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RolandKol

Help with plans for Hyperstar + Cam + Scope

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Hi guys,

I need a guide for a "long run" purchase plan.

Long Story Short: I want to buy colour CCD or CMOS camera for DSO  via my SW 130PDS, and cannot decide as

here the Long Story kicks in!:

I am almost sure, in few years distance, I will go for a Hyperstar Solution. I am only 2 years in Ap hobby and these clouds are KILLING ME! :) London is not the best place for such a hobby, - I am sure you all will agree on that.

So, to get the best of that "one clear night a month", - Hyperstar is probably the only option... or, alternatively,  simply emigrate to LaPalma... 

I am 99% sure I will go Hyperstar way sooner or later, and like everyone, I hit the budget wall.  I look for cam in around £1k, Hyperstar will cost around £1k and plus the scope minimum £1k.

I am not the lucky one who can afford it in one go, so I think to by cam which will be usable with Hyperstar in the future and  here are some question I have googled and googled and could not found out:

1) of course, which cam, I think of ZWO ASI1600MC PRO or ASI294MC PRO. I am sure, both will perform OK on SW 130PDS, but what about Hyperstar???  And the next Q goes in relation;

2) My wallet will be able to afford something like EdgeHD 8" (+ Hyperstar), however, these ZWO cams are sooo big and I afraid 8" aperture will be too small as ZWO may place too much shadow while sitting on the  Hyperstar - anyone tried them on EdgeHD 8" ?;

3) If HD 8" is too small, I am sure, EdgeHD 9.25 is too expensive for my wallet, is there any alternative for 9" CSC + Flattener + Hyperstar to make a setup cheaper than HD 9.25" price (insane price difference... insane!)..

4) Or maybe, - I had to start with the question, - which is the ideal colour cam for HedgeHD 8", but if there are any cheaper options with larger Aperture + Flattener, - why not?

All goes on NEQ6 mount, - back garden in London, Woolwich.... with LP level which I call "the constant Polar Day".

P.S.

Why Colour cam? 

Filter prices! :) I want to avoid them till I will win a lottery.

 

 

 

Edited by RolandKol

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I'm not an imager but if I did consider it I would be thinking about my budget for the mount first as this seems to have the most impact on future imaging success. Hyperstar, notice the HYPE prefix, would be the last of my considerations.

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Someone else with far more experience will no doubt correct me but as I've previously been tempted to look at the hyperstar route and don't think it's the best way to go. The issues that I heard of with it were that with the focal ratio being so fast focusing has to absolutely spot on. Given sct's predilection for mirror flop this can be difficult to achieve. There were questions as I recall regarding the size of the imaging circle with some vignetting.

If your determined to image at very small F numbers given you've said you have an NEQ6, you might want to look at Celestron's Rowe Ackermann Astrograph. That has a larger aperture and is designed to operate at F2.2 instead of being modified. Better spending money and getting it right than forcing the wrong equipment. You'll get some better advice in the not too distant future I'm sure but something for you to look into whilst you wait.

Edited by Handy_Andy

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Ah, these are difficult questions!  So clearly, then, no obvious answers.

However, I have a Hyperstar, albeit only modest experience in using it, partly because of the weather!  Just a few thoughts so loosely linked to your questions, that I can’t match up the numbering..,

  • Hyperstar does let you get several images per night, rather than needing several nights per image.
  • the quality will probably not be APOD, but should be pleasing, given your constraints (LP, etc)
  • If you want ‘fast’, then bigger pixels will help
  • focusing is hugely helped with a Bhatinov mask and an electric micro focuser 
  • I don't know that Edge optics give you anything extra over vanilla SCT in Hyperstar mode

I have an album here with a few examples of Hyperstar (two of the three are 20 minutes total) and a QHY-8L, which can be acquired pre-owned for a very reasonable sum.

These are not GREAT images, but I think they are not too bad given minimum tweaking time and my inexperience.

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32 minutes ago, AKB said:

Ah, these are difficult questions!  So clearly, then, no obvious answers.

However, I have a Hyperstar, albeit only modest experience in using it, partly because of the weather!  Just a few thoughts so loosely linked to your questions, that I can’t match up the numbering..,

  • Hyperstar does let you get several images per night, rather than needing several nights per image.
  • the quality will probably not be APOD, but should be pleasing, given your constraints (LP, etc)
  • If you want ‘fast’, then bigger pixels will help
  • focusing is hugely helped with a Bhatinov mask and an electric micro focuser 
  • I don't know that Edge optics give you anything extra over vanilla SCT in Hyperstar mode

I have an album here with a few examples of Hyperstar (two of the three are 20 minutes total) and a QHY-8L, which can be acquired pre-owned for a very reasonable sum.

These are not GREAT images, but I think they are not too bad given minimum tweaking time and my inexperience.

