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Deeko

To mono or not to mono

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Hi all,

I am in one of those familiar astro quandaries, once again on making decisions on buying kit. I have owned the ZWO 294 MC Pro for nearly two years and very happy with it, all the more so with using narrowband filters with it., one of my recent images is below..

At this point I am trying to decide on whether to stay with OSC and perhaps buy the ZWO ASI 2600MC-PRO here, or make the jump to mono with either the ZWO 1600MM package here or build a mono setup around the recently announced 294 MM. My scope is a TS Optics Photoline 80mm triplet and with 294 MC large pixels my images are generally softer as on the edge of under-sampling territory with this combination. I also live in a Bortle 6 area in the UK in south Yorkshire, imaging time is therefore limited due to the pesky weather.

I know this question is discussed a lot but given each person's upgrade scenario is different I would love some feedback to consider based on my own.

Thanks!

 

 

v1_process.png

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What flattener are you using? Some don't have a very big image circle so could run into problems with the ASP-C sensors. Spacing will also be more critical.

For my money I'd be looking at QHY rather than ZWO, just better quality. Check their website, look to have more in common with the likes of FLI and Apogee rather than ZWO.

How about the to-be-released QHY 268 MONO? Expected Feb now due to delays at the Sony plant.

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That's a VERY good Soul Nebula by the way, love the colours.

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The QHY268C looks like a great camera, I would only spend that sort of money from a well established and reputable UK dealer who could help directly if any issues were to arise. I am tempted by it.

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I've been mightily impressed by a QHY OSC camera recently but if you're mainly going to do narrowband then mono still makes more sense. Very good Heart nebula!

Olly

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51 minutes ago, ollypenrice said:

I've been mightily impressed by a QHY OSC camera recently but if you're mainly going to do narrowband then mono still makes more sense. Very good Heart nebula!

Olly

@ollypenrice, I am stuck in an infinite loop atm between going mono and something like the QHY268C / ZWO 2600MC Pro, the cost for both would be roughly the same i.e. new 294MM / 1600MM with filters etc. I don't know what it will take to bend me into a decision.

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I can wholeheartedly recommend Astrograph as a dealer. The amount of kit I've bought from Rupert over the last few years would amount to quite a nice car.

We had quite an email discussion over cameras recently, and he made the point that QHY are NOT ZWO! They are more akin to the likes of FLI or Apogee. in the level of kit the make

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Given your levels of light pollution and the unfavourable UK climate I'd suggest going mono..  more signal per unit time than colour..  a bit less susceptible to light pollution and it opens up Ha imaging when the moons about ..  your image scale will be 1.6"/pp with the 1600 chip and 2"/pp with the upcoming 294mono.   2"/pp is perfectly fine, is less demanding on guiding and will build SNR faster, also the new ASI294 is reported as having somewhat higher QE than the 1600 and no issues with microlensing.

Dave 

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Yep, if you can wait until Feb the QHY 268M should be released, that will give a similar plate scale to the 1600 with significantly higher QE and Full Well Depth.

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2 hours ago, DaveS said:

.... he made the point that QHY are NOT ZWO! They are more akin to the likes of FLI or Apogee. in the level of kit the make

😲😁🤭

Steve 

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On 17/09/2020 at 12:16, DaveS said:

I can wholeheartedly recommend Astrograph as a dealer. The amount of kit I've bought from Rupert over the last few years would amount to quite a nice car.

We had quite an email discussion over cameras recently, and he made the point that QHY are NOT ZWO! They are more akin to the likes of FLI or Apogee. in the level of kit the make

Neither ZWO or QHY are anything like akin to FLI or Apogee. I would not dismiss QHY over ZWO mind you, they have different strenghs. As an example QHY tend to put nice tilt plates that also allow for camera rotation. ZWO tilter is useless on some of their larger format cameras as it's stuck behind their wheel. ZWO have better support and I do like my ASI1600mm pro allot. 

Adam 

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I wonder could Atik be in the frame for a IMX 571 camera given they have released the IMX 455 based camera?
 

I am impressed with the build quality of the Horizon II.

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18 minutes ago, tomato said:

I wonder could Atik be in the frame for a IMX 571 camera given they have released the IMX 455 based camera?
 

I am impressed with the build quality of the Horizon II.

The APX60 Is clearly a step head of the ASI and QHY offerings, you can tell just by looking at the thing, very well engineard. The problem is the amount of time it is taking them to bring new CMOS products to the market. I dont see the APX60 for sale anywhere yet including FLO and ATIK are linking to their webpage as a place to buy it. So given that I doubt you will see IMX571 any time soon.

Its SX that I am really worried about, they have some catching up to do when it comes to CMOS cameras. Releasing blue editions of older CCD models almost seems desperate.

Adam

Edited by Adam J

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I have nothing but praise for Altair Astro, worth a look!!

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6 minutes ago, Deeko said:

Why would their version be substantially cheaper? I don't tend to consider Altair products when in the market for something to be honest.

As an outsider it's very hard to know what exactly happens in Chinese manufacturing, but I believe ZWO design all their own cameras.  I think QHY do, but I'm not certain.  As far as I'm aware, Altair just rebadge Touptek cameras, and perhaps that's why they're cheaper.  Certainly there have been Altair cameras that are recognised by the Touptek drivers.

That said, if you look at all the variations of the 1600 model (ZWO, QHY, Altair, Touptek, Risingcam and several others) they are externally at least incredibly similar, which returns you to my first sentence :)  It could be that ZWO and QHY design their own electronics to fit a case they source from Touptek or something like that.  I just don't know.

James

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Actually, I'd forgotten.  Some of Altair's cameras come in a different body to the standard Touptek ones.

James

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2 minutes ago, JamesF said:

As an outsider it's very hard to know what exactly happens in Chinese manufacturing, but I believe ZWO design all their own cameras.  I think QHY do, but I'm not certain.  As far as I'm aware, Altair just rebadge Touptek cameras, and perhaps that's why they're cheaper.  Certainly there have been Altair cameras that are recognised by the Touptek drivers.

That said, if you look at all the variations of the 1600 model (ZWO, QHY, Altair, Touptek, Risingcam and several others) they are externally at least incredibly similar, which returns you to my first sentence :) It could be that ZWO and QHY design their own electronics to fit a case they source from Touptek or something like that.  I just don't know.

James

No ZWO and QHY both make their cameras from scratch nothing to do with Touptek. However there are a few rebrands of touptek altair being one.

Adam

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On 17/09/2020 at 12:16, DaveS said:

We had quite an email discussion over cameras recently, and he made the point that QHY are NOT ZWO! They are more akin to the likes of FLI or Apogee. in the level of kit the make

I'm genuinely surprised to hear that as I've heard quite negative views about QHY cameras elsewhere.  I can't really offer any personal insight however as the only QHY cameras I have are the new and old QHY5s.

James

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1 minute ago, Adam J said:

No ZWO and QHY both make their cameras from scratch nothing to do with Touptek. However there are a few rebrands of touptek altair being one.

Why do you think some models look so similar externally?  Could they be sourcing the cases from the same place?

James

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4 minutes ago, JamesF said:

Why do you think some models look so similar externally?  Could they be sourcing the cases from the same place?

James

ZWO and QHY cameras dont look much like Altair (Touptek) to me?? I mean they are all round...

Adam

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