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Archive for the 'New Products' category

New in July: Cameras, Astro-Binoculars and More!

July 14 2017, Joshua Taboga

We are happy to present you with a small selection of articles, which we recently have added to our catalog!

1. Astrel Instruments Camera AST8300-B-M-FW Mono

 

Astrel-Kamera

New Camera from Astrel Instruments

 

With its optional touchscreen color screen, Astrel’s new camera can be used as a stand-alone solution for aspiring astro-photographers.  You have the possibilities of an astronomical CCD camera, but do not need a PC or laptop alongside your telescope!  The filter wheel is even integrated into the camera housing.

 

2. Guiding and Planet Cameras from QHY

Alccd-QHY

The ALccd-QHY Camera 5P-II Mono offers amazing resolution with its 2.2 µm pixels.

 

We are continuously expanding our selection of Alccd-QHY cameras. Especially popular are the sensitive and small models from QHY, which are not only great for imaging the Moon and planets, but also for autoguiding with off-axis guiders or guide scopes.

 

3. APM Bino 100 mm 45° Semi-Apo 1,25″

APM Fernglas

Reasonably priced large Bino for astronomy and nature watching.

See better with two eyes!  Great for astronomy!  These spherically corrected dual-lense gap Semi APO Bino offers you an extremely high contrast.  Each set comes with a pair of eyepieces with 18 mm focal length.

 

4. Lunatico DuoScope Prism Clamps for Counterweight Bars

 

DuoScope

With DuoScope you can attach a second optic to the counterweight bar.

 

Counterweights are dead weight, so mount a second optic onto the bar, for example to use for autoguiding or a second camera with a large field of view.  The Spanish manufacturer Lunatico created its prism clamp  oder bracket. Both solutions allow for precision when aligning the second scope. Lastly, the DuoScope Camera Mount allows you to do the same with a camera

 

5. PegasusAstro Ultimate Powerbox Hub

PegasusAstro PowerHub

Your new power hub!

 PegasusAstro came up with an interesting solution for observatories and other stationary telescopes. With the Ultimate Powerboxyou no longer have to worry about power your mount, camera, heated dew cap and other electrical equipment.  You can finally get the cable spaghetti under control.  Accompanying the Powerbox, you will find an environmental sensor in the box, which keeps track of temperature and humidity.

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Good things always return: The ETX-125 telescope from Meade

June 29 2017, Stefan Taube

It is available again, the ETX-125 from Meade. Easy to transport, versatile in use and computer controlled – this made the ETX-125 a classic in the past!

ETX125

The advantages of the Meade ETX-125:

  • Compact Maksutov optics: Longer focal length despite the short tube. Ideal for watching the moon and planets, but also for observing nature in the daytime. The robust Maksutov is stable in adjustment and, due to the closed tube, has a well protected mirror.
  • With its opening of 127 millimetres, it is the biggest optics of the ETX series and also suitable for watching objects beyond our solar system: The Orion nebula, the big star cluster M13 in the Hercules constellation, and many other objects.
  • The optical tube is fixed in a bracket mount. It reliably carries the optical system, its motors in both axes align it with the desired observation object and track the telescope in line with any rotation of the sky. The integrated battery compartment provides the required electric current for the motors during outdoor use. However, the ETX-125 can also be powered via an optionally available power supply unit.
  • The tube is actually fixed in the fork, but the fork can be removed from the tripod for easier transportation. The steel pipe tripod carries the telescope without any negative wobbling. Another special feature: The tripod comes with an integrated equatorial wedge. This makes the azimuthal bracket mounting an equatorial GoTo mount, as is needed for astro photography.

And all this for a fair price!

The Meade ETX-125 is a GoTo telescope. This means that it is equipped with computer control, which makes it possible for beginners to find and identify objects in the sky.

The telescope is controlled via the new AudioStar-Handbox:

AudioStar

With AudioStar, you can choose from 30,000 celestial objects. However, the control also suggests objects for watching. A special feature of AudioStar is the audio output. It provides interesting information about the chosen object – however, only in English.

The compact, robust and computer controlled Meade ETX-125 also convinces in its new design!

