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another guiding question


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Paul, I haven't used either, but did read up a bit on the Skywatcher Synguider when I was looking to guide and it sounded like a pretty good tool and fairly intuitive - and it is a bit cheaper than the Baader. I think I was turned off it by the fairly small screen that it uses which I felt would be restrictive, but that was just me.

The Altair Astro Finder/Guider is another lightweight option - but you obviously need to add a camera - which will bump the price up.

I ended up with the ST80 and ZWOASI120MM - about £260 all in - might be overkill for what you want, but I liked the idea of having the ZWO to cut my teeth on some planetary work (like that has happened!) and you could pair one up with the Altair Astro guider to good effect.

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Hi there,

I am a constant user of the synguider. The small screen isn't a problem for me, although it can be tricky to use it when the target in near zenith. Some people have added mirrors and magnifying glasses to help them see the screen. 

Regarding the performance, it works flawlessly with my mounts (AZ EQ6 and an EQ5 pro). I normally take 3 to 5 minute subs but I have gone as long as 20 mins and still got round stars. I attach it to an ST80 mounted on the SW guidescope mount which makes finding guide stars very easy. For best results, I reduce the aggressiveness of the guiding corrections by 20-40% after an auto calibration. 

Cons...well it is difficult to access the guiding corrections data (because they simply go straight to the mount rather than through a computer). Also since a computer is not involved, you have fewer options in altering its guiding behaviour, although this has never caused a problem for me. 

I can't comment on the Baader smart guider.

Hope this helps! SS :->

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In terms of being future proof, I imagine that other guiders are more sensitive and more controllable when paired with a laptop running PHD. I guess one day I will replace the synguider with something like a lodestar for this reason but for now it has pride of place sitting on my refractor!

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I have just installed a pier mount out my yard so the HEQ5 head is pointing to north all the time. My main goal was CCD but I cant get on with it at all and seriously considering selling it. ATM I have gone back to my Nikon just because clear nights have been so few and far between and wanted to capture something.  I have my laptop connected also just to use BYN to run a sequence, (originally the plan was EQMOD but im having issues with that so gone back to synscan). So to recap, pier mount (with a power source), laptop running BYN , synscan hand controller, telescope Equinox ED80 (also have a skywatcher 150). If I can run that guider with what I got then I think I would be happy with that and would probably sell the CCD and get a filter for the nikon

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