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Buy a guidecamera?


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I don't know anything about using a finder for guiding but the Orion kit in the image above is a small guide scope, has nothing spring loaded, and seems rock solid. I haven't had chance to try it yet but did find this review.

There is also this package for longer focal length telescopes that uses a ST80.

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Hi Pete and thanks for your answer!

I tried my best to Polar align my mount that night, with the time and month/day axis set to the correct date etc etc, but maybe i didn't do it exactly enough. The Polar star however, was located in the circle so maybe I did wrong when I adjusted the date/day and time axis? But I'll try again when I get the chance so that I can practice even more on P.A.

I've also been looking around for Off Axis Guiders and noticed that they were surprisingly expensive, such expensive that I could get x2 of my main tube for the same price! Why are they so expensive and what is it that makes them better than a separate guide tube?

I also wonder what the difference is in precision if I have lets say, a finder scope guider or a separate guide scope?

Is it worth the money to get a good guide camera and a tube/off axis guider or is it enough with a finder guider and a cheap camera?

// Andreas

I may be wrong but ive just bought a planisphere and took it out a couple of times and things didnt line up when i checked you had to account for british summer time could that have something to do with alignment just a suggestion.
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Hi Dave

Yeah your right they are the same by all accounts.? I paid with the lead £189.00 delivered, not sure if it's the best price or not.?

Im fixing mine to my existing finder by way of thread. I did mention about the spring loaded system the finder had but I was told it probably won't be a problem.? I'm hoping it won't.!!

If it turns out the spring is a problem I'll have to remove it and replace with another screw.

Still waiting for it to turn up.....

Does your new scope then dave not have the spring loaded system for alignment.?

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Thanks for that info dave...

As this guy in the review wasn't really bothered about having spring loaded from the start I'm happy now.

Just wondering if you've had chance to use yours yet and if you used the settings as described in the review.?

I'm new to all this including PHD so these setting are good to know.

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I use a QHY5 on a finder guider, with the spring loaded attachment and haven't had any problem with it, with exposures up to 30min and no trailing.

That's really good news to hear.!

I was concerned wether this would be a problem or not but to now hear you have had 30min exposures is great news...

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It is screwed into the back of a Skywatcher 9x50 finder via an adaptor from Modern Astronomy. The eyepiece section of the finder unscrews and is replaced with the new adaptor then the camera screws into that.

Some people reported problems reaching focus with arrangement but I didn't have any bother at all. That could be down to the exact model of finder used. I have the current model, straight through 9x50. I do defocus slightly to give PHD bigger star shapes to work on, I never tried with it in perfect focus so can't say if it is doing any good but I haven't had any real difficulty getting the guiding accuracy I want. You undo the locking ring and screw the objective cell in or out to focus the Skywatcher finder.

Sent from my iPod touch using Tapatalk

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Yeah mine will be threaded too to my skywatcher finder but my finder is the right angled version. Hope this is not a problem.? I'm actually thinking of buying another finder to either you as the guide scope or finder.

Have you got both finder scope and guide scope or just using the guide scope.?

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I use a Rigel QuikFinder to help with aligning the mount, but I use the finderguider and PHD as an electronic finder to fine tune the pointing.

It shouldn't matter to PHD if you use a straight through or right angle finder. It just takes things as it finds them and works things out for itself.

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Hi Guys,

I'm a bit late to this discussion but here's my 2p's worth:

i've used a Sky-Watcher finder scope as a guider with a QHY5v (colour) for a couple of years. You can convert your finderscope to a guider by getting one of these adapters from Bern at MA.


I think you then, essentially, end up with the same kit as the Orion autoguider package.

Using the QHY5v camera meant that I could also use it to experiment taking video of planets - where guiding wasn't needed.

I think the main issue with guide cameras is sensitivity. You will need longer exposures with an insensitive camera, and longer exposures give a noisier picture, noisier pictures mean less accurate tracking.

Although a few years old now, this paper by Craig Stark on the performance of different guide cameras is a good read:


The QHY5v has worked quite well for me but in some parts of the sky there has often been occasions when I struggle to find a bright enough guide star for PHD to acquire. I've been using a borrowed Lodestar for several weeks to try it. No problem finding a guide star, ever, and I can use about a quarter of the exposure times compared to the QHY5, therefore more rapid updates and more accurate tracking.

So, I've just bought a Lodestar. Ouch!

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