Review of the original ZWO ASiair:
"The ASIair is lightweight and compact, and designed to be fitted on or near to your telescope with hook and loop pads. With so many useful features it is difficult to accurately describe its functions in just a few words, but basically it is a stand-alone computer that can control ZWO cameras and a filter wheel, provide Wi-Fi connectivity to a mount, and auto-guiding.
Not only is the ASIair unit itself nicely made, the app that controls it is slick, well designed, and simple to use. Astronomy software can become complicated and having to navigate overly technical applications in the dark with cold hands is fairly daunting.
This app is a pleasure to use and provides almost everything you need to know on one screen, including image progress, guiding graph and image preview. There's a histogram stretch, to give an idea of how much faint signal the camera is collecting. Colour images can be debayered - where colour filters are adjusted - while you are on the move." Tim Jardine writing for BBC Sky @ Night Magazine
About this product
Part Number: ZWO-ASIAIR-PRO
The new ASIAIR Pro is a significant upgrade to the hugely popular, original ASIAIR!
New features include:
- Power input / outputs - DC 12v @ 5A (min voltage 11.5V, max current 6A). 4x 12v / 3A DC output ports, 2.1*5.5mm center positive.
- Improved Storage - 32GB TF card with 20GB free and an additional 64GB USB drive supplied (plus you can use your own external storage)
- Improved Mounting - A redesigned case makes the ASIAIR Pro easier to mount using your scopes dovetail bar.
- New CNC Aluminium Case - New metal case is much stronger and better at dissipating heat with minimal impact on WiFi signal.
- Pro Software Features - Live stacking, automated meridian flip and more features in development!
Astrophotography without a PC or laptop!
ASIAIR PRO is a smart WiFi device. It is equipped with a lightweight power management module, ample USB interfaces, and multiple dovetail mounting methods.
With the rich features of the ASIAIR App, the whole procedure from device integration to image capture runs particularly smooth.
ASIAIR PRO is the second generation of ZWO that has been continuously improved and newly designed since the first generation of ASIAIR was released in July 2018.
1. Excellent craftsmanship, strong tactile appeal
Superb craftsmanship with a strong tactile appeal ASIAIR PRO shell is made out of Aluminium and processed by CNC tech. After the surface is anodised, it not only protects the shell well, but also has a comfortable feel. The size of the whole machine is 92 x 67 x 35 mm, making its size and weight excellent, which can be easily grasped by hand.
2. Unique look and easy installation
The slot/port position of ASIAIR PRO is nice and symmetrical, with M4 and 1/4 inch openings on the bottom and the side. With the use of the dovetail, the installation and removal become easy. The whole machine adopts bright vibrant Ferrari red tones, and the front is painted with laser star maps of the constellation Ursa Minor and Ursa Major, which is very beautiful.
3. Integrated power management, more storage space
ASIAIR PRO is equipped with a lightweight power management module. There are four DC 5.5 x 2.1 mm power outputs on the side of the body, one DSLR shutter release port, two USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports each. The power supply is stable and reliable, the interface is rich and diverse, and the wiring is easy and orderly. It also comes with 84 GB of free storage, so you can capture images freely.
4. LED indicator, clearly indicates the working status
The LEDs will show the working status clearly. What’s more, it has the key operation warning tone, which makes the whole operation under control.
ASIAIR supports both iOS and Android systems.
1. Simple APP interface, as easy as 1, 2, 3.
2. Accurate focus: After the rough focus is completed, select one star, then accurate focusing can be done through curves such as brightness and HFD. It can also be completed with ZWO EAF by remote control.
3. Polar Alignment: Based on the powerful plate-solving function, you can finish arc-second polar axis alignment only within few minutes.
4. Accurate GoTo: With the rich celestial object database, precise GoTo can be achieved after selecting the target.
5. Stable guiding: Independent and stable guiding can be achieved without the PC.
6. Preview mode: You can see the image of the target directly under ‘Preview’.
7. Autorun: Set the target and configure the schedule, ASIAIR will execute the imaging sequence automatically.
8. Live Stacking: You can see the stacked image (lower noise with calibration frames) of the target directly while capturing.
