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  #1  
Old 08-04-2014, 11:28 PM
Star Hunter
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AstroTrac: How many would buy one?

If this product was available in Oz, I wonder how many would sell?
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  #2  
Old 08-04-2014, 11:49 PM
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MrB (Simon)
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Not sure I understand?
Quite a few Aussies already have them, myself included.
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  #3  
Old 09-04-2014, 12:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrB View Post
Not sure I understand?
Quite a few Aussies already have them, myself included.
I'm asking because a bloke I know, is thinking of becoming a dealer for them in Oz. Maybe he might be flogging a dead horse?
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  #4  
Old 09-04-2014, 12:48 AM
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Ah ok. Well it's a limited market here, and they're not exactly a hot item.
Also, typically, locally stocked product costs more than purchasing direct, which could be offputting for potential future buyers, but I suppose if the local price is reasonable then it might work for him.
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  #5  
Old 09-04-2014, 01:36 AM
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No, too heavy and expensive.

A better alternative is the iOptron Sky tracker for $469: only 1kg heavy, has a pole finder, fits on a photo tripod and can carry 3kg and runs on just 4 penlites (5V).
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  #6  
Old 09-04-2014, 02:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skysurfer View Post
A better alternative
For who?
Quote:
only 1kg heavy
Same
Quote:
has a pole finder
Same
Quote:
fits on a photo tripod
Same
Quote:
and can carry 3kg
15kg
Quote:
and runs on just 4 penlites (5V)
only 4 more(12V)

True, the other trackers are cheaper but they are also less accurate (AT claims 5 arcseconds peak to peak over 5 mins), they don't have Autoguiding capability, and they can't take a load much greater than a camera body and medium sized lens.

Being able to take 5 to 10 min unguided subs with longer focal lengths on a system that fits in a backpack means, for me, the AT is the better alternative.

Being able to mount two scopes side by side and a guide cam, while still remaining very portable means, for me, the AT is the better alternative.

Different needs, different gear.
Apples and Oranges.
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  #7  
Old 09-04-2014, 03:00 AM
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You're right.

I read a recent test in the UK where it was priced UKP 800 and far more than 1kg.
But TS supplies the Astrotrac for $493 and 1kg, hardly more expensive but much better than the Skytracker.

http://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/...strofotog.html

But 12V is 10 penlites, not 8.
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  #8  
Old 09-04-2014, 03:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skysurfer View Post
But 12V is 10 penlites, not 8.
Actually, it is 8.
1.5V per AA cell.
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  #9  
Old 09-04-2014, 03:38 AM
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Quote:
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Actually, it is 8.
1.5V per AA cell.
That is with alkalines.
Currently many people use NiMH of 1.25V per cell.
With devices such as trackers I don't use discardable batteries but rechargables which are all 1.25V.
Unless the Astrotrac runs on 10V 8 penlites are enough.
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  #10  
Old 09-04-2014, 03:48 AM
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Ah ok yeah, AA rechargables are not my preferred due to their crappy self discharge.
I use a lipo battery and solar when away from home and keep alkaline AA's as backup, just in case.
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  #11  
Old 09-04-2014, 06:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skysurfer View Post
But TS supplies the Astrotrac for $493 and 1kg, hardly more expensive but much better than the Skytracker.
Isn't it 493 Euros plus another 122Euros for the pole finder + P&P?
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  #12  
Old 09-04-2014, 09:29 AM
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I've seen the AstroTrac in action, it's a great piece of kit, well designed and engineered. You are paying for "western world" design, manufacturing and support.
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  #13  
Old 09-04-2014, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrB View Post

15kg .
Really? That would give it a heavier payload rating than a Losmandy G-8

I've toyed with them at numerous trade shows....nice piece of kit, but no way would I agree they can carry that sort of payload without flexing all over the shop.
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  #14  
Old 09-04-2014, 11:35 AM
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So the iOptron may be better buy than a AstroTrac? I was thinking of getting one myself but now I'm beginning to wonder if it would be a waste of time?

