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oymd

Buying a used ZWO 290MM mini & 294MC Pro cameras, what to look out for?

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Good morning everyone...

I have been very keen to get into trying to start imaging.

With all the ZWO cameras I want on backorder, I bought the 2 ones I wanted used from a well know UK astro site. Namely a 290MM mini and 294MC Pro

Can you please advise me what is wrong with this 290MM Mini? There seems to be a part missing from the camera? There is sticky tape around the protective glass of the sensor, and it seems to be missing its black cover ring?

I emailed the seller, and he appears to be genuine, and offered a refund, as he did not notice it, and has been using it as is with an extender on his guidescope.

Also, can you please advise how to quickly setup both cameras quickly for a quick test of the sensors, before I consider a return to the seller?

Do I use Sharpcap for sensor analysis?

Many thanks

 

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290MM Mini.jpg

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2 minutes ago, johninderby said:

Here’s pics of a brand new 290 mini that I bought earlier this week from RVO. 

A53EAA13-F1A4-4955-B8AB-010486503D84.jpeg

D0BAB37D-5D89-4876-98FA-33E4B49B39BC.jpeg

35496D4D-6620-4F90-B5DF-A1B06D166AF3.jpeg

So the protective glass should be glued to the UNDERSIDE of that black ring, and NOT onto the sensor? It seems the 290MM Mini I received looks completely different? There is a black felt ring around the sensor stuck onto the PCB? Was this possibly a broken/fixed camera?

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3 minutes ago, johninderby said:

Yes the glass is glued into the underside of the black ring. Seems a strange mod to make. 🤔

Well, the cameras were advertised as "Pristine and virtually unused", so I assumed its all stock. Well, I will have to ask for a refund and return this.

Any advice on how to check if the 294MC Pro has any issues? Is there a simple imaging software I can use that can have it checked?

Many thanks

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You can download the ZWO image capture software or Firecapture and try it out in the daytime.

I tested my 290 looking at an alarm box on a house a distance away..BTW you may see just a black or white screen at first until you adjust the exposure and gain settings.

 

DA86543C-2519-48F6-B856-903707371CBE.jpeg

Edited by johninderby
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Buy from FLO and be sure everything is perfect!

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3 hours ago, Gina said:

Buy from FLO and be sure everything is perfect!

I have been waiting since January and it’s out of stock everywhere. 
 

Any idea what kind of mod is that on the 290MM Mini? Has anyone seen that before?

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Rother Valley Optics has the 290m mini in stock.

Just contact them and check before ordering.

Edited by johninderby

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Hi OYMD,

It seems to me, the seller wasn't as genuine as he sounded. From the images you've shared, he's definitely tried to do some kind of mod, which he didn't inform you about.  Unfortunately, when buying second hand online, that's a chance you take. At least on SGL, the majority are genuine sales, from people like us, who are mostly selling on, due to upgrading or having clear outs of equipment they don't use anymore, and on this site, people usually reply back to the seller with positive feedback in the sales forum.

I'm Just curios, and don't know if its this is against SGL rules, i'm sure a moderator will inform me, but would you disclose the site you purchased from ? If you don't want to, that's no problem, 

And BTW, welcome to the frustrating at times, but very rewarding world of astrophotography 👍

 

John

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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45 minutes ago, johngm said:

Hi OYMD,

It seems to me, the seller wasn't as genuine as he sounded. From the images you've shared, he's definitely tried to do some kind of mod, which he didn't inform you about.  Unfortunately, when buying second hand online, that's a chance you take. At least on SGL, the majority are genuine sales, from people like us, who are mostly selling on, due to upgrading or having clear outs of equipment they don't use anymore, and on this site, people usually reply back to the seller with positive feedback in the sales forum.

I'm Just curios, and don't know if its this is against SGL rules, i'm sure a moderator will inform me, but would you disclose the site you purchased from ? If you don't want to, that's no problem, 

And BTW, welcome to the frustrating at times, but very rewarding world of astrophotography 👍

 

John

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi John

Its from a very popular UK website for Astro classifieds. It was not ebay or any site like that.

To be fair to the seller, and I think he really did not know what he was selling, he refunded me 100% of the money and has offered to pay for return shipping, and has apologised for the confusion. He explained that he also just got into imaging but decided to sell. 

I believe it was unintentional and I think he is an honest chap.

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Does sound like an honest mistake. If he’d never seen a 290 before he wouldn’t know that it had been fiddled with.

