Primaluce Lab's EAGLE products became very popular in the UK recently for a good reason. An Eagle is a very conventient device for those who struggle with cable management and wanted to remotely control their telescope mount, imaging camera(s), heating, guiding etc. It also brings additional benefits of a more stable system due to the use of short USB cables and there is less chances of unnoticed unplugged or loose cables in the darkness of the night. Not to mention that these devices are beautifully engineered in a straditional Italian style.
EAGLE2 combines, in one device, a powerful computer (not a miniPC!) with Windows 10 Enterprise operation system (more stable and compact version than everyday computers) with the most advanced power management system for telescopes to allow you to make astrophotography easier and quicker! Thanks to the integrated WiFi system you can control the entire telescope remotely from your smartphone, tablet or external computer (also Mac) and the special PLUS aluminum case can be connected in various ways to your telescope, guidescope or another smaller imaging telescope, always with maximum rigidity.
The new integrated EAGLE Manager software shows the connection status of devices in real time, power consumption of every device and battery life: this way you can monitor, also remotely, your telescope's status during astrophotography capture! Thanks to the innovative design protected by international patent application and Italian utility model, you won't have to use uncomfortable laptops or large batteries in the field anymore. EAGLE, much more than a computer!
Astrophotography can be complicated and, especially, to record the best pictures, control computer and various electronic devices are the key. These instruments, however, make it complicated to setup the telescope in the field (often in isolated places with low light pollution) and to use, with many cables that may accidentally disconnect off during use! More, laptop computers have a high power consumption and thus they require large and heavy batteries to be powered for all the night. EAGLE2 solves all these problems and make astrophotography easier and faster!
EAGLE has been recognized as a Hot Product 2017 by the famous american astronomy magazine Sky&Telescope!
Technical comment by Filippo: "EAGLE2 is not only a computer, it's the innovative control unit of the telescope that both controls all the instruments, parts of the photographic setup, and powers them. Thanks to the low power consumption, it's the perfect instrument for those who travel with their own telescope searching for unpolluted skies and thus now can power all their instruments even with compact and light field batteries, such as the lithium ones. But it's perfect also for the most demanding processing power applications like astrophotography automation softwares or for hi-res planetary and Moon photography with appropriate USB 3.0 cameras (so they can record high fps video in the fast SSD drive)."
WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH THE EAGLE2:
- Control any mount using the planetarium software: thanks to SkyCharts software pre-installed on every EAGLE2, gone are the days of hand-pad limitations having now a great planetarium software to move in the night sky. Get access to millions of objects, all with a lot of data and point your telescope (compatible with mounts with ASCOM drivers) where you want, just by selecting the object you see on the screen!
- Remotely control the DSLR or CCD camera: install on the EAGLE2 the software for Windows included with the camera (not included in EAGLE2) you use for astrophotography and convert it into a wireless camera! You can watch the real-time image on the device that you use to control your EAGLE2 powered telescope, save it on EAGLE2 or on a USB pen to import into the computer used to process the pictures!
- Simply setup and use autoguide: EAGLE2 comes with the PHD2Guiding software pre-installed then it allows you to start autoguiding with many different cameras and mounts! Observes the image of the guide star and the correction chart, so you can verify the tracking accuracy of your mount for your long exposures astrophotography.
- Extending functionality by installing new software: EAGLE2 uses the Windows operating system so you can expand its features in a very simple way, by installing the astronomical software you like, just like a regular computer.
- Easier to use: eliminates the need for an external computer. Since EAGLE2 connects directly to the telescope and rotates with the mount while it track the stars in the sky, the problem of cables that can detach during astrophotography sessions is overpassed. USB and power cables will not come off accidentally as EAGLE2 moves with the telescope!
- More compatible: it allows remote control via Ethernet or WiFi from any device (smartphones, tablets, computers) with any operating system (iOS, OSX, Android, Windows). It's compatible with all software for astrophotography with any telescope, CCD cameras, guide cameras and computerized mounts.
- More efficient: it manages the power for all telescope components and it reduces the size and weight of the batteries required for power up everything. For remote control EAGLE2 doesn't use VNC or similar but Remote Desktop integrated in the Enterprise licence of operative system: that's why it's faster and it doesn't need other software to be installed or set.
- More stable: it uses a Windows 10 Enterprise operative system, lighter and more stable than the one found in traditional PCs (that use Windows 10 Home or OEM with many preinstalled useless programs that make the system slower) but 100% compatible. EAGLE2 uses internal components designed also for field use and with extended temperature range.
