I have a couple suggestions based on your needs and my limited experience. However, they may involve more tech than you seem comfortable with. but they can be found cheaper used
Revolution Imager 2:
As others have suggested and for good reason... IT just works and its fun.
- NO laptop required
- Self contained
- Fairly easy to use
- Can control with supplied cabled remote or buttons on back of camera
- Has its own mini monitor
- Fits standard 1.25 connections
- Budget, can find great deals used for your budget
- NO tablet / smartphone connectivity (That I know of)
- TONS of cables: remote, power, monitor, battery pack
- small FOV, tho mitigated with focal reducers (includes a 0.5x)
- Remote viewing may requires more cables and power
- For image capture and saving, needs laptop and USB frame grabber device (more cables) OR the mini DVR
ZWO ASI 224MC or 120 or similar small ZWO COLOR cam
AND an ASI AIR
This may seem to be hugely complicated, but you wouldn't need to learn or use half the features available in the ASI AIR, nor as much gear as AstroBackyard (Trevor) has in his vid but its a great demo of the setup and use and expands your capability and "share-ability". ASI AIR is made for wireless use with Tablets and smartphones, but also only works ZWO cams.
- ASI AIR is Purpose built for Android tabs and phones
- WIFI - home network or direct from tab to AIR
- More camera capability for the money. More sensitive, better resolution,
- Budget, Ive seen zwo cams and AIR combos on the classifieds go for 200 - 400 depending on the cam.
- LESS cabling, Data out and power in over 1 cable for the cam to AIR, then only 1 power cable to the AIR
- One more cable to a goto mount gets you mount control over wifi from tablet
- More room to grow if you get hooked on EAA
- Tailored more for AP than video astronomy or eaa, more features than may be needed for simpler use.
- More of a learning curve, but nowhere near as complicated as astrophotography. IMHO, what you would have to learn with the R2 overlaps anyway with a ZWO camera setup. For instance exposure times, gain, brightness, basically any setting inherent to any camera
- Also has a small FOV without focal reducers.
- Could be more of a tech headache , you'll be adding computer and software to the equation
- Budget, depending on used market can be more expensive
For a final thought on both of these setups, you'll be amazed either way at what you can get in one image with just a couple seconds of exposure or even 1 sec.
I get the feeling you may be looking more for portable viewing. I think these two systems have big differences there to consider. With the R2 you may have easier setup but less portable viewing since you have to be at the scope to see the monitor which is only somewhat portable to near by. With the zwo cam and air you may (depending on tech comfort) have a longer or more frustrating setup, but your portable viewing is easier and higher res on the tablet.
Regardless of which route you go if you don't like it, reselling either of these setups would be easy. I rarely see either sit too long in the classifieds.
But beware! One or the other may get you hooked and you may end up with both setups in which case you would have a very well-rounded EAA capability.
Maybe more info would help.
What cameras do you already own? (might help with afocal advice, but im not experienced there at all)
Any other viewing constraints?
Edited by rave3c0, 05 December 2019 - 03:06 AM.