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Phd guiding with Atik 314l+?


assouptro
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Hi Stargazers! 

I am wondering if I can repurpose my Atik314l+ as a guide camera? 


I currently use a loadstar 1 and at the moment it’s hanging off a Celestron OAG and guiding at f10 through my 12” Meade sct.

I sometimes struggle for guide stars and would benefit from a bigger chip, the cooling would be, erm.. “cool” too! 🙄

I’ve done some initial research and not really found an answer so I thought I’d ask if anyone here has tried it?

Cheers

Bryan 

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What is the image download time of an atik ccd? The lodestar is a dedicated guide camera, so I would imagine that the developers designed it to have fast download. But I'm not convinced that the Atik will. Ccd cameras generally have slower image downloads than cmos.

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20 minutes ago, wimvb said:

What is the image download time of an atik ccd? The lodestar is a dedicated guide camera, so I would imagine that the developers designed it to have fast download. But I'm not convinced that the Atik will. Ccd cameras generally have slower image downloads than cmos.

Hi 

Thanks for taking the time to reply 

I think the loadstar is also a ccd 

the download time of the 314 is 1.9s unbinned and 0.8s binned 2x2 

cheers 

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38 minutes ago, assouptro said:

I think the loadstar is also a ccd 

Yes it is, but like I wrote, with optimised download time.

39 minutes ago, assouptro said:

0.8s binned 2x2 

That should work, I think.

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20 minutes ago, CCD-Freak said:

I guided with an old Atik 16iC and PHD and it worked great.  The cooled camera had few hot pixels to deal with.

 

I take it you couldn’t cool the camera? 

I get a lot of hot pixels and column defects on the loadstar as is so maybe it’s worth a try? 

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The 16iC cooler worked just fine so the sensor was much quieter than the Orion guider I was using up to then.  The sensor was also larger giving more choices of guide stars and the 16bit ADC did not saturate on all but a very few bright stars.

I used it up until just recently when I got a more modern guide camera.  I still have it in my kit.

 

SV-80mm Guide Scope.JPG

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26 minutes ago, CCD-Freak said:

The 16iC cooler worked just fine so the sensor was much quieter than the Orion guider I was using up to then.  The sensor was also larger giving more choices of guide stars and the 16bit ADC did not saturate on all but a very few bright stars.

I used it up until just recently when I got a more modern guide camera.  I still have it in my kit.

 

SV-80mm Guide Scope.JPG

Thanks !

Can I ask, how did you cool the chip? 
Were you using PHD? Does it have a cooling option?
 Or were you guiding some other way? 

Sorry for all the questions 

Bryan 

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The 16iC has basic TEC cooling....plug in the 12v cable and it cools to about 25 degrees C below ambient air temperature with no control via software.  I think the 314L+ has a similar arrangement.  PHD has no control over the cooling of the 16iC.  If your guide camera has "set point cooling" there may be adjustments or at least and on / off setting in the ASCOM driver.  

CCSP2016-03.JPG

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Quick update 

It works absolutely fine! And phd has the ability to set a cooling point too!! 
I’m getting 0.4-0.7 guiding at 3048mm fl with a ridiculously long guiding rigg! 
I’m really pleased with the way the azeq6 is coping with so much weight too! 
I’m happy 😊 

082A3F0B-EFE4-4A3C-9450-03E27B0A868E.thumb.jpeg.b70339a1e44bcf1722ae4733c92bad62.jpeg

 

83CF3CC5-AFAC-468F-B930-967F6CBD757E.thumb.jpeg.40aa6279fb2852b7a4b7e6bd2c603fef.jpeg

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14 hours ago, Skipper Billy said:

If you take a dark library and create a Bad Pixel Map for the Lodestar in PHD2 - all the undesirables vanish.

Binned 2x2 its far and away the best guide camera I have ever used.

Thanks for the reply David 

I’ve had a few years with the loadstar and it is a cracking little guider

I have a darks and bad pixel map library for it and spent quite some time adding 4 long column defects pixel by pixel in the bad pixel map generator and to be fair, it was cleaner once done.

The main object of the exercise is to have a bigger chip to find more stars at the long focal length with the Celestron OAG and I have to admit, so far, it is better with the Atik than the loadstar. 

Also I own a point grey (flir) Blackfly camera that I use for solar and lunar, it has the same chip as the asi and qhy 174 cameras that are increasingly popular as sensitive larger chipped guide cameras for use with OAG’’s but there isn’t an ascom driver for it so I cannot get it connected to phd otherwise I would be using that.

The 174 based cameras I have mentioned are around £500 which I didn’t want to spend and as I already owned the Atik I figured it was worth an ask! 
 

I won’t be parting with the loadstar anytime soon though

Cheers 

Bryan 
 

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57 minutes ago, assouptro said:

I’ve had a few years with the loadstar and it is a cracking little guider

I have a darks and bad pixel map library for it and spent quite some time adding 4 long column defects pixel by pixel in the bad pixel map generator and to be fair, it was cleaner once done.

The main object of the exercise is to have a bigger chip to find more stars at the long focal length with the Celestron OAG and I have to admit, so far, it is better with the Atik than the loadstar. 

Also I own a point grey (flir) Blackfly camera that I use for solar and lunar, it has the same chip as the asi and qhy 174 cameras that are increasingly popular as sensitive larger chipped guide cameras for use with OAG’’s but there isn’t an ascom driver for it so I cannot get it connected to phd otherwise I would be using that.

The 174 based cameras I have mentioned are around £500 which I didn’t want to spend and as I already owned the Atik I figured it was worth an ask! 
 

I won’t be parting with the loadstar anytime soon though

Hi Bryan

That all makes sense - I know of people that see the PHD2 screen for the first time connected to a Lodestar and freak out because they cant tell the stars from the noise/bad pixels - but your reasoning all makes perfect sense.

Have fun and clear skies.

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11 hours ago, Jp114 said:

I’m glad I stumbled on this post, I hadn’t even considered binning in PHD. 

I’m glad you found something useful in this thread!

It’s under the brain button, then camera (I think) 

Every day’s a school day!

cheers 

Bryan

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