- More portable: it is lightweight and compact, weighing only 1200 grams and it integrates seamlessly into the PLUS system. If you don't you have a PLUS element or if you use other's brand telescopes, just add our "Vixen + Losmandy PLUS dovetail clamp" to the EAGLE and connect it to the Vixen or Losmandy dovetail bar of your telescope.
Thanks to EAGLE2 you won't need an external control computer (usually a notebook) set up next to your telescope, it could be setup inside the house or in a shad or a warm room next to your observatory, a smaller and lighter battery will be sufficient and you will use less cables (in the picture, with a lithium battery). If you are out in the field, you could be inside of a tent monitoring the action remotely, whilst the Eagle does all the heavy work for you...
WHAT THE EAGLE2 EMBODIES:
- a computer running Windows 10 Enterprise, a more stable and compact version of the operating system found on most laptops. You can use Eagle with any already exists astronomy software then you will not have to learn new software but simply install in the EAGLE2 (like a normal computer) the one you already use: AstroArt, MaximDL, Nebulosity, PHD Guiding, etc. We optimized the Windows 10 Enterprise installation to have the operating system faster (EAGLE2 is ready to use in just 10 seconds after pressing the ON button) and to maintain a better stability (to avoid the tedious crashes that often happen with normal computers even during astrophotography sessions).
EAGLE2 has a motherboard with a 2.1GHz i3 dual core processor, fast 8GB memory and fast 120GB SSD hard disk, everything needed to make the system run as fast as possible. This way it's perfect also for applications in astrophotography that require high computing power. For example if you want to use astrophotography automation softwares (for example with plate solving that, analyzing an astrophotography, delivers accurately coordinates, angle of rotation and image scaling) or if you want to make high-res planetary imaging (using specialized cameras that download to your computer a video composed of many images per second), higher computing power is definitely recommended. EAGLE2 has 8 USB ports (4 x USB 3.0 and 4 x USB 2.0), Ethernet port and two mini HDMI port (so you can connect to an external monitor and use it - together with a USB mouse and keyboard - as a desktop PC, for example to process the recorded images).
- a power bridge, a more efficient way to manage all of the devices used in astronomy: you'll need a smaller field battery (or a single AC power adapter) and you will not have all the power cables from every devices to the ground. EAGLE2 has a separate 12V power that runs a current up to 16 amps: then, using a special internal board, it has 7 power out 12V ports to which you connect all the other devices. This way you can also power of your CCD camera, mount guide camera or other accessories directly from the EAGLE2 (using the special optional cables) avoiding the need for other power supply sources and reducing the number and length of cables.
All the power ports are equipped with safety screw to prevent unwanted detachment of the cables or reverse polarity. 2 power out ports with 8 Amps fuse while the other 2 power out ports have 3 Amps fuse. Eveny power out port comes with a resettable fuse that, in case of problems or overcurrents, temporarily disconnects power from the port and re-activates it when the problem is fixed. 3 power out ports allow you to set the tension from 0 to 12V and are designed for direct connection of dew heaters (without the need of external dew heater controllers) or other accessories like flat field generators.
- a WiFi control system: in order to run EAGLE2, you don't need a mouse or keyboard: you can control it through a dedicated App, connecting via WiFi from any mobile device (tablet or smartphone) with any operating system (iOS, Android or Windows Mobile) or from another computer (Windows or Mac). It also has a network port for wired control (useful for remote control in fixed observatories). Turn the EAGLE2 on, then turn on your device's WiFi connection and select the network that EAGLE2 creates. Then activate the remote control App and you will have EAGLE2 desktop on your device screen with all your software: the remote control App uses a special mode so you can use your finger on the touch screen as if it were a mouse in a simple and fast way.
For your safety each EAGLE device creates a different WiFi network from others EAGLE (with different access password). In addition, in order to wirelessly control the EAGLE you will have an access password that only you know (personally defined for every EAGLE). This way you can use different EAGLE once, for example during a StarParty. EAGLE2 also has a network port for cabled control: you can for example use it for remote control of an observatory.
- a "PLUS" compatible aluminum housing, rigid and lightweight: we designed this particular case to be incredibly rigid, such as the support dovetail bars for telescopes, and to let you directly connect to any PLUS elements maintaining a perfect system rigidity and avoiding any flexure. As for all the other PLUS elements, Eagle's housing has got more M6 threaded holes to connect the other PLUS elements, every one with at least 2 M6 screws (in order to keep the system's rigidity). For example, it can be placed between the PLUS support rings and guiding rings perfectly integrated into the telescope. Thanks to great case's rigidity, you can directly install the PLUS guide rings on the case to support, without flexures, guide telescopes up to 3 Kg. In this way you can easily transport the telescope with Eagle, guide scope and guide camera, everything already installed, greatly reducing the time it takes to prepare your setup for astrophotography!
