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Stefan Taube

Stefan Taube

Posts composed by Stefan Taube

PlaneWave Instruments software for computer control of Celestron telescopes

June 26 2019, Stefan Taube

You can rely on PlaneWave Instruments’ professional CPWI software if you want to control your Celestron telescope via a laptop or PC.

This software is not only intuitive to use, but also lets you maximise the GoTo accuracy of your Celestron mount.

CPWI Telescope Control software is now compatible with all modern Celestron mounts, including:

 

You can download the software for free here on celestron.com!

 

Celestron CPWI

PlaneWave Instruments Telescope Control panel

 

Some special features of CPWI software include:

  • The built-in SkyViewer star chart is intuitive to use and allows you to easily navigate through the night sky by clicking and zooming.
  • Advanced PointXP lets you create a highly accurate model of the night sky which uses more than 100 reference points to enable highly accurate positioning and tracking.
  • Ideal for observatories: You can carry out alignment directly from the PC, save the alignment model and simply upload it again the next night you observe. Alignment can also be done entirely automatically using the optional StarSense module.
  • Extensive internal database. Access to the SIMBAD professional astronomy database possible via the Internet.
  • Worm screw periodic error compensation: PEC can be done from the PC via CPWI.

System requirements: Windows 7, 8 or 10 operating system, with USB 2.0 or 3.0 connection, 15MB hard disk space and 64MB RAM. Screen resolution of 1024×768 or higher is recommended.

New: Diamond Steeltrack focuser with Steeldrive from Baader

June 17 2019, Stefan Taube

Diamonds really are astronomers’ best friends – at least since the Baader Diamond Steeltrack focuser has been available. It uses real diamonds in its drive system!

In contrast to conventional Crayford or rack-and-pinion focusers, the Diamond Steeltrack’s micronized drive system guarantees entirely backlash-free operation, is completely non-slip and torsion-free – and has a vertical load capacity of 6 kilograms!

Okularauszug Diamond Steeltrack an einem Celestron EdgeHD

Diamond Steeltrack focuser on a Celestron EdgeHD telescope

There are Diamond Steeltrack focusers available for Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes, Newtonian telescopes and refractors.

The Steeldrive II motorized focuser drive with hand-held controller is now available:

Baader Fokussiermotor Steeldrive II mit Steuerung

Baader Steeldrive II motorized focuser drive with control unit

The Steeldrive II motorized focuser drive permits automated focusing of a telescope via computer, as well as precise and vibration-free focusing using the buttons on the hand-held controller.

A good focuser considerably enhances observing pleasure and is essential for high-end astrophotography. The Steeltrack focuser is currently the best possible solution available!

 

Now available: the GreenLine roll-off roof observatory from DomeParts!

May 21 2019, Stefan Taube

We are pleased to offer the roll-off roof observatory GreenLine from DomeParts GmbH – now available at a great price. You can now realise your dream of having your own very own garden observatory. It’s also perfect for astronomy clubs.

The Greenline roll-off roof observatory is available in three sizes:

The larger size GreenLine Plus is perfect for astronomical organisations.

DomeParts GreenLine

A GreenLine observatory in the exhibition area of the astronomy fair AME.

The advantages of a roll-off roof observatory compared to a classic dome observatory are clear:

  • The observatory looks like a typical garden shed and so blends in perfectly in any domestic setting. The wooden GreenLine is not only well-designed, but looks great too.
  • The roof can be fully retracted giving you an unobstructed view of the sky in every direction.
  • The inside of the cabin adjusts quickly to the ambient temperature, eliminating turbulent air currents which can often arise with a dome opening.
DomeParts GreenLine Omegon

GreenLine observatory with an Omegon RC on an iOptron CEM60 mount.

The open roof of the roll-off roof observatory offers plenty of room to manoeuvre even for a large-aperture telescope. Here in the picture the GreenLine observatory is equipped with an Omegon RC Truss telescope on an iOptron CEM60 mount.

The delivery time for a GreenLine roll-off roof observatory is around one month. You can put the observatory together yourself or let our construction team build it for you.  Get in touch with us: We’re happy to give you advice and provide you with a quote.

