- star clusters
Expanded what I can “see”
The RI2 allows me to see objects almost live and with color I could never see with just my eye. With my 10” LX200R I can see nebulas and star clusters clearly on the screen that were only a grey smudge at best (or not visible at all) when looking with my eye. It’s also a great way to share what you are viewing on a screen for multiple people to view at the same time. I hooked up a WiFi RCA adapter and can send the video to an iPad for friends to pass around. There are 2 negatives: 1. the settings interface. Using the wired remote to step through a bunch of screens to change a setting and then have to exit back out of each screen to get out of the settings menu gets tiring. 2. The wires connecting to the back of the camera don’t seem to have the strongest connectors inside on the circuit board. My video connector early on started getting loose and the video signal would go in / out when the cable moved around. I fixed it by making a loop of the power and video cable and zip tied it to the side of the camera. When any stress is put on the cables it keeps it off the connectors on the camera. The attached photos show what can be done with this camera. Note that these are also stacked using SharpCap. If viewing any of these “live” they are still very visible on the included monitor / screen, just not as much detail.
I have not yet been able to try my Revolution imager because my new Celestron 8" Evolution telescope has so far been backordered for over six months at OPT (my card was charged at the time of order). Supposedly this is due to the COVID situation; that's what OPT customer service has told me every time I initiate a query and write or call to enquire. I bought the R2 because I like the idea of having a display that is larger than the eyepiece and can be readily watched by my grandkids as well other groups both young and old. When the R2 was received, I was overwhelmed by the umbilical wiring harness. Hey Revolution folks, the cables are almost all "black and round". Surely there can be a better, simpler, and easier wat to connect this tangle? I suggest color coding and/or tagging the cables.
Too many "Stellar Artifacts" but Useful...
While the concept is nice, and reasonably well-integrated technically, sadly, the CCD unit delivers too many "stellar artifacts"... (A pattern of more than half a dozen stars, fixed in location, intermediate in magnitude.) As a result, of little "scientific" utility, yet still of some value for group orientation to the field of view...
Second review - Revolution Video Imager - Version R2
Still like this device. Works as advertised. Both remotes delivered with dead batteries. Please rewrite the instructions on your website. You give settings for various observing scenarios, but not explicit instructions how to get to them. Better instructions would have saved me hours of fiddling around. "Play with it until you figure it out" is not very helpful. Instructions do not seem to relate to what I see on the screen. Terminology is different, maybe left over from the previous version? I am a retired space systems developer, so not a technical newbie. A novice astronomer would have a very rough time getting this device going. Specific instructions on operation of the two remotes would be helpful. Maybe all this is covered somewhere on the Revolution website, but I could not find it. Really nice hardware with utility limited by poor documentation.
The entire package including the WiFi worked easily as a Plug-&-Play. The user interface worked as advertised. I attached to a C11 at f/10 and f/2 (HyperStar) and to a 80mm f/7 refractor. All three OTA configurations showed stars. But not able to see LIVE galaxies or bright nebula. Advertisements on the manufactures web site showed images of deep sky objects. I suppose my expectations were to high for this product at this price point.
Planetary Video Imager
Once I figured out the cabling puzzle, and running through the menu multiple times, the imager performed well. It is connected to an 80mm refractor and with the help of a 2x barlow, gives a reasonable image size.