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Help with EAA rig please

EAA equipment imaging observing
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#1 crazeey


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Posted 26 November 2019 - 09:56 AM

Hello everyone,


I have been a keen visual for a while and enjoying it a lot. There is always a point however, when you want to see MORE (especially DSOs), and by very recently the only way to achieve that goal was to go BIG. However, I am very happy with my Skywatcher Star Discovery 150p and Celestron AstroFi 90. Have been using them both, having fun switching mounts etc, and I don't really wanna go down bigger and heavier telescope route. Besides, I am in Bortle 6 zone in the UK, so bigger not necessary would do much better for me.

I have been reading this particular forum for a while, and realized that EAA could actually be the best way for me to go.


First about my rigs

- Skywatcher Star Discovery 150p 6"/750mm f5 reflector;

- Skywatcher Star Discovery Goto Alt-Az Mount (with a Handset, non-WiFi version)


- Celestron Astro Fi 90mm refractor f10.1 refractor with a stock WiFi mount.


I am using them both, recently most of the time Newtonian one on Celestron Wifi mount, that's because i like that alignment option in Sky Safari where you point it to three stars, it does computing and shows you actual names of those stairs in the end. So you see, I'm kinda gadget guy as well.


Anyways, rest of my equipment:


- Baader Mark IV Zoom eyepiece;

- Baader 2.25x Barlow that came with it;

- Stock EPs that came with scopes. I'm finding Celestron ones better, so am using 25mm Wide Angle  (I think it's 60 degree AFV) one for larger targets;

- Celestron Powerbank Lithium (smaller one)

- Skywatcher SynScan V4 handset.


I am living in the UK, Bortle 6 zone, with a view from my garden nicely opened to the East- South - West. Unfortunately, 15 miles to the South there is beautiful town called London, so from Bortle 6 light pollution goes off the scale probably :DDD


I am a techie guy, IT professional, so am not afraid of the gadgets, and I HATE CABLES (Revolution Imager is out of question for me). Also, Black Friday is on a way, so I think time is perfect to make that small step towards EAA.


I am after smaller DSOs, like Dumbbell, Ring and M13, which are my favourites and I have been observing with a success, and after doing a lot of reading, came up with something like this:


- Camera: Altair GPCAM3 385C USB3  / or ZWO ASI 385 MC;

- Stellarmate or Asiair for remote control;

- 0.33 - 0.5 reducer in case I would like to see something bigger


I'm after either Stellarmate or Asiair, because once again I HATE CABLES and even being 1 meter away with my laptop I'd rather have it connected wirelessly.  I would also prefer to do my observations on my laptop rather then phone or tablet, that's why I think Stellarmate on Raspberry Pi 4 would be better option.

One last thing, at the moment I am not interested in photography, what I would like to do is wireless streaming from my telescope to my laptop, but also to my son's tablet.


Could someone please kindly advise and help me to make right, sensible choice, also advise if I need any extra equipment to connect all that, and what kind of software would be best for me?


Thank you in advance for all your kind advice,





Edited by crazeey, 26 November 2019 - 09:57 AM.

#2 Noah4x4



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Posted 26 November 2019 - 10:31 AM

What you need is a holstic solution. Connecting scope, camera, focuser and any other accessories to a laptop indoors isn't difficult. However, it is easy to underestimate the computing equipment necessary. There are many posts on this subject, so my response below is deliberately concise.


1.   First step is load all the software you might need on a small computer (A) at the scope.

2.   Then control computer (A) using computer (B) indoors.

3.   Here I recommend Windows 10 Pro Remote Desktop with RemoteFX compression disabled.


Of course, computer (A) could be a Raspberry Pi or cheap Computing stick. However, if you buy (say) a multi-megapixel camera you will need something more powerful. I use two i5 Intel NUCs with Iris Plus Graphics with my 16 megapixel Atik Horizon. Similarly, you might need 802.11ac wireless adapters if the data transfer demand is great. You need to first decide which camera, then work backwards from there. I did the reverse, and started off by getting two underpowered computers connected and then wondered why they spluttered when I added camera.


I do think your best route is DIY. The all in one box computing packages you suggest are ridiculously expensive, a tad inflexible and not too powerful. Go down the mini-computer route and you have freedom of software options. There are a myriad of posts exploring how to affix accessories to a scope. 

