locked Recommended autoguider (or help with shooting > 60sec) #iEXOS-100 #polaralignment #alignment #Off-Topic


Matt Hallett
 

Question for the longer term enjoyment of this hobby (i.e. post-Santa deliveries and what to look for in Jan sales). Any autoguiding cameras you'd particularly recommend? Seems like the ZWO ASI120mm gets used/recommended by most but would also like to hear anyone's opinions and experiences. Still very much on the steep bit of this learning curve, so any guidance would be welcome.

On the shorter term, I'm struggling to get images of longer than 60sec exposure without starting to see noticeable star trail. I level my iEXOS-100 mount, polar align it to within an inch of its life, park it, two-star align in ExploreStars, slew to target, fine tune the alignment, sync the position and then take my shots. 60sec exposures just get inside the acceptable tolerance but anything longer than that and they're too blurry to be effectively stacked.

The sky looks like it'll be crystal clear tonight. I have grand visions of stacking pin sharp 180sec exposures of Orion nebula or Pinwheel galaxy, etc. At the moment it's ISO6400 30sec exposure shots of Andromeda or overly noisy 60sec images of Orion (see attached).

-------------------

Mount: iexos-100 with PMC-8
Scopes: Startravel 102
Camera:  Nikon D7500
Software: Deep Sky Stacker, Siril, Photoshop


Jeff Snell
 

Hi Matt.  I still consider myself a newbie going on two years .  I’m always learning.  I’m sure others will have much better advice/opinions about quality and the best to autoguider to buy.  I needed one and didn’t wanna dive in with too much cash so I bought an Orion star shoot 50mm autoguider combo.  It came with the 50mm scope, camera and all the parts needed to connect to the computer.  Around $300 bones.  I also run PHD2 for the guide program.  Finally, I bought a polemaster for my exos II mount.  Again around $250-300.  I had to buy a small adapter ring to mount the polemaster but it was only around 20-30 bucks.  That investment paid off huge.  Polemaster is absolutely awesome and the Orion guide scope and PHD2 pair great. Below is one of my images where PHD was tracking at about .2 total error.  I had it made into a 20x30 print.



Good luck.

Jeff

ES ED 80 APO, Celstron Edge HD 8” SCT
EXOS II PMC Eight
Canon T5i (Astro-modified)
ASCOM POTH Hub/APT/CDC/PHD2

On Dec 24, 2020, at 7:44 AM, Matt Hallett <hello.matthallett@...> wrote:

Question for the longer term enjoyment of this hobby (i.e. post-Santa deliveries and what to look for in Jan sales). Any autoguiding cameras you'd particularly recommend? Seems like the ZWO ASI120mm gets used/recommended by most but would also like to hear anyone's opinions and experiences. Still very much on the steep bit of this learning curve, so any guidance would be welcome.

On the shorter term, I'm struggling to get images of longer than 60sec exposure without starting to see noticeable star trail. I level my iEXOS-100 mount, polar align it to within an inch of its life, park it, two-star align in ExploreStars, slew to target, fine tune the alignment, sync the position and then take my shots. 60sec exposures just get inside the acceptable tolerance but anything longer than that and they're too blurry to be effectively stacked.

The sky looks like it'll be crystal clear tonight. I have grand visions of stacking pin sharp 180sec exposures of Orion nebula or Pinwheel galaxy, etc. At the moment it's ISO6400 30sec exposure shots of Andromeda or overly noisy 60sec images of Orion (see attached).

-------------------

Mount: iexos-100 with PMC-8
Scopes: Startravel 102
Camera:  Nikon D7500
Software: Deep Sky Stacker, Siril, Photoshop
<result.jpg>


Harry
 

Hi Matt,
Great photo. I experienced just what you experienced  about exposure. Here is what I found works great.
I use the ZWO ASI 120mm mini with the 30m ZWO mini guide scope. However the key to this success was the ASIair Pro. It does it all. PA, guiding, camera control, etc. Yes its about $300, plus guide scope/camera and for most uses you need ZWO brand accessories. However, your Nikon D7500 is supported, as well as the iExos 100.
No polemaster, no polar align scope, NO computer, no USB hub. It uses an app running on your iPad or Android.
To begin with and save some $, I got the Pro, but no guide camera/scope. The Pro will use your D7500 and telescope to do a spot on PA. Takes maybe 5-8mins. No 2-3 star alignment. Then it will go to your target, dead center. With a much better PA, your exposure time should increase, however you are NOT guiding. If you later add guiding, I have gotten 3-5 minutes with my Nikon D5500.

One caveat, your iExos 100 must set up to use a serial connection and a serial cable to the Pro. You no longer use ExploreStars, (and it won’t work). You use the Pro app.

Just another idea. There are several Pro users on this forum.  Harry

--
Harry
Vero Beach, FL

Mounts: ES iExos 100-PMC Eight
Scopes: ES  ED80CF, ES AR102,  Meade ETX 90 EC (Deforked)
Guide: ZWO 30mm Mini, ZWO ASI120MM-Mini
Software: ASIair Pro, iPad Pro, MacOS, Starry Sky Stacker, Affinity Photo, Lightroom,  SkySafari Plus
Cameras: Nikon D600, D5500
Misc: ES USB Power Bank, Rigel QuikFinder, 0.8x Focal Reducer
Filters:  Optolong L-Pro, L-eNhance






Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

I have locked this thread. Please move this discussion to the PMC-Eight Applications subgroup. All the other groups are for PMC-Eight discussions only.
See item 8 in the Forum Terms of Service.
https://espmc-eight.groups.io/g/MAIN/message/3224

Thanks

--
Jerry Hubbell
Vice President of Engineering

Explore Scientific, LLC.
jrh at explorescientific.com

www.explorescientificusa.com
1010 S. 48th Street
Springdale, AR 72762
1-866-252-3811

Author: Scientific Astrophotography: How Amateurs Can Generate and Use Professional Imaging Data
             Remote Observatories for Amateur Astronomers: Using High-Powered Telescopes From Home


Mark Slade Remote Observatory (MSRO) IAU MPC W54 Equipment
Wilderness, VA
Mounts
: ES PMC-Eight G11 + Telescope Drive Master (TDM)
Scopes: ES 165 FPL-53 ED APO CF, ES 102 FCD100 ED APO CF
Cameras:  QHY174M-GPS + FW, QHY163C
Misc: 3-inch 0.7x Focal Reducer Field Flattener, Filters: Luminance,
Red, V-band Photometric, Diffuser, 200 lpmm Spectral Grating

Software: MaxIm DL 6, Cartes du Ciel, Astrometrica, AstroImageJ, AutoStakkert!