Jump to content

sgl_imaging_challenge_2021_2.thumb.jpg.72789c04780d7659f5b63ea05534a956.jpg

Recommended Posts

Hi guys,

I don't want to run before I can walk on this topic as I do appreciate how hard it can be to do, I'm info gathering so I can take my time to digest things properly and get my head around things over the summer.

I am taking delivery of my NEQ6 Pro tomorrow, ultimately I want to be able to autoguide the mount to do long exposure astro-imaging. When I say 'long exposure' I am probably talking about several (4-5) minute shots and stacking frames for the final image.

If it's possible I do not want to get too bogged down with technicalities, I just want to autoguide, shoot the frames, stack and process the images, I'm not looking for absolute perfection, just some nice images to keep and show off now and again.

I have read on here that a lot of you use this EQmod thingy to be able to use a PC for the mount control. I want to go a different route and use a standalone Baader LPI Smartguider to control the mount. It's one less thing to have plugged into the laptop and it will preserve system resources for my main image capture program AstroArt.

The LPI will be going into an ST80 piggybacked on my Tak FS128 which will have my SX MX716 CCD on it, all on the NEQ6 Pro SynScan mount.

Your thoughts as experienced, seasoned imagers would be very much appreciated on what I plan to try and do.

Andy

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's one more thing to worry about - PHD on the PC just works. I run everything on a 4 year old netbook and resources are not an issue.

A lot of people with stand alone autoguiders seem to have switched back to a PC - they have a place if you are running without a PC at a remote site I guess, but if you have a PC anyway.....

I'd still run EQMOD together with CdC and an EQDIR module, instead of using the handset for GOTO. Combine that with Elbrus if you feel adventurous to get things really spot on.

Edited by dmahon
Link to post
Share on other sites

I would also advise caution with the standalone autoguiders. I think they can be entertaining to set up.

I would go Eqmod, lpi, PHD route to begin with. i used a dsi colour when i started and to be honest i should have stayed with it, good camera for guiding.

Carte du ciel is great for using instead of the hand controller.

Whichever rout you take practise setting up first and get the eq6 working in daylight.

Dont expect the first night to go well just treat it as a training exercise or you'll get as frustrated as i did on my first night and almost throw the laptop over the wall! :(

Link to post
Share on other sites

And another one against standalones. All sorts of things can look, to beginners, like simplifications. One Shot Colour, standalone autoguiders. They can be the reverse, most notably standalones.

I use PHD on Yves' rig and AstroArt 5.0 on my own rigs. PHD is proving to be plug and play once Yves had worked out the parameters, some of which are not covered by automatic calibration in PHD. AA5 has a lot of windows open but has one demon bit of graphics for which I prefer it. It gives you a record of guide hits that builds up over the night so you can see if, at some point, you've had a single bad one. It also gives you a visual clue as to what your issues are if you have them. Eg backlash shows up as two slightly separated clusters of guide hits.

Both are good programmes. If you want easy guiding, get a good guide camera and don't go for webcams. Put it in an ST80 and you'll get a guide star every time with no need for rings. That is, honestly, as easy as it gets.

Olly

http://ollypenrice.smugmug.com/Other/Best-of-Les-Granges/22435624_WLMPTM#!i=1793644788&k=r8HTK72

Edited by ollypenrice
Link to post
Share on other sites
I do not want to get too bogged down with technicalities, I just want to autoguide, shoot the frames, stack and process the images, I'm not looking for absolute perfection, just some nice images to keep and show off now and again.

Andy

Andy,

I'm very much a newbie to this imaging lark, and trust me even with the tried and tested EQMOD / PHD route can be challenging at times. Self contained autoguiders seem more troublesome from reading previous posts on the forums. I wish to add that I have an advantage of an observatory based set up, so don't have to go through precise polar alignment procedures every session as you would with a mobile set up.

Don't get me wrong, it's not difficult, but it's not a case of plonk the scope down, crude align, select a star and be tracking in a couple of minutes after turning the mount on and expect to get a perfect session. The more precise the polar alignment the better the tracking.

On occasions, even with an observatory set up technical / software / hardware issues can be challenging and you often feel like going back to visual :( - but other nights it goes really well and the thrill of seeing that first 5min / 10min sub appear on the monitor makes it all worth the effort.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

If your going to set-up every time you want to view and you have a solid base to put the mount on, make the spot where the tripod feet sit and just make sure you put it there every time, mine is a patio with slabs, they have 3 indents drilled out and the last time i polar aligned was in 2011, last night unguided 1 minute subs gave pin sharp stars...the only drawback it has to be carried back and forth every session.

2012-02-25124200.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

For my part, I've been using a Synguider for a while, and switched to a Lacerta Mgen. All I can say is they do what they're supposed to, and as far as I know, rather well.

