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Guide Camera - help and advice needed


Beardy Bob
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I'm all ready to take the plunge into autoguiding, but need some advice on guide cameras.

I'll be using a short-tube refractor (when I get one!) as a guide scope to give me a nice wide field of view. I'll also be using EQMOD and PHD to guide with.

Obviously I want a good product for as little money as possible(!), but I don't know enough to know how well a cheap product will perform. For example, if by using a cheap guider (e.g. a modified webcam for example) the process of guiding is largely the same as using an expensive camera, but I'm limited to targets with brighter stars nearby then that's OK. However, if by using a cheap product it makes guiding really hit and miss and I struggle to get/maintain a 'lock' on any target star at all (e.g. because of poor resolution) then that's no good.

Any experiences and advice would be most welcome.

Bob

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I'll second what Steve said. A lot of others on here have also praised this camera.

I used to use a modded webcam but it was very fiddly to get a decent guide star on the chip. With the QHY5 however, I have now reverted to fixed guide rings and have not had any problems choosing a guide star from the many that appear.

Great little camera for the money.

Steve

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Yeah, I've heard a lot of good things about the QHY-5. Maybe that's the way to go then. I don't suppose anyone knows of any second hand ones going?

How does guiding through the autoguide port work? i.e. I'm assuming the camera still needs the PC to follow the guide star and instigate any adjustments (e.g. with PHD)? Is it just a case of any adjustments in tracking being sent to the mount through the autoguide port via the camera rather than through the EQDIR?

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How does guiding through the autoguide port work? i.e. I'm assuming the camera still needs the PC to follow the guide star and instigate any adjustments (e.g. with PHD)? Is it just a case of any adjustments in tracking being sent to the mount through the autoguide port via the camera rather than through the EQDIR?

Spot on!

Steve

Edit: You don't get the ST4 lead with the camera though, so you will have to order that seperately.

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It's powered through USB.

And having just bought one recently, I can add my recommendation. I tried guiding with a ToUCam, but had trouble finding guide stars. I'm now using the QHY5 connected to an HEQ5 Pro mount with an ST4 cable and using PHD Guiding and it's excellent.

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Just to throw another idea in there, for not that much more you could plump for (say) an Imaging Source high speed camera, which can give you guiding with PHD but also take up to 1hour long exposures as well as 60fps stuff for lunar/solar imaging. Or at least that was my chain of reasoning! I'm using it on a Astro Engineering Star-Chaser guidescope, which is good value for money.

Astro Engineering Astro Engineering Star-Chaser 80 80mm f8 guide-scope refractor

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