I see the new AT's have an Autoguider port http://www.astrotrac.com/Default.aspx?p=tt320x-ag but if it can't move in Dec how the hell can it autoguide??

So what are the Pros and Cons of the AstroTrac and iOptron tracker mounts?

Thanks,

Jim
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  #15  
Old 09-04-2014, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Star Hunter View Post
So the iOptron may be better buy than a AstroTrac? I was thinking of getting one myself but now I'm beginning to wonder if it would be a waste of time?

I see the new AT's have an Autoguider port http://www.astrotrac.com/Default.aspx?p=tt320x-ag but if it can't move in Dec how the hell can it autoguide??

So what are the Pros and Cons of the AstroTrac and iOptron tracker mounts?

Thanks,

Jim
Some interesting questions. The Astrotrack only guides in RA, hence can only be autoguided on that axis.. Any Dec drift and you can expect eggy stars.

I had a look at the Astrotack website...they indeed claim a 15Kg payload....which sorry, really is laughable. I found it struggled with flexure with just a short focus 80mm refractor (3 kg)

Most camera tackers are just that: camera trackers. They are pretty similar in performance....just don't try and place too much camera+ lens on them and you'll get great results.

If you want a portable tracker+integrated tripod, sure the Astrotrack is a good solution..... but if you want a dual axis portable EQ mount, "none of the above" is the answer.
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  #16  
Old 09-04-2014, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Ward View Post
Really?
Haha. Yes they wouldn't be the first mount manufacturer to exaggerate their load rating

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Ward View Post
The Astrotrack only guides in RA, hence can only be autoguided on that axis..
For now

Quote:
I found it struggled with flexure with just a short focus 80mm refractor (3 kg)
I often use it with a Stellarvue SV70ED and an Orion ST80 (which is very light) + QHY5 in side-by-side configuration, works well.
Obviously not as solid as the mounts you're used to tho

Quote:
If you want a portable tracker+integrated tripod, sure the Astrotrack is a good solution..... but if you want a dual axis portable EQ mount, "none of the above" is the answer.
True.
There is also the iOptron SmartEQ which isn't quite as portable as the others, but is dual axis and is goto for ~$360.
The Pro version has guiding for ~$500.
I was almost ready to pop on the Pro when the Astrotrac came up for a good price.
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  #17  
Old 09-04-2014, 07:01 PM
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I don't think the Astrotrac can be compared to a Polarie or iOptron tracker, as far as intended use, capability and price is concerned. Despite its tangent arm design and the required accessories, the Astrotrac is better compared to some of the smaller EQ mounts, and for unguided AP, periodic error, portability, complexity, stability, capacity - if unguided light weight AP is your thing?

Quote:
There is also the iOptron SmartEQ which isn't quite as portable as the others, but is dual axis and is goto for ~$360.
The Pro version has guiding for ~$500.
I was almost ready to pop on the Pro when the Astrotrac came up for a good price.
More comparable...
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  #18  
Old 09-04-2014, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrB View Post
There is also the iOptron SmartEQ which isn't quite as portable as the others, but is dual axis and is goto for ~$360.
How does that work...? the Ioptron Sky Tracker is $558 with a lighter payload etc. (im not questioning you, its on their website)
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  #19  
Old 09-04-2014, 10:28 PM
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Cor you guys are wimpy.
I just bung my NEQ6 in my back pack with a couple of counterweights and a deep cycle battery - then carry my OTas under my arms withthe tripod.
It's the laptop I have a problem with.
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  #20  
Old 10-04-2014, 12:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua Bunn View Post
How does that work...? the Ioptron Sky Tracker is $558 with a lighter payload etc. (im not questioning you, its on their website)
Probably quality. The SmartEQ's seem to be a bit hit and miss in that regard, and some reviews I've read say they need some work and fine tuning to get them working their best, which I was quite happy to do.
The tripod that comes with them, and with the Sky Tracker package in your link, is apparently only good for filling your rubbish bin.
There are a few informative threads on CN and SGL if you're needing more info.
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