SS-one Controller – “KODO”

•September 25, 2017 • Leave a Comment

This is a multi-functional controller. KODO is described as “heartbeat=鼓動” in Japanese. So this is the core technology in SS-one project like our heart. Now available as a controller itself before the mount – Expedition gets ready, which is expected to be commercially available early of next year.


I think this is a 1st commercial unit which allows for the dithered imaging with two ZWO cameras at 5V power without PC. WiFi connection with a smartphone makes things just charm. It’s fun to play around. Besides 4 USB ports, there are 5 other ports numbering the above.

  1. To control DSLR cameras. Trigger to two cameras same time while synchronizing the autoguiding.
  2. For SS-one mount – Expedition
  3. To control a motorized focuser
  4. USB Type B for the power (when the mount and the focuser are not used)


Good news for SONY camera users. This should be a handy tool for SONY’s dithered imaging.

Part # SSKODO : $520.00

Although it is still in Japanese, I uploaded it at

KODO Manual

I thought each screen shot should be somehow useful for more your understanding.

One of BORG and Takahashi mount user – Arthur Klatt is traveling many places while taking BORG 77EDII and his EM11 along with PM-1 tripod and pillar. Here is his recent images.


Arthur, thanks for sharing with us. Very nice images!!




SS-one Mount Expedition – 2

•September 23, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Probably this is the ultimate portable setup for the mount.


As expected (or a bit surprisingly), very solid and steady. As I was sure,  the tripod interface is so solid. Eliminating a tripod center column is the big factor for stability. There is nothing flimsy in this setup including the mount itself. All are promising!

The whole OTA set including a camera is 13lbs(= 5.9kg). A battery pack weighs 2.3kg. It’s a bit too fat for a battery holder though. Anyway this is temporary weight testing. Probably 1.0-1.5kg range should be something proper for most of OTAs. Two-shaft design is so clever, which prevents a battery from slipping around.

Following is a standard 1kg counterweight. If we don’t use a battery as a counterweight, this is just enough for most of setup. 55FL doesn’t require it


Nakazawa san, very nice!! I love this system as my ultimate portable mount for overseas expedition.

I updated SS-one autoguider price list. 75mm and 140mm lens kit are both same price, and big package discount with a controller. 75mm model is only interchangeable lens type.




SS-one Mount – Expedition & New Guide Scope/Camera

•September 22, 2017 • Leave a Comment

SS-one mount, controller and a new autoguider arrived today. I just built up the mount on Takahashi tripod. Since a bottom plate interface was a bit different from what I was expecting, this is the temporary loose setup. So I feel a bit risk for heavier scopes at this moment. The mount is very compact and solid. It is heavier than it looks like. So the weight is dense much in small area.

  1. A polar camera is set inside the mount body.
  2. In this setup( 55FL F3.6 + SONY A7), no dead area in the northern sky and no meridian flip required at all. Probably 71FL shouldn’t have either. I will double check later. Anyway much more chance to continue to take shots without switching the scope direction.
  3. 3.5″ screen all-in-one controller – KODO
  4. Now 140mm focal length guider is in stock – $395.00  This is the one-piece design. Flat body base eases mounting without rings and XY alignments.


•September 19, 2017 • Leave a Comment

MASUYAMA 1st 1.25″ eyepiece is now available.



  • 16mm / 85-degree AFOV
  • 138g / 42mm OD x 68mm L
  • 10mm eye-relief
  • 5 elements in 3 groups
  • Price : $229.00

It is scheduled to come in stock early of next month. I wish this will be perfect match with 90FL BINO for the total eclipse view. I was looking for around 30x for next opportunity. I will test with several BORGs once I get.

BORG Fork w/Tak Tripod & California Nebula thru BORG 55FL F3.6

•September 15, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I was shopping around to find out a reliable flat-top carbon fiber tripod for a coming-soon SS-one mount – Expedition.  I needed the flat-top type without a column.

But I realized Gitzo or RRS ones are more expensive than Takahashi metal tripod plus half pillar. I love those ones. So light and extremely solid. Even if I forced to twist or push it down, it had no flexture at all. Really solid. Half pillar is nice too. It gives more clearance space to a telescope and a camera. So I decided to make an adapter between Tak and SS-one.

Before SS-one mount is coming, I wanted to verify how much more stable BINO setup is with BORG fork mount too.

As anticipated, much improved. At least I couldn’t see noticeable flexure at tripod/mount side even if I forced to press the platform down. BORG fork mount is very solid-made too.

I tested with 2.4mm eyepiece. So it was 167x power. Twisting a helical focuser made some shaking. But stops quickly and nothing annoying, especially even at high power. Lower power?, no problem at all. A regular setup with a single scope shouldn’t be any issue.

If someone who own BORG fork mount are annoyed by shaking, take close look at tripod head. Mostly that’s weakest point. A fork mount itself is fully solid as mentioned above.

Don’t ask me, why a single scope on BINO platform? Simply I don’t have two 71FLs.  I’m still waiting for that.

A following picture was taken with BORG 55FL F3.6 and a modified 6D by Kamimura san in Japan.


I think usually we point this target with longer focal length. But wider FOV looks nice too since this picture shows various faint gas around that. I didn’t know that. This image assures me of nice field of view in full frame sensor at 200mm focal length, and very nice image finish!



BORG Binoscopes

•September 13, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I reviewed all of costs and updated each price as follows;


Each BORG package is complete set including 4 of mounting rings and EMS1. Followings are some sample configurations.

  • xxFLBINO1 + BB-130 : for conventional tripod head
  • xxFLBINO1 + BB-130 + ALTM130 : for Vixen-compatible single fork mount
  • xxFLBINO1 + BB-140 + SB8 : for Meade LX-90/8″ mount
  • BB-160 is only  needed for other scopes other than BORG
  • Upgradeable to  2″-to-2″ EMSs with an extra cost
  • HDL fits BB-130 as well (the page will be updated later)

AOK-proprietary collimation mechanism is very functional.


  1. Inter-pupillary adjustment knob (only BB-130)
  2. Vertical adjustment (up/down)


3. Horizontal adjustment (right/left)

Generally these are one-time job when you setup scopes first time. Done! It’s quite simple, functional and rigid. Tune EMS mirror collimators at field and ready to enjoy collimated high-power binoscope viewing.


This picture still recalls me the spread-out powerful inner corona activity. I wish I share this unforgettable experiences with more people. Also try 200-300x planetary binoscope viewing. I bet you will be the binoscope addictive person who can’t go back to single scope viewing any more.

SS-one Project to Come Real & BORG 7870

•September 12, 2017 • 3 Comments

SS-one – PC-less project, Nakazawa san’s key concept is now more clearly showing up as a real product.


Main controller – one box does everything for GOTO, finder, guider, polar alignment, DSLR as well as ZWO camera, and motorized focuser. This is the product Nakazawa san was having as the primary goal like his slogan – “Smart, Simple and All-in-one”.  I fully agree with you. “One” should be able to be described as “only-one” too. As one of potential users, I sincerely applaud his achievement very much. It’s really great product, Nakazawa san!!

Followings are some screenshots.


And along with above smart controller, the portable mount – “Expedition” is unique too.


Battery holder as a counterweight, 3kg mount weight without motors (target mount weight is less than 4kg). A white paper is B5 size. You can imagine how compactly you can pack the mount in the check-in baggage for overseas trip. I’m excited his dream and goal will come real soon.

Unlike conventional GEMs, DEC section is a bit further from RA unit, which gives us more room for a scope and a camera passing the meridian without the equipment interference even pointing to north sky area. And low profile DEC unit reduces the counterweight as well. Very smart mechanical design too.

As I mentioned earlier, I plan to demonstrate the mount and the controller at AIC. Please come, see and enjoy SS-one taste.

This mount and controller really encourages me to go to Chile in 2019 or 2020 with this mount.

Attention to BORG users and dealers: I’m looking for a couple of BORG 7870 (0.7x reducer). If someone are ready to sell, send a private e-mail to me.


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