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Help with ZWO ASIMini and Guide Scope

Astrophotography Beginner Equipment
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#1 craig_Ad_astra

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Posted 30 September 2022 - 02:18 PM

I am trying to autoguide with my ZWO ASIMini 120 & ZWO 30MM scope with my iOptron Skyguider Pro. 

 

I can't seem to get any images to show stars with the Mini however (pic below). It's all white noise and can't get stars to even begin the guiding process. 

 

Is there something wrong in my set up? (pic below) 

 

All suggestions appreciated, thank you!

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_2110.jpg
  • IMG_2112.jpeg


#2 norvegicus

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Posted 30 September 2022 - 02:46 PM

You need to focus it.  You will need to use the extension that came with the camera and back the camera out of the scope about halfway along that extension to get approximate focus.  Then loosen the lock ring on the objective cell of the scope and turn it to achieve fine focus and tighten the lock ring.   The ASIAir has a focus mode.   You have to assign the guide camera as the main camera to use the focus mode, and then assign it as the guide camera after focusing is complete.


Edited by norvegicus, 30 September 2022 - 02:48 PM.

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#3 Skysmacker

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Posted 30 September 2022 - 02:51 PM

I use this set up as well, but it looks like you are using both the ST4 port and the USB port. 

 

When I use mine, it is only the USB cable from camera to the ASI Air Pro, not both.

 

 

When using the ST4 port, do you need the usb for power?

 

Maybe that has something to do with it?


Edited by Skysmacker, 30 September 2022 - 02:55 PM.


#4 FRANKVSTAR

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Posted 30 September 2022 - 03:05 PM

  As was said in post #2 you need to use the extensions. I had to buy other 1.25 extensions to use other cameras and an eyepiece to even get near to focus. Look funny a small scope with about 2 to 4 inches of extensions but its the same on my big scope.



#5 Pingu

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Posted 30 September 2022 - 03:06 PM

I second focus. Try using sharpcap to help you focus early evening on a tree, tower or whatever. I'll get you in the ballpark.

#6 Flybob

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Posted 30 September 2022 - 03:12 PM

Getting a good focus with your setup will take some patience.  Set the focus adjustment in the middle, then set the image software in a 2 sec loop.  Now manually move the camera in and out very slowly until you see donuts.  The focus point is very sensitive so go slow.  Also as mentioned, pick one connection to the camera not both.



#7 sctchun

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Posted 30 September 2022 - 03:13 PM

Definitely a focus issue.  If you look towards the lower left, you can see the blown out outline of a out of focus star.  Since you're able to see a star, I would center on that defocused star and use it to focus the guide scope.


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#8 Bob_Gardner

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Posted 30 September 2022 - 03:49 PM

My ZWO 120mm guidescope never seems to be in focus no matter how I adjust it.  I've given up on it.  It seems to work even though it doesn't appear to be in focus, ever.



#9 sctchun

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Posted 30 September 2022 - 04:00 PM

My ZWO 120mm guidescope never seems to be in focus no matter how I adjust it.  I've given up on it.  It seems to work even though it doesn't appear to be in focus, ever.

To focus the ZWO 120mm using a ZWO mini camera, you'll need to use an extension that places the sensor at the end of the guide scope's eyepiece holder.  I used a 1.25" eyepiece extender I had laying around to make it work.

 

Edit: Here's a picture to show what I mean:

 

GuideScope.jpg


Edited by sctchun, 30 September 2022 - 04:06 PM.


#10 limeyx

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Posted 30 September 2022 - 06:11 PM

Getting a good focus with your setup will take some patience.  Set the focus adjustment in the middle, then set the image software in a 2 sec loop.  Now manually move the camera in and out very slowly until you see donuts.  The focus point is very sensitive so go slow.  Also as mentioned, pick one connection to the camera not both.

I'd recommend doing this in the day. It wont be perfect but it should get you close

 

2/ You will probably have to move it out waaaaaay more than you expect (as others have said). I was almost all the way out with the extension tube on mine


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#11 Bob_Gardner

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Posted 02 October 2022 - 02:53 PM

To focus the ZWO 120mm using a ZWO mini camera, you'll need to use an extension that places the sensor at the end of the guide scope's eyepiece holder.  I used a 1.25" eyepiece extender I had laying around to make it work. 

 

Hmm, interesting. I have the ASI120mm camera mounted on the ZWO 30mm f/4 (120mm) Guide Scope, see attached photo.  I wasn't aware that this combo requires an extension tube as shown.  Is that correct?

 

ASI120mm on ZWO 120mm Guide Scope.png

 

Thanks,
Bob


Edited by Bob_Gardner, 02 October 2022 - 02:55 PM.


#12 soojooko

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Posted 02 October 2022 - 03:32 PM

Hmm, interesting. I have the ASI120mm camera mounted on the ZWO 30mm f/4 (120mm) Guide Scope, see attached photo.  I wasn't aware that this combo requires an extension tube as shown.  Is that correct?

 

attachicon.gifASI120mm on ZWO 120mm Guide Scope.png

 

Thanks,
Bob

You don't have to use the extension tube. You can thread the camera directly onto the scope ( like in the pic ) - and then extend the focus as far as possible. Then start bringing the focus in until the stars appear. Keep going till they are in focus. Not sure if this also applies to the ASI120mm - as im not sure if that camera is threaded like the MM-S. I assume it is.



#13 Pingu

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Posted 02 October 2022 - 03:47 PM

By the pic, the OP has the 120 mini.  You have two options; either pull the 120 out a bit more or you can extend the lens out further.  Either way, the easiest way I found to focus the camera is to use SharpCap, during daylight hours, point at a distant target, move the 120 in/out until you reach focus.  Once you begin your imaging run, very fine adjustments of the camera will be required for pinpoint focus to your liking.

 

An extension can be used if you don't like the 120 out so far from the scope.  But extending the lens out can eliminate the need for an extension and save you money and weight.  Nevertheless, its a great idea.


Edited by Pingu, 02 October 2022 - 03:51 PM.


#14 Bob_Gardner

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Posted 04 October 2022 - 06:29 AM

Apologies, yes I have the ZWO 120 mini.  Thanks for all the feedback.  I will work on the focus.  



#15 craig_Ad_astra

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Posted 04 October 2022 - 04:25 PM

Thanks everyone! Sliding the camera out slowly until I got the stars did the trick. I did not realize how sensitive the focus would be on it




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