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Help me pick a guiding package

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#1 bayleyjordan

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 03:23 PM

I have been imaging for several months now on an AVX mount with an 8" SCT, unguided. From everything I read on these forums, many of you say unguided imaging isn't worth it. I wanted to really get a good feel for my mount and it's capabilities before starting to guide, and have improved my alignment techniques enough so that I am regularly getting round stars on 2 - 2.5 minute exposures, and have been pretty pleased with the results.

However, I feel like I am getting close to maxing out my abilities without guiding, and would like to take the plunge. I'm prepared to do my own research, but figured I would ask on here first, what are my best, affordable options for guiding with my current setup? 50mm guidescope and SSAG? Would I need a focal reducer with that setup? or should i go 80mm guidescope?

I would just like a quick rundown of what equipment you think I should be looking at so I can do my research and get a good setup. Thanks in advance!

#2 bayleyjordan

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 03:25 PM

Oh and if this is in the wrong forum, let me know, I just saw the "Equipment" forum. Thanks!

#3 bouffetout

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 03:43 PM

I have a 8SE on a HEQ5 mount. When doing astrophotography ,we should put on our mount about 50% of the maximum payload.
I 'm at about 60% and everything is fine ,but I wouldn't go further. The max.payload of my mount is 30 LBS. That's why I have the mini 50mm + SSAG kit from Orion ,And it works very well. Your telescope is a f/10 and 2032mm FL. By putting a focal reducer/field flattener ,you bring your scope at f/6.3 with a focal length of 1280mm. This makes your scope faster for astrophotography and the focal length is within the range of your guiding scope ,wich is good up to 1500mm. If you want to take pictures of the moon or planets ,you take out the reducer...The mini 50mm +SSAG kit is light weight and will do the job. Plus it's more easy to use than the 80mm with the two adjusting rings... A lot of people have that little kit and like me, they like it.
Good luck !
Maxx

#4 Erskin71

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 03:44 PM

I don't think this is the wrong forum. I use the Orion SSAG and 50mm guide scope on my C8 and Atlas. I had to get a 50mm guide scope bracket for it though. I attached the picture for reference on the set up.

With a good balance and PA I have no issues with this configuration. I do also use the FR to get the FL down.

Hope this helps.

Attached Files



#5 bayleyjordan

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 03:52 PM

Thanks for the replies! I like the looks of the SSAG, and I've read that the max FL is 1500mm, is this just suggested or is it unusable at my scope's native 2032mm?

#6 wolfman_4_ever

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 04:29 PM

Off axis guiding or OAG.

You didn't say what 8" sct but with a guide scope and camera, and at that focal length, your approaching the mount limit and or flex issues between the scopes.

#7 bouffetout

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 04:36 PM

It could work for the guiding ( I never tryed ) but f/10 for deepsky astrophoto is VERY slow ...

#8 DaemonGPF

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 09:09 PM

It will work over 2000mm. I've used this package twice myself, with the QHY-5 equivalent. I also swapped the stock bracket/cup because of flexure.

#9 *skyguy*

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 11:01 PM

If you're getting 2.5 minute unguided exposures without star trails, than upgrading to a SSAG with a 50mm guidescope should work just fine ... but, get the 6.3 focal reducer to knock down that 2,000mm focal length.

I routinely take 3 minute unguided exposures with my fork mounted 12" SCT @ f/6.3 (1920mm). When I use my SSAG on the 80mm guidescope, 15-20 minute ... and longer ... exposures are possible without any problems.

Jim

#10 jsines

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 12:29 PM

I was getting 2-3 minute unguided subs and throwing out about 20-30% of them before guiding. I bought the Orion Magnificent Mini Autoguider package with the Orion SSAG and I'm now at 6 minutes guided in a white zone with a LPF. I'm throwing out zero frames.

I should have bought an autoguider a long time ago. I suspect you'll feel the same way after buying one.

#11 Jeff2011

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 01:07 PM

I was planning on getting the SSAG. Then someone on CN suggested the QHY5L-II. After doing some comparison of the specs, I decided to take his advice and went with the QHY and the Orion deluxe mini guide scope with the helical focuser. I have been very pleased with this camera for guiding and it doubles as a great planetary camera.

#12 manowar

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 01:43 PM

I have been imaging for several months now on an AVX mount with an 8" SCT, unguided. From everything I read on these forums, many of you say unguided imaging isn't worth it. I wanted to really get a good feel for my mount and it's capabilities before starting to guide, and have improved my alignment techniques enough so that I am regularly getting round stars on 2 - 2.5 minute exposures, and have been pretty pleased with the results.


I have the same scope and mount, I am new to astrophotography though. I was planning to get a guiding package too. At the moment even with the focal reducer (which definitely makes things easier), I cannot get good 2 minutes exposures. (1 - 1.5 minutes) is the max I can get or I have to throw out far too many pictures. I am glad to hear that you managed to 2 - 2.5 minutes with this equipment. I know the issue is with polar align. Would you mind sharing some tips, I would love to improve my technique with this mount ? Are you using the 'drift' method or only rely on 'All Star' PA ? I am using a 12mm illuminated EP and I guess a barlow would help.

Thanks a lot






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