The Celestron CPC 800 EdgeHD Now Available as an Affordable Moon-Set

April 18 2019, Stefan Taube

Get the Celestron CPC Deluxe 800 EdgeHD telescope in an affordable set with high-grade accessories now and experience lunar and planetary observation like never before!

Together with the telescope, the set comprises:

The scope of supply also includes an eyepiece with a focal length of 40 millimeters, which is very practical for gaining a general overview. It is, however, unsuitable for high magnification observation that is desired when observing the Moon and the planets. Therefore, the two Morpheus eyepieces make an excellent addition. The neutral density filter dims the dazzling moonlight and increases the contrast during lunar observations.

The entire set can be yours for only 3,709 €. Save 397 € compared to the manufacturer’s recommended retail price! Benefit from this unrivalled value for money offer now and observe not only the moon but also the Jupiter and Saturn oppositions this summer!

 

Celestron CPC 800 EdgeHD

Celestron SC 203/2032 CPC Deluxe 800 EdgeHD GoTo

 

For years this telescope has been a favourite among the beloved Celestron CPC Deluxe Family. The series offers compact Schmidt-Cassegrain-lenses with highly stable and easy to transport fork mounts. Thanks to the built-in GPS and the advanced computer control, you are good to go in no time – even without prior knowledge. Reach for the stars with the GoTo hand control box! Now you have all the fascinating celestial objects in the palm of your hand.

In the deluxe version of this series, Celestron merges telescopes with corrected EdgeHD lenses together with the CPC mount. So you can enjoy crystal clear images right until the edge of the field of view!

Our offer for the CPC Deluxe 800 EdgeHD set is valid until the end of September 2019!

iOptron mounts: A new addition to the CEM family

April 4 2019, Stefan Taube

CEM series mounts from iOptron are already widely used in the US and are becoming increasingly well known in Europe too. The CEM25P mount for portable astrophotography with Newtonian telescopes of up to 6 inches aperture and the CEM60 mount for use in observatories have proved particularly popular.

With their new CEM40 and CEM40-EC with encoders, iOptron now provides a middle range mount capable of carrying loads of up to 18 kilograms. The CEM40 is hence ideally suited for astrophotography with telescopes of up to 8 inches (200 millimetres) in aperture.

iOptron CEM40

The CEM40 is the latest addition to iOptron’s CEM series

The abbreviation CEM stands for centre-balance equatorial mount, i.e. for equatorial mounts which are supported at their centre of gravity. This design ensures an excellent relation between weight and carrying capacity. The CEM40 weighs only 7 kilograms and yet can carry OTAs up to 2.5 times heavier. The amazing carrying capacity of CEM mounts has been constantly reaffirmed by our customers – especially regarding the CEM25P.

The CEM40 comes equipped with an electronic pole finder, known as ‘iPolar’. A laptop is required to operate this however, so the CEM40 is particularly suitable for astrophotographers who already use a laptop for their camera. iPolar and built-in GPS provide easy and accurate alignment and GoTo computer control initialization.

The encoders installed in the CEM40-EC version ensure very high GoTo accuracy and allow worm gear permanent periodic error correction – a problem that all mounts suffer from. The CEM40-EC does away with the need for guiding with your astrophotography.

The CEM family now covers a wide range of load carrying capacities, offering a suitable model for every budget!

New: NB1 nebula filter from IDAS

March 25 2019, Stefan Taube

Luminescent emission nebulae, supernova remnants and planetary nebulae are all particularly beautiful objects pertaining to the night sky. This applies both to the simple process of visual observation, as well as to astrophotography. Nature illuminates such nebulae in specific spectral colours: the red light of hydrogen, the blue-green light of oxygen ions and also in the colours of sulphur and nitrogen ions.  Nebula filters enable these colours to pass through whilst blocking the diffused light of the natural luminance of the sky and of light pollution. The result is a marked increase in contrast.

With the Nebula Booster NB1, the filter specialists IDAS are introducing a new, very high-performing filter of this type onto the market, and one that is not overly expensive! As the transmission curve shows, the filter has high transmission and is permeable for all relevant spectral lines, with a surprisingly narrow passband: A real nebula intensifier!

Transmission curve IDAS NB1

 

The filter is ideal for photographing large nebula regions since it enables the typical colours of these objects to pass and blocks the disruptive skyglow. The filter quickly and completely cuts off near infrared up to 1100 nanometres. This is important since cameras are sensitive to this range, but telescopic lenses are optimised for the visible spectral range and are faulty in the infrared range.

IDAS Nebula Booster NB1

IDAS Nebula Booster NB1

 

The Nebula Booster NB1 is available with two versions which cover both of the common filter thread sizes and can be screw-fitted to the housings of eyepieces or cameras.

New focus motor for Celestron telescopes

February 26 2019, Stefan Taube

When it comes to astrophotography, the right focus is the most important thing. Even the best optics only deliver sharp images if the focus is spot on. A motorized focus has two advantages over manual focusing: it is vibration-free and very precise. If you remotely control your telescope via your PC, you definitely need motorization.

For the very popular SC telescopes of the Celestron brand, numerous solutions from different suppliers have been available. Celestron now offers its own model, the focus motor for SC and EdgeHD optics.

Celestron Fokussiermotor für SC- und EdgeHD-Optiken

Celestron focus motor for SC and EdgeHD optics.

The motor fits all SC, EdgeHD and RASA optics, as well as the two new Maksutovs with CGEM-II and CGX mounts. Exceptions are optics built before 2006 and the 9.25″ EdgeHD. An additional adapter is required for the RASA 1100, as the RASA 1100 is already supplied with a FeatherTouch micro-focus. The adapter requires you to dismantle the focuser partially to fit the motor.

If you are using a Celestron mount, power is simply supplied via the mount’s AUX port. A cable for this is included in the scope of delivery. If all AUX ports on your mount are already occupied, simply use the Celestron Aux Port Splitter.

The motor can be controlled in three ways:

  • With the NexStar+ controller: Simply press the MENU button, select Focuser and you can use the two arrow keys to control the motor and adjust its speed. Version 5.30+ of the installed firmware is required. You can update your Nexstar control via the Internet at any time. The controller is not only suitable for visual observation, but also for astrophotography with a DSLR, i.e. without a laptop.
  • With a laptop or PC: If you operate your telescope remotely or have connected an astrophotography camera, it is best to use the free program Celestron Focuser Utility for Windows. For this purpose, you need to connect the NexStar hand controller to the computer via USB, not the focus motor itself. The new CGX and CGX-L mounts can be controlled with the Celestron PWI software. The focuser can also be addressed via this program. The CGX and CGX-L mounts can be connected directly to the laptop or PC via USB without manual control.
  • Without a Celestron mount: If you have a Celestron optic mounted on another brand’s mount, you can control the focus motor via the USB port. The USB port should supply 900mA. As an alternative to the USB power supply, you can also operate the focus motor via main power or a Powertank. However, a power supply unit or power cable is not included in the scope of delivery.

The Celestron focus motor for SC and EdgeHD optics is a really useful accessory that is easy to adapt and operate.

Special Offer! The SUNocular 8×32 from Lunt

February 12 2019, Stefan Taube

Imagine a solar telescope that is just as manageable as a pair of binoculars, or a pair of binoculars that can be used to observe the sun as safely as if using a regular solar telescope. The SUNocular 8×32 from Lunt is precisely that. This unusual instrument for observing the sun is currently available at a special price of 98 euros. You will get 121 euros off the recommended retail price!

Lunt Sunocular

Lunt Solar Systems solar binoculars 8×32 SUNocular OD5

 

The SUNocular 8×32 features a permanently installed lens filter with a neutral density of 5, as is typical for sun filters designed for visual observation and allowing you to safely look at the sun. Since the filter is permanently installed, the SUNocular 8×32 is not suitable for use as binoculars for terrestrial observations. In order to ensure that there is no confusion on this point, we have classified this product under the Solar Telescope rubric for the sake of simplicity.

The SUNocular 8×32 allows you to see the photosphere of the sun. This layer, approximately 500 kilometres thick, creates almost all of the sun’s radiation in the visual spectral range. The photosphere shows sun spots with an eleven-year activity cycle.  We are currently between two cycles, and for this reason there are very few spots to be seen. But that will soon change, and this instrument allows you to be very well prepared when the change comes. You can observe, at any time and from any location, new sun spots appear as well as their day-to-day development.

