We recently wrote about the Celestron NexYZ – an unboxing and a quick look. You can read that blog here. In this blog we’ll take a closer look at this useful imaging accessory as over the next few weeks – *if* skies are clear – we’ll see what sort of results you can get with it to take images of the Moon, Sun (with suitable safety equipment) – and Jupiter and Saturn too!
Also these adaptors are also included for FREE with Celestron CPC SCT and selected AVX and NexStar telescopes until 22nd July 2019! More information can be found here.
So lets start with the front of the NexYZ – that is the side of the adaptor where you will attach your smartphone to.
At the top is the adaptor’s eyepiece clamp “jaws” that will allow it to be attached to 1.25″ or 2″ eyepieces between 35mm to 60mm in diameter. There are two (supplied) ribbed adaptor rings that will also allow the NexYZ to attach to smaller diameter eyepieces (e.g. on spotting scope or binoculars) down to ~25mm/1″. The inside of the lower (fixed) clamping jaw has a rubber insert to help improve grip. The clamp is operated by pressing the lever on the right hand side inwards to open the clamp. The clamp is sprung-loaded so when the lever is released the clamp “grabs” the eyepiece. Once the eyepiece is held by the clamp, if you screw the bright orange twist-lock knob (to the left of the lever) inwards until it stops, the clamp is then locked into position, and it cannot be opened further. This twist lock knob provides a further level of clamping “security”. Having the orange knob unscrewed all the way outwards (towards the handle) allows full opening of the eyepiece clamp; If the orange knob is screwed inwards (away from the handle) it also restricts the opening size of the clamping jaws.
Below, is a Baader Hyperion eyepiece being held by the clamp and with the orange twist lock know rotated/screwed inwards to lock the clamp into position so it cannot be opened and therefore keeping the eyepiece and the NexYZ secure.
The smartphone is placed, and sits, on a rectangular shaped platform “cradle”. The base/floor of the platform has a rubber covering which not only protects the back of your device from scratches but also stops it from sliding about. To attach your smartphone you simply pull out the handle-shaped left side sprung loaded slider, insert your smartphone onto the platform (and up against the right- and bottom-side fixed holders) and then gently release the pull-out slider and the smartphone device is now securely held in position. This “quick insert/removal” facility makes swapping a smartphone device simple, easy and quick and is ideal if, for example, you are at a star party or public stargazing event and want to allow different people to attach their own phone to take images. The NexYZ can accommodate smartphone devices as large as the current Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy range.
Now lets take a look at the back of the NexYZ – and this is the part of the adaptor what makes the device simple to set up and adjust in order to allow your smartphone to take the perfect picture through your eyepiece.
The image above shows the rear of smartphone platform. There are two rotating knobs (one on top of the other) and two metal rails at right angles to each other. When the NexYZ is attached to an eyepiece in a telescope, rotating the lower knob moves the camera platform left or right (i.e. the X direction). Rotating the upper knob moves the platform up/down (i.e. Y direction). The mechanism for moving the platform in the X and Y direction (as well as the Z direction – see below) is similar to that used in a rack and pinion focuser. Below is a close-up photo of the X- and Y-direction “rack and pinion-style” gears.
Next we come to the third and final movement direction of the NexYZ adaptor – the Z direction. The photo below is a side view (from the left/pull-out clamp side) of the adaptor. Below the eyepiece clamp you can see the metal toothed (rack) rail and a black rotating knob (left of centre) which, when turned will move the smartphone platform left/right in the photo. When the NexYZ is attached to an eyepiece in a telescope, rotating this knob will actually move the platform towards/away from the eyepiece.
The photo below shows a Baader Hyperion attached to the NexYZ and we have left off a smartphone for clarity. We have also added the colour-coded arrows, laid over each of the knobs, to show the direction of the smartphone platform when the adaptor and eyepiece are attached to a telescope: Green = left/right (X) ; Red = up/down (Y) and Blue = towards/away from the eyepiece (Z).
Now we have had a closer look at the NexYZ adaptor, in a later blog we will see what sort of results we can get – so stay tuned.