1

Thanks for tips @AKB

they only reassure I am in the right direction.

I am on the Arduino AutoFocuser project at the moment, plus I got used to Bahtinov mask so much, I even cannot imagine how I managed to focus without it previously.

So, I guess, the focusing problem will be solved in advance.

Your pictures are really nice and I do not understand why they do not qualify for APOD? :) (you are a bit too modest here)

Wich exactly C9.25 you've got? Celestron has so many variations, I am completely lost.

@Handy_Andy

thanks for the advice. A very nice toy!!!! but... 

have you seen it's price? :) almost 3.5k,  EdgeHD 8  or C9.25 + Hyperstar becomes, two toys in one, - Planetary or DSO, plus saves 1.5k in the wallet (for a trip to LaPalma!) :)

 

Edited by RolandKol

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4 minutes ago, RolandKol said:

W[h]ich exactly C9.25 you've got? Celestron has so many variations, I am completely lost.

It's a plain-old C9.25.  In fact, I bought it as a C9.25 Evolution

4 minutes ago, RolandKol said:

have you seen it's [RASA] price? :) almost 3.5k

...and this is without the hospital bills incurred after you've damaged yourself trying to lift it.

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2 hours ago, Peter Drew said:

I'm not an imager but if I did consider it I would be thinking about my budget for the mount first as this seems to have the most impact on future imaging success. Hyperstar, notice the HYPE prefix, would be the last of my considerations.

Great observation. The Hyperstar is more often a problem than a solution, especially for broadband imaging.

To the OP I would say this: the 'numbers' applying to the Hyperstar are so overwhelmingly favourable (F2, high resolution from large aperture) that nobody would ever use anything else - if the numbers defined imaging reality. But they don't, as witness the images posted here and elsewhere.

If you live in London and want to image there you should forget broadband and F ratio (a dodgy term at the best of times) and invest in Astrodon ultra narrowband filters, expensive but largely London-proof. Get a reliable mount and a reasonably fast instrument (not an unreasonably fast one which may hardly ever work) and work in narrowband.

An important skill in imaging is honing your critical skills and seeing what makes a good image. Look for star colour, star size and shape, look for faint signal rising gently out of the background sky, look for tight resolution of fine detail - and so on. The Hyperstar is at its best in narrowband imaging since it rarely produces decent stars in natural colour.

An autofocuser will not remove your focusing problems. The big problem is tilt. With a microns-deep FOV from F2 your chip must be absolutely orthogonal to the light cone. Not easy.

I do not like the Hyperstar, as you can tell! It has its place but its place is not in my observatory I'm afraid. So I sound a note of caution which you are, of course, free to ignore.

Olly

Edit: I'm particularly irked by the Starizona advertizing. For example: Replacing the secondary mirror on your Schmidt Cassegrain telescope, Hyperstar converts it into an f/2 imaging system. Yes, we said f/2. That means your imaging canl be up to 28 times faster.

Now call this a lie, a deception, a mistake... call it what you will but don't mistake it for the truth! It is self-evident nonsense. Point an SCT at M51 and the photons from the galaxy go down the spout. They have no idea whether there's a Hyperstar system in there or not. If they find that there is, do they grow in number? Obviously not. They just land on fewer pixels. So you get a tiny, tiny little M51, nice and bright. If I'm imaging M51 I want its light to land on enough pixels to be able to see it.

F7, 12 hours.

M51%20HaLRGB%2012%20HRS%20TEC140%20more%

So I could, of course, resample this image down to a quarter of its size, get a better S/N ratio and shoot it in a fraction of the time. Hyperstar does not bring any free lunch.

Edited by ollypenrice
Clarification
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Thanks ollypenrice

"nobody would ever use anything else - if the numbers defined imaging reality. But they don't, as witness the images posted here and elsewhere."

Some cold shower is really good at this point as it can change my long terms plans, but while checking Flickr Hyperstar images I still do not see these differences in small details you mentioned.

I am sure, I am in the lack of experience in this field.

but

I will avoid NB AP for a while...

As my current London weather-related experience whispers me,  - "you can spend one night on H Alpha and wait another month for OIII night and your target will end up hiding in the bushes by that time".

Focusing tilt, - the new problem I still have not heard of and worth investigating (thanks for a tip-off!), but I also never read or heard of any set up to work directly out of the box. This hobby is - "never-ending problem-solving hobby" ;)  never ending one! :) in other words, - part and parcel of the joy.

 

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1 hour ago, RolandKol said:

Thanks ollypenrice

"nobody would ever use anything else - if the numbers defined imaging reality. But they don't, as witness the images posted here and elsewhere."

Some cold shower is really good at this point as it can change my long terms plans, but while checking Flickr Hyperstar images I still do not see these differences in small details you mentioned.

I am sure, I am in the lack of experience in this field.

but

I will avoid NB AP for a while...

