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Old 21-02-2019, 09:41 AM
TareqPhoto (Tareq)
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Guiding, what is your take about it?

Hi again,


I feel desperate about what setup combo i should use or to get, and this sometimes lead me to many questions and sometimes i don't know how to ask, and people just answering me in more confusing way that i feel it was a mistake to ask first place.


For now i have my ST80 and 8" F5 Newt and few Canon lenses i can use for DSO imaging, i bought ZWO 60mm as a guide scope although i have this ST80, in fact i bought that ZWO 60mm guide scope to be used with ST80 when i know that ST80 is also a guide scope, now i am trying to ignore using my ST80 as my DSO imaging scope and depending more on 8" F5 once i figure out about collimation and corrector, and also Canon lenses, what should i use for guiding then?


Someone highly recommended me an autoguiding stand alone device, he said he is very happy with it and swear by it, sounds it is the solution then, but not sure if it is good for certain setup or all setup, and in the future i don't know when i am planning to buy an APO refractor scope [most likely 4" maybe], so i want to make sure what guiding path i should go with, which system, which camera, and everything, i am using PHD2 so software is done, but i still keep reading about pulse guiding too, and not sure about that autoguiding thing if it needs PHD2 or it has own software or whatever.


Last year i tried my ZWO 60mm and QHY5L-II-M camera with my ST80 setup, turned out i waste4d a lot of frames because it was misguiding or guiding didn't work properly, and i felt like i don't know how to fix it from YT videos, and i didn't wait to go out imaging when all what i will have are only short exposures which are not enough, i am not good into Plate solving, so i am trying to depend on long exposures per night, but without guiding i am barely can go up to 1-2 minutes subs at best for about 1 hour, so i know i have to add guiding into my imaging, just don't know how and with what.
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Old 21-02-2019, 10:09 AM
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I have not had my guiding working well and as a result go for 30 second to 40 second subs.
At first that was the only option but haveing produced many images via short subs I really think short subs have an advantage.
If something goes wrong a little cloud, satellite plane or UFO☺ ruins a sub you only lose 30 seconds..cloud a little more..but I find I can select the best with ease...it does take time but often I just tell Deep Sky Stacker to stack only 75%.
My last image was littered with satellites up to three in one frame...I stacked thinking it would be neat to have an image with I guess 20 lines ☺ but Deep Sky Stacker eliminated them..I guess I must have left the percentage at 75% from a previous stack. ..but I doubt if I was doing day 5 minute subs I would have a decent image as I have expect all would have had satellite trails.

As to actually guiding check out youtube...there are many great tutorials...there is one in particular that if I can find it I will post it for you...
Alex
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Old 21-02-2019, 10:15 AM
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Here is a video that I hope helps...take notes as there are a couple of things which are very important and easy to overlook.
https://youtu.be/PRY2jN3xTBQ
Alex
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Old 21-02-2019, 10:17 AM
TareqPhoto (Tareq)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xelasnave View Post
Here is a video that I hope helps...take notes as there are a couple of things which are very important and easy to overlook.
https://youtu.be/PRY2jN3xTBQ
Alex

I watched that and also part 2, and i thought it was working, but it wasn't really, so i feel like i keep this video as a reference but i still look for better options if available.
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Old 21-02-2019, 10:31 AM
TareqPhoto (Tareq)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xelasnave View Post
I have not had my guiding working well and as a result go for 30 second to 40 second subs.
At first that was the only option but haveing produced many images via short subs I really think short subs have an advantage.
If something goes wrong a little cloud, satellite plane or UFO☺ ruins a sub you only lose 30 seconds..cloud a little more..but I find I can select the best with ease...it does take time but often I just tell Deep Sky Stacker to stack only 75%.
My last image was littered with satellites up to three in one frame...I stacked thinking it would be neat to have an image with I guess 20 lines ☺ but Deep Sky Stacker eliminated them..I guess I must have left the percentage at 75% from a previous stack. ..but I doubt if I was doing day 5 minute subs I would have a decent image as I have expect all would have had satellite trails.

As to actually guiding check out youtube...there are many great tutorials...there is one in particular that if I can find it I will post it for you...
Alex

I am also trying ot depending on short exposures, but i don't know how many advantages with that over disadvantages anyway, one disadvantage is that i shoot from a light pollution area, and i do Narrowbadning, i do have one filter for 7nm Ha but my first one which i will use it back again later is 5nm, so those most likely need enough long exposures then, maybe minimum 2 minutes at best. Second thing i can think about it is that most targets here are best within 1 hour, if 2 hours then i will have few bad frames either due that target reached or passed the meridian, or they are already down into the LP dome so not good frames out, and because i am not good in plate solving yet then i am forced like to get the best data i have within 1-2 hours per night and not depending to have more data later, not with exact location of the target but can manage to bring it into the frame at least, so i was thinking maybe sometimes i want to have some long exposures of certain targets so i don't need to have so many smaller subs or need to go for multi nights.


