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Old 23-10-2014, 04:17 PM
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phobos27 (Nick)
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Auto Guider Guide Scopes

Hi everyone,

I have been starting to get serious with my AP and was thinking about purchasing my first Guide Scope as I can only do such a perfect polar alignment.

I have a few questions though before I even want to think about models. If I am not mistaken, these things replace your finder scope and are instead there own finder scopes with a CCD camera attached. (Check my signature for my set-up) You then need a computer to track the star which you have locked onto using a program. You then have another chord going to your mount to tell it where to track.

If someone could please clarify that, that would be good.

My budget is around $700 but is there any reason why some cost $150 while others are $500. Is that too much to spend, as it would be good to save some money as well to goto other things. I really don't know too much about these scopes/ cameras so any advice on how to use them what they do and which ones are good would be helpful.

Finally, if you need a laptop to run them, what do you do when you are in the middle of nowhere (no light pollution for example) and have no power and your battery only lasts half the night?

Thanks Nick
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Old 23-10-2014, 05:02 PM
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Merlin66 (Ken)
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Nick,
A couple of comments....
You can use a Finder guider type arrangement but IMHO a good guider set-up doesn't replace the finder but compliments it.
How easy is it to fit a support rail on the OTA?
The favourite solution is something like a ST80 and a QHY5 mono camera. If this is RIGIDLY mounted on the OTA it will work well.
The QHY can connect directly to the mount with an ST-4 cable BUT still required the guide software (something like PHD2) to run on a computer.
If you're getting into AP you'll need a computer to do the image acquisition from the main scope....I use AstroArt for image acquisition and guiding on an ol' Acer laptop.
Getting and keeping power at a remote location can be a PITA!
I've been using 20Ah gel cell batteries for the past few years - one for the mount, one for the cameras and one for the laptop....
I'd have to say, if you are really serious then you'd need to consider a marine HD battery - heavy as hell - but that's the price you pay.
(I use an on axis guide system with the C11 at f10, spectroscope, a Lodestar guider and PHD2 - or AstroArt for guiding a NEQ6pro mount with CdC/ EQmod)
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Old 23-10-2014, 05:42 PM
glend (Glen)
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If you use a dslr camera for the main image capture camera you can keep the cost down. You can pick up reasonably priced guidscopes like the ZWO 60mm one fairly cheaply and it comes with a focuser which the lower end Orion 50mm doesn't. You don't need a good laptop to run a guide app, a simple Netbook running Win 7 is fine and they don't suck a lot if power. My Netbook will run for three hours on its internal battery. At a darksite you will need a big battery with an inverter (not a big one as most netbooks can get along on a 200W inverter). Do you image stacking and processing on you main laptop in the daytime or back in the house. If you use a dslr with a liveview screen then you don't need to interface the image camera to a computer - just upload to your laptop later.


It's a fairly steep learning curve and you will get frustrated along the way, but it can be rewarding when you get it all working nicely.
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Old 23-10-2014, 05:48 PM
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phobos27 (Nick)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merlin66 View Post
Nick,
A couple of comments....
You can use a Finder guider type arrangement but IMHO a good guider set-up doesn't replace the finder but compliments it.
How easy is it to fit a support rail on the OTA?
The favourite solution is something like a ST80 and a QHY5 mono camera. If this is RIGIDLY mounted on the OTA it will work well.
The QHY can connect directly to the mount with an ST-4 cable BUT still required the guide software (something like PHD2) to run on a computer.
If you're getting into AP you'll need a computer to do the image acquisition from the main scope....I use AstroArt for image acquisition and guiding on an ol' Acer laptop.
Getting and keeping power at a remote location can be a PITA!
I've been using 20Ah gel cell batteries for the past few years - one for the mount, one for the cameras and one for the laptop....
I'd have to say, if you are really serious then you'd need to consider a marine HD battery - heavy as hell - but that's the price you pay.
(I use an on axis guide system with the C11 at f10, spectroscope, a Lodestar guider and PHD2 - or AstroArt for guiding a NEQ6pro mount with CdC/ EQmod)
Thanks Ken

I do have two car batteries I currently use so maybe power might not be a problem, i will just need an adaptor for my laptop. I do already have a finder scope. I have attached pictures showing it and the mount it has on my OTA. It is fairly sturdy and doesn't move when i give it a nudge. Are you saying that i can just place a camera on the back of this and it will work?

Thanks
Nick
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Old 24-10-2014, 06:35 AM
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Merlin66 (Ken)
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Nick,
Yes basically....
Check out "finder guiders"...
You will probably need an adaptor which screws onto the body of the finder (where the eyepiece is currently).
I don't like or use this system, so hopefully others can help you.
http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/s...d.php?t=121324
Glen - I find a car voltage convertor (from 12v to 18v) set to match your laptop is much more efficient than using a 12v to 240v invertor.
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