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My plans for a new ap setup


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I would like some input on my plans for a short focal astrophotography setup.

My starting point:

Narrowband imaging due to lp

Easy to get started, have a pier but no observatory, few things to connect.

No collimation

Autofocusing, don't wanna stand outside with my computer focusing.

A nice flat field and easy to calibrate the images

A nice grab and go telescope for visual use, for trips etc.

Easy imaging with as little hassle as possible is my thought.

The setup I plan to purchase.

Takahashi FSQ 85 - Baby Q with reducer

Atik One 9 with OAG

Dewheater

Hitec Mount Hub Pro Ultimate ( for easy setup, one piece to connect and bring in/out )

Starizona Motor focuser - controlled by the Hitec hub

Astrodon Ha 5mm, OIII 3mm, SII 3mm

Staranalyzer grating filer

Clear filter

Distance 24mm 71 - 47 from Precise parts

It will be mounted on my fine-tuned EQ6 Pro which works good with my GSO RC8, I might upgrade in the future.

Any thoughts or anything I have forgotten? All input is highly valuable!

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Hi Fyratrapporupp,

You nickname  is hard to type let alone pronounce :smiley: I am no expert on astrophotography but shouldn't you be giving advice! You seem to have it handled.

Best of luck with your new gear!

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I am not experienced enough to comment on your proposed kit but my eldest son lives in Alingsas which isn't far from you. Last time we were over to see him he took us up to Bengtsfors and we passed through Kungalv - proper dark skies !!!!!!

I am sure you will have a great time with whichever outfit you go for.

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Sounds lovely. Have you considered ASCOM, so you can use Astrotortilla?

Thanks Yes it will be controlled with ascom - I use astrotortilla for my current rig. Works great! I will probably use SGP for my coming rig.

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I am not experienced enough to comment on your proposed kit but my eldest son lives in Alingsas which isn't far from you. Last time we were over to see him he took us up to Bengtsfors and we passed through Kungalv - proper dark skies !!!!!!

I am sure you will have a great time with whichever outfit you go for.

Ah I grew up just across the lake - Mjörn. Yeah there is some dark skies not far away from where I live - too bad I live in the city - which is the reason I plan using narrowband. My plan is to get a remote observatory in the near future but then I would need a good mount as well.

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I would like some input on my plans for a short focal astrophotography setup.

My starting point:

Narrowband imaging due to lp

Easy to get started, have a pier but no observatory, few things to connect.

No collimation

Autofocusing, don't wanna stand outside with my computer focusing.

A nice flat field and easy to calibrate the images

A nice grab and go telescope for visual use, for trips etc.

Easy imaging with as little hassle as possible is my thought.

The setup I plan to purchase.

Takahashi FSQ 85 - Baby Q with reducer

Atik One 9 with OAG

Dewheater

Hitec Mount Hub Pro Ultimate ( for easy setup, one piece to connect and bring in/out )

Starizona Motor focuser - controlled by the Hitec hub

Astrodon Ha 5mm, OIII 3mm, SII 3mm

Staranalyzer grating filer

Clear filter

Distance 24mm 71 - 47 from Precise parts

It will be mounted on my fine-tuned EQ6 Pro which works good with my GSO RC8, I might upgrade in the future.

Any thoughts or anything I have forgotten? All input is highly valuable!

Hi,

Two things about your proposed items.

I tried to order up the Starizona focuser some time ago. I was told it would be a few weeks (about two). Then after a month I asked again, this time I was told it would be nearly ready (they were getting bits made). Now it is about another three weeks later and still no news! I suspect production problems but I am still convinced it is the focuser to go for. There is another one by Optec that looks good on paper.

Next the Astronomik filters. I have a full set of LRGB and narrow band, Ha,Hb,SII and OIII. I have had problems with halos in the red,blue, OIII and SII. I have sent an email with images off to Astronomik about 4/5days ago but so far no reply. I gave the asked for information, serial numbers etc. Narrow band filters are all 13nm and all second edition types. At present I am unsure if their guarantee will be honoured. Beginning to think I should have gone for Astrodon-------cost though! Ugg!

I would love to get the FSQ 85, from all I have read it is the BeesKnees of scopes.

You could consider the QSI CCDs I have the 583 and 683 wsg versions, fantastic cameras.

Wish you luck,

Derek

Edited by Physopto
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Hi,

Two things about your proposed items.

