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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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chboss
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/24/08

Loc: Zurich Switzerland
Re: StarShoot Autoguider (SSAG) 3MP new [Re: EricRemy]
      #5451495 - 10/02/12 08:46 AM

Remember that PHD will automatically stretch the histogram so a few "warm" pixels will be very visible but not a problem.
Use the automatic dark substraction feature in PHD and take it out under the stars, you will see these pixels will no longer be visible.

I can tell you that my venerable Meade DSI pro produces a dark image that looks like a night airplane approach over Tokyo.

regards
Chris


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orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: StarShoot Autoguider (SSAG) 3MP new [Re: chboss]
      #5451909 - 10/02/12 12:56 PM

really Chris?

i have a meade DSI pro, quite old too.. but it doesn't have column defects like the above lodestar..!

then again it's just a friggin' guide camera.. if i were taking DSO images with it then i would care.


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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: StarShoot Autoguider (SSAG) 3MP new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5452294 - 10/02/12 05:11 PM

That's a stretched shot above. This is my 5 sec and 30 sec darks pulled in fits files from maxim to photoshop then saved as jpeg's. In Maxim, my darks look like yours because of the stretch Maxim does.





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mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: StarShoot Autoguider (SSAG) 3MP new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5452662 - 10/02/12 09:13 PM

Quote:

but it doesn't have column defects like the above lodestar..!




I wouldn't be worried too much about column defects if it (Lodestar) would guide properly. But I am not having much luck guiding with it using PHD. PHD couldn't guide and kept alarming (no error, just the usual audio output of star getting lost) on decent mid-range stars in this field. I made sure I wasn't guiding on too bright or too dim stars. Long story short, first real test of this camera has been a failure.


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mmalik
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: StarShoot Autoguider (SSAG) 3MP new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5452698 - 10/02/12 09:31 PM

Quote:

In Maxim, my darks look like yours because of the stretch Maxim does.




Thanks; results I had posted were stretched as well.

Here is an re-cap of this thread for everyone:

1. I use 1.5MP SSAG which guides fine and I happy with its performance.

2. I tried 3MP SSAG in an effort to be able to guide on dimmer stars but couldn't get PHD to work with 3MP SSAG, details above.

3. I am trying Lodestar Autoguider now, whose discussion is underway.

I am well versed in guiding from imaging perspective; I was hoping to get to a better guiding solution than good old 1.5MP SSAG but it is turning out to be a frustrating experience.

I had posted Lodestar question in AP forum as well, you may read about it here...


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Raginar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: StarShoot Autoguider (SSAG) 3MP new [Re: mmalik]
      #5452806 - 10/02/12 10:45 PM

You're using stars that are over-saturated. Reduce your exposure time. I had the same issue with my loadstar when I first got it; it's *too* sensitive.

Good luck,


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Enny
newbie


Reged: 02/07/12

Re: StarShoot Autoguider (SSAG) 3MP new [Re: Raginar]
      #5455161 - 10/04/12 02:05 PM

I also have the StarShoot 3MP Planetary Imager & AutoGuider and try to use it for guiding with PHD. This camera is different to the Orion cameras listed in PHD.
It detects the camera when I use ASCOM in PHD but the picture/capture is too dark and I cannot get it brighter (I increased the gain in the ASCOM setup from 50% to 98%, no difference).
The camera actually seems to be an QHY5T. On their website they list an ASCOM driver http://qhyccd.com/download.html not sure if that is the same as on the Orion CD. Haven't checked it yet.


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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: StarShoot Autoguider (SSAG) 3MP new [Re: Enny]
      #5455865 - 10/04/12 10:36 PM

My Lodestar looks just as bad. CCDSoft didn't like it. I made a master bias frame for it, put it into the autoguider image reduction group and poof, no more hot pixels. CCDSoft was happy.

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mmalik
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: StarShoot Autoguider (SSAG) 3MP new [Re: frolinmod]
      #5474434 - 10/17/12 02:54 AM Attachment (21 downloads)

My quest of a decent autoguider has led me from 3MP SSAG to Lodestar to NOW SBIG ST-i monochrome. I ended up sending both SSAG and Lodestar back after not being able to get PHD to work and having elongated hot/dead pixels, respectively.

In short, I have happy to report that I finally have found what I have been looking for in SBIG ST-i monochrome whose 1sec dark as follows and whose configuration/functionality with PHD has been a success!

Note: SBIG ST-i has NO column defects or dead pixels (in comparison to Lodestar)


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mmalik
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: StarShoot Autoguider (SSAG) 3MP new [Re: mmalik]
      #5474436 - 10/17/12 02:56 AM Attachment (16 downloads)

Few pics of SBIG ST-i monochrome autoguider I just bought:

Front:


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mmalik
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: StarShoot Autoguider (SSAG) 3MP new [Re: mmalik]
      #5474437 - 10/17/12 02:56 AM Attachment (15 downloads)

Back:

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mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: StarShoot Autoguider (SSAG) 3MP new [Re: mmalik]
      #5474444 - 10/17/12 03:11 AM

To sum up:

•I would NOT recommend 3MP SSAG for autoguiding since I was NOT able to get it configured with PHD to even tell you about its performance

•1MP SSAG remains a good entry level autoguider, as always...

•Lodestar seems to have a ton of defects (column defects/elongated hot/dead pixels in my case...), which may not interfere with guiding but not a good thing to have at this price tag

•ST-i monochrome seems best when it comes to NOT having column or dead pixel defects (Note: I have tested ST-i with PHD and it works great)


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MPT
sage
****

Reged: 10/23/07

Loc: Savage, MN
Re: StarShoot Autoguider (SSAG) 3MP new [Re: mmalik]
      #5474631 - 10/17/12 08:25 AM

Hey Mike -

Was there a reason that the SSAG at Casby was not working for you? Any chance you could capture Jupiter through the 10" with the lodestar/st-i some night? I would love to see how each of these function as an imager as well.

-Marcus


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