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Old 16-10-2020, 06:05 PM
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Decimus (Richard)
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The Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2 and the Orion 60mm guidescope with helical focuser

Does anyone have experience of this combination of camera and guidescope? I have the Orion 60mm guidescope and like it very much, but when I use it with the ZWO ASI 290MM mini guide camera, the results (in terms of finding stars for Polar Alignment with SharpCap) are fickle. I can spend 15 - 20 minutes just trying to find stars (and focus them). Even binning 2x2 doesn't help. Yet on some nights, the stars magically appear in the field without too much of a problem, almost straight away.

Which brings me to the Lodestar X2. Is the Orion/Lodestar X2 a better combo? I understand that the Lodestar is impressively sensitive, but its backfocus is about 12.5 mm. The ZWO ASi290mm has a backfocus of 8.5mm. Is this likely to create a focus problem? The ZWO is already well back in the optical train with this guidescope; won't the extra 4mm push it back (out) even further? Perhaps beyond focus range?

Does anyone have any advice?

Cheers,
Richard
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Old 17-10-2020, 07:11 AM
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PKay (Peter)
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Hi Richard

What driver are you using? ASCOM is the way to go for ZWO these days.

Also, when the stars don't show up on the screen, have a look outside :-)
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Old 19-10-2020, 07:24 PM
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Does the Orion 60mm guidescope helical focuser not permit full-length 1.25" movement? I have a Lodestar in my Tak 50mm finder converted to guidescope with a helical focuser, and I can slide the Lodestar through full length - so much so I have to use a parfocal ring on the connection end to stop it fallingINTO the tube if I am careless


My Tak conversion comes to focus with plenty of room to spare.

If I recall, the orion helical rotates, but also has a sliding drawtube? Can you insert the Lodestar deep into the helical?
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Old 19-10-2020, 08:10 PM
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Decimus (Richard)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PKay View Post
Hi Richard

What driver are you using? ASCOM is the way to go for ZWO these days.

Also, when the stars don't show up on the screen, have a look outside :-)
Hi Peter,
I do use ASCOM with this camera,and SharpCap usually poses no real problems- but I find it immensely difficult achieving focus with this configuration, even though I love the Orion guidescope. I abandoned my WO Guidescope (an F4 50mm) as the ASI290MM would almost be out of the tube before it focused....I love your comment about having a look outside.I do that all the time when I am imaging.
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Old 19-10-2020, 08:15 PM
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Decimus (Richard)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LewisM View Post
Does the Orion 60mm guidescope helical focuser not permit full-length 1.25" movement? I have a Lodestar in my Tak 50mm finder converted to guidescope with a helical focuser, and I can slide the Lodestar through full length - so much so I have to use a parfocal ring on the connection end to stop it fallingINTO the tube if I am careless


My Tak conversion comes to focus with plenty of room to spare.

If I recall, the orion helical rotates, but also has a sliding drawtube? Can you insert the Lodestar deep into the helical?
Hi Lewis,
Yes the Orion has a good helical focuser but is still causes me problems with the ASI290mm mini. One night I spent 20 minutes trying to find any stars (the guidescope was properly aligned with the telescope) around the SCP (I realise they're mag. 5 but still!). That is why I feel like getting the Lodestar X2 which, by the way, has just been released in an updated version with a blue cylinder casing). Tempting!

I am not surprised your Tak works well - everything they make is made to work and oozes quality plus!

Cheers,
Richard
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