View Full Version here: : piggybacking ED80 with ST80 autoguider
15-07-2012, 09:25 PM
I am interested in hearing from people's experience of piggybacking an Orion ST80 autoguider on their ED80. I am currently attempting to set this up as shown on this photo of the setup (http://www.astrophotography-tonight.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/astrophotography-gear.jpg)
Looking at his comments section, Ray mentioned that he used the Vixen Doveplate adapter from ADM (http://www.admaccessories.com/V_Series_Dovetail_Adapter.htm) to connect the ED80 with the ST80 guidescope.
The ED80 I have comes with standard Vixen dovetail, so it can be fitted straight on to the EQ6 mount. So I wont be needing the bottom adatpers.
Has anyone has a similar or alternative set up?
15-07-2012, 09:37 PM
That's pretty close to the set up I'm working towards with my NG 127ED on an NEQ6 mount. Have just upgraded the focuser with a Moonlite. Still have to buy the Camera (looking at the Canon 650D) and the guide scope (Orion ST80mm with Starshoot).
So am also interested in any comments or suggestions.
Hope you are able to get it all set up and working.
16-07-2012, 12:50 PM
I used to use an ED80 with ST80 piggyback. Ill list what i used.
1x Vixen bar to mount ED80 to HEQ5 (such as: http://www.bintel.com.au/Accessories/Dovetail-Plates---Adapters/Losmandy-Vixen-Short-Universal-Plate/621/productview.aspx ). You already have one of these.
1x 90mm set of rings to hold ED80 to vixen bar ( such as: http://astroshop.com.au/products/details.asp?id=MAS-023A ). Not sure if you have rings or not. If your ED80 doesn't have rings, suggest you get some.
1x Vixen bar to mount ST80 to ED80 (such as: http://www.bintel.com.au/Accessories/Dovetail-Plates---Adapters/Losmandy-Vixen-Short-Universal-Plate/621/productview.aspx ). You won't have this, you will need one.
1x 105mm set of rings for the ST80 guidescope ( such as: http://www.bintel.com.au/Accessories/Rings/Orion-Guide-Scope-br--Rings-105mm-ID/1053/productview.aspx ). You can probably just used another set of the 90mm rings above, not sure if the ST80 is 90mm in diameter though.
And thats it. Bintel used to sell an ST80 guiding set, which included the ST80, rings and vixen bar. My ED80 though did not come with rings, but an L bar to mount it to the mount. It worked but i had no way of attaching a guidescope to the setup, so i had to get rings.
The Vixen doveplate adapters... i have no idea why he is using them. Maybe his vixen bar doesn't have screw holes? Not sure.
If you take a look at the vixen bar i linked above, and zoom in, you will see that some of the holes have screw threads. That is how i hold mine onto the scope. I did however have to drill a hole or two in my second vixen bar due to size contraints of my ED80 (it was a short tube) as i had limited space to mount it.
If you want i can try taking some photos when i get home to show the setup.
I now use an ED127 with ED80 as my guidescope.
Not sure what version your ED80 is, but mine came with rings and a sort of "handle" (on top of the rings).
I mounted by ED80 directly to that by simply screwing the rings into it (there should be a long gap in the handle).
Just make sure you screw it up tight to help prevent flexure.
16-07-2012, 01:34 PM
Both the ED80 and the ST80 guidescope came with standard rings and Vixen dovetails. The problem I have is the thickness of the dovetail.
I can get the drill holes aligned and can even get a screw to go from the top of the rings of the ED80, through the dovetail of the ST80 and -just- into the rings of the ST80, but then it doesn't go all the way into the rings of the ST80 because it's too short (dovetail too thick).
Can you post a photo of the setup?
The ADM adapters will work because the screws from the ED80 rings will secure the adapters (which are thinner than the thickness of the Vixen dovetail of the ST80). Then the clamps from the adapters hold the ST80 securely by its dovetail.
