

Hi Ed, so if I understand correctly, this is a competitor to the Gemini system. I assume it has an extensive object catalog? Also does StarGo interface with the Sky X the way Gemini does?
Apologies if these questions are elementary.


A competitor or replacement, however you want to look at it. The StarGO system and software itself has a default database of 14,000 standard objects and may be easily added to with a simple text file. Beyond this the databases contained in SkySafari, the SkyX and any other planetary program that can control a mount will apply. So the simple answer to the question is, yes, there is an extensive object catalog.

#7 APshooter

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 11:15 PM

Ed, I can't find this information online anywhere.  Does the Stargo have features like resume from park?



#8 APshooter

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 06:04 PM

Does it also have meridian flip?



#9 netwolf

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Posted 15 October 2014 - 02:04 AM

Can it be used stand alone without a PC connected.



#10 HydrogenAlpha

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 07:30 AM

Has anyone used this yet? I am looking to retrofit my digital drive G11 with a GOTO system. I am considering both the Gemini 2 and this. Both are roughly about the same price, but I like the belt drive of the STARGO, and there have been reports of quite a number of issues with the Gemini. Looking at Ed's site, it is mentioned that multi-star alignment is still not yet available. It seems rather odd to me that such a basic function has still not been included. It also appears that this is a very new product, and as a result many of the bugs may not have been ironed out. Thoughts?



#11 APshooter

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 06:57 PM

I've been wondering as well, I have not seen any reviews online and Ed hasn't chimed in on this one yet.  I'm always hesitant to try something first, I'd rather hear from other people how their expoeriences panned out.  My mount is finally tracking well, but a goto system would be helpful in the future for ccd work.




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