Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 28
  1. #1
    Astronewb's Avatar
    Astronewb is offline HYPER GIANT
    Points: 194,311, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    200+ Posts Achievement!400+ Posts AchievementFirst 1000 Experience PointsGot three FriendsGhost Achievement! Averaging 5+ posts a day!
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Canton, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    5,621
    Points
    194,311
    Level
    100
    Thanks
    1,515
    Thanked 3,093x 2,132 Posts

    Default Ioptron wedge/tripod arrived today



    I have been so happy with the performance of the Cube Pro that I decided to see how useful a basic wedge would be. Ordered the SmartStar A tripod assembly from Ioptron and it arrived today. I downloaded the manual and went thru the eq instructions, pretty simple actually. Now for some clear skies so I can select a target and start taking practice frames to see how long an exposure I can get away with. Pics for your viewing pleasure. Btw, if you have an Iphone or Ipad, use the Clinometer, free app, for setting your latitude. And a bonus..you lay it flat, and it morphs into a giant bubble level...lol.

    Paul
    Life's a journey, enjoy the ride
    OTA's: Borg 125SD, AR152mm, ES152mm Comet Hunter Orion xx14g , SVR90T-AP, AT6RC, AT10RC, Borg 60ED. Borg 50mm Achro
    Mounts: iOptron CEM60EC, iEQ45, ZEQ25, Mini Tower Pro, SEQ Pro.
    Misc: Lots of EP's. Nikon D5100, Canon T3i, ATF2FF , GSO Coma Corrector. SSAG, QHY5L-II & Lodestar
    My Flickr DSO set> https://www.flickr.com/photos/astronewb2011/sets/

  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Astronewb For This Useful Post:

    admin (12-16-2011),kszakonyi (11-26-2012)

  3. #2
    admin's Avatar
    admin is offline Administrator
    Points: 6,989,798, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 5.0%
    Achievements:
    First 1000 Experience PointsGot three Friends20+ Friends Achievement!5+ Referrals Achievement!100+ Threads Achievement!
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    13,479
    Points
    6,989,798
    Level
    100
    Thanks
    18,563
    Thanked 7,915x 3,807 Posts
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Thanks Paul very neat, it should help your photography!

    I don't mean to hijack your thread so I can move this question off soon but I have a question for you as Mike sent this from a user who purchase an Smartstar-A

    when i connect the cube with the black lever and go to bring it all back down it hits the black lever i screwed the cube on with and in turn the mount isnt actually level.
    any ideas? I think he should level the mount, and then set the wedge to his latitude. The wedge should not interfere with movement of the mount at all once set and used with the handset unless I am wrong
    Name: Gus OTAs: ED 100 PRO refractor, Orion ST80 (not the CF), 8" Dob stuck in Canada Mounts:HEQ5PRO Synscan mount, Manfrotto Tripod CAMS: Guidecam Philips SPC900 webcams (4), Canon unmodded-450D DSLR

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.


    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    |
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    | My Astronomy Blog

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.


  4. #3
    Astronewb's Avatar
    Astronewb is offline HYPER GIANT
    Points: 194,311, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    200+ Posts Achievement!400+ Posts AchievementFirst 1000 Experience PointsGot three FriendsGhost Achievement! Averaging 5+ posts a day!
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Canton, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    5,621
    Points
    194,311
    Level
    100
    Thanks
    1,515
    Thanked 3,093x 2,132 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by admin View Post
    Thanks Paul very neat, it should help your photography!

    I don't mean to hijack your thread so I can move this question off soon but I have a question for you as Mike sent this from a user who purchase an Smartstar-A



    any ideas? I think he should level the mount, and then set the wedge to his latitude. The wedge should not interfere with movement of the mount at all once set and used with the handset unless I am wrong
    He should refer to the Equatorial Mount instructions in the 'SmartStar A' manual downloadable from Ioptron. Today, after reading, I set up the system in the alt/az mode, done by screwing the upper nut all the way down which puts the unit in alt/az mode. A few turns of the black plastic alt adjusting knobs brought the level right to zero. Put the mount in setup position, ie; tube at 90 deg, mount arrow pointed south (Note: at this time, you need to position one tripod leg north, just turn the unit arrow to south after positioning the leg). Now, shut off the unit and remove the tube.

    At this time, with the one tripod leg facing north, adust the wedge up to your latitude (mine is 42.8) using an inclinometer or Iphone/Ipad app to confirm the latitude. Lock the adjusting knobs. Now mount your scope, and by using the right/left buttons, adjust the scope until the counterweight bar is pointing straight down and in line with the north facing leg. (If you dont have a counterweight...point the tube alt lock knob straight down)

    Now, look thru your scope, Polaris should be in your FOV, if not, move Polaris into the center of your eyepiece (I used a 20mm crosshair reticle eyepiece). You must move ONLY with the wedge adjusting knobs for alt, and if azimuth adjustment is needed, just nudge the tripod into the correct position..

