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Old 27-09-2013, 06:12 PM
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lazjen (Chris)
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Temporary Guide Camera (+ a tale of woe)

Last night I stuffed up badly and damaged my ST-i guide camera - dislodged the mini-usb port in it. I'm looking into getting it repaired. However that will definitely take time.

I had planned on doing my first ever dark site trip with all my gear next weekend, but without a guide camera I think I'm going to be quite limited in the results I'll be able to achieve.

So, I started thinking of something I could get quickly as a cheap replacement that would be Good Enough for the weekend trip.

Would a cheap webcam possibly work enough for this since I'll be at a dark site? I use an OAG so I'd probably have to jury-rig some form of connection, I'd guess. If this would work, any suggestions on suitable webcams that I could get easily in the next week (pickup)?

Any other suggestions that I should think of to get me by?

Thanks.
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Old 27-09-2013, 10:46 PM
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Sorry to hear of your woes. It's a bit pricey, but you could get a QHY5L-II kit - it even has the same eyepiece form factor as the ST-i.

Once you have your ST-i repaired, you can use the QHY as an electronic view finder or all-sky-camera using the supplied bits and pieces.

http://www.gamaelectronics.com.au/QHY5L2.html
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Old 28-09-2013, 06:48 AM
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I'm reluctant to spend a lot on another camera, but I've sent off an email asking about the availability (going for a colour one). If I can't get it by next Thursday, then the point is moot.

I saw OfficeWorks have a $20 logitech webcam that I'm thinking of grabbing today. I can try some tests in the backyard here and see if it can pick up any of the brighter stars with short exposures - on the assumption it'll pick up more at a dark site. If it fails, it's only $20. If it works, even to a limited degree, I can get some longer exposures at the dark site.
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Old 28-09-2013, 07:23 AM
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pixelsaurus (Mike)
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This guy uses a logitech for guiding.
http://nightskyinfocus.com/diyprojec...-introduction/
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Old 28-09-2013, 12:01 PM
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lazjen (Chris)
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I bit the bullet - ordered the QHY5L-II as it should arrive in time and I know it'll work as a proper autoguider.
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Old 28-09-2013, 03:31 PM
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Theo will get it to you in time if you let him know you need it then.
I'm still learning the finer points of mine, but seems to live up to specs against my old SSAG.
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Old 28-09-2013, 08:47 PM
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Yes, it's coming express, so I should have it well in time. Now I've got to just get the weather conditions to favour me...
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Old 30-09-2013, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazjen View Post
I bit the bullet - ordered the QHY5L-II as it should arrive in time and I know it'll work as a proper autoguider.
Clearly the astro bug has bitten hard Hope it all goes well this weekend.
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Old 30-09-2013, 02:19 PM
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Ha. Indeed.

Knowing that I can use the camera for other purposes as well once I get the ST-i back, made it an easier decision.

The ongoing annihilation of my bank balance though is more problematic...
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:10 PM
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Good choice. I was going to suggest a QHY5. In my experience its good to have a few ways of autoguiding for flexibility as its a key component in an imaging system.

Greg.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:44 PM
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It arrived today, so I'll be right for the weekend - I'm not sure if I'll get a chance to try it in the backyard before then - the weather does not look to be favourable. I expect the first night away to have challenges anyway - this will be a small part of them.

It will take a long time, but I can see that having redundancy in my setup will be useful. Besides I'm not even 100% sure the ST-i is repairable yet, so this might be all I have anyway.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazjen View Post
It arrived today, so I'll be right for the weekend - I'm not sure if I'll get a chance to try it in the backyard before then - the weather does not look to be favourable. I expect the first night away to have challenges anyway - this will be a small part of them.

It will take a long time, but I can see that having redundancy in my setup will be useful. Besides I'm not even 100% sure the ST-i is repairable yet, so this might be all I have anyway.
its always good to have a spare
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  #13  
Old 02-10-2013, 08:21 PM
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lazjen (Chris)
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Finally got it all setup tonight. The QHY5L has less back focus than the ST-i so that was entertaining in getting it connected - I've got a bit of a ghetto solution going at this time as I don't have the right connectors.

Doing darks requires a bit more work than with the ST-i, but I'll adapt.

I've also just started using PHD2 (instead of PHD) - very nice - I do like the detail of the graph and the little PA error circle as well. Unfortunately the wind here is a bit too breezey, so I can't get any real testing done, but I think I'm right to go roaming now.
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