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A new all-in-one guide / polar align camera with AI

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#1 Corpze

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 12:27 AM

Will this new camera revloutionize the astro photography?

By the looks of it - it would gick the polemaster a tough competitor, and that is just the beginning!

I browsed the internet and discovered this new camera, but it looks to be quite a work horse.
The company sais it is wokring with "AI", has multi star guiding, can do polar align for you and also plate solve.

I made a video, covering the main features which it is supposed to have.

You can watch the video here: https://youtu.be/8F31hSpSxgk

/Daniel

* I am not sponsored, or a part of this company, just a tech-nerd who thought this looked like a really cool product which takes it a step further.


Edited by Corpze, 25 January 2021 - 02:23 AM.


#2 Tapio

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 01:04 AM

AI is now a popular term but I doubt it's used in this camera - just clever programming.


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#3 rgsalinger

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 01:37 AM

This device has one very nice niche use case.

 

That's the situation in which you do not bring a computer or a CCD camera with you into the field. You are just going to use a DSLR and the mount's hand controller to image. . Other than that it's a waste of money and it's a black box. You won't know if it's working and if it isn't good luck figuring out what's wrong at midnight in 40 degree weather. Still, for that use case it would be a great toy if it wasn't so expensive. It's also going to be limited to guiding fairly short refractors given the focal length of the recommended guide scope. 

 

I polar align my mount long before it's time to image. I bring out a hefty battery which I already own when I'm portable. I also like to know that I can troubleshoot a device if it's not working. Just getting a blinking red LED is not really something that's helpful at 1AM on a cold night.

 

Now, what exactly did I miss in my perusal of the website? 

 

Rgrds-Ross



#4 Corpze

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 02:18 AM

AI is now a popular term but I doubt it's used in this camera - just clever programming.

Yep, good coding skills and machine learning is quite different, how ever, i can not confirm nor reject their claim :/

 

This device has one very nice niche use case.

 

That's the situation in which you do not bring a computer or a CCD camera with you into the field. You are just going to use a DSLR and the mount's hand controller to image. . Other than that it's a waste of money and it's a black box. You won't know if it's working and if it isn't good luck figuring out what's wrong at midnight in 40 degree weather. Still, for that use case it would be a great toy if it wasn't so expensive. It's also going to be limited to guiding fairly short refractors given the focal length of the recommended guide scope. 

 

I polar align my mount long before it's time to image. I bring out a hefty battery which I already own when I'm portable. I also like to know that I can troubleshoot a device if it's not working. Just getting a blinking red LED is not really something that's helpful at 1AM on a cold night.

 

Now, what exactly did I miss in my perusal of the website? 

 

Rgrds-Ross

You could connect to it with the app I presume, to check more in depth status.

I am too concerned of how they quite easilly "recomend" that short guide tube focal lenght...

Mount it on a 500mm + guide tube and go for it i say, it should manage that too... but then again, I am just guessing now.

/Daniel 



#5 speedster

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 02:56 AM

For only $1,200 I can maybe save 4 minutes over what I now do with a $300 camera and free NINA?  And I can't tweak guiding parameters and have to use a leprechaun Iphone screen?  Somebody will buy it.  I just can't see why.



#6 AnakChan

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 03:48 AM

An All-in-one AutoGuider that’s already been done by a Japanese maker a few years back :-

https://youtu.be/b6Cfic5ABsM

And it’s cheaper (if in stock :)): http://shop.ss-one.net/?pid=136281260

Granted it looks more ghetto & rather DIY-ish but it’s a pretty innovative device that performs as an intervalometer for DSLRs & dithering too with connectivity via Wi-Fi for configuring the acquisition settings (whilst autoguiding itself & mount control via ST4 can be down via the mini display @ the back of the device).

Requires 5V 2A, so USB power banks may be sufficient.
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#7 endless-sky

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 03:53 AM

I don't think that price justifies having Wi-Fi and a guiding software integrated into the camera.

 

If you want to be "laptop" free in the field, you can get away with less than 100$ buying a Raspberry Pi, installing KStars/EKOS and controlling everything with your phone / tablet.

 

Plenty of polar alignment resources, between EKOS and PHD2.

 

So, counting the 150-200$ of an average guiding camera, with less than 300$ and free software you can basically do the same things as what's advertised with the "all-in-one" camera.



#8 rkinnett

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 04:03 AM

I agree with Ross, this will service a very niche market until they work out a simple way to integrate this with astro cameras.  At that point, it becomes a glorified asiair attached to a guide camera.

 

That said, I have to admit, if the price was much lower (1/4 the asking price), I could see myself using this on a secondary rig with the DSLR while I keep my attention on my main rig.

 

It's also going to be limited to guiding fairly short refractors given the focal length of the recommended guide scope. 

I'm not so sure about that.  They claim they can guide 0.2" with just 150mm focal length and that any long than that just reduces the field of view and SNR.  There might actually be something to that, contrary to most of our experience and the general guidance to limit your guiding scale to not more than ~5x that of your primary imaging scale.  That guidance is based on PHD2's use of the guide star luminance profile to estimate center off with accuracy on the order of 1/4 pixel.  It appears these guys are using multi-star tracking instead of single-star tracking which I suspect can get better than 1/4 pixel accuracy, relaxing the imaging scale ratio requirement.  I've heard that a recent development version of PHD2 does the same thing but I haven't looked into that myself yet.