The SUNocular 8×32 has all the typical features of a pair of binoculars of this size: central focus, dioptre balance, extremely rotatable eyepieces, carry strap and a very sturdy bag. Furthermore, the rubberised housing provides excellent grip!

By the way… The SUNocular 8×32 is also suitable for observing planets as they cross in front of the sun (transits) and for watching solar eclipses!

 

Improved Version of the Dobson LightBridge by Meade

February 7 2019, Stefan Taube

No other telescope produces the natural experience of the night sky as directly as a Dobson. Completely without a camera or any other electronic deflection – armed only with an infra-red lamp and star chart – discover nebulae, star clusters and galaxies.

Apart from good weather, two things are necessary to enjoy observation: As large a telescope as possible and a dark night sky. A Dobson is a reflector telescope with a relatively simple base. So, for your money, you’ll get a telescope that is bigger than others. The problem with the dark sky is, however, more difficult to solve. The Dobson telescope should fit in a car so you can drive to a good location for observing.

A large telescope that fits in a car is a contradiction in itself. This is resolved by the Dobson wire-mesh tube:

Gitterrohrdobson

This Dobson in the LightBridge series can be taken apart without tools.

As the figure shows, the telescope can be taken apart into relatively small parts. From left to right, you can see the rocker box, the mirror case, the tube rods and the carrier ring with the secondary mirror. On location, the truss tube Dobson can be built in a few minutes without any tools.

The manufacturer, Meade, was one of the first, with the Dobson telescopes in the LightBridge series to use this form of construction and at a price that is affordable for amateur astronomers. We can now offer the improved version, the LightBridge Plus.

Meade Dobson Teleskop N 254/1270 LightBridge Plus

Meade Dobson Telescope N 254/1270 LightBridge Plus

The new LightBridge Plus has an improved rocker box. It is somewhat lighter, has notched carry handles, a pre-installed eyepiece tray and a friction brake for the height axis. The box can be taken apart without tools so it can be easily transported. Meade now fits these telescopes with an improved eyepiece holder that has a fine-adjustment knob for precision focusing and comes with a high-quality 2-inch eyepiece with a 26-mm focal length.

As with the previous version, the LightBridge Plus has a main mirror fan for faster alignment of the mirror with the ambient temperature. As expected, the optics are fully adjustable. Thanks to the fast aperture ratio, the tube is relatively short and the viewing height at the zenith is not too high.

If you’ve always wanted a telescope with a large aperture, but just didn’t know how you’d carry it around, a LightBridge Plus is a very good choice at a fair price!

 

SALE: The Hyperion Universal Mark IV zoom eyepiece at a special price!

December 12 2018, Stefan Taube

A zoom eyepiece is really practical: It combines several focal lengths that can be adjusted simply by rotating the body. So, you don’t need a whole eyepiece set, and don’t have to switch them out if you want to increase magnification. Unfortunately, zoom eyepieces do not attain the edge sharpness and field of vision of a fixed focal length lens.

With the  Hyperion Universal Mark IV zoom eyepiece by Baader Planetarium it’s a different matter! This tried and tested zoom eyepiece has been improved even further, and offers, for magnification factors with 24 to 8 mm focal lengths, a very good image and at the greatest magnification factor, a field of view of 68°. Unlike other zoom eyepieces, the field of view is not narrowed at greater magnification!

You can now purchase the Hyperion Universal Mark IV for just 220 euros. You save € 25 on the recommended retail price!

Hyperion Mark IV Zoomokular

In the set with the 2.25x Barlow lens you can now even save 27 euros!

The word universal in the name of the Hyperion Universal Mark IV aims to offer almost unlimited uses: Use the zoom eyepiece visually with a long focal length Dobson telescope to view the planets and planetary nebulae, or with a Bino viewer or with a spotting scope for bird and nature watching.

This zoom eyepiece is also very good for a-focal photography:

Hyperion Mark IV Zoomokular Anwendungsbeispiel

Many adapters are available for the wide range of uses of the Hyperion Universal Mark IV.

By the way: Until the end of January 2019, you can purchase Hyperion series eyepieces at a special price!

21.07.2019
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