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Autoguiding an ETX-125 with Webcam?


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I know there's a fair bit here on webcam autoguiding but I thought I'd throw this specific question about my combination of kit to the floor, in case I'm about to waste my time...

Whilst I save up & decide on more suitable kit for DSO imaging I was wondering whether its worth trying to autoguide my ETX-125PE with an un-modded SPC880 (flashed to SPC900nc) I've just got from Morgans?

I piggy back my Nikon D80 but it's a bit hit and miss with anything over 30 - 60 seconds. So was wondering if anyone else had tried this for longer subs. I use a Mac so can run MacOS or Windows guide Apps. (prefer MacOS)

Do you think it's worth trying?

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I've never heard of it being done so why not have a go. If it works I'm sure lots of people would like to hear about it. if it doesn't the same. there's lots of us here who would like a cheap way into astrophotography. At worst you've only wasted a night the stars will still be here tomorrow (and the clouds probably)

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A quick google suggest it can be done... you will want to use the mount in EQ mode if you have the #884 tripod use the built in tilt plate.

using Ascom drivers through the #497 handset seems to be the way to go... with PHD as the guidign program

Billy...

Edited by Psychobilly
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A quick google suggest it can be done... you will want to use the mount in EQ mode if you have the #884 tripod use the built in tilt plate.

using Ascom drivers through the #497 handset seems to be the way to go... with PHD as the guidign program

Billy...

Yup, I have that and always use EQ mode nowadays with it.. even just for viewing as the goto seems more accurate. There always seems to be a bit of a debate (even on Weasners site) as to which port to use.. ie. there's 2 on the handset ( which is used for connecting to base and serial remote control ) or the base. (theres 2 spare for I believe, accessories) I'm gonna try the handset one as thats the one the Autostar would be connected with if using meades own cameras and software I think.

Anyway, it seems it's worth a try then.. :)

Is there anyway to test this in daylight.. well.. without a real star visible as such?

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Thought I'd throw in an update hoping it's "therapeutic" as so far this is not going too well... I think I'm still jinxed from my experience of actually getting hold of the webcam... ( my sorry tale here of that experience - http://stargazerslounge.com/equipment-discussion/126903-heads-up-philips-spc880-webcam-prices.html#post1679115 )

Thank goodness I had the foresight to order 2 as the first one I tried died 10 minutes after I started testing with it...:)

So far I haven't found guide software that runs on the Mac AND see's the drivers for the SPC900NC. Macam works fine so it's an either OR at the moment.

So, I've run up Win 7 in a virtual machine and can get PHD guiding to see the WebCam ok. However, seems like the ascom driver ( Meade LX200 Classic and Autostar #494, #495, and #497 (combined telescope/focuser, 5.0.3) )

for my Meade ETX isn't recognised as its Autostar II not Autostar I and the driver info mentions there's a different one but I'm either being silly or blind as I don't see it on the ascom site. I get an error if I try and use it.

Tried Guidedog but it thinks something else is using the driver (even after rebooting) so I've given up at that point for now and thought I'd see if I had more luck opening a bottle of Red... :)

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Ok.. got PHD seeing scope and webcam. I tried the Generic LX-200 (5.0.1) ascom driver but it didn't like it so I tried the first one again and away it went.. (Hmmm.. the glass of red worked then!) :)

Sky was fairly clear so rushed out set up and started to focus.... clouds rolled in.... no point in waiting any more as Sat24 looks grim.. it's all white! This is a very frustrating hobby I'm hooked on...!!!

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  • 2 years later...

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