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Old 03-02-2013, 10:06 AM
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Meru (Meru)
More stars please!

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Hey John,

I know its an older thread but I thought I'd chime in my opinion too As Poita said, I was very lucky to have the lodestar borrowed to try it out on my RC8 as an OAG. Here are my thoughts on the Lodestar, and OAG in general (See the second last post) - http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/s...d.php?t=102001. In essence, I just wish I shelled out the $600 and bought it in the first place. Its one of those things what no matter what imaging train you use, this thing is practically guaranteed to give you stars. I mean the RC8 has a 50% secondary and even though its a F/8 (1600mm) I *always* found a guidestar.

In your case it's a f/5 so I personally think you *might* be able to get away with the QHY5L-II or the likes since you wont have such dim stars. But I know that at 1600mm with my RC8 the FOV is severely restricted so chances of finding a bright star no matter where in the sky you point is also slim. Also I think at 1600mm you'd be hardpressed to guide with a guidescope. A good OAG costs ~$200; the ST80 is more expensive. A QHY5L-II costs $320. So its not that expensive to go OAG. If it doesnt work worst case sell the QHY5L-II for $40 cheaper (Since its so new and still in demand) and then get the lodestar. A $40 or so loss isnt that big a deal I personally think to have known first hand you tried with a cheaper guidecam food for thought.
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:45 PM
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allan gould
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Have a look at the post re the ASI120MM camera i posted. At half the price of the Lodestar I think as a guider it just as good and I have a Lodestar.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:42 PM
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John K
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Just an update after using the Lodestar camera now several times.

I have not experienced any of the poor chip issues that may have been described by others. If there is any variability in the CCD chips, my camera does not have these and is excellent.

My key buying factors were to get the smallest, lightest and most sensitive guide camera that I could afford.

Over the last weekend, I also switched to an OAG, and this is where I think this camera really comes good, as I did not have any issues with guide stars - I always had 3-4 options.

Attached is a 100% crop of a single 5min exposure near the Tarantula nebula. Nice round stars for the first time in my guiding!

Terry from Starlight Express was excellent in dealing with and responded very quickly to queries.

As such, my experience is that although at the top end from a price perspective, highly recommended and would buy again. Without easy and accurate guiding you simply can kiss any astrophotography attempt goodbye.

Also, in terms of guiding over 1000mm f.l., OAG is the way to go with this guide camera.

John K.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:05 PM
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Merlin66 (Ken)
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+1 from me.
It works well with the on-axis reflective slit plates in spectroscopes.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:57 PM
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That's good news. I think some of the Lodestar issues were to do with compatibility with different software.

It certainly is a sensitive guider.

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