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Advice on 'Orion Awesome Autoguider Package'

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Been after an autoguiding setup for a while and now I have some cash-eesh in the bank I am thinking of purchasing a guidescope and cam for my rather slow but infinitly cool Celestron C8 Schmidt-Cassegrain.

Had a quick 'Google' and found this little dude: the 'Orion Awesome Autoguider Package' for around £350. It consists of the Orion Starshoot autoguider (incl. connections), a 80mm Refractor and software along with scope rings etc.

Just wondering if anyone had any knowledge of this product first hand and if it was worth purchasing.

OR........if it turns out its a load of tosh are there any other relitivly cheap ways of autoguiding.

Thanks in advance.

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Hmm, cheers but I've found it for a price which I believe would be cheaper than getting a ST80, QHY5, scope rings, adapters and software.

Read some good reviews about it online, was just after some thoughts from anyone who already has it. :)

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Is yours a fork mount? If so, getting good guiding may not be dead easy. An off axis guider might be a much better bet for you. That is what many SCT owners find. It also makes getting the critically important dynamic balance easier.

However, your sig mentions Fastar so not if you are using that, obviously! Finding a second hand SCT off axis guider should be easy. I have one somewhere but it may not be complete.


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Evening Olly,

I have the 'N' version of the EQ6-Pro, not quite sure what the 'N' stands for...I pertain its for 'Newer' as I haven't seen it printed on the older models :)

So, no my mount is an Equatorial one, not fork driven.

I think I'm going to buy the scope and autoguider tonight....it seems good from reviews I have read.

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Purchased it last night and its being delivered shortly from what I gather.

Shall give an overview when I have unwrapped it all. However, I do not have any scope rings for my C8 telescope so fixing it on might need looking into.

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The package was delivered today at work :( good times.

Unpacked it all and everything looks great, the body and housing of the scope looks sturdy, not like I was lead to believe by some reviews. Attached the tube rings and dovetail to the ST80 and its all housed quite nicely. Had a quick play with it on my NEQ6-Pro and its pretty damn good for observations, a nice wide field of view and good colours.

Few issues, from how I imagine the rings connect to the dovetail the bolts that hold it together are not fluch with the bar i.e. when you go to insert it onto the mounts dovetail mounting then the main balance point means sitting the scope on the boltheads, other than that its okay.

Haven't had time to try the autoguider out yet, its quite windy outside, but also........more importantly I haven't figured out hwo to connect the ST80 to my Celestron C8 yet. Any ideas?

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I bought the Orion starshoot autoguider package last week and successfully managed to attach it to the C8 scope (see picture below) via two butterfly clips, some rubber tree-ties and some pieces of vehicle fan belt.

Tried the whole set-up last night in reasonably clear conditions and had semi-sucessful results.

The good stuff: Mount is balanced well with the guidescope on the top, no sign of slippage and everything connects to everything else okay. The optics in the ST80 are amazing, far better than what I was expecting. Its fast F4 ish focal ratio gives quick imaging and the autoguider is a breeze to set-up. It seems that everything talks to each other....good times!

The not-so good stuff: After spending 4 hours in the cold (2 hours of which were spent aligning all the scopes and balancing it out properly (.....stupidly not with all the equipment attached which I think is causing the star trailing error as you will read in a minute) and attaching all the cables, I had some star trails.

It appears that PHD didn't track after a given star for more than 3 minutes -ish. I assume this is down to the star not being focused enough, or having low S/N ratio, or the scopes weren't balanced properly or the powertank I was using was running out of juice.

I'd go for the latter, mainly as I have had trouble in the past with it conking out after a while.

Symptoms......well the green cross hairs that show above a selected star (in the PHD Autoguide program) stayed still in PHD and the green square box moved with the star for a little while and then turned to a yellow dashed line and the window surround flashed red for a while.....I assume this meant the guide star had been lost. Do the green-cross hairs move with the guide star or are they meant to stay in the same place?

Any advice on this would be useful.


Edited by EA2007
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