ASIAIR PRO is a smart WiFi device that allows you to control all ASI USB 3.0 cameras, ASI Mini series cameras, and Mainstream DSLR cameras. (It can not support ASI120MM/MC camera)
1. Some DSLR cameras have a 30-second exposure limit, which requires an external shutter release cable to ASIAIR PRO.
2. The items with an exclamation mark in the table above have not been verified by actual tests and will be continuously updated in the future.
We have also been working closely with major manufacturers to complete bringing in the match of iOptron, Vixen, Rainbow, Avalon, Explore Scientific and other models (including some new models). For now, the ASIAIR PRO is able to support hundreds of equatorial mounts from more than 20 manufacturers worldwide. For details, please refer to the “ASIAIR PRO User Manual”.
What's in the box
- ASIAIR Pro
- 64GB USB Memory Stick
- 1.5m Male / Female DC Extension Cable
- 2x 1m DC Male Power Cables
- 2x 0.5m DC Male Power Cables
- 0.75m USB 3.0 Data Cable
- USB to RS232 Cable
- Quick Start Guide
|Average Rating (9 Reviews): |ZWO ASiair Pro Wireless Astrophotography Controller
Sunday, 25 October 2020 | Elaine
We bought the ZWO ASIair Pro as part of a portable rig that included the iOptron SkyGuider Pro, the William Optics RedCat v1.5, iOptron Ball Head, iOptron tripod and the ZWO mini Finder guider and ASI120mm - mini bundle. We ordered all at the same time but were aware that some had a longer lead time than others. Throughout FLO were brilliant at keeping us informed and shipped some items earlier than agreed because we were still waiting for the tripod. Previously we have only used a GoTo Celestron 8SE so getting used to the small rig has required some effort but there are some great YouTube videos out there to help and we now we feel we can write a review of the components.
The ASIair offers real freedom to portable astronomy and for that reason we would have given it 5 stars however we have encountered a number of difficulties and a certain amount of quirkiness in setting up and using the system; some of which could be explained by our inexperience in using the system but others may be bugs that haven't quite been ironed out. We have noticed that setting up indoors or in warmer weather the ASIair can run very hot. We have noticed that the system doesnít always connect to the local wifi, also there is little error notification so in the early stages it takes a quite a while to discover what the issue might be. We had problems initially with using the guide scope as this did not seem to function until we ran the demo guide scope first. There are occasional problems with the system not reading from the main camera (Canon DSLR) this seems to be rectified by changing to the guide scope camera taking a shot then returning to the canon but sometimes the ASIair needs restarting. We always switch the system off in the app but occasionally we get a white screen with the first canon image. That said we have had a number of nights where the system has worked perfectly and we love all the functionality from the polar alignment to plate solving and we are having a great time exploring the night sky Öwhen clear! There has been a recent upgrade to the ASIair firmware which allows for videoing for some cameras amongst other improvements. Unfortunately, as yet, the video for the Canon 80D is not supported.
Input from FLO:
It sounds like you are using the ASIAIR Pro in station mode connected to your home WiFi network rather than a direct WiFi connection over the unit's hotspot. This is great for stability if you have a strong enough WiFi signal where you are using the mount but if your closest WiFi access point/router is inside the house with the ASIAIR Pro outside this can cause connection issues sometimes. A WiFi access point located as close to the physical location of where you are taking photos is best. You can also try running it with a wired ethernet connection to troubleshoot this and verify it is a WiFi problem overall.
The issues reading from the main camera and connection of the guide camera are possibly related to to the driver for the DSLR itself, this may be resolved with an update but it's tricky to say for sure. If it performs without issues sometimes it's hard to know for sure where this might be occurring. The ZWO forums might be able to help here - https://bbs.astronomy-imaging-camera.com/t/asiair.
Since discussing this with FLO we confirm that all of our firmware was up to date but have noticed that by allowing the ASIair a little time to make connection with the home wifi the issue has settled down occasionally during a run it needs to reconnect but establishes this fairly quickly without loss of data. The forums and Facebook group are a good source of help.
