The StarSplitter is a Revolutionary Video Finderscope
Sometimes the hardest thing about astronomy is struggling with your equipment. Anything you can do to make your equipment run better and get observing faster makes astronomy more fun. Upgrading your telescope's finderscope to a video finderscope powered by the StarSplitter Video Astronomy Solution is a simple way to improve your observing experience.
Just attach the StarSplitter Video Astronomy Solution to the piggyback guidescope or finderscope on your telescope and you'll be able to see where your telescope is pointing without having to squint through an eyepiece. If your finderscope has enough backfocus, you can attach the StarSplitter with video camera on one port and an eyepiece on the other. If backfocus is limited, you can attach just the video camera without the StarSplitter.
Your big telescope probably has a small field of view. You could be just a little off in pointing and not see the object you’re looking for. With a StarSplitter Video Astronomy Solution mounted on your finderscope, the video camera allows you to see a wide field of view and will show deep-sky objects in real time. When properly co-aligned with your main scope, the StarSplitter enabled video finderscope will show a view of the sky a few degrees around where your main scope is pointed. If your main telescope is pointed a little off target, you can quickly see this and get pointed back at your object by using a StarSplitter enabled video finderscope.
When aligning a telescope, it is useful to have a wide field of view image through an eyepiece for rough alignment. But, to precisely center an object through an eyepiece can be difficult. Using a video camera to accurately place an object at the precise center of the screen is easier, allowing for more accurate alignment of your telescope.
You can also use the Starsplitter Video Astronomy Solution with a piggyback guidescope. It'll work in much the same way as with a finderscope, except you can also have an autoguider camera attached at the same time. This makes it easy to find a suitable guide star for long duration astrophotography. The video camera can see fainter stars than your eye, but it is easier to operate than a guide camera. The video camera aids in pointing the telescope and finding a guide star, and then you work with your autoguider to guide a long-duration exposure.
Testing shows that the benefits of using a StarSplitter enabled finderscope or guidescope are profound. You'll spend more time observing and less time hunting for objects. It becomes a cinch to line up objects in your telescope. It's even appealing in its own right to watch the video feed from just your finderscope or guidescope.
Demo of StarSplitter Video Astronomy Solution through a 50mm finderscope.
An ideal arrangement for the StarSplitter Video Astronomy Solution is on a Short-Tube 80mm scope. The StarSplitter's video camera shows live video of where you are pointing. The second port can be used for an eyepiece, as shown here. You could also substitute the eyepiece for an autoguider camera and have an autoguider and finderscope all-in-one.
Using a StarSplitter with a finderscope for improved locating and centering of astronomical objects in your telescope.