I tried to order up the Starizona focuser some time ago. I was told it would be a few weeks (about two). Then after a month I asked again, this time I was told it would be nearly ready (they were getting bits made). Now it is about another three weeks later and still no news! I suspect production problems but I am still convinced it is the focuser to go for. There is another one by Optec that looks good on paper.

Next the Astronomik filters. I have a full set of LRGB and narrow band, Ha,Hb,SII and OIII. I have had problems with halos in the red,blue, OIII and SII. I have sent an email with images off to Astronomik about 4/5days ago but so far no reply. I gave the asked for information, serial numbers etc. Narrow band filters are all 13nm and all second edition types. At present I am unsure if their guarantee will be honoured. Beginning to think I should have gone for Astrodon-------cost though! Ugg!

I would love to get the FSQ 85, from all I have read it is the BeesKnees of scopes.

You could consider the QSI CCDs I have the 583 and 683 wsg versions, fantastic cameras.

Wish you luck,

Derek

Ok great to know - I find the information on which motor focusers that fits the fsq 85 a bit confusing and sparse.

Yeah the astrodon cost is... well let say I hope they are worth it.

The only less good I have heard of the fsq85 is the focuser.

Although the chip size and fov of the 583/683 is a better fit with the scope the deal breaks for me is the low sensitivity and the higher noise. Because I will be imaging with nb I will need the extra sensitivity and low noise of the Sony chip.

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I have an FSQ85 as well as a Sony chip - The QSI690. In all honesty, I think I should have got the larger Kodak chip. Don't get hung up on the sensitivity of the Sony (the Kodak chip will give you more than enough detail) and all of the Kodak noise will calibrate out anyway - In my experience only, based on the same scope and the Sony chip, don't let these two things be the deal breaker. Look at the chip size as THE most important thing....... I wish I had and I would have gone in a different direction for sure.

I find that I am having to do an awful lot of mosaics that would have been negated with the larger chip. The extra time that you need to get 1, 2 or 3 extra panes would be better spent gathering more data on one pane with the Kodak chip in my opinion.

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Hi,

I have been speaking to Wayne at Starlight instruments and they have confirmed their HSM-TAK (handy stepper motor) will work with the FSQ-85 original focuser.  I am not sure of compatibility with the Mount Hub Pro but I have several of these HSM's and it is very handy to be able to disengage the focus motor for manual operation at times.

Sara, do you have any CCD tilt issues with the QSI and FSQ-85? 

hope that helps,

Nick

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I have an FSQ85 as well as a Sony chip - The QSI690. In all honesty, I think I should have got the larger Kodak chip. Don't get hung up on the sensitivity of the Sony (the Kodak chip will give you more than enough detail) and all of the Kodak noise will calibrate out anyway - In my experience only, based on the same scope and the Sony chip, don't let these two things be the deal breaker. Look at the chip size as THE most important thing....... I wish I had and I would have gone in a different direction for sure.

I find that I am having to do an awful lot of mosaics that would have been negated with the larger chip. The extra time that you need to get 1, 2 or 3 extra panes would be better spent gathering more data on one pane with the Kodak chip in my opinion.

Interesting - thanks. Perhaps I should be looking for a second hand QSI 683 then.

Do you have a motor focuser on your setup?

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Do you have a motor focuser on your setup?

I do yes - Absolutely brilliant.

Also, I'd not necessarily look at a QSI. I say that after having a couple of issues with my QSI and I honestly think that while they are well built, with the Kodak chip I'd certainly be looking elsewhere..... perhaps Moravian. Would I buy a QSI with a Kodak chip I ask myself? I'm afraid I wouldn't.

Edited by swag72
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Hi,

I have been speaking to Wayne at Starlight instruments and they have confirmed their HSM-TAK (handy stepper motor) will work with the FSQ-85 original focuser. I am not sure of compatibility with the Mount Hub Pro but I have several of these HSM's and it is very handy to be able to disengage the focus motor for manual operation at times.

Sara, do you have any CCD tilt issues with the QSI and FSQ-85?

hope that helps,

Nick

Great I have had my eyes on that - mainly because the possibility to disengage it. Now I need to figure out the compatibility with the hitec hub.

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I do yes - Absolutely brilliant.