In addition, when i look at let's say 95% of amazing mind blowing results i like for some or many targets i find out that imagers did use guiding even if they use high quality mounts and scopes, so i realize that guiding is always helping for better results, and someone in another forum answering someone else post just said that having 5 minutes is more than enough and no need to go for like 10-20 minutes subs even with high end and super dark sites, i kinda agree, many images i liked where within 5 minutes subs, and i looked at many longer subs and it wasn't so much way better anyway, some better and some not as much, so i felt it is better to be at reasonable time exposure that is not too much long and also not too much short, i found out that 2-4 are good times to play with, just in some cases i wish if i did guide my 2-3 subs as i see there is kind of trailing slightly.
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Old 21-02-2019, 11:34 AM
Jasp05 (Aaron)
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Hi Tareq,

What mount are you using? And I take it you have tried guiding but weren't getting good results?


You said you have a 60mm guide scope. This should work fine for any scope up to around 1000mm Focal length.

I don't think the guide camera is going to make too big a difference here for you. So any camera that has guiding capability should be able to guide your 80mm or 8 inch scope.


I struggled for quite some time with guiding also as it never seemed to tame the trailing enough.

Few things to double check on your setup before I'd worry about upgrading your equipment.

1: How good is your polar alignment? - Aim for less than an arc-min. Although mine is usually around the 1 arc-min or so as per PHD2 drift align tool.

2: Make sure your scope is balanced in both RA and DEC properly - I might balance the scope, sometimes I've had to adjust the counterweight on the RA to get guiding to behave even after the initial balance. (very minor tweak mind you).

3: Guiding settings - What program do you use to control guiding? Can provide some more details around this once I know what your using. If your using standalone guiders, hopefully someone else can help out as I've had no experience with using one.

4: Make sure your guide scope and imaging scope are aligned and point to the same are of sky. You ideally want the guide camera to point to a star in the field of view of the imaging scope. If the guidescope is not aligned this could cause some guiding issues also.


I think checking polar alignment and balance are the major things to do first. As Alex mentioned he can get 30-40 sec subs with no guiding on an 8 inch scope. so even with a basic guiding setup (50mm guidescope and as most beginners use a ZWO120mm guide camera) he should be able to get up to 2-5min subs quite easily. Although guiding an 8 inch scope is much more difficult than a small refractor from what I hear...

So there is no reason why your current equipment shouldn't be up to the job of guiding your scopes. It's just a matter and playing and getting things right now.

Took alot of frustrating nights for me to work out guiding as well Tareq. Almost to the point of throwing the towel in and giving up. But once I worked it out, it's the easiest thing and you wonder how you ever got it so wrong in the first place.
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Old 21-02-2019, 02:19 PM
casstony
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I don't have any guiding experience other than the MGEN II stand alone guider, but it is very easy to use. I successfully guided on the first outing using the MGEN quick start guide - that was with a Celestron AVX and I now use it on a Skywatcher AZ-EQ6.

The only disadvantage is that it's a bit pricey: https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop...otography.html
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Old 21-02-2019, 06:53 PM
TareqPhoto (Tareq)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasp05 View Post
Hi Tareq,

What mount are you using? And I take it you have tried guiding but weren't getting good results?


You said you have a 60mm guide scope. This should work fine for any scope up to around 1000mm Focal length.

I don't think the guide camera is going to make too big a difference here for you. So any camera that has guiding capability should be able to guide your 80mm or 8 inch scope.


I struggled for quite some time with guiding also as it never seemed to tame the trailing enough.

Few things to double check on your setup before I'd worry about upgrading your equipment.

1: How good is your polar alignment? - Aim for less than an arc-min. Although mine is usually around the 1 arc-min or so as per PHD2 drift align tool.

2: Make sure your scope is balanced in both RA and DEC properly - I might balance the scope, sometimes I've had to adjust the counterweight on the RA to get guiding to behave even after the initial balance. (very minor tweak mind you).

3: Guiding settings - What program do you use to control guiding? Can provide some more details around this once I know what your using. If your using standalone guiders, hopefully someone else can help out as I've had no experience with using one.

