SS-One KODO Image Capture for ZWO

•December 2, 2016 • Leave a Comment

This is the sneak preview for a beta test unit of ZWO image capture, which is expected to come up soon.


If the cooling function is off or it is a non-cooled camera, all can be handled with 5V output small battery pack. So this should be a game-changer for mobile users.


Followings are some key screenshots from Japanese video tutorial.

zwo1When CFW is in use, the filter bar automatically pops up and indicates which filter is in the optical train by red color.

The basic concept for this controller is PC-less and DSLR-like operation. So each menu must be familiar to ex-DSLR users. And with finger touch operation, no mouse and keyboard are needed. That’s very convenient at the field nighttime.

zwo2Set for cooling.

zwo3Parameter setting. There are two separate gain controls independently. The above is for actual imaging. Another one is for Liveview as described below.


zwo4Press “Focus” in Liveview mode. It allows to zoom up or down, and select a center or 5 areas. Above shows one center and 4 corners. This allows to see focusing of each corner at same time. Probably it should be useful for checking of optical distortion or mechanical factor for an imaging sensor etc. too.


zwo5This is Play mode. Press “info” to see the histogram like DSLRs. Always a cropped center image shows at lower left. This Play mode allows to use while shooting simultaneously . So that should be useful for checking focusing or tracking result of previous frames while continuing to shoot. Upper shows each file number. “_1” describes the filter #1 if CFW is used. Image data is saved at TIF format into an external USB stick.



This is gain and shutter speed parameter in “LiveView” mode. If the target is too dark to see for composing or focusing, you can increase the gain or change shutter speed. This also allows to set the shutter speed up to 1/1000″. So generally useful for taking flat frames too.


Once I will get 1st unit, I will write up more details.



Hinode SG & KENKO Reticle

•December 1, 2016 • Leave a Comment

We added describing how our Hinode solar guider is expected to perform during next year’s total eclipse and how we can finish up post-processing for entire eclipse sequence.

1201(Click and scroll the page down toward the bottom)

If someone wish to get relax before the totality, this is an essential item.

New lot for KENKO reticle has come in stock. So now it’s available for immediate shipment. It’s $45.00 including a special tool and instructions.


BORG 25 Years Anniversary

•November 30, 2016 • 4 Comments

It’s BORG anniversary today. Following was 1st BORG brochure when they started 25 years ago.

And today’s BORG. Now BORG has most fluorite lineup in the industry.

This picture is capturing our hearts.

On behalf of BORG Japan, I’d like to thank you very much for your supporting BORG long time. We will continue to work hard for further better and more attractive products next 25 years.

BORG Single Fork Mount and Erecting-image Finder Scope

•November 29, 2016 • 2 Comments

Here is a modified fork mount. The new concept is the ultimate open-interface. Now BORG fork mount allows to use the worldwide standard Arca Swiss dovetail plates. So users have a wide variety of mounting options.

I tested with 90FL and Arca Swiss bracket (#8992)8992 creates good clearance space and allows to point to the zenith. Even with a regular Arca Swiss plate, probably we can enjoy most of the sky.

Personally I changed my all EQ mount saddle to Arca Swiss clamps. So it’s quite easy to switch between EQ and fork mount without changing anything.

Above OTA weights just 3kg including a diagonal and 2″ eyepiece. It’s nice grab-n-go visual setup. Easy to carry all together with a tripod. This more encourages me to take a set outside and quickly start observing.

BTW, I was curious how I could set BORG 50 as finder scope. So I tried to figure out best possible configuration. Here is my answer. This looks very classic astronomy setup.


I can say it is 10 x 50 high quality erecting finder scope. I used BORG erecting prism and 25mm Orthoscopic. Series 80 mounting ring (#7085) allows to set a saddle, and Hinode solar guider’s universal mounting block is compatible with that. So a finder is quick release setup.  If someone are looking for high quality erecting finder scope, this is one of best options.

Here is a latest image taken by David Losano. Transparent high contrast finish, nice!

ngc7000-27x4minf2-procesando-ps-11-25-2016BORG 55FL F3.6 + Canon 6DH

BORG Rack & Pinion Focuser

•November 25, 2016 • Leave a Comment

I start testing around a new BORG rack & pinion focuser. It is so solid and has the mighty lifting power.

1124aA fine focusing knob is very smooth. It’s not as light touch as FTF’s. But it’s still light-feeling and smooth enough for controlling of critical focusing. I feel very good.

Following video shows how smooth it is with almost total 2kg including 1.5kg camera. Keep in mind M57 threaded interface makes the rigid connection with a camera and its accessories. No worry about slippage concern.

Also another good feature is fully paid attention to minimize the internal reflections. See following comparison. Left is FTF and BORG is right. You can see the obvious difference in-between. BORG focuser is really well done.

And finally followings are each system package including R & P focuser.

667290FL R & P set (# 6672) : $1,850.00 – 405mm / 2.0kg

667371FL R & P Set (#6673) : $1,150.00 (330mm / 1.3kg)

667489ED R & P Set (#6674) : $1,465.00 (510mm / 2.0kg)


77EDII R P Set (#6675) : $1,050.00 (420mm / 1.6kg)

BORG Single Fork Mount & SS-one KODO Controller – Element Version

•November 22, 2016 • Leave a Comment

BORG’s single fork mount (#3101) is charmingly compact and surprisingly so solid. Probably it’s more rigid than people are thinking.  Anyway, only one drawback WAS the compatibility of a mounting plate, which required BORG special ones. Unfortunately this restricted user’s option, and was not cost-effective either.

Now BORG is, however, prepared to release the re-designed body, which allows to set the worldwide standard – Arca Swiss plate. This gives us a lot of options in the market now.

6af19c0dProbably I will receive a prototype sometime next week. I will keep updated on this item. BORG fork mount will become more backpacker-friendly companion.

I’m showing you Japan’s SS-one products these days. Here is an another new controller called SS-one KODO Element, which is expected to be commercially available by end of next month.

KODO Element’s concept is further smaller, simpler and more cost-effective. It has only two functions – autoguiding and polar alignment. The polar alignment requires an external GPS USB module and the dedicated imaging device. If someone are looking for autoguiding solution in 5V operation without PC, this is it.

The launching plan for each controller is

  1. SS-one KODO Complete, including KODO STD plus GOTO and planetarium software (next spring, a portable GOTO mount will be also available too)
  2. SS-one KODO Element – AG and polar (next month)
  3. SS-one KODO STD – AG synchronized with DSLRs , polar, focus aid and finder (not specified yet)
  4. SS-one KODO  ZWO – ZWO image capture (next month)

At this moment, autoguider cameras SS-one KODO supports are some of ZWO models only. I will more clarify later.


BORG Rack & Pinion Focuser Sets

•November 21, 2016 • Leave a Comment

BORG rack & pinion focuser sets are now available. These should be good news especially for the visual observer. Each system price is set more economically than FTF package while retaining similar focusing performance.

borgrp90FL R & P set : $1,850.00

71FL R & P set : $1,150.00

89ED R & P set : 1,465.00

77EDII R & P set : $1,050.00

Features ;

  • 65mm focus travel
  • 51mm drawtube ID
  • 1:10 fine focusing knob
  • M57 thread interface & standard 2″ opening with 7504 included in a set

Each OTA picture will be up here within a couple of days.

One of a recent customers – John Corban, who purchased Canon 700DTH and LPS-D1-EOS set, sent us very clean and beautiful color picture.

image1Very nice!

And followings are the ones taken by a professional wide animal photographer – Rei Ohara.

BORG 89ED + 2 stacked 1.4x telesconverter + Fuji X2

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