16-07-2012, 06:07 PM
Yep, mine has the long handle suitable for mounting. Bintel is selling the Orion ST80mm autoguide "awesome" package with mounting bar, rings and all necessary software.
17-07-2012, 01:08 PM
I sort of have the same problem, but with my ED80. The screws that hold the rings in place are pretty short. They do thread into the rings -just- and that is how i have been using it.
Ill try and post a picture of it tonight.
I was concerned at the stability of this, but so far it has been perfectly fine. I just make sure i tighten the screws up as tight as i can get them to prevent it coming loose.
Sure, when i get home tonight ill take a few photos.
That will work, but it's another item with cost. How far in do the screws go? Do they hold at all, or not even close?
The other option is just to buy two more bolts of longer length. I am not sure of the thread size of these bolts though.
17-07-2012, 08:22 PM
Bo, this is the screw length i had with my ED80:
(once you screw it in, it goes a bit further in but doesn't protrude through).
This worked fine.
Also uploaded some other photos.
The complete system (ED80 with ST80 piggyback) and the ED127 with ST80, as well as the mount rings without scopes.
Didn't have a photo of the ED80 + ST80 together sadly.
18-07-2012, 09:28 AM
Looking at your first photo closely, I think my problem is my shorter dovetail is too short. As a result, there are not enough drill holes for me to offset the mounting of the ST 80 from the ED 80 like you did.
So aside from the ADM adapters, I could also try for a longer length dovetail, which will give me more drill holes to play with.
18-07-2012, 10:14 AM
Nice setup you guy's have got there ... yours should come together nicely Bo.
18-07-2012, 10:40 AM
Bo I have a long dovetail sitting around, I'll drop it off when I'm in town next if you like
18-07-2012, 10:54 AM
Thanks Daniel, a wonderful offer :thumbsup:
I placed an ad on CN and one guy is offering me his ADM adapters that I am after. Should that not go ahead, I will email you re the long dovetail.
Thanks once more.
18-07-2012, 10:56 AM
I probably should have taken a picture of the small vixen bar.
I had to drill two holes into it to get my equipment to line up. The holes provided wern't up to the task.
A longer length vixen bar may not help you either as my long bar only has 4 holes in it. The long vixen bar came with the ST80 package when i brought it. The small one came with the HEQ5.
I couldn't use the long bar on the ST80 as it hit the dew shield of the ED80. Luckily it fit on the ED80 and the holes were alright, but as said, i had to drill 2 more holes in the smaller vixen bar to get holes that were close enough for the short tube ST80 to fit.
This is probably your best bet if you were to get another vixen bar:
Otherwise, take a drill to your current one :)
18-07-2012, 01:59 PM
Thanks for the update Nathan,
I thought about drilling holes into the shorter dovetail bar too, but decided against it as it would weaken the already short bar.
Will look into the plates a bit more.
19-07-2012, 07:52 PM
Coincidentally I'm just in the middle of considering this setup myself, the only difference and it is a big one is I'm already running a side by side setup with my 8" Meade SCT so when everything is on the mount it's going to be right on the limit weight wise.
I haven't weighed everything up yet but will most likely do that tomorrow as I plan on going to Bintel Saturday to get the st80 provided they have one in stock that is. Again will check that tomorrow.
19-07-2012, 08:27 PM
Nice set up Ken
19-07-2012, 08:51 PM
Hi Ken, are you planning to piggyback the ST80 on the ED80 and use it as a guidescope for the ED80 and SCT?
That's a good set up, but do you thinking adding the guidescope will put too much troque on the SBS plate (flexure?).
Very interested in how it will work out as that may eventually be my setup with the C8. I did piggyback my ST80 on my C8 but never tested it in AP. I still have the mounting blocks for the C8, not sure if they'd work with your
I also ordered the ADM adapters, so will post up a photo once it is all set up.