 

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CGX-L: The Large Version of the New Celestron Mount

June 12 2017, Stefan Taube

At the beginning of February, we introduced the latest development from Celestron: Celestron CGX. The CGX now has a big sister. The brand-new  CGX-L mount is able to carry 34 kilogrammes and thus almost 10 kilogrammes more than the CGX.

The large 14 inch optics can thus also be used with the new technology of the CGX-mounts:

CGX-L-1400

The generously sized 144 millimetre worm gears are an important factor in increasing the load bearing capacity. They enable smooth running, even when carrying heavy telescopes. Apart from this, the dovetail clamps were extended to 270 millimetres, so that large telescopes are also securely held in place.

The illustration shows the mount head with the large worm gear and the toothed belt drive:

CGX-L-Antrieb

Another positive aspect: Additional AUX ports and the autoguider connection on the DEC-axis ensure a better cable management.

If you intend to use large optics with photo equipment, you need a heavy counter weight. With 31.5 millimetres in diameter, the counterweight shaft has been adequately dimensioned for carrying heavy loads.

Despite the increased load bearing capacity, the CGX-L is still portable. And not only the mount is able to carry higher loads: Celestron delivers the CGX-L with a steel tripod which has been considerably reinforced compared to the CGX. The tripod legs have a diameter of 70 millimetres!

The CGX-L is a universally usable mount, with hardly any limits: You may use it stationary in your garden observatory or transport it to telescope meetings or to your favourite observation location.

We offer the mounts CGX and CGX-L individually. With the dual saddle plate, you can combine these mounts with almost any optics system. But you can also decide on a complete telescope system consisting of mount and Schmidt-Cassegrain optics. You will find these product series under the two links CGX- telescopes and CGX-L telescopes.

No matter whether you decide for the CGX or directly for the larger sister CGX-L, you will receive a modern mount, which will set the standard for the next few years.

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New: Omegon Oberon eyepieces with 82° field of view

May 23 2017, Marcus Schenk

The new Omegon Oberon eyepieces have an 82° field of view and thus provide you with an outstanding free and open view. Apart from this, they are waterproof and filled with nitrogen. At less than 200 Euros they have a remarkably reasonable price tag and are affordable for almost every hobby astronomer.

Die Omegon Oberon Okulare mit 82° Gesichtsfeld

Waterproof and filled with nitrogen

You surely know the situation when eyepieces lose their shine. When dirt, pollen and the grease from your eyelids cover the eye lenses. This is normally the point at which eyepieces should be cleaned. But this is not as simple as it sounds, because lenses need to be cleaned with great care and using optical cleansing agents.  Omegon eyepieces make it incredibly easy.

Simply flush the eyepiece off under running water. And your eyepieces gleam like on the first day.

The benefits of a large field of view

Wide-angle eyepieces are the dream of any stargazer. In contrast to the standard eyepieces with a 45° or 50° field of view, large-field eyepieces give you the impression of floating through outer space. Above 70° the eye does not perceive the outer edge of the eyepiece, and a starry sky appears almost endless. The Oberon eyepieces with 82° fulfil this task even better, because here the eye can even move within the field of view.

The Oberon eyepiece series consists of six eyepieces with focal lengths of 7 mm, 10 mm, 15 mm, 19 mm, 23 mm and 32 mm. The three small focal lengths are available in 1.25″, the three long focal lengths in 2″. Any star gazer knows that sometimes it is quite difficult to find an object. A 32 mm Oberon eyepiece like this makes things a lot easier: A small magnification coupled with an 82° field of view makes the big Oberon a perfect finder eyepiece.

But also a 7 mm eyepiece with 82° has clear advantages: Viewing the surface of the Moon with a high magnification while still seeing large areas of the lunar landscape – it is just amazing.

The advantages of Oberon eyepieces at a glance:

•    Enduring: waterproof and filled with nitrogen – to protect against moisture and for a long service life
•    82° field of view: giant field of view, almost without limitation
•    Goof grip: serrated rubber armouring
•    Upscale design: anodised aluminium housing

Come this way: You can find further details on the product pages for the new Oberon eyepieces.

