The Declination Bracket provides more convenience and control for mounting your photographic payloads on the Orion StarShoot Compact Astro Tracker. It gives you finer pointing control for Declination adjustments when StarShoot CAT is used in equatorial mode. Use its adjustable clutch to make coarse movements, and its fine-tuning control knob to make incremental movements. The Declination Bracket is a must-have accessory for using the StarShoot CAT extensively for astrophotography.
One benefit of the Declination Bracket is that it allows polar alignment with your camera already attached to the StarShoot CAT. You don't have to back out or remove the Polar Scope (included with StarShoot CAT) after polar alignment is completed. This way there is less risk of accidentally moving the tripod after completing the polar alignment procedure - for example when attaching a Ball Head Mount or the camera. Any such movement would ruin the polar alignment and require repeating the procedure.
The Declination Bracket also allows use of heavier camera and lens combinations, because the optional Counterweight and Shaft can be attached to the Declination Bracket to counterbalance the load. Without such counterbalancing, a heavy camera could put stress on the StarShoot CAT's motor and result in poor tracking. What's more, adding the Counterweight and Shaft increases the StarShoot CAT's payload capacity from 6.6 lbs. to 8.8 lbs.
The aluminum Declination Bracket slides into the StarShoot CAT's saddle and is secured with a lock knob. Your camera attaches to the Dec Platform of the bracket via the captive ¼"-20 threaded post. You can also remove the Dec Platform to reveal a 3/8" mounting post to which you can attach a ball head mount and camera, if you want more freedom of positioning than is afforded by the Declination Platform. Or, leave the Dec Platform in place and attach a ball head mount to it via its ¼"-20 post. (A 3/16"-to-1/4" adapter would be needed for attachment.)
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