Saturday, 15 August 2020 | John
Usual great service from FLO. Gear arrived in great condition. I backed up the sad card then connected everything to the ASIAIR pro and tested the connections. All went well so I setup outside for a trial run. Did a quick polar align through the polar scope then made sure the main scope and guide scope were in focus. Ran the PA tool in the app and had an accurate alignment in less than 2 minutes. I then slews to M20 - The Trifid Nebula. The app platesolved and recentered the target perfectly. I calibrated the guiding done with the asi120mm mini - also new - which went smoothly. Started the guiding with 2 second exposures and took a 20 second test exposure with asi1600 mm cool. The nebula looked good so I did a final focus then set the app to auto run. It went through the sequence of 10x 3min luminance subs perfectly but Iíd forgotten to cool the camera! As I was just a test run I quickly reset the auto run to do 5xl, 3 each of r,g and b. All went well. I then shot 10x Ha which I thought might be better for luminance data. All 3 minutes long with dithering every 2 frames. I canít believe how well this all went for a first try. Hoping itís clear again soon to finish taking a lot more subs on this target. Very impressed with the ASIAIR pro. It powered my main camera, my heq5 pro mount and 2 dew heater straps. I used an eqmod dir cable without issues. I wasnít able to test the meridian flip but think it should be fine as the platesolve works so well and very quickly. Only downside for me is I donít have aZWO focuser so had to use the hand control to adjust rather than the app. If they add autofocus in future app updates Iíll probably add the EAF focus unit as this would be better for long sessions with filter changes. If you have a ZWO camera or a DSLR Iíd really recommend this unit.
Wednesday, 15 July 2020 | David
On website stated delivery in 15-20 working days-arrived the following day-incredible-thought i would have to wait a month!
Thursday, 2 July 2020 | Thomas
Canít review it as I only got it late last week then had to disappear for a few days so will do one when clouds disappear. But a big thanks to you all for the help in getting the Pro to me.
Sunday, 31 May 2020 | Tim
A fantastic observatory controller, I've had three consecutive nights out with it now and I'm extremely impressed. My setup is not permament and this has shaved at least 20 minutes off my setup time vs. using the iPolar built into the mount, plus its a lot easier to use. The mass of long cables is also gone! The ASIair mounts neatly on top of the scope and the cables are short and can mostly be left in place, only the power supply and the USB cable to the mount need to be connected during setup. Power is now a lot easier as I don't have the laptop to worry about, the whole setup runs (very efficently) off a large 12V rechargeable battery pack - there is a power pass-thru on the mount so there is just one connection from the battery to the mount, one connection from the mount to the ASIair and then power distributed to the camera from there. The 12V outputs on the ASIair can be turned on and off indivdually from the App.
In use the goto is accurate and the automatic plate solve to center the target does an excellent job, I do not have a compatible guide camera yet so I haven't been able to test the autoguiuding feature but the setup in the app looks straightforward. The app is quite easy to use once you get used to it and you do not need to maintain a connection during the session, once you have set it running you can walk away and let it do its thing - if you want to check on it just open the app and reconnect, it'll update to show where you are. Wifi range is not brilliant but its certainly adequate. Setting up and running imaging sequences is easy but there doesn't appear to be any way to get it to pause between sequences which can be a bit of an issue as there is no gap in which to cover/uncover the scope when taking dark or bias frames. You can pause the session manually but it means you have to be paying attention (or you could do two different sessions consecutively but it still requires manual intervention). I'm using the app on a large phone screen and it works pretty well, I haven't felt the need to upgrade to a tablet. There is an included USB3 memory stick which images are saved to by default and that makes it quick and easy to transfer data to the PC for processing.
The best thing about the ASIair is that it just works - ten hours of imaging over three nights (so far) and it hasn't let me down once.
I should say that despite the good support for mounts from many manufacturers this will only control ZWO cameras and accessories, equipment from other manufacturers is not supported. I got this to control my ZWO camera and iOptron mount and I expect to add further ZWO accessories over time so for me this isn't an issue but it is something to be aware of.
