Help please. .
I am very new to astrophotography and really don't understand all that i read here so am reaching out for some help/advise.
Currently I have a ZWO ASI1600MM Cool using for DSO on a Televue NP101is on a MyT mount. Would like to do longer exposures so I got a ZWO OAG and attached my ASI224 for guiding purposes using TheSkyX. The OAG seems very unstable and wobbly and was a bear to focus the ASI224 so i have read this thread with great interest. I was looking at a loadstar until this thread. Question which guide camera, the 290 or 174 would be best for my setup?
Also has anyone else had a problem with the OAG stalk not being very secure . I have tightened the thumbscrew and small screw as much as possible. I did read about adding scotch tape but I question when i have spent a couple grand with ZWO and the answer is apply scotch tape to the stalk before inserting.
I think that getting a guidecam that has a 1.25" body will greatly help you with your issues, whether that is a ZWO or Lodestar, etc...
Essentially, you will be able to set your prism stalk where you want it, so that it only intrudes into the optical train enough to see stars, but not so far enough that it causes excessive shading over the sensor of your imaging camera. Then you will be able to slide the OAG base all the way down the prism stalk so that it contacts the OAG body. This will add plenty of stability to the setup without the need for "tape" fixes. Then you will be able to simply slide the guidecamera in and out of the 1.25" barrel adapter to achieve focus.
Even if you don't eliminate all of the "wiggle" in the prism stalk, things are secure and it does not not seem to have a negative impact on guiding.
As far as which guidecamera? I have the 290 and I use this with both an 8" newt as well as an 80mm refractor, both with OAG. It is extremely sensitive and I always have plenty of guidestars. My longest focal length is 800mm. If you image at much longer focal length, you might like the larger sensor of the 174.