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Now available: the new CGEM II mount from Celestron

May 17 2017, Stefan Taube

The American telescope manufacturer Celestron has revised their work horse for astrophotographers. The CGEM II is very popular, and rightly so, because when it comes to load bearing capacity it has a lot of reserves as compared to the smaller Advanced VX mount; but it is cheaper than the big CGX. In the field of equatorial GoTo mounts for mobile astrophotography the CGEM II takes a middle position.

CGEM II

The new CGEM II not only looks very trendy, but it also features a few real innovations when compared with its predecessor.

  • New powerful motor electronics with the latest firmware.
  • USB 2.0 port on the hand controller. This way you can simply connect the hand controller to a PC for software updates.
  • PPEC (Permanent Periodic Error Control) ensures precise tracking.
  • Autoguider port. Indispensable for sophisticated astrophotography!
  • Tracking beyond the meridian.
  • The mounting saddle accepts prism rails acc. to Vixen and Losmandy standard. No adapter required.
  • Improved tripod with height marks: This makes it even easier to place the tripod horizontally.

With this mount, the telescope, camera and guider may have a weight of up to 18 kg. This leaves a really big tolerance range.

We offer the CGEM II, but also as a set together with the Schmidt-Cassegrain optics with apertures ranging from 8 to 11 inch (~200 to 280 millimetres): CGEM-II telescopes.

Combined with the classic SC-telescopes this provides you with excellent astronomical equipment which will give you joy for the rest of your life! If you have extra spending money, you should consider the CGEM II with EdgeHD. This variant of the Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope already has the correction optics for the unavoidable coma error integrated, allowing you to take sharp photos right to the edge.

Whatever you will decide, with the CGEM II you can’t go wrong!

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Observing the Sun with the DayStar QUARK Calcium-H

May 11 2017, Stefan Taube

The American sun filter manufacturer DayStar revolutionised sun observations with its QUARK series. For a comparatively low price you can now use a refracting telescope with a small aperture for watching the Sun in a defined spectral line – this is no more complicated than plugging an eyepiece into a diagonal mirror.

DayStar have now extended their QUARK series by a model to watch the Sun in a spectral line of the chemical element calcium. With the DayStar QUARK Calcium-H-line sun filter you can watch the sun at a wave length of 397 nanometres – or perhaps not: Not everyone is able to notice such short-wave light.

However, with a planet camera this short-wave radiation can be recorded without any problems. Corresponding tests were undertaken by our colleague Bernd Gährken:

Sonne-Calcium-H

For this photo 4 images were combined. In addition to the QUARK Calcium-H-line, an Omegon photoscope with 1.6x Barlow and a planet camera were used. The scope of delivery includes adapters for 1.25″ and 2″ focusers. The Calcium filter works without telecentrics and requires an optical path of 6.2 centimetres. With many optics the focus cannot be reached directly. We therefore recommend also ordering the reasonably priced path corrector. It can be screwed directly into the QUARK filter. In terms of cameras, we specifically recommend the Mono Guider from Touptek or the planet cameras from ZWOptical. When photographing a tight spectral range, the complete resolution of the sensor can only be utilised when using a black-and-white camera (“mono”).

Unfortunately there were no sunspots on the sun when this photo was taken. This exemplary image provided by the manufacturer shows what sunspots in the light of the Calcium-H-line look like.

Sonne-Calcium-H-Daystar

Photographic data for this image can be found on the product page, QUARK Calcium-H-line.

Observing the sun is a fascinating alternative or an additional challenge for stargazers.

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Lunar photography with a smartphone: the Omegon Easypic smartphone adapter

April 27 2017, Marcus Schenk

In the past, taking a photo of the Moon required quite some effort. Take the pictures, develop the film and hope for sharp images. And then came the disappointment if the Moon appeared blurred. This became considerably easier with digital and mobile phone cameras.

In the meantime, smartphone cameras have reached an outstanding level of quality. Which is a good tool for Moon photos, provided that we can tightly mount the phone to the telescope.

Let’s have a look to see how everyone can take a photo of the Moon through a telescope.

The Moon – shot with an Easypic adapter, an Omegon 8″ Dobson with Redline eyepiece and an iPhone.

Der Mond - aufgenommen mit einem Easypic Adapter, einem Omegon 8" Dobson und einem iPhone.

