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Old 18-05-2008, 11:06 AM
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Autoguiding - with what on what?

Guys, would welcome some of your wealth of knowledge on this topic.

I have an Auto-star equipped LXD75 mount and I have a Phillips 900nc webcam and a DMK.... I' wondering if there's anyway to get an autoguiding setup from this lot?

I did some digging and found "Guidedog" and it directs to the ASCOM site, I downloaded and loaded the platform but they have no drivers for the LXD75 or for any webcams on the ASCOM site?

Can I autoguide with either of my cameras? Advice gratefully received.

cheers,

Rob
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Old 18-05-2008, 12:00 PM
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You can use the DMK Camera for Autoguiding. The LXD75 has not guide port so you need to use ASCOM gudiing. ASCOM is the platform used to allow your Laptop to connect to the mount's controller and control it with one or many applications such as Planeteriums and or CCD capture software etc etc. The Autostar has a port on the HC that can be connected to your PC via A Serial cable. This connection as mentioned allows Computer to control the slewing of the mount. However this connection can also be used to send guide commands. This is known as ASCOM Guiding. This is not as good as direct guiding becuase that provides a dedicated link to the brain of your mount to recive send guide commands.
You could try and find a USed MEade #909 APM module that connects to the AUXIliary port on your mount and adds A St-4 compatible guide port and focus motor control and another Aux port to add other Meade accesories. If you can get this module then you can Get the Shoestring GPUSP plus cable and use that to send the guide commands to the mount, rather than going via the ASCOM interface. Further still if you buy a Q-guider/Orion/Qhy5 these come with a ST-4 output and can be connected directly to your mount. But you still need to use software on your laptop that connets to these Camera's via USB and allows you to focus, find and select a Guide star. Software like Guidedog and Guidemaster, this is simialr to using DMK with Shoestring GPUSB , the only difference is that the GPUSB is built into the Camera so you dont need a second connect to your PC to the Mount. Lastly you can go for standalone Guiders like the TV Guider or STV or ST4 where there is no need for a PC the Camera connects to the ST-4 on the APM Module and usually has a Display or a control box that allows you to focus and select a star to guide on. The TVGuider and STV are the best ones for this method as the come with a display so you can see and focus the star. Also TVGuider could be used to focus your DSLR on the TVGuider LCD SCreen. The ST-4 Guider that started it all (which even the Guide ports are named after now as it set the standard) is a bit harder to use, but those who use it say its great. It provide numeric information that you must advise the brightest star in the field of view, its brightness and using this you have to adjust focus till you get a certain measurement and then you can guide. Meade also released there own Guide camera which like the Q-guiders had a ST-4 guide port that could be connected to the APM Module and you used Meade software on the PC to find and select a bright star to guide on. I believe Meade also made available a simlar method with there newer LPI camera.

Wow thats a lot to say in one go. I will stop now. I hope it helps.

Regards
Fahim
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  #3  
Old 18-05-2008, 02:46 PM
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Thanks so much Fahim for the detailed and thoughtful reply. Given the complexity and likely expense then to get this up and going, and the fact I need a heavier mount, I'm thinking I might just bite the bullet and buy an EQ6 Pro/Synscan mount...do you know if these can be guided by the DMK (by the way it's firewire) and or my Phillips 900nc and what software I'd need for that?

cheers Rob

Quote:
Originally Posted by netwolf View Post
You can use the DMK Camera for Autoguiding. The LXD75 has not guide port so you need to use ASCOM gudiing. ASCOM is the platform used to allow your Laptop to connect to the mount's controller and control it with one or many applications such as Planeteriums and or CCD capture software etc etc. The Autostar has a port on the HC that can be connected to your PC via A Serial cable. This connection as mentioned allows Computer to control the slewing of the mount. However this connection can also be used to send guide commands. This is known as ASCOM Guiding. This is not as good as direct guiding becuase that provides a dedicated link to the brain of your mount to recive send guide commands.
You could try and find a USed MEade #909 APM module that connects to the AUXIliary port on your mount and adds A St-4 compatible guide port and focus motor control and another Aux port to add other Meade accesories. If you can get this module then you can Get the Shoestring GPUSP plus cable and use that to send the guide commands to the mount, rather than going via the ASCOM interface. Further still if you buy a Q-guider/Orion/Qhy5 these come with a ST-4 output and can be connected directly to your mount. But you still need to use software on your laptop that connets to these Camera's via USB and allows you to focus, find and select a Guide star. Software like Guidedog and Guidemaster, this is simialr to using DMK with Shoestring GPUSB , the only difference is that the GPUSB is built into the Camera so you dont need a second connect to your PC to the Mount. Lastly you can go for standalone Guiders like the TV Guider or STV or ST4 where there is no need for a PC the Camera connects to the ST-4 on the APM Module and usually has a Display or a control box that allows you to focus and select a star to guide on. The TVGuider and STV are the best ones for this method as the come with a display so you can see and focus the star. Also TVGuider could be used to focus your DSLR on the TVGuider LCD SCreen. The ST-4 Guider that started it all (which even the Guide ports are named after now as it set the standard) is a bit harder to use, but those who use it say its great. It provide numeric information that you must advise the brightest star in the field of view, its brightness and using this you have to adjust focus till you get a certain measurement and then you can guide. Meade also released there own Guide camera which like the Q-guiders had a ST-4 guide port that could be connected to the APM Module and you used Meade software on the PC to find and select a bright star to guide on. I believe Meade also made available a simlar method with there newer LPI camera.

