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Old 12-04-2015, 03:50 PM
elken2004 (Australia)
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Auto guiders

Looking for opinions. Which is the best economical auto guider to look at buying? I don't want to spend a kings ransom.
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Old 12-04-2015, 05:12 PM
LewisM
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Lodestar or SBIG St-i. Both expensive but SENSITIVE. I went from poor results with the Orion SSAG to instantly better results with Lodestar - I could even SEE the DSO I was imaging in the Lodestar guide window
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Old 12-04-2015, 05:58 PM
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the QHY5L2 and ASI120 are worth a look as well. They both have lots of small pixels and are very sensitive, so work well with shorter fl guide scopes. Both are also top notch planetary cams should you decide to go that way and both can image bright DSOs at a full 12 bits.

even the venerable QHY5 will do the guiding job well unless you want to guide at high speed.
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Old 12-04-2015, 06:13 PM
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Logieberra (Logan)
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It depends if you are guiding through a separate guide scope, or via an off axis guider. I loved my $200 Orion SSAG through a wide field refractor. Never missed a beat. I was forced to pay 3 x that for an STi when I moved to a MMOAG, as I needed more sensitivity.
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Old 12-04-2015, 07:19 PM
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I use a QHY5L-II with my Ts Oag9 and have always had a full guide screen worth of stars to pick from. Super sensitive little camera, and at half the price of the competitors.
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Old 13-04-2015, 07:26 AM
elken2004 (Australia)
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Thanks guys gives me something to chew on while i wait for my NEQ6 to arrive, i was looking at the orion. but others experiences count for a lot in making choices
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Old 13-04-2015, 08:25 AM
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Eden (Brett)
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I would suggest steering clear of the Orion SSAG and instead consider the QHY5L-II. It's considerably more sensitive and makes for a good planetary imager as well, for around the same price.
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Old 13-04-2015, 08:45 AM
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However, the new Orion Autoguider Pro is different, and uses an identical sensor to the QHY5L-II (and ASI120), the Aptina MT9M034.
http://www.telescope.com/Astrophotog...1/p/106545.uts
It is probably as good as any.
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Old 13-04-2015, 10:47 AM
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The Orion is just a rebadged Qhy, only with their own software and ascom drives. Also more expensive
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Old 13-04-2015, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Logieberra View Post
It depends if you are guiding through a separate guide scope, or via an off axis guider. I loved my $200 Orion SSAG through a wide field refractor. Never missed a beat. I was forced to pay 3 x that for an STi when I moved to a MMOAG, as I needed more sensitivity.

I think you summed it up very well. I have been using Orion's SSAG with a 50mm guide scope for the last couple of years and it always worked. Now moved to an OAG and although SSAG can guide though an OAG at 570mm focal length, but just. With an OAG a more sensitive (and also cleaner) autoguider is needed.
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Old 14-04-2015, 11:26 AM
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Perfect timing with this thread

Lodestar seems to get a good wrap, where are people getting them from?

Also how well would they team up with Orions bare bones Guide scope package:

http://www.bintel.com.au/Astrophotog...oductview.aspx


I am intending on using on an AZ-EQ6 and 200mm GSO/BINTEL F4 Newt if it makes a difference.

Thanks
jjz
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Old 14-04-2015, 12:03 PM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fajHSnru7GM
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Old 14-04-2015, 12:09 PM
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http://www.stark-labs.com/craig/reso...oundup_API.pdf
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Old 14-04-2015, 12:09 PM
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Perfect timing with this thread

Lodestar seems to get a good wrap, where are people getting them from?

Also how well would they team up with Orions bare bones Guide scope package:

http://www.bintel.com.au/Astrophotog...oductview.aspx


Joe, that's a fast short fl guide scope, so you could happily use a QHY5, QHY5L2, ASI120 etc. no need for the more expensive ones.

FWIW, I used a colour QHY5 for years (about 1/3 mono sensitivity) with an f4 guide scope and it was fine - never any trouble finding a guide star. A lodestar or QHY5L2 would have been a whole lot more sensitive, but that wouldn't have made any difference to guiding - you just need enough sensitivity to find one guidestar and anything beyond that is nugatory.

Last edited by Shiraz; 14-04-2015 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 14-04-2015, 08:53 PM
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Thumbs up

For what it is worth, I've found that the Orion Mini Autoguider Package works very well when teamed up with an AZ-EQ6 mount, a 200mm f/4 Newt and PHD2. In that configuration I have no hesitation in recommending it. It just works every time without any fuss or bother. Always finds quite a few (often many) suitable guide stars in its FOV, even through light cloud.
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Old 14-04-2015, 09:35 PM
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I recently picked up the Orion 50mm mini guidescope + a QHY5L-II mono for guiding my AZ EQ6. I run it through PHD2. Only problem I had was installing drivers for the QHY5L-II on an old Win XP laptop. On a Win 8.1 laptop it works great. Plus I've got AstroTortilla working with it too, which works fantastically to get pointed where you want.

It's the first autoguider setup I've had, so take my recommendation with a grain of salt - but it seems to work well. Certainly never have an issue finding a star. I do wonder if a longer focal length on the guidescope could help though (it's only 162 mm) - not sure.
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Old 15-04-2015, 11:42 AM
LewisM
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I had no end of trouble with the 2 QHY 5's I had trying to get Windows to recognise them (XP and 7). With the Orion SSAG, no problem at all (yet same camera!). Lodestar was TOO simple - seamless, faultless - every programme I have saw it, connected to it, used it.

So, Lodestar it will be for me when I don't use the dual chip on my SBIG (guide with the dual chip for RGB, and Lodestar for the H-a subs)
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Old 15-04-2015, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidLJ View Post
For what it is worth, I've found that the Orion Mini Autoguider Package works very well when teamed up with an AZ-EQ6 mount, a 200mm f/4 Newt and PHD2. In that configuration I have no hesitation in recommending it. It just works every time without any fuss or bother. Always finds quite a few (often many) suitable guide stars in its FOV, even through light cloud.
This. I had the Orion short tube scope from Bintel. It was cheap plastic and the front element has some weird de-lamination or something happening after a year of use. Guiding got progressivley worse.
So i went with the orion mini guider scope (without camera, already have a lodestar) and the guiding quality was significantly better.

If your going with a long FL scope, id suggest an OAG, but with a widefield device, the miniguider is hard to beat.
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Old 15-04-2015, 12:19 PM
LewisM
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I feel the short tube guidescopes are QC rejects from their el-cheapo achromat line. Hated every thing about the Orion one I had - the mini-finder guider worked 100x better!
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Old 15-04-2015, 03:26 PM
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Shiraz (Ray)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LewisM View Post
I had no end of trouble with the 2 QHY 5's I had trying to get Windows to recognise them (XP and 7). With the Orion SSAG, no problem at all (yet same camera!). Lodestar was TOO simple - seamless, faultless - every programme I have saw it, connected to it, used it.

So, Lodestar it will be for me when I don't use the dual chip on my SBIG (guide with the dual chip for RGB, and Lodestar for the H-a subs)
yes, the QHY5 driver process used to be difficult, but now it just requires one driver instal, one update instal and then plug in your camera and away you go - at least in Vista, Win7, Win8 and 8.1 pro in my experience. The ASCOM driver is also easy and is recognised by everything I have used.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LewisM View Post
I feel the short tube guidescopes are QC rejects from their el-cheapo achromat line. Hated every thing about the Orion one I had - the mini-finder guider worked 100x better!
You could be right, but the guide scope image has to be sort of just passable, not good quality at all. the main issue is likely to be mechanical stability of the focuser and dollops of araldite can help there .
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