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Old 06-08-2013, 07:26 AM
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Spookyer (Brett)
Brett P

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Which way should I go about guiding

I am currently deciding on an autoguiding setup. I have a 132mm f7 refractor with a Baader Vario 10 x 60 finder mounted on a Mach1. The main scope has a losmandy plate on top of the rings.

I am considering buying the guiding bracket for the Baader finder (which makes it stiffer) and using it as my guidescope. I would then buy a Lodestar or SBIG ST-I camera for guiding. This would leave the plate on top of the ota free to mount my DSLR camera and lens on if I want to do wider field imaging. Cost about $1000. The downside of this is that I lose the use of my finder. Is this a big deal for AP?

The other way I guess which is cheaper is to buy the Orion SSAG type setup and mount the 80mm short tube on my top losmandy plate. More weight and more items to carry around and I couldn't mount a camera and lens and guide at the same time but I would still have my finder available. Also the guider is not as sensitive. Cheaper though at around $500.

What do you think? Are there other options I should look at?

Just want a solid plan before I spend more $.


Cheers
Brett
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Old 06-08-2013, 09:53 AM
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I would look at an off-axis guider, save all the hassles of flexure etc.... refractors should have heaps of back focus to accommodate pretty much any OAG.... the lodestar in an OAG proves a great combination....
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:23 PM
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Spookyer (Brett)
Brett P

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I was under the perhaps false impression that OAGs were too complex for a newbie like me to make work.

Any other opinions? And if an OAG is the way to go can anyone suggest what I should be looking at for my setup?

I will be shooting with a DSLR if that makes any difference.

Brett
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Old 06-08-2013, 02:32 PM
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RickS (Rick)
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G'day Brett,

An OAG is definitely more fiddly than a guide scope but I don't think it would be impossible for you to figure out.

I have a couple of Astrodon OAGs (http://www.astrodon.com/products/hardware/). They are good but not inexpensive.

These guys have some more affordable OAGs: http://www.teleskop-express.de I think there are a few people on IIS using these ones.

Cheers,
Rick.
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Old 06-08-2013, 02:35 PM
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If you are planning on getting a lodestar, try the finder-guider first, if you aren't happy, consider OAG then.... there are OAGs around designed to attach direct to the DSLR....
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Old 06-08-2013, 04:50 PM
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Bassnut (Fred)
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At short FL like this, external guide is fine. The little lens kit accessory for the Sti is magic, no flex and some guys use it over for over 2m FL OTA guiding. It's weight and size is rediculosely small, ideal for your rig.
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:42 AM
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lazjen (Chris)
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Definitely a newbie here and I'm going the OAG route (ST-i), with a DSLR. I can't compare to any other approach as this was my first attempt/choice. From my point of view, it definitely is fiddly and could do with some improvements on usability, particularly in focusing. I also found that connecting the guide camera to my OAG to be quite primitive - sliding on to the tube and screw lock down. I would have preferred a threaded approach with possibly a small separate focuser to refine the focus.

Another thing to consider is the field of view for the prism in the OAG - it can be an issue when trying to find guide stars.
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Old 07-08-2013, 03:01 PM
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Here is an old pic of when I used a DSLR with an OAG.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/2471943...in/photostream
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Old 07-08-2013, 04:42 PM
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Spookyer (Brett)
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thanks for the feedback. The ST-I 100mm lens kit looks appealing, it is quite cheap (once you buy the ST-I camera) is light and I reckon could be mounted beside my ball head on the top plate. With that solution I would also keep my existing finder.

I will post asking for opinions from people who have used this setup.

Cheers
Brett
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:12 PM
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Rigel003 (Graeme)
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I'm using the Baader vario-finder as a guidescope with my 130mm scope and the Orion SSAG. While the Baader is perfectly adequate in terms of light gathering and focal length, its push-pull coarse focusing arrangement does make its mechanical stability marginal. The AP guiding bracket seems an expensive fix for this poor design but I'm considering buying it.
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:42 AM
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Spookyer (Brett)
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I agree, it seems you have to spend $200 on a bracket to make up for the dodgy focus tube. I am now thinking the ST-I lens kit solution may be money better spent. It seems as though it is a reasonable solution for focal lengths up to 1000mm. It is actually cheaper way to go than setting up the Baader Vario finder with a bracket etc and this way I still retain the Vario finder as a finder.
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