SYRP genie mini astrotracker
In this short article I will show you that it is possible to use the Genie mini as a star tracker and also how I have equipped myself to make the most of it.
This idea was born as a consequence of the desire to be able to reconcile the passion for time lapse and that for night shots on the wide field even during long treks, where the weight of the equipment becomes an extremely impacting factor.
Although the possibility of using the Genie Mini as a star tracker has not actually been declared, I started to inquire about its technical characteristics. Right from the start I knew that surely an ad hoc laser pointer support would be needed. This did not deter me and after the last evaluations I made the purchase.
Once I got to my desk I started studying the app to find the right way of working with my final purpose. The video mode was the one for me as I needed continuous movement. After the first tests, the system seemed to guarantee a sufficiently slow movement. But would it have been correct or very rough?
The next step was to 3D model the laser support optimized to be easily mounted and to ensure correct alignment between the laser and the rotation axis of the Genie mini. Taken from the moment I also modeled a head adjustable on two axes independently so as to simplify the aiming phase of the polar star.
Thanks to the help of a friend, who allowed me to use his 3D printer, the whole set up was soon completed, and the result was above my initial expectations.
Now only the last phase was missing, the field test. Due to the lockdown for Covid-19 I was only able to perform some tests from the campaigns behind the house, but despite this the results as you can see were really encouraging confirming the possibility of using my Genie mini 2 as a star tracker.
The test was performed with a D610 and a Tamron 15-30 F2.8 (about 2kg load), reaching a shutter speed of 4 minutes.
Shooting data: 21mm, f4, ISO 200, 200 sec. On the left I shoot with the Genie mini activated, on the right I shoot with the same shot but not chased.
During the outing at the Rutor Lakes in Valle D'Aosta I was able to really test the functioning of the Genie mini 2 to try to take home some shots of the Milky Way in this incredible location. The result? I think the photos below can speak for themselves. The quality of the pursuit obtained was higher than my best expectations. The first photo was taken using the D610 paired with a Nikon 50mm f1.8, while the second with the mammoth Tamron 15-30mm f2.8.
It will be necessary to set the Genie mini in video mode with a rotation speed equal to 15 ° in one hour (or a multiple payment e.g. 60 ° in 4 hours). The shot must be controlled via the camera or an external remote control.
For anyone who has questions or wishes to purchase these components so as to use their Genie mini as a star tracker, do not hesitate to contact me.
I conclude by specifying that this motorization system can be suitable for night shots with wide angle or medium focal lengths, while the use of pushed and / or large telephoto lenses is not advisable.