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

Build me an EAA rig around a C5 Spotter.

  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1 KarlL

KarlL

    Apollo

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1,466
  • Joined: 14 Dec 2012
  • Loc: Northeastern Illinois, in the Fox Valley

Posted 08 March 2021 - 10:42 AM

Let’s view this as an exercise in a minimal & cost effective EAA system build. I want the most bang-for-the-buck.

 

I have a C5 spotter & a small laptop. I lack mount, camera, and software. That’s where this exercise begins. I’d prefer a goto mount. The camera can be monochrome. I have no preferences regarding software. Portability is the number one priority. I do have an FR.

 

This exercise could certainly turn into an implemented rig within the year. I lack the depth of knowledge & experience the rest of you have. I’ve played around with EAA, but it’s all been very casual live viewing using analog cameras on alt-az mounts.

 

Thanks, as always.



#2 Sky King

Sky King

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 411
  • Joined: 16 Mar 2017
  • Loc: Arizona

Posted 08 March 2021 - 11:30 AM

Gary Hawkings goes through his stuff and demonstrates it in this video. Instead of the ASI533MC you might want to start with a ASI224MC. Might help if you list a proposed budget. For mono a ASI120mm-s will work and can later be used as a guide scope camera. For portability you may want to start with a ALT-AZ mount like the Celestron SLT mount. That will limit your exposures however.


Edited by Sky King, 08 March 2021 - 11:38 AM.


#3 KarlL

KarlL

    Apollo

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1,466
  • Joined: 14 Dec 2012
  • Loc: Northeastern Illinois, in the Fox Valley

Posted 08 March 2021 - 12:34 PM

I’m sorry that I didn’t include a budget, but I don’t want to be entirely limited by budget alone. That being said, the 224 & SLT amount would be affordable. The problem is finding them. Astro equipment in general is very hard to find right now.


Edited by KarlL, 08 March 2021 - 01:01 PM.


#4 Sky King

Sky King

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 411
  • Joined: 16 Mar 2017
  • Loc: Arizona

Posted 08 March 2021 - 01:24 PM

Cloudy Nights Classified is a option if you don't mind gently used gear. You also have to be quick, those deals are gone fast.



#5 KarlL

KarlL

    Apollo

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1,466
  • Joined: 14 Dec 2012
  • Loc: Northeastern Illinois, in the Fox Valley

Posted 08 March 2021 - 01:28 PM

I’ve bought & sold quite a bit through the Classifieds since I joined years ago. You’re right; things are going very fast these days.



#6 Sky King

Sky King

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 411
  • Joined: 16 Mar 2017
  • Loc: Arizona

Posted 08 March 2021 - 03:57 PM

This is a lot of fun, portable, easy to use. The ultimate easy. All you need is the camera, phone and a cord. Doesn't track, or stack images, but the free app keeps being improved. Then use same camera and scope for your EAA. Here's a picture from this.

 

Lunar.jpg


Edited by Sky King, 08 March 2021 - 03:58 PM.

  • nicknacknock and KarlL like this

#7 KarlL

KarlL

    Apollo

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1,466
  • Joined: 14 Dec 2012
  • Loc: Northeastern Illinois, in the Fox Valley

Posted 08 March 2021 - 06:47 PM

Very interesting. Thanks for the heads-up.



#8 KarlL

KarlL

    Apollo

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1,466
  • Joined: 14 Dec 2012
  • Loc: Northeastern Illinois, in the Fox Valley

Posted 08 March 2021 - 06:51 PM

After thinking about it, I’d say my budget is between $600 & $800. The ZWO camera & SLT mount, as proposed by Sky King, could be a good start. I already have the scope & laptop. I hope a stated budget will bring more participation to this thread.



#9 Lastinline

Lastinline

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 50
  • Joined: 06 Dec 2020
  • Loc: NJ, USA

Posted 08 March 2021 - 07:05 PM

The sky-watcher AZ-GTI is a small goto mount that may be able to handle a C5 ... on a wedge, this can even become an EQ mount. It’s about $380 if you can find one new.

 

That leaves 200-400 in your budget for the camera. Maybe an ASI178MC or something comparable would work.


  • KarlL likes this

#10 nicknacknock

nicknacknock

    A man of many qualities, even if they are mostly bad ones

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 16,043
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2012
  • Loc: Nicosia, Cyprus

Posted 09 March 2021 - 12:54 AM

AZ GTi in EQ configuration, ASIAir Pro, 2" GSO 0.5x reducer (switched to the Night Owl now), Celestron Power Tank Pro, beefy enough tripod to handle the weight which ain't that much.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Rig.jpg

  • KarlL, Sky King and davidparks like this

#11 nicknacknock

nicknacknock

    A man of many qualities, even if they are mostly bad ones

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 16,043
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2012
  • Loc: Nicosia, Cyprus

Posted 09 March 2021 - 01:26 AM

Digging deeper:

 

- Since you have the laptop, you'd be using either ASIStudio by ZWO or SharpCap.

 

- You are set for reducer, but options generally range between 0.5x GSO reducer, 0.63x SCT reducer (you can stack two of these to go faster) or Starizona Night Owl (yields about f4.8 at 600mm).

 

- Do a decent polar alignment and no guiding is required.

 

- A decent carbon tripod is the best option to keep it light, yet stiff.

