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equipment imaging
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#26 Don Rudny

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 12:23 AM

Many thanks for the two responses so far. Ease of use is indeed really important. I don't get a lot of joy out of fighting with software during my observing time... I do enough of that for a living! I gather from this that about $1000 spent wisely will get me a decent deep space camera that I can stick with for a while?   


I am probably going against the grain here, but you might want to consider a Starlight Xpress mono Lodestar with Starlight Live software.  The software is very intuitive and easy to use.  It’s compatible with both Mac and Windows natively.  The system opened up a whole new world for me and many others.  A fellow by the handle of Nytecam showed what this system could do for EAA in light polluted London.  His results were inspirational.  Unfortunately, Maurice Gavin, AKA Nytecam, passed away in June of 2018, but some of his fine work can be found here on CN.


Here’s a link to some of my stuff with the Lodestar, both mono and color.  A higher res Ultrastar is something you could consider later.  A used Lodestar can be purchased for about $350 or $400 on AM.  Your Televue Pronto will be a perfect match on either a GEM or AZ.  If you have any questions, just post here or PM me.  I’ll be glad to help.  As they say, keep it simple.


Edited by Don Rudny, 01 March 2020 - 12:27 AM.

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#27 alvacouch



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Posted 22 March 2020 - 09:26 AM

Update: I purchased a StarSense and managed to get it working properly with some false starts and resets (similar to those reported by other members). I then purchased an ZWO ASI 183 MC and got it working last night with both the ZWO Microsoft Windows app and SharpCap. Just because I was lazy and it was darn cold outside, I tried it out with M36, M37 and the telescope that happened to be on the CGEM: a 5" F/9.7 refractor.  I got reasonable results from my first EAA session, though I had a high rejection rate due to 5-10 second exposures with a long focal length and a polar alignment that needed to be more precise for those exposures at that focal length.


The focus travel of my 5" refractor is amazingly long (over a foot), and no extenders were required, though it did come into focus only near full extension.  Not sure that focuser is standard for that particular refractor. I got the refractor used from an AP enthusiast and I suspect a retrofit could have been done.


A current issue for me is the small amount of focuser travel on my other scopes. I've been encouraged to try the Televue Pronto (71mm f/6.7) and the Orion Starblast 6" f/5 reflector, but the Televue's focuser travel is too short and it is time for extender tubes.


I'm learning the tricks of the trade, slowly, and your help in this is greatly appreciated!

Edited by alvacouch, 22 March 2020 - 09:53 AM.

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