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EQ-AL55i Pro: New mount for small optics and DSLR cameras from Skywatcher

April 22 2024, Stefan Taube

The Skywatcher brand has been offering small mounts for travelling and photography with camera lenses for years under the name Star Adventurer.

The technology and design of these successful models can be found again in a new mount that has a load capacity of 10 kilograms and can therefore also carry somewhat larger optics: Skywatcher mount EQ-AL55i Pro SynScan GoTo WiFi

This versatile mount is equipped with an adjustable counterweight bar. This allows use at all latitudes from 0° to 90° and avoids the problems that arise with many mounts outside our mid-latitudes. It is an ideal travelling mount!

The EQ-AL55i is fully controlled with a smartphone via the built-in Wi-Fi module and the free SynScan Pro app. This app is available for iOS and Android.

You can find more information about this mount here in the shop.

Mounts with strain wave gear from ZWO, iOptron and PegasusAstro

April 19 2024, Stefan Taube

Innovative manufacturers have been offering astronomical mounts with a special drive design for a few years now. You can find these in the shop under the Harmonic / Strainwave link.

These mounts are equipped with a so-called strain wave gear. It is also known under the protected brand name Harmonic Drive.

The advantages are:

  • High load capacity with low dead weight
  • High torsional rigidity: no counterweights required
  • Relatively inexpensive, as industry standard
  • No swivelling error (“backlash”)
  • Very high reduction ratio
  • Compact dimensions
  • Maintenance-free and backlash-free in the long term

The strain wave gear is used for the axes of industrial robots, among other things. It is therefore a standard and does not need to be specially developed and built for astronomical mounts.

Although the periodic gearbox error is also high for strain wave gears, the error typical of worm shafts, which occurs when the direction of rotation changes (“backlash”), is eliminated. This means that the strain wave gear reacts immediately to the control impulses, so that the periodic error can be compensated very well by autoguiding.

For large mounts, such as the Skywatcher EQ-8, the mounts from 10Micron or the CGX-L from Celestron, a worm shaft is still the first choice, because optics with a long focal length require a very low periodic gear error and a counterweight cannot be dispensed with for heavy optics, even with a strain wave gear. In addition, the advantages of strain wave gears in terms of compactness, weight and price are lost as soon as a mount with a high load capacity is required.

There is therefore an ideal range of load capacity in which mounts with a strain wave gear can play to their strengths. The requirements for mobile astrophotography with small to medium-sized optics fall within this range. The harmonic mounts from brands like iOptron, PegasusAstro, RainbowAstro and ZWO are designed precisely for these requirements.

You can find all mounts with strain wave gear under the Harmonic / Strainwave link in the shop.


Typical strain wave gear to industry standard

Dobsonian telescope with over 30 centimetre mirror from Bresser

April 3 2024, Stefan Taube

Dobsonian telescopes are simple in design and intuitive to use. They are therefore particularly popular with newcomers to astronomy and occasional observers. But experienced amateur astronomers also love this type of telescope, as the simple design allows the use of a large mirror at a fair price.

The traditional Bresser company now offers a Dobsonian telescope with a 305 millimetre mirror diameter in its Messier series: N 305/1525 Messier Hexafoc

This model also shares the special advantages of the Dobsonian telescopes in the Messier series:

  • Newtonian optics with parabolic primary mirror
  • Large altitude wheels and azimuthal needle bearing for movements without jerking
  • Tube with tube clamps: The telescope can be finely balanced. It is even possible to use the optics on a different mount.
  • The supporting box can be assembled in just a few minutes using metal furniture connectors.
  • A suitable filter for observing the sun is already included in the scope of delivery.

The tube of the largest model N 305/1525 Messier Hexafoc is made of fiberglass and is therefore relatively easy to transport.

You can find more information and the current price for this 12-inch telescope here in the shop.

New member of the Celestron NexStar Evolution family

March 25 2024, Stefan Taube

The popular Nexstar Evolution telescopes from Celestron have a new addition: It’s a five inch telescope!

