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Hi all,

I have an HEQ5 and I'm considering getting a ZWO Asiair.

It isn't replacing anything, so it's either that, an alternate brands version or a guide camera + laptop (I've always been more of a desktop person).

2 main questions:

Is it any good?

What is ZWOs support like?  My only experience with a Chinese vendor is with HikVision (the cctv people) and it's a bit hit and miss.

Any help would be much appreciated.

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I don't have the ASIair, but plenty of other ZWO products, and to date they have all been excellent. I have had some technical questions in the past, and Sam at ZWO generally responded very quickly. They seem to have their act together very well indeed

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Hello PhobosPhil,

If you have a GOOD TABLETT supporting the ASIAIR APP, then it works great, if your TABLETT is old any already slow. Then test the function with ASIAIR APP before you buy the ASIAIR. 

I am amazed of ASIAIR and the support is also fine..  here is the LINK to ASI FORUM https://bbs.astronomy-imaging-camera.com/

Cheers

Martin

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Although there's no autoguider support, an alternative is my app, AstroPhoto Plus (https://astrophotoplus.gulinux.net/), which is more a browser app than mobile (though the app works fine on mobile browsers too, of course).

Autoguiding will be implemented in the next release, and in the meantime you can still use PHD2 on a remote desktop I suppose

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Posted (edited)

Hello GuLinux,

My ASIAIR supports both IMAGER CCD + AUTOGUIDER CCD + AUTOGUIDING function via ST4 port also. 

see the video: 

The FUTURE ASIAIR releases will support also auto focus..

Regards

 

Martin 

Edited by artem

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I'm the biggest fan of the ASIair, it has totally transformed my astrophotography, my process is now to carry the mount loaded with scope / cameras everything outside, roughly point North and plug it in. From then onwards I do everything through the ASIair on my iPad and it all just works.

Gone are the days of messing around with drivers, software etc.. (bearing in mind, I'm a techy and messing around with software is what I do much of the day but when I'm doing astrophotography I want to be capturing photons, not messing with software!) it also makes cabling and power much, much simpler.

I think I've done more astrophotography in the past 2-3 weeks largely thanks to the ASIair than I have in the last 2-3 years! It just makes everything so much easier.

My experience is based on the combination of GTi mount, EQ6 mount, ASI160MC-Pro, ASI294MC-Pro, ASI178MM and an ASI120 mini.

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34 minutes ago, artem said:

Hello GuLinux,

My ASIAIR supports both IMAGER CCD + AUTOGUIDER CCD + AUTOGUIDING function via ST4 port also. 

see the video: 

The FUTURE ASIAIR releases will support also auto focus..

 Regards

 

Martin 

Yes, I guess we all agree about the ASIAir, we were just talking about possible alternatives

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Hello GuLinux, sorry if i may have misunderstood you..?

Cheers and my best wishes

Martin

 

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ASIAIR has made the jump to cooled cameras possible for me. Which means my pictures are jumping to the next level. And I do mean jumping. It's remarkable.

I have always been reluctant to having a laptop next to my scope (I tend to leave it outside and do its thing), now I can easily check what the scope is doing from the warmth of my home. 

Power: 12 V; so if you really want, you're still mobile powered by batteries.

 

BUT! There are a few (minor) issues with it. 

I DO NOT like the PHD-like guiding possibility and I am considering to go back to my MGEN autoguider. (although my guiding by asiair has been acceptable, I have to say)

It feels like you don't have control over it. Never been a fan of phd anyway. 

There are a few bugs in the software, some people tend to hit those more than others. Probably depends on the way you set it up. 

I miss a polar align and star align possibility. 

I also miss a sound on my tablet when guiding fails or a set of lights has been taken. 

 

 

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Thank you all for the helpful and detailed replies.  Very useful information!  I'll decide over the weekend (plus I need to check with my other half to see when she's in for a delivery). 

That does potentially mean that there will be clear skies in Kent this weekend, because it's pre-purchase, and then from next weekend on we'll see cloud in Kent if I make my purchase - ignore that, i'll put my trust in the cloudmakers to have a couple of months off.

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On 01/03/2019 at 13:30, Grant said:

I'm the biggest fan of the ASIair, it has totally transformed my astrophotography, my process is now to carry the mount loaded with scope / cameras everything outside, roughly point North and plug it in. From then onwards I do everything through the ASIair on my iPad and it all just works.

Gone are the days of messing around with drivers, software etc.. (bearing in mind, I'm a techy and messing around with software is what I do much of the day but when I'm doing astrophotography I want to be capturing photons, not messing with software!) it also makes cabling and power much, much simpler.

I think I've done more astrophotography in the past 2-3 weeks largely thanks to the ASIair than I have in the last 2-3 years! It just makes everything so much easier.

My experience is based on the combination of GTi mount, EQ6 mount, ASI160MC-Pro, ASI294MC-Pro, ASI178MM and an ASI120 mini.

Hi @Grant

Quick question please as I'm trying to get the asiair to work with the azgti via lynx eqmod cable: do you use the eqmod cable, or the handset? and of eqmod do I need to load any software on the tablet to get it to work

Thanks

Helen

PS you might end up tutoring me at Kelling if I don't succeed before then ?

