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NEW iOptron SkyHunter Portable EQ/AZ GOTO Mount with iPolar


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A new portable EQ/AZ GOTO mount from iOptron 🙂 

Currently we don't have a price or ETA (probably around June) but we will update our website and this discussion when we know more. 

iOptron SkyHunter Portable EQ/AZ GOTO Mount with iPolar

Features include: 

  • Weighs only 1.3kg / 2.9 lbs but can support 5kg / 11 lbs payload in both equatorial and alt-azimuth modes. 
  • Super-quiet dual-axis servomotors with optical encoders and synchronous belt drive. 
  • Four tracking rates: 1x, 1/2x, solar and lunar (1x celestial tracking for imaging the sky and stars. 1/2x speed for imaging both starry night and landscape at the same time). 
  • Built-in rechargeable battery for up to 10 hours operation (20°C). 
  • Integrated WiFi so can be controlled via SkySafari 6 Plus installed on iOS or Android smart phone/tablet, or a computer via ASCOM, INDI or embedded drive.
  • Can also be controlled using an optional 8410 hand controller. 
  • Mount head can be mounted directly to any standard photographic tripod with 1/4” or 3/8” threads. 

 

iop_skyhunter_ipolar_1_sgl.jpg.e73c42f8e55986ec2ebe11a0e6249f04.jpg 

iop_skyhunter_ipolar_2_sgl.jpg.af9c11f6a081e3dcf37b831d534a55b7.jpg

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11 minutes ago, Nugs said:

I'm sold..... bin off that wedge and replace with a WO variant...... where do i sign? 🤤

As soon as we have confirmed price & ETA we'll begin accepting orders 🙂 

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55 minutes ago, Nugs said:

I'm sold..... bin off that wedge and replace with a WO variant...... where do i sign? 🤤

Personally i would need to know the price first before biting FLOs hand off. lol

I asked if it was available without the ipolar and they don't think it will be so that is bound to push up the price a bit. 

Edited by Adam J
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1 hour ago, Adam J said:

Personally i would need to know the price first before biting FLOs hand off. lol

I asked if it was available without the ipolar and they don't think it will be so that is bound to push up the price a bit. 

Price wise..... im hedging my bets that it will be direct competition for the new Skywatcher Star adventurer GTi.

As for ipolar, im happy to pay the extra for ease of PA. Just sayin. 😉

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11 minutes ago, Nugs said:

Price wise..... im hedging my bets that it will be direct competition for the new Skywatcher Star adventurer GTi.

As for ipolar, im happy to pay the extra for ease of PA. Just sayin. 😉

It's one of the great things about this hobby, I originally plumped for the sagti because it has a manual polar alignment scope 🤣.  This is a very nice looking bit of kit though.

I feel the sensible thing for me to do would be wait until the reviews for both are in and buy the better of the two, but astronomy and sensible don't often go together.  Especially when noobs like me are involved.

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It looks like no ST4 guide port, although maybe the USB connection allows pulse guiding?  (There is a port in one of the photos but I suspect that'll be for the optional GoToNOVA hand controller?).  As Adam suggests, I think an option to buy without iPolar would make it a lot more attractive - the PA tools on INDI are excellent so why the need for more hardware.

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This looks lovely, great that there's some real competition for the portable astrophotography and visual mount category between iOptron and Skywatcher. Really tempted to upgrade from my Skyguider Pro to this. The wedge looks the same in which case it's not great, but easy enough to upgrade I imagine.

Like you say the only downside might be the inflated cost of the mount due to iPolar, but hopefully iOptron see sense and offer it without seeing as like you say there's plenty of good software solutions for alignments.

Edited by tompato
ipolar
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This worries my wallet! I'm not familiar with ipolar and the little reading I've done suggests that (while super neat) it's Windows only software, is that right? No phone/tablet option?

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2 minutes ago, Penumbrella said:

This worries my wallet! I'm not familiar with ipolar and the little reading I've done suggests that (while super neat) it's Windows only software, is that right? No phone/tablet option?

