Optec Pyxis LE Rotator

The NEW Optec Pyxis LE is a low profile, lightweight, and versatile Camera Field Rotator with standard mechanical interfaces for ease of connectivity. Based on a design by Ted Agos of the Acorn Hollow Observatory, the Pyxis LE is the thinnest camera field rotator available today!

The telescope side of the Pyxis LE is a simple two-inch "push-fit" barrel. The long barrel adapter, just short of 2-1/2 inches, is easily inserted into any 2" focuser such as the Optec TCF-S Temperature Compensating Focuser. Combined with the TCF-S or TCF-Si, the Pyxis LE creates a focuser/rotator combination requiring less than 4-1/2 inches of back-focus.

The camera side of the Pyxis LE is a standard male T-thread. Any T-thread camera, filter wheel, off-axis guider, or industry standard T2 ring can screw directly on to the exit port of the Pyxis LE - no other adapters are required. All of the users existing accessories - T-thread spacers, off-axis guiders, filter wheels, etc. - can be attached directly. With the Pyxis LE, the confusion typically surrounding adapters is eliminated since the Pyxis LE is ready to use out-of-the-box. Simply attach your camera, slip into a 2-inch focuser, and you're ready to go.

The Pyxis LE is ideally suited for small, well-balanced cameras such as the QSI, Fish Camp, Starlight Xpress or SBIG ST-series CCD cameras. Canon and Nikon DLSR cameras will attach directly using an optional T2 bayonet ring. Optional T-thread extender rings can be added in 7.5 and 15mm lengths for additional offset to avoid filter wheel stepper motors such as with the SBIG CFW9.

Specifications:

Physical Size: 3.14" x 4" x 6.5" (80mm x 102mm x 165mm)
Clear aperture: 1.515" (38.5mm)
Weight: approx. 1.1 lb. (.5 kg)
Telescope Adapter: 2" barrel adapter for any 2" focuser
Camera Adapter: T-thread
Back-Focus: .68" (17.3mm)
Resolution: 0.050 degrees/step
Power: 12 VDC 1 Amp (12 Watts max)
Communications Interface: USB 2.0
Software Interface: Pyxis LE-Control and ASCOM-compliant driver
f/6.3 Telecompressor Optics Integration

Pyxis LE f/6.3 Spacing DiagramThe Pyxis LE can also accommodate Schmidt-Cassegrain f/6.3 optics (or any 43mm diameter optical system) without adding additional back-focus. The f/6.3 telecompressors available from Celestron, Meade, Antares and Hirsch fit directly into the 2-inch nosepiece of the Pyxis LE. The optics must first be removed from their original housing and then using a pair of optional retainers the optical elements can be inserted anywhere within the 2" barrel of the rotator. Optec technicians will install customer supplied lenses for a nominal fee. This feature is essential when setting critical telecompressor or field flattener spacing to the imaging sensor. It should also be noted that the optics rotate with the camera so additional flat-fields are usually not required for different position angles. Click the drawing above or here to view the Pyxis LE f/6.3 spacer diagram cut-away.

Cutaway of the Pyxis LEThe mechanical design is exceptionally robust and rigid. The Pyxis LE's rigidity is due to two coaxial thrust bearings that provide support for small to medium sized instrument loads (2.5kg or 5.5 lbs. maximum). The large separation distance between bearing surfaces (2.28") further increases the stability of the Pyxis LE. This permits off-axis guiders, filter wheels, AO units and of course, the CCD camera, to be attached with no flexure. This unique bearing arrangement allows the rotator to be very thin and use only 0.68" of back-focus.

Interface Software and ASCOM Driver

Interfacing with the computer is also extremely simple. Just plug in the USB and 12VDC cables, let Windows install the drivers automatically, open up Pyxis-LE Control, watch it automatically connect, and start using your rotator. Additionally, the Pyxis LE is ASCOM compliant so it can be used in programs like Maxim DL. Intelligent anti-cable wrapping is programmed at the firmware level so you can expect a non-binding experience with both the control program and the ASCOM driver.

Easy to use Windows application allows simple control over your Pyxis LE camera field rotator.

Graphical position indicator allows for quick adjustments and instantaneous position feedback.

The View menu enables users to hide/show certain regions of the application to reduce overall window clutter.

Pyxis LE Downloads

Click here for exploded Diagram

Video - Ted Agos explainshow to remove the Celestron f/6.3 optics from the original SCT threaded cell.

Technical Specs:

Optional Accessories include

#19631 Pyxis LE Retainer Kit for 43mm optics.

#19850 T-thread to SCT thread Expansion Ring.

£205.00

Starwave MiniGuider 60 Side-by-Side dovetail bar kit for refractor auto-guiding

Now you can mount your wide field refractor of up to 80mm next to your autoguider unit, whilst keeping the centre of gravity as close to your mount as possible.

This is the ideal kit for someone starting imaging with a refractor up to 80mm. The perfect companion for the Starwave 70ED refractor and the iOptron ZEQ25 mount!

Starwave MiniGuider 60 Side-by-Side dovetail bar kit consists of:

The renouned Altair Astro 60mm Miniguider OTA, with special super-rigid locking focuser for your autoguider.*
Starwave 1.75" (44.45mm) width dovetail clamp to mount your refractor on one side.
The Starwave 200mm 1.75" (44.45mm) width Vixen-format dovetail plate which fits most portable mounts on the market today.
A set of mini guide scope rings with nylon tipped screws to mount on the opposite side of the dovetail bar, with connecting bar, to mount your 60mm Miniguider.
A set of M5 screws and nuts to mount the Miniguider 60 rings, and a set of M6 screws and nuts to mount the Starwave1.75" format clamp.
Features:

Can easily support refractors up to 80mm and will accurately guide up to at least 1000mm focal length without differential flexure.
Keeps your telescopes low and spaced widely enough apart such that the cables and autoguider unit can be adjusted easily without interfering with the main camera, unlike "piggyback setups". This is desirable when imaging with a DSLR enabling it to be easily rotated it when framing the subject. without fouling the autoguider unit.
The centre dovetail bar can be slid from side to side for easy balancing.
The Starwave Vixen-format clamp is strong yet light, with 2x spring loaded 2x steel alignment pins. The CNC machined e-coated knobs feature Teflon washers to stop binding. It also has a 1/4" UNC camera tripod thread on the underside, so you use it to mount your telescope on a camera tripod for casual stargazing, or daytime observation.
The Altair 60mm Miniguider probably needs no introduction. It's widely acclaimed for it's simplicity and accuracy, and is far easier to use than an Off-Axis-Guider (OAG) unit. It doesn't take up space in the imaging train, and require more adapters and calculations, nor does it cause flexure problems, due to it's unique locking focuser, with 3x clamping screws and brass insert. Selecting from a huge field of stars is easy at a very fast F3.75 so you don't need such a sensitive autoguider camera - and what's more, and theres no pickoff prism to intrude into the light-path of your full frame DSLR. Nor does it add flexure to the imaging train, or need to be frequently focused, unlike some cheap OAG units. Simply add your guide camera, set focus, and tighten the locking ring, and that's it. The Miniguider doesn't even need to point in exact the same direction as the main telescope so you can move it around in the (extremely unlikely) event you can't find a bright star.
The Starwave 200mm dovetail bar is strong, solid and more rigid than the cheap extruded rails often offered with guide-scope kits, and will fit the majority of mounts on the market.
* Do not be tempted to buy a finder-scope with a helical focuser for autoguiding. They focuser loses it's focus easily, and they aren't rigid enough for autoguiding due to the play in the helical mechanism. They are OK for eyepieces but not for autoguiding. We researched this thoroughly, and it's why we developed the superb Altair 1.25" locking focuser.

**Price Includes Carriage**

£63.00

Pixinsight DVD PArt 2 by Warren Keller

This is Part 2 in the DVD Series based on Pixinsight v 1.8 Ripley.

Includes tutorials on Permanent and non linear stretches, Noise Reduction, development of amazing details and contrast, reduction of star sizes and many enhancements using Multiscale Wavelet Transformations.

£210.00

Skywatcher Field Flattener for Esprit 150

Field Flattener for ESprit 150.

Provides full format coverage.

£214.98

Celestron 80mm Guidescope Package

Complete guidescope package

Complete package includes 80 mm Guidescope and a set of 125 mm rings (CGE compatible)
Compatible with most autoguiders thread on extension tube allows you to slide 1.25" barrell on Autoguider into extension tube.

Includes Extension Tube to help reach focus without having to use a diagonal.

Metal focuser with tension screw minimizes mechanical "play" when focusing making it easier to keep guide star on chip.

125mm Rings can slide onto Losmandy/CGE style plate.

Technical Specs:

Optical Design: Refractor Telescope
Aperture: 80 mm (3.15 inches)
Focal Ratio: 7.5
Focal Length: 600 mm (23.62 inches)

£63.09

Pixinsight Part 1 DVD by Warren Keller

In this DVD Warren Keller has teamed up with Rogelio Bernal Andreo to produce this Pixinsight Part 1 DVD.

Pixinsight is specifically designed for Astrophotography and is a very powerful and much less expensive alternative to Photoshop.

In this DVD you will become comfortable navigating through Pixinsight. You will learn how to Reduce, Align and Combine master files.

Repair gradienst with ABE and DBE, achieve proper colour balance with ColourCalibration and restore sharpness with deconvolution.

£129.00

Skywatcher Off Axis Guider

Designed for use with DSLR and CCD cameras, this low profile Off-Axis guider is a convenient alternative to using a separate conventional guide scope for astrophotography, offering several advantages.
More precise tracking as mechanical flexure and image shift are eliminated from the system. The main camera and guiding camera will always move accurately together.

The overall system is much lighter and more compact as a separate guide scope is not needed.

Brighter, higher resolution images of the guide star on the guiding camera, as you are viewing through the main telescope. Easier to notice and correct tracking errors.

Supplied with 2 to M48, and M42 to 2 adaptors.

Profile approx 12mm

£79.50

Altair Astro 6" RC & 8" RC Focuser Collimation Adjuster

Designed to give the perfect image field when imaging with your Altair, Orion or Astro Tech 6" or 10" Ritchey Chretien, by making the focuser completely orthogonal to the telescope's optical axis.
Adjustment to fractions of a millimeter are possible for a perfectly flat field with optimal off-axis image sharpness. No more hunting the "sweet spot" for your particular setup. The focuser collimation adjuster is ideal for use with larger CCD chips (APS and above) as well as field flatteners and reducers, where deviation from the focal plane edge is more critical.

The focuser collimation adjuster fits between the focuser and telescope. It can be adjusted in real-time for best results, using the easily accessible push-pull collimation screw system at the sides. It will not foul the standard RC focusers, nor the Starlight Feather Touch focuser upgrade. For the perfectionist, it's possible to use CCD Inspector to derive the exact amount of focal plane tilt as a numerical value, and to adjust it out completely.

The Focuser Collimation Adjuster adds 15mm to the optical path.

Mounting the focuser collimation adjuster is easy:
1) Remove the focuser.
2) Screw on the collimation adjuster.
3) Re-attach the focuser or RC focuser extension tubes, should you require them.
4) Use an Altair v2 Laser Collimator and Altair Self Centering Adapter to adjust the push-pull screws, placing the laser beam on the secondary mirror centre-spot.
5) Now you can fine-tune using the CCD camera preview mode or CCD inspector.

£79.50

Altair Focuser Collimation Adjustment Plate for 10" and 12" RC

Designed to give the perfect image field when imaging with your Altair, Orion or Astro Tech 10" or 12" Ritchey Chretien, by making the focuser completely orthogonal to the telescope's optical axis.

