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Astrophotography and Sketching >> CCD Imaging & Processing

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fetoma
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/26/06

Loc: Southern New Jersey
Re: Mount or CCD Purchase ... Thoughts Please. new [Re: DaemonGPF]
      #5818703 - 04/23/13 09:46 PM

I'd go with your friends "thoughts".

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WadeH237
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: Snohomish, WA
Re: Mount or CCD Purchase ... Thoughts Please. new [Re: northwolfwu]
      #5818936 - 04/23/13 11:38 PM

I completely agree with the conventional wisdom that the mount is (by far) the most important component. I would place the camera a distant second, and the telescope a very distant third priority.

Usually, I suggest to someone starting out that they get a CGEM/Atlas class mount, an 80mm refractor, and either a DSLR or entry level CCD. The key with a setup like this is keeping the focal length reasonable. Look for under 1000mm.

In your case, you have a mount in the CGEM that can easily handle both the weight and focal length of the FSQ. This combination puts you very much into "wide field" territory. This setup will be good for large nebulae, star fields and open clusters.

So for you, I would make a different recommendation than I usually do: Get a camera. To get the most out of your setup, you would want a mono camera with at least LRGB and Ha filters. It would be good if the filter wheel supports more filters so that you could add SII and OIII for narrow band work (you can get great bi-color images, too, so the SII is lower priority than the OIII).

One other thing is that you will want to have some budget to get an off-axis guider setup going.

This would be a nice rig, and you would probably be happy with it for years. Once you are ready for a much longer focal length and a bigger financial commitment, then you could get a premium mount.

So while as I said above, a capable mount is key, your mount is already a reasonable match for your scope. I did just fine for 10 years with a CGE and focal lengths around 1800mm or less (and at 1300mm, which I used a lot, the CGE was more than capable). I finally upgraded to an AP mount when I wanted to go longer.

Anyway, just my two cents...

-Wade


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hytham
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/25/12

Loc: Canadian in the US
Re: Mount or CCD Purchase ... Thoughts Please. new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5820094 - 04/24/13 03:49 PM

Great, thank you everyone. I appreciate all the input and have made a decision.

With the larger FOV, shorter FL and the natural undersampling of the FSQ, it's making sense to go with the camera first at this point in time as the demand on the mount will be significantly less. I'm going to hypertune the DX to get the most I can out of it and in a few short months I'll have my dream mount delivered to my door.

Thanks again for all the advice, it's greatly appreciated.

Now on to the next decisions ... yay!


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scirocco1
member


Reged: 05/05/09

Loc: Cluj,Romania
Re: Mount or CCD Purchase ... Thoughts Please. new [Re: hytham]
      #5826167 - 04/27/13 12:06 PM

I've been in this situation. I had a EQ6 mount and a DSLR, thought of buying a Losmandy G11 or Fornax 51 but in the end I bought an Atik 383L+ and I'm very happy (still getting round stars with the EQ6). On my next bigger scope I will get a better mount.

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SL63 AMG
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/21/09

Loc: Williamson, Arizona
Re: Mount or CCD Purchase ... Thoughts Please. new [Re: vpcirc]
      #5826266 - 04/27/13 12:54 PM

Quote:

...I would never go back to a lower end mount. Imaging is just so much easier with a quality mount.




I couldn't agree more. I was fortunate and discovered early all the great advice of everyone on this forum who recommended buying the mount first, the rest will come later.

I bought an ASA DDM85X-SL mount "first", and a cheap AT12RC. It was sufficient for learning. Now, two years later, I have a great camera and optics. But having had the mount for two years has afforded me the experience of how to use it well enough to get the most out of the new camera and optics.

Buy the best mount you can afford and start saving for better camera and optics.

In the mean time, join an astronomical club or society. Perhaps someone would lend you a camera to try. If you lived close to me, I'd let you try my ML8300 and CFW2-7!


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freestar8n
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/12/07

Re: Mount or CCD Purchase ... Thoughts Please. new [Re: hytham]
      #5826325 - 04/27/13 01:30 PM

I would invest in the camera and wait on the mount - and use MetaGuide (my free software) with your Flea as the guide camera with a guidescope - and later use the Flea with OAG on the C11 - also with MetaGuide.

Guiding a refractor with a guidescope is much easier than an sct and errors in guiding will show less because of the shorter imaging focal length. This greatly reduces the need for a high end mount.

I think the importance of the mount is greatly overrated nowadays in terms of the fwhm you can achieve with good guiding - but at the same time I expect a high end mount to be easier and more robust. But with good guiding technique, and more care, nowadays there should be less of a gap between mid-range and high end in terms of the actual results obtained. My examples with cge and cge-pro using video guiding and oag with c11 are on the MetaGuide site, including 15m exposures with around 2" fwhm.

The better your seeing is, the more you might benefit from a high end mount - but if your seeing isn't great and the fsq is under-sampled - then a mid-range mount should do ok as long as it can handle the load, which I assume it can.

Frank


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