Wow thats a lot to say in one go. I will stop now. I hope it helps.

Regards
Fahim
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Old 18-05-2008, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert_T View Post
Thanks so much Fahim for the detailed and thoughtful reply. Given the complexity and likely expense then to get this up and going, and the fact I need a heavier mount, I'm thinking I might just bite the bullet and buy an EQ6 Pro/Synscan mount...do you know if these can be guided by the DMK (by the way it's firewire) and or my Phillips 900nc and what software I'd need for that?

cheers Rob
Hi Rob,

We will have a very similar setup.

I will be using my DMK as a guide camera, PHD as guide software and a GPUSB from shoestring.

From what I understand the DMK would be a much better guide camera because of its ability to allow longer exposures to find faint guide stars.

Hope this helps.
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Old 18-05-2008, 03:29 PM
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Thanks Matty does it matter if the DMK is firewire and not USB?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matty P View Post
Hi Rob,

We will have a very similar setup.

I will be using my DMK as a guide camera, PHD as guide software and a GPUSB from shoestring.

From what I understand the DMK would be a much better guide camera because of its ability to allow longer exposures to find faint guide stars.

Hope this helps.
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Old 18-05-2008, 03:32 PM
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Thanks Matty does it matter if the DMK is firewire and not USB?
It shouldn't make any difference.

P.S. I will be using an EQ6 pro aswell.

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Old 20-05-2008, 06:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by netwolf View Post
You can use the DMK Camera for Autoguiding. The LXD75 has not guide port so you need to use ASCOM gudiing. ASCOM is the platform used to allow your Laptop to connect to the mount's controller and control it with one or many applications such as Planeteriums and or CCD capture software etc etc. The Autostar has a port on the HC that can be connected to your PC via A Serial cable. This connection as mentioned allows Computer to control the slewing of the mount. However this connection can also be used to send guide commands. This is known as ASCOM Guiding. This is not as good as direct guiding becuase that provides a dedicated link to the brain of your mount to recive send guide commands.
Hi Fahim, I've found a meade mount driver at Stark Labs site and downloaded their PhD software and the latest ASCOM platform so I might give ascom guiding through the HSC a go after all. When you mention not as good as direct guiding I assume you mean theirs a delay. In terms of it's impact do you think this could still give acceptable results for short focal length <550mm imaging?

many thanks, Rob
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Old 20-05-2008, 11:17 AM
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I am going to be trying Ascom guiding myself soon as my Sitech controller does not have a Guide port, you have to but that as an option. But I have read that there is a slight delay in this method. But as i dont have any personal experience (knowledge gained by research more than experience), I can not tell you of the impact. But if you are imaging at short focal lengths then you maybe ok. And to connect to HC you just need the standard Meade RS-232 to HC cable. I am not sure if this is included with you telescope or needs to be purchased separately. You could probably get the pinouts from the internet and make one youself.

Regards
Fahim
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Old 20-05-2008, 06:20 PM
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There's an autostar driver on the ASCOM site : http://www.ascom-standards.org/Downl...opeDrivers.htm Maybe that will work.

Meade LX200 Classic and Autostar I (combined telescope/focuser, 5.0.1)

Installs a driver for the original Meade LX200 ("classic") telescope mounts (including the 16"), as well as Meade telescopes that use the Autostar I (#495 and #497) controllers, such as the ETX and DS series. This driver provides both telescope and focuser interfaces each of which may be used by separate programs. Do not use this with the LX200GPS, LX200R or the RCX400.
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Old 21-05-2008, 08:14 PM
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[quote=Tandum;328086]There's an autostar driver on the ASCOM site : http://www.ascom-standards.org/Downl...opeDrivers.htm Maybe that will work.

Meade LX200 Classic and Autostar I (combined telescope/focuser, 5.0.1)
quote]

Thanks RObin
found one on the Stark Labs web-site too, but nice to have options.
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