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Imaging setup help

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#1 tramsden

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 10:59 PM

New to imaging and just setting up a system, I have a skywatcher esprit 100 with Zwo 60mm guidescope & Zwo asi120mm guide cam + asiair - At this moment I’m going to use a Nikon d7100 as imaging camera until I can afford a dedicated Zwo cam. Mount wise I have an old first gen ( black) Heq5 pro. I think that it’s probably at the limit load weight wise but will I be able to nebula images with this setup.

I read about tracking errors etc but I’m confused- doesn’t guiding help to override these errors and keep the image Centered.

Btw is there anything else thats essential I should get to add to this setup.

So many questions.

Thanks for any help

Tony


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#2 17.5Dob

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 11:13 PM

You need to replace the D7100...I have one..it's completely unusable for AP due to the "one of a kind" sensor chip change. The noise is worse than any Canon Rebel. It's the worst camera you could possibly use for AP...

A D5300, the best dSLR there is for AP will run you $250-300. It's so good, you might not even bother switching to an astrocam.



#3 dron2015

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 11:19 PM

Tony,

 

first of all you have to balance your rig perfectly well - it should be stable in any position!

the idea behind guider/PHD - not only to keep it centered but also to minimize deviations from the initial position, look for RMS in PHD. it is very handy for nebulas - then the signal is quite weak.

also to improve guiding - try your best for polar alignment and run guider assistant in phd.

 

Best,

Andrey



#4 bobzeq25

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 11:56 PM

New to imaging and just setting up a system, I have a skywatcher esprit 100 with Zwo 60mm guidescope & Zwo asi120mm guide cam + asiair - At this moment I’m going to use a Nikon d7100 as imaging camera until I can afford a dedicated Zwo cam. Mount wise I have an old first gen ( black) Heq5 pro. I think that it’s probably at the limit load weight wise but will I be able to nebula images with this setup.

I read about tracking errors etc but I’m confused- doesn’t guiding help to override these errors and keep the image Centered.

Btw is there anything else thats essential I should get to add to this setup.

So many questions.

Thanks for any help

Tony


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Guiding does keep the image centered.

 

But tracking needs to be more precise than that, the camera doesn't like even a tiny tracking error.  Just so you know.

 

You can definitely image nebulae with that setup.  The HEQ5 Pro can handle that scope pretty well, the short focal length and fast optical speed help a lot.  Starting with the 7100 will not be awful, although that will be something you want to upgrade once you've learned some stuff. 

 

Which is hard to do from short posts here, there's a lot to know.  This book will really help.

 

https://www.amazon.c.../dp/0999470906/

 

You'll need software to stack and process images.  I recommend Astro Pixel Processor, both stacks and processes, has a fine tool for reducing the effects of light pollution.  Relatively easy to learn.

 

You'll need an intervalometer (or BackyardNikon) so you can shoot things like 30 2 minute subexposures automatically.  This could work for you.

 

https://www.amazon.c.../dp/B01GC479VK/

 

or

 

https://www.otelesco...tion-otl-byn-p/

 

We're here to answer more questions.  But the book will build your essential knowledge base _much_ better.  This place is good for specific questions.


Edited by bobzeq25, 24 November 2020 - 11:59 PM.


#5 wrnchhead

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Posted 25 November 2020 - 12:09 AM

+1 on Astro Pixel Processor. It’s far better than DSS. I know one is free, but that’s this hobby. Free/inexpensive almost invariably equals head scratching and disappointment.

I love and recommend the ASIAir that you have but with caveats.

At least a year ago it was quite unusable with my Canon. The app would crash, very frustrating. It may have been fixed but you should also check their compatibility list for your camera or future cameras.

I have an EQ6-R and I had no end of problems using the hand controller connection method with the air. The two things disagreed on my location at a some random point and it
would send my telescope on a tripod crashing cable breaking excursion. I got a shoestring EQDIR cable, which connects to the hand controller port on the side of the mount. Air controls the mount directly, no more problems.

Definitely get the book that Bob recommended and these forums are loaded with 50 lifetimes of information. (Also the posters above me are far better and more experienced, none of them are noobs!)
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#6 drd715

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Posted 25 November 2020 - 12:32 AM

A note about auto guiding and Periodic Error - PE.  Most mounts have PE caused by imperfections in the reduction gearing.  There is a utility for some mounts named PEC (correction) that you run to track and define this PE.  It is applied to the tracking separately from the corrections provided by the auto guiding camera/software.   By appling the PEC to the tracking first, then the auto guiding corrections/ added chasing of the guide star is minimized keeping over correction excursions less dramatic.



#7 alphatripleplus

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Posted 25 November 2020 - 09:01 AM

For good polar alignment before you start a night's imaging, your guidescope and guidecamera can use SharpCap's PA routine to get within a couple of arcmiinutes of the pole. It literally takes  just a couple of minutes with SharpCap to get that level of accuracy.

 

Polemaster is an alternative for fast polar alignment,  but as you already have a guidescope/camera that will work with SharpCap's PA routine, I would go that route.



#8 Alex McConahay

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Posted 25 November 2020 - 09:32 AM

>>>>>>>I read about tracking errors etc but I’m confused- doesn’t guiding help to override these errors and keep the image Centered.t

 

Yes, that is what guiding does. But, it does so AFTER the error is made by seeing the error, and correcting for it. It does help keep the error from getting worse. But it is best if the error is not made in the first place. So, a higher quality mount is always a good idea. 

 

>>>>>>>>Btw is there anything else thats essential I should get to add to this setup.

 

It sounds like you have the basics to get out there and learn. It also sounds like your budget does not, at this time, support adding a lot. 

 

I would suggest you need to look at software to manage your session and process your images. They are as important as anything else you will be investing in. And, get the stuff you will want in the long run. Do not scrimp on your purchase. No use getting a lesser software system, learning it, and then having to upgrade both in money and learning later. 

 

Alex 




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