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Old 21-02-2019, 01:24 PM
AnakChan (Sean)
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Got a new toy! SS-One Traveler Harmonic Drive mount

After 2 years from prototype to final production, I received my SS-One Traveler mount that leverages on harmonic drives rather than traditional stepper motors, etc.

The maker, SS-One is pretty much a one-man show who makes rather unique Astro products - usually modifying mounts, replacing standard controllers with his Raspberry Pi controllers, small autoguider cameras, etc.

In the current trend of Harmonic Drives (HD), he created this somewhat more affordable mount than the Korean HobyM Crux and RainbowAstro RST mounts. Thereís another Japanese maker, K-Astec whoís making a Harmonic Drive mount but thatís more for solar.

Back to the SS-One Traveler HD mount, itís approx 3.11kg and if heís stuck to the same specs as his prototype, it should be using the Oriental Motor PKP262FD15AW-H100 HD. Itís capable of holding the the FSQ-85ED which is what Iíll be using it primarily with, but it will need a counterweight for better stability.

Whilst currently his AutoGuider Pro controller is external, the long term plan is that heíll have a Raspberry Pi controller internal to the Traveler (in his blog, he stated heíll swap with external AutoGuider Pro when the internal controller is ready in Autumn/Winter Ď19).

Whatís nice about this is (like the Vixen Starbook Ten with Advanced Unit module), itís a all-in-one thatíll take in the autoguider camera cable. Therefore, overall fewer components dangling around.

Iíve not even powered it on yet but hope to take it for a spin this weekend if weather is good.
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  #2  
Old 21-02-2019, 02:25 PM
AstroApprentice (Jason)
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Hi Sean,
Thanks for posting, I look fwd to you telling us how the mount performs.
For anyone interested, more info on the KODO controller can be found here:
https://www.sciencecenter.net/hutech/ss-one/index.htm
Plus SS-One also make a motor/controller upgrade alternative for EQ5 mounts:
https://astrohutech.store/product-ca...nversion-kits/
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  #3  
Old 21-02-2019, 03:30 PM
Sunfish (Ray)
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Stand alone autoguider. Yes please.
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  #4  
Old 21-02-2019, 05:19 PM
AnakChan (Sean)
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Jason, thx for the links! Now I have something I can read without bothering my wife for JP translation!

Will let you know how it goes with this mount. Harmonic Drives are notorious for poor PE mandating autoguiding but I’m curious on how this one performs.
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  #5  
Old 22-02-2019, 06:10 PM
Wavytone (Nick)
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Looks nice... if it’s good enough for visual I’d be interested I have a travelscope that needs a compact mount... any chance he’d add an interface to Sky Safari or Nexus DSC ?
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Old 22-02-2019, 07:52 PM
AnakChan (Sean)
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Hi Nick, no reason why this can’t be used for visual. The controller has GOTO, and with a USB Wifi dongle, controllable from the iPad’s Sky Safari too.

The maker intended to make a “all-in-one” controller that manages autoguiding, image capture (with dither), autofocus control, GPS for long/lat, in addition to the GOTO & remote control via Wifi mentioned above.

The only catches are that it’s still an expensive mount & he makes very limited quantities.

If it’s a practical budget mount for visual, the Skywatcher GTi seems to fill those needs very well.
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Old 22-02-2019, 08:57 PM
Wavytone (Nick)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnakChan View Post
“all-in-one” controller that manages autoguiding, image capture (with dither), autofocus control, GPS for long/lat, in addition to the GOTO & remote control via Wifi mentioned above.
To be honest I'd suggest he forget that lot, seems he can't really decide whether this is actually an imaging rig, or a travel scope. As you correctly pointed out harmonic drives are dreadful for PE anyway, which does rather suggest this is not really suitable for imaging, anyway.

A travel scope has to be airline portable and ideally backpack-able - and I've tried taking my 70mm to Cradle Mountain and backpacking it - and I can say there isn't room for all the rest of junk to make an imaging rig let alone batteries to power it all (which are illegal on planes). A true travel scope implies the user is probably carrying a smartphone, maybe a tablet at best - not the autoguider, laptop, filters, robofocus, camera, heaters and the whole carload of junk that makes up a full imaging rig.

What does it cost ? I didn't find it from a google search so I guessing this is not really in production yet.

Last edited by Wavytone; 22-02-2019 at 09:12 PM.
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  #8  
Old 22-02-2019, 11:07 PM
AnakChan (Sean)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavytone View Post
To be honest I'd suggest he forget that lot, seems he can't really decide whether this is actually an imaging rig, or a travel scope. As you correctly pointed out harmonic drives are dreadful for PE anyway, which does rather suggest this is not really suitable for imaging, anyway.

A travel scope has to be airline portable and ideally backpack-able - and I've tried taking my 70mm to Cradle Mountain and backpacking it - and I can say there isn't room for all the rest of junk to make an imaging rig let alone batteries to power it all (which are illegal on planes). A true travel scope implies the user is probably carrying a smartphone, maybe a tablet at best - not the autoguider, laptop, filters, robofocus, camera, heaters and the whole carload of junk that makes up a full imaging rig.

What does it cost ? I didn't find it from a google search so I guessing this is not really in production yet.
The goal is a travel astrophotography rig. Whilst harmonic drives arenít great for imaging, the issue is addressed with autoguiding - as such the maker has packed all the features into a single controller instead of having multiple intermediary components.

The cost is approx AUD$3565 but Iíve just ordered a few additional accessories so that figureís gonna go up a little more by $200-300.

