locked How to start guiding #astrophotography


Euan Milne
 

Folks

I looking into the possibilities of getting into guiding, currently looking at getting the ZWO120 mini and 30mm guide scope, this is to be used with the IEXOS-100,  600mm lens and dlsr. 

What would be the setup procedure, do I still need to use use Explorestars? If not how do I do the 3 star alignment and goto?

Pls help

--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 IEXOS-100
Scopes: TAL-1
Cameras:  Canon 1200D, Canon 70-210mm,  Tamron 150-600mm, 50mm prime. 
Msc: 12V Powerbank
Software: ExploreStars, SharpCap, All Sky Plate Solver


Steve Siedentop
 

You’ll need a computer running autoguiding software.  Some folks like the ZWO ASI Air.  Others like to roll their own similar setup with AstroBerry and a cheap RaspberryPi.  Both run a flavor of Linux and INDI.  ASI Air is a commercial implementation of INDI.  I prefer to use a Windows 10 mini computer and I use PHD2 for auto guiding and Sequence Generator Pro for imaging.  Some folks like to use N.I.N.A.  I’m doing everything in Windows 10, so my setup depends on the ASCOM driver.

When I set up, I don’t use Explore Stars.  I make sure my physical alignment is solid.  That means a good polar alignment.  I also use a level to center my RA and Dec axes in that order.  Then, I plate solve to center my target rather than relying on a multi star alignment.  The multi star alignment is a pointing model and is independent of polar alignment, which determines tracking accuracy.  Get good at polar alignment and your guiding should be uneventful.

Hope this helps!

-Steve

On Wed, Aug 18, 2021 at 12:50 PM Euan Milne <euan_milne@...> wrote:
Folks

I looking into the possibilities of getting into guiding, currently looking at getting the ZWO120 mini and 30mm guide scope, this is to be used with the IEXOS-100,  600mm lens and dlsr. 

What would be the setup procedure, do I still need to use use Explorestars? If not how do I do the 3 star alignment and goto?

Pls help

--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 IEXOS-100
Scopes: TAL-1
Cameras:  Canon 1200D, Canon 70-210mm,  Tamron 150-600mm, 50mm prime. 
Msc: 12V Powerbank
Software: ExploreStars, SharpCap, All Sky Plate Solver


--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 G11 with Ruland Couplers and One Piece Worm Blocks, Skywatcher NEQ-6
Scopes: ES ED127CF FCD100, Orion 6” Mak, Stellarvue SV80EDT, Coronado Solarmax 40
Cameras:  CentralDS CDS-600, CentralDS Astro 60D, Orion Starshoot SSAG
Msc: Moonlite Focusers, Astrozap Dew Straps, Pegasus Ultimate PowerBox
Software: PixInsight, Cartes du Ciel, BackyardEOS, SkySafari


Euan Milne
 

Thanks that's exactly what I am looking for, so once polar aligned how do I find my target, if not using explore stars goto? 

I know plate solving will show me what's in the image frame, but I need to get the camera pointing in the right general direction, is it just a matter of star hoping and learning the sky?


--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 IEXOS-100
Scopes: TAL-1
Cameras:  Canon 1200D, Canon 70-210mm,  Tamron 150-600mm, 50mm prime. 
Msc: 12V Powerbank
Software: ExploreStars, SharpCap, All Sky Plate Solver


Wes Mcdonald
 

Euan

You will want to use something like Nina or Astro photography tool kit. To run your mount.  You can use stellarium to point to a. Object but you need to plate solve. Nina or apt will run this for you. You can import into them targets from stellarium and manage the goto and platesolving

Now you could do something like this;  get your self physically polar aligned.   Use Explorestars without 2-3 to go to a target.  You can find DSO by going to a nearby bright star, centering and synch.  Then do a goto to the DSO.   Now use phd2 and st4 guiding.  Then manage your camera manually.  It’s a good first step that uses more of what you already know.

Make sure Explorestars is in T mode.

Wes


--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Frank Rich
 

I have an I phone using an app called polar scope align. I believe they have it for Android also. Use the daylight alignment tool it gets me close enough to Polaris
You may have guessed my neighbor is Wes McDonald so yes I am very lucky

Frank

On Wed, Aug 18, 2021 at 2:39 PM Euan Milne <euan_milne@...> wrote:
Thanks that's exactly what I am looking for, so once polar aligned how do I find my target, if not using explore stars goto? 

I know plate solving will show me what's in the image frame, but I need to get the camera pointing in the right general direction, is it just a matter of star hoping and learning the sky?


