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18" f5 Dob for EAA?

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#1 poppabill

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 12:36 PM

My existing scope is an 18" Starmaster with a FL of 2286, so f5. It is set up with GOTO and track (Sky Commander/Sky Tracker.) I live 45 minutes NW of Austin, TX and have relatively dark skies. I have been intrigued with EAA for some time and have recently been reviewing the current 'state of the art.'

 

One source I have been reading is Jim Meadows' RemoteViewingAstronomy.com. He speaks very highly of the Mallincam DS10c and the current Mallincamp softwares's capabilities.

 

So, I am considering that camera which is currently priced, I believe, at $949.99. I also note that the Mallincam DS16c is on sale, marked down from $1399.99 to $999.99. Any comments on the two cameras' relative strengths/weaknesses would be appreciated and please feel free to suggest other camera options.

 

Additionally, I would appreciate any input as to general challenges/concerns/considerations presented by a dob like mine related to EAA.

 

Thanks in advance for your assistance, particularly from those of you utilizing a GOTO/TRACK dob in your EAA endeavors.

 

 



#2 Rickster

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 01:08 PM

Welcome to the forum Bill,

Here are a few quick thoughts to get things started.

 

Using a goto dob for EAA is a special challenge because the tracking is marginally adequate for imaging.  But it has been done.  Here is a thread on the subject.  https://www.cloudyni...ob#entry9840719

 

EAA has been advancing at a rapid pace and, in general, classic video astronomy is several years behind the curve.  These days live stacking is the thing.  So, websites and books dating before 2016 or 2017 are history now.  But that doesn't mean video astronomy doesn't make sense for some. In particular, it might make sense for a goto dob.  

 

A new member to this forum recently observed that asking this forum which is the best camera is like walking into a comic book store and asking which is the best superhero.  My suggestion would be to get a sensitive mono cam because it will be better matched to the shorter exposures that are available with the dob.  I would also suggest getting one with a large sensor and large pixels, to match the image scale of your dob.  And finally, I would suggest getting a camera that works with Sharpcap because it is currently the most advanced, and getting better (but not necessarily the easiest to learn).



#3 FrankG

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 03:24 PM

My existing scope is an 18" Starmaster with a FL of 2286, so f5. It is set up with GOTO and track (Sky Commander/Sky Tracker.) I live 45 minutes NW of Austin, TX and have relatively dark skies. I have been intrigued with EAA for some time and have recently been reviewing the current 'state of the art.'

 

One source I have been reading is Jim Meadows' RemoteViewingAstronomy.com. He speaks very highly of the Mallincam DS10c and the current Mallincamp softwares's capabilities.

 

So, I am considering that camera which is currently priced, I believe, at $949.99. I also note that the Mallincam DS16c is on sale, marked down from $1399.99 to $999.99. Any comments on the two cameras' relative strengths/weaknesses would be appreciated and please feel free to suggest other camera options.

 

Additionally, I would appreciate any input as to general challenges/concerns/considerations presented by a dob like mine related to EAA.

 

Thanks in advance for your assistance, particularly from those of you utilizing a GOTO/TRACK dob in your EAA endeavors.

Not going to wade in on camera choice, but I have used dobs for EAA for more than 10 years and they work just fine. I initially used Obsessions which had some wiggle-room in movements that could make it difficult to get objects in FOV after doing a GOTO. Once located, however, I could do exposures up to roughly 20 seconds. Switched years ago to a Starstructure scope and with the large FOV of the ASI294 camera always have the object in FOV after a GOTO. Using SharpCap (I second that recommendation), the scope can do longer exposures and many minutes of stacking. At f5 you may find a reducer helpful. My scope is f4.5 and I used a 2", .7 reducer.

An issue you may encounter depending on the camera you use is having enough in-focus. I had to trim a bit off the poles of the two Obsessions I used - nothing that noticeably sacrificed visual performance but scary nonetheless. The Starstructue was built for EAA use in addition to visual observing and has plenty of in-focus.
 


Edited by FrankG, 03 January 2020 - 04:10 PM.

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#4 bobhen

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 04:08 PM

It’s not that large Dobsonians can’t work it’s that for many people (not all but many) there for other choices that work or are ergonomically better.

