Pegasus Falcon Rotator review

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menardre
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:09 pm

Pegasus Falcon Rotator review

Unread post by menardre »

I do not see any reviews in this forum, so I thought that I would start one.

I recently bought a Pegasus Falcon rotator. The reason for me doing this is to assist with astrophotography. I have a 5 inch refractor (Stellarvue SVX130) mounted on a iOptron CEM120 mount. I use Sequence Generator Pro (SGP) for all of my astrophotography. It controls the mount, focuser, camera, rotator, autoguider, etc. It also can control the Pegasus Falcon rotator.
Why use a rotator?
There are several nebulae that are large enough that orientation of the camera is important to capture the entire nebula. There are also times when you may want to capture multiple objects, say the Leo Triplet of galaxies, and again orientation of the camera is important. That is where the rotator comes in. Using the platesolving tool in SGP, you simply select the object that you want (say M66 - part of the Leo triplet). The platesolve then shows you the area around M66 and also shows a 'box' that conforms to the dimensions of your camera field of view. You can move the box left/right and up/down. You can also adjust the angle of the box.... this is where the rotator comes in. Once you have adjusted the position and rotation of the 'box', platesolve then takes over. When you run the session, platesolve slews the scope to the RA/DEC of the object, then takes an image. It compares the image taken with the image stored in memory determines the error in RA and DEC pixels as well as the angle error. It then commands the mount and rotator to compensate for the error and takes another picture. This happens until the error is less than the stipulated amount (I use 50 pixels and 3 degrees). For me this usually only takes 1 or 2 re-tries. And then SGP takes images ..... if you do a meridian flip the same process takes place, but upside-down. I previously did this same process using a manual rotator. This worked OK but took a lot more attempts (SGP tells you the error and which direction - you then loosen a set screw, manually adjust the angle by what you think is the correct angle - then tighten the set screw). Then you tell SGP to continue and another round of platesolving, manual orientation occurs until the error meets the minimum (for me usually 4 or 5 attempts).

So how does the rotator work..in a word flawlessly. You simply install the Falcon software and the Falcon ASCOM driver. Then go to SGP and select the Falcon rotator in the hardware selection tab. SGP takes care of the rest. You can also adjust the rotator angle directly using the Falcon software. I generally try set the angle to '0' with the camera set so the wide portion of the frame is perpendicular to the scope, but I do not think this is necessary.

I think the highest praise you can give a product like this is when you can say you do not have to think about it, it just works.

The Falcon rotator is not cheap... $626. The rotator itself has M54 female threads on both sides. It comes with a M54 male to M48 male adaptor to connect to your camera and a M54 male to 2 in nosepiece. I do not like to use the 2 in nosepiece so instead I bought a M54 male to M48 female to connect directly to my scope. It also comes with a 12VDC power cable with cigarette lighter connection. I replaced this with a standard 12VDC power cable (2.1mm) connected directly to my scope. It requires about 1 amp. It weighs 700 grams (or about 1.54 pounds) and does add about 18mm backfocus.

This is now the standard configuration when I am imaging with the SVX130, even for objects which do not require precise angle adjustment.

I hope this review is helpful.

Roger
Pegasus Falcon rotator.png
Pegasus Falcon rotator.png (233.76 KiB) Viewed 2305 times
Roger M.
Celestron CPC1100 EDGE, Stellarvue 130T refractor dual mounted on iOptron CEM120 on permanent pier mounted in Observatory. Imaging camera ZWO ASI2600 OSC, guide camera Lodestar or ZWO ASI290MM.
Bruce D
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Posts: 5510
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2003 6:10 am

Re: Pegasus Falcon Rotator review

Unread post by Bruce D »

Very cool Roger!
Bruce D
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