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By Ade Turner
At the moment I take my photos from my garden so access to power isn’t a problem.
However, I’m considering taking my rig to a dark sky site and would appreciate suggestions on a suitable portable power solution please (budget is tight).
Currently I run DC power via 2 cables to my EQ6-R Pro and ASIAIR Pro from a Nevada regulated supply.
Accessory wise I power my ZWO focus motor, 2 dew heaters (8” Astrozap and 3” Lynx) and the ZWO Vonet wifi extender from three of the 12V outlets on the ASIAIR Pro.
I already have a Celestron 7Ah Power Tank, but I’m not convinced it would be ‘beefy’ enough. What do your think, would it work and be reliable?
Thinking of getting the Asiair pro whenever they come back into stock but wondered about the voltage output for dslr, it states that it’s12v but would that not need to be stepped down to 7.5v for dslr.
im wondering if the Pegasus power box micro with Stellarmate might be a better option as the dedicated power box is controllable.
I tried Ekos a couple of years back and had nothing but problems but tried again last night and was amazed at how slick it was, best guiding and first time plate-solvingwas effortless.
I have the original zwo 120mm so reluctant to get a new one unless I have too. Has anybody been using the new advanced or micro power boxes either stellarmate?
Restoring a Backup on a Mac
Something else I came across and a chap called Terry on Facebook had a solution.
Again, you might already know this, but just in case.
You buy a new ASIAIR Pro, you are pretty much advised that one of the first things you should do, is to create a backup of your software(includes your license key) from the supplied SD card.
And one of the common methods suggested for Mac users is to use the “Apple Pi Baker” program/application.
So, I used the application to create my backup and saved it in a safe place, in fact I made two copies(belt and braces).
Then, yesterday, I thought I should really try to restore one of these backups to make sure they actually work, else what is the point of having a backup for that rainy day.
And actually, I will keep the original safe and use my copy going forward.
So, I inserted a new blank SD card(Fat32) and started the restore process, letting it run its course.
Once it had finished, I did a quick eye ball to compare the copy to the original and all the files appeared to be there.
I then plugged the restored SD card back into the ASIAIR Pro, but the device would not start/boot up!
Just in case, I then reformatted another SD card and tried that one, but still no good.
I then created another backup from the original SD card(so all in all I had img and zip versions) and tried to restore them, the same result, fail.
On further investigation, it looks like this is fairly common.
Terry on ASIAIR Facebook group suggested downloading the file from the ZWO website, but then using your own License file.
I then used the ASIAIR PRO link above(from the “How_to_Restore_ASIAIR_OS.pdf” on line doc) to get the file.
First, keeping a copy of my zwoair_license safe of course(still on the original SD card).
The file is pretty large, unzips to about 31 GB and takes a while to download(9GB zipped) even on cable.
I then restored(using Apple Pi Baker) this new downloaded file to my new SD card and once it had completed, I then overwrote(replaced) the
existing “zwoair_license” file with my original(my unique supplied copy).
Next, I then inserted the new copied/restored SD card into the ASIAIR Pro and it started.
Finally, I then connected via the ASIAIR app using my IPhone and was prompted to update the firmware to the latest version which I did.
Bingo all good, the original SD card supplied by ZWO stored in a safe place and I am now using this copy going forward.
Christmas came early; my new C11 scope with CGX-L mount has arrived; so have many accessories including the entire ZWO ecosystem (2600MC camera, 174MM mini guide camera, ASIAIR Pro controller, ZWO electronic focuser, small guide scope). Unfortunately ZWO does not provide much documentation / set-up guides...
I need some help setting this up and to make sure that I don't screw up something during my first attempts before I learn more about how to use this well... Particularly I am considering whether best to learn step-by-step or should I try to automate and connect as much as possible so that I start learning immediately via the ultimate set-up I intend to have (i.e. via ASIAR app)?
1) Setting up for visual:
A) Can the CGX-L GoTo mount guide decently enough itself to follow equatorial movement once a visual target is identified and in focus or should I immediately set-up the ZWO 174MM guide camera and do auto-guiding through ASIAIR pro even for visual? When attaching accessories to the rear end of the scope, I saw there are 6 screws in the back row - are these all safe to use for mounting guide scopes etc.? (see #1 comment in the attached image) C) For visual - should I set-up the ZWO 174MM guide camera through the ZWO mini guidescope or should I set-up the Celestron Off-Axis-Guider even for visual? D) Should I learn to focus first using the manual focuser of the Celestron, or should I install the ZWO electronic focuser asap to connect with the rest of the system; will the electronic focuser help me at all if I don't use an OAG to provide focus feedback back to the ASIAIR pro? I'm a bit lost on this one here... E) What is the best way to mount the ZWO ASIAIR Pro to C11? I was thinking to attach it to the underside of the dovetail of the OTA (see #3 comment in the attached image). Does this make sense? What mounting adapter should I buy to make this work? is there any other even better way of attaching the ASIAIR controller? F) In the original package there were two screws attached to the underside of the dovetail on the OTA - see #2 comment in the attached image. G) eyepiece comment: don't worry about the eyepiece - I have the celestron one mounted while I play with the set-up; I have a Nikon 17-14 NAV HW and TeleVue Ethos 8mm and Panoptic 41mm for actual viewing.
2) Setting up for photography
A) I saw a lot of C11 EDGE HD image trains with a similar camera set-up so I will do my best to make this work... will come back if more questions; however I have one particular question here: once the scope is set-up for astrophotography with the entire image train well adjusted... but then you quickly want to switch to visual (e.g. kids come up and you want to spend 30min visual observing the target before going back to imaging)... what is the best way to switch between one an another? At what point to you "break" the image train and insert the 2" diagonal?
I'm looking at acquiring my first goto mount and have decided on the Sky-Watcher EQ5 PRO Go-To. Stock seems to be low everywhere at the moment so I'm keeping my eyes peeled.
I have a few questions regarding alignment.
Although I will be taking the mount "out-and-about" I will mostly be using the EQ5 on my balcony at home; this will make alignment with polaris impossible. I'm relived to see the EQ5 allowas bright star alignment (with the scope beginning at north) which is great for the location.
My question is; am I able to choose which bright stars the mount will align with? for example, if the mount asks me to confirm the position of a star I cant see at all from the balcony, can I choose stars that are visible from my side of the building?
I'm very new to astrophotography and would like to be prepared before splashing out!