The difference to other adapters

The Easypic universal smartphone adapter follows a different route to his competitors. Most adapters have a clip that closes around a 1.25 inch eyepiece. The mobile phone is then separately held by a clamp and needs to be correctly positioned above the eyepiece. In itself this is a quite good system but needs quite a lot of experience on the part of the photographer. And in the end, everything must sit tightly in place.

Now the night is not always the right place for patience. And it is pitch black!

Is there no easier way? Yes, sure there is! With self-centring.

Here is how to prepare the adapter

With the Moon in the sky, you direct your telescope to Earth’s satellite. It is already nicely visible through the eyepiece. Now your smartphone and the Easypic adapter are going to play their role.

On the back of the adapter, loosen the small screw for the holding clamps. Pull the holding clamps fully to the outside. Then place your mobile phone with its camera lens directly over the central hole. Slide the holding clamps back against your phone and tighten the screw again. Check that the clamps fit tightly so that your mobile will not come loose.

Here is how to connect the adapter to the eyepiece

Now to the easy part! Hold the adapter with the smartphone to the eyepiece, making sure it has direct contact. Then turn the big screw on the side. This allows the movement of three bolts, which accurately clamp around the eyepiece at the same time. This way the adapter centres and fastens automatically around your eyepiece. The camera lens of the smartphone is perfectly aligned with the middle of the eyepiece.

For you this self-centring means: more focus on your object and less worry with technical details.

All done.

So sieht es aus: Das Smartphone am Teleskop und der Mond im Zentrum.

The photoshoot: The Moon in your smartphone

If your camera app has been switched on, you should now see the Moon in your display. Correct the focus once again and everything is ready for taking the photo.

These steps are necessary:
•    Switch off the flash
•    Activate the timer
•    Adapt the exposure time, if necessary and possible

Now press the trigger as usual and take a photo. This image of the Moon was taken with an Easypic universal smartphone adapter and an Omegon 8 inch Dobson telescope.

Using neutral density filters to reduce brightness

In most cases adjusting the correct exposure time is enough for successful Moon images. However, planets like Venus or Jupiter very often appear too bright in an image. They are over-exposed. The planet discs appear burned out. The solution: neutral density filters and variable polarising filters. This is our trick to be able to show the details of the planets.

Conclusion:

A smartphone in combination with an Easypic universal smartphone adapter allows you to take quick photos of the Moon and planets. You don’t have to be an expert: even connecting to the eyepiece is child’s play. All you need to do is position the adapter correctly. The smartphone takes photos of the Moon with outstanding sharpness. A fact that all of us could only dream about a few years ago.

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Celestron CGX: a mount close to the limits of perfection

February 27 2017, Stefan Taube

The Celestron brand once again has set the standard for hobby astronomers: The new CGX-mount combines the current technical standard with a well thought out product design – and all for an reasonable price.

CGX-Montierung

Some special features of the CGX-mount:

  • Toothed belt drive and spring pressure mechanism: The belt drive minimises the gear play when changing the direction of movement (“backlash”). The spring pressure mechanism ensures uniform contact pressure between the worm gear and shaft, reducing friction and optimising the operation of the gear – also evident by the reduced noise level.
  • Optical encoders register the position of the mount. The motors can then be stopped before the mechanical slew limit is reached and approach their home position. The mount is able to track objects up to 20° above the meridian.
  • Internal wiring: Only the power supply cable and the cable to the hand control box are exposed. However, the sockets for these exposed cables are arranged in such a way that they do not need to move with the mount.

Der neu konzipierte Antrieb der CGX-Montierung.

  • Large handles: Transport handles ensure easy transport, but all clamping levers are also designed for operation with gloves.
  • Compact design: The saddle plate position near the right ascension axis gives the mount very favourable oscillation characteristics. The declination motor serves as a counterweight.
  • Latest variant of the Nexstar+ control with internal clock to save the last settings and USB-port for simple software update.

Further information on our CGX product page.

Die neue CGX-Montierung mit dem EdgeHD 925 Teleskop.

The CGX-mount is available on its own or as a set with the well-established Schmidt-Cassegrain optics from Celestron. You can find all variants under the link CGX-Telescopes.For ambitious astrophotographers we highly recommend the CGX 925 in its Edge HD version. The most reasonably priced and recommended combination of SC-optics and mount for beginners is the CGX 800.

