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iOptron SkyGuider Pro Camera Mount with iPolar
Model: iop_skyguider_pro_ipolarPart Number: 3550A
This newly updated SkyGuider Pro mount is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand yet offers high precision, near silent, tracking.
Other features include a built-in rechargeable power source, an ST-4 guiding port and camera trigger port.
Supplied with a DEC mounting bracket, counterweight shaft and counterweight (not shown in photos) that enables you to more easily balance a heavy camera and lens or a compact refractor telescope.
The optional iOptron 8408 hand controller enables you to check the Pole Star position for polar alignment, slew the mount, adjust the guiding rate, change the mount settings and control the camera trigger.
This mount has an integrated electronic polar finder scope known as the iPolar. This tool ensures the accurate alignment of a telescope, even when the pole star is obscured. There are large levers on the quick-lock drive engagement system; these large levers make it easy to snap the gears into place.
The SkyGuider Pro features four tracking rates, 1x or sidereal, 1/2x for sky and landscape combined, solar and lunar. All four work in both northern and southern hemispheres. IOptron have also added a quick slew mode with both forward and reverse to help you quickly reframe your image without disrupting the cameras position.
Significant improvements have been made to the removable alt-azimuth base, which features a convenient bubble level, degree markings for altitude and a built in post for azimuth control. You can also mount the SkyGuider Pro head (without the base) directly to any standard photographic tripod with 1/4” or 3/8” threads.
Quick Start Guide
YouTube Assembly Instructions
SkyGuider Pro configuration examples
I've had the Skyguider Pro with the ipolar camera for a while, mounted on a Skywatcher 1.75" tripod, driving a WO Zenithstar61. The SGP tracks really well, with my small APO. I can take 5 minutes guided exposures, thanks to precise polar alignment with the ipolar camera, which is a breeze to use. BUT..... I'm not sure if I would recommend it, due to its declination bracket design. I'm not an engineer, but I believe this is the worst possible design ever imagined. It would work fine with a wide field camera lens, but with a small refractor, forget it. It consists in a plate with three compression bolts, you loose them and turn the scope. It is nearly impossible to find an object and frame it as you'd wish. Besides, during such process your scope is in danger of getting loose and fall, if you're not super careful. A finder/laser might help, but you just can't make fine adjustments to frame an object in space. After hours waisted in frustration, I decided to buy the declination bracket of the Skywatcher Star Adventurer and mount it on the SGP using a 1cm thick aluminum 90°angle plate. This bracket has both a clutch and a fine adjustment knob, now finding objects and framing them is a joy and I save huge amount of time. I honestly don't know what iOptron was thinking. The alt-az base is not the best thing in the world but it does the job. Summering it up, it is a great tracker, but if you have (because it's a MUST-DO) to make such modifications yourself, then I don't see why people shouldn't just get the Star Adventurer with a Polemaster in the first place, and save the troubles. I personally haven't used them but all the positive reviews speak for themselves. The DEC bracket is just one detail but it makes too much of a difference. iOptron needs to update the DEC, because as it is right now, it cannot compete with the skytracker by Skywatcher.
Sir Counter weight balance shaft can not be srewwd in, due to a bigger diameter of the bolt!! Other bolt 3/8'' srewed in perfectly
If you are having trouble attaching the counterweight shaft please get in touch and we would be happy to assist: email@example.com.
Received the scope this week and first impressions are it is well made and includes all the tools I require. The reason I didn't give it 5 stars is the instructions are in my opinion are not very good. Some very basic instructions were not included . I contacted Dave at First Light Optics and he answered my questions straight away. I think FLO could do with writing a simple start guide for all the technical equipment that they sell as manufactures manuals are usually written by computer experts who don't live in the world of simple people! Overall I am very happy with the scope and the service from FLO.
Solid construction, iPolar has worked perfectly every time. No trails with 300s subs at 200mm on a full frame DSLR on basic portable tripod on grass with no guiding!
Ok, first off, this is supposed to be a brief review about the Skyguider but I wanted to also take the opportunity to praise FLO and the people there. Grant and Martin always give quick and detailed responses to any emails sent, making life as a first time astrophotographer much simpler. I've ordered twice from FLO and both times the package arrives within 2 days, amazing considering I live overseas.Now to the mount. I bought this because I read that it was a good performing mount for the price point and is a portable. I bought the version with IPolar and it has made Polar Alignment very simple and quick. It takes me a couple of minutes to get everything setup and the software that you can download from the iOptron website is intuitive and straightforward. Getting a good PA has meant I have been able to take up tp 3 minute subs at 200mm with no noticeable star trails with a canon dlsr and lens.
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