Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Nexstar 6SE and EAA Newbie

EAA SCT
  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 jjbetts

jjbetts

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 3
  • Joined: 25 Dec 2020
  • Loc: Mesa, AZ

Posted 12 January 2021 - 06:00 PM

This is my first CN post and I am a basically a newbie to both astronomy and EAA.  I received a Nexstar 6se for Christmas and initially I was only interested in visual, but while reading some posts on the 6se I came across the RI2 which piqued my interest.  I am not really interested in going into AP, but living in a typical light polluted suburban area (Southeast Mesa, AZ Bortle 6/7 for now), I am quickly seeing the potential benefit of EAA.  I have in-laws that live a couple hours away in Northern AZ with Bortle 3 skies, but I would like to take full advantage of observing in my own backyard to see more than just planets.  

 

In searching for more information on R2 and EAA in general, I learned that unless you were trying to avoid using a laptop, most on here advise to skip the RI2 analog and pick up a CMOS/CDD camera, with the ZWO ASI 224 MC being a popular entry level recommendation.  I had already ordered the Celestron f/6.3 reducer which I am waiting for (backordered) and some better EPs for visual, and it looks like the 6.3 is helpful for EAA as well, though I have seen recommendations to use the 0.5 FR from Highpoint especially with the 6se stock mount.  I also have read about Hyperstar which looks intriguing to me (though pricey, and I'm not 100% sure it is compatible with the 6se), and have seen recommendations for more advanced (and costly) cameras.  So after reading various threads on here, I am considering the following approaches:

 

1) Get the ZWO ASI 224 MC and see if I can swap out the 6.3 for the 0.5 FR - this seems to be the least expensive approach to get me up and running and give me good planet views and still perform fairly well with DSO.  Is there any other equipment I would need for this approach?  

2) Purchase the Hyperstar 6 and a better camera (probably the ZWO ASI183MC Pro which is used in the pictures on Starzona's website) - this approach is quite a bit more costly, but the camera purchase at least would be more future proof and I think I'd be able to get great views of Andromeda and M42.  Is this overkill though for the 6se? 

 

I am open to other recommendations though.  Appreciate the help in advance.


Edited by jjbetts, 12 January 2021 - 06:17 PM.

  • millsbob likes this

#2 alphatripleplus

alphatripleplus

    World Controller

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 120,480
  • Joined: 09 Mar 2012
  • Loc: Georgia

Posted 12 January 2021 - 07:22 PM

Welcome to CN! I started with an ASI224MC and a focal reducer. I would recommend keeping your order for the f/6.3 reducer, which you can also supplement with a 0,5x FR if you wish, but just beware that there is some variability in the quality of 0.5x reducers out there. In any case, have fun.



#3 garyhawkins

garyhawkins

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 430
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2019
  • Loc: San Diego

Posted 12 January 2021 - 07:28 PM

A 224MC or slightly larger format 385MC is a great way to start EAA.  I would recommend you stick with the Celestron f/6.3 focal reducer rather than x0.5 focal reducer - you'll get better quality images, particularly if you move to a larger sensor further down the road.  If you want to spend more money on the sensor either the 183MC, 533MC or 294MC are good choices.  I would not worry about Hyperstar on a C6.  Here a C6 in action with 533MC - https://youtu.be/uE_7rYZtEms


  • roelb and millsbob like this

#4 roelb

roelb

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,647
  • Joined: 21 Dec 2013
  • Loc: Belgium, Antwerp

Posted 12 January 2021 - 07:48 PM

+1 for the 224MC and the f/6.3 reducer



#5 jjbetts

jjbetts

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 3
  • Joined: 25 Dec 2020
  • Loc: Mesa, AZ

Posted 12 January 2021 - 08:07 PM

A 224MC or slightly larger format 385MC is a great way to start EAA.  I would recommend you stick with the Celestron f/6.3 focal reducer rather than x0.5 focal reducer - you'll get better quality images, particularly if you move to a larger sensor further down the road.  If you want to spend more money on the sensor either the 183MC, 533MC or 294MC are good choices.  I would not worry about Hyperstar on a C6.  Here a C6 in action with 533MC - https://youtu.be/uE_7rYZtEms

What advantages would I get with the 385MC vs the 224?  Would it perform better for DSO? 



#6 jjbetts

jjbetts

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 3
  • Joined: 25 Dec 2020
  • Loc: Mesa, AZ

Posted 12 January 2021 - 08:08 PM

Sounds like the consensus is option 1 but keep the 6.3 reducer.  Any additional equipment I need to consider (E.g. filters, spacers etc.)?



#7 alphatripleplus

alphatripleplus

    World Controller

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 120,480
  • Joined: 09 Mar 2012
  • Loc: Georgia

Posted 12 January 2021 - 08:33 PM

What advantages would I get with the 385MC vs the 224?  Would it perform better for DSO? 

It has almost the same sensor characteristics and the same size pixels, but the 385 sensor covers about 2/3 more area than the 224.



#8 GazingOli

GazingOli

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 352
  • Joined: 13 Oct 2019
  • Loc: Stuttgart GERMANY

Posted 12 January 2021 - 10:10 PM

The ASI 385 has a wider FOV but height is almost the same. One more vote for the .63 reducer and the ASI 224.

 

CS.Oli



#9 dcweaver

dcweaver

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 137
  • Joined: 12 Jul 2020
  • Loc: Silicon Valley

Posted 19 January 2021 - 12:12 AM

I agree with the other recommendations for the 0.63x reducer.  It should work well in your situation.

  

I use a GSO 0.5 reducer because it was the only option I had that retained the ability to point directly overhead.  It wasn't a selection based on image quality.  With your 6SE, you have a mount that has 15 more years of improvements behind it and should have much steadier tracking.  Better tracking will get you longer exposures that offset a slightly slower focal ratio.  You also have a 2 more inches of aperture that will pull in more light and resolve smaller details.

   

I see roelb gave a +1 for the 0.63x reducer as well.  If you want to see what he can do with a 6SE and a reducer that is closer to the 0.5x style reducers, take a look at what he is doing here:  https://www.cloudyni...-6-se-asi290mm/.  Make note of the monochrome camera he used.  It's a significant part of his image quality equation.

 

Roel is one of the trailblazers on the forum working with reduced SCT on alt-az mounts.

 


Edited by dcweaver, 19 January 2021 - 12:16 AM.



CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: EAA, SCT



Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics