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Psychobilly

Skywatcher Synguider - A review in parts...

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Take the time to setup a parafocal EP with it I use a 12mm illuminated reticule one which gives we about twice the FOV of the guidecam but the inner circle and the cross hairs allow me to put the guidestar on the chip and close to the center...

Set this initially by using a bright star...

Without the Parafocal EP it can be a PITA to get a guidestar on the chip and focussed up...

Ron As Nick said the issue I am seeing is "mount" related (well two mount form the same batch actually both seem to handle the guide correction signals properly through the ST4 port the only difference between Nick and my setups was he wasnt using the Synscan unit with the mount.. unfortunately i cant test without it.. although we havent compared hardware and firmware revisions either...) It does it using a whole range of guide cams and guideport interfaces so is nothing to do with the guidecam.

One thing to watch is when you press buttons make sure you give it time to respond especially if the exposure is set to be quite long... you'll soon get used to workign with it ratehr than against it...

Peter...

Edited by Psychobilly

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Ron, very true...time of year is best for writing, and solar... deep sky is tricky right now for sure...

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I, and others obviously, appreciate what you are doing, and understand there will be quirks which are not attributable to the guide camera Peter. I'm certain that given favourable conditions, you will deliver a fine and true report on the performance of the device.

Cheers.

Ron.

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Ron, very true...time of year is best for writing, and solar... deep sky is tricky right now for sure...

I have been doing some observing Nick. Saturn, and a few Deep Sky targets. Fairly good in the 12" sct, but apart from the planet, certainly not for a cameras eye :D.

Edited by barkis

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My take on the synguider was that it hit the price point spot on. The screen position is a bit awkward, the OS is not a PC running PHD, but a fairly good stab at it, and once you have a workflow, it just works.. focus and centre of guide star is something that took a wee while, but for less than any other guide option in the world including buying a PC and webcam, it's unbeatable

Edited by NickH

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Depends on what you put it on...it's as sensitive as the Meade DSI-C which blows the QHY5 out of the water!

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Nice review Pete and some excellent advice.

Ive been looking to reduce the power hungry guiding I do with my Mintron, ideal in the obs but in the field I need at least 2 power tanks to last the night; mount, guiding, dew heaters all add up.

So I got one of these to see if it would do the job, arrived yesterday and would you believe it a clear few hours last night to try it out. I used my old faithful Mak 127 guidescope which works superbly with the Mintron this gives about 1500mm fl.

Had the usual teething problems getting used to eveything but was guiding well after an hour of faffing.

I took your advice Pete and used a diagonal, this is a must as the screen is not easy to see when mounted straight on the focuser.

I also used a Meade illuminated reticule 12mm ep for centreing the guide star which made life a bit easier

The only gripe so far is I wish the delay times on the button pressing were a bit longer

Next Ill try it with my 80mm 1200mm fl guide scope to see how that fares.

But after 1st light I reckon its something I will be using regularly particularly on my mobille rig.

Philj

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Glad you found the info useful and are happy with the Synguider first time out...

I Still haven't had a chance to use mine since the testing on the CPC back in the begining of June...

The EQ3 Pro still wont guide although with the lack of clear skies it hasnt been too much of a problem as yet but I relly would like to get it resolved as soon as possible ...

Peter...

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for the money, I think the screen issue is the only real headache with it...and told Skywatcher as such during testing..

Diagonal is a must

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I have to agree about the screen, if only they could have made it with a flip-up hinge (not beyond the wit of man I feel!) it would have been so much more user friendly. Although a diagonal resolves this issue, it is yet another component to potentially introduce differential flexure :p

For the money, though, it can't be beat as it quite simply works and you can't argue with that!

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I have got a rather nice Celestron Starbright XLT 2" SCT fit one in it's own lockable ally case now.. still a potential source of flexure.. but not bad for £10...BNIB :p

Edited by Psychobilly

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A good solid flip mirror with a parfocal illuminated rec would be better..then you could leave the synguider on axis

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Any nearer resolving the Dec. Issue Peter. I know it's the mount where the problem lies, but I wondered if any progress has been made.

I take it this is unique to the EQ3, and no problems with the EQ6. Although I think we would know by now if there was.

Ron.

Edited by barkis

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The problem I was having is reading the display when its on the SCT I cant get to see it if its between the forks and pointing at the base... no room to get at the buttons either...

Same problem existed witht he DSLR's untill i had one with liveview and remote control...

So dont see how the flip mirror with the guider on axis helps really apart from not having to swap over the guider and the parafocal EP...

Its still a cracking product... and maybe useful if the EQ3 Pro ever gets fixed and for use on the HEQ-5 pro...

Peter...

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The problem I was having is reading

So dont see how the flip mirror with the guider on axis helps really apart from not having to swap over the guider and the parafocal EP...

Peter...

bingo!!!

but yes, a remote screen would be so much better. Rather than a flip, integrate the screen into the handbox rathan then in to the camera base

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Any nearer resolving the Dec. Issue Peter. I know it's the mount where the problem lies, but I wondered if any progress has been made.

I take it this is unique to the EQ3, and no problems with the EQ6. Although I think we would know by now if there was.

Ron.

The latest (still waiting for a what to do next) is the problem seems to be with the DEC inputs of the Guide ports on the two EQ3 Pros I had...

We have been through no end of different tests... and that was the findings of the latest... so it looks like the MC unit needs replacing..

The EQ3 Pro is superb even unguided at the focal lenghts i use it at.. and havign sepnt ages settign up the polar scope i dont really want to send it all back and go through that again.. a simple swap of the MC would be my prefered option...

Peter...

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It would have been useful to have the screen as a separate entity, which could be safely clamped to a suitable location.

Might have added a few quid to the price, but given the choice, most would choose the option of a separate screen.

Ron.

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On a GEM it's a gymnastic exercise but you can eventually get to the screen and the buttons .. even if you can't get up again afterwards...

on the Fork mount it can be very difficult ...

At the end of the day its a superb bit of kit in compact package thats been built to a price... that just works...

Peter...

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Just received this info in relation to the Synguider that I think everyone should be aware of

Dear All,

IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING SKY-WATCHER SYNGUIDER

Please note there is a printing error in the instruction manual concerning the power supply requirement of the Synguider.

Firstly, please note it is recommended to use the battery pack supplied.

If a separate power supply is to be used, a switchable power supply of known good quality should be used

The operating voltage of the SynGuider is DC 6V-12V (Lower voltage recommended).

Most importantly the operating current should be in the range of 200Ma-250Ma (The instruction manual quotes a higher current which will damage the Synguider)

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Thankfully I didn't have a manual and used my good quality swicthing PSU..

Smoking

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I am tempted to buy the Baader LVI SG2. It's not available as yet, but I got a reply to an email suggesting mid. August, but more likely early September. My main reason for the choice of the SG2, is the dedicated guide port for the Autostar. I'm hoping it will be a success, it would save the potential of removing the Meades OTA, and fitting it up to sit on the EQ6 Pro.

Another option is to sell the scope, and buy a C11 OTA.

Ron.

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I would expect that Synguider will only pull the current it requires from a supply... the current drawn may be dependent on the supply voltage that the unit is run from...

I guess that there is a voltage regulator circuit on the DC input of the synguider with the internal electronics probably operating from 5V or maybe even less...

obviously they still dont realise it should be mA rather than Ma :p

I run mine from Rechargable battery packs that are regulated to 6.5V these give 8-10 hours of use from a full charge...

Billy...

Edited by Psychobilly

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