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I've learned how, now I need "what"!


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You don't have to get an auto guiding setup straight away, good images can be achieved without it, especially with widefield telescopes like the 80ED. 

OAG is not required for 80ED.  Your best setup should you choose to get a guiding setup is one of the bundles on FLO:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/guide-cameras/sky-watcher-evoguide-50ed-guidescope-zwo-asi120mm-bundle.html

or https://www.firstlightoptics.com/guide-cameras/guide-scope-bundle-suitable-for-piggy-backing.html

You also need to think about where you will run your guiding software from.  Some people use old laptops or buy mini-pcs and you need to think where you can position the computer without it getting wet.

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Hi, James. Make this your first purchase ... it will save you money and heartache in the long run.

You would use one of https://www.firstlightoptics.com/adapters/skywatcher-dslr-m48-ring-adapter.html to attach it to the focal reducer/flatterer.  The purpose of a guide camera in a nutshell is to mak

All great advice by everybody, It might also be worth knowing how bad your light pollution is. Some kind of CLS filter, or maybe even a narrow band would be good for dealing with light pollution.

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I like your choice of scope and mount, I have both and they work well.

As regards off axis guider, I think this works well for the people who are technically minded and able but I have read a number of threads where people have had a lot of trouble getting the right spacing and other technical problems in setting it up, so I avoid these problems by simply using the finderscope that comes with the ED80 and turning it into a finder guider with a cheap adapter which hopefully FLO can supply to you.  

Carole 

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That the exact kit I'm going to be purchasing in the near future, (though toying with the EQ6-R Pro also). I've got a Nikon D7100 which I will use with the 80ED until I'm confident of progressing to a colour (or mono) cmos camera. 

The HEQ5 (or EQ6-R) also future proofs you to buy bigger scopes later on!!  If you did go HEQ5 it's been recommended to get the modded Rowan belt version which is only £100 or so more. https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-mounts/sky-watcher-heq5-pro-with-rowan-belt-mod-upgrade.html

I've already got a autoguider which I use with the star adventurer.... couldn't find it on FLO so here is a link to Harrisons in UK https://www.harrisontelescopes.co.uk/acatalog/altair-60mm-guide-scope-gpcam2-package.html

 

 

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9 hours ago, GoodOleJim said:

 

Also, I've contemplated this for my camera. I've heard some pretty great things about this camera's ability to take both deep sky and planetary images.

https://www.telescope.com/Orion-StarShoot-AutoGuider-Pro-Mono-Astrophotography-Camera/p/106545.uts

 

As this is a very expensive bundle, I'm searching for any further advice as to changes I should/may make.

 

That camera would probably be good for planetary imaging with a long focal length telescope, but not with the 80ED since it is too wide field (short focal length) for getting close to planets. And, that camera has a very small chip so you would not make use of the wide field of the 80ED for deep sky imaging (most of the image that the scope collects will be outside the chip). It is also not cooled so it will be rather noisy. If you do not want to spend money on a cooled camera with a larger chip right now, then, for deep sky I think you would be better off with the large chip of a DSLR. My choise of a relatively inexpensive DSLR with relatively low noise has been the Canon 60D which you can get used for 300-400 dollars on ebay. Because of its low noise Canon also sold it in an astro version (60Da) but that one is still very expensive on ebay and the only difference is that it has a different filter in front of the chip so it picks up more red light, but the standard version is not too bad at that either.

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14 hours ago, gorann said:

That camera would probably be good for planetary imaging with a long focal length telescope, but not with the 80ED since it is too wide field (short focal length) for getting close to planets. And, that camera has a very small chip so you would not make use of the wide field of the 80ED for deep sky imaging (most of the image that the scope collects will be outside the chip). It is also not cooled so it will be rather noisy. If you do not want to spend money on a cooled camera with a larger chip right now, then, for deep sky I think you would be better off with the large chip of a DSLR. My choise of a relatively inexpensive DSLR with relatively low noise has been the Canon 60D which you can get used for 300-400 dollars on ebay. Because of its low noise Canon also sold it in an astro version (60Da) but that one is still very expensive on ebay and the only difference is that it has a different filter in front of the chip so it picks up more red light, but the standard version is not too bad at that either.

These are excellent points, and confirmed some of my suspicions about non-cooled cameras. I'm looking at a Canon 60D for the DSLR setup. What kind of bracket do I need to attach it?