Works with Android and iOS devices.  Says skysafari, but I'd imagine other apps could possibly work

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3 hours ago, Ratlet said:

Works with Android and iOS devices.  Says skysafari, but I'd imagine other apps could possibly work

The Goto does, but I'm not sure about iPolar having a mobile app for polar alignment?

 

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Yes, @tompato it was the polar alignment process that I meant - presumably that's the 'ipolar' party piece. I'd definitely prefer it if I didn't have to take the laptop out into the night - even more so if it would be just for the alignment step of a visual session. 

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25 minutes ago, Penumbrella said:

Yes, @tompato it was the polar alignment process that I meant - presumably that's the 'ipolar' party piece. I'd definitely prefer it if I didn't have to take the laptop out into the night - even more so if it would be just for the alignment step of a visual session. 

Yeah I agree, it would kinda go against the portable astrophotography target market of this mount I would have thought.

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Ipolar is a good PA system and I use it on my Skyguider Pro with iPolar but it does add dead weight and costs a bucket more (+£150) over the SGP without it. I’m guessing this new iOptron EQ mount will have a similar % price differential as that which we currently see between the SW Star Adventurer and the SGP ie. more expensive.

That said, my experience is the SGP consistently tracks significantly better than my AZ GTI, it’s tracking accuracy is simply superior on paper and in use, it is much quieter when slewing and the batteries last at least twice as long. My experience is you get what you pay for mechanically.


It’s never going to be cheaper than the SW SAGTI and my estimate is that it will contest with the EQM35 Pro price point so in the £620+ space even with its lower weight capacity. It has to be significantly more that an SGP with iPolar (£580) so move up from there. I would be tempted if they dropped iPolar to an option as it only has one use vs a guide scope with third party PA software. 
 

Of course we will have to see but, as many predicted, nothing is getting any cheaper after the big price rises of two years ago and ‘mobility’ seems to be ‘trending’ so read into that what you will. 
 

Final thought, it’s hard to believe my then new HEQ5 was 33% cheaper back in the day and that same spec product has not changed one bit other than cosmetically.  

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  • 1 month later...

Interestingly the iOptron site in the US offers the mount (without iPolar) at a price of $558 (see https://www.ioptron.com/product-p/sheq.htm)

Whereas the Star adventurer GTi is offered on the Sky-Watcher US website at $740 (see https://www.skywatcherusa.com/collections/star-adventurer-gti/products/star-adventurer-gti-mount-kit)

 

That would be a no brainer!!

 

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Agreed @Doversole, the US bundles & pricing are v interesting - also v good to see that they're offering an AZ bundle only (ie, without either the wedge or the iPolar).  Hopefully same will apply here - @FLO any idea of UK pricing & timetables that you can share?

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20 hours ago, vineyard said:

Agreed @Doversole, the US bundles & pricing are v interesting - also v good to see that they're offering an AZ bundle only (ie, without either the wedge or the iPolar).  Hopefully same will apply here - @FLO any idea of UK pricing & timetables that you can share?

Actually I hadn't thought about the AZ bundle. I already have a WO wedge I am using the with Skyguider Pro, I might actually reuse it on this new iOptron mount!

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9 minutes ago, Doversole said:

Actually I hadn't thought about the AZ bundle. I already have a WO wedge I am using the with Skyguider Pro, I might actually reuse it on this new iOptron mount!

That's exactly my plan too.  I wonder if there are any projects for the old SGP motor unit...

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Posted (edited)
On 30/05/2022 at 19:51, vineyard said:

Agreed @Doversole, the US bundles & pricing are v interesting - also v good to see that they're offering an AZ bundle only (ie, without either the wedge or the iPolar).  Hopefully same will apply here - @FLO any idea of UK pricing & timetables that you can share?

I’m struggling to find any US outlets offering just the mount as you stated. Where did you find this offer? What was the price point?

Edited by PadrePeace
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4 hours ago, Doversole said:

Just ordered mine today @FLO  AZ version for £489 hoping I can reuse the WO wedge.

There will be a few SkyGuider Pro on the second hand market!

 

Huh, its not priced on the FLO website yet.  Crikey - I'd better get in there.  Did they give a lead time?  You're right on the SGPros.

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