--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 IEXOS-100
Scopes: TAL-1
Cameras:  Canon 1200D, Canon 70-210mm,  Tamron 150-600mm, 50mm prime. 
Msc: 12V Powerbank
Software: ExploreStars, SharpCap, All Sky Plate Solver


Harry
 

Euan, I will give you another option. I use the ASIair Pro. 
I love it’s simplicity and ease of use. It is controlled via an iPad or Android tablet. No laptop or computer. No Ascom or drivers to install / program. Your Canon 1200D appears to be supported. It will Polar Align, find your target, control exposure, guide,(using ZWO guide camera). No 3 star alignment, so ExploreStars is no longer used. You do need to connect it to your iExos 100 via USB serial cable.
I have a similar setup as you, just a Nikon camera. It works great. You will need some photo editing software (I use Affinity Photo) to stack and process the image.
Just another option.

Harry

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, Affinity Photo, SkySafari Plus
Cameras: Nikon D600, D5500 (UV/IR Mod)
Misc: ES USB Power Bank

Filters:  Optolong L-Pro, L-eNhance






Steve Siedentop
 

With Sequence Generator Pro, I enter the RA and Dec coordinates of the target.  There are different ways to get these including from Stellarium, Cartes du Ciel, Sky Safari, etc.  I use a tool in SGP called Framing and Mosaic wizard so I can compose my shot ahead of time and get the desired coordinates based on composition.  Most of the time, the RA and Dec of a target aren’t exactly in the center of what your desired frame is.  

When I tell it to plate solve, SGP slews to those coordinates, takes a picture, extracts the stars, “solves” the image to determine where it actually is pointing in the sky, then moves the scope based on the difference it calculated and runs through the process again for a few iterations until it’s within a set number of pixels if the entered RA and Dec coordinates.  It’s actually quite easy to set up, but you have to know the image scale in arc seconds per pixel of resolution.  A Google search will turn up sites that help calculate this.  NINA, ASI Air, and AstroBerry follow similar plate solving procedures.  

Plate solving will change your life as an imager.  I used to spend a gob of time framing, especially on a multi night image.  Now, with a little planning, I can set up a sequence (or imaging plan) with RA and Dec coordinates, the number of frames, camera settings, etc. and go.  

Sequence Generator Pro has a bit learning curve, but once you get your settings in place, it saves a gob of time.  Others will likely say the same thing about NINA.  

Check out Amy Astro’s videos on Sequence Generator Pro and PHD2.  Cuiv the Lazy Geek also has a lot of good stuff on NINA, plate solving, and PHD2.  PHD stands for Push Here Dummy, by the way.

I know this strayed a bit from your original question about guiding, but I hope it was helpful.

-Steve

On Wed, Aug 18, 2021 at 2:39 PM Euan Milne <euan_milne@...> wrote:
Thanks that's exactly what I am looking for, so once polar aligned how do I find my target, if not using explore stars goto? 

I know plate solving will show me what's in the image frame, but I need to get the camera pointing in the right general direction, is it just a matter of star hoping and learning the sky?


--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 IEXOS-100
Scopes: TAL-1
Cameras:  Canon 1200D, Canon 70-210mm,  Tamron 150-600mm, 50mm prime. 
Msc: 12V Powerbank
Software: ExploreStars, SharpCap, All Sky Plate Solver


--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 G11 with Ruland Couplers and One Piece Worm Blocks, Skywatcher NEQ-6
Scopes: ES ED127CF FCD100, Orion 6” Mak, Stellarvue SV80EDT, Coronado Solarmax 40
Cameras:  CentralDS CDS-600, CentralDS Astro 60D, Orion Starshoot SSAG
Msc: Moonlite Focusers, Astrozap Dew Straps, Pegasus Ultimate PowerBox
Software: PixInsight, Cartes du Ciel, BackyardEOS, SkySafari


Euan Milne
 

Thanks to this thread I have installed APT, and it seems to be talking to the mount ,stellarium, and my Canon camera. Not been able to try the plate solve as of yet. 

Once this is working and had a few daytime practises I will try this on my next imaging session. 


--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 IEXOS-100
Scopes: TAL-1
Cameras:  Canon 1200D, Canon 70-210mm,  Tamron 150-600mm, 50mm prime. 
Msc: 12V Powerbank
Software: ExploreStars, SharpCap, All Sky Plate Solver


Wes Mcdonald
 

Euan

Get your phd2 running.   

This is all new stuff so be patient and work through the inevitable issues.  

Suggest you open this topic in the applications subgroup.

Wes



--
Wes, Southport NC
EXos2-GT PMC-8, iExos 100
ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS+wedge, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90, 60mm no-name guide scope ~ 260mm FL
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG, ZWO 290MM, D5300 astro modified
Nina, Bootcamped Mac Mini control computer, RDP to iMAC
110 amp hour lead acid deep discharge battery for field power
Electrical Engineer, Retired