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Dual rig questions


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If I was able to set up a dual rig on my HEQ5 Pro, how does it work with balancing, i .e having two set ups left and right (East and west) of the saddle?. Dec balancing normally balances a scope with the counter weight so would it still be the same!?. Also I've often wondered how you get two scopes/cameras pointing at the same target as in exactly the same position in the sky as I'm guessing they would be pointing at slightly differently positions at the same target?

To make the most of each night I'm considering a camera with lens next to my WOZ73, or possibly another Z73 but I think the weight might be two much for that so I'm just mulling lots of things over so this is coming straight out of my brain to this post, I've not really started looking round the web for info :)

 

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14 minutes ago, Rustang said:

how does it work with balancing,

From dabbling myself, like normal but with a more obvious "2-way DEC".  So RA on overall weight, DEC with scope either side of saddle and DEC at 90 degrees to this (so you're balancing the scopes along their dovetails I guess is another way to think about it).

14 minutes ago, Rustang said:

Also I've often wondered how you get two scopes/cameras pointing at the same target as in exactly the same position in the sky as I'm guessing they would be pointing at slightly differently positions at the same target?

They would be pointing slightly off yeah.  There's a few discussions going on right now on SGL about dual RASAs and Esprit 150s.  With these big scopes there is a dedicated saddle (or two) to help pointing but it would probably be overkill in weight and price for what you suggest.  I've seen scope inside rings (like some guide scopes are done) used too.  There are probably a few DIY solutions out there as well!  Maybe simple shims or slight misalignment of a saddle would be enough - all depends on how precise you want them to match.  A widefield lens + a scope probably doesn't need to be too close if their FOV are vastly different.

Think about the whole weight of two rigs as well plus all their extras and any extra "metal" you use to get those rigs put together Vs the HEQ5 Pro recommended maximums.

You've also got the control mechanism of a dual rig as well (if it's not a DSLR).  Not only additional USB and power but software and do you want to tie them together for focusing, dithering etc (again, more relevant to matching scopes than a DLSR and lens).

Plenty of members that have done this will probably provide more concrete info!

Edited by geeklee
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5 minutes ago, geeklee said:

From dabbling myself, like normal but with a more obvious "2-way DEC".  So RA on overall weight, DEC with scope either side of saddle and DEC at 90 degrees to this (so you're balancing the scopes along their dovetails I guess is another way to think about it).

They would be pointing slightly off yeah.  There's a few discussions going on right now on SGL about dual RASAs and Esprit 150s.  With these big scopes there is a dedicated saddle (or two) to help pointing but it would probably be overkill in weight and price for what you suggest.  I've seen scope inside rings (like some guide scopes are done) used too.  There are probably a few DIY solutions out there as well!  Maybe simple shims or slight misalignment of a saddle would be enough - all depends on how precise you want them to match.  A widefield lens + a scope probably doesn't need to be too close if their FOV are vastly different.

Think about the whole weight of two rigs as well plus all their extras and any extra "metal" you use to get those rigs put together Vs the HEQ5 Pro recommended maximums.

You've also got the control mechanism of a dual rig as well (if it's not a DSLR).  Not only additional USB and power but software and do you want to tie them together for focusing, dithering etc (again, more relevant to matching scopes than a DLSR and lens).

Plenty of members that have done this will probably provide more concrete info!

Thanks mate, I forgot to ask In regards to the extra faff it also causes as per what you mentioned, powering and controlling two cameras etc. I don't really wont to go down the two mounts/set up route because that then means, two laptops etc, etc etc so was hoping a dual set up could be more of a possibility but could be in its own right, a pain especially because I only have the HEQ5 Pro, it all starts getting expensive even with out upgrading the mount.

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With a side by side dual rig your saddle plate is at right angles to its regular orientation.  It clamps a dovetail to which both OTA's are attached at right angles, meaning they are now pointing in the usual direction. To balance a side by side rig, begin with the counterwieght bar horizontal and the scopes pointing to the zenith. One scope will be heavier than the other so you slide the dual dovetail horizontally in the saddle plate till they are balanced. Now point them horizontally and move them fore and aft to balance, before returning to re-check the previous balance. It's inveitbaly a bit iterative.

The counterweight balances as usual.

