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iOptron SkyHunter Portable EQ/AZ GOTO Mount With iPolar

iOptron SkyHunter Portable EQ/AZ GOTO Mount With iPolar
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Price:  £599.00(Inc. 20% VAT)
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Model:  SHEQA
Brand:  iOptron

Availability  

  

Generally In Stock, Please Confirm Before Ordering



2 Year Warranty On All New Items
(Excluding Batteries & Globes)


  (1 Review)

iOptron's new ultra compact EQ/AZ GoTo mount -- introducing The SkyHunterTM!

Fifteen years after releasing the innovational CubeTM AZ/EQ GoTo mount, the SkyHunter takes the next step toward perfection. It is the lightest and most compact full function portable goto mount in iOptron's exceptional history. Weighing in at only 2.9 lbs (including internal rechargeable battery), the SkyHunter TM is capable of supporting an 11 lbs payload in both equatorial and alt-azimuth modes.

The SkyHunterTM mount features four tracking rates, 1X or sidereal, 1/2X for sky and landscape combined, solar and lunar. All 4 tracking rates work in both northern and southern hemispheres.

The SkyHunterTM mount can be controlled by a SkySafari 6 Plus or later on an iOS or Android smart phone/tablet, an optional 8410 hand controller, or a computer via ASCOM, INDI or embedded drive.

Features
Specialized Grab N’ Go GOTO EQ/AZ mount
Mount weighs 2.9 lbs (1.3kg)
Payload 11 lbs (5kg) (balanced, exclude CW)
Dual-axis servomotors with optical encoders
Tracking speed: solar, lunar, 1X, 1/2X, S/N
Operation in both northern and southern hemisphere
Vixen dovetail saddle
Built-in rechargeable battery for up to 10 hours of operation (20°C)
Built-in WIFI adapter for full ASCOM, iOptron CommanderTM and Sky Safari control
USB port for firmware upgrade and computer control
Optional Go2Nova® 8410 controller with Advanced GOTONOVA® GOTO Technology
iPolar electronic polar scope
Counterweight Shaft: Φ20X200mm with 3/8” thread, stainless steel
Counterweight: 3 lbs (1.35kg)
Attaches to a camera tripod with 3/8” or 1/4” threads
1.25" Stainless steel tripod (#3221)
Optional carbon fiber tripod
Pier-extension (#8041)
One year limited warranty on mount, 90 day for battery

PACKAGE CONTENTS
SkyHunterTM GOTO EQ/AZ mount
EQ base
Stainless steel counterweight shaft
3 lbs counterweight
iPolar electronic polar scope
MiniUSB charging cable
One Year Limited Warranty (90 day on battery)

Average Rating (1 Review):  
Write a Review and share your opinions!

Rating:  
Brilliant but with Quirks
01 September 2023  | 

I got this discounted from RVO as a customer return. I thought I would be returning it too at first as the RA axis lock was immovable. Having read the manual and seen some online advice I gave it a bit of not so gentle encouragement and eventually got it free!
This does lead to the biggest issue I have with the SkyHunter. The lovely looking red anodised knobs arenít that easy to grip and donít have enough mechanical advantage to easily lock and unlock the RA and DEC axes if youíre using equipment close to the 5kg limit, especially as I have grip issues with both hands. This was a particular problem with the RA axis which would tighten itself to a solid lock the first few times I used it. It soon became obvious why it was returned! That said, the problem has eased with use and the RA axis no longer locks up. The RA axis is now easy to unlock using the counterweight bar to turn the whole SkyHunter anti-clockwise while holding the mounting plate steady with a hex key. I found a small strap wrench also came in useful for easily tightening and loosening the locking knobs without relying on my limited grip. One day Iíll get a 3D printer and make. Wrench for this purpose. I do stress, this is only really a problem if you have a fair bit of kit on it. If youíre using it with a DSLR and lens then you wonít have any issues.
If you can live with the above, this is a fantastic little mount. Itís incredibly compact, very accurate and an absolute breeze to use (once youíve balanced it and locked the axes). If only using a camera and lens then even I can lock the RA and DEC tight enough by hand. Thereís nothing much to compare if you want something you can take into the wilds with your camera and still have GoTo convenience. This is easily the lightest and most compact option out there.
Using it to its limits with about 4.5kg of kit and a guide camera I get perfectly round stars with exposures up to 10 mins (the longest Iíve tried). Itís actually better than my EQ5 mount with the same kit.
The iPolar is a useful addition for fast and accurate polar alignment but beware! It only works with Windows at the moment which is a massive limitation if you want to head off into the hills. I have a Microsoft Surface Pro tablet PC that is useful for this, though itís a little bit heavier than an iPad to carry.
I have found this has become my favourite choice to throw in the boot and drive up to the dark skies of North Yorks for a night of astrophotography. Iíve put together a very quick to assemble kit with mini pc control that I can have up and running in minutes.
If iOptron are listening, including a little double sided wrench (like the ones you get to remove drill chucks) that fits the locking knobs and this would be a solid 5stars!

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Some items that are showing as in stock are in stock at our holding warehouses, not at the shop. To double check the stock levels at the shop, please contact us on 01909774369 or sales@rothervalleyoptics.co.uk.

The delivery times for most items is 1 - 2 days but again, please double check stock levels on important orders before placing an order via the website.

The delivery costs for courier next day are for mainland UK only. If you live in the Scottish Highlands/Islands, Channel Islands or Northern Ireland, then a shipping surchage will apply. please contact us for prices. Smaller items can still go 1st class via Royal Mail.

Please note that if you are wanting to take advantage of our Saturday and Sunday timed services or next day pre 12 or pre 10:30 services, you MUST check that the stock is here at the shop before placing orders. Also, orders using the Saturday and Sunday services must be placed before 1pm the previous working day. Also, please remember to check that the stock is here at the shop before placing orders. If the stock is not at the shop, we won't be able to ship on any of the timed services. 

Please note International customers will need to contact us for a shipping price prior to ordering via the website. We don't ship all items internationally. It is at our discretion what we ship outside of the UK. This all depends on the size and weight of the items. Please get in touch with us for any postage costs. Please note we do NOT ship telescopes or heavy items outside of the UK. This is due to massive postage costs and problems regarding returns.

If you have any questions regarding stock levels or delivery, please get in touch.

Zygo Interferometer Testing For ED Refractor Telescopes!

We are extremely pleased to announce our Zygo Interferometer is now installed and ready for use! Our experienced staff can test refractor lenses up to 120mm aperture and provide a comprehensive 2 page report showing the optical quality and Strehl ratio, plus much more information. We are using the very latest Zygo MX software to provide a more detailed report compared to other standard reports.

 

The interferometer is essentially a measuring instrument. Within the interferometer is a calibrated laser that is pointed through the optical test surface, then onto a high quality reference sphere, then back through the test subject then to an internal camera which gives us the measurement on the screen. From this, we can adjust the position of the test optic and the reference sphere to obtain a perfectly calibrated system. The more central the laser to the test optic and then on return, the better and more accurate reading and measurement we can take. This takes a lot of adjustment to get the best results from the optical surface. Once the measurement has been taken, we are provided with a series of results that show the optical quality of the surface plus other information. Continue reading for an explanation of the individual values and you can also see a test report that was done on one of our RVO Horizon 60 OTAs. 

We are offering certain telescopes with a Zygo test at an extra cost. Mainly ED doublets and triplets. All available telescopes with a Zygo test report are listed here. Just select Zygo Test Report from the drop down box at the top of the listing and we will test the optics in house and provide a full 2 page report with your scope. This will show you the optical quality of your telescope optics. We can also offer this service on your refractor telescope. Please get in touch for more details about this. 

At Rother Valley Optics, one thing we pride ourselves on is customer service and quality of our equipment. When we test your telescope, we will ensure that it is of the highest quality otherwise, we will reject the scope under our strict quality control and test another model for your peace of mind. One of the main values to look at when testing a refractor is the Strehl ratio. The higher this number, the higher quality lens you have. At Rother Valley Optics, we will guarantee the highest possible Strehl ratio for your telescope.  We will aim to provide 0.95 Strehl or higher on Takahashi, RVO Horizon, William Optics and many more! Generally, the higher the Strehl ratio, the lower the Astigmatism and Coma meaning a better image quality from your instrument. 

Other measurements such as the PV and RMS are important too. With these measurements, the lower the number the better as it shows less curvature on the lens. The flatter an optical lens, the better it will perform. The PV rating (Peak To Valley) is a measurement from the highest point (Peak) to the lowest point (Valley). From this we get the RMS (Root, Mean, Square). This is a similar figure to the PV and measured exactly the same way. The RMS is basically an average height difference from the PV so again, the lower the better. As you can see form the example below, we measured an RMS of just 0.027 wave which is a very good value.

We also measure the Power with our systems which is essentially the error from the reference sphere to the test optic. The reference sphere we use on our system is a very high quality sphere so the closer to zero the Power, the less error between the 2 elements thus ensuring a higher quality optical surface. 

You will also see some more values such as Astigmatism and Coma. Again, these are measured by the interferometer when we take measurements of the optical surface after adjustment. These are values which ideally would be at 0 but as our test optics are all curved lenses, there will always be astigmatism and coma present. The lower the number, the less of these aberations you will effectively see but with most refractors, you can buy field flatteners which will compensate for the coma anyway. The astigmatisms value is explaining the error between the symmetrical curvature of the lens. Basically, no lens will be perfectly symmetrical, the lower the astigmatism, the more symmetrical the lens surface is. 

Once the Zygo test report has been completed, the optical alignment is thoroughly tested and tuned to ensure they are spot on before they leave us. 

All available telescopes are on the website at the link below and ones we've tested already that are available straight away are also listed.

https://www.rothervalleyoptics.co.uk/zygo-tested-refractors.html

Here is an example of the test what we provide. This was a test on one of our Horizon 60 ED OTA's.

For any questions about this amazing new service, please either call 01909774369 or email sales@rothervalleyoptics.co.uk.

 


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Fifteen years after releasing the innovational CubeTM AZ/EQ GoTo mount, the SkyHunter takes the next step toward perfection.