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FORNAX 10 LighTrack Mobile Tracking SET with Wedge & Ball Head

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in In stock (2)
Model
Fornax10B-WEDGE-BALL-POL
Weight
3.80 kg
Our price:
£630.00
including VAT 20.00 % ( £105.00 )
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FORNAX 10 LighTrack - Mobile Tracking SET for Astrophotography

Includes:
Fornax 10 Tangential Arm with Motor Block and Ursa Minor Motor Control
Fornax 10 Polar Block / Wedge
Fornax Ball Head (allows equipment in either On-Axis or Off-Axis position)
Fornax 10 polarscope adapter for EQ3 polarscope

We've received a new version of the Fornax 10 LighTrack Mobile Tracking mount. All aluminium body, new electronics with LED feedback panel, improved drive shaft with ball bearing, safety rail for friction drive surface, all these are now standard features!


Above picture: the New 2014 version of the Fornax 10 tracking mount, shown with optional Polarscope Adapter

The newest member of the Fornax family is a perfect choice for photos taken with wide angle lenses, telephoto lenses or smaller telescopes.
Due to the design it is stronger and less fragile than similar products; it is still lightweight and very portable. Due to its compact size it is the best choice for the travelling astro-photographer. It can easily fit even into your hand luggage.

Please note, due to the many options available for powering the Fornax 10 mount up and you might already have some of these, we didn't want to increase the price by adding a 12V power source. Instead, here are couple of links to the compatible products: Compatible with our 12V AC Adapters, 12V power tanks from Celestron and Skywatcher and with the Astrotrac Battery Holder.

 

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According to a Group Test by the Sky at Night Magazine (April 2012, pages 96-100), the "Fornax 10 Light Track was a really pleasant surprise. It's 'prototype' finish was not matched by its performance, which was constantly the best in the group. Simple to set up and easy to use, we really warmed to it during testing - if tracking accuracy was the only criteria we were judging, this mount would have been the winner."




SCOPE OF DELIVERY:
- Tangential arm 
with two camera/telescope positions: either "Off-axis" or “On-Axis”. It can be installed on a video-head/photo-head (3/8" camera thread compatible) or it can be used with the strong but lightweight (optional) Fornax-10 equatorial wedge. 
- Motorblock with UrsaMinor control (under the now silver box) (The Fornax 10 mount is also compatible with the FS2 motor control, if you don't need the UrsaMinor control box, because you have got one FS2 controller already, please contact us!)

- Equatorial Wedge –  adjustable between 0-70 degrees (see the black part with “Fornax 10” written on it on the top right image)
- Fornax Ballhead  made from Perunal (Al.Zn.Mg.Cu alloy, lightweight, but with similar to steel properties).  Can be used with the Fornax 10  mount in both "Off-Axis" and "On-Axis".
- Polarscope Adapter (included) - Synta made EQ3 polarscope will fit with this adapter

OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES
- Polarscope - EQ3 compatible polarscope available separately
- Tripod - compatible with the optional Vixen-GP /EQ3 /EQ5 /NEQ5 /HEQ5 with M10 thread or a photo-tripod with 3/8" photo thread


The weight and size of the Fornax 10 makes it suitable to take it with you on your next flight, but we would recommend you to put it in your suitcase just in case as it might not pass through the security check in your hand luggage.

 Above image shows the Fornax 10 mobile tracking mount with the ball head in OFF-AXIS position. For a quick setup with a lightweight camera this is the easiest way to use it, as polar alignment is possible whilst the camera is already attached. In on-axis position you have to polar align first and then attach the ball head as the ball head will obstruct the polarscope...


Each Fornax 10 comes with a free chart, showing its test results.

Weight of tangential arm without Motor block: 1090 g
UrsaMinor Motor control: 380 g
Equatorial wedge: 690 g



FAQ



Question: Do I have to polar align the Fornax 10 mount to take pictures?
Answer: Yes. Without polar alignment the mount will not be able the track the movement of the stars. The stars move along an arc on the sky. To be able to follow the movement of the stars along that arc, the camera will have to move in the same pattern around an axis parallel to the Earth's axis.

Question: How to polar align the mount?
Answer: Here we'll describe two ways of polar alignment, a simple one without a polarscope, and more precise one with an optional EQ3 polarscope. On the following image you can see an aluminium tube that contains a polarscope that was not included with your package, but available separately. (The polarscope adapter on the other hand is included...)

(Above image is for demonstration only. Shows a version with optional tripod)
 
It's directly next to that spike with the N on the tripod. 
The N should actually look in to the direction of South in this case as this tripod was not developed for this mount, but the mount was developed so that people can use this or similar mounts that have that spike for polar alignment. 
 
So, setup the tripod so that the "N" is directed South.
(Unlike GOTO telescope mounts, leveling the wedge is not necessary, but would help to set it up quicker next time.)
Set the latitude on the wedge to your latitude (appr 51 deg in the South of the UK, 53 deg further up in the North near Liverpool, and 56 deg near Glasgow) i.e. Scotland). This can be set more precisely if necessary at a later step.
If you have the ball head in on-axis position, unscrew it as otherwise you won't be able to look through the polar alignment tube.
If you don't have an EQ3 polarscope, then just look through the aluminium tube and center Polaris by moving the wedge left or right by the azimuth adjustment screws (release one and tighten the other). To be able to do that the center screw from underneath the tripod head that holds the wedge on top of the tripod has to be very slightly loosened up. Once you completed the polar alignment you'll have to tight it up again.
So you've centered Polaris horizontally and now if necessary, center it vertically as well on the wedge (loosen up the armed screws on both sides of the wedge). 
The above, simplified polar alignment should be good enough for imaging the sky at shorter focal lengths and/or shorter exposures. 
If you want to use the Fornax 10 with a camera with a long focal length lens and at longer exposure times, you'll have to do a more precise polar alignment that can be done by the optional EQ3 polarscope.
The procedure is very similar, but instead of centering to Polaris, you'll be centering to the real Celestial North Pole that can be done by placing Polaris in the circle on the reticle of the EQ3  polar alignment scope, but before you do that you'll have to match the orientation of the Big Dipper and Cassiopeia as per the drawing on the reticle to the orientation of the same objects as you see them on the sky.
 
Once it's done you screw the ball head back into in-axis position to use a camera with a large lens or you can use it in off-axis position with smaller camera setups. Now start taking amazing images!



WATCH THE FORNAX 10 TRACKING MOUNT ON YOUTUBE:


fornax 10, fornax-10, astrotrac, astrotrak, astro track, astro trak, astro trac, ioptron skytracker, nanotracker, vixen polarie

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