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By Welsh Dave
Does anyone have any experience with this sort of guide scope?
I am hoping to add a ZWO ASI120MM-Mini Guide camera to it.
Specs of the guide scope:
- Wide FOV
- 50 mm Aperture (Fast f/4 focal-ratio)
- 1.25 push fits & T2 Connections
Thank you all
I recently got an Orion StarShoot Astrophotography Camera and have had difficulty getting it
to work right. The software that comes with it AstroCap seems horrible. The start/stop mechanisms
are vague, the images won't appear. The best I've been able to do is see scan lines and some
color light or dark variations on the screen after messing with the exposure and the gain.
Popping the camera into the reflector or the refractor telescope yields nothing. I'm told
there is other software that is better supported and more current including SharpCap
and NINA. However so far neither of those recognize my StarShoot with the ASCOM
Can someone tell me precisely what drivers I need to get the Option Starshoot (the original)
to work with SharpCap NINA or some other software? A link would be much appreciated.
What I downloaded from Orion have been AllInOneDrivers.ZIP AllInOneASCOM.ZIP and
ASCOMPlatform 6.1 and later 6.5. The only software where I'm able to deliver even
a poor image to the laptop has been AstroCap. Or if there's a new and improved
AstroCap beyond 1.3.9 do tell!
Monday 5th Oct: un-boxing & 1st View
During the day outside I unboxed a Nexstar 8SE (25mm EP) and did a course alignment of the red dot finder. I'm using a TalentCell power bank & that worked well.
I planned to leave the scope outside but rain arrived.
In the evening I attempted to setup the scope in the dark. I misplaced the camping and the OTA fell into the luckily soft lawn. So that's the metal Shell christened 🤔
I did get to see a glorious moon surface. More detail than from my 80EQ firstscope.
Evening 2: Tuesday 6th
Mars was tonight's planned view.
I didn't get on with a skylight so did a solar align on Mars.
Compared to my old scope I've made Mars a brighter White disc with some greyed areas. (25mm & zoom EP)
The worst thing was mars drifted and when I tried Goto the scope went further away. Looking at my setup I found North America rather than U.K. 🤔
Eve 3 Friday 9th
Last night i.used a GPS to add my garden's Long & Lat as well as a time entry using seconds with my iPhone as the visual time aid.
I failed again at the 1st skyalign. The solar planet align was used again.
Mars was the target and my viewing.
It was a bright disc again but with maybe more obvious slightly darker areas.
Mars drifted again even though the scope's Motors could be heard.
I retired a 3 bright object alignment and this time the Nexstar was happy.
I could choose over planets and Goto back to Mars. It wasn't central in the eyepiece but OK
How similar to novice backyard astronomers is my early experience?
I am surprised at the drift in a goto.but hope.that I just need to be better at Skyalign.
The focus setup looks good as Mars out of focus is two perfect circles looking like a doughnut. I didn't observe how an OOF star looked.
****** Bottom line, when the scope fell out of the clamp that 1st day, have I damaged it's function and not just good looks? ******
****** Is drift a sign of inaccurate alignment? *********
ps Not mentioned is my garden is poor for light pollution and with the old scope it became just viewing the moon & Sun I relied on for interest.
Mars did look ok ~2000 we saw a polar cap with the old scope.
I recently scored a great deal on facebook marketplace and bought Skywatcher Skymax 180 mm Maksutov-Cassegrain Telescope (f/15) with EQ6R-pro mount. I understand that long focal length telescopes are more suitable for planetary imaging. However, as I am tight on budget, I would like to use the same scope for deep-sky astrophotography. I have Canon Rebel T5 DSLR camera that I am using for taking images. Without autoguiding and a decent polar alignment, I can get ~30 seconds long shots without any star trailing, but that's not sufficient for imaging objects like M51. I would like to be able to integrate longer, say few minutes, thus would like to purchase an autoguider. Here are some specific questions I have.
1). The telescope comes with an 8 x 50 straight-through finder. If I were to use it as a guidescope, what type of image integration time can I expect? Has anyone done autoguiding for f/15 scope with an 8x50 or other finderscopes?
2). If the integration time will be an issue with the 8x50 finder scope, I am open to purchasing an off-axis-guider. However, considering the narrow field-of-view of Mak-180 telescope, I am concerned about not having enough photons from guidestar for autoguiding. For instance, with my DSLR camera, I need to integrate 20-30 seconds to see the nearby stars in M51. What type of OAG and camera would I need to autoguide with my scope? Are there affordable cameras (~$200) that would do the job for me? Would ASI120MM Mini Monochrome (~$150) do the job? What about OAG?
I plan to use phd2 software for autoguiding rather than relying on the build-in guide port on the mount. Instead of integrating for hours, I am planning to do DSS stacking of few mintues long multiple shots, hopefully this will put less strict requirements on the autoguider.
In case this information is relevant: with my current setup, I have no issue pointing my scope to a desired deep-sky object, track the object within the field-of-view of my DSLR camera for hours using the mechnical tracking of the EQ6 mount. For instance following is a single raw image of Ring nebula taken with 30 seconds shot. But it is not enough for generating high-quality images.
Thank you in advance for your help.
Wow so my new scope arrived and I was running through all the different options for guiding. I thought I would share my experience and hopefully other beginners might find something useful from this.
I purchased a skywatcher evostar 80ED Pro with a HEQ5 Pro mount and it came with two green dovetail bars. I already had an ST-80T that I wanted to mount on top but the “dovetail bar” that came with that was a small useless plastic block.
The biggest, most annoying hurdle with this process was that on each dovetail bar, there were metric- and whitworth-threaded holes, with different diameters. What I ended up doing, was taking off the evostar dovetail and attaching that to the top of the evostar scope rings. This was important because this dovetail bar has a slot in it, that allowed me to correctly space the guidescope rings.
I only had two whitworth bolts (fortunately that were quite long and had nuts with them), but I used each of those to attach the dovetail bar to the top of the evostar rings. The whitworth bolts were both cut down to size, and the spare part of the thread was used to attach one of the guidescope rings to the top dovetail bar.
Note that I had to drill out the thread of the ST80 rings, as they were metric threads, where as the dovetail had whitworth threading!
I screwed the length of whitworth bolt down from the top and used the nut and a small washer to tighten it down. For the second ring, I placed it in the slot of the dovetail bar and used a small length of metric thread, that I could then bolt from each side (effectively clamping everything together).
Finally, I attached the dovetail bar that came with the HEQ5 (I think it might be the standard, medium dovetail bar that you can purchase separately), to the bottom of the evostar rings. I think I used the bolts that were originally in the bottom of the ST80 rings to bolt those down, and then added in the lateral screws to make sure the rings couldn’t rotate.
It was considerably harder work than it needed to be but I am pleased with the results. It cost me nothing but time and a bit of effort. I know that the guide rings don’t have adjustment bolts, but at least with the current set up, there is no determinable flex, and with an 80mm scope, it shouldn’t be hard finding a guide star. I am a fan of having the matching green dovetail bars. And I have attached the guide camera and DSLR and can perfectly balance the mount. So overall, a great result.