Please forgive the request for guidance below, there are a few basics that I've not found answers to in product write ups. I also think I fall into the stereotype newbie camp! Too big a scope and a lack of experience....
My 8" LX200 GPS has just been brought out of the cupboard after sitting in there for 5 years after previous frustrations made me give it a break. Frustrations were many. The micro focuser cable broke (strangled during alignment but recently fixed); general problems with 2-star alignment due to lack of understanding, dew build-up during observing, not operating the DSLR properly (learning about ISO; exposure times; focusing the DSLR etc), not having the greatest viewing location. I was expecting to take photos of nebula but found myself sticking with the moon.
I'm determined to get somewhere this time. I'm looking to invest in the scope to simplify the skills needed for success and reset my expectations downwards.
I want to have kit good enough for planetary and to be able to touch on some DSO in the future once I've learnt the ropes with planetary. I'm going to abandon DSLR and move to dedicated devices, which *should* be easier to deal with. By eliminating one learning curve (for different one I know) I believe I'll get further than I did before and hopefully turn this interest into a proper hobby.
My 'perfect' is to have an air-gap between the LX200 GPS and the computer on which the images will be processed upon. I plan to control the LX200 via Sky Safari/SkyFi III post polar alignment.
So the help I'm looking for is with imaging and autoguiding products to add onto the LX200 GPS.
1. Image capture. I basically don't want to go too cheap or expensive here. I want kit good enough to eventually grow into DSO and achieve 'something' whilst getting great results with planets. Really high on my requirement here is a WiFi enabled imager. What I think I'm after is something like the Bresser WiFi camera. I'm not sure how good this is. It seems to be an entry level product. I'm not sure if the results from this will be good enough for the investment?
a) I want to be get good images of Mars, Saturn and Jupiter. For DSO, we're talking about Andromeda. I want to be able to get really solid captures from which success here can lead onwards and upwards.
b) Is it possible to get the images captured to my Mac without a cable? My neighbours have security lights which come on when I'm outside which ruin everything!
Could you recommend an imager that's good for planetary and can achieve some reasonable DSO, ideally with WiFi?
2. Autoguider / guidescope. I currently have the Meade 8x50 guide scope that came with the LX200 GPS.
a) Would an auto guider fit onto the 8x50 or would another guide scope be required? Having looked at the 8x50, I can't imagine how an imager would connect with it.
b) I'm assuming the autoguider plugs into the LX200's own autoguider port and either 'takes over' or 'contributes to' the LX200's own tracking capabilities? ie: No need for a computer to be a piggy-in-the-middle between the autoguider and the LX200. Product recommendations welcomed.
c) Operationally, are autoguider's a transparent device when SkySafari (or the handbox) slew the scope? ie: Can the auto-guider choose a new guide star itself to continue tracking after Sky Safari (or the handbox) has moved the scope to a new object - or would I need to interact with the autoguider in some way before/after slewing?
I'm sure answers may generate new questions. Please be patient with me.
Edited by lwoody7110, 12 December 2017 - 04:07 PM.