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New Merlin/Orion Model

PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:25 pm
by BeeZed
I was just on Amazon and saw they are selling two versions - one is shipping in December. The "goto" model is smaller and lighter, and more portable, according to the Orion website. http://tinyurl.com/orion-goto-teletrack

The controller has an lcd screen... I wonder what else they have changed?

PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:45 pm
by Paul
now it is a GoTo device, which the previous not was

new is the controller which has a library of stellar objects

new the 1000x sidereal speed increased from 800x (1x = 1 rotation lasts 86164 secs)

PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:26 pm
by fma38
Don't know what are the differences for the head itself. They say it has RS232 port, and AUX port... All other GOTO devices are stepper-motor-based, while the first Merlin/Orion is DC-motor-based. Let's wait december ;)

PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:41 pm
by Paul
fma38 wrote:All other GOTO devices are stepper-motor-based, while the first Merlin/Orion is DC-motor-based

Image

these Celestron NexStar GoTo motors dont look like steppers to me ...
they have encoders, not needed on steppers

PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:46 pm
by mediavets
Paul wrote:now it is a GoTo device, which the previous not was

new is the controller which has a library of stellar objects

new the 1000x sidereal speed increased from 800x (1x = 1 rotation lasts 86164 secs)

I note that the model we are familiar with is listed as a Clearance Item on the Orion site:

http://www.telescope.com/control/product/~category_id=101607clearance/~product_id=09441

Perhaps they have discontinued it and when current stock is gone there will be no more?

Orion is owned by the Taiwanese company Synta who make many brands of telescope and mount - so if the Orion Teletrack we know and love is to be discontinued I imagine the Merlin branded version may go too, or maybe not.

Thinking about it maybe they have mainly changed the 'smarts' in the hand controller. I doubt any Taiwanese company would invest in any unnecessary costly mechanical and electronics changes on a low-end telescope mount.

I'm glad I've already got one.

Spec of new Go To model gives max. loading of 15lbs. vs. 9lbs. for current model - might this imply different motors and gearboxes?. No mention of camera control port on Go To model.

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:18 am
by fma38
Paul, yes, this seems to be the same technology as the Merlin, on your picture... Strange, on all EQMOD and so drivers documentations, they talk about stepper motors...

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:36 am
by claudevh
Hi all,

As allready said in french and a long time ago, the Merlin/Orion etc... is produced by Skywatcher ( Synta = mother company) !
I suggest to have a look on the Skywatcher "Multifunction Mounts":
http://www.skywatchertelescope.net/swtinc/product.php?class1=3&class2=306
You will see there that the Merlin/Orion will not be discontinued but will be available with "optional Go-To Capability", in other words they will add a SynScan Paddle (they call it "Computer Controler") well known by the Astronomers but previously made only for biger and more sturdly Astro Mounts (like HEQ5 and EQ6).

This is a plus for PAPYWIZARD ! Because they will probably load a new soft in the head microprocessor (or this will be user-upgradable ... wait and see !) at this time, the Merlin/Orion mount will become ASCOM compliant with all advantages linked.

Claude
:cool:

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:15 am
by fma38
claudevh wrote:This is a plus for PAPYWIZARD ! Because they will probably load a new soft in the head microprocessor (or this will be user-upgradable ... wait and see !) at this time, the Merlin/Orion mount will become ASCOM compliant with all advantages linked.

Are you sure they will change the firmeware in the head? All functions they need are already there, I think, and new features will be on the remote side...

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:09 pm
by mediavets
This is simply idle speculation after trawling the Web.

Skywatcher and Celestron appear to have the same parent - Synta.

I speculate that they may have had a look through the corporate parts bin and stuffed the electronics and mechanics from the Celestron NexStar SLT series into the old Merlin chassis.

If so then the RS232 port may be a socket on the hand controller and this information may be relevant.

