First look: Backyard Observatories, FAR Laboratories, and more at NEAF

Backyard Observatories new m1 OASYS controls your roll-off-roof observatory from anywhere.
S&T: Sean Walker
Virtually every vendor had something new to display at the Northeast Astronomy Forum , but some little gadgets might have been overlooked by some.

One of the most interesting accessories for roll-off roof observatories made its debut at the Backyard Observatories display: m1 OASYS, an impressive combination web interface security system that can control your observatory from anywhere with an Internet connection, including your cell phone. More information can be found here.

FAR Laboratories new Look Here Device helps beginners at public star parties.
S&T: Richard Tresch Fienberg

Ever had trouble directing first-time observers to the eyepiece of your telescope at a star party? So has Alan Rifkin of FAR Laboratories, which led to an innovative gadget he dubbed the Look Here Device (LHD). It's a small ring of red LED lights that wraps around an eyepiece. The tool has push-button controls that easily guide observers where they should look. Other nifty accessories from FAR Labs were the Helio Pod solar finder, a red illuminated computer keyboard, and a number of innovative telescope mounts.

The AstroTrac TT320 promises equatorial tracking in a compact package.
S&T: Richard Tresch Fienberg

A new portable tracking platform for small telescopes and digital cameras made its US debut at NEAF — the AstroTrac TT320. This little drive attaches to your photo tripod to deliver up to 2 hours of celestial tracking at a time — perfect for astrophotography on the go, or airline travel with small telescopes.

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