Terrestrial BORG BINO

•November 2, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I just thought how stable BINO set was with a regular pan-tilt head. As expected, it was more stable than single fork-arm mounting. Fortunately all of AOK BINO platforms have 1/4″-20 threaded holes at the bottom. Thanks AOK, this is good design.


My pan head or tripod is not super solid type. But obviously more stable than single-arm mounting. So this setup is something useful in several occasions. Like double-fork mount, mounting BINO platform at the center has the big advantage to minimize shaking as expected. That was just verified. There are no slow motion controls though.

For daytime terrestrial or bird-watching use, this should be very realistic too.





Total Lunar Eclipse – 2018

•November 1, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I noticed there will be two total lunar eclipses 2018. January 31 looks visible until the full eclipse ends here in my town. Somehow looks fortunate until the moon setting into the horizon or before the sunrise. Asia must be the perfect area in this event.

I link the simulation page below. Pre-check how you can see in your town.


And followings are example of proper exposure time suggested by BORG. (Verify and set your favorite exposures before the event)

1101b Proper exposure should be the key each time. Let’s enjoy the challenging part of exposure time setting with your own technique. Unlike total solar eclipse, we have pre-test chance in most of phases.

I wonder how my Promote Control works for the lunar time-lapse movie. This was an another purpose I bought this. So I’m glad I will have 2nd chance to use soon. I’m sure it still requires challenging. Now I need to carefully study what Promote Control can do for this purpose.

Anyway, it should be the fun opportunity.  To the lucky people within the eclipse territory, let’s enjoy this event!!


Orion Wide-field by BORG 90FL F4 & BORG Black Velvet Sheet

•October 26, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Sam Berrada in Canada sent me his recent gorgeous image. It looks HDR finish.

Orion HH HDR4 JPG4ss

BORG 90FL F4 + Canon 6DH

Thank you, Sam. It’s really beautiful!

An extra advantage of BORG modular design is the easy access to the inside of each component. That is great help for maintaining your equipment in the original condition or in even further better.

Take a look into your BORG optical train. If your scope’s tube inside is shining, you can do something better.

BORG 5020 – 2 sheets of velvet sheets. This is the industrial grade resin-base velvet sheet, not a flimsy homework paper!! With this or without, the image contrast is so different. If your tube has no black velvet inside, I highly recommend putting it. You will see the obvious image improvement.




SS-Mount – Expedition & Controller – KODO

•October 24, 2017 • Leave a Comment

The mount – Expedition (prototype) has been ready for the field test now.


And Here is Tak EM/KODO® system. The calibration correction curves show the quick RA/DEC movement responses. Looking very good. As EM200 owner, I don’t think the original EM200 doesn’t do such a quick response.

Eyepiece Advice Wanted & More SS-one Project

•October 17, 2017 • Leave a Comment

A new customer who is interested in 71FL BINO system is asking me the suitable wide-field eyepieces for 71FL F5.6 native optics. If someone knows the good-match eyepieces with 71FL or generally with BORG, give me your advice please. Personally I’m curious of that too although I’m not a big fan for the wide-field viewing. It’s 1.25″ and eyepiece body OD must be less than 60mm.



SS-one project is further more expanding. Now we are preparing for modifying the old EM10 and EM200 (non-GOTO version) mounts. The concept is to modernize those out-of-dated mounts while maintaining Takahashi-proprietary super solid body and mechanical performance.

Features are

  • replacing original old-fashioned geared motors with premium quality hybrid type
  • more torque, quieter, smoother and quicker response.
  • Built-in electric polar camera as standard
  • All controlled by a single device, SS-one controller – KODO©, without PC



I plan to go to Japan end of next month. So I reserved one EM10 already and will bring SS-one converted EM10 with me after having technical training at Nakazawa san’s work-shop.

SS-one KODO is a really smart controller (actually Nakazawa san as a dveloper is so clever though). The controller allows to be numerically set based on each mount’s gear ratio and motor step etc. This is an another wonderful feature in the controller.



AOK Swiss BINO Platform Family & CANON 6D

•October 16, 2017 • Leave a Comment

BINO platform is one of key devices to make the binoscope project successful. Following are current AOK BINO platform lineup. Each slightly different mechanical design. But the collimation method is basically all same. AOK-proprietary easy and solid collimation design is really comfortable and practical.

BB-160 : This is a big brother for large scopes more than 4″ or 5″.


BB-140 : Smaller version & basically designed for Meade LX-90 mount. Swiss-made bearing achieves very smooth inter-pupillary adjustment. BB-140 still handles BORG 107FL BINO, which I’m planning to build up for planetary viewing near future.



BB-140 with LX-90 swing bracket



And here is the complete setup with 90FL bino.



My story of 2017 total eclipse with 90FL BINO

BB-130 : This is basically similar shape to BB-160 except the size. A picture shows my recent 71FL setup.


I replaced AOK original Vixen-compatible dovetail plate with BORG-made Arca Swiss plate. Very compact setup. But if you are looking for the ultimate BINO system, I highly recommend the double fork mount. Steadiness is no comparison between double and single fork. For high-power planetary viewing, the double fork mount is clearly winner and gives us stress-free binoscope viewing at 200x – 300x power.

Without AOK platform, reliable and enjoyable binoscope viewing is not achievable. So this is a kind of must-item for the success. Great works, Beat.


Canon 6D is a really long-run model unlike others.

6d-pkgYes, as one of long-time 6D users, I agree it is really good camera. So I’m sure there are many 6D users for astro photography these days.  According to Canon USA recently, it is not produced at the factory any more. So now only available from the inventory of each regional Canon office. No surprise because of 6D Mark II’s coming up. But I’m not still sure how 6D Mark II performs under low light condition. So I’m currently in wait-n-see mode. In my personal opinion, 6D is not obsolete for astro photography purpose. So if someone are interested in full frame sensor camera and the tilt-screen is not a big factor for you, don’t miss getting an original 6D from final inventory.



M33 thru 107FL & New 71FL user’s 1st light

•October 15, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Windy and terrible seeing last night. I pointed at one target and gave up the next try.



BORG 107FL F6 + Cooled Canon 6D + IDAS HEUIBII & LPS-V4

Poor guiding and probably it wasn’t focused completely. So I feel the image was not as sharp as expected. It was very hard to focus because stars were jumping around. It was guess work. Anyway, this is only one I got. Mixed image thru HEUIBII and LPS-V4 filters. And as usual, no dark/flat applied as a lazy BORG astronomer, which is my ultimate goal as my hobby style – “don’t take time and don’t go deep for imaging processing”.

LPS-V4 is a nebula filter. So generally I don’t recommend customers using it for galaxies. But these days I’m more aggressively using it for galaxies since I hope the filter enhances HII regions. So for me, the combination of HEUIBII(in case of a modified camera) and LPS-V4 looks the best for galaxies (containing HII) in my personal standpoint. Exposure time thru LPS-V4 might be a bit too short last night. As always, HEUIBII creates the perfect color balance without touching under the sky I go.


And followings are 1st shots taken by John Ottesen who recently took BORG 71FL F4.

Image data from John – I used the IDAS D-1 filter, modified Hutech/Canon (APS) DSLR, ISO-200, with FL71 at F/4 configuration. Two 25 min. exposures were taken for the heart nebula, and three 20 minute exposures where stacked for the North American nebula.

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