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Space Oddities

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About Space Oddities

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    Star Forming

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    Munich, Germany
  1. I've heard complaints about that adapter, the locking pin breaking and the lens being stuck in the adapter... Probably not the safest option for Nikon/Canon lenses. The consensus seems to be that the Geoptik adapter (and the TS Optics variant, that only exists for Canon for some reason) are a much better bet. They're twice the price, but apparently much more solid. And they come with a foot for easy mounting. https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p2837_Geoptik-Adaptor-for-Nikon-lenses-to-T2-for-CCD-cameras---w--1-4--thread.html Other than that, my ZWO adapter works well so far! I just hope it won't break at some point...
  2. The difference with the Intel NUC and any other PC based solution, is that it works out of the box and is extremely simple to use. That's what you actually pay for, I think, and these 2 products are for different people I would say. For beginners like me, who need to go to a public park to take pictures... that makes a huge difference! I just need my phone, click a few buttons and everything just works. Astro software on Windows also work great, but they're often not user friendly, with outdated or complex UI, lots of options and features that someone inexperienced doesn't need As an analogy, it's just like point & shoot vs. DSLR. The DSLR has more options, is more reliable, but also more complex. A point & shoot just works out of the box, and that's all you need sometimes Perhaps an in-between solution is the Stellarmate. It has more features and is compatible with non-ZWO products, and comes as an "out of the box" device. Also, they're working on making it compatible with the Raspberry Pi 4, which is much more powerful and supports USB 3.0. I think that's a great and mature alternative to small PC/ASIAIR, for those who need more control and compatibility!
  3. I came across this blog post from Hutech, the company behind the IDAS filters. Apparently some new filters are coming, that work with ZWO cameras only, and only some models. They can be screwed directly in front of the sensor, as shown on the pictures below. Source: https://digiborg.wordpress.com/2019/12/10/idas-z-series/
  4. Teleskop Services sells a couple rings with that diameter: https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p981_Orion-Rohrschellen---Aluminium---fuer-Tuben-mit-D-76-mm.html https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p10216_TS-Optics-Fotostativadapter---Haltering-fuer-Astro-Kameras-D-74-76-mm.html I believe they are the same, but it depends if you need 1 or 2 No idea if they fit the Canon 135mm though, since this lens isn't designed to have a tripod collar. There's also the Geoptik adapter for Canon EOS lenses: https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/language/en/info/p2836_Geoptik-CCD-Kamera-Adapter-mit-T2-Anschluss-fuer-Canon-EOS-Objektive.html The consensus is that this adapter is the most solid option for attaching heavy lenses to astro cameras. Hope that helps!
  5. From the specs that leaked, there doesn't seem to be any output for dew heaters, like there is on the Pocket Powerbox. That's a pity! I was in the same situation, and went for the Powerbox instead, figured it's more future proof too.
  6. Yes, and it was not a good quality. The rings didn't close properly, and couldn't hold my lens. I went with the one from Astrojolo.com, definitely better quality printing, and cheaper too
  7. Hello guys! Sorry for the late answer. Yes, it is still available, but only the iPolar so far I'll keep the SkyGuider for now. Pierre
  8. Sadly, no. It's some kind of bayonet mount, you can't really adjust the distance. At least on mine! Also, the filter is placed upside down (so the front of the filter faces the sensor). I'm not sure it makes a difference though?
  9. There's a DSLR lens (Canon EF, Nikon F, Pentax K) to mirrorless camera (Nikon Z, Canon R/M, Fuji X, Sony E) adapter from Borg, that allows you to screw a 52mm or 2" filter inside of it. It's a bit pricey ($200), but well made. Here's the link for anyone interested! https://astrohutech.store/product/mirrorless-camera-adapters/