However, due to the dual Vixen/Losmandy saddle plate you can easily combine almost any other optic from other manufacturers with the CGX-mount.

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Now available: the EQ6-R mount from Skywatcher!

February 20 2017, Stefan Taube

The new EQ6-R Pro SynScan GoTo mount from Skywatcher is now available for ordering. With its price of EUR 1,599 it is just slightly more expensive than its predecessor. We offer you the EQ6-R even cheaper than the price recommended by the manufacturer: You save EUR 100!

The EQ6-R mount is the further development of one of the most popular astronomical mounts. The classic EQ-6is an equatorial mount with computer control (GoTo). It has a high load capacity, but is still portable. And this all for a fair price. No wonder that the EQ6 has really found its way into the heart of the stargazer community.

“Only those who change remain true to themselves.” (Wolf Biermann)

The new EQ6-R does not do everything differently, but many things better:EQ6-R-Pro-SynScan-GoTo

  • Ergonomic design with bigger twist handles for polar elevation setting and a better polar elevation display, convenient handle for transport, mounting saddle for Vixen or Losmandy standard prism rails.
  • Latest version of the SynScan hand controller, permanent PEC correction and camera shutter control.
  • And best of it all: a toothed belt drive! With this new drive system there is no effect known as backlash, i.e. no gear play when changing direction. The mount runs much quieter, with higher torque. All this has a positive effect on autoguiding.

With this new version Skywatcher gives its classic mount a facelift. This way the new EQ6-R will be a standard in hobby astronomy for years to come: the EQ6 just keeps on running…

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Omegon Mini-Guidescope: Small Guidescopes for better astro photos

January 23 2017, Marcus Schenk

Times are changing: Everything is getting smaller. Also in photography! In the past one solely had to handle large and long Guidescopes in astro photography. The assembly of such equipment often was very inconvenient. With the new Omegon Mini Guidescopes tracking is considerably easier.

Finder and Guidescope: The 60 mm Omegon Microspeed Guidescope mounted on a telescope.

“A Guidescope is a telescope, which is mounted parallel on the main instrument. While the camera is mounted to the main telescope, the Guidescope is responsible for accurate tracking.”

Presentation: Guidescope types 50 and 60 from Omegon.

The Omegon Mini-Guidescopes are available with 50 mm and 60 mm diameter. They are only 200 mm and 260 mm long and with 600 and 900 gram they are almost as light as a 2″ eyepiece. What are the benefits when compared with “conventional” Guidescopes?

  • Lighter: Your telescope will not be overloaded. Even smaller telescopes will be suitable for astro photography.
    Simpler: Simply plug the Guidescope into the finder shoe. It is also simple to remove.
    Better focussing: Sensitive focussing with the helical focuser.

For further details please refer to the product pages for the 50 mm and 60 mm Mini-Guidescopes.

Autoguider and Guidescope: Are they an effective team?

This question can be answered with a clear: “Yes”. The Guidescope works optimally with an Autoguider. Why? Most modern Autoguiders have small pixels. This comes with a clear advantage: A shorter focal length of the Guidescope. Touptek Autoguiders, for instance, have such small pixels. Main feature: Due to the new sensor design these cameras are highly sensitive. This enables you to find,the right guide star for any object.

“With the Guidescope and my camera I always find a guide start in the field of view” says Bodo Fischer, astro photographer and user of the Guidescope.

The Guidescope with a Touptek camera

Which camera is suitable for Microspeed Guidescopes? Our recommendation: Touptek “GCMOS01200KPA” cameras. Highly suitable due to the high image rate of 30 images per second, a ST-4 Autoguider port for your mount and an image processing software.

The best combinations:

  1. Microspeed Guidescope 50 mm + ToupTek GCMOS01200KPA Mono Guider
  2. Microspeed Guidescope 60 mm + ToupTek GCMOS01200KPA Mono Guider

Tip: With the camera use a Omegon UV-IR-filter or the Baader Semi APO filter. For even more brilliant stars and even more success in Autoguiding.

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22.08.2017
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