FLO do tilt pan devices, large and small, for dual rigs and guidescopes. The one for guidescopes would carry a camera lens.

With a lens it might be easier to mount the smaller unit piggyback on the top, needing less hardware so less expense and less wieght.

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice
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3 minutes ago, Rustang said:

Thanks mate, I forgot to ask In regards to the extra faff it also causes as per what you mentioned, powering and controlling two cameras etc. I don't really wont to go down the two mounts/set up route because that then means, two laptops etc, etc etc so was hoping a dual set up could be more of a possibility but could be in its own right, a pain especially because I only have the HEQ5 Pro, it all starts getting expensive even with out upgrading the mount.

If you have a camera and lens, that sounds like the best way to get started if you wanted to.  At least you could price up the bits needed to mount them together without extra camera and scope etc! 

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I tested out a rough and ready dual rig last year - RASA 8 and Esprit 80. It was very difficult even with a wider field on one scope and it was too much for my azeq6. I concluded its massively easier and more flexible to run two scopes on two mounts. Much more manageable in my opinion.  

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16 minutes ago, geeklee said:

If you have a camera and lens, that sounds like the best way to get started if you wanted to.  At least you could price up the bits needed to mount them together without extra camera and scope etc! 

I have my modified Cannon 600D still, and a half decent 135mm lens but I've tried that combo before and it just didn't seem to pick up hardly any signal!. I only have the 2 inch L-enhance so I cant use that so I guess the best option would be to try with the L enhance clip in version to see if that brings out some more nebulosity. I really fancy getting a dedicated colour astro camera though and then either a lens of scope in front. I was happy with my 600D but would rather move forward in quality! 

I'm guessing my guiding would need to be really good with a dual set up or does it not really make a difference!?

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3 minutes ago, AbsolutelyN said:

I tested out a rough and ready dual rig last year - RASA 8 and Esprit 80. It was very difficult even with a wider field on one scope and it was too much for my azeq6. I concluded its massively easier and more flexible to run two scopes on two mounts. Much more manageable in my opinion.  

How do you control both though, two laptops ?

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20 minutes ago, Rustang said:

How do you control both though, two laptops ?

I got a little mini pc to control one mount and my main computer to control the other mount (and remote desktop into the mini pc so both controlled from one PC). 

This relatively cheap mini-pc runs its perfectly for deep sky and it runs from same 12v power supply as the scope (with appropriate cable). 
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08K2V3NY1/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Only running one mount at the moment and I tend to always run it through the minipc now, much less hassle than the long 20m USB cables I had been using.  

It also avoids issues with multiple cameras - have had all kinds of issues trying to connect 3 zwo cameras. 

Edited by AbsolutelyN
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26 minutes ago, Rustang said:

I'm guessing my guiding would need to be really good with a dual set up or does it not really make a difference!?

I don't think it would make a difference.  As long as everything is rigid, the guiding is for the components on the mount.

26 minutes ago, Rustang said:

I was happy with my 600D but would rather move forward in quality! 

Frustrating! I was about to say, what about a cheaper CLS CCD or equivalent but when looking they weren't as cheap as I thought for a clip-in :) That was Astronomik.

17 minutes ago, AbsolutelyN said:

This relatively cheap mini-pc runs its perfectly for deep sky and it runs from same 12v power supply as the scope (with appropriate cable). 

I'm always keeping an eye for a miniPC, but running at 12v Tristan.  What was the appropriate cable in this instance - a typical 5.5x2.1?

 

Edited by geeklee
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28 minutes ago, Rustang said:

How do you control both though, two laptops ?

Depending on your goals.. if you had a camera and fast lens you could use a Raspberry Pi or ASIAIR Pro (v1 or Pro) and just use them to focus and snap images - throwing away the ones where your main camera might be dithering etc.  This likely works better if your main camera is taking long exposures so your fast lens combo can snap many more subs in the time so throwing away less  @Adreneline has tried something like this approach with a Samyang 135.

For full rigs you'd likely need just what Tristan suggests!

Edited by geeklee
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10 minutes ago, StevieDvd said:

Something like the SW Guidescope mount for aligning equipment with main scope

Or side-by-side mount if you prefer.

If either of these are what you were thinking of trying you can borrow mine to see if they suit your purpose, they are just sitting on a shelf unused at present.

