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Skywatcher Synguider - A review in parts...

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#1
Psychobilly

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Part One - whats in the box...

I have just got my sticky paws on one of the first batch of the New Skywatcher Synguider - Standalone Autoguiders...

I will hopefully be letting it see some real (or artificial stars using SGE) before very long...

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What Skywatcher "Say" on the box...

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Single language user manual (English) couple of confusing bits in but I am sure they will become obvious when I get to use it...


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Handset and Cables...


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Autoguider and Skywatcher 4xD cell Battery box...

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Spread out for all to see...

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The ports onthe bottom of the unit the front of the unit is diecast metal the back is SKP (Some Kind of Plastic)

from Left to right - Handbox (8 pin ) ST4 Guideport (6pin) RS-232 (4pin) and DC input (5.5/2.1mm Center Positive)
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With the 1.25" EP adaptor Fitted...

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And it removed and a standard T thread adaptor (M42x0.75) screwed in

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The Blackened Surround to the CDD and the CCD itself...


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You also get a serial cable and shorting plug needed for firmwware update from a PC , A parafocal locking ring and 1.25" EP Extension


End of part one....

Edited by Psychobilly, 20 May 2010 - 04:34 PM.

  • tingting44 likes this

We choose to image with DSLR’s. We choose to image with DSLR’s in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

 

 

Canon 5D Mk III , 7D, EOS M , 1000D (Baader BCF), 350D (Full Spectrum)  and some Nice Glass from 10 to 600mm ....  Nikon D200 & D50


#2
Psychobilly

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Part Two...

I didnt fancy running the unit of 4 x D cells using the supplied battery box... and the manual says that the supply can be between 6 and 12V but lower is better...

So ...

Here's Billys Rechargable Battery Pack - 6x2400mAH capacity AA size NiMH with a regulated output (set to 6.5V) short circuit protected by an auto reset 2A polyswitch...

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The "internals"....

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The display... sorry its a dim display so it was a 1/4s exposure hand held... The display seems to be 1bpp depth - so no "redscale images" its either on or off...

The installed Firmware is V1.0

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Now waiting for stars... or SGE...


Manual as a PDF

If i don't get clear skies in the next few days I'll get SGE setup to give it a workout...




End of Part two ...

Edited by Psychobilly, 21 May 2010 - 08:31 AM.

  • tingting44 likes this

We choose to image with DSLR’s. We choose to image with DSLR’s in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

 

 

Canon 5D Mk III , 7D, EOS M , 1000D (Baader BCF), 350D (Full Spectrum)  and some Nice Glass from 10 to 600mm ....  Nikon D200 & D50


#3
Psychobilly

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Ok skies are marginal - not great for imaging and work in the morning so decided to do a quick test just using the Synguider on my
old Equinoxe 66 on the mount.

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I had deliberately misaligned the mount in both axes and skipped the alignment in the handset... so there was no "sky model" beign used to control the mount..

I then manually enabled Sidereal Rate Tracking and slewed around to Arcturus - I know not exactly the most challenging guidestar...

Seeing as I didnt have a finder setup I started with a 40mm EP to find Arcturus then changed to a cheapo 8-24mm zoom that enabled me to check that the star would be on the guide chip...

I managed to get the guider to lock without resorting to the manual and left it tracking for 30 mins.. when i went back it was still centered on the chip...

Posted Image


Arcturus was being smeared by contrails but was still saturating the CCD... but I wanted a satr that would "survive" being hidden by cloud...

Hopefully I will get the skies over the weekend to do some proper trials with it...

Peter...

End of Part 3....

To be continued....

Edited by Psychobilly, 21 May 2010 - 08:38 AM.

We choose to image with DSLR’s. We choose to image with DSLR’s in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

 

 

Canon 5D Mk III , 7D, EOS M , 1000D (Baader BCF), 350D (Full Spectrum)  and some Nice Glass from 10 to 600mm ....  Nikon D200 & D50


#4
barkis

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A good insight into what to expect on emptying the box Peter.
How come you got one so quickly, or do you have it for a trial period only? One of these does appeal to me, but I will decide once there is some Info.. on performance.
Thanks for this so far.
Ron.:D

Edited by barkis, 20 May 2010 - 10:15 PM.


#5
FLO

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How come you got one so quickly...


Peter and Nadeem were first off the mark :D

(We have more arriving in 10-15 days)

#6
zhgutas

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Uh.... interesting! And plenty of piccys! :D will be waiting for the follow-up!

Marius
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#7
Psychobilly

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Hopefully I will have the skies to do some proper testing with it over the weekend...
and will add more pics and results to this thread...

Peter..

We choose to image with DSLR’s. We choose to image with DSLR’s in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

 

 

Canon 5D Mk III , 7D, EOS M , 1000D (Baader BCF), 350D (Full Spectrum)  and some Nice Glass from 10 to 600mm ....  Nikon D200 & D50


#8
steppenwolf

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Thanks for the preliminary review, Peter - looking forward to more when you have the skies.

Regards,

Steve
The Chanctonbury Observatory
http://www.skyatnightimages.co.uk
Night conceals the World but reveals the Universe

The third edition of my book 'MAKING EVERY PHOTON COUNT', a Beginner's Guide to Deep Sky Astro-photography is available here.

