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Advice for a beginner with a 12" LX200 SCT

EAA Astrometry Astrophotography
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#1 flynnstone82

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 02:15 PM

Hello Cloudy Nights community!

 

I am interested in getting in to EAA with my 12" LX200 classic SCT. I did some initial reading and get the basics, yet I was wondering if someone in this group has already been down this well travelled road and can give me their experiences with equipment.

 

Also my local astronomy club, the San Diego Astronomy Association, is putting together a small team to participate in comet and rock hunting. So, I'm hoping the EAA equipment will help me achieve both from my Bortle 6 light polluted backyard in San Diego.

 

Any advice, experiences and knowledge on gear and techniques would be greatly appreciated.

 

Clear skies,
Jeff



#2 GaryShaw

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 02:48 PM

Hi Jeff

Yours is a common and quite broad and complicated question to answer here in a few posts. I suggest you contact Gary Hawkins in your SD club. He’s an active EAA practitioner and has made several videos which you’d find helpful. I’m sure he can also provide specific advice based on your situation. 

 

Also check out Curtis’ posts here in CN under “EAA for Dummies....”(search for that). He’s carefully summarizing in one place all key aspects of EAA observing and gear and provides a link to his Blog with all that info centralized. 

Good luck

Gary


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#3 alphatripleplus

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 03:28 PM

That is a long focal length scope at f/10 (3 metres) to start with.

 

If you want to use the scope for EAA, even if you can get to f/4 with reducers, you will still have a 1200mm focal length to handle. If you choose a small sensor camera, the field of view will be tiny, so you would probably want a larger sensor camera. Alternatively, you could piggyback a small short focus refractor on the big scope and start EAA with that. A shorter focal length scope will give you  a bigger field of view with any camera. 

 

People use Alt-Az mounted scopes for EAA, so that should not be a problem.


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#4 flynnstone82

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 05:30 PM

Gary, thanks for the call out to Gary Hawkins. I was just looking thru YouTube videos for EAA and discovered one he did. I Watched a live stream the club put out last summer, but didn't know he went thru in detail how his gear was setup and how he used it. I'm about half thru the video and have already learned a ton!

 

Link to the video: https://www.youtube....h?v=uE_7rYZtEms

 

I'll also check out Curtis's post and blog. Much appreciated.


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#5 flynnstone82

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 05:32 PM

That is a long focal length scope at f/10 (3 metres) to start with.

 

If you want to use the scope for EAA, even if you can get to f/4 with reducers, you will still have a 1200mm focal length to handle. If you choose a small sensor camera, the field of view will be tiny, so you would probably want a larger sensor camera. Alternatively, you could piggyback a small short focus refractor on the big scope and start EAA with that. A shorter focal length scope will give you  a bigger field of view with any camera. 

 

People use Alt-Az mounted scopes for EAA, so that should not be a problem.

I do have my first beginner scope, which is a Meade Infinity 102mm. I'll have to look into parts on how to piggy back that. I've seen photos of others doing what you're suggesting, but never really assumed having a refractor mounted on my large SCT was something I would need to do. 

 

Cool, another project to look in to and learn from!

 

Thanks!


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#6 Rickster

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 04:01 PM

I do have my first beginner scope, which is a Meade Infinity 102mm. I'll have to look into parts on how to piggy back that. I've seen photos of others doing what you're suggesting, but never really assumed having a refractor mounted on my large SCT was something I would need to do. 

 

Cool, another project to look in to and learn from!

 

Thanks!

Sounds like a good way to start.  waytogo.gif Then, after you get a ways up the learning curve you will have a better idea of how to make the 12 incher work.  And I suspect that you will want to keep the 102 (or something even smaller) permanently piggy backed.  I keep a couple of smaller scopes piggy backed to my 16 inch.




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