The NexStar Evolution 5 is even more compact and less expensive than the other models in this series. However, it has everything that characterises a NexStar Evolution telescope:

  • High-quality optics in a Schmidt-Cassegrain design. This design is compact, closed and very easy to use. The long focal length is ideal for observing and photographing the moon and planets.
  • The telescope is equipped with motors and computer control (“GoTo”). This means that even beginners can find all attractive celestial objects.
  • The telescope can be controlled with the hand controller or via smartphone and the SkyPortal app from Celestron. To do this, the telescope generates a Wi-Fi signal so that you can connect your smartphone to the telescope.
  • The NexStar-Evolution has an integrated lithium iron phosphate battery (LiFePO4) with a battery life of approx. 10 hours.
  • The telescope can be disassembled into three parts. This makes it easy to transport and fits in any car boot.

You can find the NexStar Evolution 5 and all other models here in the shop.

New entry-level Dobsonian telescope from Omegon

January 28 2024, Benjamin Mirwald

The Omegon-Dobson family has grown. The Advanced X N 152/1200 telescope expands the “Advanced X” series with a high-quality, yet affordable model.

With a mirror diameter of 152 millimeters, it collects enough light to see even distant galaxies. The slim telescope shows its strengths primarily when observing planets and star clusters. The focal length of 1200mm makes it easy to achieve slightly higher magnifications. The included 25 mm eyepiece gives 48x magnification, with additional eyepieces a range of 30x to 240x is usable. We particularly recommend the Premium Flatfield eyepieces as accessories.

Sometimes at high magnifications you can see the flickering of the air, but there are nights with perfect “seeing” – and this telescope is made for them. As a Dobsonian telescope, it consists of two parts and is ready for use in just six steps:

  1. First set up the so-called rocker box (8 kg),
  2. Place the optical tube (9 kg) in the rocker box,
  3. attach springs on sides,
  4. slide in the finder scope,
  5. insert eyepiece.
  6. Don’t forget: remove the lid 😉


This only takes a few minutes. So it is possible to simply peek through a few gaps in the clouds every now and then. The good-natured design is also suitable for use all night long – the telescope can easily handle dew or frost.

A Crayford focuser for 1.25″ eyepieces allows you to precisely focus on the celestial object.

Because it is intuitive to use and really robust, the instrument is highly recommended for children aged 10 and over.

Like its larger siblings in the Advanced X series, the N 152/1200 can also be retrofitted with a digital “sky navigation system”, the Omegon Push+ Go system. The 6×30 finder scope is the classic way to find the objects – in combination with good celestial atlases .

Origin: the Smart Telescope from Celestron

January 25 2024, Stefan Taube

The renowned telescope manufacturer Celestron now also offers a Smart Telescope. This is a telescope with a built-in camera and a user-friendly smartphone app:

Celestron Smart Telescope S 152/335 RASA Origin

Compared to other smart telescopes, Origin has special features that you can expect from one of the most innovative manufacturers:

  • At 152 millimeters in diameter, the optics are larger than those of other telescopes of this type. As a result, the resolution is significantly higher, which has a very positive effect on globular clusters, the Moon and planets for example.
  • The optics consist of the patented RASA design. This technology from Celestron allows a particularly fast focal ratio of f/2.2 – in the same exposure time Origin delivers a significantly brighter image than other automated Smart Telescopes. In addition, the closed optics prevent dust, dirt or moisture from accumulsting on the mirror.
  • Origin is equipped with fans for the optics and electronics, a built-in heater for dew protection and a filter drawer.

As Celestron is a manufacturer by and for astronomers, Origin also allows you to use filters and edit the raw images yourself without using the integrated image editing software.


Origin is supplied with a mount based on the proven NexStar Evolution design. The single-arm mount is very stable, yet compact. It is equipped with an integrated rechargeable battery that powers the mount, the camera and – if desired – even your smartphone.

