The Camera Mounting System is an integrated platform for mounting QHY One Shot Color cameras, camera lens, and accessories that are designed to work together in a modular system. The product was originally conceived as a platform for mounting One Shot Color cameras with off the shelf camera lens as a piggy back or stand alone configuration. Canon, Nikon or Pentax camera lens make ideal widefield imaging platforms. I prefer the older lens that offer manual focus and aperture control, and can be found on ebay very in expensively. My prefered lens are the Pentax lens with the M42 threads. They are easily adpted to the cameras and leave room for a filter. Zoom lens should be avoided because the zoom setting can change and they are not as well suited for Astro imaging. The camera lens adapters are custom ordered from Precision Parts in Florida. The concept grew into being an all inclusive platform that could be packed up into a carry on suitcase for portable use while traveling.
Telescope Support Systems is the manufacture of the hardware which is all high strength, anodized, CNC milled aluminum. The mounting platform is “Engineered” to work together in an integrated fashion. The Camera mount is designed to have the same optical axis as the guide mounting rings and provide clearance for the accessories. All three major components, Camera Mount, Accessory Bar and Guide Rings are all designed to mount to a Losmandy D series plate and maintain the optical axis of the camera. The system is not designed to work in a mix and match configuration from other manufactures because of the offsetting height above the mounting plate.
The Camera platform is designed to provide a very rigid camera mounting that will enable the camera to support most Camera lens without any difficulty. Mounting rings that are designed to be at the same height as the camera are used to provide support to larger camera lens as needed. In addition the platform has an accessory shelf for mounting associated electronic devices such as the camera power supply, the auto focus controller and USB hub. Many small portable mounts are not designed to have all this electronic accessories dangling off the side. So mounting them behind the camera makes a lot of sense, especially when trying to balance the rig with dangling cables.
The camera mount is attached to a Losmandy D Series plate using a Double sided clamp. The system shown here is using short cables for the power supply, and USB hub so that long cables are not dangling for the system ( not all cables are shown) . The top picture actually shows a wireless mini computer instead of a USB hub. Power is supplied to all three components, (Camera, focuser and USB Hub) through a power splitter. The end result is that there are only two cables, 12vdc power and USB needed to operate the whole system. If the focuser is not used, the power slitter can also power the mount and the USB Hub can be used to control the mount as well. The system does not come with a USB Hub, Camera, Camera lens or Lens follow focus gear. Those are purchased individually.
The accessory bar is a hard mounting point for accessories, such as the focus motor, the guide scope, and red dot finder. Often finding mount points for these accessories is difficult and requires custom parts or modifying the scopes. The accessory bar puts them all on one rigid mounting without cutting, drilling or modifying the other components. If this system were used in a piggy back configuration with a Losmandy plate mounted on top of the primary scope, the red dot finder and guide scope can be used as part of the larger imaging system.
This is the Robo Focus Motor mount which uses a gear specificaly designed for a lens follow focus gear which can be ordered from Adorama for your specific lens. The gears provide a very close meshing and practically no backlash. The orginal design used a timing belt which had both backlash and slipage from time to time.
Next is the Guide Camera and Lens Mounting Bracket. The bracket and camera mounting are designed to rigidly hold the camera and lens perpendicular to the accessory bar so that the guide camera is aligned to the same axis as the scope.
The guide camera shown is the QHY5l-II with a 100mm F2.8 c mount lens. The high sensitivity of the camera and the very small pixel size yields 4 arc seconds of resolution which makes for an excellent guider.
The third element is a Guide Ring that may be nessacry for supporting the camera lens. This is a little tricky because the guide rings need to support the lens at a point that does not roate with focusing. The Lens shade is an example. The guide rings mount to the same Losmandy plate and are designed to be optical centered with the camera lens.
The center must be the same identical height as the camera lens to maintain the same optical axis as the camera.
The whole system can be broken down to fit inside a Pelican case that fits into a carry on compartment for easy travel. Just imagine packing up everything you need for great wide field imaging into one carry on piece of luggage.
Total price for the system is $1499.00 which includes, Camera Mount with accessory shelf and double Losmanaday monting bracket, Accessory bar, with guidescope and camera with mounting, Robofocus Motor and follow focus gear, PerfectStar focus controler, short USB cable, short DC201 cable and power splitter and finally a 4 inch guide ring for larger lens.
You will need to provide camera , lens, and adapters for the lens. Astrofactors can provide and or assist in these addittional items.
Astrofactors can provide a Pelican Case with custom foam. We prefer that you buy the case and foam from our supplier directly for around $300.00.