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Found 9 results

  1. Hi Interested in getting a motorised filter wheel and was hoping someone has got a old 5 lens knocking about or have seen one advertised. Much appreciated Si
  2. Has anyone else had problems connecting the Starlight Express Filter Wheel to a Windows 10 machine? My filter wheel model number is SXFW-543. Connecting the USB cable causes it to continually connect and disconnect. I've tried different USB cables, same problem occurs. I've installed the SX filter wheel ASCOM driver and Filter Wheel Program but windows does not recognise the hardware. Any help would be much appreciated Cheers
  3. This is something that I have been planning on doing for a while but simply not have the chance to get round to. On top of that I have not had an opportunity to try it out until recently and so I don’t want to comment on something that I have not actually used for real. A few months ago I treated myself to an Atik 314L+ Mono Camera. I used it in mono for a while but always intended to use a filter wheel with it. So after some deliberation I decided to go for the Xagyl 8 position 1.24” filter wheel. This is what Xagyl Astro say about it: http://www.xagylastro.com/ascom-motorized-filter-wheel-8x125.html Ultra slim motorized filter wheel - only 0.7" thick! Holds 8 x 1.25" filters and threaded for M28.5 x 0.6. USB controlled and powered (no additional power supply required). No motors protruding from the filter wheel to get in the way. Measuring only 7.6" x 8" x 0.7", this is one of the smallest, thinnest motorized filter wheels on the market. Only adds 19mm of back focus to the optical path when used with our adapters. Perfect solution for Basler Ace, ZWO ASI, ATIK, Moravian and SBIG cameras. My choice of filter wheel really boiled down to two, this one and the Atik EFW2. The deciding factor being that the Xagyl took its power from the USB rather than having another power supply just to drive a filter wheel. I’m not sure if this has changed but and it is now being sent with fewer adaptors, but this is what I got in the box : Just about every adaptor from 2” - 1.25” - 1” (IIRC), a darks filter, a thumb screw, a USB cable, and probably some other things that I have now forgotten about and a filter wheel. The finish on the accessories and wheel is excellent and very robust the only criticism I could level would be that inside the window that you can remove to add/change filters was not completely painted, but this was easily touched up. The build quality overall appears really good and I'm delighted with it so far. The wheel is big (well it needs to be to fit 8 filters in) measuring roughly 195 x 190 x 19 mm and for the build quality and size is not too bad on weight at around 860g (without filters). I selected the appropriate adaptors for my LX90 and Camera and fitted them. The threads are well cut and I never felt in danger of cross threading them although with anything like this caution is urged when dealing with any fine threads. Next came the fitting of the filters themselves. I had gone for Xagyl’s own filter set and this is what they say about it: http://www.xagylastro.com/lrgb-filter-125-astrography.html The transmission properties of the LRGB filters are optimized for CCD astrophotography with different models of cameras (ATIK, ZWO ASI, SBIG, etc.) Our LRGB set allows to take images in correct colour for all types of objects. Where other brands make strange compromises, we do the best colour reproduction possible. Both stars as well as objects that emit only in spectral lines, are reproduced in their true colors.These filters are properly sized for our ultra thin motorized filter wheel. The set consists of 4 interference filters for Red, Green, Blue and a Luminance filter for parfocal imaging. Each filter also includes an IR block. Clear aperture is 24mm. Again the build quality matched that of the wheel. The filter wheel kit also came with a black out filter for taking darks which could be useful to save having to cover the scope. However, I run a pre done set of darks as the Atik with its temperature control and low noise lets you get away with doing this. But for noisy cameras or if you are running an exposure for which you don’t have a dark library then it would be convenient. The filters are fitted by way of a door that can either be closed via a small screw or if you regularly want to access the filters the screw can be replaced with the little thumb screw provided in the kit. With the narrow size of the filter wheel the filters are ‘snug’ inside the wheel. This narrow width may be troublesome for some users as this will restrict the range of filers that you can use. Some of my cheaper filters needed a little bit of modification before they would fit neatly. There are 3 spacers inside the wheel that lets you do some fine tuning but even with that movement is very limited. Talking with Daniel Lajeunesse from Xagyl they