With Origin, Celestron is revolutionizing electronically assisted Astronomy, also known as EAA. EAA can not be compared to observing through a Dobsonian or to “classic” astrophotography, yet it offers another approach to Astronomy that is particularly interesting for beginners and city dwellers.

With a new particularly innovative product like Origin, it is not always easy to meet the high demand in a timely manner. Therefore our recommendation: Pre-order your Origin NOW here in our shop. We will deliver it as quickly as possible.

New Sphinx mount from Vixen: SX2WL WiFi

January 25 2024, Stefan Taube

With the SX2WL model, the Japanese manufacturer Vixen is launching a new mount in the Sphinx series.

The SX2WL is the first Sphinx mount to be equipped with a Wireless Unit. It generates a local WLAN so that the mount can be controlled via a smartphone, using the free STAR BOOK Wireless App. This App offers all the functionalities of the previous STARBOOK TEN with manual controls simply via your smartphone. This significantly reduces the power consumption of the mount!

The SX2WL is ideal for mobile astrophotography: It can carry up to 12 kilograms, but weights only 7 kilograms. Due to the design of the Sphinx mounts  the motors act as counterweights and only a light additional counterweight is required.

Like all Sphinx mounts, the SX2WL also impresses with its high quality standards Made In Japan!

You can find more information and the current price here in the shop.


January 8 2024, Stefan Rieger

Swarovski AX Visio 10x32

BEYOND SEEING – Swarovski Optik wants to usher in nothing less than a new era of wildlife observation with the launch of the AX VISIO.
The first smart binoculars that allow you to observe nature, identify what you see and share your discoveries.

Swarovski AX Visio 10x32

The AX VISIO combines classic observation with the digital world. The integrated apps allow you to identify over 9000 animal species. Birds, mammals, butterflies and dragonflies are stored in the database – not just on the basis of the picture that was taken on your smartphone. Moreover, the identification result is displayed directly in the visualization. You can also mark landmarks, pass on the binoculars and your companion will be guided to these points by arrows. The integrated compass helps with navigation. Up to 5 mobile devices can be connected to the AX VISIO. This means that your companions can also watch what you are seeing live on their smartphone or tablet. It’s the ideal function for nature hikes.

Swarovski AX Visio 10x32

The optics are based on proven Swarovision technology and show you our nature in brilliant colors with outstanding brightness and sharpness. The 10x magnification allows you to recognize numerous details.

You can already pre-order these top-notch binoculars exclusively in our shop. Delivery will start at the beginning of February.

SEGA: The Planetarium for your home

December 1 2023, Stefan Taube

The special gift idea: Bring the stars into your Christmas home for you and your loved ones. The home planetariums from SEGA are the best choice here!

SEGA offers three models:

All variants have useful features, such as a timer and switchable shooting stars.

You can upgrade any SEGA home planetarium with additional high-quality slides. This means you can always new exciting patterns with Astronomy and other topics.

You can find all SEGA planetariums here in the shop. Additional slides are available under the brand names SEGA Toys, Astrial and Redmark.

Order the new version of the OCAL collimator now!

October 18 2023, Stefan Taube

The OCAL PRO collimator has revolutionised  precision collimation of reflector telescopes since its introduction in 2021! Now you can get an improved version of the collimator: OCAL V3.0 electronic collimator

Transportation and general usage can cause telescopes to lose their collimation. This is because the scopes’ primary and secondary mirrors shift position. The instrument can no longer show off its capabilities. An abundance of collimation accessories help to redress this.

The OCAL V3.0 uses a camera for this. This makes it unbeatably precise.

The OCAL V3.0 has an entirely new design:

  • Inside, it has an in-built, light-sensitive CMOS sensor. This makes collimation easier in poor light conditions.
  • Exposure time is also now only 1/20, compared to previous models.
  • The OCAL V3.0 has a much bigger lens than both of its predecessors.
  • The new OCAL V3.0 can achieve considerably higher resolutions. This makes images clearer, even in critical conditions and improves the precision of the results.
  • The new version comes with different adaptors.

You can find further information, price and purchase options using the following link: OCAL V3.0