As my current London weather-related experience whispers me,  - "you can spend one night on H Alpha and wait another month for OIII night and your target will end up hiding in the bushes by that time".

Focusing tilt, - the new problem I still have not heard of and worth investigating (thanks for a tip-off!), but I also never read or heard of any set up to work directly out of the box. This hobby is - "never-ending problem-solving hobby" ;)  never ending one! :) in other words, - part and parcel of the joy.

 

All my imaging systems worked straight from the box. Really, not joking. But I use refractors.

If you use a Hyperstar in London it will guzzle photons - from the object and the street lights in more or less equal measure. Only NB filters will exclude the street lights. 

Olly

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I image from London, and my 3nm Astrodons will have to be prised from my cold dead hands.

NB will allow you to image under astro twilight, ot moderate moonlight when RGB would be a write-off. Although I do some RGB galaxy imaging I have to chose my targets carefully, M33 is a no-go for instance.

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:) DaveS & ollypenrice

If I would manage to buy Astrodons + MonoCam in one go, no one would manage to get them even from my cold hands! :) I would be buried with them like a Pharaon :)

And it's not the first time I been "pushed" towards NB AP....
Probably and not the last, - worth changing the way of thinking... however... amounts of  ££££ becoming Pharaonic also....  and it freaks me out completely... 

 

Edited by RolandKol
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Hi. We started with the compulsory 80ed which was miserable compared to the 208 f3.9 with which it was replaced. If like us you'd get bored by having to return to the same object night after night then the hyperstar looks amazing value and gives you two for one value; if you want to do galaxies, use the conventional focus at the back. Maybe in London you're gonna need a CLS. Not sure if you can fit one at the front on a hyperstar... HTH.

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10 minutes ago, alacant said:

Hi. We started with the compulsory 80ed which was miserable compared to the 208 f3.9 with which it was replaced. If like us you'd get bored by having to return to the same object night after night then the hyperstar looks amazing value and gives you two for one value; if you want to do galaxies, use the conventional focus at the back. Maybe in London you're gonna need a CLS. Not sure if you can fit one at the front on a hyperstar... HTH.

Heheh, literally the only activity in which I've ever engaged in 65 years requiring patience is AP. I would get bored with producing something that wasn't as good as I could get it. Indeed I soon did get bored with that, but any approach to AP is valid since there are, thank goodness, no rules.

Olly

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3 hours ago, alacant said:

Hi. We started with the compulsory 80ed which was miserable compared to the 208 f3.9 with which it was replaced. If like us you'd get bored by having to return to the same object night after night then the hyperstar looks amazing value and gives you two for one value; if you want to do galaxies, use the conventional focus at the back. Maybe in London you're gonna need a CLS. Not sure if you can fit one at the front on a hyperstar... HTH.

Plus simple 0.63 focal reducer, makes it 3 in one... But C9.25 or EdgeHD in a long-term plans only... I have to make up my mind with the Camera first...
I just counted a "usual" MONO setup ASI1600MM + Astronomic 1.25" 6nm filters + ZWO Filter Wheel, = £2k in one go... if I go for a cheaper Baader 8nm, - £1.7K, £300 does not make a big difference in such amount ;) 

(I expect, I will need some £££ spacers/mounts or £££ power leads in addition) and that's why the Colour Option becomes very attractive...

P.S.

Will check the prices for Kidneys and will make up my mind....
P.P.S.

ZWO Chinese direct website sells ASi1600  even higher (x1.25) price than UK... how strange...

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I’ve just gone down the hyper star route. I already had the Edge 800 for lunar and planetary work and use it with the reducer too. It’s a great scope. The hyper star I’m using just for NB imaging and have bought the new f2 filters from Baader. I’ve only had them a couple of weeks so early days, but must say that I think the most important point from My first attempts is that focus is very, very difficult. My Edge has a Feathertouch fitted and it’s still really hard to get a very sharp focus. I think a motorized auto focus will help so I’m about to adapt one I already have to fit the Feathertouch and try it, but I suspect that collimating the Hyperstar lens is more the issue. I think that if you are starting out then a refractor of around 80mm on a good mount would be my advice. The Edge is a good scope but not without issues. Even without Hyperstar you need to think about guiding etc. AP tends to turn into a rather expensive hobby and can be very frustrating. I’ve just moved to SW France where I have good skies far more often than I had in UK and a nice dark site so hoping to get a permanent setup going to get the most out of the gear. Have to say that at the moment, if all else is failing I put my QSI660wsg8 on my 65 or 102mm refractor and am pretty much guaranteed good results. Whichever way you go, good luck. 

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I was going to go the HyperStar route with my C11 but I think I will wait and see what the Rasa 8 and 9.25 inch rate in the next few months before jumping in. I think the Rasa are excellent on the reviews I have seen so far as long as you only use it for Imaging.

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