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Astrophotography and Sketching >> DSLR & Digital Camera Astro Imaging & Processing

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Toxic Coolaid
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/01/11

Loc: NorthEast Tennessee
Starting to use SSAG and BYE... tips please new
      #5534816 - 11/23/12 03:28 AM

I've been using the LVI2 smartguider and I'm going to try out the SSAG and BYE with my CGEM. Looking for tips or a nudge to a good post. I guess I should also ask about the off axis guider, but it seems to not have the strong following as SSAG. I also already have the Orion 80 ST, and the 50mm giude scope already. Thank you guys once again for your help. It is great to have this kind of experience to draw from.

Mo

Edited by Toxic Coolaid (11/23/12 04:13 AM)


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mmalik
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Starting to use SSAG and BYE... tips please new [Re: Toxic Coolaid]
      #5534830 - 11/23/12 03:44 AM

I would recommend ST-i; read this... for details.

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Toxic Coolaid
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/01/11

Loc: NorthEast Tennessee
Re: Starting to use SSAG and BYE... tips please new [Re: mmalik]
      #5534859 - 11/23/12 04:23 AM

Quote:

I would recommend ST-i; read this... for details.




I don't think I can go in for the $800 for the camera and Off axis kit. The higher sensitivity does sound good thought.


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mmalik
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Starting to use SSAG and BYE... tips please [Re: Toxic Coolaid]
      #5534870 - 11/23/12 04:42 AM

ST-i price here.... You don't need off-axis kit; it can be used like any regular auto guider. Price of color/mono is same; get mono for guiding ONLY.

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ghataa
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/20/11

Loc: Central, NJ
Re: Starting to use SSAG and BYE... tips please new [Re: mmalik]
      #5535048 - 11/23/12 08:57 AM

I use the mini 50mm finderscope SSAG and really like it and use it trouble free.

Best,

George


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petemumbower
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/12/09

Loc: West Michigan
Re: Starting to use SSAG and BYE... tips please new [Re: ghataa]
      #5535708 - 11/23/12 03:12 PM

I use the SSAG with both my ST80 and 50mm finder. Biggest thing I could recommend is to remember to get the RA min move in PHD smaller enough when using the finder. This is because the image scale is pretty big with that combo. So even a pixel is around 5-6 arcsecond I believe. If I remember correct, I think with that setup, I use around .1 or so. It takes some experimenting with your setup.

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j.w.white
sage


Reged: 07/18/09

Re: Starting to use SSAG and BYE... tips please new [Re: petemumbower]
      #5537242 - 11/24/12 01:25 PM

Hi Mo - you shouldn't worry about trying out an OAG until you know if using a guide scope will work for you or not. It's just one more difficulty (trying to find a good guide star using the pick-off mirror) to throw into the learning mix. I would recommend using PHD guiding (http://www.stark-labs.com) for your guiding software (I seem to recall this comes with the SSAG?). Make sure you pay attention to a good polar alignment too, if not your guiding attempts will result in a great deal of frustration (I know first hand!). Good Luck!

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pfile
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/14/09

Re: Starting to use SSAG and BYE... tips please new [Re: j.w.white]
      #5537256 - 11/24/12 01:39 PM

yes, i think it is worth trying a separate guidescope. if you end up with differential flexure that you can't solve, then move to the OAG. it's up to you to determine how much work/hair to pull out trying to solve DF issues

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j.w.white
sage


Reged: 07/18/09

Re: Starting to use SSAG and BYE... tips please new [Re: pfile]
      #5537278 - 11/24/12 01:51 PM

I've been looking at the on-axis guider with interest ( http://www.innovationsforesight.com ). It's a bit pricey, but I like the concept of no pick-off mirror to fuss with.

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fmhill
sage


Reged: 07/17/12

Loc: Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA
Re: Starting to use SSAG and BYE... tips please new [Re: j.w.white]
      #5537340 - 11/24/12 02:48 PM

I use the SSAG with a separate 80mm guide scope piggyback mounted on the main imaging scope and prefer this combination as I can adjust the guide scope aim separately from the imaging point of aim when having trouble finding a guide star...

Its a good system and works well...

