Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

iOptron Skyguider Pro and 8408 controller

  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 aae991

aae991

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: 29 Jun 2014
  • Loc: Chicago area

Posted 10 June 2018 - 04:07 PM

It's been a long time since I've been on this forum. I finally have time to get into some basic astrophotography and recently purchased an iOptron Skyguider Pro. I recently read about their 8408 hand controller and it's "limited" functionality with the Skyguider. Is there anyone on this group that has experience with the 8408? Are the limited functions worth it?

 

I'll be using a Sony A7RIII and a "yet to be chosen" lens setup. I'm looking at an adapted Canon 16-35mm f2.8 III for my choice or possibly purchasing a prime E-mount lens (aka Batis 18mm). Sony 16-35mm f2.8 G is pricey and seems to have a lot of sample variation. I've also got an Astro-Tech 65Q that I purchased on here several years ago. If I remember the Skyguider Pro can handle 11 pounds with the counterweight.

 

Thanks.

 

Stuart



#2 scadvice

scadvice

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 56
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2018

Posted 10 June 2018 - 04:14 PM

I don't much about them but This guy did a video review on one.

 

https://astrobackyar...der-pro-review/



#3 aae991

aae991

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: 29 Jun 2014
  • Loc: Chicago area

Posted 10 June 2018 - 05:18 PM

I don't much about them but This guy did a video review on one.

 

https://astrobackyar...der-pro-review/

Thanks. HIs review got me to buy the unit, but I can't find anywhere on his site of he uses the 8408. 



#4 poobie

poobie

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 430
  • Joined: 30 Dec 2013
  • Loc: Tuscaloosa, AL

Posted 12 June 2018 - 11:37 PM

if I recall correctly, pretty much all the hand controller gets you is faster slewing.  I don't think I'd bother, personally, for a camera tracker.



#5 dciobota

dciobota

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1146
  • Joined: 07 Aug 2007
  • Loc: Omaha, Nebrrrraska

Posted 13 June 2018 - 12:30 AM

With the hand controller you get (if I remember correctly):

Changing settings like tracking rate, illuminator, etc.  

Polar alignment clock.

Intervalometer

 

 

Note, if you have a smarteq pro plus it uses the same controller which works on both mounts automatically.



#6 Aaron_tragle

Aaron_tragle

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 452
  • Joined: 23 Jul 2017
  • Loc: Richmond, Virginia

Posted 13 June 2018 - 03:03 AM

Thanks. HIs review got me to buy the unit, but I can't find anywhere on his site of he uses the 8408.


I owned a SkyGuider Pro and the handcontroller is pretty useless for the SkyGuider, the only things that it gives you that are new are an intervalometer and the polar alignment clock. Intervalometers are built in to most cams anyways and the polar alignment clock you can get on your phone for under 2 bucks and it is way more accurate than the one on the HC.

#7 aae991

aae991

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: 29 Jun 2014
  • Loc: Chicago area

Posted 13 June 2018 - 03:41 PM

I owned a SkyGuider Pro and the handcontroller is pretty useless for the SkyGuider, the only things that it gives you that are new are an intervalometer and the polar alignment clock. Intervalometers are built in to most cams anyways and the polar alignment clock you can get on your phone for under 2 bucks and it is way more accurate than the one on the HC.

Thanks. I've decided against the 8408 and already bought the app on my iPhone for alignment. Best $1.99 I could spend for the process smile.gif



#8 Dave24137

Dave24137

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 41
  • Joined: 29 Mar 2018

Posted 15 June 2018 - 09:38 AM

iOptron's app is questionable.

 

I've used PS Align Pro for iPhone and it's been more reliable, both in practice and based on reviews.

 

I queried iOptron about the discrepancy of Polaris' position between the two apps, and I was met with apathy and then silence: even though the app is critical to proper alignment, which is the whole point.

 

Based on the "simplicity" of iOptron's app, it comes across as an afterthought; whereas PS Align Pro is stuffed with refined features and functionality.

 

Just my experience, but it's worth checking.

 

With regard to the hand-controller, not getting it is probably best. I try to slew manually whenever I can rather than put wear on the motor; and the hand-controller would likely overdo it. Plus with the SGP, part of its charm is that it forces you (us) to learn the sky, which nowadays seems out of style.


