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Wow so my new scope arrived and I was running through all the different options for guiding. I thought I would share my experience and hopefully other beginners might find something useful from this.
I purchased a skywatcher evostar 80ED Pro with a HEQ5 Pro mount and it came with two green dovetail bars. I already had an ST-80T that I wanted to mount on top but the “dovetail bar” that came with that was a small useless plastic block.
The biggest, most annoying hurdle with this process was that on each dovetail bar, there were metric- and whitworth-threaded holes, with different diameters. What I ended up doing, was taking off the evostar dovetail and attaching that to the top of the evostar scope rings. This was important because this dovetail bar has a slot in it, that allowed me to correctly space the guidescope rings.
I only had two whitworth bolts (fortunately that were quite long and had nuts with them), but I used each of those to attach the dovetail bar to the top of the evostar rings. The whitworth bolts were both cut down to size, and the spare part of the thread was used to attach one of the guidescope rings to the top dovetail bar.
Note that I had to drill out the thread of the ST80 rings, as they were metric threads, where as the dovetail had whitworth threading!
I screwed the length of whitworth bolt down from the top and used the nut and a small washer to tighten it down. For the second ring, I placed it in the slot of the dovetail bar and used a small length of metric thread, that I could then bolt from each side (effectively clamping everything together).
Finally, I attached the dovetail bar that came with the HEQ5 (I think it might be the standard, medium dovetail bar that you can purchase separately), to the bottom of the evostar rings. I think I used the bolts that were originally in the bottom of the ST80 rings to bolt those down, and then added in the lateral screws to make sure the rings couldn’t rotate.
It was considerably harder work than it needed to be but I am pleased with the results. It cost me nothing but time and a bit of effort. I know that the guide rings don’t have adjustment bolts, but at least with the current set up, there is no determinable flex, and with an 80mm scope, it shouldn’t be hard finding a guide star. I am a fan of having the matching green dovetail bars. And I have attached the guide camera and DSLR and can perfectly balance the mount. So overall, a great result.
I wonder how can I mount the ZWO ASI 60mm Guidescope on the Evostar 72ED (elsewhere than the Vixen Style Finderscope Shoe, because the guidescope seems to be a bit too heavy).
Do I need a Vixen Bar of a specific length ? Or another type of adaptor ?
Is someone using another solution ?
After a 2 month wait, we finally got some clear slies last night so I had a chance to finally try out the Orion Starshoot autoguider.
Sadly, I spent a long and very frustrating night just trying to get the darn thing to guide properly, but wihout success. I was getting great tracking results from my HEQ5pro mount on its own, round stars on any exposures up to about 30 seconds, but as soon as I engaged the tracking scope, it was driving it all over the place (see attached pics).
I'm using the 50mm guidescope that comes in the "Orion Magnificent Mini" kit, and I made sure to enter the correct focal length (which I believe is 162mm) into the PHD2 software (not 50mm as I've read others have accidentally done ).
There was zero wind last night, so I can't really blame that. Everything seemed to be done-up tight, although I have just started using the HEQ5pro extension tube to avoid tripod leg collisions, which together with the Explore Scientific AR152 refractor scope, does make for a very tall setup, but I think I can discount that because it still tracks really well without the autoguider engaged.
A lot of the PHD2 tools and controls are a bit of an alien language to me, but I spent most of the night trying various settings and running some of the built in tools and following the reccomendataion, but to no avail, not even a slight improvement.
Does anyone have any ideas how to get this autoguider to work? Would really apprciate any pointers - ideally without abbreviations, as they'll just make my brain hurt even more that it already does
Much thanks in advance.
So I'm looking at entry level guiding and wondered if i could save a few quid and use my Celestron 70mm refractor (400mm focal length) scope as the guidescope? This would allow me to purchase a guide cam to use otherwise it will be a non starter. I'd be guiding my DSLR for info with the view to step up to a decent monochrome camera in the future.
I understand weight capacity of mounts and the issues with imaging DSO's with a DSLR so I have that covered.
If I cannot use my Celestron travel scope as a guidescope could I use my Skywatcher 9x50 finderscope? Please don't laugh at me if I'm hitting a round peg in a square hole!
IF the Skywatcher finderscope and Celestron travelscope are not adequate for guidescopes, my plan B would be to use my mount and a CCD to start imaging planets\DSO's. I do have filters so monochrome would be preferable. Advice around this please.