Steve

Thanks Steve, that's very kind of you. I'm just at the 'considering options' stage at the moment but will definitely keep that in mind 👍

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10 minutes ago, geeklee said:

Depending on your goals.. if you had a camera and fast lens you could use a Raspberry Pi or ASIAIR Pro (v1 or Pro) and just use them to focus and snap images - throwing away the ones where your main camera might be dithering etc.  This likely works better if your main camera is taking long exposures so your fast lens combo can snap many more subs in the time so throwing away less  @Adreneline has tried something like this approach with a Samyang 135.

For full rigs you'd likely need just what Tristan suggests!

My goals are to take the most amazing photos! 😄 With there being so little clear nights its just a consideration to make the most of the ones we get so to capture more of something would be great. In terms of what I would like to achieve I'm not 100% sure yet, maybe a colour version of the target while I'm capturing mono, or to capture two sets of data at one time, i.e Ha and OIII. Both goals would be nice but have their own considerations and costs. Its something to mull over.

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10 minutes ago, Rustang said:

With there being so little clear nights its just a consideration to make the most of the ones we get so to capture more of something would be great.

Absolutely 👍.  I recently put together a light weight rig I hoped to run my Samyang 135 on - an AZGTI with EQ wedge and ASIAIR pro.  As always, it wasn't exactly simple, nor inexpensive 🙄 and the jury is still out on the performance.  I didn't want another full size mount - even a "light" one like a CEM26/28 where you still have considerable counterweight and tripod.  The only night I've had a chance to use both rigs at the same time was still a bit of a pain getting each fully setup and imaging... but was a great feeling when they got separate data sets ☺️ - felt like free data...😉 (couldn't be further from the truth ... it was expensive data! 😅)

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My experiences are contradictory. This just worked like a charm from the off.

Tandem-300x450.jpg

Two Tak FSQ106N scopes, one with Cassady T-Gad tilt pan adjuster, Mesu 200 mount, Atik 11000 mono CCDs, working at 3.5 arcsecs per pixel.

When we switched to two TEC 140s working at around an arcsec per pixel we were plagued by slight trailing on the 'slave' scope (the unguided one.)

Olly

 

 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, ollypenrice said:

My experiences are contradictory. This just worked like a charm from the off.

Tandem-300x450.jpg

Two Tak FSQ106N scopes, one with Cassady T-Gad tilt pan adjuster, Mesu 200 mount, Atik 11000 mono CCDs, working at 3.5 arcsecs per pixel.

When we switched to two TEC 140s working at around an arcsec per pixel we were plagued by slight trailing on the 'slave' scope (the unguided one.)

Olly

 

 

 

 

Yeah thanks Olly, just rub it in! 😉😁

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Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, geeklee said:

Absolutely 👍.  I recently put together a light weight rig I hoped to run my Samyang 135 on - an AZGTI with EQ wedge and ASIAIR pro.  As always, it wasn't exactly simple, nor inexpensive 🙄 and the jury is still out on the performance.  I didn't want another full size mount - even a "light" one like a CEM26/28 where you still have considerable counterweight and tripod.  The only night I've had a chance to use both rigs at the same time was still a bit of a pain getting each fully setup and imaging... but was a great feeling when they got separate data sets ☺️ - felt like free data...😉 (couldn't be further from the truth ... it was expensive data! 😅)

Yeah expensive enough just setting one up so I'm probably under estimating setting up a second/dual rig and as you say its probably just going to be double the hassle. Oh to have endless funds then I could just do exactly what I would love to be able to do... ... goes off dreaming!.......... 😊

What is the brief run down of how the ASIAIR and mini computer work in sink with a main laptop!? 

Edited by Rustang
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Some folks think I’m daft to have so much kit tied up on a dual rig in the cloudy UK, but when we do get a clear night I always get a good feeling that my 4-5 hr session will give 8-10 hrs data and a complete data set.

Even with a small dual rig I would get an adjustable saddle for one of the scopes. Yes, you can get there with shims but it is so much easier to align the FOVs with an adjustable saddle. Putting the scopes in adjustable tube rings is in my view not good practice, it is not advised for guidescopes, let alone your imaging scopes.

I have run both scopes with one PC by running two instances of NINA, this will also allow synchronised dithering thereby avoiding wasted subs on the slave scope.

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