 

In-focus, especially with a reducer “might” be an issue
Tracking “might” be more problematic
The FL will limit you to smaller objects
You don’t need the light gathering capability of large aperture with EAA
The resolution of large aperture will be limited by the seeing.

 

For many a fast refractor (for wide fields) and an SCT (for more image scale) can be more manageable and covers most of the bases, from large nebula to smaller globular clusters, etc.

 

With your Dobsonian and your sky, another consideration might be using an Image Intensifier for visual, real-time, Night Vision, EAA observing. No tracking is required. Add an inexpensive 102 or 120mm F5 refractor or an inexpensive fast 6” Dobsonian for the wide field stuff.

 

Night Vision is just like using an eyepiece and is closer to the pure visual experience than is EAA using a camera.

 

Whether using a camera or an image intensifier, there are advantages and disadvantages. But if your goal is to see more and more detail, then either will do the job nicely.

 

Bob



#5 bdyer22

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 10:16 PM


One source I have been reading is Jim Meadows' RemoteViewingAstronomy.com. He speaks very highly of the Mallincam DS10c and the current Mallincamp softwares's capabilities.

 

So, I am considering that camera which is currently priced, I believe, at $949.99.

Hi there and welcome to EAA!

 

The DS10c has a Sony IMX294.  The IMX294 is a great sensor, but you can get it cheaper.  The ZWO ASI294 is $699 uncooled and $999 cooled.

 

I'm not familiar with the DS16c.
 



#6 DSO_Viewer

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Posted 04 January 2020 - 12:51 PM

Hi there and welcome to EAA!

 

The DS10c has a Sony IMX294.  The IMX294 is a great sensor, but you can get it cheaper.  The ZWO ASI294 is $699 uncooled and $999 cooled.

 

I'm not familiar with the DS16c.
 

I agree completely the Mallincam DS10c which is not cooled is 949.99 and the Mallincam DS10cTEC cooled is 1399.99. My question is what does the extra 400.00 cost provide you with the Mallincam DS10cTEC over the ASI294Pro?

 

Steve



#7 bdyer22

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Posted 04 January 2020 - 05:37 PM

I agree completely the Mallincam DS10c which is not cooled is 949.99 and the Mallincam DS10cTEC cooled is 1399.99. My question is what does the extra 400.00 cost provide you with the Mallincam DS10cTEC over the ASI294Pro?

 

Steve

good question...  I wish I knew :)

The site says the sensors are handpicked and have no amp-glow - maybe that's what you're getting?

Owners of Maillincam's seem pretty happy with them and I've heard they have good service.  But I got no firsthand experience myself.



#8 Kevdog

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Posted 09 January 2020 - 06:30 PM

It’s not that large Dobsonians can’t work it’s that for many people (not all but many) there for other choices that work or are ergonomically better.

 

In-focus, especially with a reducer “might” be an issue
Tracking “might” be more problematic
The FL will limit you to smaller objects
You don’t need the light gathering capability of large aperture with EAA
The resolution of large aperture will be limited by the seeing.

 

For many a fast refractor (for wide fields) and an SCT (for more image scale) can be more manageable and covers most of the bases, from large nebula to smaller globular clusters, etc.

 

With your Dobsonian and your sky, another consideration might be using an Image Intensifier for visual, real-time, Night Vision, EAA observing. No tracking is required. Add an inexpensive 102 or 120mm F5 refractor or an inexpensive fast 6” Dobsonian for the wide field stuff.

 

Night Vision is just like using an eyepiece and is closer to the pure visual experience than is EAA using a camera.

 

Whether using a camera or an image intensifier, there are advantages and disadvantages. But if your goal is to see more and more detail, then either will do the job nicely.

 

Bob

 

 

This is what I did.   18" f4.5 dobson + C-Mount NV device == Viewing joy!
The horsehead was a piece of cake with an Ha filter :D

M51 from my home showed up with the arms just as well at home as they did at my SQM 21.3 site without NV.

 

Love it!



#9 Ptarmigan

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Posted 09 January 2020 - 08:06 PM

Hi there and welcome to EAA!

 

The DS10c has a Sony IMX294.  The IMX294 is a great sensor, but you can get it cheaper.  The ZWO ASI294 is $699 uncooled and $999 cooled.

 

I'm not familiar with the DS16c.
 

I have the ZWO ASI294mc Pro. It is the one with the cooler. It is really great. I can see many faint objects in a short time. cool.gif




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