Thursday, 16 April 2020 | John
Brilliant solution. Things to be aware of: It does not support dedicated astronomy cameras other than by ZWO. If you are intending to use it with SkySafari there may be an issue. For example SkySafari will not recognise my iEXOS-100 mount (and development of the software I believe has ceased as the author has retired) and I have been unable to connect it to my HEQ5 Pro mount as yet (look at the ZWO support pages for a discussion on port number etc.). You don't need SkySafari however as the GOTO catalogue within ASIAIR is excellent allowing a list of favourites and shows current visibility of the target and a thumbnail photo of the target. The other thing is that only the ZWO automatic focuser is supported at this time. I have a Celestron edge 8" with the Celestron focuser so I still need a laptop just to be able to focus! There is no workaround - if you want to add a Crayford focuser and attach the ZWO auto focuser then OK (be mindful of the extra weight) but that stops you using a 0.7x reducer which for myself is essential as I need the speed of an f7.0 system.
Don't let all that put you off, it is brilliant!
ZWO ASiair pro wireless controller
Monday, 30 March 2020 | Peter
I recently bought a few items from FLO and all were delivered timely and well packaged. This has been a large investment to my hobby as I have moved from a skywatcher Newtonian 150p and a canon 1100 DSLR with guiding on my AZ EQ5 GT mount to a Skywatcher Esprit 100 ED, mono ASI1600 GT with off axis guider, ZWO EAF and the ASI 120mm mini for guiding. The reason I also went for the ASiair pro was the eagerness to stop being outside all night with my laptop. The ASiair itself came much quicker than I anticipated considering the global situation at the moment.
As to the ASiair Pro itself, i was very pleased at how it worked straight out of the box, very little setup required and it obviously recognised all the ZWO equipment straight away, I did anticipate a few issues, not with the ASiair but with my own tablet - a Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5 as it only has 3G RAM and the spec of the ASIair suggests a minimum of 4G but I have had no issues with performance that I can see. I am not a massively experienced astrophotographer, very much a beginner but this has made things much easier for me - still a very steep learning curve though with the ASI1600 gt as I have never used a mono camera before but things are moving on well.
I will say one negative thing though - the WiFi connection whilst very stable at close range (even through my kitchen wall) whilst the ASiair has 'line of sight' to me, once the scope moves through the night and ends up being obscured by the scope itself the signal will drop - this is not a massive issue in that any pre set autorun is in place, it will continue to run without connection to the tablet but obviously you cannot keep an eye on progress/guiding and the only way to see what is going on is to take the tablet back to the scope and regain 'line of sight'.
I have come up with a solution to this by purchasing a secondary WiFi repeater which I can leave in line of sight of the ASiair and with un obstructed view of my house - I suppose a manufacturing remedy for this would be to have an external moveable aerial which could be mounted at another location near the scope.
All in all though a very good piece of equipment that will make astrophotography an even more enjoyable hobby for me.
Monday, 30 March 2020 | Tim
A fabulous service from FLO (as usual), despite the horrid times we are all going through with the pandemic right now.
The Asiair Pro arrived as pre-ordered, with good email contact from FLO keeping me informed, it was robustly packaged and effectively addressed too, a super start.
I havenít deduced itís many functions yet, but I have added it to my Moonfish ED 80 Apo elegantly (it looks very smart), connected to itís wi-Fi easily and started to explore its capabilities, even though the clouds have inevitably rolled in.
Thanks FLO, Iím sure this will help my imaging, I am keeping my traditional set up with laptop etc. on my other main scope, Explore Scientific David Levy Comet Hunter and plan to get more use from both set ups as a result.
Tuesday, 21 January 2020 | Pete
I've had the AsiAir Pro for around a week now and I'm totally blown away by it!
Not having a permanent setup means I've missed many a clear sky due to getting home from work late and faced with around forty five minutes to get started I would give it a miss.
I've had two clear nights under the stars with this unit now and from putting the tripod down to capturing data takes around ten minutes! (and I'm sure it will get quicker!)
The unit itself is well made, with plenty of ports. I plugged a USB3 hub into one of the USB2 ports to accommodate my EAF & EFW as I had five plugs and four sockets. The hub worked without any issues at all. I've not had a chance to use my heater strips with the unit yet as awaiting FLO to take stock of the adaptors (2.1mm on unit and RCA on strips) so still using my dew heater controller alongside the AsiAir.
Overall I am extremely happy with the AsiAir. It really is a game changer!
No handset, no laptop, but more importantly, no cables!
Please fill in the form below to ask a question.