 

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#9
barkis

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Is there any reason this device might have any problems on an Off Axis Guider?
Ron.

#10
Psychobilly

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Using it last night without refering to or having properly read the Manual there were some "funnies"... so i am genning up today as well... These were mainly to do with where the star needed to be on the screen for it to lock - At one point the star was under the text but then the guider would not lock onto it it's almost as if the guider works on a ROI around the center of the chip...which might be why they tell you to get it close to the center...

I will RTFM and find out...

I will keep popping back to the first few posts and editing them that way the review will stay together in one place...

Ron...

I am hoping to try it guiding the CPC800 with the guider on the 8" at PF and with the OAG, the Mergez 72 at PF and The 500mm f8 Teleguider and on the EQ3 Pro with the 60-200 f3.6 Teleguider... but that may take a while ...


I guess it will depend on how fussy it is with star shapes on the OAG...



Peter...

Edited by Psychobilly, 21 May 2010 - 09:28 AM.

We choose to image with DSLR’s. We choose to image with DSLR’s in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

 

 

Canon 5D Mk III , 7D, EOS M , 1000D (Baader BCF), 350D (Full Spectrum)  and some Nice Glass from 10 to 600mm ....  Nikon D200 & D50


#11
barkis

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Thanks Peter. There's no hurry mate, there is no way you can rush through this, and it has to be a thorough, and objective investigation. Lets hope the sky plays ball.
Ron.:D

#12
Psychobilly

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Worse still lets sure the OAG plays ball.... the TS is a PITA to setup but fine when it is... Ask Steve-L et al about this...

Peter....

We choose to image with DSLR’s. We choose to image with DSLR’s in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

 

 

Canon 5D Mk III , 7D, EOS M , 1000D (Baader BCF), 350D (Full Spectrum)  and some Nice Glass from 10 to 600mm ....  Nikon D200 & D50


#13
barkis

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Worse still lets sure the OAG plays ball.... the TS is a PITA to setup but fine when it is... Ask Steve-L et al about this...

Peter....

:D:eek::)! Now I really feel better, having just got one. If those guys are struggling, What hope have I got?:D:(.
Anyway, first things first. Press on mate.

Edited by barkis, 21 May 2010 - 09:58 AM.


#14
Psychobilly

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Ron,

Dont worry - It's only the focusing that a PITA made easier if you replace the standard screws with solder tipped grub screws.. PM me your postal addy and I'll send you some...

Peter..

We choose to image with DSLR’s. We choose to image with DSLR’s in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

 

 

Canon 5D Mk III , 7D, EOS M , 1000D (Baader BCF), 350D (Full Spectrum)  and some Nice Glass from 10 to 600mm ....  Nikon D200 & D50


#15
barkis

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Ron,

Dont worry - It's only the focusing that a PITA made easier if you replace the standard screws with solder tipped grub screws.. PM me your postal addy and I'll send you some...

Peter..

PM On the way.:D

#16
Coco

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Looks interesting

Good luck :D

Guy...

Clear skies
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#17
Deneb

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Thanks for the insight into the guider Peter, im just thinking maybe it might have been better if they included a Cigarette lighter power lead with it as well. Looking at the .pdf posted I haven't noticed anywhere that Skywatcher has given any indication of how long you could power the guider with batteries.

Nadeem.

Edited by Deneb, 22 May 2010 - 06:58 AM.

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#18
Psychobilly

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They recommend running off lower voltage they state 6-12v and recommend the lower end... i guess the internals are running (maybe 3.3V) so at 250 mA and a 12V supply depending on how they drop it thats about 1.5W of heat to get rid of .. and heat is the enemy for low noise in the sensors...

You could easily put a voltage regulator in a cigarette adaptor or a small in-line box...

Seeing as I have several thousand of those regulated battery units and pouches hanging around complete with the matching chargers they are the obvious solution for me...


Peter..

Edited by Psychobilly, 22 May 2010 - 08:00 AM.

We choose to image with DSLR’s. We choose to image with DSLR’s in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

 

 

Canon 5D Mk III , 7D, EOS M , 1000D (Baader BCF), 350D (Full Spectrum)  and some Nice Glass from 10 to 600mm ....  Nikon D200 & D50


#19
Deneb

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You could easily put a voltage regulator in a cigarette adaptor or a small inline box...

Yep, was thinking about doing that, another thing to do when I get back...

Nadeem.

Edited by Deneb, 22 May 2010 - 07:57 AM.

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#20
Psychobilly

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Isn't it typical.. weather forecast isn't brilliant until Sun.,Mon Tues nights and then is marginal... and this time of year you cant start doign anyhting useful until around 23:00 or later and Lunas looming larger every night :)

Dont think I'll be doing much testing with the guider on fainter stars then :D

Peter...

We choose to image with DSLR’s. We choose to image with DSLR’s in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

 

 

Canon 5D Mk III , 7D, EOS M , 1000D (Baader BCF), 350D (Full Spectrum)  and some Nice Glass from 10 to 600mm ....  Nikon D200 & D50





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