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Which guide camera replacement


almcl
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My mis-behaving QHY 5LII ( thread here) turned out to have a broken USB connector and my efforts to de-solder and replace it with a new one haven't been successful.

I am slightly surprised that what appears to have been a faulty solder joint anchoring the socket to the circuit board lasted as long as it did and now wonder what to do about a replacement?

The choices I've considered are:

    Another QHY 5Lii   - £175

but there are cheaper options:

    ZWO ASI 120MM       - £126
    ZWO ASI 120MM mini - £151

as well as more expensive ones:
    
    ZWO ASI 290MM mini - £277
    Lodestar X2 mono       - £460   
    ZWO ASI 174MM mini - £475

and I think the Lodestar and ASI 174 are  probably out of reach.

As I have recently switched to Off Axis Guiding, sensitivity is a concern (the QHY was good with a guide scope and OK with the OAG) but given the short life of the QHY camera, robustness is also an issue.

Could I get as good a result for less, or would the extra ~£100 for the 290 be worth it?
 

Edited by almcl
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The  ZWO ASI 120MM (USB2) is a venerable camera - but - it does not work at all well with Linux / KStars / Ekos etc...  So if that is in your imaging setup or might be in the future, its not the camera to choose. 

The USB3 version is fine.

The lodestar is the defacto camera of choice for OAG although its a bit pricey - you might be able to re-purpose and old atik ccd for a lot less money.

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Thanks for the responses, guys.

Nice to know the 120 works as an OAG.  I didn't have any problems with the QHY software/drivers wise, it was imaging (only distant trees admittedly) 30 minutes after I originally opened the parcel, but as Skipper Billy points out, the build quality does let it down. 

I am strictly a Windoze man at the moment (Win7 64 bit pro on a s/h Panasonic Toughbook) and haven't had too many issues with drivers &c, so maybe the 120 mini is my future, although £90 on Ali Express sounds interesting too...

 

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8 hours ago, John78 said:

USB2

I've been using the ZWO 120 for a good year and I'm trying out a loaned Lodestar X2 - my set up is OAG and 2.2 metre focal length. The Lodestar virtually always picks up a guidestar - the ZWO not quite as much so I end up moving the target a wee bit.  I'll probably buy the Lodestar.  It also fits in the barrel of the OAG guide port so I can get it nearer the prism.

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I changed from a Altair Astro GPCAM2 (not sure, but i think this might be similar to the QHY5) to the ASI290mm mini and i was amazed with the amount of stars available compared to the GPCAM. Yes, it was a little more expensive, but i feel it was well worth the money. Plus I've been trying out using the ASI290mm with some planetary imaging and its pretty damn good as well.

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On 13/07/2018 at 14:31, Skipper Billy said:

Another contender is the Atik GP - UK support - well made - and bombproof drivers - it works really well.

I never got on with the QHY5 Lii - poor build quality and flaky drivers.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/atik-cameras/atik-gp-guiderplanetary-camera.html

33298762_1813447228959924_5156836579402055680_o

 

Every time I see a picture of your setup there is something new and expensive attached to it lol, nice kit.

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Pressed the button on an ASI 120 mini but having a bit of an issue connecting it to the Canon OAG as for some peculiar reason the CS adapter supplied with the ASI doesn't like the CS thread that worked so well with the QHY 5L.

With luck a 3D printed holder will arrive in the post tomorrow.

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