Don't you have a PLUS element or you use other's branded telescopes? Just add our "Vixen + Losmandy PLUS dovetail clamp" to the Eagle and connect it to the Vixen or Losmandy dovetail bar of your telescope! This way you can install it where you want, keeping a perfect weights balance, a key aspect in long exposure astrophotography.
EAGLE2 can be used with all telescopes: for example it can be installed between PLUS support and guide rings (left, installed on a PrimaLuceLab AIRY APO65F telescope), installed on the PLUS dovetail bar for SC telescopes (center, connected to Celestron EdgeHD 800) or directly connected to upper bars of many telescopes (right, connected to Officina Stellare Veloce RH200 MarkII telescope). If your telescope hasn't a connection plate, you can simply add the optional PLUS dovetail clamp to connect to any Vixen+Losmandy dovetail bar.
REMOTE CONTROL WITH EAGLE Manager:
EAGLE2 comes with special "EAGLE Manager" software that, when you start EAGLE2 and with an easy and intuitive interface, shows devices connection status, power consumption of every device connected to the EAGLE2, power tension value and, if you use a battery, its expected lifetime based on its charge. Thanks to EAGLE Manager, with EAGLE2 you can:
- connect or disconnect every power out port of EAGLE2: this way you can keep the devices connected (for example, mount, CCD camera, filter wheel, etc.) and activate them remotely when you turn on the entire system. Each port shows the current consumption that can also be monitored over time.
- set power out tension of the 3 power out ports with adjustable tension: for example, you can increase or decrease the heat generated by the anti-dewing heaters that are connected to EAGLE2 without an external controller. Each port shows the current consumption that can also be monitored over time.
- connect or disconnect connection to devices connected to the 4 USB 2.0 ports: This feature is convenient in case of temporary crash of autoguide or planetary camera, which can then be reactivated without the need to go to the telescope and reconnect the cable.
- check for power in tension and battery lifetime: if you power it with a battery, a dedicated menu allows you to set the Ampere capacity of your battery and charge percentage when EAGLE2 is powered on, enabling you to check its expected lifetime.
- set WiFi connectivity: to access EAGLE2 in Access Point mode for field use (use your smartphone, tablet or external computer by connecting directly to EAGLE2 without the need of a WiFi router) or HOST mode for connecting to your existing network such as the home one.
- remotely turn on/off the entire telescope: EAGLE2 has a classic ON/OFF button for turn on/off the unit. But it is pre-set to allow the user to turn on or turn off the whole system remotely (when controlled through a network cable connection). After switching on the EAGLE2, the user can activate remotely connected devices and use the telescope. At the end of the capture, the user first turns off the various devices (camera, mount, etc.) and then EAGLE2.
Below image: Comparison of EAGLE CORE, EAGLE2 and EAGLE2 PRO with all the main specifications and the type of use they are recommended for:
EAGLE2 has been entirely designed with three-dimensional design software SolidEdge in order to offer the maximum modularity with the PLUS elements (dovetail bars, rings or dovetail clamps) and/or other brand's telescopes.
CONNECTION AND POWER CABLES
In order to make the EAGLE system more efficient, we have made special power cables for different mounts or CCD cameras. The EAGLE-compatible power cables present on one side of instrument power jack (for 12V power). On the other side they have the plug with EAGLE screw in order to prevent being disconnected accidentally from the EAGLE. We also provide certified USB cables with various lengths to customize your system according to the imaging and guide telescope you want to use . If the cable for your equipment is not present among the optional accessories, contact us and we will make it for you.
Eagle is also the perfect system to connect the SkyWatcher SynScan computerized mounts directly to EAGLE using the EQMOD compatible cables and therefore bypassing the SynScan handpad (EAGLE, using a special software, directly controls the mount without the handpad). Then we offer EQMOD USB cables that allow you to connect Skywatcher AZ-EQ6, N-EQ6, HEQ5 and EQ5 SynScan to one of the USB ports of EAGLE.
Physical external dimensions (in millimiters) of EAGLE2 with positions of the threaded holes
(M6 threaded holes s at the bottom part to connect to support rings or dovetail clamps and plates, M5 threaded holes at the top to connect to PLUS guide rings or another small telescope via a clamp and dovetail bar system).