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On 21/09/2018 at 06:09, GoodOleJim said:

These are excellent points, and confirmed some of my suspicions about non-cooled cameras. I'm looking at a Canon 60D for the DSLR setup. What kind of bracket do I need to attach it?

Sorry for my slow response. The company that sells you the telescope can also supply you with the correct adapter. For a Canon EOS you will need an EOS to T2 adapter (T2 is a standard for a certain diameter and threading that is widely used in astrophotography), and you may possibly need some T2 extender ring to get the correct distance between the reducer and the camera chip (that distance is very critical and should be within a mm or you get egg shaped stars in the corners). Good luck!

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12 hours ago, gorann said:

Sorry for my slow response. The company that sells you the telescope can also supply you with the correct adapter. For a Canon EOS you will need an EOS to T2 adapter (T2 is a standard for a certain diameter and threading that is widely used in astrophotography), and you may possibly need some T2 extender ring to get the correct distance between the reducer and the camera chip (that distance is very critical and should be within a mm or you get egg shaped stars in the corners). Good luck!

No big deal at all! So when I attach the DSLR to the telescope, I remove the lense from the camera right?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey guys! Update!

I just got my Skywatcher 80ED and HEQ5 mount in! I have a few questions, as I currently have no idea what I'm doing, but I'm excited for the future.

 

What do you all use to power your mount?

 

Also, to attach my DSLR to my telescope, I would need these two parts correct?

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/pro-series/skywatcher-85x-reducer-flattener-for-ed80.html

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/adapters/skywatcher-dslr-m48-ring-adapter.html

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Connection: you require the dslr ring. The reducer/flattener is to make the field "flat" i.e. focus is reached at all points on a flat plane (like your camera chip - the focus is naturally on a curved plane) and to reduce the focal distance and so make the scope "faster". This is therefore not essential but highly desirable and will greatly improve the results.

Power:  Many people use some kind of powertank, or build a setup around a leisure battery. I just run an extension lead out from the house and have a plug-in 12v power supply. If you are going to do that, be aware of the hazards of having a mains lead outside and condensation.

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8 minutes ago, Demonperformer said:

Connection: you require the dslr ring. The reducer/flattener is to make the field "flat" i.e. focus is reached at all points on a flat plane (like your camera chip - the focus is naturally on a curved plane) and to reduce the focal distance and so make the scope "faster". This is therefore not essential but highly desirable and will greatly improve the results.

Power:  Many people use some kind of powertank, or build a setup around a leisure battery. I just run an extension lead out from the house and have a plug-in 12v power supply. If you are going to do that, be aware of the hazards of having a mains lead outside and condensation.

Thanks for the response! I figured all I needed was the adapter, but I know the flattener is highly recommended, so I'll probably buy them both. I'll do some research on power units. I'd like to make my setup portable, so I believe some sort of powertank is going to be the way to go here.

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Portability will require battery or power tank. Bear in mind that it is going to be long periods of sustained usage rather than short bursts of high usage, so things like car-starters are not the best. You can get powertanks from scope manufacturers, but these tend to be far too expensive for what they are.

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1 hour ago, GoodOleJim said:

Thanks for the response! I figured all I needed was the adapter, but I know the flattener is highly recommended, so I'll probably buy them both. I'll do some research on power units. I'd like to make my setup portable, so I believe some sort of powertank is going to be the way to go here.

Your best bet for power is a 12v leisure (or deep cycle)  battery. I have two, a 110ah battery for the cameras, dew heaters and mount and a 50ah battery for my NUC PC that I run everything from. This enables prolonged imaging runs in the field and is probably overkill but whatever you do don't underestimate the power needs of your equipment. The batteries I use are housed in platic toolboxes and of course are fused - do a search on here for ideas on how to do this. If you do go down this route, try to avoid the 12v cigarette style connectors that seem to be almost standard with astro gear - some people get along with them but I have had nothing but trouble (even with the locking ones) with them disconnecting etc. Use  reliable, XLR type connectors instead.

I know a lot of this may be unnecessary for you at the moment but I wish someone had told me this when I first started with this very addictive hobby. Power supply can get overlooked as it isn't very exciting or glamorous compared to the other goodies!

HTH (for the future)

Rich ?

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