The Skypod is a unique portable alt-azimuth computer controlled "Go To" mount that evolved from the very successful Vixen Sphinx mount. The Skypod incorporates a compact computer controlled Alt-Az system that automatically slews the telescope from one object to another. This new and portable GoTo travel mount uses the modified Starbook S hand controller that offers the same practical user concept of the Sphinx controller. A display shows you a map of the sky so that you always know where you are. Navigate by object name or use the starchart to plan your observing session. The 22,000 plus object, upgradeable data base, provides an endless variety of objects to view.
The controller is integrated into the mount. You can take it off for remote control, but you can always put it back for safe storage and transport. This means that for transport you can avoid all the separate small parts that are otherwise easily lost. Because the Skypod it is based on Vixen's flexible mounting system, a wide variety of telescopes will easily and quickly attach to this mount. Skypod provides good portability combined with ease of use and versatility.
Skypod Mount Details:
- Newly developed and sturdy alt-azimuth GoTo mount
Electrical slow motion control in both axes
- Self-Contained Batteries and Starbook-S storage
Integrated Starbook S controller, can be removed for cable-remote control
Internal battery compartment (batteries not included) or 12V external power supply available
Telescope connection by Vixen dovetail saddle plate
- Mount motion linked to star chart
- Mount Capacity: 15 lbs.
- Weight: 2.8kg/ 6 lbs
- Optional Counterweight
After having used many, many mounting systems over my thirty plus years of observing, I have to say the Skypod is a pure joy to operate. The fully enclosed gear drive and motors are smooth and slew the telescope to almost 4 degrees per second from one object to another. The tracking is accurate and quiet. I find the compact Starbook controller to be very easy to use with its options of operating the mount with either dropdown menus or scrolling the star chart and clicking Goto when the desired object appears on the display. If you are looking to purchase an automated mount that is very portable and allows you to change the optical tube if you decide upgrade your system, this is the product for you.
Astronomy Magazine found that "Vixen's Skypod Mount, with its StarBook controller provides full go-to capability in a lightweight package" . They go on to state that "there is nothing light about the StarBook database. The Skypod is an innovative design that takes grab and go astronomy to a new level."
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