Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

sgl_imaging_challenge_banner_terminator_challenge_winners.thumb.jpg.6becf44442bc7105be59da91b2bee295.jpg

ASIGN_Baz

Autoguiding for Astrophotography

Recommended Posts

Not sure if this is the right place to post this.

Hey folks,

I took some snaps in the observatory today and wrote a new page to familiarise those who want to know about autoguiding.

I have tried to keep it simple as an overview so as not to confuse or daunt.

http://www.asignobservatory.com/autoguiding_for_astrophotography.aspx

I hope it helps.

Baz.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting read and puts it in nice simple terms I can understand.

Is auto-guiding an option on a soon to be pier mounted EQ5 with SWE 200P an option or would the additional guide scope with auto-guider be too much of a strain for the mount/motors? Any recommendations on a beginners auto-guide setup?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Modifying a 9x50 finder to make a finderguider is an option as I would be thinking about weight limit with a 200P on an EQ5.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, just to be sure I'm clear, can I:

1) Unscrew the EP from the 9x50 straight through finder that came with my scope (I've since replaced it with an Orion 9x50 right angle finder)

2) Then using an appropriate 2" -> 1.25" adapter (does such a thing exist) connect something like a Skywatcher Synguider Autoguider, is there a cheaper option than the Synguider that would work with my Syncscan (I have a laptop that I can use) maybe a CHQ5?

3) Mount the finderguider on the scope using something like Stellarvue 50mm Rings.

4) The autoguider cable then connects directly to the Syncscan GoTo autoguide port?

5) Using PHD, calibrate and select a guide star and bobs your uncle?

If that's correct, it sounds almost too good to be true.

Thanks

Edited by IvanT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remember an EQ5 cannot be used to autoguide (well you can mod the handset but I dont think may people have much sucess with it). You need at least an HEQ5 Pro/Synscan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does the Synscan Upgrade kit help with autoguiding an EQ5?

The 200mm focal length of the finderguider maybe too short for a Synguider. I simply use a Philips SPC900NC webcam and PHD. Also, I just mount it in the normal place on the OTA and make do without a finder.

But as Blinky says, you may have the problem of how to connect to the mount I'm afraid.

Does the bottom of the handset have an RJ45 and an RJ11 connector. If so, and it is V3.25 or higher firmware then you may still be OK.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Is your EQ5 the standard version or the synscan?

It has the SyncScan upgrade kit which has an auto-guide port.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Should be possible then. I'd be concerned about the total weight on your eq5 but its worth a shot. Modifying a standard synta finder is not quite as straightforward as replacing the eyepiece though- if i recall its not quite the right thread or width, but there are threads on the mod on SGL somewhere!

Stephen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Does the bottom of the handset have an RJ45 and an RJ11 connector. If so, and it is V3.25 or higher firmware then you may still be OK.

It has both ports & one is labeled auto-guide. The firmware was updated to the latest version a couple of months ago, can't remember the version.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I simply use a Philips SPC900NC webcam and PHD. Also, I just mount it in the normal place on the OTA and make do without a finder.

Pardon my ignorance, do you mean you can achieve auto-guiding with only the SPC900NC and no finder scope?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can get an adapter Accessories @ Modern Astronomy which lets you use a QHY5 on a normal Skywatcher 9x50 finderscope. I was going to go down this route myself with my 200p on an EQ5 Synscan until I decided to upgrade my mount to an NEQ6.

I know some people have used the Synguider with a finderscope, with varying degrees of success from what I could tell. There are threads about it on SGL somewhere.

Edited by Black Knight

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, for the price of a QHY5 (approx £179), and a T mount adapter for straight through finder (£28) I could have a beginners auto-guiding setup. Very interesting, Christmas is close too. Thanks for the input folks :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I use the SPC900NC in the finderguider.

The QHY5 route is good because there is a proper adaptor made to fit.

With my webcam I had to turn a piece of nylon myself.

Also, if you should want to go for something like an ST80 for guiding in the future you can still use the QHY5 and you can put your finder back together with no harm done.

I think then you would want a bigger mount because of the weight added by the ST80.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think then you would want a bigger mount because of the weight added by the ST80.

Yeah, I realize I'm at the edge of the mount's envelope, I've kept that in mind when designing the pier I'm hopefully pouring this weekend. The OD of the form (240mm) is sufficient to take the larger pier head necessary for an HEQ6

Until now, I hadn't considered guiding as an option on the EQ5, this sounds like a really viable option that would satisfy my longer subs craving for quite some time.

Edited by IvanT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I managed to get out last night to try out the QHY5 on on my Skywatcher 9x50 finderscope without a great deal of success sadly. The connection setup I have is the guide port on the Synscan connected to the QHY5, the QHY5 connected to the notebook via USB. When using PHD it didn't show anything on the screen during the 1.5s intervals I had it set to and yes, I did remove the cover from the finder scope :) I selected the camera ok and for the scope I selected the option for "on camera" as the scope isn't connected directly to the notebook, was that correct? I adjusted the focus on the finder scope all the way out then back in but didn't see any stars though it was moving around a lot in the housing so it may not have been pointing at any but I'd have thought the screen would show something, i.e. at least what I'd see looking through the finder? I was trying to do PHD drift alignment as described here, any thoughts?

Next, I thought I have a go at controlling the scope using EQMOD but it wouldn't connect, my notebook doesn't have an RS232 port as it a fairly new model and RS232 seems to be pretty much obsolete these days, does EQMOD only work via RS232?

I know I'm trying to do a lot in a short space of time (only started into Astronomy & AP in August this year, but I'm off for nearly 3 weeks at Christmas and hope to get a lot of practice with the tools that seem to be the MUST haves for guiding.

Any help greatly appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is only a small window of focus when you will see any stars with the QHY5 so you need to take your time, try focusing using the moon as a target to start, if you are using a standard Skywatcher straight through finder the QHY5 main body needs to be few mm away from the finder tube.

Good luck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, i have the camera main body screwed all the way in so I'll back that out a few mm.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a real beginner and I found it easy (once I selected on-camera - though you can even dispense with the ST4 cable if you wish and use ASCOM for "pulse guiding", however I find the ST4 cable better). My camera is screwed all the way in.

Connect it all up, click the camera and select ASCOM, then choose the QHY5. Select on-camera for the mount. Then click the next icon along so that it starts taking exposures. Focus the guidescope (do it during the day) and lock it off so you never have top do it again - a tiny bit out of focus is perfect. Taking dark images helps (click take dark and follow the instructions).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dont mean to sound stupid here...but if I am to do some astrophotography, am I going to need a motorised mount?

Again sorry for sounding dim, just very new to this.

Robin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
if I am to do some astrophotography, am I going to need a motorised mount?

Yes

Edited by angusb1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.