Ordering Parts from Panogear System  

English support for Panogear kit
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rbciu
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Ordering Parts from Panogear System

by rbciu » Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:41 am

Hello,

I'm preparing to put together a Merlin/Orion based system, and I hope to use components of the Panogear system to raise my chances of success. I don't mind soldering, but I don't feel confident finding sources for all of the parts I need separately.

My primary setup for shooting panos is a Nikon D300 with an AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8. I've hit the limits of what I can do manually with a pan/tilt or ball head, and I need to move into a robotic head system.

As I live in the United States, I don't want to pay to ship the entire Panogear system (shipping alone would eat my entire budget). Instead, I plan to just buy the small components from France. I priced the components at http://magasin.skivr.com
- Câble déclencheur appareil photo pour rotule Panogear, Type de connecteur: MC-30: http://magasin.skivr.com/cable-trigger-panogear-camera.html
- Module Bluetooth pour tête motorisée Panogear: http://magasin.skivr.com/module-bt-panogear.html
- Rail droit pour tête motorisée Panogear: http://magasin.skivr.com/rail-panogear.html

These seemed to be the correct parts to get a basic NPP system up and running with my camera. I have another solution for an external 12V battery supply, so I don't have to purchase the battery setup (which saves me another € 89).

To cut costs, I planned to purchase a Celestron Sky-Watcher Backpacker 90M. As I enjoy wide-field astrophotography, this also has the benefit of including the astronomical tracking system. Not to mention it includes a telescope in the € 149/ $199 price.

With shipping and handling, I can purchase the parts and the Sky-Watcher Telescope head for about € 321.88 / $421. This is significantly less than € 618.35 / $825 to buy the full system directly.

I sent an email to SkiVR asking about compatibility, and I received this reply:
"You have to be careful to buy a non GO-TO version so it's compatible with Papywizard."

I have two questions:
1. Will these parts be compatible to get me started or do I have to worry about it being a "GOTO" model?
2. My budget is $500, and I would also like to be able to afford a used Nokia N800 on eBay. Is there a better way to go about this?

Thanks,
rbciu

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by mediavets » Mon Dec 06, 2010 12:04 pm

rbciu wrote:Hello,

I'm preparing to put together a Merlin/Orion based system, and I hope to use components of the Panogear system to raise my chances of success. I don't mind soldering, but I don't feel confident finding sources for all of the parts I need separately.

My primary setup for shooting panos is a Nikon D300 with an AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8. I've hit the limits of what I can do manually with a pan/tilt or ball head, and I need to move into a robotic head system.

..............

I have two questions:
1. Will these parts be compatible to get me started or do I have to worry about it being a "GOTO" model?
2. My budget is $500, and I would also like to be able to afford a used Nokia N800 on eBay. Is there a better way to go about this?

Thanks,
rbciu

Welcome to the forum...
Some comments:

1. Is this the model of mount/scope you plan to purchase?:
http://cgi.ebay.com.my/Celestron-Sky-Watcher-Backpacker-90MAK-MM-Telescope-/310248970441

If so then this appears to be a non-GoTo model.

The GoTo model has an LCD display on the hand controller as shown here:
http://www.pulsar-optical.co.uk/prod/merlin/starter-scope/Goto/merlindeluxe/goto/tabletop.html

But the latest GoTo models - from about April 2010 - work OK anyway.

2. Since you are on a tight(ish) budget I think that the only item that you should consider importing would be the Bluetooth adapter for the mount and you could source that here:
http://www.papymerlin.com/interface-%C3%A9lectronique/

Or from SkiVR, or Kolor:
http://magasin.skivr.com/module-bt-panogear.html?___store=english&___from_store=english
http://www.kolor.com/buy/photo-hardware/accessories/recepteur-bluetooth.html

3. I can see no point in paying so much a for a dovetail rail. You could either source something locally or make (or have made) something to do the job.

I use a simple rail like this one; with a bolt and a reversed wingnut plus a washer to perform as a camera screw:
http://www.pulsar-optical.co.uk/prod/ScopeTeknix-accessories/halfdovetail-bar/dovetailm.html
Some pictures here:
http://www.autopano.net/forum/p56155-2009-12-12-09-53-15#p56155

But you can even fabricate something out of wood:
http://www.autopano.net/forum/p37570-2009-01-24-22-56-43#p37570

4. This remote Hahnel HRN 280 remote release can be used 'in-line' to connect the D300 camera to the mount's snap connector using the snap cable supplied with the mount:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/610941-REG/hahnel_HL_HRN280_HRN_280_Remote_Shutter.html
http://cgi.ebay.com/Hahnel-31in-Remote-Shutter-Release-All-Nikon-DSLRs-/330494510574?pt=Camera_Camcorder_Remotes&hash=item4cf30205ee
http://www.hahnel.ie/index.cfm?page=dslrremotecontrols&id=18&pId=18
http://www.hahnel.ie/contentFiles/products/pdfs/manuals/Remote%20Control%20Cable.pdfhttp://www.hahnel.ie/contentFiles/products/pdfs/brochures/RemotesCable%20A4-18-09-10.pdf
http://www.autopano.net/wiki-en/action/view/PapyMerlin_FAQ#Do_I_need_a_.22cable.2Fconnector.22_to_connect_my_camera_to_the_Merlin_head_.3F

5. If the dimension from base of the camera body to centre of the lens mount is greater than 40mm, or the diameter of the lens barrel is greater than 40mm, then you will not be able to mount the camera/lens at the No Parallax Point (NPP) without some modification of the dovetail mount/rail. This won't matter much if you plan only to shoot partial panos of relatively distant landscape scenes with nothing closer the to camera than about 50-100 feet.

You can see how some users have modified their mounts here:
http://www.autopano.net/wiki-en/action/view/Merlin-Orion-Papywizard_users_feedback

You should find some relevant info in this thread too:
http://www.autopano.net/forum/t8840-what-do-i-need-to-mount-a-nikon-d300-on-the-merlin
Andrew Stephens
Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.

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by rbciu » Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:16 pm

Hello Andrew,

mediavets wrote:1. Is this the model of mount/scope you plan to purchase?:
http://cgi.ebay.com.my/Celestron-Sky-Wa … 0248970441

If so then this appears to be a non-GoTo model.

The GoTo model has an LCD display on the hand controller as shown here:
http://www.pulsar-optical.co.uk/prod/me … letop.html

But the latest GoTo models - from about April 2010 - work OK anyway.

This is an interesting distinction, and I appreciate your insight into how they manufacturer these heads.

Here's the manufacturer link: http://www.celestron.com/c3/product.php?CatID=108&ProdID=669

I was not certain on the difference between the two, and it helps to know this simple trick! It seems odd that they all look exactly alike from each distributor and in both configurations.

mediavets wrote:2. Since you are on a tight(ish) budget I think that the only item that you should consider importing would be the Bluetooth adapter for the mount and you could source that here:

These are the sources I found as well. It's an oddly specialized application, and it's surprising that two manufacturers have produced hardware based solutions.

As a note to other USA residents: The SkiVR source seems to be the best in terms of tax/shipping convenience, but it has not been fully translated.

mediavets wrote:3. I can see no point in paying so much a for a dovetail rail. You could either source something locally or make (or have made) something to do the job.

I certainly don't disagree with you! I laughed when I saw the wooden version, but it looks like a very well thought out solution. The advantage to the Panogear version is that it fits into the rail for a portrait orientation as well, but the price is prohibitive.

mediavets wrote:4. This remote Hahnel HRN 280 remote release can be used 'in-line' to connect the D300 camera to the mount's snap connector using the snap cable supplied with the mount:

While I wouldn't mind connecting the snap cable and the release, it appears that SkiVR is selling a more robust product that costs less (this only applies if you already have to purchase something to absorb the shipping cost. In my case, it is more cost effective due to having to ship the bluetooth module.).

mediavets wrote:5. If the dimension from base of the camera body to centre of the lens mount is greater than 40mm, or the diameter of the lens barrel is greater than 40mm, then you will not be able to mount the camera/lens at the No Parallax Point (NPP) without some modification of the dovetail mount/rail. This won't matter much if you plan only to shoot partial panos of relatively distant landscape scenes with nothing closer the to camera than about 50-100 feet.

Building a precise no parallax point system is very important for me which makes another strong argument for building my own custom rail.

I appreciate that Kolor and SkiVR have teamed up to build a plug 'n play system, but I need to be a little more resourceful on a student budget outside of Europe.

I appreciate your fast and helpful response!

Thanks,
rbciu
Last edited by rbciu on Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by mediavets » Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:25 pm

rbciu wrote:
mediavets wrote:2. Since you are on a tight(ish) budget I think that the only item that you should consider importing would be the Bluetooth adapter for the mount and you could source that here:

These are the sources I found as well. It's an oddly specialized application, and it's surprising that two manufacturers have produced hardware based solutions.

As a note to other USA residents: The SkiVR source seems to be the best in terms of tax/shipping convenience, but it has not been fully translated.


rbciu

Deltawave makes these devices for Claude VanHemmens (claudevh on this forum) - http://www.papymerlin.com/interface-%C3%A9lectronique/ - who supplies Kolor/SkiVR who market the items under the Panogear brand banner; he will also supply direct.

You can contact him via the web site:
http://www.papymerlin.com/contact/
Andrew Stephens
Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.

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by rbciu » Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:38 pm

I believe that Ursa Minor also manufactures a device out of Hungary: http://ursaminor.hu/bluetooth_interface_en.html

They appear to be more directed at the astronomy audience. I'm not sure if their system is compatible with the Papywizard system, but it looks like it should work just fine.

- rbciu

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by mediavets » Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:47 pm

rbciu wrote:I believe that Ursa Minor also manufactures a device out of Hungary: http://ursaminor.hu/bluetooth_interface_en.html

They appear to be more directed at the astronomy audience. I'm not sure if their system is compatible with the Papywizard system, but it looks like it should work just fine.

- rbciu

Ooops - yes, you are correct. I'd forgotten about that one.

The more expensive UrsaMinor BT-Merlin adapter sold by Teleskop Austria was really developed for other astroscope applications but also works (fine) with Papywizard; it was the first of the plug-n-play Bluetooth adapters for the Merlin mount:
http://www.teleskop-austria.at/prod.php?tid=8&lng=slo#montz-blt-hu

They also offer a special (even more expensive) version of their BT adapter for the earlier GoTo models of the Merlin mount which lacked the snap connector for the shutter trigger.
Andrew Stephens
Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.


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