The makerís site is all in Japanese :-
http://shop.ss-one.net/?mode=cate&cbid=2416463&csid=0

But itís in his blogs is where he describes more info (if you have the patience to read back a yearís worth) :-

http://honmaka.cocolog-nifty.com/blog/
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Old 23-02-2019, 09:23 PM
AnakChan (Sean)
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Just created a quick video of the mount moving. It's surprisingly silent!

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Old 23-02-2019, 10:05 PM
Wavytone (Nick)
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Yes I'm well aware of what harmonic drives are like - I've seen them used elsewhere in actuators for controlsystems.

Food for thought.
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  #11  
Old 24-02-2019, 12:48 AM
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Ukastronomer (Jeremy)
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I use Gitzo for my photo gear, but have never found it best for astro work do you think it is ok.
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Old 24-02-2019, 01:11 AM
Wavytone (Nick)
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Originally Posted by Ukastronomer View Post
Gitzo
Start with Berlebach when looking for a decent tripod. Manfrotto and Gitzo's are tinker toys in comparison.

Last edited by Wavytone; 24-02-2019 at 01:31 AM.
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Old 24-02-2019, 01:02 PM
AnakChan (Sean)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ukastronomer View Post
I use Gitzo for my photo gear, but have never found it best for astro work do you think it is ok.
What issues do you have with the Gitzo? (What kind of loads are you putting on it? What problems do you have with that load? And how is the Gitzo intended to be use? Flight-friendly portable or transportable? etc).

I find my Gitzo satisfactory for my purposes - Vixen Polarie, etc.I use it for portable usually. However it has its issues such as very cold icy weather, the G-Lock twist locks are tedious with gloves on.

If it's full blown scopes, although I don't have one, I like the Avalon T-Pod series. And these days we're seeing more and more carbon-fibre based astro tripods.
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Old 24-02-2019, 07:51 PM
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It is fine with a 600mm lens on D5 with Wimberley, I just find it not as stable with a scope,

https://www.cliftoncameras.co.uk/Git...RoCv04QAvD_BwE
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Old 29-03-2019, 08:39 AM
EFThomas (Edward)
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SS-one mount

Where can you get a hold of these guys? The only page I can find is in Chinese.
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  #16  
Old 29-03-2019, 09:26 AM
AnakChan (Sean)
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It's Japanese. Unfortunately they made only 10 and sold only in Japan. I live here and was lucky to preorder one. I've still haven't had the chance to take it out into the field and unlikely to do so for the next few months as I've just sold my car. Doing my combined weight of the whole set of the mount, tripod, counterweight, FSQ-85ED, camera, guide scope, controller, battery, etc it's around 13 kg.

An alternative you could look at is the upcoming RainbowAstro RST-135 in NEAF 2019. It's cheaper than it's older brother RST-150H. It's also a 3kg mount and claims to carry a 13kg payload without counterweights. This will be at least a more mass-produced product than the SS-One one-man business.
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Old 29-03-2019, 09:30 AM
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multiweb (Marc)
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That's a good looking mount and so quiet. It's a fascinating beautiful concept with that elliptical gear. For sure you'd be able to image with that. There's no backlash whatsoever by design correct?
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Old 29-03-2019, 10:48 AM
EFThomas (Edward)
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Google translate was trying to tell me it was Chinese (Mandarin).

I would still like to get hold of them. When I try to use there contact sheet on their website, it refuses to work for some reason.

I was a dealer for Rainbow once in the past and am unlikely ever do that again.
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Old 29-03-2019, 10:55 AM
AnakChan (Sean)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by multiweb View Post
That's a good looking mount and so quiet. It's a fascinating beautiful concept with that elliptical gear. For sure you'd be able to image with that. There's no backlash whatsoever by design correct?
So with harmonic drives, no backlash. I’m adding a counterweight though ‘cos the FSQ-85ED with guidescope & camera is like 6kg and I don’t wanna break my new toy, so I’ve added a 1.2kg counterweight just not to strain the mount too much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EFThomas View Post
Google translate was trying to tell me it was Chinese (Mandarin).

I would still like to get hold of them. When I try to use there contact sheet on their website, it refuses to work for some reason.

I was a dealer for Rainbow once in the past and am unlikely ever do that again.
The owner of SS-One is Nakazawa-san & he speaks some English although I’ve mailed to him mainly in Japanese (with help from my colleagues as I don’t speak Japanese myself). Are you looking for yourself or for distribution? I can reach out to Nakazawa-san for you and hook you up with him.

Another maker you could look at (but also domestic Japan but somehow more famous overseas), is K-Astec. They also have their own harmonic drive however they’re quite conservative rating it only for solar tracking. Their model GE1414HD was also made pre-order in limited quantities. I asked about using for sidereal (even with guidesope tracking) but they highly advised against it so I went for the SS-One instead.

Last edited by AnakChan; 29-03-2019 at 11:01 AM. Reason: Adding further info on K-Astec
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Old 29-03-2019, 12:10 PM
AstroApprentice (Jason)
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Contact Ted Ishikawa at AstroHutech ishikawa@hutech.com. They distribute SS-One in the US and also sell into Aus.
https://www.sciencecenter.net/hutech/ss-one/index.htm




Quote:
Originally Posted by EFThomas View Post
Google translate was trying to tell me it was Chinese (Mandarin).

I would still like to get hold of them. When I try to use there contact sheet on their website, it refuses to work for some reason.

I was a dealer for Rainbow once in the past and am unlikely ever do that again.
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