XAGYL Motorised Filter
Wheels - AstroShop
A Truly Excellent Easy-To-Use Motorised Filter
If you are looking for a great low-cost solution for
your remotely operated observatory or even if you're attending the
telescope, this beautifully made, slim, low weight filter wheel
selector is definitely something you should consider. Ultra slim
motorized filter wheel - only 0.7 inches or rather 17.7mm thick!
My review here is a pretty quick hack (jump into the deep end
testing after receiving our first sample order shipment) based on my own
experience with this new and highly affordable ASCOM compliant
electronic filter wheel product straight out of the box. From build
to performance I simply was not disappointed at all.
Above: The Xagyl 5 position electronic filter wheel mated with a
ProStar C-mount male to T2 (M42) low-profile female adaptor directly
to the wheel. The wheel itself is fitted with the supplied T-2 to
1.25 inch nosepiece locked directly into the classic Vixex R130Sf
F/5 Newtonian telescope which is riding on a Sky-Watcher HEQ5 Pro
Goto German equatorial mount.
SPECIFICATIONS for 5 Way model
||4.5" x 4.75" x 0.7"
||31.7mm (1.25 inch)
||32 & 64 bit
||Comliant YES (online)
|Standard M42 T-thread
|T - thread adapter
C - thread adapter
2 inch barrel adapter
3 metre mini USB interface cable
Dark frame filter 1.25 inch for unattended use
The filter carousel is threaded for standard M28.5 x 0.6 filters.
The maximum filter cell height which can be accommodated is 10mm,
having thread length of no more than 6mm.
What it doesn't include although I am a little old school is a CD or
printed manual but in these times that's well understandable in
order to keep cost low, save a few trees etc.. after all, we jsut
about all have a computer these days and using the links in this
review or a search on the internet will take you to where those
magical drivers etc live.
I think what impressed me the most was how easy it was to install
the drivers even on my observatory Windows XP (service Pack 3
machine). Yes, I know... bit old school but for me, when it works it
works. But the XAGYL filter wheel drivers also install easily on
WIN7 platforms etc. I basically downloaded the ASCOM, filter wheel
drivers and manual in minutes and had them installed in the obs
computer within 10 minutes.
Shortly after that and having fitted my
ProStar 1.25 inch LRGBC filter set
I was testing the ASCOM compliant interface and watching the
filter positions changing quietly from one to another
according to the filter selection placements I had
programmed into the Xagyl filter position interface. The
manual is very good and explains well how to install drivers
in various operating platform circumstances. It also covers
commands for operational command to the filter wheels for
ambitious software programmers.
UP & RUNNING
Using my little 130mm Vixen R130Sf on HEQ5 Pro Go To mount
connected using only PC direct mode with SynScan 3 controller and
Cartes du Ciel planetarium software I was slewing the sky for a few
basic objects as the clouds started roll in so had to settle for
something obviously bright to do some quick filter wheel capture
I fitted the
5 X 1.25 inch - FW5125V3 with supplied 3 metre mini USB
cable coupled to a 5 metre USB amplifier cable in order to reach my
scope outside. Using the
GSTAR-EX2 camera at prime focus and using our own
GSTAR-EX PC com control cable to manage the camera exposures.
Controlled remote Sky-Watcher
motorised focuser using EQ MOD focus Pal ASCOM driver. So I was
up and running now able to slew the scope remotely, control the
focusing and camera remotely as well as the lovely little
light-weight Xagyl 5 position electronic filter wheel.
The image here is comprised of 50 captured frames in RGB
filter only using the GSTAR-EX2 camera with
ProStar 1.25 inch RGB filters.
The camera was set to X128 Sense Up to penetrate the thin moonlit clouds
as best as possible without burning out the core of the nebula too much.
A dark frame was taken using the Xagyl filter wheel supplied 1.25 inch
dark frame filter at position 5 which worked really well and no light
leakage was detected as far as I could tell.
Adjusted slightly in post-processing, the image colours are
not quite correct given I omitted using the
ProStar 1.25 inch UV-IR cut filter
fitted to the nosepiece of the filter wheel but it certainly
gives some idea of what can be achieved using a remotely controlled
filter wheel with a remotely controlled camera, mount and focuser from the peaceful, warmth of you home.
CURRENT MODELS AVAILABLE
There are currently three models currently available from AstroShop
5 X 1.25 inch - FW5125V3 - perfect for LRGB monochrome
lunar, planetary & deep-sky imaging with 5th position for unattended
dark frame capture
8 X 1.25 inch - FW8125 - perfect for lunar, planetary & Ha,
LRGB OIII & SII monochrome deep-sky imaging with 8th position for
unattended dark frame capture. For planetary, you can use alternate
filter combinations in say deep IR or Ultra-Violet etc.
7 X D36mm - FW736V1 - where unmounted filters 36mm
are required for full coverage of the cameras image sensor. Perfect for Ha, LRGB OIII & SII
monochrome deep-sky imaging.
5 X 2 inch - FW5200 - perfect for LRGB monochrome lunar,
planetary & deep-sky imaging with 5th position for unattended dark
frame capture. Use also for UVBRI photometry use etc..
We will add more information to this article as more testing,
customer feedback etc comes to hand.
BUY IT NOW from AstroShop Australia
and ensure full protected authorised distributor warranty &
reviews are only intended to provide prospective purchasers
our own first hand impressions of performance and build as
has been our long time policy.
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