iOptron SkytrackerThe home-made barndoor tracker works well, but is a bit bulky to put in a suitcase.
An iOptron Skytracker came up on Astro Buy and Sell, so I snapped it up.
Here it is on a tripod and with the Canon 350D attached:
The tracker is Version2, so it has an azimuth adjustment as well as the altitude adjuster.
The altitude adjustment works via a worm and wheel arrangement and is very nice.
The azimuth has a tightening screw and when released the tracker can be rotated about the base.
I found this a bit hit and miss. When the tracker is loaded with the camera it is difficult to rotate smoothly by small amounts.
The polarfinder scope works well, although I found the illuminated reticle a little hard to see.
Two tracking speeds are available at 1x and 0.5x sidereal.
I puzzled over the 0.5x speed and can only think that it is used for shots that include landscape.
The 0.5x is a compromise to reduce blurring of the landscape.
First results are encouraging.
This is a 2 minute exposure of Orion (no darks, flats etc):
The next test was to take 13 x 60seconds shots and stack them with DeepSkyStacker:
Again, the image suffers from no use of darks and flats, and there is considerable light pollution at my site.
However, tracking was very good, and at a dark site exposures up to 5 minutes should be quite possible.
This is an enlargement of the M42 region. The nebula is quite recognizeable.
My camera lens is not good, so stars are not very good shapes.