19-07-2012, 10:20 PM
Thanks Rod, :D
Yeh pretty happy with how it's all coming together and really it's just the guiding I need to improve for those not so bright areas hard to find guide stars.
The plan is to mount the ST80 piggy back on the ED80 to see how it goes, they are mounted on a Losmandy saddle plate and that seems very very solid and I think it will handle the load.:question:
If I have problems I have considered a cross brace from the SCT to the ED80 with the ST80 mounted on the cross brace if you can visualize that.
As the budget is a bit tight I'm going to try it with one of my Tucams as the guide camera for a start and see how it goes before I lash out on a better guide camera.
I'll post some picies when I get it setup as the weather seems to be giving us plenty of time to play around with these improvements :P
20-07-2012, 08:51 AM
Sounds like a good idea Ken,
By cross bracing, do you mean laying the three scopes side by side (three in a row)? That being the case, you might want to shift the SCT in the middle and have the two refractors on either side :shrug::question:
Just make sure you get a long dovetail bar with the ST 80 and that would give you more mounting options/positions.
Love to see the final set up (and result pics of the sky).
21-07-2012, 11:27 PM
Well its the curse of the new equipment as usual.
Went up to Bintel today and grabbed an Orion ST80 guide scope kit but the one minus the camera as i will try it with my Tucam for a start.
Put it together and looked at the sky before sunset and it was a fifty fifty thing, could go either way.
You guessed it utter cwap and more cwap, :mad2: couldn't even have a star long enough to get camera settings correct let alone get focus.
Anyway took it all inside and here are a couple shots of the initial setup.
This may change after testing but it looks pretty solid and it balances up well like this and the camera can swap from the ED80 to the SCT little change in balance or focus shift as it is very close either way so very little adjustment is required.
The whole setup weighs in at 18.4 Kg and balance with the standard weights on the NEQ6 Pro mount with the ext bar on and a couple of inches to spare.
21-07-2012, 11:33 PM
lol that wasn't you at bintel 12 midday Bo was it, cause some bloke was asking about it? lol or was it niko looks like you from your pic :) Ken stop taking up shop keepers time, i only wanted a eqdirect cable lol, the girl with me was Forgey BTW
Edit: my wife after being told to edit hahaha
21-07-2012, 11:46 PM
Yeh that was me alright, I was wondering who you guys might have been, sorry I didn't recognize Paula from her picture but she does have that can in her face :P will catch up some other time I guess.
21-07-2012, 11:48 PM
21-07-2012, 11:52 PM
:P:P lol Ken, I did say to hubby when we left that u did look familiar and i thought it might have been you but I wasn't sure.
21-07-2012, 11:55 PM
Yeh we should have IIS jackets to wear with our names on when we go to places like that. Would have been good to have a quick chat.
Next time hey :thumbsup:
21-07-2012, 11:59 PM
Lol will do, we have being there 3 times in near just a week. Will have to get a 2nd job soon to cover cost hahaha
22-07-2012, 03:37 PM
When fitting the ST80 piggy back to the ED80 if you bought the kit from Bintel the bolts they supply to bolt the dovetail to the top of the rings of the ED80 are too long and would go deep enough to dint the tube of the ED80.
Not what you want to happen so I just fitted a couple more washers to prevent this.
22-07-2012, 07:57 PM
I havent been to Bintel for a while now, and I took my son to the footy on sat, so it must have been my evil twin :)
Ken, I managed to set up the ST80 on top of my ED80 as you did on the photo. But the long dovetail bar that came with the ST80 prevents the ED80 focuser from being in the right place, unless I take the ED80s guidescope "foot" off.
Anyway, will see what I can do with the ADM adapters once they arrive in the post.
Cheers, Bo :thumbsup:
22-07-2012, 10:12 PM
Yes Bo had the same problem so all I did was to turn the ED80 left a little in its rings so it clears the finder foot on the focuser.
That leaves the focuser canted a little but that won't hurt I guess but it may change later as I test it out.
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