In this page, I will summarize my observations with the Vaonis Stellina. I will also introduce the device in more detail.
The Vaonis Stellina is a refractor with an aperture of 80mm and a focal length of 400mm, set up on an altazimuth GoTo mount. After turning it on, the device aligns itself fully automatically. As Stellina lacks a traditional eyepiece, also focusing is done by the device. Setting an observation target and photographing is achieved using an app via Stellina’s WiFi hotspot.
The animation shows the internal stacking over 51 exposures, exemplified with M13.
February 24th 2021 Update: After a few nights of observations, the following could be said about Stellina: Its self-initialization process is mostly flawless, and only in one instance it required several attempts to do so; this, however, could have been due to a thin layer of clouds covering parts of the sky/moving through. The app, Stellinapp, worked flawlessly during that time as well. Occassionally, the app requires some processing/load time to switch between screens, which is irritating due to lack of visual feedback (on a Huawei P30).
Using Stellina in winterly conditions with slightly sub-zero temperatures didn’t seem to bother Stellina too much. However, under such conditions, the device requires a prolongued time to acclimatize, requiring several autofocussing action. This is also needed as the image quality (sharpness) is otherwise affected; the app also issues a warning in these cases. Conducting repeated autofocussing is in itself problematic only if you want to obtain the internally processed JPEG, as each autofocussing restarts the stacking process. However, if you attach an USB drive and set the app accordingly, each raw image (FITS), each JPEG, and each TIFF image is saved on the USB drive. Conveniently, on the USB drive, a folder is created for each observation session, each observed object, and within each observed object, after each autofocussing action. Before you start observing, make sure to check that in the app settings, using the full-resolution is enabled! The conclusion for now: Stellina holds up to its promises!