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#3 Rickster



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Posted 26 November 2019 - 12:03 PM

What Noah said. waytogo.gif


I would also suggest a camera with a larger sensor (I always do) if you can afford it.  The 385 is a good match for that scope in all ways except that it won't envelope the larger nebula, which happen to be the most interesting things in the sky at times.  If you don't want to spring for a 294, then a 183 is a real nice fit for a bit less money.  You can check out available FOV here:  https://astronomy.to.../field_of_view/  Below is a comparison from site (the site allows you to save as png).  It would be a shame to not be able to get the full extent of M42, especially with that scope.  As you can see from my sig, I have a wide variety of scopes.  Of those, the 150mm Newt (AT6IN) is my first choice for large nebula.


Edit to add:  or the new 553 camera.

Attached Thumbnails

  • astronomy_tools_fov.png

Edited by Rickster, 26 November 2019 - 12:16 PM.

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#4 Noah4x4



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Posted 26 November 2019 - 06:47 PM

Good point Rickster. I always forget that aspect because Hyperstar offers me a huge FOV when paired with my Atik Horizon.  The challenge then is I need to use camera Zoom on (apparently) smaller objects. That is where a 4k UHD camera and monitor excels given the extra depth of pixels per inch.

#5 astrohamp


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Posted 06 January 2020 - 04:26 PM

How is the EAA rig going crazeey?

The camera telescope FOV tool Noah4x4 suggested has helped me in my search for a good fit.  Also used "CCD Suitability" tool on a separate page at the same Astronomy Tools website.
My 990mm focal length refractor and 294 camera barely pull in smaller DSOs with the Ring Nebula a first choice target to check exposure, color, and smile factor.  My ASI120 camera (now used for guiding) has a better DSO target image scale but smaller FOV requiring good polar alignment and GOTO calibration.  Yes plate solving (which I use) is fantastic but the start up requires tech savvy and persistence.

I too use a scope mount NUC computer which runs SharpCap Pro, PHD2 guiding, mount control ASCOM drivers, planetarium GOTO software, and low frame rate UHD 4k imaging.  Although an ethernet connection to a second computer is fastest I have had wireless running.

Using a USB powered wireless router (GL-AR750S / Slate - GL.iNet) I have operated this equipment successfully localy and remotely.  The longest line-of-sight 150' through a tri-band mesh WiFi network placed (rain protected) half the distance out in the field.  Some lag/delay/sluggishness accepted.  Windows Remote Desktop required.  Switching control computers is necessary giving me local access with a calibration tablet to focus, polar align.  Then after a disconnect from tablet re initiate Remote Desktop at the inside computer.

As to streaming multiple client computers I have been looking into using Teamviewer or initiate a desktop video using VLC media VideoLan.  VideoLan has been CPU intensive on my platform but ran.   Consider a cable or wireless HDMI transmitter to a multi-input family room TV for the others to switch to for viewing a clone or extended desktop.  One friends gathering I cabled a camera view of the moon which ran all evening, finally attracting comments when folks had to walk through the room to answer the 'call'.  

Clear skies, happy trails.

#6 blamkin86


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Posted 06 January 2020 - 05:19 PM

I'm really hoping that the ASIAir Pro will step up for those of us who don't want to buy two computers so we have a wireless connection...


...that said thanks for the detailed component list.

#7 cmooney91


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Posted 07 January 2020 - 08:10 AM

For streaming to multiple computers I use OBS to livestream to YouTube.


This lets anyone in the world tune in, and the session is recorded on youtube for replay. It might be a little overkill for your scenario. 

#8 Remy2


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Posted 13 April 2020 - 01:12 AM

How is your experience with Skywatcher Sky Discovery 150 P crazeey ?


I need some help about this mount 'freedom find' feature.


This feature allows moving manually the telescope without the mount loosing its positional information.

To move the mount manually the clutches (both altitude and azimuth) must be released according to the vendor advice.


There is a vertical clutch, but I don't see any horizontal clutch to be tightened or released.

How to move manually the mount while it is still under motor control ?


Please help.

#9 crazeey


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Posted 14 April 2020 - 05:58 AM

Hello Remy2,


Just chceck these videos:









Edited by crazeey, 14 April 2020 - 06:09 AM.

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