Old 22-09-2017, 10:46 PM
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Joshua Bunn (Joshua)
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which active optics

Hello fellow astro friends,

I'm looking to use some active optics on my settup. I would like to hear the opinions of others who have used them please...

I use a Planewave scope 2.5m FL and a stl11000 is used on it. So my two options are a Starlight Express active optics or the SBIG Aol with a MOAG. I understand there is a large SX AO for full frame chips.

a few things that i ponder... I straight away think the SBIG Aol is better just cause its tried and proven but i have no evidence to think the SX AO wont perform.

- how does the quality of the 2 options compare?
- The maximum number of HZ for each unit?
- with the SBIG Aol I am stuck with using the RGH, but im guessing with the SX AO I can use other brands of guiders or the loadstar which would be more sensitive then the RGH.
- That raises the question of how to do auto darks on the Loadstar when doing automated imaging as it doesn't have a shutter as I understand??

If anyone has any experience they would like to share on this topic, id love to hear it

Thanks, Josh.
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Old 27-09-2017, 08:12 AM
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PRejto (Peter)
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Hi Josh,

I've used the SX-AO for a while but never the SBIG solutions. The SX does give a lot of flexibility in camera choices but you need to think carefully about software as TSX does not (yet, in spite of years of promises) support the SX-AO. As far as automation software goes it is possible to use the SX-AO with CCDAP5 and a separate Broker package that syncs CCDAP5 to PHD2 for guiding. PHD2 does a fine job with the SX-AO. I think SGP can also work together with PHD2 but I have no experience with it.

Now unattended remote imaging has many challenges including internet speed, screen resolutions, etc that can impact on trying to run multiple programs at the same time. The CCDAP5/Broker/PHD2 combination worked fine at home but is rather cumbersome to run remotely. So, perhaps if you are sure you want to use AO the SBIG is more integrated. Anyway, my point is don't neglect software while making a decision!

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Old 27-09-2017, 11:52 AM
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multiweb (Marc)
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I have the SX-AO Large format. You'll need a lodestar to use it and get a decent frame rate. Best I ever got was ~5Hz. It's ok. I used the starlight xpress client to drive it. Never tried it in PHD2 but I heard good things. Although I never used them I reckon SBIG AO-7/8 were superior both in design and performance. I also like the concept of the ONAG which I'm looking into for guiding a long FL SCT.
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Old 27-09-2017, 01:48 PM
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Joshua Bunn (Joshua)
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Thanks for the replies lads.

Peter, Ive just bought a second hand Aol, so there wont be any issues using it with TSX... hopefully. It was brought to my attention that i could use the AOL with the ONAG XT, how have you found your ONAG to use? do you use a rotator and if so is there a problem with balance shifting when you rotate your camera with the ONAG?

Thanks Marc, yeah I'll be looking at the ONAG to

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