recommended using Baader and Orion filters (but double check dimensions before buying). Finally putting it all together this is what it looks like mounted onto my LX90: Unfortunately, due to its size I have limited room behind the focusing knob and therefore restricted in options for electronic focusing and I have for now had to drop my current electronic focuser. But I was getting that issue with just the Atik 314L+ fitted so for me it was not real hardship. I may play around with positioning to see if I can get a perfect solution at a later date though. Connecting the wheel to both Windows 7 and Windows 10 machines the wheel goes through its initialisation routine (which involves one complete rotation of the wheel to find filter number 1) and then was immediately recognised and picked up as a Serial COM port. I loaded the Ascom drivers and the test program for the wheel, that I use to drive the wheel in use at the moment. I may look into scripting things and using it via Nebulosity but that will be at a much later date. Starting the filter wheel program, you get an Ascom dialog to choose the filter wheel (in this case Xagyl FilterWheel 2) from which you can enter the configuration (Properties) dialog: The dialog allows you can set the various options for the wheel, see the COM port used, the firmware version on the wheel and find other useful and not so useful pieces of information. The wheel itself is highly configurable. You can set names for each of the filters rather than having to remember a number (which in the heat of the moment can help stop mistake being made). The various buttons at the bottom of the dialog either have automatic processes associated with them (such as Recalibrate) whilst others have some sophisticated dialogs associated with them. Calibration (the wheel uses magnets to determine the position of the wheel with filter 1 having a different polarity to the others) the sensor can be adjusted to perfectly centre each filter although having used the Recalibrate option I have never had a need for this, but it’s nice to know the option is there. The other dialogs look like this: Lastly there is an option to allow you to update the firmware, which is a relatively painless process and something I used extensively at first. When I initially received the filter wheel I had the first v4 firmware release on it and this has some issues to say the least. However, the support from Daniel Lajeunesse at Xagyl as excellent and I worked with him to get the firmware working well. I’m now on 4.0.9 and it runs perfectly. Once you are done with the configuration the running dialog looks like this: Just click on the filter you want, a wait mouse cursor appears and when it changes back to your pointer the filter is in place and ready to go! In summary the filter wheel is well made and support was excellent from Xagyl. The motor uses a worm screw drive which could be criticized as being a little noisy but I have never found it bad and it’s not as if you are changing filers ever few seconds in normal use. The configurability of the wheel means that you should be able to deal with any filter issues with regards to precise positioning. The big potential downside to the wheel is that with it being so slim your filer options could be reduced. The fact that it takes power from USB and does not need another cable and power supply is a big plus for me and I certainly have no regrets in buying the wheel. I just need some clear skies and less busy evenings to get out there and on build my astrophotography experience. Hope you find this interesting/helpful.
  4. I'm just in from an ultimately unproductive first night with an Atik EFW2 and am not sure how to proceed. I have it set up with a 9 1.25" filter wheel. During a short indoor test a few nights ago, it seemed to be working as expected. Tonight when I plugged it and connected Atik's FilterWheelRunner to it, it reported itself as having 7 holes. After much fooling around with cables, restarting the program, restarting the wheel and finally rebooting the laptop, I gave up, unscrewed the whole optical train and checked out the wheel. It turned, but stiffly. When I took the cover off and pulled back the little shaft that turns the filter wheel it spun more easily. After doing that a few times it seemed like it was turning better so I re-assembled the whole train and tried again. This time it correctly reported itself as a 9-filter wheel, and it made encouraging noises when I tried to select a filter. After an hour of collecting data, though, I realized that the filters weren't properly positioned directly in front of the camera: they stopped about half a filter diameter short. Now I'm packed up and inside. What gives? Is there an adjustment I can make to reduce the pressure between the drive shaft and filter wheel, or otherwise enable the wheel to turn easily? Anyone else run into this sort of problem before? Thanks in advance for any helo! -- Joel.
