Some time ago two new telescopes for astrophotography appeared on the market. Both have in common that here astrophotography is made easy by offering an all-in-one device, which is simply set up and after switching on automatically performs the setup. With the smartphone controlled objects in the sky can then be approached and the built-in software then takes over photography and stacking of the photos taken.
Cuiv, The Lazy Geek thought about this and posted a youtube video a few weeks ago on how to build a similar system cheaper and more importantly configurable.
This was so interesting that I assembled such a system with my existing equipment and minimal new purchases, of course adapted to my equipment and my needs.
- Sturdy tripod (Berlebach UNI or Berlebach Report with leveling unit, latter significantly facilitates the setup)
- Skywatcher AZ-GTi Mount
- Vixen rail
- Arca quick release clamp
- Raspberry PI 4
- Stellarmate OS
- Stellarmate app (for Android or IOS in the app-Store)
- Synscan Pro app (for Android or IOS in the app-Store)
- optional: wedge for equatorial mount
Except for the Skywatcher AZ-GTi mount, everything was/is available, so the expenses are limited. With a complete new purchase you are at about 850€, with existing camera/lens (supported are pretty much all camera brands like Canon, Nikon, Fuji, etc.). Optionally, of course, an astro camera with a small telescope is possible; the mount can carry about 5kg.
The system was configured within 2 hours and set up for all available lenses and cameras.
Everything is controlled via the Raspberry. On site via smartphone or tablet with WiFi, for the recording session then from the desktop computer via Ethernet connection. The whole system is absolutely portable and quick to set up.
Now I’m waiting for the “first light” and hope for clear skies in the near future.