Did you check with RVO to see if it was in stock? It was in stock on Tuesday.

Edited by johninderby

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3 hours ago, Jkulin said:

You might want to have a look at Altair Astro: - https://www.altairastro.com/cameras-3-c.asp

I'm very open to the Altair options, but for some reason, I'm bomarded by ZWO options on various review sites, SGL forums, Cloudy Nights, and almost everywhere I research.

It seems that the options are either really high end cameras (QSI, FLI etc..) or more budget friendly CMOS ones, and it seems ZWO are the most popular in that segment. Not sure why, but that is what I have noticed.

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Just now, johninderby said:

Does sound like an honest mistake. If he’d never seen a 290 before he wouldn’t know that it had been fiddled with.

Did you check with RVO to see if it was in stock?

Hi John

Not yet. You see, the purchase was of the 290MM, 294MC Pro and the ED 80mm focal reducer. And I am returning all three. I'm keen on buying the primary imaging camera, before considering the guide camera. And was hoping to buy used to be able to afford or even justify buying all three in one go.

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Just to conclude this thread and issue, and to answer all questions.

The item was bought on UK ABS.

The seller has very promptly refunded the money, and has also paid for insured return RM special delivery.

He has been very honest, and was surprised and not really informed of what was missing.

I am sure he had bought the cameras 2nd hand, tried to get into imaging, changed his mind, and I bought them from him.

He did not try to give any funny explanations, or try to have this drag on, and was 100% genuine and honest.

All sorted.

Many thanks for all your help.

Ossi

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On 28/02/2020 at 19:10, oymd said:

'm very open to the Altair options, but for some reason, I'm bomarded by ZWO options on various review sites, SGL forums, Cloudy Nights, and almost everywhere I research.

Don't be afraid of the Altair versions, they're basically the same as the ZWO units.

I bought a refurbished GPCAM3 290 mono direct from Altair Astro for £188 and it's been an excellent performer.  Altair often advertise their refurbished/used kit on their facebook page.

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2 hours ago, CraigT82 said:

Don't be afraid of the Altair versions, they're basically the same as the ZWO units.

I bought a refurbished GPCAM3 290 mono direct from Altair Astro for £188 and it's been an excellent performer.  Altair often advertise their refurbished/used kit on their facebook page.

Is the GPCAM3 the Altair version of the ASI290MM mini?

Also, is it OK to mix and match brands in cameras? Or should the guide camera and 1ry imaging camera be the same make?

Many thanks

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I think the ASI290mm mini has a USB 2.0 connection, whereas the GPCAM3 is USB 3.0.

Altair do do a GPCAM2 290 mono which would be the equivalent of the ASI290mm mini and fair bit cheaper.

I don't think it will do any harm to mix and match camera brands for guide/imaging cameras, however I don't do any guiding so not sure how it works!

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On 27/02/2020 at 16:03, johninderby said:

FLO is put of stock at the moment. 

The ZWO ASI 290MM is back in stock 🙂

On 02/03/2020 at 13:15, CraigT82 said:

Don't be afraid of the Altair versions, they're basically the same as the ZWO units.

They are not the same 🙃

Altair cameras are manufactured by ToupTek in China (we stocked ToupTek cameras for a short period a few years back). 

ZWO cameras are manufactured by ZWO. 

Different companies. Different designs. Different manufacturing facilities. 

HTH, 

Steve 

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13 minutes ago, FLO said:

They are not the same 🙃

Altair cameras are manufactured by ToupTek in China

Quite so.  ZWO have always manufactured their own cameras as far as I'm aware.  Touptek sell cameras based around many of the same sensors, but their designs are also rebranded (and sometimes have the case design changed) by at least four other vendors that I can think of.

James

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36 minutes ago, FLO said:

They are not the same

Fair point, but I said basically the same... I didn't mean exactly the same. I meant they are built around the same sensors and generally have the same capabilities.

 Are you implying that they Touptek built cameras are inferior to the ZWO ones? Genuine question... not trying to argue! Must be a reason you stopped stocking them? 

 

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1 hour ago, CraigT82 said:

Are you implying that they Touptek built cameras are inferior to the ZWO ones? Genuine question... not trying to argue! Must be a reason you stopped stocking them? 

FLO is the UK’s largest ZWO stockist. We are not neutral. We chose ZWO and have no regrets. If we had been unable to source ZWO then we would probably have chosen QHY. I don’t think it fair I say more than that 😇

HTH, 

Steve 

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