astrophotography

Veil Nebula with IDAS and BORG

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Followings are the cropped close-up versions in full resolution mode.

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All light frames were simply stacked. More experienced users should split into RGB individually and create AOO or Hubble Pallet or something else. I will learn that from now on.

I feel the image sharpness might be affected by seeing or the temperature change during the imaging session. Even my 75mm guide scope showed poor seeing.

I wish to use my lovely cooled 6D. But so far, there is no room for one more filter box at this moment. This is why I shot the above with A7. I need the special arrangement for that.

Ultimate Powerbox v2

Ultimate Powerbox v2 Pegasus

Ultimate Powerbox v2 (UPBv2 in short) is the successor of our renowned Ultimate Powerbox. You asked for more features, we kept our promise:


A USB3.1 Hub has been added -you can switch on/off each USB port –, more power outputs, more dew heaters, α new stepper controller that can drive any stepper motor in the astronomy market as well as an expansion ports for future devices that will communicate with the UPBv2 Controller!

Fully available from all of our dealers by end of June 2019
(Due to production delays device will be available very soon!)

If you are tired of carrying multiple power packs and dealing with a mess of power and data cables, our Ultimate Powerbox v2, a sophisticated power control unit, is the “Ultimate” solution. Our idea is an enclosure that makes a sufficient number of amperes available.

No cables disturb the movements of the mount and the instrument, only the main power cord and one USB data cord is attached to the Ultimate Powerbox from which branch off the other cables powering all devices.

Ultimate Powerbox v2 quick glance:

  • 4 x 12V Smart Outputs,

  • 3 x PWM duty cycle channels for your Dew Heaters or Flatpanel / Fans

  • a USB3.1 SuperSpeed, 5 Gbit/s Industrial Grade Powered Hub that includes 4 x USB3.1 and 2 x USB2 available ports (6 USB ports in total)

  • a Unipolar / Bipolar Stepper Motor Controller

  • a Variable / Regulated Output of 3Amps

  • a 12V / always ON Output

  • Environmental & Power readings

  • In a compact size with plenty of features!

We strongly believe that if you own a remote observatory or you do advanced imaging you are going to love this device.

DETAILS

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Solid Input Socket

A large and solid DC input socket ensures that power cable is always secured in place. Socket is selected to provide all the power you need without voltage drops

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DC power cable is included in the package

More than 20A of total power

Controller has been designed to support up to 20 Amps of total input current.

* Please notice that Ultimate Powerbox v2 is not a powerbank. It requires an external power source (battery or PSU) to receive its power.

4 x 12V DC Power outlets for your equipment

Four powerful Smart Mosfet transistors provide “electric juice” to your precious equipment. Sophisticated short circuit and overload per port protections cut the power and report the incident into our software. Every Mosfet is capable to provide up to 7Amps of current.

Metal & good quality output sockets ensure that will provide all the juice you need and can secure in place your extension power cables

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Built in Power Sensors

A precise voltmeter and an ampmeter (can measure up to 30A) measure and display in real time your power input. If the input is more than 14.5V the power is instantly cut off to protect your equipment.

Individual Current Meter per 12V port and Dew Heaters

Every 12V output and every Dew Heater Channel has an internal and independent digital current meter. You can view each port power consumption in the software.

Stand Alone Software

Our modern standalone software has a neat dark skin! Control all Ultimate Powerbox v2 features from this software. Receive metrics, View and zoom into graphs, name your outputs, tune every setting of your Ultimate Powerbox v2 quickly and easily.

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Industrial 6 port powered USB3.1 SuperSpeed Hub

An industrial grade USB3.1 Hub controller ensures that this USB hub will work flawlessly from temperatures of -40°C to +80°C.

A neat feature is that each USB port can be switched ON/OFF individually by the software. A device was stuck and you had to replug the socket in the middle of a cold night? No problem! Just locate the port, click the ON /OFF switch in our software and you recycle the USB port . Simple as that!

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At the back of the UPBv2 you can locate:

  • 4 x USB 3.1 Super Speed ports

  • 2 x USB 2 High Speed ports

Each USB port provides up to 2.5Amps. All USB ports include an electronic short circuit and overload electronic protection.

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If you own an Intel M3/5 PC Stick which has a USB-C socket you will need a USB A -> USB-C “fast charging” cable that can provide 3Amps. Normal USB-C cables have an internal resistor which limits current to 2.2Amps and leads to PC Stick shutdown. 

