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You could use something like this with a monitor:

https://www.modernastronomy.com/shop/cameras/astro-video/revolution-imager/revolution-imager-r2/

Or the Lodestar X2 with Starlight Live software. 

There's other options out there too, which I cannot remember off the top of my head.

I would go down this route myself if it weren't for the fact that I do most of my observing in a tiny front garden in a "tough" East London area (live in a first floor flat). I have an 80mm frac on a lightweight altaz mount/photo tripod combo. If I see trouble approaching I can quickly and easily get back inside with the kit, which wouldn't be so easy with a  camera and monitor/laptop. Not ideal situation, but hey ho.


 

This was Strawpaw's answer to my question what would be required for EAA in terms of camera and software?

Last two days I was looking at all different options and there is just too much. While I like the above mentioned solution I would prefer something wireless so I can put the scope outside and do it all from inside :) I have AZ GTi Wifi so that is sorted. For EAA you don't need long exposures so alt-az tracking would do. Now the camera. What are the options here? The telescope I presume some fast small refractor would be on order? WO 73? or is ST80 good enough if one is mainly interested to catch glimpses of deep sky with this setup? For our solar system visual is no issue even from light polluted sky.

 

 

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Think like this:

Step 1. What is the resolution I want to work with? (I'll help you with that, for beginners in EAA with simple mount your target is around 1.5"/pixel, but don't go below that, coarser resolution is ok - like 2"/pixel or 2.5"/pixel).

Step 2. What is the most aperture I can mount on my setup?

Step 3. What is the camera with the least read noise, and highest QE that will give me matching resolution with answers of Step 1 and Step 2.

If there are "better" options in Step 3, return to Steps 1 and 2 and revisit your decision :D

Here is example of above workflow:

Step 1: 1.5"/pixel

Step 2: SkyWatcher 130PDS (looks like 4kg scope, AZ GTi can handle up to 5kg, so a match).

Step 3: ASI385MC-cool - target resolution 1.2"/pixel when paired with Step 2.  (you can go for non cooled version if budget is tight).

So no go in terms of Step 1.

What would be matching Step 2? Something with around 500mm (or less) focal length.

Next candidate (in low cost territory):

Skywatcher ST102 (or ST80 as you suggested).

 

Ideal software for EAA would have following features (not sure how far did SharpCap get, but I know it has live stack):

1. Live stack, including dark subtraction and flat field correction

2. Mount control (sort of guiding, adjust position after short exposure to recenter target and correct for any drift)

3. Plate solve - enables you to sync your gotos and provide you with information on "observed" target

4. Automatic or manual stack stretch, color calibration and "in view" processing

5. Integrate with planetarium software to provide goto functionality.

Do it all in headless / server operation to be accessed via network :D

 

 

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An ST 102 paired with an IMX224 cam and sharpcap is a tried and proven combination. Easy to find second hand telescope and camera, means you won't loose anything, when you upgrade. 224 cameras work great for guiding, should you turn to AP later.

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Thanks for the advice. I want as simple as poss. I have an Altair star wave 80ed scope on a skywatcher star discovery mount. Would this set up work (as per original link from @Starpaw- thanks). I really want 'plug and play' or as close as one can get to that with half decent images? 

https://www.modernastronomy.com/shop/cameras/astro-video/revolution-imager/revolution-imager-r2/

Steve 

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I 've got the same.(sort of, because mine is an effio-a security cam).

If you intend to keep it simple and connect it to a monitor rather than pc, it's great! But sharpcap makes wonders and cmos cams are the trend now for eaa.

The good thing about analog is that you can pair it with a cheap video receiver - transmitter, and make the whole setup wireless.

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35 minutes ago, R26 oldtimer said:

I 've got the same.(sort of, because mine is an effio-a security cam).

If you intend to keep it simple and connect it to a monitor rather than pc, it's great! But sharpcap makes wonders and cmos cams are the trend now for eaa.

The good thing about analog is that you can pair it with a cheap video receiver - transmitter, and make the whole setup wireless.

OK. Thanks for your help and guidance.  I'm starting to be convinced that wireless to a pc with wifi control to the goto mount from indoors might be a nice idea. Can you give me some options on a cmos camera that is ,reasonable price that will work with my Altair ED 80? 

Steve

Edited by Trikeflyer

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Any imx224 based camera is ok. One of them is the zwo asi224, although it has to be connected with a usb cable

Edited by R26 oldtimer
more info

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I suggest you start by experimenting with some low cost/re-usable kit.

With my telescopes and an ASI120MC video camera, or the Neximage, just getting the image on the sensor chip is a major exercise because of the small effective field, and trying to do this remotely would be a joke. 

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7 hours ago, Cosmic Geoff said:

With my telescopes and an ASI120MC video camera, or the Neximage, just getting the image on the sensor chip is a major exercise because of the small effective field

I had this problem with my Philips SPC900 modified webcam (about £50), with its small 640x480 sensor, and my Skymax 127mm MCT. I found the easiest way was to use my binoviewer, with a 32mm Plossl EP on one side and the webcam on the other. Once the target was in the centre of the EP, I changed the focus to sharpen the webcam image on my laptop.

Geoff

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Is there any hobby out there with money going out the window as fast? I am slowly putting my idea into 'equipment to buy' and will post once done. Huge help from you all. Thanks! I was hunting M13 the other day visually and no way. The sky was clear but seeing just not there. Hoping EAA will help with this.

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4 hours ago, Geoff Lister said:

had this problem with my Philips SPC900 modified webcam (about £50), with its small 640x480 sensor, and my Skymax 127mm MCT. I found the easiest way was to use my binoviewer, with a 32mm Plossl EP on one side and the webcam on the other. Once the target was in the centre of the EP, I changed the focus to sharpen the webcam image on my laptop.

That's ingenious, but at least half the camera's light will be lost in the binoviewer.

For attempting imaging of some objects (fainter, high in sky) I now use a flip mirror diagonal unit, which can be set up to make the camera and eyepiece parfocal. 

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Picked up Bresser 102 f4.5 yesterday and getting Altair imx224 camera tomorrow. If this works out and I can actually see anything from my position - first target M13 - then I'll invest more into better equipment.

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5 hours ago, heliumstar said:

Picked up Bresser 102 f4.5 yesterday and getting Altair imx224 camera tomorrow. If this works out and I can actually see anything from my position - first target M13 - then I'll invest more into better equipment.

Good luck, helium. Please let us know how you get on with the new equipment.

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