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Roll your own Polemaster?

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#1 nemo129

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 10:13 AM

I have a ZWO ASI174 mini guide camera and was wondering if any of the small lenses listed below that ZWO sells would be adequate to enable me to use the camera with SharpCap Pro for doing polar alignments.

 

I have noticed that the ZWO website does not specifically recommend the ASI174 mini as working with these lenses so until I get confirmation that one of them would work, I will hold off on them. If there is something else that would work with my camera that you know about that would be very helpful. I don't see the logic in buying the Polemaster camera when I already have a camera that should work with the right lens. I could probably use a 50mm guide/finder unit, but I want something more compact and let's say more elegant similar to the form factor of the QHY PoleMaster Electronic Polar Scope.

 

Thanks in advance for any advice.



#2 fewayne

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 10:17 AM

Could you just use your imaging scope and camera? 'Swhat I do, works a treat.
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#3 jerahian  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 10:21 AM

Just use SharpCap instead of PoleMaster. It’s a fraction of the cost and works extremely well, with precise instructions to make it easy to figure out the first time.

-Ara
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#4 nemo129

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 10:24 AM

---Could you just use your imaging scope and camera?

 

Well, the imaging scope I have on the mount now is a AT130 with NiteCrawler and a Riccardi flattener attached. I suppose I could pull the Riccardi off and screw in the 1.25" adapter on the Moonlite, but I would have to check if the ASI could come to focus. I also want to be able to move it to my other mount as well and would like something more like the Polemaster formfactor. Thanks for the reply!



#5 nemo129

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 10:25 AM

Just use SharpCap instead of PoleMaster. It’s a fraction of the cost and works extremely well, with precise instructions to make it easy to figure out the first time.

-Ara

Ara,

I do plan to use Sharpcap, it is just getting the right lens to use on the ASI174.  Thanks!



#6 StarmanDan

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 12:25 PM

IIRC, SharpCap recommends a FOV no more than about 5 degrees.  These lenses will be too wide for it.  I just use my camera on my guidescope and it works quite well.



#7 nemo129

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 12:59 PM

Dan,

Thanks for confirming that, I suspected as much. It is interesting when you look at the PoleMaster it seems to have a small lens on it to keep the formfactor compact, but after a bit of searching I can find no one making something similar to add to other small CMOS/ guide cameras so they can function like a Polemaster. Unfortunately, I use an OAG for guiding so the guidescope route will not work for me. Again, thanks for your response.



#8 bmhjr

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 01:30 PM

I wonder if a cheap CCTV lens with CS C mount would work.  There are hundreds of options on ebay.

 

Edit: Assuming your camera has that type of mount.  I know my ASI120 came with and adapter for it. Looking at the ZWO site for the ASI174 mini it should have come with the correct adapter.


Edited by bmhjr, 21 June 2019 - 01:40 PM.


#9 calypsob

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 01:49 PM

Do the mini guide cameras come with extra adapters? I know the full size models have 3 or 4 adapters. Cmount could certainly be an option if so.

 

Honestly though Im willing to bet a cheap guide scope like this would work perfectly https://www.ebay.com...74AAOSwgrZcMGJI

 

Isnt that what most people are doing in sharpcap anyways?


Edited by calypsob, 21 June 2019 - 01:50 PM.


#10 fewayne

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 04:20 PM

What I meant was that I wondered why you were determined to use the ASI174 for polar alignment in the first place, instead of whatever you image with. No need to pull anything apart in your imaging train.

 

If plate solving works with your imaging camera, your software should be able to shoot, solve, rotate, repeat twice, and do the calcs. I guess if your 130 and imaging camera's FOV don't include the celestial pole at zero position you'd be out of luck for that, but that seems unlikely.

 

I'm sure I'm missing something here, especially since I shoot with a wide-field 70mm scope (336mm F/L). But Ekos's PA assistant runs fine right off the ASI183MM attached to mine. What am I not understanding?


Edited by fewayne, 21 June 2019 - 04:22 PM.


#11 nemo129

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 04:28 PM

I wonder if a cheap CCTV lens with CS C mount would work.  There are hundreds of options on ebay.

 

Edit: Assuming your camera has that type of mount.  I know my ASI120 came with and adapter for it. Looking at the ZWO site for the ASI174 mini it should have come with the correct adapter.

Yes, My ASI174 mini came with a c mount adapter. I can actually use the little CCTV - 2.1mm lense that came with my ASI290MC, but the vignetting is horrible, it's like looking down a paper towel cardboard  tube. I can look on eBay for a more appropriate one, but I think I would be guessing. I was hoping someone else had done this before me. Thanks for the idea on the CCTV lenses on eBay.



#12 nemo129

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 04:32 PM

Do the mini guide cameras come with extra adapters? I know the full size models have 3 or 4 adapters. Cmount could certainly be an option if so.

 

Honestly though Im willing to bet a cheap guide scope like this would work perfectly https://www.ebay.com...74AAOSwgrZcMGJI

 

Isnt that what most people are doing in sharpcap anyways?

So, I want to avoid using the "cheap guide scope". I was hoping to find a short CCTV style lens to make my ASI174 more like a Polemaster. Yes, my camera came with a cmount adapter.  Thanks for your comments, any help is always appreciated.



#13 SteveInNZ

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 08:20 PM

Polemaster uses a 25mm lens with a 4.8x3.6mm sensor to give about 11x8 degrees fov.

The 174 sensor is 11.3x7.0mm so a 60mm lens would give about the same fov.

 

I use a QHY5L with a 25m lens and SharpCap in the southern hemisphere and it works well.

 

Steve.



#14 nemo129

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 08:07 AM

Hi Steve,

 

Great information, thank you very much!




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