  10. Yes, I believe other solutions like mini PC or even the upcoming Stellarmate on Raspberry Pi 4, offer more value for the money than the ASIAIR. Same with the AstroBar1 from QHY or the Eagle Core from Primaluce Lab. And they are compatible with most camera brands, unlike ZWO's closed system, which is a big advantage. I think where the ASIAIR really shines though, is its simplicity. Astro software are often complex and provide a lot of options. But my time in the field is usually limited to 2-3 hours per night, so I need something that is plug and play, simple to use, to get as much photons as possible. And I really hate struggling with the software in the middle of a public park... Been there, and it's very frustrating. Also, the fact that I don't have to bring a laptop, because I control everything with my phone, is also a big plus for the ASIAIR. The native app for iOS and Android is rather simple, but works very well for my limited usage It's definitely a tool aimed at beginners and travellers, as well as people who don't want to spend too much time learning complex software. However, if I had a garden and therefore a more permanent setup, I would probably switch to a mini PC or Stellarmate at some point. Software like Ekos and NINA seem very promising, once you understand how they work Anyway, it's great to have lots of options, for different budgets and situations. We're living exciting times, and I can't wait to see what's going to happen in the next 10-20 years!
  11. I'm using the ASIAIR, and it has a polar alignment function. I've just been testing it a couple times, but it seems to be working very well! However you're limited to ZWO cameras, so you'll need to use the guide scope or main camera to do it. The Stellarmate also has a tool to polar align, and is compatible with most cameras unlike the ASIAIR. And of course, you have the option to use SharpCap. But the reason why I went with the ASIAIR is for its simplicity, and the fact that I don't need to bring a laptop: I control everything from my phone! For my portability needs, it's really a game changer I can clamp my phone on the tripod while polar aligning, without breaking my back like with the SkyGuider Pro, and control all the imaging from the relative comfort of a public park's bench Here is a video for the polar alignment of the Stellarmate: And here is a nice video that walks you through the ASIAIR, including the polar alignment, to give you an idea:
  12. Here it is with my TS-Optics 60mm f/6 and guide scope Since then I upgraded to the ADM saddle, which I find more secure than the default one (and it doesn't drill a hole in your dovetail bar ) And with the Canon 200mm f/2.8L and ASIAIR: The AZ-GTi, Tracer battery (12 Ah), ASI1600MM-Pro, guide scope & camera, lens, ASIAIR, tripod, filters, dovetails and cables... They all fit in this cheap backpack from Amazon I also added a counterweight for the 60mm scope, it helps balance it, but it's not as easy as balancing an EQ mount. There are several options, explained here. I went with the M8 to M12 adapter, and the counterweight from the Star Adventurer If you want something very portable, I can really recommend the AZ-GTi. For grab and go observation, in alt-az, it's also very nice. However, keep in mind this mount wasn't designed for astrophotography, and even less for working as an equatorial mount. So it's certainly not perfect!
  13. I'm using both the AZ-GTi and the iOptron SkyGuider, which is basically like the SA. Long story short, I'm considering to sell my SkyGuider To be honest, the main advantage of the AZ-GTi (in EQ mode) is that it has Go-To. It makes everything easier, because you can use plate solving. With the SkyGuider, if you aim at smaller targets, it takes ages to frame correctly (at least for the beginner that I am). I paired my AZ-GTi with the ASIAIR from ZWO, and it's really an amazing team. With my Samyang 135mm or Canon 200mm lens, plus guider (32mm guide scope & ASI120), everything fits in a backpack. If you have a ZWO camera (guide or main), you can polar align the AZ-GTi in a few minutes very accurately (similarly to a iPolar or PoleMaster). No need to do 3 stars alignment, plate solving in the ASIAIR does all the job and Go-To is spot on. You can also use the mount with "traditional" software like SGP. I guess it works just like any SkyWatcher mount. I would recommend using it with the EQDIR USB cable, it's much better. Another advantage of the AZ-GTi, is that you can use it in Alt-Az mode. I often take it with a small Maksutov, and it was amazing to show the night sky to my friends. They really enjoyed seeing Saturn, Jupiter and the Moon from up close for the first time And the mount can be setup in less than 5 minutes, with just your phone. The cons, I would say, is the quality controls. There are some faulty copies out there... Also, there's no polar scope, so you'll need a laptop or something like the ASIAIR to polar align it in EQ mode. To be honest, I think it's quite a unique mount, there's not direct competitor for a very portable Go-To mount!
  14. Here are new pictures posted on the ASIAIR's Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/ASIAIR/permalink/1487829178046967/ One of the side allows you to attach it to a finder base, as shown on the 2nd picture. The price should be around $299 according to one of the group's admins. It is not final. They are also thinking about a discount for existing ASIAIR users, from what I understand. But still a lot of uncertainty!
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