I am flirting with the idea of auto-guiding after 2 years in the hobby. A mentor of sorts has suggested a 290 mini as a guide camera (I have a good 60mm guide-scope I acquired a year or so ago). After speaking to him and watching some you tube vids, it seems that whereas I thought I could align my Atlas mount with my polemaster and align to 3 stars as i usually do (I get very good PA). I thought I could at that point now auto-guide using PHD2 with the 290 connected to the guide-port of my atlas and to my laptop.
What I'm being told is optimal (and I'm sure it is), is to get EQMOD, then SGP and PHD2 and use these to get alignment and guide. I thought it would be simpler... I didn't choose this hobby because it was easy mind you, but I thought i could get good PA and guide after learning PHD2 well using the auto-guider port on my mount. .
It seems that the team at PHD don't recommend connecting directly to the mount auto-guider port, but using the handset port with a specialized cable connected to the laptop. All alignment and such would be done using EQMOD, SGP and PHD2.
While I'm sure that the above mentioned configuration is optimal, if I were to just to PA as usual, connect the 290 to the auto-guider port on my atlas and learn PHD well, will it work? Wouldn't it be orders of magnitude better than not guiding at all?
I get maybe 10 imaging nights a year at a reasonably dark, but not perfect site. One piece of software to tackle and the hardware issues with the guide-scope and camera seem daunting enough as a next step to improve my imaging, but more software, more hardware, more frustration... This hobby is frustrating enough at times... That being said, this is something I'm ready to attempt, but I'd like to keep it a little simpler and use the auto-guider port and learn PHD well.
Does anyone just use the auto-guider port and phd and get good results?
Thanks in advance to this amazing community.