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Questar to ZWO AIS294MC Pro Project

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6 replies to this topic

#1 jrscpu2004

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 02:58 PM

   I recently bought a ZWO AIS294MC Pro and wanted to use it with my Questar OTA.

I have recently have posted how I was able to mount my Questar OTA and a Celestron Star Sense

AIS Camera onto my Celestron CGEM-DX, by use of a Scope Stuff DFMB, Dual Finder Bracket, mounted perpendicularly

to a Losmandy DUP7. 

    I had fabricated a aluminum bracket to be the main support for the New ZWO AIS294MC Pro. The reason

for this, is when the assembly is screwed onto the Questar's Axial Port threads, there's a lot of mechanical advantage

that could snap-off the assembly unintentionally.

    I had also purchased the ZWO RINGD-78 mounting bracket that needed to be modified. The original lower foot

of the RINGD-78 had to be turned up side down. The RINGD-78 original screws were 2 Metric socket head screws.

I needed to opt for 2, 8-32 Flat Head screws instead of the Metric screws. This meant I had modify this lower

foot by countersinking to of its original mount screw holes to accept 2, 8-32 Flat head screws.

The two Metric threaded screw holes were easily rethreaded by using an 8-32 machinist tap.

By doing this, as seen in the photos, it allowed the 1'' long slotted hole to face downward.

This modification allows you to adjust & slide the ZWO bracket to slide backwards

or forward to accommodate the addition/subtraction of different spacers, filters or in my case, a added Questar

Axial Port screw-on Barlow.

    The first photo shows the modified RINGD-78 bracket facing downward. I used a 8-32 bolt, washer & nut to

secure the RINGD-78/ZWO AIS294MC Pro to my fabricated Aluminum support bracket.

    The second photo shows how you swing open the ZWO RINGD-78 bracket to attach the ZWO AIS294MC Pro.

In this case, I used the supplied 1.25" screw-on adapter to be threaded into the ZWO sensor well side.

That slides into the an Optional Questar Slip Fit Axial Port adapter that allows an 1.25" item to be used on a Questar

OTA. 

    The third photo shows the RINGD-78 swung back to tighten to hold the ZWO AIS294MC Pro in place securely..

    The fourth photo show an additional view of the whole assembly from a side view.

  The Aluminum Stock can be purchased at any Home Depot along with the screws needed for fastening.

That Aluminum bracket is anchored to the Losmandy DUP7 using 4 available Pre-Drilled holes that are existing

on the DUP7 already. The whole project was not too involved and if anyone has any questions, please feel free to 

contact me.

 

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#2 Gregory Gross

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 03:08 PM

Excellent work! Your creation reminds me of the camera cradle that Questar sold between the mid-1960s and the late 1980s or early 1990s. I'm sure your customized solution for your particular setup achieves a high degree of stability and is quite satisfying to use.

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#3 oldmanastro

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 04:59 PM

This is an extremely well made stable platform to allow the use of an excellent imaging camera with an excellent telescope of unquestionable reputation. It even includes the Celestron Starsense. The workmanship is superb. Mounted on the CGEM-DX equatorial mount this couple will provide quite nice images of the planets, the moon and even some DSOs. Congratulations to the OP are in order.



#4 Sacred Heart

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 04:31 AM

Extremely rigid.  I like seeing homemade work like this.  Just add off axis guider and you will photograph anything.

                 Joe



#5 jrscpu2004

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Posted 23 November 2020 - 09:53 PM

Thanks for so many nice comments!

#6 RobertPettengill

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Posted 30 November 2020 - 09:05 PM

Looks nice! I use much heavier cameras than the ZWO video cameras, fully supported by the axial port threads. It was design to support a 3# SLR with the extension tubes for eyepiece projection. 


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#7 jrscpu2004

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 06:14 PM

I was able to just get one good, moderate temperature night to put my setup to the test.

I had just recently, purchased a QHY Polemaster for my CGEM-DX mount and I this was

my 2nd time out with it, so I'm still on a learning curve using it. That took up a lot of valuable

time before I was able to get the first chance using the ZWO AIS294MC Pro. I had just a

few fleeting minutes before Jupiter & Saturn dipped below the Western horizon.

It was my first time out with the ZWO AIS294MC Pro. I had downloaded their Driver and

Software program in advance, but of course, the Software announce there was a Update

available. I downloaded it but it took away another 25 minutes that I just couldn't afford.

I then had to fumble thru using the ZWO software for the 1st time. I didn't get any Jupiter or

Saturn shots, but I switched to targeting Mars. I was so unfamiliar with their software, I wasn't

even sure I was recording anything. It wasn't until the next day, I realized where in that software

where the recorded files were. Sorry to say, none of them were worth posting here. I was happy

I got recorded images but focus once again seem to plague my shots. I do have a Bahtinov Mask

for my Questar, but time just didn't permit me to use it and the night was getting damp and dipping

below 45 degrees. The good news was that the fabricated aluminum mount that holds the ZWO

camera was steady and it also just assures me of a safe way to attach the ZWO camera to 

the Questar Axial Port Slip Fit adapter. I hope to get out one more time but being in December,

I don't think that's going to happen. Springtime might be the next time out. When dealing with

so many new items, I'm going to need a whole bunch of testing by trial & error.

Thanks again for all your nice comments! Happy Holidays to all!




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