#9 rgsalinger

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 01:12 PM

I'm sure that they can get to less than 1/5th of a pixel, so maybe you'd be good to one meter but at that length you'd better have a very rigid mounting for the guide scope. 

 

I don't really see the difference (other than the amount of power that you need) between having a raspberry pi and having a PC out in the field in most cases.

 

Of course it you are backpacking into the wilderness then who knows how light you can go with a lithium pack and a solar panel to recharge things. 

 

Rgrds-Ross



#10 chriswebb

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 01:24 PM

AI is now a popular term but I doubt it's used in this camera - just clever programming.

That's a distinction without a difference. AI has always been a broad term and has always included "clever programming" or algorithms like A*, Dykstra, etc.



#11 Jarno

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 01:31 PM

There's a Dutch astronomer who's using the Staraid. He's getting good results guiding his 8" EdgeHD with a 60mm f/2.5 guidescope.

 

Jarno



#12 rgsalinger

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 02:17 PM

I'll believe "good results" when I see measurements. Until them, I'm skeptical that you can guide an SCT with this gadget. Having said that, as we take shorter and shorter exposures, the whole flexure issue may disappear. So, I wouldn't rule it out. 

Rgrds-Ross



#13 Peteram

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Posted 16 February 2021 - 12:26 PM

Hi all,

I just took delivery of mine. And fortunately had a little clear sky time to try it out. Connecting to it was very easy and straight forward, very simple using my telephone (android) and an IPad as well. The only reason you really need to is to focus it or if you want to use some additional functionality. After it was focused it latterly took the unit about 10 seconds to calibrate itself before it started guiding. It found 20 stars to use as guide stars and it can use up to 40 stars. I let it go for about an hour while slewing the scope to different parts of the sky. It did not fail even once. Kept my mount (astrotrac360) well under 1” , about0.5 rms the whole time. Which seems a bit better than what I get with my ASI air. I was impressed. I don’t think I ever got anything “Astro” to work this easy without tweaking anything. I shortly tried to polar alignment with it as well at a random spot in the sky and that seemed to work quite easy as well, although I was not able to measure its accuracy due to the clouds moving in. I know it is expensive, but if it continues to work as well as it did, well worth the money!



#14 SonnyE

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Posted 16 February 2021 - 02:06 PM

Sorry, not interested.

And your video drags on a bit too much for me to keep watching it. So I would suggest you try and trim it to the meat of the matter.

Currently, I'm using Sharpcap Pro, and my imaging camera to Polar Align.

So I would have to use a Polemaster for 25 years to make my annual payments to Robin Glover for Sharpcap ($12 USD). And with Sharpcap, I can see the results of my adjustments and tweak it to as zeroed as I desire (given atmospheric disturbances).

 

Frankly, I doubt I have 25 years left. And highly doubt I could be tottering out to set up my telescope at 95 years of age, even if I did have 25 years left in me. lol.gif wink.gif

But to me, results count the most.

Even my most argumentative friends cannot fault my results.

So, not interested. Onward! Through the fog!

 

Reasons I'm not interested:

 

Alberio Post Processed Lagoon Nebula 13000 stack filtered W
Album: Long Exposure Images
8 images
0 comments

 
Your mileage may vary....

Edited by SonnyE, 16 February 2021 - 02:10 PM.


#15 SonnyE

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Posted 16 February 2021 - 02:23 PM

Incidentally, I have AI in my Rumba automatic vacuum cleaner. But more often than not, I have to help it back to it's base.

 

Voice to text technology was interesting it the 1990's. I actually tried to make it work.

But it took 25 years for it to mature.

 

I don't buy into Polar Alignment through a guide scope. It would have to be exact to the Main optical tube to get the accuracies done with PA through the MOT.

Which is where the image is wanted.

 

So my opinion, based on experience, differs.

Yep, I'm a hard sell for gimmicky stuff.



#16 Anhydrite

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Posted 16 February 2021 - 02:40 PM

 

 

I don't buy into Polar Alignment through a guide scope. It would have to be exact to the Main optical tube to get the accuracies done with PA through the MOT.

Which is where the image is wanted.

 

 

PA through the guide scope is just as accurate as through the main scope.  Even if not aligned to the same axis of rotation. You are aligning the mount.......not the scopes. If you have enough flexure to effect the PA then your guiding is going to suck anyway.



#17 Tapio

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Posted 16 February 2021 - 02:44 PM

It's a bit more than just a substitute for SharpCap and its PA routine.

But with all the with all the bells and whistles I think it's still expensive.


Edited by Tapio, 16 February 2021 - 02:45 PM.


#18 SonnyE

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Posted 16 February 2021 - 04:44 PM

PA through the guide scope is just as accurate as through the main scope.  Even if not aligned to the same axis of rotation. You are aligning the mount.......not the scopes. If you have enough flexure to effect the PA then your guiding is going to suck anyway.

I think I will try both, since Sharpcap sees both of my cameras (Infinity and ASI290 mm Mini) anyway.

Inquiring minds want to know....

 

I don't think I have too many problems with my guiding though. Do you?

 

Alberio Post Processed Lagoon Nebula 13000 stack filtered W
Album: Long Exposure Images
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#19 Anhydrite

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Posted 16 February 2021 - 06:46 PM

 

I don't think I have too many problems with my guiding though. Do you?

 

Nope.  No issues guiding either.

 

The all in one camera seems only really useful for trying to get guiding on a lightweight DSLR rig where you don't have a laptop or want to carry batteries...

 

I don't think it is very useful for people with full setups.  Someone will find a use for it though.




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