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Posts Tagged 'primalucelab'

New, high-performance astrophotography computer, the EAGLE series

April 10 2018, Elias Erdnüß

With the brand-new models, EAGLE 2 and EAGLE 2 Pro, as well as with the upgraded EAGLE CORE, the innovative Italian company, PrimaLuceLab, is taking astrophotography into the 21st century.


Many astrophotographers use a laptop: to control the wide range of camera equipment, autoguiders and filter wheels and to save the shots you take, a portable computer is essential. All devices must be connected separately to the battery and be connected to each other properly. It takes times and you end up with cables all over the place. When using heater bands, you need ever more controls, and this creates even more cable chaos. This hardly bothers those who have their own small observatory: All the equipment can remain permanently and perfectly set up with ideal cable routes and cable ties, and everything is controlled via a PC that is installed in the observatory.

EAGLE 2 makes this comfort also available to astrophotographers without an observatory! The EAGLE 2 computers are full, high-performance Windows 10 computers on which you can install any software, just like a PC. Using USB connectors, cameras, mounts and autoguiders can be connected to the EAGLE 2, and it also features 12V outputs to supply the power for mounts, camera cooling systems and heating bands. The power supply of all the equipment operates like that via EAGLE 2 and can be set and controlled. A compact battery with just one single 12V direct current output is now all that’s needed! The EAGLE 2 is not just another device that takes up extra time every night to set up and for all the cables to be connected. It has many mechanical connection possibilities so it can be permanently connected to your equipment. The idea is to set up the optimum mechanical connection and perfect cabling once, and then carry it as a whole without stumbling or getting tangled up.

The greatest highlight of the entire system is, however, the Wifi capability of the EAGLE 2. From any terminal you want, whether it be your smartphone, tablet and even a Mac, you can control the EAGLE 2 remotely and wirelessly. On the terminal, you’ll see the familiar Windows 10 interface of the EAGLE 2 and can use it like any normal PC.

The pro version of the EAGLE 2 computer is fitted with more working memory, a more powerful processor and a larger hard drive. It is perfectly suited to more CPU-intensive image processing or other advanced application that go beyond simple telescope and camera control. The inexpensive small brother is the EAGLE CORE. There’s no Windows 10 running on this; instead, it has special software for controlling DSLR cameras and autoguiding equipment. So, the EAGLE CORE is the right choice for DSLR astrophotographers who want to use an autoguider without having to take an extra laptop with them.

If you’ve been thinking about buying a new laptop for astrophotography for a while, you really ought to consider the EAGLE 2 computer as an alternative. A permanently installed solution, no messy cables, no problems with power supply and comfortable wireless remote control all speak for themselves!

EAGLE: The computer for astrophotography

September 12 2016, Stefan Taube

Why EAGLE?

Hardly any other sector of our hobby, astronomy, has experienced such a dynamic development over the last few years than astro photography. But this all comes at a price! If in the past one had to set up a Dobsonian telescope, search the eyepiece bag for the correct focal length and probably also a colour filter, the mobile astronomer of today travels with an “observatory to go”: Equatorial mount with heavy counterweights, optics, camera, guiding telescope, guiding camera, laptop and large powerpack. Is there no easier way? The EAGLE control unit makes this possible. It is a computer that is tightly connected to the tube, and it controls mount, camera and guiding camera, centrally supplies electric current, and saves images. You can operate EAGLE wirelessly via WIFI with an input unit of your choice.

EAGLE

No messy or torn cables

All power and data lines to the mount and peripheral equipment run centrally from EAGLE. This allows the use of short cables and to leave these cables partially connected for a quicker setup. Since the EAGLE computer performs the same tracking movements as the mount, no cables can be wound up or torn off by the mount. You can quite confidently allow your astro photographical equipment to run for hours without supervision. The only cable you need to keep an eye on is the electric power supply cable for the EAGLE. Talking of power supply: Due to the power management of the EAGLE, you only need a smaller Powertank, or you can take photos over an even longer period of time.

EAGLE generates its own WIFI

With the associated app you can use all the programs you need, wirelessly and conveniently from your garden chair. Popular software like PHD2 Guiding are pre-installed. Since the EAGLE runs under Win 10 Enterprise, you can also install other programs. The advantage of EAGLE is the fact that you can control your system with any WIFI-compatible computer and any operating system: no matter whether you use a laptop, tablet or smartphone, and no matter whether you use Windows, Android or Apple. In the field, the WIFI range is approximately 25 metres.

EAGLE-Tablet

EAGLE saves your photos

You can have the camera images directly transferred to your tablet, laptop or smartphone via WIFI. Since you obviously take a lot of photos which need to be saved without losses, the EAGLE is equipped with an SSD memory card. Saving to a USB stick is also possible. However, there is no possibility to edit any of the photos in EAGLE. The computing power has been designed for low current consumption, which is why EAGLE also works without ventilation.

EAGLE is a fixed part of the system

The EAGLE computer is no additional accessory that you have to carry around. The small, but very stable box can stay mounted to your tube. The best way of installation probably is the installation between the tube and the guide scope rings. However, you can also mount the EAGLE box on the same prism rail that you use to fasten the telescope on the mount. This is recommended if you do not use a guiding tube. On our EAGLE product page you can see examples for this.

There is nothing you can’t do without the EAGLE control unit. However, anyone who is actively involved in astro photography on a regular basis and now and again likes to travel to good star gazing locations or telescope meetings, will quickly appreciate the EAGLE: no cable problems, no computer crash, a stable power supply, a compact system.

There is also a more powerful version available, which has been designed for large mounts and observatories: EAGLE Observatory.

 

 

26.08.2019
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