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Hi, this question has probably been done to death here, but can I ask the community to help me decide on a new camera?
After struggling with my very glitchy QHY5LIIc camera for a while, as well as having a forced break from astronomy, I have decided to get a new camera. After all the problems I've been having with the QHY, I really don't want to use this manufacturer again. I know lots of people use them quite happily, but once bitten ...
I have been looking at the ZWO cameras - OSC, as I haven't the time, clear skies, or patients to do LRGB imaging!
I have about £250 to spend, which I may be able to push to £300 if I wait a bit. ? So I've been looking at the ASI224MC, ASI290MC and the ASI178MC cameras.
I mainly do planetary/Luna imaging, but I have also dabbled in a bit of DSO and would like to continue with both. I have a C9.25 and a ST80 guide scope. I know these aren't ideal for DSOs but please humour me!
I think from the specs/information that the 224 is probably the best option. Although the resolution and QE are the worst of the three, the well depth and read noise are the best and the fps is pretty good too.
I don't know if there are better/cheaper cameras using the same chips, such as Altair's range. I just don't want to make the same mistake that I did with the QHY!n
Any help/advice you can give will be much appreciated.?
Complete beginner question regarding using this mount.
When I have tried to set up and align the mount , the goto targeting is off by many degrees. Here's what I do - can someone tell me what I'm doing wrong!?
With the power off:
Align the tripod and mount to North and, with the clutches released, set the declination to my latitude (52deg 28' N). and the mount in the weights-down home position.
Lock the clutches and fine tune the alignment on Polaris using the mechanical adjustments on the mount.
Turn the power on:
Set up the date, time and location, elevation etc. in the handset (noting the American Date format and Longitude first (set to W 1deg 48')
DST = Yes
Select 1 Star align
Pick a star, I usually try Procyon or Betelguese depending on the time.
The scope slews to vaguely the right direction but actually nowhere near. It can take 2 or 3 minutes of manual slewing to centre the star in the eyepiece. Finishing, of course, with an up and right movement.
Finally, press Enter to complete the alignment ==> Alignment Successful says the handset optimistically.
Now from the object menu pick another target. Try, say, Polaris which was where I started and ... nowhere near it. It's the same regardless of the selected target.
I have tried 2 star alignment and 3 star alignment, a factory reset before starting, but nothing seems to work. Once i'm lined up on a target the mount tracks nicely - it just won't go where I want it to!
Not yet at my wits end but - Help!
A friend has an EQ3 Goto mount, I think it's the Sky-watcher one. Currently, I know nothing about them, except that he's having issues getting it to work. To the point that he's getting so frustrated with it he's seriously starting to thinking about throwing the mount away.
He's described what's happening to me. What he's saying is that the mount never points to the place where he's asked it to point. He's saying that say the scope is supposed to point towards something in Orion, it'll end up pointing somewhere on the other side of the sky. He's also said that it doesn't seem to want to track past a certain point in RA.
I'd thought rather than simply jump in and try to help him out and get just as confused, I was wondering if there's some check list of common EQ3 faults that I could work through to see if we can solve the issue.
Once thing I do know is that he's running the mount from a dedicated tracer battery, so it maybe safe to assume that the power supply is good. (althought it's something I'm going to double check as I don't want to miss anything)
A bit of an odd one aspect ratio wise, but fun to put together - first light for my new ASI294MC OSC and technically my first experimental attempt at a mosaic!
My first stab at using the camera meant I went for 30 second subs, I need to experiment more to settle on my ideal sub length...still, the results are decent for a low integration time of 1.7 hours.
I love the Orion constellation and if I had the skies and time, I would mosaic the whole thing, but failing that, I can do bits and pieces! Orion's Belt is amazing to me, the three stars, Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka, very distinctive in the night sky.
Full details on Astrobin.
Thanks for looking!
£450 including UK Next Day Special Delivery
Made by Diffraction Limited in Canada, owners of SBIG Cameras
Resolution 10.7MP, 3760 x 2840 pixels
Sensor Size 17.9 mm x 13.5 mm, 22.5mm diagonal (Four Thirds format ?)
4.75um x 4.75um pixel size
16 bit A/D
Binning 2x2 or 4x4
Exposures 0.01sec to 24hrs, 0.001 sec to 24hrs (2x2, 4x4 Bin)
Regulated Thermoelectric (TEC) Cooling with Fan
Cooling Range 20C° below ambient
Dark Signal (at 0° C) 2e-/pixel/second
Dynamic Range 64 dB
Full Well Capacity 25,000 e-
Quantum Efficiency 32% @ 630 nm; 42% @ 550 nm; 40% @ 470 nm
Read Noise (RMS) 16 e-
Optical Window High transmission Schott B270 glass
Optical Coatings IR cutoff and anti-reflection multi-coatings
Shutter Internal Mechanical
Sub-Framing Full, Half, Quarter, selectable
Weight 0.91 kg
Power Requirements 12V DC 2.5Amp, tip positive
Back Focus Distance 26mm from M42 x 0.75 T2 flange
Comes with AstroFX software, written by the Maxim DL people.
With this you can set up automatic acquisition sequences to capture FITS Lights, Darks, Bias, and Flats, and then takes you step-by-step through a complete processing process
Or you can acquire FITS images, stack with DSS, and process with PS etc
Unusual for a colour sensor, Binning allows you to match the camera's pixel size to your focal length
Cylindrical shape is ideal for Fastar/ HyperStar setups
In the package:
Nightscape Camera with 2" Nosepiece
1.5M USB cable
Software CD containing:
Celestron and ASCOM Nightscape drivers
Nightscape Installation and User Guide
AstroFX User Guide
FitsView FITS Viewer
A DSS Master Dark to get you going - made from 23 Bin2x2 subs of 600 seconds at -20C
£450 including UK Next Day Special Delivery
UK BUYERS ONLY PLEASE
NGC 2175 "The Monkey Head Nebula"
Thanks for looking