Adjustment to fractions of a millimeter are possible for a perfectly flat field with optimal off-axis image sharpness. No more hunting the "sweet spot" for your particular setup. The focuser collimation adjuster is ideal for use with larger CCD chips (APS and above) as well as field flatteners and reducers, where deviation from the focal plane edge is more critical.

The focuser collimation adjuster fits between the focuser and telescope. It can be adjusted in real-time for best results, using the easily accessible push-pull collimation screw system at the sides. It will not foul the standard RC focusers, nor the Starlight Feather Touch focuser upgrade. For the perfectionist, it's possible to use CCD Inspector to derive the exact amount of focal plane tilt as a numerical value, and to adjust it out completely.

The Focuser Collimation Adjuster adds 15mm to the optical path.

Mounting the focuser collimation adjuster is easy:
1) Remove the focuser.
2) Screw on the collimation adjuster.
3) Re-attach the focuser or RC focuser extension tubes, should you require them.
4) Use an Altair v2 Laser Collimator and Altair Self Centering Adapter to adjust the push-pull screws, placing the laser beam on the secondary mirror centre-spot.
5) Now you can fine-tune using the CCD camera preview mode or CCD inspector.

£169.00

Altair 10x60mm Right Angled Illuminated Finder (erect image, variable illuminator, finder bracket, multi-purpose base)

The Altair Astro 10x60mm finder scope is a larger and more powerful upgrade to standard 8x50 finders.

It gathers more light, resulting in a brighter image delivering almost half again as much light to your eye. Many more objects are visible in this finder than in standard 50mm finders. The Altair Astro 60mm finder also has several more features:
This finder is right angled for more comfort, with a corrected field (i.e. not mirror-reversed like other finders), so objects actually match their orientation in your star chart.
The focuser can also be rotated 360 and locked in seconds (requiring some re-alignment afterwards). The 10mm larger objective and a little extra power compare to 8x50 finders, yet has almost the same size and weight.
The included quick-release finder base has 4x 4mm slotted holes in the base allowing you to fit it to most telescopes on the market, such as Celestron and Meade, SCTs, refractors such as William Optics, Vixen, Skywatcher. (The mini-dovetail wedge on the bracket will fit any GSO or Skywatcher telescope directly in fact but we suggest you use the included base because it has 2x clamping screws, for better alignment).
The CNC machined bracket is light yet rigid to keep alignment. Nylon tipped screws do not damage the durable high quality and moisture resistant paint on the aluminium tube.
All objective lenses are anti-reflection coated and the tube and dewshield are internally blackened to increase contrast. The included illuminator has a variable setting, which illuminates the cross hairs in the eyepiece. The included eyepiece has a dark field illuminated cross-hair, so you can easily see it glowing faintly against the background sky, unlike the finders which usually come packaged with telescopes with have dark cross-hairs, making it hard to find objects.
The high quality 1.25 FMC illuminated eyepiece has good eye relief for glasses-wearers, and a wide field of view. It has a side-port to screw in the variable darkfield illuminated reticule, and the finder can be very easily focused, using the included helical focuser.
The higher 10x magnification is better for astro-imagers who want to centre an object more precisely in the camera field-of-view, yet the field of view is still very large.
With an extremely fast F3.75 doublet achromat lens operating at 225mm focal length, the finder tube performs very well as a micro-guider, or for use with an electronic eyepiece for remote real-time finding or remote alignment of your telescope mount. You can guide up to 1 metre telescopes.
Altair 60mm finder package contents:
23mm wide field eyepiece with illuminated glass engraved reticule.
CNC machined variable brightness LED illuminator, which plugs into the eyepiece.
Smooth 1.25" helical focuser - accepts any 1.25" eyepiece.
1.25" erect image prism.
60mm F3.75 multi coated doublet Achromat finder OTA with rotating rear assembly.
Special dual-clamp mounting bracket to fit most SCTs and refractors on the market.
Alu Tube rings with 6x Nylon tipped adjustment screws.
Mini-rail to connect the tube rings.
Tough foam filled carboard case.

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