My only caution, especially about the SSAG, is that the software disk that comes with it has an outdated version of PHD. As PHD is freeware, go to the stark Labs web site and get the latest version. The disk that came with a new SSAG I purchased recently was shipped fresh from the factoty and had PHD Ver. 1.11.0...

By going to the Stark Labs website, I downloaded PHD version 1.14.0 which has significant improvements...


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Toxic Coolaid
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/01/11

Loc: NorthEast Tennessee
Re: Starting to use SSAG and BYE... tips please new [Re: fmhill]
      #5537384 - 11/24/12 03:23 PM

Thank you all again! I've just been hesitant to leave a laptop out in the driveway. I piggyback my ST80 and use a LIV2 smartguider now, and a remote shutter. It's all stand alone. I came across a laptop for $50, and the BYE complete package along with monitoring everything remotely just sounds very nice. Maybe a dumb question, but PHD is in with BYE right. or do I need to have PHD on my computer too? I have read that I need to update all the software before I do anything. Thanks again

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mmalik
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Starting to use SSAG and BYE... tips please new [Re: Toxic Coolaid]
      #5537390 - 11/24/12 03:28 PM

PHD is separate; download from here...

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Toxic Coolaid
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/01/11

Loc: NorthEast Tennessee
Re: Starting to use SSAG and BYE... tips please new [Re: mmalik]
      #5537422 - 11/24/12 03:48 PM

Ok, 1 more question. There is the PHD button on BYE, I guess the 2 talk for dithering. Does BYE automatically open PHD. I know starting things in then the correct order can make a difference. I don't have the equipment here to play around with yet. I'm trying to study up so I'll have an idea of what I'm doing...

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kbev
super member


Reged: 12/29/10

Loc: Far, far east Mesa
Re: Starting to use SSAG and BYE... tips please new [Re: Toxic Coolaid]
      #5537559 - 11/24/12 05:15 PM

You would need to open PHD first and run thru the calibration so it knows which way N, S, E and W are, then you would open BYE to begin your imaging session. In PHD you will need to go into the tools menu and select 'Enable server' so that BYE can talk to PHD; then in BYE you would go to 'Settings' and there is a section for the PHD functions - I would try the default settings first to see how it works then make adjustments if you think you need them. The only setting you might want to change is how many images you'll take before it dithers, I currently have mine set to do it after each image.

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kbev
super member


Reged: 12/29/10

Loc: Far, far east Mesa
Re: Starting to use SSAG and BYE... tips please new [Re: kbev]
      #5537563 - 11/24/12 05:16 PM

Oh and in BYE the PHD button enables/disables the dithering, but in the options you can set it to turn on automatically when you start BYE.

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pfile
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/14/09

Re: Starting to use SSAG and BYE... tips please new [Re: kbev]
      #5537588 - 11/24/12 05:40 PM

BYE is not too picky about PhD. if you have the dithering enabled when you start your imaging plan, and PhD is not running (or its server is not running) then BYE will complain and not start the imaging plan. however, during an image plan, if for some reason PhD goes out to lunch (loses guide star, etc.) BYE will gracefully recover from the lack of response from PhD and just keep going.

you can also toggle the PhD button in BYE while an imaging plan is running and BYE will do the right thing.


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mmalik
Post Laureate
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Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Starting to use SSAG and BYE... tips please new [Re: Toxic Coolaid]
      #5537591 - 11/24/12 05:41 PM

To avoid clutter/wires, you could get by without BYE. Only wire I deal with is one going from laptop/PHD to the guider. I use Wireless Remote Control... for camera. Now I am thinking of getting Timer Remote Controller... to automate imaging session. Thx

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waassaabee
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 11/26/07

Loc: Central California Coast
Re: Starting to use SSAG and BYE... tips please new [Re: mmalik]
      #5539550 - 11/25/12 10:38 PM

Monitor the PHD graph and adjust the settings real time.
This article helped me learn to drive PHD a bit better.
A Guide to Guiding


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Toxic Coolaid
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/01/11

Loc: NorthEast Tennessee
Re: Starting to use SSAG and BYE... tips please new [Re: waassaabee]
      #5539638 - 11/25/12 11:36 PM

thank you. I'll read all I can to learn ahead of time.

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