When I set my stuff up, after mouting, balancing, PA and so forth, it usually takes me about 5mn to 10mn to get the gear running and shooting.

The Mgen is great because it's more sensitive than the Synguider, and controls the camera too.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would definitely favour the PHD route for guiding, rather than a stand alone guider. With PHD you can, at least, monitor the guiding and check how its performing.

If it's possible I do not want to get too bogged down with technicalities, I just want to autoguide, shoot the frames, stack and process the images, I'm not looking for absolute perfection, just some nice images to keep and show off now and again.

I don't know whether you will be able to escape the technicalities as, at some point, you will experience an issue of one form or another forcing you to explore the more technical nature of guiding.....

I guide my NEQ6 with a finder guider and Atik Titan with PHD and this works just fine running off a netbook.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would go Eqmod, lpi, PHD route to begin with. i used a dsi colour when i started and to be honest i should have stayed with it, good camera for guiding.

Carte du ciel is great for using instead of the hand controller.

Couldn't agree more - a DSI makes a great giude camera.

There's a good reason why so many of choose EQMod + PHD + CDC for positioning & guiding - it's a solution that simply works well.

From what I've noticed PHD doesn't consume a great deal of PC resources. I note that you're using AstroArt, which I understand to be an excellent package, but it's worth noting that Nebulosity can be configured to 'talk' to PHD and tells PHD to stop image capture whilst Nebulosity downloads the image from your camera, thus reducing system resource usage at that key time.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually have an LVI autoguider and ST80 and have used it on a CG5-GT and latterly on my IEQ45. It works fine if you have a reasonably bright guide star and for my purpose being mobile it's fairly quick to set up using its admittedly basic screen, but it does have a graph on it so you can see what it's doing.

I shoot on a DSLR with a timer so I don't have the hassle or risk of using a laptop out in open in the middle of nowhere, it also means I get to enjoy the sky through binoculars or chat to fellow astronomers whilst the images are recording rather than just sit staring at a screen destroying my hard won night vision.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 years later...

If your going to set-up every time you want to view and you have a solid base to put the mount on, make the spot where the tripod feet sit and just make sure you put it there every time, mine is a patio with slabs, they have 3 indents drilled out and the last time i polar aligned was in 2011, last night unguided 1 minute subs gave pin sharp stars...the only drawback it has to be carried back and forth every session.

Bit of a thread revival...I've been wondering about this for a while. NEQ6 Pro should be arriving soon, I will be working from the same spot each time so could I just do as you say and create points where my setup sits and just plug it in and off it goes? After doing a really good PA, or rather a series of them to get used to it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I went EQMOD from the start. Ive used the hand controller twice. I had my ST80 (a nice, cheap used one) before I had my imaging scope. It is the best way to go. The feedback you get by seeing the graphs will be valuable later when fine tuning and sorting out problems. It will also give you a clear picture on how precise these rigs need to be to take longer exposures. For example, watch the guide graph and just brush the scope with the tip of your finger and watch the graph spike. It was an eye opener for me.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bit of a thread revival...I've been wondering about this for a while. NEQ6 Pro should be arriving soon, I will be working from the same spot each time so could I just do as you say and create points where my setup sits and just plug it in and off it goes? After doing a really good PA, or rather a series of them to get used to it.

You will need to do PA if your imagine, visual the indents work fine, you will find it gets tiresome keep setting up for imagine and then the clouds roll in.......

Link to post
Share on other sites

You will need to do PA if your imagine, visual the indents work fine, you will find it gets tiresome keep setting up for imagine and then the clouds roll in.......

Understood. One other question, I assume an auto-guider would correct for a slight misalignment? The further out the more work it would have to do?
Link to post
Share on other sites

Understood. One other question, I assume an auto-guider would correct for a slight misalignment? The further out the more work it would have to do?

You still need precise PA for PHD to work its magic.... 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

The guide system "guides" by holding a target star in the same position on your screen/ CCD/ field of view.

If the PA is out, then after a period of time, the rest of the field will appear to rotate about the guide star - nothing wrong with the guiding, just the PA error creeping in.

Summary:

Better PA alignment = better guiding results.

Edited by Merlin66
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

The guide system "guides" by holding a target star in the same position on your screen/ CCD/ field of view.

If the PA is out, then after a period of time, the rest of the field will appear to rotate about the guide star - nothing wrong with the guiding, just the PA error creeping in.

Summary:

Better PA alignment = better guiding results.

Ah yes, that makes sense. Thanks
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Hey there,

When I'm out in the field I just love my standalone AG (MGEN2). Easy to use, sets up in 2min and just works (incl. Dithering and camera control). For field use theres nothing better.

If you have alrdy an obsy or if you use a laptop anyway for camera control, go with phd.

Gesendet von meinem GT-I9300 mit Tapatalk

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.