 

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3 minutes ago, Helen said:

Hi @Grant

Quick question please as I'm trying to get the asiair to work with the azgti via lynx eqmod cable: do you use the eqmod cable, or the handset? and of eqmod do I need to load any software on the tablet to get it to work

Thanks

Helen

PS you might end up tutoring me at Kelling if I don't succeed before then ?

 

Hi Helen - I used the Lynx Astro EQmod cable with the AZ-GTi directly to the mount, with no handset. I didn't use any extra software other than the ASIair software - I used that to set time / date / location and choose objects.

You cannot currently use Sky Safari when using the EQmod option in ASIair as Sky Safari cannot talk directly to the mount in this way - hopefully they will change this in the future.

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Great, thanks @Grant.  I can't get the mount to move at the moment!  I'll unplug and retry ?

Helen

 

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3 minutes ago, Helen said:

Great, thanks @Grant.  I can't get the mount to move at the moment!  I'll unplug and retry ?

Helen

 

Have you installed the EQ mode firmware on the GTi mount?

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21 minutes ago, Grant said:

Have you installed the EQ mode firmware on the GTi mount?

Yes, I've done that @Grant thanks.  Now got it working :hello2: (it might have been the newbie error of not having the rate high enough to see movement -_-)

That's a shame about skysafari... I've looked at the options for pointing - is there a menu for solar system objects?

Ta

Helen 

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14 minutes ago, Helen said:

 

Yes, I've done that @Grant thanks.  Now got it working :hello2: (it might have been the newbie error of not having the rate high enough to see movement -_-)

That's a shame about skysafari... I've looked at the options for pointing - is there a menu for solar system objects?

Ta

Helen 

Not sure on solar system stuff - will have a look tonight (hoping it's going to be clear here!). I've never used the ASIair for planetary stuff because the frame rate is to low being USB 2.0, it really is more for deep sky objects.

If you want to use Sky Safari, then you will need to use the handset and either the serial cable that comes with the ASIair plus a serial to rj11 cable that comes with the handset (in theory..) or this cable, which does the job of both:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-mount-accessories/lynx-astro-ftdi-usb-to-serial-adapter-for-sky-watcher-handsets-5m.html

Or, if you have the newer v5 Sky-Watcher handset, these have a USB port on so you can connect directly to the ASIair.

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I have tried several ZWO products, and have no reasons to complain. Even if you have any technical questions the support will generally respond very quickly. 

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On 01/03/2019 at 13:17, artem said:

Hello PhobosPhil,

If you have a GOOD TABLETT supporting the ASIAIR APP, then it works great, if your TABLETT is old any already slow. Then test the function with ASIAIR APP before you buy the ASIAIR. 

I am amazed of ASIAIR and the support is also fine..  here is the LINK to ASI FORUM https://bbs.astronomy-imaging-camera.com/

Cheers

Martin

I hear they will be adding more support the the device via firmware updates when they get released too.

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Yes, TRUE, DSLR support. is added. the update should be already available..

 

Regards

 

Martin

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I finally did the update (well; it prompted me, as it has been cloudy forever), but man, did that app slow down. Taking and downloading a picture takes forever, scrolling through the tabs isn't fluent anymore. 

 

But then again, i AM using an old tablet. 

 

Anyone else having the same issue or can I conclude it is the age of the iPad that's to blame?

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I really want one of these as I love the idea of going wireless but I'm still sitting on the fence. I have a few questions.

1. Can it be used on a mobile phone? I have a Samsung S9 and 99.99% of my browsing is on this, including this forum. The screen size is fine for me and I really don't want to have to buy a tablet as well considering I will have to replace my 120mm for a mini, pushing up costs.

2. I understand it uses PHD for guiding. Does it offer the same interface as PHD? What I would like to do is copy the exact same settings as PHD on my laptop into the Air as I have really good guiding most nights. Got into the high 0.30's the other night!

3. Target framing. I've seen on the Facebook page that people use Sky Safari for target acquisition and framing but the hand controller is needed? Since I don't have the hand controller (sold it) I've been using the EQMod cable. Does the Air support this? If so, what software does it use for target acquisition?

4. It can plate solve and sync the mount, similar to what I use APT for. Can it solve a saved image and move the mount to those coordinates, like Goto++ in APT?

5. How does it manage a meridian flip?

6. The main issue holding me back. Autofocus. I really like my DSD Autofocuser. I haven't used a mask since I fitted it and it's worked like a dream in APT. I understand the Air is going to support autofocus soon but I'd imagine that it will specifically support the new ZWO EAF unit. @FLO Any ideas if ZWO will support other focusers? @sunkaPavle, do you know if the DSD unit will work on the ASIAir?

 

David

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I was tempted to go with the asiair but being new to Astro Imaging but not Astronomy I thought I would get 3 or 4 months practise first off of my PC then maybe take the plunge. Idea situation would be if you could wifi it to the pc instead of a tablet or phone etc. It would be worth it just for that to get rid of all your cables back to the pc.

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