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Old 29-07-2014, 05:23 PM
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Amaranthus (Barry)
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ZWO ASI120MM-S (USB 3) autoguider/camera

I needed a sensitive autoguider (the NI5 just didn't cut it), and I also wanted a mono planetary camera, so I pulled the trigger on this today:
http://www.zwoptical.com/Eng/Cameras/ASI120S/index.asp (ZWO ASI120MM-S USB-3 1.2 MP autoguider/camera, 3.75 micron CMOS pixels)

Very excited! It got a great write-up in AS&T this month (QE 74%, uses the same Aptina Mono CMOS MT9M034 sensor as the QHY-5L II), and with a USB 3 connection and 72fps at full frame (1280X960, or 320X240@254fps), it's going to scorch...

Will post up my review once it's arrived and I've had a chance to muck about with it in its triple role (autoguider [with Metaguide], planetary camera [Firecapture] and uncooled DSO imager [can expose for up to 17 minutes and save as 12-bit TIFF]). That is, after the obligatory post-purchase clouds finally clear

If anyone has used one of these, post up here how you've gone.

Last edited by Amaranthus; 29-07-2014 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 29-07-2014, 06:17 PM
glend (Glen)
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I use the ZWO ASI 130MM version as my autoguide camera but will move it to the imaging camera when I get my filter wheel. I found it abit confusing to set up as its a high speed video camera as opposed to other single exposure types. Thankfully PHD2 now supports ZWO cameras.
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Old 30-07-2014, 12:34 PM
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Amaranthus (Barry)
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I use PHD2 when guiding with my SS G3 CCD, but for fast cameras I think Metaguide is clearly superior, and is my preferred overall option (one of the factors in my choice of premium CMOS autoguider, over a CCD Lodestar etc.).

Details here: http://www.astrogeeks.com/Bliss/MetaGuide/

It's a brilliant bit of software -- and also great for SCT calibration!
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Old 01-08-2014, 10:14 AM
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PRejto (Peter)
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I've been interested in the ZWO cameras for a while. With my ST-I out of action and in for repair I thought it might be interesting to compare the camera specs. I found it difficult to find a document from ST-I giving QE so I have just posted what I could find from the chip manufacturer. Is it possible (or fair) to compare the two frequency curves? And if so, how does "absolute QE" relate to QE(%)?

I also threw both chips into Ron Wodaski's CCDCALC. The FOV is identical for a given scope but the resolution is 2x with the ZWO camera. I'm wondering if being so over sampled would be a big negative to using this unbinned as a guide camera? On the other hand, would binning the ZWO (if possible??) lead to the same FOV but greatly increased sensitivity and not over sampled?

I'd appreciate any comments.

Thanks,
Peter
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:12 AM
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Amaranthus (Barry)
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Peter, the sensor is the same one as in the QHY-5L II, which a lot of people are using successfully for guiding. It is very sensitive.

Being a CMOS device, you can't enable hardware binning effectively, so it is done via software only. This will limit the s/n ratio gains from binning. But as I understand it from my research on these cameras, it is unnecessary, either when used in a guidescope or OAG.
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