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Old 11-07-2020, 04:21 PM
MarkInSpace
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Rebooting Astronomy interest now selecting guide scope and auto-guider

Hi -
I'm returning to astronomy after a 15+ year pause - and things have changed!
Long ago I sold my LX-10 8" SCT and LX-200 10" SCT.
For better or worse, I dived in and bought a used HEQ5, a modified 600D and a used WO ZenithStar 71 + flattener&reducer (which is slowly traveling over from the US).
I also picked up an inexpensive 150mm Newt and coma corrector.
Now, all I need a guide scope and guider.
Are the 50mm guide scopes available on EBay OK? Should I go 60? Should I spend more and get a name brand? Maybe hold out for a 60ED going cheap?
what are your thoughts?
Next what about the auto-guider? Is the ZWO ASI 120MM Mini Guider a good option?
I've just found and joined this site - woo hoo!!
Very interested to hear your thoughts.
-Mark
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Old 12-07-2020, 08:13 AM
Startrek (Martin)
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Id recommend an Orion 60mm guide scope with helical focuser and ZWOASI120MM-S guide camera for your 150mm newt mounted on your tube rings with a 14 losmandy dovetail bar ( nice solid guiding set up )
Oh and use PHD2 guide software , its free and used extensively around the globe so plenty of support locally including IIS forum

For your smaller refractor you could get away with a 50mm guide scope and mini ZWO guide camera or just use the 60mm

Photos of my 150mm and 200mm imaging newts

Good luck and welcome back
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Old 12-07-2020, 08:28 AM
Startrek (Martin)
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Correction, I used an Orion mounting bar 340mm long x 44mm wide x 15mm thick mounted on the OTA tube rings to mount the 60mm guide scope
The losmandy 14 dovetail bar mount my OTA to the telescope mount
The photos should help to show my set ups
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Old 12-07-2020, 01:19 PM
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ChrisV (Chris)
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I've got a 50mm zwo guidescope I picked up here second hand. I've also tried a 60mm and didn't really see much difference - but it had a bigger fov for more stars. I use an asi290mm - but only used that as I already had one for Halpha video astro (EAA or whatever you want to call it). Definitely phd2 for all the reasons mentioned already. And all mounted the same as Martin has done
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Old 12-07-2020, 03:02 PM
MarkInSpace
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Thanks for the good tips, Chris and Martin
I'll have a look for guide scopes here, there's always EBay if i cant find anything suitable!
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Old 12-07-2020, 05:08 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkInSpace View Post
Thanks for the good tips, Chris and Martin
I'll have a look for guide scopes here, there's always EBay if i cant find anything suitable!
Please note: Dont buy the ZWOASI120MM USB2 Camera !!!! as it has inherent intermittent problems with connections and drop outs etc. ZWO have had issues with the driver etc..
Make sure you buy the ZWOASI120MM-S USB3 Camera
You can still connect it from camera to laptop with USB2 cable up to 5m cable length or use a compliant USB3 cable suitable up to 5m if you need that length
Also if your using PHD2 as your guiding software it is recommended by the PHD2 developers and the general Astro community to connect the guide camera direct to the laptop via Ascom ( not ST4 connection which is camera to mount then mount to laptop) Refer attached
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Old 26-07-2020, 05:51 PM
MarkInSpace
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Noted - thanks for the heads up!
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Old 27-07-2020, 07:57 PM
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It's sounds as you could end up with two finder scopes..if you do, with a little tinkering you could use one as a guide scope and save some bucks.
Alex
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