 

-  Skywatcher AZ GTi will do just fine! - The SkyWatcher extension / pillar is excellent for the job and cheapish, adding 8" of height so that things don't go bumpity bump at night. 

 

- The SkyWatcher EQ Wedge will get the job done, but the William Optics wedge is more solid (careful to pick the one correct for your latitude). You will need either the SkyWatcher counterweight bar and about 5 pounds worth of counterweights and a M8 to M12 adapter (bar is M8, mount is M12) or just get a counterweight bar that is M12 and get whatever counterweights.

 

- Or just stay in Alt Az mode, with restrictions applying to exposure times.

 

- Re power options, best one is obviously a large marine deep cycle battery or a small genny, but since portability is an issue, I'd strongly recommend the Celestron Power Tank Lithium Pro.


  • KarlL and davidparks like this

#12 KarlL

KarlL

    Apollo

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1,466
  • Joined: 14 Dec 2012
  • Loc: Northeastern Illinois, in the Fox Valley

Posted 09 March 2021 - 09:01 AM

Nick -

 

Is that scope a C6 or C8?



#13 nicknacknock

nicknacknock

    A man of many qualities, even if they are mostly bad ones

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 16,043
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2012
  • Loc: Nicosia, Cyprus

Posted 09 March 2021 - 09:03 AM

A C5 :)


  • KarlL likes this

#14 alphatripleplus

alphatripleplus

    World Controller

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 122,256
  • Joined: 09 Mar 2012
  • Loc: Georgia

Posted 09 March 2021 - 09:11 AM

I’ve bought & sold quite a bit through the Classifieds since I joined years ago. You’re right; things are going very fast these days.

For the mount,  a lightweight older goto (they come up occasionally in the Classifieds) is definitely an alternative to buying new.  For such a small payload, you should have a few used choices when appear from time to time.



#15 KarlL

KarlL

    Apollo

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1,466
  • Joined: 14 Dec 2012
  • Loc: Northeastern Illinois, in the Fox Valley

Posted 09 March 2021 - 09:17 AM

Nick -

 

Perfect! How do you like it for EAA?



#16 nicknacknock

nicknacknock

    A man of many qualities, even if they are mostly bad ones

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 16,043
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2012
  • Loc: Nicosia, Cyprus

Posted 09 March 2021 - 09:23 AM

I used it at about f7.5 so far with the GSO  0.5x reducer and will push it to f4.8 (managed to find a pre-owned Starizona Night Owl) when Covid restrictions are lifted and I can finally hit a dark site.

 

No problems whatsoever with it, balance it right and it works like a charm!

 

Please read this thread since I added images and details :)


  • KarlL likes this

#17 nicknacknock

nicknacknock

    A man of many qualities, even if they are mostly bad ones

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 16,043
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2012
  • Loc: Nicosia, Cyprus

Posted 09 March 2021 - 09:24 AM

I see @ Davidparks liked my post lol.gif lol.gif lol.gif

 

His fault for me building this setup, as I replicated his more or less!!! bow.gif bow.gif bow.gif



#18 davidparks

davidparks

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 829
  • Joined: 20 Jul 2017
  • Loc: Battle Creek, MI - USA

Posted 09 March 2021 - 09:30 AM

Yes, i'm another C5/AZGTi fan.  This is such a great portable combo, with enough deep sky and planetary to be very satisfying waytogo.gif

 

C5 / SW AZGTi


  • nicknacknock and hansj like this

#19 KarlL

KarlL

    Apollo

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1,466
  • Joined: 14 Dec 2012
  • Loc: Northeastern Illinois, in the Fox Valley

Posted 09 March 2021 - 02:00 PM

Nick -

 

Your work with the C5 is very impressive. The rig looks very compact & portable. That’s all-important since we may be moving in a few months into an apartment. 
 

How did you mount the ASIAir Pro to the C5? Vixen shoe? Which one? From where?

 

Regards,

 

Karl


Edited by KarlL, 10 March 2021 - 09:19 AM.


#20 nicknacknock

nicknacknock

    A man of many qualities, even if they are mostly bad ones

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 16,043
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2012
  • Loc: Nicosia, Cyprus

Posted 09 March 2021 - 11:18 PM

Thanks Karl!

 

I use this one. Bit expensive, but workmanship is excellent and it looks good too ;)



#21 TascoLvr

TascoLvr

    Lift Off

  • *****
  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: 20 Aug 2020
  • Loc: Moab UT

Posted 10 March 2021 - 03:32 AM

Fun experiment. I attached my Samsung Smartphone to my C5 spotting scope. Used a Celestron NextYZ adaptor attached to a Morpheous 12.5 mm eyepiece. I cast the phone image to my 65" Sony OLED TV via smartview or Chromecast. The TV image is amazing; I can read license plates 2 miles away across the valley.

 

Auto exposure, focusing, white balance, saturation etc are all accomplished in the background, hassle-free.

 

This is a far cry from "real" astrophotography, but I am working on this with my 8se. The Scope and smartphone are outside in the cold. Wireless is setup to my Samsung tablet indoors using Sky Safari 6. I have full scope control while sitting comfortably on the couch. Friends and family can watch with me on the bigscreen. Not bad.

 

Working toward doing some fun astronomy with this setup over the next few weeks. This may be crude, but its really fun.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 20210310_010027.jpg
  • 20210310_010134.jpg

  • davidparks and Lastinline like this


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






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics