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Is there a book or set of articles about EAA

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#1 Brent Campbell

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Posted 23 January 2022 - 05:37 AM

Look at my current signature for equipment list.  I am intrigued by the ev scope but put off by the price.  What worries me most is the lack of upgradability for such an expensive scope.  Every one of my scopes and mounts was purchased used.  The optics and mounts can hang around long after electronics die. I’m also worried about planned obsolescence.  What happens to the ev scope when the manufacturer stops making updates to the cell phone app?

 

I have many questions.  What I desire is some sort of go to rig that has the capability to see objects with eaa.  Simplicity and quickness of setup is desired but I would also like to change out a camera as better models become available.  Another consideration is the mount.  I don’t want To throw away a great optic because the electronics are toast.  Because I don’t want to do post processing planetary imaging is not part of the equation-besides I have a c8 and refractors to do that.  What I really want is a modular setup that approaches the ease of use of the ev scope.

 

I was looking at the skywatcher Az-gti as a base for this.  I could use my currently unused Orion express 80 f/6 480 mm with a 2 inch focuser.  I would need a camera, perhaps a used cannon off shopgoodwill?  Tons of them available.  I can also purchase a dedicated Astro camera if that would make a beginners life easier.

 

The 80 mm is not allot of aperture.  How much of a multiplier for aperture is eaa?  This optic is sharp for its size but andromeda still looks like a glob. I get why wide field scopes are preferred for eaa it makes perfect sense given the target objects.

 

I’ve been reading that wide field is just easier to use with these objects.  Is my current scope ideal for this?  Should I look for something with more aperture?  

How much focal length is too much for eaa?  My Stellarvue access (102 mm F /7) came with a field flatter  and  point 8X reducer but it would require a much bigger mount such as a celestron avx.  I can also get some killer deals on the skywatcher mount bundled with a 125 mm mak.  

 

What about a celestron evo 6 with a reducer?

 

I don’t want to go into the mode of trying things and running into dead ends.  Is there an article or book that can explain eaa setups, what works best optically, and what pitfalls to avoid? 


Edited by Brent Campbell, 23 January 2022 - 05:51 AM.


#2 BrentKnight

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Posted 23 January 2022 - 06:46 AM

This forum is among the best sources of information there is. AgenaAstro website also has a couple good articles. I think there are some good websites linked in a thread at the top of this forum too. And asking specific questions like you have, will get you some answers.

#3 Tfer

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Posted 23 January 2022 - 08:24 AM

Don’t go with a DSLR. That’s where I started and it was far more trouble than it was worth.

 

Get a proper astrocam, and you’ll be set.

 

The only big learning curve, is in using SharpCap.  Once you get your feet under yourself there, you’ll be off and running.


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#4 nic35

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Posted 23 January 2022 - 08:55 AM

Start by looking here   https://www.cloudyni...s-guide-to-eaa/

 

It is a pinned topic  in this forum.

 

With your 80mm m31 will look like you've never seen it before, unless you have a very big dob.  Search the image gallery ( a pinned topic) for m31 80mm.

 

j


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#5 SchoolMaster

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Posted 23 January 2022 - 09:09 AM

This is Andromeda with an inexpensive 80ED on an Az-Alt mount

 

24DecM31-0G350R63-30-FD.png

 

10 second images for five minutes (30 of them)  The camera is an uncooled ZWO 294MC with a wide field of view.


Edited by SchoolMaster, 23 January 2022 - 09:16 AM.

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#6 EmeraldHills

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Posted 23 January 2022 - 09:15 AM

Hi Brent. Several CloudyNights members are currently teaming up to write a resource like you're imagining -- something like an "EAA101." (Your questions are actually the reason we've taken on the project!) BrentKnight is right - the knowledge is here. But the sheer breadth of information does mean that it's scattered. We'll step up our efforts to get this written together as a team. You can already see the outline and some of the resources we'll be providing by clicking to...

 

http://eaa101.com/

 

In the meantime, like I say... we'll step it up! : )


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#7 alphatripleplus

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Posted 23 January 2022 - 09:33 AM

There is also an information resource in the pinned EAA topic EAA Announcements, Beginner Guides & other Useful Links. The links cover a number of topics, including an EAA for Dummies/Beginner's guide that was mentioned in a previous post above.



#8 GaryShaw

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Posted 23 January 2022 - 09:35 AM

Hi Brent

 

There is a terrific book by Charles Bracken which is mainly about Astro Photography but in it, he addresses all the technical aspects of Astro cameras, mounts, and scopes. There is of course a lot about calibrating and processing images. Im an EAA person but I am finding it hugely interesting and extremely well done. From what you’ve written, and your interest in the ev scope, I’m concluding though that you may not be interested in knowing the underlying technology so much as having a simple, easy to use and flexible EAA observing system. If you are interested in how cameras and other gear work, or, if you might be thinking, down the road, about trying some AP, this book is possibly the best one out there. Others are listed on Amazon, including some that have “EAA” somewhere in the title.

 

The series of articles by CurtisCA that John linked to above is probably the most relevant learning resource I know of - together with many YouTube videos of EAA practitioners demonstrating their gear and observing practices and process. Just google in YouTube and you’ll find these.

 

If you’re looking for the simplicity of evscope without the cost, check out the YouTube linked below. It describes how to make your own version for far less expense and with far greater flexibility for the future as you outlined above. I believe the quality of the components exceeds what’s going into the evscope products and key items are replaceable or upgradable as desired.
 

https://youtu.be/0JdtL950RjQ

 

Good luck!

Gary

 

 


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#9 alphatripleplus

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Posted 23 January 2022 - 09:46 AM

 My Stellarvue access (102 mm F /7) came with a field flatter  and  point 8X reducer but it would require a much bigger mount such as a celestron avx.  I can also get some killer deals on the skywatcher mount bundled with a 125 mm mak.  

 

 

Lots of good advice in the previous posts. One thing I would add is that in general for EAA you want a fairly fast scope, regardless of whether you choose a refractor, reflector or catadioptric scope. I wouldn't recommend starting with a f/12 to f/13 Mak (although that is what I started with) because the scope is natively very slow. It doesn't do particularly well with a generic reducer, and you'll notice aberrations and vignetting if you try a lot of focal reduction with the Mak. For those reasons, I prefer a SCT plus reducer over a Mak and reducer.

 

Another thing to keep in mind is that the if you choose a longer focal length set-up, you'll generally need better tracking with the mount to avoid eggy shaped stars or trailing because the image scale is finer at longer focal lengths. Shorter focal length set-ups are less demanding on your mount's tracking quality.


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#10 jcheak

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Posted 24 January 2022 - 02:39 PM

Brent

 

There is nothing mysterious about EAA and at the end of the day is very fulfilling. I started out EAA with a Celestron ST120 and an older Celestron ASGT mount. Main camera was an ASI224MC and I guided with an older ZWO 50mm with an ASI120MM Mini. All was purchased used and all total was under $900. Software used was all free except SharpCap and it is $12 a year. I have been in the hobby for over 25 years and boy has EAA really sparked the love of the hobby back. I know there are some that have spent close to $20K, and they have more issues than I do. So don't be fooled to think you have to spend anything like that. Since I was enjoying it so much and Covid had put a damper on club outings, I upgraded my rig with a used AVX and a Stellarvue 80mm Access, and a cooled ASI533MC Pro. All used and ran about $1500. I sold the ASGT and the 120ST for $600 for a net of $900. I have gotten pictures with no post processing that are amazing. Including the Horsehead, Hickson 44, Leo Triplet, Viel and Cal Nebula ETC. If you want real simplicity get an ASIAir Plus (Understand you have to drink the ZWO KoolAid since it only works with their products, other than the mount) and enjoy EAA from Inside your house. Your 102 with the FF and an AVX would be an excellent pairing for EAA. Good luck and if I can be any assistance don't hesitate to ask.

 

John



#11 EmeraldHills

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Posted 24 January 2022 - 03:55 PM

By the way, thanks to Brent_Campbell and others in this thread, which has helped propel to a starting point something I've been wanting to propose for a long time. See this thread...

 

https://www.cloudyni...ise/?p=11658173

 

for discussion about EAA101. We're super-excited to get the project underway. Thanks to all for taking part there.



#12 Brent Campbell

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Posted 27 January 2022 - 04:27 PM

I want to thank Doug and all the other individuals who replied to my post.  

 

I just purchased a Skywatcher AZ-GTI Mount off of the classifieds:  https://www.cloudyni...t-eq-mod-cable/

 

(This is supposed to ship out Friday)

 

I have an orion express 80 similar to this:  https://www.amazon.c...e/dp/B000A2OJFU

 

I have a Core I5 Laptop (and more horsepower if I need it).

 

The only thing that I lack is a camera.  

 

I was looking at these:  

 

https://www.amazon.c...geniuslink=true

 

https://www.amazon.c...2X7HV03250G6JF3

 

or https://www.amazon.c...2dDbGljaz10cnVl

 

I think I will also need a "T-Adapter"?  

 

Does anyone have a suggestion for a great beginner color astro camera with a "little" bit of growing room that will work with SharpCap  and isn't too expensive?  (I would like to keep the cost under $250) Since I am new to this I don't want to spend a bunch - I can always upgrade the camera later.  I would even go for a modified web cam as long as whatever I am going with has been tested elsewhere.



#13 alphatripleplus

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Posted 27 January 2022 - 05:34 PM

ASI224MC was my first astro camera and would fit your budget if you don't mind the small sensor. It's very sensitive, but as it is a colour camera it is not as sensitive as a mono camera.


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#14 Mark Lovik

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Posted 28 January 2022 - 05:21 PM

ASI178MC is running around $300 but matches your optics well.  I know that is pushing your budget .. but this is a camera you can use for other purposes in the future.  The main issue will be this is a bit slower.  The resolution will allow good views of a range of objects.



#15 Brent Campbell

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Posted 29 January 2022 - 10:15 PM

ASI178MC is running around $300 but matches your optics well.  I know that is pushing your budget .. but this is a camera you can use for other purposes in the future.  The main issue will be this is a bit slower.  The resolution will allow good views of a range of objects.

Forgive the stupid question.  Why would this camera match my optics well?




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