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Psychobilly

Skywatcher Synguider - A review in parts...

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Thanks for the review so far Peter... I still can not decide whether to buy this or a QHY5?

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it depends if you want to have a computer with you...

The Synguider was intended for my portable setup so standalone was handy...

Peter...

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Solely depends on if you want a non laptop solution and better sensitivity. The QHY5 is less sensitive than this camera, (QHy5 is a CMOS based device). It's a tough call at this price, as to get a laptop and QHY5 would cost about the same (*even a refurbished netbook at £100), and then you have to carry around a laptop which will typically run at best for about 4-5 hours

against the Baader for me it's a no contest, as for under £300 I get a refurbished netbook laptop, second hand Meade DSI-C, GPUSB and download lots of free and wonderful software like PHD etc along with stark labs DSLR control software, marrying that to an astronomiser DSLR control cable and serial to USB interface. That way I can image/guide/blog/web browse/write it all up/have planetarium etc for £100 less than the Baader unit

Edited by NickH

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The synguider just does one job..and very well.. guiding.. the qhy5V can also be used for a bit of lunar and planetary...

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.

This would put the manufacturing cost up again because of the additional cabling, full housing and so on which is why a flip-up built into the camera section could have been a cost effective solution.

The existing hand controller unit does not have much in the way of 'intelligence' as the main electronics and control board are within the camera casing so again, for cost reasons, having the screen at the camera end makes sense.

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it depends if you want to have a computer with you...

The Synguider was intended for my portable setup so standalone was handy...

Peter...

If I had a portable setup and was spending a valuable amount of clear sky time on a target I'd want to make sure my imaging was spot on.....hence the need for a laptop. The Synguider is a useful tool no doubt about that but for serious imaging there's nothing like a laptop and proper guiding system.

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I disagree in terms of guide accuracy. The ST4/STV's were highly rated for guide accuracy. Steve is right on price/performance ratios. The extra cabling/screen seperation in a niche market would have bumped it up..

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If I had a portable setup and was spending a valuable amount of clear sky time on a target I'd want to make sure my imaging was spot on.....hence the need for a laptop. The Synguider is a useful tool no doubt about that but for serious imaging there's nothing like a laptop and proper guiding system.

Perhaps I should have said "Fatman Luggable" rather than portable... and when your carrying too much weight yourself every kilo you can cut of the other stuff you carry a couple of miles from the car or hundred meters up a mountain helps (which was my intended purpose)... the camera , mount and synguider can be run all night form a couple of NiMH battery packs I have made up... no power hungry laptop or "guidecam" in sight...

I guess widefields with a DSLR and a timer remote cant really be considerd to be serious imaging after all :p

Billy...

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Well after another hour of faffing under a clear sky last night I actually managed to get the Synguider guiding reliably on my CGE. Ive tried it 1st on the CGE cos thats in the obs where everything is to hand, the idea is once Ive cracked it on this mount it should be 2nd nature on the HEQ5, won't it?:p

Once I figured that it defaults to a noise filter value of about 250 if you accidentally show it a twilit sky when switching on things got a bit easier and I was pleasantly surprised as to how sensitive it is to fainter stars with the filter down to 3. With my 80mm Towa as a guide scope I had no problems around M27 finding guide stars.

At 1st using the settings from the auto calibration I would get guiding for 30 seconds then it would push the dec- continuously and then take off and lose the star. I reduced the RA and Dec agressiveness to half what the Synguider was setting itself to and also I pulled the dec backlash down to 0. It settled down quite nicely then and I got a few minutes run before the clouds stopped play.

I have still to hone the work flow and its still a bit hit and miss. At the moment I wouldn't say that its "plug and play" certainly not with the CGE, hope its better on the HEQ5. Its still a long way from the 5 minutes up and guiding with the Mintron and laptop but I reckon Ill get there eventually:D

Philj

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Hi all!

What about hot or bad pixel problem on synguider matrix?

Firmware allow me dark remap or what?

I have HEQ5 syntrek mount. Synguider work with this mount out of box?

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Same experience here philj, gotta fiddle to get it settled but it IS very sensitive, I got a lock on a tiny star last night at noise level 2 and 256ms, and it gripped on it very well. Know what you mean about the noise filter going up to 250 though tsk, it only saw my livingroom window in the dark!

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CCD vs the nasty little CMOS jobs...no contest...which is why I always say get a DSI-C for guiding..

The Synguider CCD is very good!

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Didn't see that but it sounds like a hot pixel. You should be able to de-select and ask it to lock onto another star..but as I say, I didn't see that in the tests I did with a pre-release model

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Yep apart from its black and orange...

Apologise for not updatign the review .. the last time I got out was June 12th... apart from a few startrails from the house...

Had another 40mm of rain in the last 24 hours ;)

Peter...

Edited by Psychobilly

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The Celestron is identical...madness IMHO as they same company are competing against themselves..

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Yes...you can watch your non celestron dealer turn every shade of red when they realise they are being undercut on price by the distributor of the other product :-)

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I reduced the RA and Dec agressiveness to half what the Synguider was setting itself to and also I pulled the dec backlash down to 0.

Philj

Sorry, how did you do this? I'm sure it's staring me in the face but I can't see how to change these settings.;)

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I too had to make this adjustment to the aggressiveness. From the P 14 of the manual:-

Whilst autoguiding is in operation and has just started, use the RIGHT/LEFT buttons to increase/decrease the RA aggressiveness and the UP/DOWN buttons to increase/decrease the DEC aggressiveness.

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I too had to make this adjustment to the aggressiveness. From the P 14 of the manual:-

Whilst autoguiding is in operation and has just started, use the RIGHT/LEFT buttons to increase/decrease the RA aggressiveness and the UP/DOWN buttons to increase/decrease the DEC aggressiveness.

Haha, I know ;) read the manual:evil6:.

Thanks Steve.:mad:

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Have to say that this important piece of information was not exactly blindingly obvious in the manual and normally I don't do too much reading of them either!!

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Used PHD as a reference for tweaking as the manual...what manual...

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Had another 40mm of rain in the last 24 hours :mad:

Peter...

So you had ours then :mad::evil6: we never had any even tho they were warning us for downpours after 4pm ;)

Anyway....about manuals, does anyone ever read them?

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