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Autoguiding- I can't stop grinning!

Last post 11-07-2006, 2:36 PM by ChuckR54. 3 replies.
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  •  11-06-2006, 6:25 AM

    Big Smile [:D] Autoguiding- I can't stop grinning!

    I couldn't resist telling everyone how happy I am to finally get autoguiding to work with the lpi and my ETX 125. I know it is a standard feature in Envisage but I have had no end of problems and never got it to work. Last night I did some indoor astronomy- the moon was conveniently visible through cloud out of my conservatory window, so I set up the scope and fought with my serial usb adaptor until it connected. I can scarcely believe how well autoguiding/ tracking works to keep the target centred.  My biggest problem imaging with the ETX has always been keeping the target on the chip, especially with a 4x powermate and lpi, as the motors are not very accurate- I spend half an evening refinding the target as it scoots off.

    Autoguiding appears to eliminate this huge issue with the ETX and last night it tracked a spot on the moon happily for an hour, keeping it dead centre. What a joy! As I said, I know everyone else already uses this feature but I just can't stop smiling now it works for me! I can't wait to get out there imaging, it will be so much less hassle.

    Now a question. How well would a dsi and reducer work on a polar mounted ETX using self guiding (i.e. not a separate guide scope) and drizzle? Are the vagaries of the drives too great to allow 60 second subs on this scope of decent quality? I am tempted by a dsi now that I can get a fairly steady image. Could I expect to image clusters, M42, M81, M33 or would I waste my money?

    Stewart

  •  11-06-2006, 5:55 PM

    Re: Autoguiding- I can't stop grinning!

    Hi, Stewart - congratulations (I know just how you feel!)

    The guiding feature issues the guide corrections *between* exposures, so you are effectively limited to the longest unguided exposure time you can take without periodic error. I would think this would be measured in seconds, not minutes, unfortunately. While this will be adequate for some of the brighter DSO's, it will not be very satisfactory for fainter targets.

    I believe the LPI will go up to 16 second exposures...why not try that on a bright object such as the core of M42 and see how it goes?

    If you can get up to 15 second exposures, most of the open clusters, many of the globulars, and a few of the brighter nebulae will be within your reach with the DSI. At 30 seconds, many more objects are available to you.

    Chuck


    Chuck Reese
    CDIP Certified: Nebula, Galaxy, Solar System, Stars & Clusters Imager
    CDIP Mentor: Nebulae & Solar System Categories
    For information on the Certified DSI Imager Program, see:
    http://autostarsuite.net/forums/1427/ShowForum.aspx
  •  11-07-2006, 5:40 AM

    Re: Autoguiding- I can't stop grinning!

    Thanks Chuck. I will try M42 and perhaps the Pleaides as test targets with the lpi to see how stable the mount is and report back (obviously, the clouds have rolled in for the U.K. now that I have guiding working!).

    The autostar handset has smart drive (or is it mount?) and PEC options but are these applicable to the ETX? I recall reading that it does not store PEC corrections.

    Stewart

  •  11-07-2006, 2:36 PM

    Re: Autoguiding- I can't stop grinning!

    Hi, Stewart

    For the ETX scopes, PEC is found under the Smart Drive menu (under Setup->Telescope). It is only enabled if you are in Polar mode.

    In order to preserve your PEC training from session to session you must "Park" the scope at the end of the session. Otherwise you must train each outing. This is not hard...just start the LPI guiding, then use the handset to turn PEC on and select "Train". Then just sit back & wait...takes about 24 minutes.

    Chuck


    Chuck Reese
    CDIP Certified: Nebula, Galaxy, Solar System, Stars & Clusters Imager
    CDIP Mentor: Nebulae & Solar System Categories
    For information on the Certified DSI Imager Program, see:
    http://autostarsuite.net/forums/1427/ShowForum.aspx
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