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DIY "eVScope" using NexStar 8SE and ZWO ASIAIR Pro

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#1 Roymus


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Posted 10 June 2021 - 03:51 PM

Hi all:  I've been researching this online for a while now (including this forum and various other astro forums/YouTube links), and while there's a lot of useful info I'm having trouble figuring out how to get this done...my apologies as I know this has been covered before, but your help is appreciated!


I own a NexStar 8SE with some good eyepieces and the following accessories:  Celestron GPS finder, Celestron battery pack, SkyFi 3 wireless dongle, Android phone with SkySafari 6 app, and Bahtinov mask (note:  I'm using the stock Alt/az mount (no EQ mount and I don't want one).  I'm pretty good with basic visual astronomy and can easily set up and align my scope, and am able to use my SkyFi3 wireless dongle and SkySafari 6 app as a remote GoTo finder for any planetary or deep-sky object.  I live in suburban Atlanta, GA, and like many of you I struggle to find dark skies in my area.  Like most of you so far all I've been able to see of most DSOs is a faint smudge on my best nights of seeing, and I'd really like to see more.


I've recently read many reviews about the new eVScope, and I'm eager to explore the magic of live-stacking.  Rather than drop another $3k or more, I'm interested in trying to put together the same kind of experience using my current setup, with the addition of an appropriate ZWO camera and the ZWO Asiair Pro appliance.  I made some attempts at astrophotography using the ZWO 10MP camera with SharpCap a while back, but my results were pretty disappointing.  For one thing, the camera had to be driven by my laptop, and having to lug the scope and my laptop to my observing site was a chore.  But the real problem was with SharpCap:  I find it not easy to use, especially for live-stacking (and I'm an IT professional).  I'm looking for a plug-and-play experience here, with the ability to live stack on my smartphone (Android) with a single press and live view, just like the eVScope.


So, what I'm really looking for here is a step by step tutorial on how to use my setup with the ZWO Asiair Pro to emulate the eVScope ease of use for observing planetary objects and DSOs with live stacking and live views on my phone (and the ability to capture those images of course).  I'd need a recommendation on the best ZWO camera to get as well (there are several), and some cools tips and tricks on how to get that plug and play experience out in the field without having to lug a laptop or additional equipment.  Most AP tutorials I've read assume you have polar alignment with an EQ mount, but the eVScope uses an AZ mount and seems to do just fine with short exposures.  I'm also wanting to maintain the capability to easily switch from AP/live stacking mode back to normal visual eyepieces without a whole lot of fuss (i.e., the camera should be a standard 1.25" eyepiece camera).


Hope this isn't too tall an order...thanks all!

#2 idclimber



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Posted 10 June 2021 - 07:58 PM

Live stacking is also called EAA. There is a separate forum here for that type of imaging. 

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