  5. Hi , I am looking to buy my first cooled CCD camera and would like some advice on the best combination of camera, filter wheel and filters for my setup. I currently use DSLRs (1 modded and 1 unmodded) with a Altair wave Ed80 triplet mounted on a NEQ6. I guide using a Orion SSG, which works really well, and mostly image DSOs (nebulae and some widefield shots of galaxies). I have looked at some cameras online but don't really have a clue where to begin. My budget for camera, filters and filter wheel is about £2.5 - £3k. Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
  6. I have been toying with the idea of upgrading to mono CCD imaging for a while, after spending a lot of time looking around the forums I have decided to go for it. I have decided to go for the Atik 460EX, being quite a large amount of money and the need for a filter wheel to go with it I have decided to try and build the filter wheel. It will need to be as thin as possible to fit my newt, I will be using an Arduino to controll it and at a later date I might have a go at making it ascom compatible, but that will probably be pushing my abilitys too far! I have made a start with it, and there is still a long way to go, but I thought I would post my progress so far to see what input anyone has . I have started things off with a small stepper motor I salvaged from a printer, this had a small nylon gear on it so I punched a wheel from 3mm alloy at work and went about cutting the teeth to mesh with the gear. As luck would have it the gear matched up with the 1.25mm pitch of an M8 bolt, so I used an M8 spiral flute tap to cut the thread. I then made up a hub using a bearing I had, and had it anodised black so that i could be put together. This all went together ok but left me the problem of holding the 1.25" filters in place. I went in to my local telescope shop and managed to get some old eye piece barrels (thanks Charls ), then parted them off into 3mm thick sections. They will be glued into the wheel later to screw the filters in. I have now made a front and rear cover roughly to the shape and size I will need, they are held together with 16mm stand offs. I fitted the stepper to the case and gave it a try using the stepper focuser I made following the SGL automation design and code. The stepper motor is 12v 9.6 ohms motor, it turned the wheel with no problems and needed 22386 steps to turn the wheel one rotation, this took just under 6 secounds. I had to space the wheel 2mm from the hub to allow the motor to engage the wheel and allow enough space for the filters. I am now looking at sensors for the home position, I have ordered a hall sensor from here, http://www.hobbytron...l-effect-switch and some 2mm magnets from here, http://www.ebay.co.u...984.m1439.l2649 to try. I have also ordered an easydriver board to drive the stepper motor as the focuser setup worked so well with it. There is still a long way to go, I need to sort out the home position, I can then count steps to each fiter. The punched wheel is bowed from the punching, I think I will need to machine it from scratch, I wil get it all working with this wheel first. I will need to conect my skywatcher coma corrector to one side and the camera to the other, this will need M48 and M42 threaded adaptors making, but I am unable to cut metric threads on my lathe, so I will need to adapt some existing fittings or pay to have them cut! Any thoughts/ ideas are very welcome Thanks for looking Jason.
  7. Atik 460EX CCD camera Excellent QE Low noise characteristics 12.49mm Horizontal x 9.99mm Vertical Cooler, ΔT= -25oC max Backfocus 13mm £1350 Atik EFW2 Filter wheel, stable filter wheel milled out of a solid block of aluminium. Has never missed a beat works perfect. 9 filters included Baadar LRGB Ha OIII SII Hb 1,25" 5x2” filter holder (included) 9x1.25” filter holder (included) USB Cable (included) 12v Car Adaptor (included) 2" Adaptor (included) £550
  8. Hello again troops, and sorry to have to invoke the power of your collective intellect once more. Should be the final time for a while, and will bring Jaffa Cakes to the star party for anyone who can assist I'm finally about to push the button on the camera. I'm not quite decided between the 460ex and 490ex, but for the purposes of this question, it is immaterial. I image through my SW120ED DS-PRO. I have the dedicated 120ED field flattener, which has an M48 thread on the camera end. Optimum sensor distance is 55mm give or take a millimetre. So I obviously need a filter wheel. The SX standard filter wheel with 7 spots looks good, I use 36mm unmounted LRGB/NB, so I can fit them all in and avoid dust bunnies (and pigs might fly). I think this is 25mm thick. I then need to add an OAG, the SX one is 13mm. Total so far is 38mm. Atik cameras of this ilk have a back focus of 13.5mm, so lets add that in. This gives me 51.5mm. With me so far? Is my maths correct? For this very reason Martin has dissuaded me from the SX814 as it's back focus is much bigger. Questions: How do I attach this assembly to the M48 thread on the focal reducer - any ideas? Will it fit, or do I need an adaptor - anyone else done it? Once I get this sorted, I should be able to pop a delrin shim or two into the mix and tune the last couple of MM, dependent on the adaptor thickness (if needed). Do I have to account for the optical properties of the filters? do they add/remove physical distance to sensor? Or am I invoking too much Physics into this... For the record, they are all the Baader 36mm unmounted, and should be, ahem, parfocal with each other (or thereabouts)... I use a moonlite autofocuser, so not an issue, but just wondered if it affects the spacing of the sensor - focal reducer thingy. I really hope someone understands all this better than I do - I'm getting rather confused by the whole malarkey Cheers, Jim
  9. From the album: Random

    A manual 5-position 1.25" filter wheel by ZWO and the associated RGBL 1.25" filters.
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