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Embedded Stepper Motor Controller

A stepper motor controller will precisely move your focuser. The controller drives a Pegasus Motor or any other stepper motor in the market (Unipolar or Bipolar) e.g. Rigel, Robofocus, Moonlight Motor.

Make sure you have the correct cable for your motor. Every manufacturer uses its own pinout. Contact us if you have any question for the type of your motor.

Backlash compensation is already implemented in the firmware and can be enabled, tuned and disabled from the software. A fully ASCOM6 focuser driver is already available.

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Three channel duty cycle PWM outputs

Three Pulse width modulation (PWM) outlets are capable to provide power to your “thirsty” Dew Heaters / Flatpanels or Telescope Fans. Eliminate the moisture that is fuzzing your equipment and destroying your clear nights. These outlets can be remotely tuned from your laptop using the supplied software.

A Variable & Voltage Regulated Output

One regulated output that can provide up to 3Amps of current is available. You can tune the output from 3 Volt to 12Volt and save this setting in controller’s memory. Every time UPBv2 boots the port will be tuned to the stored voltage setting,

Always ON – 12V Output

One unregulated 12V output can provide up to 8Amps. So, In addition with the Smart 4 x 12V outputs you have one more to connect additional equipment. This 12V output port stays always ON!

Expansion Port (EXT)

An RJ12 expansion port is available for future devices. Expansion Port allows the connectivity of current and future Pegasus Astro Products. Plugged devices can be controlled from UPB software (ASCOM /INDI / Standalone)

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Auto Adjustment of PWM (Dew Outputs)

Firmware can auto adjust the PWM Outputs by consulting the environmental sensor Dew Point reading. Just click “Auto” and leave to Ultimate Powerbox v2 decide if it is time to switch on your dew heaters.

Notice: You can select which Dew Heater output is controller by the “Auto Dew” function.

ASCOM 6.4 fully supported

Ultimate powerbox fully supports ASCOM6. In combination with our main program which acts as a server you can use our latest ASCOM 6.4 supplied drivers to:

  • Control Stepper Motor (ASCOM Focuser)

  • Pass environmental settings to supported software (e.g Sequence Generator Pro / MaximDL ) (ASCOM ObservingConditions)

  • Switch ON or OFF all 12V outputs. (ASCOM Switches)

Above screenshot shows ASCOM Observing Conditions and Focus Driver in combination with Sequencer Generator Pro

INDI support (in progress)

Ultimate Powerbox v2 supports INDI. There are some functions that do not work yet but we’ll support them as soon as possible.
There are two different implementations that support Linux/OSX

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External brackets support Losmandy / Vixen Plate attachment

We provide an optional pair of brackets to grab the Ultimate Powerbox device onto a Losmandy 3” or Vixen plate. Both brackets can be screwed on the side of the controller and grab on your telescope.

Led Indications for power and failure states

Led can blink in patterns to warn you regarding important power issues (e.g over or under voltage). Moreover light can be turned off using the software. Our led is very dim but in case you don’t like it on you can switch it off via the software.

Power Cables are included in the package

Four (4) power cable of DC 2.1mm to 2.1mm male (1m) are included in the package. Cables are thick enough to support up to 6Amps of current.

External Environmental Sensor

External temperature & relative humidity sensor is included in the package. Know exactly the environment conditions in your location.  Temperature, humidity and dew point measurements are displayed in the software.

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Zoomable  and Exportable Graphs for Power and Environment values

Software logs all voltage, current, temperature and relative humidity readings. All these plots are zoomable and easily exportable in PNG image & CSV text format. Keep a full record of your night conditions.

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Timer to shutdown outputs

Choose the time and start timer to shutdown output ports when you schedule it.

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Memory persistence outputs on startup

You can easily define which output should turn ON during startup. The setting is stored in system’s EEPROM memory. A neat feature in case of a power failure.

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USB3.1 Connectivity

Controller is always connected to the USB Hub (7th internal USB port). No extra cable needed. Just connect the USB Hub to your laptop and you are ready to go.

Reverse Polarity Protection

Ultimate Powerbox has been design with a reverse voltage polarity protection. It will definitely save your night if you accidentally connect the main power supply in reverse polarity!

Watchdog

A hardware watchdog resets the device if for any reason there is no response from the controller for two seconds. A neat feature in the unlikely event of a controller freeze – when you have a remote observatory and you need to be certain that everything works as expected.

