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Hi!

I am afraid that I am on the scrounge for information again from the good people of SGL - one day I hope to be able to give back to this forum as much as I am receiving in these early days. But for now I am mainly all take! :icon_redface:

I am starting to look at guiding for my astrophotography having read a few posts here and there about using a webcam as a guide camera. There is no way at the moment I can afford a dedicated guiding system - scope & camera.

I know from reading other posts to questions similar to this that I can use PHD together with EQMOD to run the mount and that you can use a webcam in certain situations as a guide camera.

My question is: do you keep the original lens on the webcam and use it Afocal; or do you take the lens off and direct the light straight onto the chip as you do with imaging with a webcam?

I wanted to try this system with my CG5 Advanced GT (this mount has the auto guide port) to see if the other equipment I have (laptop, power pack etc.) can handle it before I start to spend out on more advanced stuff at some point in the future.

I have a 6x30 finder scope on my C8 but I also have a 20x50 Mirador spotting scope that I thought I could mount on the main tube if that would be better to use as a guide scope. I appreciate that the magnification on the spotting scope is a bit high but I am using what I have got in order to save money! :wink:

I hope to be getting a second hand DSLR soon which I will be using for imaging rather than the Philips SPC900NC which I am using at the moment. The SPC900 could then become my guide cam (if it doesn't need its lens :smiley: ).

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Hi Bryan, Quite alot of us use a webcam/finderscope for guiding. The SPC is ideal if modified for long exposure as you will need at least 2 sec exposure. The finder I use is a standard Skywatcher 50mm, the eyepiece is removed and an adapter made to fit the webcam minus it's lens. The objective of the finder can then be screwed in/out to achieve focus.

The 6/30 is abit too small, To be honest the 50mm is ok fov wise but i'm looking upgrade to an 80mm guide scope.

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I use a 9x50 finder scope with a cam attached, the webcan lens is unscrewed and an adapter for the 9x50 is screwed on in place. The rear of the 9x50 is unscrewed and the webcam with adapter is screwed on in place, the front lens is unscrewed and the ring is taken off, lens is replaced, this is to allow focus. Hope this is of help.

Jim

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Thanks! It looks like I will have to try and find a 50mm finder scope. I may have a look at AstroBoot or fleabay, see if I can't pick something up cheap. I am going to NY next month so I may pick-up something there. Hopefully not water damaged stock! :sad:

Good luck to anyone across the pond who is in hurricane Sandy's path. I hope it comes to nothing and turns away or fizzles out!

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Hi All,

I have bought a sky watcher 9x50 finder to use as a finder/guider. Where can i get an adapter for the back. I have a modded Microsoft Live cam and a Logitec 4000 to use as the camera.

Andy

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Andy, if you phone Bernard at Modern Astronomy (0208 7639953) he will put you right, his website has the adapter on there but best chat with him, I think the cost is about £30.

Jim

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I use a 9x50 finder scope with a cam attached, the webcan lens is unscrewed and an adapter for the 9x50 is screwed on in place. The rear of the 9x50 is unscrewed and the webcam with adapter is screwed on in place, the front lens is unscrewed and the ring is taken off, lens is replaced, this is to allow focus. Hope this is of help.

Jim

Hey there Jim,

I'm hoping you can help me with an effort to understand and hopefully use a finderscope/spc900 combo to guide with - I posted a question elsewhere in SGL and got some great info, though the main opinion seems to be the qhy5 guide cam together with the 9x50 finder.

As I have an spc900 and a 9x50 finder and the synscan kit with 'autoguidr' port I was hoping to learn from those who have used similar equipment to guide with.

Would you mind terribly if I pick your brain on the subject at some point?

Regards

Aenima

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Hey there Jim,

I'm hoping you can help me with an effort to understand and hopefully use a finderscope/spc900 combo to guide with - I posted a question elsewhere in SGL and got some great info, though the main opinion seems to be the qhy5 guide cam together with the 9x50 finder.

As I have an spc900 and a 9x50 finder and the synscan kit with 'autoguidr' port I was hoping to learn from those who have used similar equipment to guide with.

Would you mind terribly if I pick your brain on the subject at some point?

Regards

Aenima

Hi, I belive the main reason why folks advocate the qhy5 is that it does long exposure straight out of the box (and larger sensor?). I use an spc900/50mm finderscope for guiding but unless you do the LX mod on the spc there will be few stars to guide with.

I modded mine and with the 50mm finder, the small fov doesn't give you much choice but I have found stars on most targets with 3-4 sec exposures. Looking forward, I would like to increase the focal length/fov so my choice would be an ST80 with larger sensor.

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Thank you John,

I hadnt actually realised at first that the spc900's needed to be LX mods, so thats something I've learned - :)

I would have trouble using anything bigger than the 9x50 for obvious reasons and would probably need to look into other webcams versus biting the QHY5 bullet directly.

If my webcam was modded, for example, what else would be required to attach it to the synscan motorbox? I dont mind whether I use a handset or laptop to control things though prefer to just do guiding with laptop and handset suits me fine but right now tracking is my priority.

Appreciate the input thank you :)

Regards

Aenima

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