BORG 107FL for the Saturn & 107FL BINO

•September 11, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Although it was a bit hazy sky over the last weekend, I was enjoying the observing of the Saturn through 107FL at 250x power with Vixen HR 2.4mm.

0911b It was great view as expected. The Saturn was clean and bright at 250x. But I’m now totally a “VR goggle-like binoscope addictive patient”. So single eye viewing didn’t satisfy me any more. After single scope viewing, I decided to start preparing 107FL BINO. I’m sure 107FL BINO will be easily My only concern is the weight. Heavier, more hesitating to use. That’s my concern. Still much lighter than any other brands in its class though.

Simply my primary goal is the high-power binoscope viewing for the planets. Double-fork mount is the stability king for this application.

I wonder how many people are enjoying the high-power binoscope viewing with the tracking mount in the world. Unfortunately I didn’t see many others even in Japan. Yes, there are many single-fork tracking mounts in the market. But it’s not stable enough for binoscope in my personal standard.

I’m not a GOTO-needed user at all as mentioned here several time. So the Meade mount I require is not GOTO capability. But the motorized tracking mount is mandatory for the comfortable high power viewing. So Meade LX mount is a must-item as double-fork tracking mount. Planetary viewing with 107 fluorite optics must be nice…….. I’m already excited.

To share my wonderful binoscope experiences with other people, I’m reviewing the BORG binoscope pricing these days. Price is generally double plus a pair of EMS, but the unforgettable visual experiences are priceless and for ever.



My 2nd Binoscope

•September 9, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I have started a new project for 2nd binoscope system, which is more suitable for overseas expedition – 2019 or 2020 eclipse in Chile?, if I have the chance to go.

Anyway, my 1st choice was Mini BORG because of size and weight. And Among Mini series, 71FL is the largest. So I picked 71FL. From my experience of this year’s eclipse, I’m thinking 40x was a bit over-power. It was wonderful view for the details of prominence and inner corona as expected. But it was a bit too narrow FOV for corona. So I’m now feeling around 30x is something good number. Shorter focal length probably achieves that with same eyepieces. Or I should use larger AFOV eyepieces. Let me study.

Original AOK platform comes with Vixen-compatible single fork arm. So I modified the arm to replace with BORG Arca Swiss bar. An extra benefit is much lighter.  BORG’s fork mount is compact and so solid. So I wanted to use the mount. Slow motion controls are convenient too.

Unfortunately although I don’t have 2nd 71FL at this moment, everything looks fine. I can point to the zenith without any trouble too. The platform is about 1.5kg and a single scope w/EMS is about 1kg. So total will be 3.5kg w/2nd scope. No bad at all!! Actually this is quite easy to carry. So this grab-n-go system should be good for casual planetary viewing too.

Only weak point in this system is the tripod’s center pole. So one day I will get a tripod without a center pole.

I can’t go back to the single scope viewing any more. Binoscope-viewing during the totality made me feel viewing from spaceship window. It is really a kind of virtual really goggle for me.


BORG 107FL & Total Eclipse Picture

•September 8, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I realized I didn’t use BORG 107FL visually yet. So I re-configured and set onto LX-90 mount.

Fortunately, it still allows to point to the zenith. I didn’t expect that. Thanks for BORG’s short scope design. It looks cloudy tonight though. I hope probably tomorrow. I’m looking forward to its view.

Ram Viswanathan shared his great picture, which was taken with BORG 71FL with 7870 reducer.


Thanks, Ram. Beauty!


SS-one Camera & Astro Pictures

•September 5, 2017 • Leave a Comment

SS-one AG camera is now available.

Part # : SSAGC140 : $395.00


  • ZWO OEM sensor board (= ASI 120MM) – Sensitive monochrome sensor
  • Solid square body – no mounting rings and no X/Y alignment required
  • Built-in dew-heater powered from USB/5V
  • 140mm/F4.5 optics
  • 33 x 41 x 182mm / 345g
  • Power consumption : 100mA,  450mA with heater at 5V
  • Pre-focused for the infinity distance
  • Works with SS-one controllers and various Windows software


This is the link to the solar eclipse trip page of Dave Kodama – one of longest BORG users.


Congratulations, Dave!

The next is Mauri Rosenthal’s recent deepsky pictures.