Upgradable Firmware

Device is firmware upgradable to support future features and bug fixes.

Warranty

Device and included sensor is covered by two years warranty

Compact Size and Lightweight

A blue anodised aluminium compact sized box enclose the controller board. Size is 12cm x 10cm x 3cm (4.72 inch x 4.06 inch x 1.2 inch). Weight is 400 grams (14.1 ounces).

New: NB1 nebula filter from IDAS

Luminescent emission nebulae, supernova remnants and planetary nebulae are all particularly beautiful objects pertaining to the night sky. This applies both to the simple process of visual observation, as well as to astrophotography. Nature illuminates such nebulae in specific spectral colours: the red light of hydrogen, the blue-green light of oxygen ions and also in the colours of sulphur and nitrogen ions.  Nebula filters enable these colours to pass through whilst blocking the diffused light of the natural luminance of the sky and of light pollution. The result is a marked increase in contrast.

With the Nebula Booster NB1the filter specialists IDAS are introducing a new, very high-performing filter of this type onto the market, and one that is not overly expensive! As the transmission curve shows, the filter has high transmission and is permeable for all relevant spectral lines, with a surprisingly narrow passband: A real nebula intensifier!

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The filter is ideal for photographing large nebula regions since it enables the typical colours of these objects to pass and blocks the disruptive skyglow. The filter quickly and completely cuts off near infrared up to 1100 nanometres. This is important since cameras are sensitive to this range, but telescopic lenses are optimised for the visible spectral range and are faulty in the infrared range.

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The Nebula Booster NB1 is available with two versions which cover both of the common filter thread sizes and can be screw-fitted to the housings of eyepieces or cameras.

BORG with Eagle 3

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I just setup PLL’s Eagle 3 with BORG 90FL F3.9ED and 50Ach guide scope. Fortunately I could figure out matching Eagle 3’s hole patterns with BORG 3200 plate.

ll look nice and great color matching, and everything is solid.

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Again, Eagle 3 is not just a compact Windows PC. I think the power distribution capability including dew-heater power controls should be more valuable and convenient. I have to ship them out to NEAF today. So I will write up more after coming back.

CLICK HERE

 

A breathtaking eclipse

Picture credit: © S. Habbal, M. Druckmueller, J. Judson, A. Ding and the solar Sherpas

Picture credit: © S. Habbal, M. Druckmueller, J. Judson, A. Ding and the solar Sherpas

e were blown away by this stunning image, beautifully illuminating solar activity behind the moon. It was kindly supplied to us by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Adalbert Ding of the Institut für Technische Physik (ITP), and the Institut für Optik und Atomare Physik, Berlin.
Here’s what Adi said about this capture:-

The image is composed of 3 separate pictures:-
• The electron density (blueish, so called white light picture)
• The emission of Fe XIV (530.3nm: Fe 13+; green areas), depicting areas with temperatures around 1.8 MK
• The – NIR – emission of FeXI (789.2 nm: Fe 10+; red areas approx. 1 MK)

The reddish parts top and bottom of the moon are the magnetic north and south pole of the Sun, the field lines moving nearly linearly away from the Sun in these regions while the magnetic field lines connected to the Fe XIV seem to be mostly closed loops. The start of the solar wind can be easily seen moving away in different directions.

The image of Fe XIV had been taken with the ATIK 314, the image of  Fe XI with ATIK 414, both in connection with narrow band filters, the white light pictures with a CANON Mark III full frame.

Click here…

Current BORG Availability & 72FL

I summarize current BORG availability for new orders as follows. (This is not for the ones already ordered)

(Objective lenses)

  • 107FL : May

  • 90FL : June

  • 89ED : June

  • 55FL : June or later? (I need more carefully check)

  • And 72FL : Prototype stage

(Rear lenses)

  • 7108/7215/7214/7872 : in stock

  • 7880 : May

  • 7770(=ED reducer for 107FL)/7771(=ED reducer for 90FL) in stock

Sorry for the inconvenience to you. Still way behind the schedule, especially 55FL. But getting slightly better. Thanks for your continuous patience.

I was told 72FL was refined for best matching with 0.72x super reducer. I will try to take some shots before NEAF if allowed or after. This is 72mm fluorite at F4 with total 6 elements configuration.

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I will try to figure out best possible configuration as the double-duty scope for imaging as well as guiding.

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