    Once everything looks good..use the controller to "park telescope' and then shut it off. When restarting, you will be in eq mode park position and ready to view. Select "Polaris" as your target and watch the mount turn and skew in place as it locks in on Polaris...use the 'synch to target' to center Polaris.

    Now go watch the universe. Love it when you switch from East to West and the mount flips over when it hits the meridian..cool. Only bad thing..you're constantly adjusting the eyepiece position...lol.

    Have fun, hope it helps.

    Then,
    Life's a journey, enjoy the ride
    OTA's: Borg 125SD, AR152mm, ES152mm Comet Hunter Orion xx14g , SVR90T-AP, AT6RC, AT10RC, Borg 60ED. Borg 50mm Achro
    Mounts: iOptron CEM60EC, iEQ45, ZEQ25, Mini Tower Pro, SEQ Pro.
    Misc: Lots of EP's. Nikon D5100, Canon T3i, ATF2FF , GSO Coma Corrector. SSAG, QHY5L-II & Lodestar
    My Flickr DSO set> https://www.flickr.com/photos/astronewb2011/sets/

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to Astronewb For This Useful Post:

    admin (12-16-2011)

  6. #4
    Astronewb's Avatar
    Astronewb is offline HYPER GIANT
    Points: 194,311, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    200+ Posts Achievement!400+ Posts AchievementFirst 1000 Experience PointsGot three FriendsGhost Achievement! Averaging 5+ posts a day!
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Canton, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    5,621
    Points
    194,311
    Level
    100
    Thanks
    1,515
    Thanked 3,093x 2,132 Posts

    Default

    Hello again, figured a pic was worth a 1000 words..so here's a pic of the SmartStar mount in eq mode from the manual.

    Paul
    Life's a journey, enjoy the ride
    OTA's: Borg 125SD, AR152mm, ES152mm Comet Hunter Orion xx14g , SVR90T-AP, AT6RC, AT10RC, Borg 60ED. Borg 50mm Achro
    Mounts: iOptron CEM60EC, iEQ45, ZEQ25, Mini Tower Pro, SEQ Pro.
    Misc: Lots of EP's. Nikon D5100, Canon T3i, ATF2FF , GSO Coma Corrector. SSAG, QHY5L-II & Lodestar
    My Flickr DSO set> https://www.flickr.com/photos/astronewb2011/sets/

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to Astronewb For This Useful Post:

    admin (12-16-2011)

  8. #5
    ZiggyStardust's Avatar
    ZiggyStardust is offline White Dwarf
    Points: 322, Level: 6
    Level completed: 44%, Points required for next Level: 28
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    10 Days registered2 Posts Achievement
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    4
    Points
    322
    Level
    6
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 0x 0 Posts

    Default

    Hi Paul,

    I'm considering to buy a Smartstar-A for astrophotography. I'm very curious to hear about the exposure times you've reached with that thing. Had any clear skies yet?

    Mika

  9. #6
    ZiggyStardust's Avatar
    ZiggyStardust is offline White Dwarf
    Points: 322, Level: 6
    Level completed: 44%, Points required for next Level: 28
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    10 Days registered2 Posts Achievement
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    4
    Points
    322
    Level
    6
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 0x 0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Astronewb View Post
    Now for some clear skies so I can select a target and start taking practice frames to see how long an exposure I can get away with. Pics for your viewing pleasure. Btw, if you have an Iphone or Ipad, use the Clinometer, free app, for setting your latitude. And a bonus..you lay it flat, and it morphs into a giant bubble level...lol.
    Hi Paul,

    Any clear skies yet? I'm very curiuos to hear about how long exposure times you've reached with SmartStar-A because I'm considering to buy one too.

    Mika

  10. #7
    Astronewb's Avatar
    Astronewb is offline HYPER GIANT
    Points: 194,311, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    200+ Posts Achievement!400+ Posts AchievementFirst 1000 Experience PointsGot three FriendsGhost Achievement! Averaging 5+ posts a day!
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Canton, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    5,621
    Points
    194,311
    Level
    100
    Thanks
    1,515
    Thanked 3,093x 2,132 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ZiggyStardust View Post
    Hi Paul,

    I'm considering to buy a Smartstar-A for astrophotography. I'm very curious to hear about the exposure times you've reached with that thing. Had any clear skies yet?

    Mika
    Hi Mika,

    I am currently at 1 minute exposures, just last night went out and tested the alignment jig I fabricated and it's good for one minute. Took 12 images of M81, and only one had a slight hint of an oblong star. Up until now, my exposures have been limited to 25-30 secs, with about a 20% reject rate due to trailing. Hopefully over the next couple of weeks the weather will cooperate so I can test at longer exposures (2-3 minutes) Of course, there's no substitute for an equatorial mount, but for casual astrophotography, the wedge mount will work. You can check my results here:

    Flickr: Astronewb2011's Photostream

    Cheers,

    Paul
    Life's a journey, enjoy the ride
    OTA's: Borg 125SD, AR152mm, ES152mm Comet Hunter Orion xx14g , SVR90T-AP, AT6RC, AT10RC, Borg 60ED. Borg 50mm Achro
    Mounts: iOptron CEM60EC, iEQ45, ZEQ25, Mini Tower Pro, SEQ Pro.
    Misc: Lots of EP's. Nikon D5100, Canon T3i, ATF2FF , GSO Coma Corrector. SSAG, QHY5L-II & Lodestar
    My Flickr DSO set> https://www.flickr.com/photos/astronewb2011/sets/

  11. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Astronewb For This Useful Post:

    sxinias (02-11-2012),ZiggyStardust (02-11-2012)

  12. #8
    ZiggyStardust's Avatar
    ZiggyStardust is offline White Dwarf
    Points: 322, Level: 6
    Level completed: 44%, Points required for next Level: 28
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    10 Days registered2 Posts Achievement
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    4
    Points
    322
    Level
    6
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 0x 0 Posts

    Default

    Thank you Paul, that is very valuable information. I'm sorry about the double question; my browser crashed while posting the first one and I thought I had disappeared into the black hole of bytes...

    So you got that one minute exposure with your ED80T? That sounds very promising. I'm shooting with my camera optics (D7000 & Nikkor 85mm F1.8 and 180 mm F2.8) and thus the shorter focal length the one minute mark should be in my reach too.

    Ofc the eq mount would be the best choice for serious astro photography, but mobility is important for me.

    I checked your Flickr gallery. Awesome shots you got there! I noticed that most (if not all) of them were shot using iOptron's Cube Pro. Which one of these two would you recommed for astro photography? Both of them will fit into my budget, but ofc if there's no big difference I'd rather go for the cheaper one.

    Btw, found an equipment site called Astrotrac last night. You'll find it by googling with the name, I'm not allowed to post links yet. Very interesting hw, but a bit pricey though.


    Mika

  13. #9
    Astronewb's Avatar
    Astronewb is offline HYPER GIANT
    Points: 194,311, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    200+ Posts Achievement!400+ Posts AchievementFirst 1000 Experience PointsGot three FriendsGhost Achievement! Averaging 5+ posts a day!
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Canton, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    5,621
    Points
    194,311
    Level
    100
    Thanks
    1,515
    Thanked 3,093x 2,132 Posts

    Default

    I noticed that most (if not all) of them were shot using iOptron's Cube Pro. Which one of these two would you recommed for astro photography? Both of them will fit into my budget, but ofc if there's no big difference I'd rather go for the cheaper one.
    The A mount would serve you well for your puposes Mika. I chose the Cube Pro to replace a R80 Gps mount that I gave to my brother, I wanted just a little better mount, then added the SmartStar A tripod for the wedge. Both tripods are 1" units. The cube pro tripod is just a little taller. If you were to go with a Cube Pro, MT, MT Pro or MT II, you would still need to purchase the SmartStar A tripod, or an ADM wedge to use them in EQ mode.

    I have looked at the AstroTrac, very interesting.

    Good luck with whatever you choose, and have a bunch of fun while you're at it.

    Paul
    Life's a journey, enjoy the ride
    OTA's: Borg 125SD, AR152mm, ES152mm Comet Hunter Orion xx14g , SVR90T-AP, AT6RC, AT10RC, Borg 60ED. Borg 50mm Achro
    Mounts: iOptron CEM60EC, iEQ45, ZEQ25, Mini Tower Pro, SEQ Pro.
    Misc: Lots of EP's. Nikon D5100, Canon T3i, ATF2FF , GSO Coma Corrector. SSAG, QHY5L-II & Lodestar
    My Flickr DSO set> https://www.flickr.com/photos/astronewb2011/sets/

  14. The Following User Says Thank You to Astronewb For This Useful Post:

    ZiggyStardust (02-11-2012)

  15. #10
    ZiggyStardust's Avatar
    ZiggyStardust is offline White Dwarf
    Points: 322, Level: 6
    Level completed: 44%, Points required for next Level: 28
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    10 Days registered2 Posts Achievement
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    4
    Points
    322
    Level
    6
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 0x 0 Posts

    Default

    Thanks Paul, I'll probably go for the SmartStar-A. Astrotrac is a bit out of my budget though it's very, very tempting device...


    Mika

 

 
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. ADM wedge on the ioptron mini tower
    By bigal1000 in forum Telescope Mounts Forum
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-23-2011, 02:49 PM
  2. LX90 Arrived today
    By DeCamp in forum Astronomy Beginners Forum
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 01-05-2011, 12:58 AM
  3. Do I need a wedge and a tripod?
    By daedalus in forum Astronomy Beginners Forum
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 10-21-2010, 02:29 PM
  4. New binoculars arrived today
    By Tristantene in forum Astronomy Beginners Forum
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 08-05-2010, 04:24 AM
  5. Celestron tripod & wedge
    By astro_nutter in forum Amateur Astronomy Forum
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 11-01-2003, 11:25 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.0
Powered by vBulletin®
All times are GMT. The time now is 01:32 PM.