Mauri, thanks for sharing your recent images. M27 is really rich color image!



Re-made Video & SS-one Portable Mount – Expedition

•September 1, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I re-made to more realistic mode entire the eclipse session.

Black frames are actually ones taken by a camera/controller during the totality. This is all I had as the imaging result.

BTW, I wonder why color balance is tweaking to pinkish side middle of both partial phases.

Nakazawa san –  a founder of SS-one project has started building up 2nd prototype, which will be quite close to the commercial grade.

Japanese-made precision and powerful hybrid motor achieves both a plenty of torque and micro steps same time. As a result, SS-one mount uses only one reduction gear. Biggest benefit is to dramatically reduce the gear backlash and achieve quick response. I’m looking forward to the mount very much. 1st prototype is being prepared to be demonstrated at AIC end of this month. Please come, see and touch it at Hutech booth.

Animation of Partial Phase & Another User’s pictures

•August 31, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Now I had the time to look into my Panasonic camera used in 08/21 and attempted to make the partial eclipse movie.

It was guided by Hinode Solar Guider. Fortunately the sun was not moved much during the partial phases as I thought. This video wasn’t used for centering the sun by software either.



BORG 71FL + Panasonic GX-8


I planed to create the time-lapse movie including the totality. But most critical moment was missing and only recorded into my brain. That will be next time. I’m sure someone else will make it. Jim? I’m looking forward to that.

Following was the link to Odd Hoydalsvik.


He is a traveler from the overseas. So he prepared very light and compact setup with BORG 60ED and Olympus OM-D. Very nice image!!, thanks for sharing,  Odd.



IDAS Nikon Full Frame Filter & D5.2 Solar Filter

•August 30, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I got a frame for Nikon D600. The effective diagonal is 42.7mm. I believe this is the largest possible size under several restricted factors and large enough in real world. 

As mentioned earlier, unfortunately it doesn’t “electrically”work with D700. Other models? we are not sure yet. At beginning, LPS-D1 and HEUIBII will be available. Filter is 1.1mm thick. If someone is looking for the perfect achievement, I recommend moving the sensor back 0.37mm further. It means 46.87mm.

BTW, now Nikon filters for D7000/7100/7200, D5100, D5200 and D5300/D5500 are in stock.

About solar filter, thanks for purchasing IDAS solar filter these days. I’m glad so many number of people have been chosen them. The stock of 82mm has almost run out. Only a couple units left over.  I’m sure all are enjoying the safety solar viewing as well imaging.

Meanwhile, before the eclipse, I was told many numbers vendors were trying to sell similar filters or glasses through Amazon. According to them, some were selling the fake solar glasses. So Amazon has recently set their safety standard and they require now ISO certificate or passing CE requirement to sell solar glasses. That’s fine to us although we don’t intend to obtain its certificate. But in order to clarify how IDAS filter is safe, I submitted following comparison data sheet to Amazon although Hutech won’t sell these filters through Amazon any more. Both of companies compared with are sold as the authorized Amazon products. Fortunately these companies’ data were publicly available. So I wanted to share the comparison data with IDAS solar filter users. Generally I don’t like the comparison since my business motto is always “only one”, not “best or better”.


From this data,

1) CE minimum requirement seems to be very dangerous. D2 in NER? wow, that doesn’t really good. So CE shouldn’t be the reference of the safety standard at all. I wonder who set this though. IDAS D12 while CE is D2 around 1000nm region.

2) ISO : dimmer in VIS and brighter(more transmission in UV and IR). IDAS goes completely opposite direction. VIS is brighter while UV/IR are extremely blocked. In fact, this is why IDAS solar filter shows us bright and clean image while maintaining the safety. UV and IR are more danger especially they are invisible in human eye. My understanding is “invisible” means “insensitive”. But still a particular amount of energy are coming to our eyes. So we don’t feel, but harmful energy must be piled up. As glasses, it might be good enough. But personally I don’t trust that either.

To IDAS users, you might feel this filter is heavier than normal glass. Yes, this is an industrial glass which is normal used in special industrial environments. So it is actually heavy. Such a glass itself plus IDAS proprietary coating and polishing technology creates bright and clean solar image while maintaining the safety for human eye. Please continue to enjoy with filters long time.



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