  • ecuador and Aaron_tragle like this

#9 ecuador

ecuador

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 314
  • Joined: 15 Aug 2014
  • Loc: Stockport, UK

Posted 15 June 2018 - 10:43 AM

iOptron's app is questionable.

 

I've used PS Align Pro for iPhone and it's been more reliable, both in practice and based on reviews.

 

I queried iOptron about the discrepancy of Polaris' position between the two apps, and I was met with apathy and then silence: even though the app is critical to proper alignment, which is the whole point.

 

Based on the "simplicity" of iOptron's app, it comes across as an afterthought; whereas PS Align Pro is stuffed with refined features and functionality.

 

Just my experience, but it's worth checking.

 

With regard to the hand-controller, not getting it is probably best. I try to slew manually whenever I can rather than put wear on the motor; and the hand-controller would likely overdo it. Plus with the SGP, part of its charm is that it forces you (us) to learn the sky, which nowadays seems out of style.

Polar Scope Align (PS Align) was originally made just for myself, as a 'smartass' way of avoiding to align my ZEQ25 polar scope which was off (there's still a feature in the app that allows misaligned polar scopes) and one of the main reasons I made it available to the public was because I noticed the iOptron app and the hand controller didn't agree and especially the app was way off. If I remember correctly, the further away you were from 6/12h, the more the error you got up to something like an hour. They tried to fix it several times, there were a few versions that said "rewrote position algorithm" or something to that effect, but for quite a while they couldn't seem get it right, so I don't know where they are at now, perhaps they finally had their actual engineers help out the app developer(s) and they did get it right? :) 

 

Even if they got it 'right' currently, the apps cannot agree. Polar Scope Align calculates precession, atmospheric refraction, stellar aberration and nutation so it agrees with sources like Cartes du Ciel or USNO tables to within a couple of seconds, but not with other polar alignment apps (there is a help section devoted to this in the in-app help and also on the website). Obviously, things like stellar aberration and nutation are too small to make a difference to your alignment, it is just that implementing them is my idea of fun ;)



#10 Dave24137

Dave24137

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 41
  • Joined: 29 Mar 2018

Posted 16 June 2018 - 12:00 PM

Thanks for explaining further; I'm glad to know my eyes weren't deceiving me.

 

Not to veer off-topic in this thread, but do you have any thoughts on hardware/software like the Polemaster?

 

I had been using your app until I decided to switch to said Polemaster, and I've had slightly better results because it doesn't rely on human error (looking at the app and then through a polar-scope will always be slightly off, which is not the fault of the app of course).

 

And I wonder why iOptron doesn't address this directly, or seek to license your software, for instance. As I said, precise polar-alignment is critical to their entire business. I guess not enough people vocalize.



#11 ecuador

ecuador

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 314
  • Joined: 15 Aug 2014
  • Loc: Stockport, UK

Posted 16 June 2018 - 06:29 PM

Thanks for explaining further; I'm glad to know my eyes weren't deceiving me.

 

Not to veer off-topic in this thread, but do you have any thoughts on hardware/software like the Polemaster?

 

I had been using your app until I decided to switch to said Polemaster, and I've had slightly better results because it doesn't rely on human error (looking at the app and then through a polar-scope will always be slightly off, which is not the fault of the app of course).

 

And I wonder why iOptron doesn't address this directly, or seek to license your software, for instance. As I said, precise polar-alignment is critical to their entire business. I guess not enough people vocalize.

Personally, with the app I can polar align at least as precisely as I need for (guided) imaging in about 20 seconds and without spending any extra money. Perhaps for unguided or if you have a bad polar scope it would make more sense? In general, apart from equipment, it is also a matter of personal preference.

 

No idea what iOptron is doing with their app or even who makes it (I'd like to think it's some outside contractor). I think it should be a free app - you have already paid for the mount - and in that case it would not look as bad when they were struggling to get it right. I mean, they have nice products, even nicer support (at least from my personal experience - but never queried them about their app), the paid app is a bit silly.

 

But it's getting very off-topic. Better PM me if you have a related question wink.gif


Edited by ecuador, 16 June 2018 - 06:34 PM.



CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics