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Final equipment additions

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#1 TareqPhoto

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Posted 04 December 2021 - 03:19 AM

Hi all,

 

We are by the end of this year, and i enjoyed the last years into astro regarding all issues and breaks i was going through, but i never give up and it helped me to keep going, and i am almost putting some final touches to my gear so i can be ready next years as much as i can.

 

A. I had issues with guiding in the past, didn't know why, but i finally figured out why, very shame that i wasted like 2 years without solving the guiding issue only just recently, so this require me a question now as long i solved the guiding issue and also asking again what is the solution if i need to.

 

    1. What guiding scope you can recommend me to get beside the one i already have which QHY mini guide scope? I have ZWO 60 one but i don't like it at all, and the weight of ST80 for now isn't a good choice, i will have two separate dual imaging system, i might use this mini guide scope with the lightweight or with the heavy, which means i need another one, but not QHY mini guide scope again, OAG is included but i don't know if it is a good idea with small to medium scopes sizes anyway.

 

 

B. Plate Solving now became like a necessary for my imaging, sounds i am wasting some time nowadays only to do stars alignment every time before imaging, and sometimes it just take longer time than it should be, and also i fail in meridian flipping, not sure how can i do imaging smooth and good enough without solving those two.

 

    2. What is a good plate solving software to use? I am using SGPro for now, not sure when i will move to NINA but maybe sooner than later, so i don't know if there is like a stand alone for that or use the integrated one, your advice. Also with meridian flipping, is there a better way to do it without issues like the frame is shifted or focus being lost or maybe cable disconnect for a device by accident?

 

 

C. As long i am increasing my equipment i need to make it like complete, so now i am having many different scopes i am thinking about buying many autofocuser or motors to match them, and i want to match few of them with color, i have one already, so will think about more.

 

    3. What autofocuser rather than ZWO EAF i can buy that has either blue color or black? I have Pegasus one for my 90 triplet, i want to buy same or another one if blue for my small 60mm one that has blue touch, people don't care about it, yes, but i prefer to be in sync with colors, i have FRA400 so EAF will be the one, also the second 60mm it will be red so another EAF i will choose, i just don't want to have ALL my scopes only with EAF and only with Pegasus, refractors are almost done of choices with colors, while my Newt i don't know, one has blue and the other is just black and white, i am not in rush to buy motors all now, but i will have time to add them to my order list and buy them one by one, i might buy two EAF for two red lines scopes, the rest i can wait.

 

 

D. In future i might or might not get a full frame sensor for astro, but if that is in my mind and plan i want to know about how good to go with it if many keep saying that sometimes it is more issues than it is helpful, for example matching scopes, but i see some people buying it regardless what they are using it with or for what, so i don't want to keep myself away from this option or avoid it forever.

 

    4. If i plan to get a full frame, should i go with mono or OSC? And if i go with mono for any reason, should i make sure that i only buy 2" size filters for my smaller sensors now so i just be ready if i upgrade? I have APS-C both mono and color, i don't know if 36mm is enough for this sensor size, i just try to add some 2" filters for it in case i go larger in sensor, and for color cameras it is easier and more affordable to have 2" than mono filters, i bought UV/IR cut at 2" for my OSC, i also bought Ha 3nm 2", now i am thinking about dual band filter and SII filter [OIII i will stay with small sensor only as i have Chroma OIII 3nm 1.25" or getting it from the dual band filter], should i get SII 3nm as 36mm or as 2"? At the end i won't use a full frame with full set all filters anyway, the full frame if OSC will be used with Lum or dual band filters only, if mono then only Ha and/or Lum for details.

 

 

For now those above are my main plan to finish this year or soon except the last point, just the SII filter i can make it soon if i know the choice, or wait to see some new items coming for filters then i can decide, i can't wait to put my gear into use as soon as possible, i used my new scope by 1st-2nd date one night for narrowbanding target, and i made sure to use all filters that night, i got data, but they are not good or not enough for 1 night, but that gave me a hope that once i add another camera to get busy with a filter then i can have enough data per night, and i can make an extra night only to finer the details more, rather than using 1 setup which it was a headache after all, i hated imaging with 1 setup no matter how good i make everything, i was lucky to get data of three NB filters, but i know it isn't good enough, and soon i will process the data and post elsewhere to see the quality of scope optic maybe, stars are bad because no dedicated flattener/reducer and no correct back focus.

 

Sorry for typing this, but i am really getting to finish this small setup very soon, so only left serious bigger setup in future such as a better mount and larger aperture scope for visual or even larger scope for smaller distant targets, but that is for future plan, for my current mount i can use it for small setup either dual or triple, will see how can i put it all together.

 

 

Thank you,

Tareq



#2 Notdarkenough

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Posted 04 December 2021 - 07:57 AM

Hello. I can help with #2, Plate Solving. I use Sharpcap Pro and NINA; both can access and incorporate different Plate Solving programs - I use ASTAP. It works seamlessly with Sharpcap, and used to work that well with NINA also. Then they pushed an update and I am getting an error message message about not enough stars in the ASTAP database. If you choose ASTAP you also need a star database also, and they have several listed at the ASTAP download site. 

 

For me, if using CPWI to connect the Evolution mount to my PC, I perform a StarSense Auto Alignment from within CPWI and then GoTo whatever target in CPWI before starting up SharpCap Pro and NINA. I find the Plate Solving quick and easy in Sharpcap using ASTAP. I still run NINA as it's autofocus regime is faster and easier than what SharpCap offers.

 

Hope that helps. Mike



#3 TareqPhoto

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Posted 04 December 2021 - 03:47 PM

Hello. I can help with #2, Plate Solving. I use Sharpcap Pro and NINA; both can access and incorporate different Plate Solving programs - I use ASTAP. It works seamlessly with Sharpcap, and used to work that well with NINA also. Then they pushed an update and I am getting an error message message about not enough stars in the ASTAP database. If you choose ASTAP you also need a star database also, and they have several listed at the ASTAP download site. 

 

For me, if using CPWI to connect the Evolution mount to my PC, I perform a StarSense Auto Alignment from within CPWI and then GoTo whatever target in CPWI before starting up SharpCap Pro and NINA. I find the Plate Solving quick and easy in Sharpcap using ASTAP. I still run NINA as it's autofocus regime is faster and easier than what SharpCap offers.

 

Hope that helps. Mike

Hello,

 

Nice, i will give it a look and try, and hope it will be the one i am looking for.

 

It helps, Mike, thank you very much waytogo.gif



#4 TareqPhoto

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Posted 04 December 2021 - 03:49 PM

It sounds that NINA could be a solution to some issues or points i look for, i have to transit as soon as possible, i am using the old version of SGPro [2.xxxxx], so i will see what can NINA offer me more and then i keep going.



#5 Jared

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Posted 04 December 2021 - 08:25 PM

A) For the majority of people using guide scopes (generally those imaging at 2,000mm or less focal length), any small, light guide scope will work well. I would choose pretty much any achromat with a 50mm or 60mm aperture that I can mount firmly. The killer when using guide scopes is differential flexure. You don't want anything that will sag under its own weight. That is much more important than getting a little extra resolution since guiding software can reliably measure to sub-pixel levels as long as your signal-to-noise is good, and SNR will generally be good with short focal length guiders since they give you lots of stars to choose from. 

 

B) I, too, would recommend NINA for managing the equipment including automated meridian flips with centering of subjects. NINA works well with ASTAP plate solving software. Lots of good plate solving software out there, but ASTAP is the fastest by a pretty wide margin, it's free, and it is as accurate as anything available.

 

C) No advice on color availability of autofocusers. Honestly, the color would be the very last thing I worried about when choosing an AF motor, but to each his own.

 

D) For full frame cameras... OSC is generally easier to use. Results under dark skies for broadband can be very good, though probably not quite as good as monochrome. Still, very good, so if you image under dark skies and are primarily interested in broadband, there's nothing wrong with OSC. If you image under light polluted skies, the difference in performance between OSC and monochrome is more substantial, so my recommendation would be to stick with monochrome from Bortle 6 or higher, maybe even Bortle 5. Also, if you have any intention to do narrowband imaging, stick with monochrome.  As to filters... You will need 2" filters with a full frame camera. In fact, I found I needed 50mm square filters with my camera and telescope. That is primarily because my scope is faster than most at f/3.7. If you are imaging at f/4.5 or above you will likely be able to get by with 2" filters, but certainly nothing smaller. 36mm simply won't cover a full frame sensor. Since you are looking at what to buy right now in anticipation of full frame possibly later, keep in mind you likely won't be able to mix and match. I'm not aware of any carousels that would let you include more than one size of filter at a time.



#6 TareqPhoto

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Posted 05 December 2021 - 01:38 AM

A) For the majority of people using guide scopes (generally those imaging at 2,000mm or less focal length), any small, light guide scope will work well. I would choose pretty much any achromat with a 50mm or 60mm aperture that I can mount firmly. The killer when using guide scopes is differential flexure. You don't want anything that will sag under its own weight. That is much more important than getting a little extra resolution since guiding software can reliably measure to sub-pixel levels as long as your signal-to-noise is good, and SNR will generally be good with short focal length guiders since they give you lots of stars to choose from. 

 

B) I, too, would recommend NINA for managing the equipment including automated meridian flips with centering of subjects. NINA works well with ASTAP plate solving software. Lots of good plate solving software out there, but ASTAP is the fastest by a pretty wide margin, it's free, and it is as accurate as anything available.

 

C) No advice on color availability of autofocusers. Honestly, the color would be the very last thing I worried about when choosing an AF motor, but to each his own.

 

D) For full frame cameras... OSC is generally easier to use. Results under dark skies for broadband can be very good, though probably not quite as good as monochrome. Still, very good, so if you image under dark skies and are primarily interested in broadband, there's nothing wrong with OSC. If you image under light polluted skies, the difference in performance between OSC and monochrome is more substantial, so my recommendation would be to stick with monochrome from Bortle 6 or higher, maybe even Bortle 5. Also, if you have any intention to do narrowband imaging, stick with monochrome.  As to filters... You will need 2" filters with a full frame camera. In fact, I found I needed 50mm square filters with my camera and telescope. That is primarily because my scope is faster than most at f/3.7. If you are imaging at f/4.5 or above you will likely be able to get by with 2" filters, but certainly nothing smaller. 36mm simply won't cover a full frame sensor. Since you are looking at what to buy right now in anticipation of full frame possibly later, keep in mind you likely won't be able to mix and match. I'm not aware of any carousels that would let you include more than one size of filter at a time.

Thank you very much Jared, so happy you answered me.

 

A. Well, i will see those small guide scope and choose one, i like my mini guide scope, but i agree about differential flexture, i don't know how to fix this because i am tired to introduce so so many issues into my imaging trains including this, so i better eliminate it before i start, otherwise i am just wasting time for more years coming then.

 

B. Ok, so NINA it s, sounds it is really a good choice these days, i wasn't getting used to with it, but now i think i should, good to know.

 

C. It is ok, i will deal with it myself, there are two anyway, Pegasus with blue and ZWO with red, and others with black, those are the main three colors i need anyway, so i won't look elsewhere if there aren't.

 

D. Well, a full frame is just a plan or a wish, not a priority, i just want one to use it with my 90mm triplet for wider field, but i went with more smaller wider field scopes just to not think about a full frame, but i mentioned that for how long i will keep avoiding full frame because of some issues coming with it, i can wait like 2-3-4 years, but he more years passing the more i feel either i don't need it at all, or i missed many years not having one, i will keep using APS-C, and good i have two of those, one in color and one in mono, i have no issues with mono whatsoever, so i will try to test the color more under my light pollution [Bortle 8/9] and see how it will perform. About filter size, i will use different sizes for different cameras, and i will have filter wheels or drawers to accommodate those sizes separately, i have a filter drawer with 2" ring, i can add another ring adapter for 50mm, i already bought an adapter for 36mm, so i am flexible, and there are enough filter wheels for 2"/50mm, but for now i think if i won't buy a full frame any soon then it is no need to get 50mm, and i can buy very few 2" filters, more manufacturers entered the game or markets of filters which is nice.

 

Again, i am happy that you answered me, it will help me for my journey, i am soon getting ready to finalise my setup and getting busy in imaging, i waited to get setup first then i can start, not in rush, i have clear skies enough time, so soon i will back, i did start already by first night of this month to test my new scope, hopefully i keep testing and imaging, but i will be so glad that people keep answering me until i am done, and i will be done don't worry, i won't spend my whole lifetime only keep asking and buying, i stopped that back for photography, i will do that also with astrophotography, until that time i hope people bear mind with me for a while, be it 1 year or 10.

 

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