Also, I'd not necessarily look at a QSI. I say that after having a couple of issues with my QSI and I honestly think that while they are well built, with the Kodak chip I'd certainly be looking elsewhere..... perhaps Moravian. Would I buy a QSI with a Kodak chip I ask myself? I'm afraid I wouldn't.

Oh ok I have heard such great things of QSI - which issues have you encountered? Which motor focuser do you use?

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My first QSI690 had to be returned as the gain was incorrectly set. There's a potential issue with this one as well that I want to hear from QSI before I mention it. The downside is that if there are any issues then you need to return to the US.

Sadly, with the Sony chip and an all in one package (filter wheel and OAG) there is no alternative to the QSI. The SX doesn't have an integrated filter wheel and OAG and the Atik (in my experience of a 460) has woeful cooling for the summer in Spain.

For the focuser I am currently using a Lakeside - Works well and I am pleased with it. I use it on the original Tak focuser with no issues, plugged directly into the PC. I dont use a Hitec hub..... don't need one.

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Hi again,

 As someone said don't get hung up on the sensitivity. The Sony CCD of the QSI 690 is only 12.48mm x 9.98mm or 124.55mm area at 9.19 meg pixels. The QSI 583/683 ccd is 17.96mm x 13.52mm giving an area of 242.82 mmat 8.3 meg pixels. That is 1.95 times the imaging area.

A 44mm diameter imaging circle is 1520mm2. i.e. the bigger the chip the less light wasted. Also with the reducer fitted you loose 4mm diameter in the focal plane, (40mm diameter).

The closer you can get to that area the better. If you can focus down to the area of the CCD all the better. Have a look at "ccdCalc" and try out the different CCD sizes on the Tak FSQ 85 scope. You will see how much each CCD will cover. I use it to check coverage for the different scope and CCD combinations. You can specify Field flatteners and Barlows to see what happens to the field of view.

Finally the 583 is the same as the 683 in all respects as to sensitivity and coverage. It differs only in the download time. About 22 seconds for the 583 as opposed to around 12 seconds for the 683. The reasons that I have two QSI cameras  is

1) I really like them.

2) well made.

3) I wanted the 8 position filter wheel, and the upgrade price was daft so I bought a second later model.

4) No one has offered me a sensible price to sell the 583. So I kept it, my gain their loss!

I am aware of the problems that have been mentioned with the 690, so I am doubly glad I stuck to the Kodak chip.

Have a look at Nick Szymanek's comments on the QSI cameras. He has a superb website with his images on the flicker pages.

One thing I forgot to mention is the smaller the pixel size the lower the full well capacity for electrons.This means on bright objects it will take less time to possibly bloom. You loose detail! This depends upon a lot of different manufacturing methods. I'm no expert on that at all.

Derek

Edited by Physopto
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Ok im looking into a 8300 ccd. I like QSI683WSG but I'm interested in the Moravian G2-8300 with an internal filter wheel and oag due of the price and as it is a European brand. Does anyone know if there will be an issue with vignetting with the combo of an FSQ85 with reducer and 31mm filters in the g2-8300?

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I don't know about the Morovian camera. The QSI has the filters very close to the CCD chip. I believe that Vignetting starts to occur when the F number gets below F4 ish! you would have to check on that. But the QSI cameras have filter wheels capable of taking  unmounted 31mm filters to combat this. My scope is F7 so never had this problem. Any vignetting can easily be dealt with by PI or Photoshop anyway. The FSQ 85 with a reducer gives F3.8 I think so on the border line. But I suspect that it will be the case for any camera unless very large chip size and very expensive filters. I.e. probably a waste of money. The focusser on the Tak has been talked about as not the best But if I bought one I would change it for a Feathertouch anyway.

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I don't know about the Morovian camera. The QSI has the filters very close to the CCD chip. I believe that Vignetting starts to occur when the F number gets below F4 ish! you would have to check on that. But the QSI cameras have filter wheels capable of taking  unmounted 31mm filters to combat this. My scope is F7 so never had this problem. Any vignetting can easily be dealt with by PI or Photoshop anyway. The FSQ 85 with a reducer gives F3.8 I think so on the border line. But I suspect that it will be the case for any camera unless very large chip size and very expensive filters. I.e. probably a waste of money. The focusser on the Tak has been talked about as not the best But if I bought one I would change it for a Feathertouch anyway.

Update QSI state F3 before vignetting!

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