4: Make sure your guide scope and imaging scope are aligned and point to the same are of sky. You ideally want the guide camera to point to a star in the field of view of the imaging scope. If the guidescope is not aligned this could cause some guiding issues also.


I think checking polar alignment and balance are the major things to do first. As Alex mentioned he can get 30-40 sec subs with no guiding on an 8 inch scope. so even with a basic guiding setup (50mm guidescope and as most beginners use a ZWO120mm guide camera) he should be able to get up to 2-5min subs quite easily. Although guiding an 8 inch scope is much more difficult than a small refractor from what I hear...

So there is no reason why your current equipment shouldn't be up to the job of guiding your scopes. It's just a matter and playing and getting things right now.

Took alot of frustrating nights for me to work out guiding as well Tareq. Almost to the point of throwing the towel in and giving up. But once I worked it out, it's the easiest thing and you wonder how you ever got it so wrong in the first place.

Hi [i don't know your name],


Your post is spot on.


Well, i don't know what to say, but let's say i didn't try to make guiding too much accurate many nights, i just followed the videos i watched and tried it with the values of my setup and i thought it will work just right away, if not then i wasn't interested to start over or try to find out, but i am sure my current setup is able to do guiding just fine because i saw many images with similar or even less setup and they are doing fine, it is just i feel if this setup is needed a lot of work or taking long time every time then i better choose another setup which make it easier, it is exactly same as using a polar scope for PA or using a Polemaster which i have, this Polemaster is always making the job easier and faster, i won't say the best accurate but accurate enough, and there is also drift aligning method but taking much longer time, so i was thinking the same in guiding, i got a recommendation about autoguiding because it is making things easier, and trying to make my current setup to work doesn't mean i will never think about upgrading, in fact even if i upgrade before i try again with my current setup it will be a big help than it is as a waste, but until that time coming i can try again with my current setup.


I am sure that polar alignment and balancing are the main or major issues here, i said i use Polemaster so almost polar alignment is done, it is only balancing, and i admit or have to confess that until now i have issues to balance my setup right either with lightweight gear or heavy one, most of the time when i see that i can't make it right on time like for example one hour before the night then i just leave it as it is at best what i can do, and i managed to get up to 2 minutes subs sometimes but not for long time, LRGB are fine for up to 60sec, it is just my NB filters that sometimes i need longer than 2minutes, i tested my PA unguided with lightweight setup, some nights i was able to get up to 3 minutes, if i tried 4 then it is very slight trailing which means it is not good, even with 3 minutes after few minutes or nearly half an hour i feel it lost good PA suddenly and then trailing back, but if i managed to get up to 2-3 unguided even as starting it means i was fine, just maybe balancing or flexture had effect afterwards.


I asked about guiding because i was thinking if i will stuck with let's say 2-5 minutes then guiding will solve it even if it is not good, after all this is what guiding for, i don't suppose to make my setup great for 3-5 minutes unguided so in this case i won't use guiding at all, but if i got problems with 2-5 min unguided then i thought adding guiding will fix this problem immediately, but i am not sure if i have bad PA or bad balancing will this affect about the accuracy or effectiveness of guiding too?


I think maybe i didn't align my guide scope with my main imaging scope, but i am sure they are both pointed to the same view, i am talking with 80mm, and 60mm guide scope, so they both have enough wide view after all, it is funny that if i make them at best to the same direction but then they aren't seeing the same view completely it is like i pointed each other completely different, but it is good to make sure about it, and that is why i bought side by side dovetail so i can use one side for imaging and the other for guiding to make sure both are exactly same direction.



My mount is SW AZ-EQ6.
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Old 21-02-2019, 06:55 PM
TareqPhoto (Tareq)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casstony View Post
I don't have any guiding experience other than the MGEN II stand alone guider, but it is very easy to use. I successfully guided on the first outing using the MGEN quick start guide - that was with a Celestron AVX and I now use it on a Skywatcher AZ-EQ6.

The only disadvantage is that it's a bit pricey: https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop...otography.html

That is exactly the one that person told me or recommended it highly for me, doesn't matter about the price, i can afford it one day later in fact, good you mentioned it, so i wanted to go with it over my current setup which is guide scope and camera, and you are now another person confirming about it good enough, so it is either i just wait and try harder to make my setup working fine, or just ignore my current setup and go right away with MGEN II and never look back.
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Old 22-02-2019, 10:00 AM
casstony
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If money isn't an issue Tareq, you could buy the MGEN and be guiding on the first night after it arrives. I haven't seen any bad reports on the MGEN.

