Style with sub­stance

Sky at Night Magazine - - FIRST LIGHT -

What looks like a ba­sic, small por­ta­ble mount is bristling with tech­nol­ogy. Eight com­puter pro­ces­sors look af­ter ded­i­cated mount func­tions and help keep your equip­ment point­ing cor­rectly, ad­just­ing for er­rors in po­lar align­ment via a point­ing model derived from two- or three­star align­ment pro­ce­dures. We tested con­trol us­ing the Ex­ploreS­tars ap­pli­ca­tion con­nected wire­lessly to the mount. The app en­ables you to place your fin­ger on the screen and drag a soft­ware joy­stick in the di­rec­tion you want it to move. This con­trols the speed of the mount, scope or cam­era.

Af­ter a two- or three-star align­ment pro­ce­dure, the con­trol soft­ware al­lows you search many thou­sands of tar­gets from a visual Go-To data­base. The mount also pro­vides tech­nol­ogy for astropho­tog­ra­phy, in­clud­ing an ST-4 com­pat­i­ble au­to­gu­id­ing port. A Mi­cro USB port al­lows con­nec­tion to ASCOM-com­pat­i­ble com­puter op­er­at­ing pro­grams. This gives the sys­tem ex­cel­lent ca­pa­bil­i­ties for rel­a­tively lit­tle fi­nan­cial out­lay.

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