The Trifid Nugget is our auto-guider camera. If you take images with an exposure time of longer than 15 to 30 seconds, you will find it necessary to continuously guide the telescope to keep the stars in position. You can guide by hand—manual guiding—but this requires that you spend all of your time squinting through an eyepiece. Or you can buy the Trifid Nugget. The Nugget automatically guides your telescope to follow the stars and keeps your images pinpoint sharp.
The Trifid Nugget is a “stand-alone” auto-guider, because it does not require another camera to function. The Nugget is compatible with your Digital SLR camera or with any cooled CCD camera.
The installation and operation of the Trifid Nugget is simple. It attaches to your telescope and gathers light from the off-axis guider or the guide scope. It connects to your computer with a USB 2.0 cable, which provides both power and communications. It controls the telescope mount through the auto-guider port. During the many seconds or minutes your imaging camera has the shutter open, the Trifid Nugget is busy taking 2-5 second exposures. (Longer or shorter exposures are possible, but 2-5 seconds is typical. You choose the exposure length that best suits your target.) Each time the Nugget takes an image, it sends that image to the host computer, which calculates how far the stars have drifted since the previous image. The computer then sends a correction back to the Nugget. The Nugget closes the appropriate electronic relays for the correct length of time, which automatically guides your telescope back to the correct position, leaving you free to enjoy the time your camera is imaging. Saving You Time (to do other things) is more than our registered trademark, it is our passion.
If you have never used an auto-guider before, you will be amazed at what it will do for your images. By taking longer exposures you can capture more distant objects and fainter wisps of dust and gas. You can then process these exposures into images with more detail, clarity and depth than you have previously achieved. The sky and your imagination are the only limits to the pictures you will take.
The Nugget is a purpose-built auto-guider, so we have designed it to be small (less than 1˝” x 3˝”) and lightweight (a few ounces) so that it works in the tightest situations. The Nugget comes with the necessary software drivers for CCDSoft and MaxIm/DL, and includes an open programming interface so that you can connect it to the software package of your choice.
With all that it does and all that it includes, the Trifid Nugget would not be a great deal unless we sold it at a great price. And we do. The Trifid Nugget sells for $495. For this price, you will be thrilled with all it will do for you and your images.