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Old 17-04-2012, 06:35 PM
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Advice for a new autoguider

Im currently using a DSI II Pro camera as an auto guider for my imaging.
I also use either Nebulosity 3 or CCDSoft to gather images while guiding with PhDguide through a 72mm guidescope, however after a few scares with the DSI I'm looking to get a new guide camera just in case I'm caught short with no guider.
I find that with darks subtracted in phdguiding the DSI always finds a star to guide on and I was looking a either a Lodestar, qhy5 or fishcamp guider as a backup. What would be the pros and cons of these different guiders using my current software?
Thanks in advance for your experiences.
Allan
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  #2  
Old 17-04-2012, 06:41 PM
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Allan,

Probably the best option is to buy a Lodestar and swap it for my DSI II pro so you have a backup DSI. That way you won't have to install new drivers. I don't mind suffering with the Lodestar to make you happy.
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Old 17-04-2012, 06:49 PM
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Very impressed with my lodestar.

Reasonly certain it would relegate your DSI to being the spare.

DT
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Old 17-04-2012, 07:17 PM
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SBIG STi is a good choice. Comes with CCDsoft so no problems.

Mark

Last edited by marki; 17-04-2012 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 17-04-2012, 07:24 PM
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SkyViking (Rolf)
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I got a Lodestar with my new QSI683 and must say it has been formidable so far. It is very sensitive and easy to work with. I have so far not come across a field where I could not easily guide using 0.5s exposures.
But in saying that, it is the only guider I have ever worked with, so I can't really compare.
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Old 17-04-2012, 07:43 PM
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Sbig STi

Has benefit of shutter to take autodarks.
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Old 17-04-2012, 09:46 PM
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Best current autoguiders as far as I can tell are ST402ME (super sensitive, cooled but a tad heavy and larger than the others, also expensive)

then Lodestar (which can have quality issues)

SBIG STi - has a shutter so you can do autodarks which in an uncooled camera is a definite advantage so the software doesn't confuse a hot pixel or an artifact for a guide star.

Greg.
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Old 17-04-2012, 10:24 PM
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I've never struggled finding a guide star with the QHY5 either. Small, light, and cheap option.
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Old 17-04-2012, 10:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregbradley View Post
Best current autoguiders as far as I can tell are ST402ME (super sensitive, cooled but a tad heavy and larger than the others, also expensive)

then Lodestar (which can have quality issues)

SBIG STi - has a shutter so you can do autodarks which in an uncooled camera is a definite advantage so the software doesn't confuse a hot pixel or an artifact for a guide star.

Greg.
Greg
Did you purchase YOur Lodestars in Australia or from O/S?
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Old 17-04-2012, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troypiggo View Post
I've never struggled finding a guide star with the QHY5 either. Small, light, and cheap option.
Troy
With the QSI583wsg did you have trouble fitting it to the guider port and what connection does the qhy5 need for the QSI?
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Old 17-04-2012, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allan gould View Post
Troy
With the QSI583wsg did you have trouble fitting it to the guider port and what connection does the qhy5 need for the QSI?
I don't have the wsg, just ws. I have a finder guider for the refractor and ST80 for longer focal length 10". I've read that for the wsg you might need to get a small clear Perspex disc to put on the end of the guide can to get it to focus in some instances. It's to do with the guide cam's backfocus. So you might want to check that out. Qsi yahoo group will know. I think you can get the clear disk from Qsi direct?
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Old 17-04-2012, 11:21 PM
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Allan,

I'm another happy Lodestar user. With Maxim and its propensity to guide on hot pixels you really need to use darks, but otherwise I've had no issues. There's a review of a bunch of guiders including the Lodestar here: http://www.stark-labs.com/craig/arti...oundup_API.pdf

Cheers,
Rick.
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Old 18-04-2012, 10:26 AM
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I replaced my QHY5 with a lodestar, for OAG use, the QHY5 wasn't sensitive enough.
If you ever want to borrow the Lodestar and give it a go, just drop me a PM.
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Old 18-04-2012, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allan gould View Post
Greg
Did you purchase YOur Lodestars in Australia or from O/S?

OPT.

I then sent it to Terry and he sent me a replacement which was worse than the original (has a white line down the left side which the original did not have).

The horizontal white line at the top of the image disappears when I use it with the new 64 bit driver on my Win 7 laptop. So it would seem the driver needs an update and fixup.

Greg.
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Old 18-04-2012, 04:03 PM
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The lodestar is more sensitive but costs a pretty penny. The QHY5 is ok for standard guiding 1-2s. The lodestar is more suited for higher frame rate for AO and faster corrections. Depends on your budget and what you are after. I've got both but TBH I use almost always the QHY5 and PHD.
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Old 18-04-2012, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by multiweb View Post
The lodestar is more sensitive but costs a pretty penny. The QHY5 is ok for standard guiding 1-2s. The lodestar is more suited for higher frame rate for AO and faster corrections. Depends on your budget and what you are after. I've got both but TBH I use almost always the QHY5 and PHD.

ST402ME seems quite a lot more sensitive than Lodestar (30-40%?) plus cooled it does not have hot pixels and no need for autodarks.

Its a bit heavier and bulkier but not too bad. But of course it is more expensive than a Lodestar.

Greg.
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Old 18-04-2012, 05:43 PM
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The QSI WSG may or may not need an acrylic disc to achieve focus with a QHY5/SSAG - depends on the thickness of your case (they do vary and this affects the distance between the front of the camera and the imaging plane).

The QHY5/SSAG require a T-thread adapter on the WSG body of the QSI, where as the Lodestar requires a C-mount adapter.

DT
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Old 19-04-2012, 02:11 PM
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I'd like to thank all for the sage advice and suggestions, even Peter_4059
I've decided to purchase a Lodestar autoguider as I don't use maxim but use Phdguiding and so taking darks is not a problem for me. The price was within the zone of blindness of SHMBO which was also a factor.
We are lucky that there are a number of excellent choices at hand.
Allan
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Old 19-04-2012, 04:15 PM
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I used my new STi last night. It is vastly more sensitive than the QHY guider. I still have to play with the settings but it seemed to work very well with CCDSoft.
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