After waiting three months I received one of the first Orion StarShoot Solitare Autoguiders. The guider is intended for astrophotographers who want a stand-alone guider like the ST-4, that is, one that doesn't require a laptop. It guides any equatorial mount that has an ST-4 compatible RJ-12 input jack, and it appears to be very useful for minimizing the amout of equipment. Some Properties are: -- Lighted hand paddle, 3 cables: RJ-45 to CCD, RJ-12 to ST-4 in, Pwr. -- Low power, 100mA, 6-14 V. -- 2.5 inch graphical display on paddle, sort of menu driven. -- CCD is 1/3 inch with 6 micron pixels. Head weighs only 3.8 oz -- CCD is not cooled. Exposure is automatic, 0.001 - 2 seconds. -- Focus is visual using a parfocal short FL eyepiece, provided. -- Settable aggressiveness on both axes. -- Orion claims 1/2 pixel accuracy, or 3 um. -- About $600, made in Italy. -- Comes in a cute little snap-closure plastic lunchbox! Main findings: -- Star acquisition was easy and focus pretty good. -- Coudn't see how to manually move star after unit "Found Star". -- Automatic features make it slow, Total 5 min to Find, Exposure Adj, Calibr. drive. -- Not sure of its usensitivity relative to other products. -- Seems like a winner overall. I first tried this on a 65" FL guide scope and had startup problems, mainly my fault. My cables were screwed up, and I committed "cockpit error", not realizing that the aggressiveness was set too high. It tracked ok, but always applied maximum +/- correction because the long FL. Lynn Blackburn came over and we used the guider on his 4" f/6.5 refractor and Vixen GP mount. Setup and guiding were a snap, and very repeatable. The paddle display shows moving X & Y error vs time charts, sort of like the cardiac monitors on TV. The error scales don't seem to be calibrated. I prefer the ST-4's average pixel error readout. Finally, I haven't used it for any long exposures yet but it looks good. That probably uses up the allowable # of text lines here. BTW, my email address is changing on Sunday to: pulind@xxxxx - Paul -- See message header for info on list archives or unsubscribing, and please send personal replies to the author, not the list.