NexStar resource site:
http://www.nexstarsite.com/

NexStar Communication Protocol v 1.2
http://www.celestron.com/c2/images/files/downloads/1154108406_nexstarcommprot.pdf

NexStar SLT manual:
http://www.celestron.com/c2/images/files/downloads/NexStar_SLT_manual.pdf

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 2:47 pm
by fma38
mediavets wrote:If so then the RS232 port may be a socket on the hand controller and this information may be relevant.

You mean there is a RS232 port on the new MERLIN head? If it is true, this is great news!

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 4:36 pm
by mediavets
fma38 wrote:
mediavets wrote:If so then the RS232 port may be a socket on the hand controller and this information may be relevant.

You mean there is a RS232 port on the new MERLIN head? If it is true, this is great news!

That's what the outline spec for new ORION branded head says.
http://www.autopano.net/forum/postgallery.php?pid=32147&filename=teletrack_goto.jpg

As Claude has pointed out the current (identical) Merlin and Orion Teletrack branded mounts are made by Skywatcher one of the many subsidiary companies (including Celestron) owned by Synta. So I would anticipate a Merlin branded model of the new Orion mount.

On Celestron NexStar SLT series mounts with similar sounding specs. to connect to a PC they connect via an RS232/RJ11 jack on the handcontroller rather than directly to the head. So I don't think that on those systems the connector on the head is RS232.

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:36 pm
by fma38
OK, I see.

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:32 pm
by claudevh
As suggested by Andrew, I confirm that the RS232 connection is made directly trough the Hand Controler who has a "build-in" MAX232 and this on the actual more sofisticated Astro-mount of Synta & Co.

Actually this is not the case of the Merlin mount but .... when you see the new optional "GoTo hand controler" of the Merlin Mount you can say that this will be the case probably. The new Merlin/Orion mount will be more expensive that the actual one, but the actual one will stay availlable. If you read the presentation of the Skywatcher Multifunction mount (link in my previous post), Skywatcher present the Multifunction mount with a optional "GoTo" computer control and not a "new" mount with GoTo capabilities.

THIS IS A MARKETING stuff !

Anyway, as a panoramist user you don't need to pay more for the optional "GoTo" computer control, because you will never use the additional facilities like star tracking, GoTo star x,w, z or astronomic photography.

So the connection module RS232 and Bluetooth will always be necessary ...

Concerning the "upgrade" of the internal firmware of the motor controler this will probably a fact because for the GoTo usage of the mount, you need more instructions than for the actual usage. This will be not mandatory for panoramic usage.

So I repeat Wait and see .... and I am quite sure that the price for the "normal" Merlin we own all at this moment will decrease with time.
This is good news for future PAPY's

Claude
:cool::cool::cool:

PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 3:04 am
by wally416
Hi everyone,

I flipped through the user guide PDF for the new Orion GoTo Teletrack and there is no mention of the camera port at all.

If you look at Figure 4b on page 3 in the URL below, you will see what looks like connection port but it isn't labelled. Could that be a camera port and now it isn't supported so that is why it isn't in the manual?

(I was going to attach the image, but that wouldn't be copyright proper)

http://content.telescope.com/rsc/img/catalog/product/instructions/IN_348A_web_TeleTrack_AZ-G.pdf

If this isn't a camera port, this would be a problem right? Is there any other way to trigger the camera? It would be nice if the EOS Utilities' protocols was available to work with - but I can't seem to find it on the net.

Thanks...

PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 9:26 am
by claudevh
Hi Wally416,

I confirm that there is "no remote controler port" !
Please read also my previous post of November last year...

Concerning the possibility to use of the "EOS Utilities' protocols" this is allready possible with Papywizard version 2 (in development (Plug-In architecture)
See the next post:
http://www.autopano.net/forum/p44904-2009-05-09-18-51-38#p44904

But you will probaly should work with a wired connection !

Have a look also in the Wiki, where you will find other suppliers sources :
http://www.autopano.net/wiki-en/action/view/Orion_TeleTrack_altazimuth_tracking_mount

P.S. could you fill up your profile (place where you live, camera used etc ... "this will help us to help you !")

