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New Merlin head?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 3:58 pm
by DukeNukeIt
Hello,

I remember seeing a post here about a month ago talking about a newer version of the Merlin head. How is the new head working? Is it better then the old style, or should I look for the older version for purchase?

Thanks,
Dave

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 4:02 pm
by fma38
It seems that the only differencs are in the hand controller; the head itself remains exaclty the same. So, depending if you need the new astronomic features or not, you can buy the new one or the old one.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 4:07 pm
by Paul
as you are located in the US: the new one is actual offered here on 239.95$ ;)

the old was 249.95 and is out of stock

http://www.telescope.com/control/product/~category_id=orion_mounts/~pcategory=orion_accessories/~product_id=09481

PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:15 am
by jriley
If you to to http://www.skywatcherusa.com/multifunction-mount-s21300.html or http://www.telescopes.com/telescope-accessories/mounts-and-tripods/skywatchermultifunctionmount.cfm, you can get the old version (branded as the Sky-Watcher MultiFunction Mount) for $175. If you get it from telescopes.com, you can use the coupon SG-5692 for $10 off, for a final cost of $165 with free shipping. The downside is that telescopes.com, for some unfathomable reason, takes 15 working days to drop-ship it from the warehouse, which translates into 3 real weeks :(

BTW - I got the coupon from http://www.retailmenot.com. I always try to remember to check there before an online purchase - I have saved tons of money finding coupons there. They are a sister site to http://www.bugmenot.com/, which is a sharing site for username/password combos for free sites (New York Times, for instance) where you want to avoid the hassle of registering and giving them your email.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:48 pm
by DukeNukeIt
Hey gang,

Got my Orion head today :) Problem is... There is no jack for the Camera output :( Where the hole that says "Snap", there is just a hole... Does anyone have a pic of where the cable runs to (which plug on what board) inside the head?

Thanks,
Dave

PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:54 pm
by bigwade
Send it back,
it should look like this:
http://tinyurl.com/canlac

PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:03 pm
by DukeNukeIt
OH NO!!! BIG PROBLEM!!!!!

New "Go to" head DOES NOT SUPPORT SNAP!!!!

No more camera control :o

Bummer... Have to send back the head and look for a used one on Ebay...

PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:34 pm
by claudevh
Hi Duke,

You can buy a new one here :

http://www.skywatcherusa.com/multifunction-mount-s21300.html

This has a camera control but no Goto function (Goto is only for astrnomical use)

:cool:

PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:45 pm
by bigwade

PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:01 pm
by claudevh
thanks Frank

PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:03 pm
by Paul
DukeNukeIt wrote:There is no jack for the Camera output :( Where the hole that says "Snap", there is just a hole... Dave

sorry about that, the pic on www.telesope.com showed a snap jack - not just a hole

could you check wether it's a quality control aspect or if they cancelled the jack in general?

PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:12 pm
by DukeNukeIt
Talked to Orion directly, they said it's not on the new system, but would not say why. There is a new mother board, so it does not look like you can just "add" the port back. I'll send the head back and order a Skywatcher head from telescope.com.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:53 am
by fma38
Are they crazy to drop down such simple feature???!!!??? I really don't see the point to remote the snap, as it was already existing (hardware/firmware)...

Before sending it back, could you remove the rear cover and take pictures of the mother board? To remove the cover, there is 2 screws just below the pitch axis; the 2 others are under the base: you must remove the bottom cover first to see them...

PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:50 pm
by jriley
Just a quick thought: if needed, is the camera trigger something that could be done via a signal from Papywizard?

PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:12 pm
by fma38
Papywizard is able to send any signal needed; the main problem is to find some hardware using this signal to trigger the camera. If you can find a bluetooth module that have a relay output, or something like that...

In future releases of Papywizard v2, il will be possible to use tethered mode to trigger the camera. It is may be possible to do a quick hack to support that feature, by calling an external script. It is then up to you to provide such script (using the camera software or so). But this only be possible from a PC (needs a usb host port).

PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:31 pm
by mediavets
fma38 wrote:Papywizard is able to send any signal needed; the main problem is to find some hardware using this signal to trigger the camera. If you can find a bluetooth module that have a relay output, or something like that...

Here's one - but I think it is rather too BIG! :rolleyes:
http://www.relaycontrollers.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=NCD&Category_Code=Bluetooth_Relay_Boards

Perhaps James Gentle could come up with something?:
http://www.gentles.ltd.uk/gentled/index.htm

PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:33 pm
by DukeNukeIt
Hello Frédéric

Sorry to say that I can not take any pictures because the unit is already boxed up and ready to ship. As for modifying the system with an external switch, that may be a forced reality in the future, but for now you can still purchase the Skywatcher head. Only a matter of time before all stock runs out :o

Dave

PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:58 pm
by claudevh
Hi Duke and you all,

According the informations I have from my friends from astro, Skywatcher will not stop the production of the original Merlin/Orion Multi but they will only offer the Goto functionalities as an option and they will preserve the "inbuild remote triggering" for camera's (don't forget that the Merlin has been designed to serve the "Acuter camera" ...)

Those info's are not officially verified !
We should only buy the right one !

;)

PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:09 pm
by bigwade
Hey Claude, maybe you can ask your astro friends if Skywatcher can make a Merlin with a much smaller base :)