You can now operate your SteadyStar Adaptive Optics Guider with Rotator with MaxIm DL (5.19 or later) imaging software! A plug-in is now available for download in the SteadyStar Adaptive Optics Guider with Rotator product support section.
A new way to autoguide and track, the SteadyStar AO Guider with Field Rotator is a powerful and versatile companion to your telescope, mount and camera. The built-in Field Rotator allows you to move the SteadyStar's off-axis prism to locate a guide star or to change the imaging camera orientation. It also enables long exposure imaging with motorized altitude-azimuth mounts. And with the fast adaptive optics guiding, it turns any image capable mount (Alt-Az or EQ) into a more effective one, yielding better tracking.
The SteadyStar AO Guider with Field Rotator not only makes rapid and accurate tracking corrections to deliver pinpoint stars, it also allows you to rotate the camera and off-axis guider without disturbing the focus. That makes finding a guide star much easier. Additionally, the SteadyStar AO Guider with Field Rotator is an ideal solution for imagers with fork altitude-azimuth mounts, including those used with popular catadioptric telescopes. Since Alt-Az mounts cannot move in arcs to match the apparent movement of the sky, the field rotator will do that for you. There's no need to purchase a heavy equatorial wedge for your fork mount.
The SteadyStar's broad compatibility works with most cameras including any Orion CCD camera as well as DSLRs, and most autoguiders including the StarShoot AutoGuider. A filter wheel can be added between the SteadyStar and imaging cameras without adding to the backfocus.
Traditional autoguiding can typically only make a single correction every couple of seconds or so; during that time your tracking is vulnerable to periodic error from your mount, wind, or atmospheric seeing conditions. The SteadyStar can easily make several tracking corrections per second, which far exceeds the ability of regular autoguiding. As a result, even a modestly priced mount with the SteadyStar attached will perform like a high-end expensive mount to deliver sharper astrophotography.
Better Than Traditional Autoguiding
Seen below are two raw images of NGC 281 cropped at 100% zoom. They are a direct comparison of SteadyStar AO Guiding at 5 corrections per second vs. regular autoguiding at one correction every two seconds. The images were taken the same night in succession. Each image is a stack of 3 x 12 minute exposures taken with the Orion SSDSMI III and EON 120ED Refractor. The image taken without the SteadyStar AO Guider shows star elongation in R.A. as a result of periodic error.
We've illustrated a smaller cropped portion below of the same two images of NGC 281 magnified at 200%. The difference seen in this faint star field is immediate. The SteadyStar improves the tracking performance resulting in sharper stars, rounder stars and improved image contrast.
How Does it Work?
The SteadyStar AO Guider can easily make several tracking corrections in one second without lugging the weight and inertia of the whole telescope. Rather than move all that weight, the SteadyStar AO Guider makes guiding corrections by tilting its on-board optical window, allowing for quick and precise movements several times faster than any traditional autoguider could ever hope to correct. A slight tilt of the optical window actually moves the imaging plane in your camera. This refractive correction, while different than the adaptive optics used in professional observatories, is capable of making extremely fast movements to overcome even the most severe tracking errors. Even though most tracking errors can be compensated by tilting the optical window, the SteadyStar can still send corrections to your mount like a traditional autoguider if the optical window's tilt range is exceeded.
Fast Guiding Corrections
The SteadyStar AO Guider is capable of correcting motion more than 40 times per second, depending on guide star brightness, autoguider camera used, and computer speed. This means you will overcome your mount's periodic error, wind, and even compensate for some of the negative effects of turbulent seeing conditions. Quite simply, the SteadyStar is the fastest AO Guider used for amateur astrophotography on the market today!
The 40mm diameter on board optical window supports APS-C format sensors including DSLRs and amply sized CCD cameras. It can communicate with MaxIm DL for exposure sequences. Windows XP, Vista 32/64 bit, Windows 7 compatible. A hard carrying case is included as well as a 10' USB cable, 10' autoguiding cable, and 12VDC power cable.
See the difference for yourself in your own astrophotography; the SteadyStar AO Guider with Field Rotator will unlock your full imaging potential!
Limited Warranty against defects in materials or workmanship for one year from date of purchase. This warranty is for the benefit of the original retail purchaser only. For complete warranty details contact us at 800-676-1343.
Please note this product was not designed or intended by the manufacturer for use by a child 12 years of age or younger.
Visit our product support section for instruction manuals and more
SteadyStar Adaptive Optics Guider with built-in Off-Axis Guider and Field Rotator
Fine-focus guiding adapter
48mm threads to male T-thread adapter and rotation lock ring (for back side)
48mm thread to female T-thread adapter (for front side)
Three T-adapter extensions: (30mm, 17mm, 7mm)
Hard Carry case
10' USB Cable
10' autoguiding cable
12' 12 V DC cable