:cool:

PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:48 am
by exp0sure
Hi, I'm pretty new to the material but I read quite a bit already. My plan is to use the Orion/Teletracker with an Arduino like here: http://www.autopano.net/forum/t6607-controlling-the-merlin-orion-with-arduino

What I couldn't find out until now is, does everything work with the newer version of the Orion head (the goto version)? Did they change any protocols or do you have to make any adjustments for the newer head?

GuzZzt used the older head in his Arduino project.

Cheers!

PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:27 am
by fma38
The protocol is the same, because the inside electronics is the same; they just removed the little external connector to trigger the camera, but you can make your own, and connect it to the internal plug.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:33 am
by claudevh
Hi exp0sure,

The "new" Orion Mount is a Go-To model wich is more adapted to the astronomical use !
The new model is also more expensive ...
This model is exactly the same that the Non Go-To model except that he have a different hand controler with built-in Go-To capability and , much more inportant NO REMOTE CONTROL FOR THE CAMERA (this will oblige you to buy extra expensive material !)

Of course all is depending what you want achieve with the head, is that astronomical use or Panoramic/Gigapixel photography ?
http://www.autopano.net/wiki-en/action/view/PapyMerlin_FAQ#Two_models_exists.2C_what_is_the_most_recommended_model_for_PapyMerlin_.3F

Could-you please give us more info's about what you want to achieve and also where you live (importance for buying the head) please have a look on :
http://www.autopano.net/wiki-en/action/view/Merlin-Orion-Papywizard_users_feedback
http://www.autopano.net/wiki-en/action/view/PapyMerlin_FAQ#Where_to_buy_Merlin_.3F
http://www.autopano.net/wiki-en/action/view/PapyMerlin_FAQ

PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:08 am
by fma38
Claude, we should find a way to build the shutter cable for the new Merlin. For example, find a distributor for the little 2mm connector, and make a drawing to explain how to wire it to standard remote shutter cables...

PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:30 am
by claudevh
Hi Frederic,

No problem to find the connectors, to prepare the cable and to distribute for instance with the BT module ....!
BUT:
1. the "Go-To" model don't have any added value for PapyMerlin except for peoples who are also "active" astronomers ...
2. the "Go-To" model is far more expensive (i.e. in the US : 299 $ for the "Go-To" from Orion <-> 175 $ for the "Non Go-To" Sky-watcher)
3. the "Go-To" model has no remote control port for Camera.
4. Except the hand controler, who has the "inbuild" Go-To facilities and the lack of remote control, the Go-To Model is mechanically, electrically and software EXACTLY the same as the Non Go-To model ....

"Que demande le peuple ?"

PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:06 pm
by bigwade
Is the non GoTo not for sale anymore ?
It's still on the TA website..
Did I miss something ?
grtz
Frank

PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 10:22 pm
by claudevh
Hi Frank,

The "Non Go-To" is still on the market and again available (Stock problems are finished)
According, my "astronomers friends", Orion has discontinued the commercialisation of this "Non Go-To" model, but the model is still availlable trough the Sky-watcher and the Merlin distribution channels.

In a few words, no problems ! :)

(P.S. T.A. is a Sky-watcher distributor)

PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:46 pm
by bigwade
Just got a mail from Lajos. (Teleskop Austria)
He ordered 40 "NOGO" Merlins.
Shipment will be in on monday and he will see what he gets......
grtz
Frank

PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:20 am
by exp0sure
Thanks for the input, basically i'd like to create Gigapixel and 360 degrees panoramas and control it with an Arduino.

I might want to try a long time exposure of the sky in which case the head also would need to track the stars but that's secondary.

Cheers!

PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 6:48 am
by fma38
exp0sure wrote:I might want to try a long time exposure of the sky in which case the head also would need to track the stars but that's secondary.

I think that's something which can be added to Papywizard without too much work, but I still have to check if the shutter can be triggered while moving...