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Vixen Polarie U


kentnek
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Having owned a Vixen Polarie, I experimented with DSO photography and started to approach the weight limit of the little tracker. After getting suggestions from AnakChan's thread, I decided to upgrade to the new Polarie U, which is a tad smaller than the Star-Adventurer Mini, while having more advanced functionalities similar to the SA 2i (Wifi/app but retaining physical buttons on the unit, auto guiding support, intervalometer for camera, etc.).

As my priority is smaller size and lighter weight, I opted for the K-ASTEC XY60 wedge and subsequently T-Factory's counterweight kit. Since the counterweight kit is currently out of stock, temporarily I'm using a MSM Z-plate to imitate a declination bracket. The Polarie U is rated with a weight limit of 2.5kg (a little higher than the original Polarie's 2kg), so I guess it should be fine for now as my camera and lens are quite light too.

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With this setup and a rudimentary polar alignment using the Vixen Polar Meter/Compass (Polaris is not visible in my location), I could get 4min at 70mm and 1-2min at 200mm before stars started to trail. When I get hold of the counterweight kit and a more suitable tripod, it should perform at least as good (or even a little bit better) as the SA 2i pro:

(photo not by me)

星景写真】ポラリエU 強化オプションを用いたセッティング | Life with Photo

One nice thing about the Polarie U compared to the original Polarie is the ability to set custom tracking rate, which is useful for the DARV (drift alignment) method. Unfortunately, the Polarie U app currently doesn't support changing the speed while the tracker is running, so I had to press the physical Mode button on the U itself (to switch between 0x and 2x sidereal speed), which caused some wiggling to my V trail:

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The good new is, I sent a feedback to Vixen and they quickly replied that "We would like to consider adding an automatic drift alignment to the Polarie U app in our future update." This would make the process much easier.

 

Edited by kentnek
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