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At a crossroad, feedback needed for future investments

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Hi guys

The dark season is soon upon us (up here in the north), and I hope to be back out there getting annoyed with the weather pretty soon.

The thing is that I've not yet decided where to take my AP setup next. If I had a permanent obsy this wouldn't be as much of a crossroad but since I have to be somewhat portable (and I'm already loaded with my mount) I dedicded to investigate the different options that are available.

As of now I'm running a NEQ-6, 6" newt, Nikon non modded DSLR and a 19Ah powertank.

I see two paths here:

Option one:

  • Getting a larger power tank
  • Running a laptop for guiding
  • CCD camera sometime soon
  • Mount hub
  • Heat bands

The question here is mainly how do I power a laptop, do I get one with huge battery life?

Option two:

  • Synguider (or equalivent)
  • Astromodded DSLR

The question here is how good are Synguiders? I heard both good and bad. Also can I shoot with say Hydrogen Alpha filters with a modded DSLR?

Sooner or later i suspect I'll be using a wholly computerized setup with maxim DL, CCD, filter wheel and auto focuser, but at this point I'm beginning to suspect I want something I can load into my car easier and be able to get going faster. So the last few weeks I'm beginning to see the beauty of the second option here. Also if I take the plunge for a CCD, I decided I want a really expensive one and that is currently not an option. I don't see myself doing all nighters, I usually try and squeeze in a few good hours, but rarely until sunrise since I have to be fresh enough to drive home from the dark site.

I guess many of you here have experience with the different types of setup and I would be delighted to hear your thoughts on the matter.

Besides that I have a bunch of stuff I need this season: Timer remote for my Nikon, coma corrector, focus mask, flats box, some kind of guide tube like an ST80 (and maybe as a grab n go).

Also I've been toying with the idea of dropping the 6" newt for a decent APO or photo and a larger newt (maybe a 10") for visual and the odd planet.

Any thoughts or ideas on this would be helpful.

Edit: Maybe I'll get an ST102 on a alt-az mount to serve both as grab n go and guide scope.

Edited by VigdisVZ
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