I've attached an old picture of my first imaging setup. The MGEN camera is attached to a Skywatcher 50mm finderscope using an adapter that can be ordered at the time of purchase.
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Old 23-02-2019, 12:38 AM
TareqPhoto (Tareq)
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Originally Posted by casstony View Post
If money isn't an issue Tareq, you could buy the MGEN and be guiding on the first night after it arrives. I haven't seen any bad reports on the MGEN.

I've attached an old picture of my first imaging setup. The MGEN camera is attached to a Skywatcher 50mm finderscope using an adapter that can be ordered at the time of purchase.

Well, there is nothing as cheap route for best results anyway, and we all hear and read that "What get what we pay for", so i don't mind getting this MGEN if it will do the job flawlessly, after all i don't like to deal with toooo many issues at once to solve them all together or even one by one, so i prefer to solve the guiding issue at easiest way i can, if that MGEN can be that then great, i solved the polar alignment problem by buying a Polemaster, in fact i have 2 and one i will sell it hopefully any time soon as a brand new [still in the box unopened] locally and then i buy something else with its price, so with PA solved and hopefully this guiding too if i got MGEN then i can manage another minor issues later and less stressful.


Not sure which adapter you are talking about?!!!


I want to ask an additional question, i bought QHY5L-II-M as my guiding camera in the past, because affordable, but because i do planetary i bought more cameras, including 290mm and 174mm, now should i use one of those instead of QHY5L or i just stay with QHY camera and keep ZWO mono for planetary only? i know i can use them all for guiding, it is just i don't want to keep swapping or use one camera for everything or many tasks that may affect its quality and durability maybe, it is more about which one can do the job better that's all.
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Old 23-02-2019, 10:21 AM
casstony
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This adapter is used to fit the guide camera head to a Skywatcher straight through finder scope: https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop...er-scopes.html

You can also buy other adapters listed on the main MGEN page such as T2 to 1.25 nosepiece to use on an existing guidescope.

I like using the Skywatcher finderscope since it's light and easily transferred between different telescopes.
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Old 23-02-2019, 10:58 PM
TareqPhoto (Tareq)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casstony View Post
This adapter is used to fit the guide camera head to a Skywatcher straight through finder scope: https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop...er-scopes.html

You can also buy other adapters listed on the main MGEN page such as T2 to 1.25 nosepiece to use on an existing guidescope.

I like using the Skywatcher finderscope since it's light and easily transferred between different telescopes.

Got it, although i have ZWO guide scope which is not heavy but i agree about the finder, i may go with this idea too, but how good it is for finding stars for guiding, and is it aligned with main scope, because in every image i like on different sites i see people never use finders, they use either a guide scope bigger than finder or OAG, there is a reason for that, even if they use heavy imaging scopes.


Thank you very much
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Old 24-02-2019, 10:44 AM
casstony
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I can't give a comparison between a finderscope vs larger scope for guiding as I have only ever used the finderscope. I've also only regularly guided focal lengths up to 640mm.

Everything works with ease using my TS115/800 and reducer though I'm sure more care would be needed with long focal lengths.

My finder/guide scope only needs to be approximately in line with the main scope and the polar alignment routine built into the mount is plenty accurate for my needs.

I did shift the finder scope into a more rigid mount, though I never had any issues with the first setup.
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Old 25-02-2019, 10:47 PM
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Guide scopes are a little old fashioned really. They are prone to differential flexure when either of the scopes flexes differently to the other causing elongated stars.

OAG are the modern solution. There are several these days and several cameras now have them built in like QSI and QHY and Atik.

If you do use a guide scope I would go longer than a finder ideally. I suppose you can get away with it if the guide camera has small pixels but ideally it should be longer and very rigid.

If its too long then it can be harder to find a guide star but at 500-600mm that shouldn't be a problem anyway.

I also find the SBIG STi guide camera the best I have used as it can do autodarks. Some guide cameras have artifacts that are hard to dark subtract out as you then need a library dark that the software will use to auto dark the image and some softwares don't have that facility. The STi has a shutter which means it does one automatically when set to do autodark on its first exposure.

Try to get rid of guide scopes from your setup.

Also try to work towards using software to get your polar alignment really spot on. The Sky X and TPoint works incredibly well for that. Its a bit to master it but once you know it you can get perfect Polar Alignment in less than half an hour.

There goes most of your tracking problems.

Greg.
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