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Questions around ASIAir with DSLR.

Astrophotography DSLR DSO
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#1 mythx1

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Posted 16 May 2024 - 10:50 AM

Hey CN fam!

 

I am finally starting to put together a beginner build for DSO imaging with my Sony A7iii. I have the following parts - 

 

1. Mount - Skywatcher Star Adventurer GTi

2. Main Camera - Sony A7iii (currently sent for astro-modification)

3. Lens - Sony 100-400 GM

4. Guide Camera - ZWO 120mm mini

5. Guide Scope - ZWO 30mm f/4 

6. ZWO ASIAir Plus 32g

7. Tripod - RRS Versa Mk3

8. Misc - ADM V2AS Plate (to mount my lens directly to the mount), Clamp (to attach the ASIAir to my tripod), Arca-Swiss Clamp (to mount the guide scope and guide camera to the camera's L-plate)

9. Portable Power - Bluetti EB70S

 

To power and connect everything together - 

 

- ST4 cable from Guide Camera to Mount 

- USB cable from Guide Camera to ASIAir

- Mount to ASIAir (??)

- ASIAir to Camera (??)

- Main power from mount to the Bluetti (??)

- Main power for ASIAir to Bluetti (??)

 

Here are my questions -

 

a. What cable do I need to connect the mount to the ASIAir? 

b. What cable do I need to connect the ASIAir to my camera (Sony A7iii)?

c. What cable do I need to power the mount from the Bluetti? 

d. What cable do I need to power the ASIAir from the Bluetti? 

e. Do I need an additional USB drive and/or a MicroSD card directly plugged into the ASIAir for it to store images (this is the 32g version), or will the ASIAir store images directly to the Camera's SD card slots, or can I do both?

f. Will I be able to preview the images within the ASIAir app before I set my shooting schedule or do I have to use the camera's live-view?

g. Am I right in assuming that I will not need to use the SynScan app and do everything on the ASIAir app entirely? 

h. I will mostly be shooting from my backyard which is listed as Bortle 6, are there any recommendations for a light-pollution filter that I can use? I am looking for clip-in only for now. 

 

 

My apologies, I know these are a lot of questions but I wanted to wrap my head around most things before I set out to shoot. 

 

Appreciate your guys' input. 

 

Also, attached are images of a prelim setup sans the cables. Also a first unguided attempt at Orion from a Bortle 2 location (using a friends SA-2i) 

 

Thank you <3

Attached Thumbnails

  • WhatsApp Image 2024-05-16 at 10.08.09_6941210c.jpg
  • WhatsApp Image 2024-05-16 at 10.08.09_c566c570.jpg


#2 mythx1

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Posted 16 May 2024 - 10:51 AM

Dang, apparently there's a limit to image uploads, here's the pic of Orion. 

Attached Thumbnails

  • WhatsApp Image 2024-05-16 at 10.49.25_6d378f2b.jpg

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#3 GiddyGibberish

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Posted 17 May 2024 - 02:31 PM

Hi!  I have almost the exact same setup, but with Nikon camera and lens, and no guiding (yet).  Here is mine the first time I used the ASIAIR:

 

First Setup PNG

 

 
I'm just starting out, so take that into account.  I got my tracker and ASIAIR Plus in April so I only have about 6 weeks of experience in AP.  Here's my take on your questions.
 
a, b, c, d: First, all the cables you need should have come with the tracker and ASIAIR except the DC input power to the ASIAIR.  I had to order a cigarette adapter to DC power plug on Amazon.  There are many ways to cable things up, but this is what I did:
 
1. Connect power bank to ASIAIR power input.
2. Connect tracker power to ASIAIR 12v power output.
3. Connect camera to ASIAIR USB3 port (blue).
4. Connect tracker control (USB A to USB C) to ASIAIR USB2 port.
 
If your camera requires a separate power supply input, then I would connect that directly to the power bank, not the ASIAIR.  I use a USB powered fake battery for my Nikon.
 
e.  Depends on your FITS file size, but I recommend it.  It is "plug and play".  You just need to make sure it is selected in the settings.  There is an option in the ASIAIR to also store the images on the card on the camera.  I was not able to use autorun so I had to disconnect and take images using intervalometer.  I did that until I bought a 500GB mini SSD to use.  Now I do not store images on the camera card at all and use Autorun for everything.
 
f.  On my Nikon, there is a preview image that is displayed in the app.  It is not a live view.  What I do is set up my gear so I'm oriented towards Polaris.  When it is dark enough, I use live view to get as good as I can focus (usually using a Bahtinov mask).  Once I have good focus, I connect the camera to ASIAIR and run PA routine.  I will say the images displayed in the app are fairly low res JPEG, so not great for checking details.  I'm still learning about some features of the app, so there might be a better way to review images.
 
g. That is correct.  I uninstalled mine.
 
h. I do not have any experience with that yet so can't make a recommendation.
 
For me the next thing is hooking up my guide camera which is being delivered today (but it's cloudy).  That will plug into an ASIAIR USB2 port.  I think the camera is coming with the correct cables.  I already have the guide scope.
 
I also have recently received an Askar 65PHQ but I've only been able to use it twice.  I took it camping for the first time this past weekend:
 
Current Setup PNG

 

 

 



#4 mythx1

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Posted 17 May 2024 - 04:55 PM

Omg, thank you so so much for taking the time out to type out a detailed response!  This is amazing and gives me a LOT to get started! <3

 

Do you mind sharing a link to the cigarette adapter to the DC power plug? 



#5 GiddyGibberish

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Posted 17 May 2024 - 06:00 PM

Sure.  https://a.co/d/6E29a5d



#6 mythx1

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Posted 19 May 2024 - 01:21 AM

Thank you so much! I have one other question. What mount option did you select from the ASIAir drop down menu for the mount? I tried choosing EQMount and it won’t automatically go-to an object that I wanted to shoot tonight. Is there a different option I should choose?

#7 GiddyGibberish

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Posted 20 May 2024 - 07:37 PM

Mine is set to SkyWatcher AZ/GTi.




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