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Need some advice on my imaging rig

Started by 2000ltdken, 07/05/2018 05:08PM
Posted 07/05/2018 05:08PM Opening Post

A few years ago I started collecting some equipment to do some imaging of deep sky objects. I never got finished and now need to re-evaluate where I am at.

I have:

Pentax 75 SDHF Telescope
Losmandy G8 with Gemini
SBIG ST 2000XM Camera with CF-8 and AO-8

I live in North San Diego county and it is light polluted. I understand I might not be able to guide using this setup because of light pollution filters.


Posted 12/23/2018 12:12PM #1
looks like a good start. go for it!
Posted 08/08/2020 08:13PM #2
Ken - I have a pair of Explore Scientific scopes, an 80mm and a 127mm, that was my primary imaging rig until I went Tak. I'm in Valley Center and would love to find a buyer for both that's local. $3000 for both. PM me if interested.

Attached Image:

hhbeck's attachment for post 172019
Posted 08/29/2020 08:32PM | Edited 08/29/2020 08:34PM #3
Hi Ken

I hadn’t done any imaging in about 7 or 8 years. After loosing my first dear wife, I remarried 5 years ago and we decided to keep her house and sell mine, since it was newer and smaller. My scopes and mount were stored/buried in the garage.

With the COVID-19 “stay at home“ it seemed to be a good time to get it going again. So I installed my old pier and a small resin building as an “observatory”. Been having some fun with it since.

I used the PHD2 program Polar Drift Alignment tool with my old Astro Physics AP600E mount. It allows you to set polar alignment by aiming at a star near Polaris and calculates exactly where to place that star with the mount’s alt/az adjustments to achieve an accurate polar alignment. This is great since I don’t have a polar scope, and it makes it relatively easy to do. And the price is right

Using the above polar alignment with my mount, I am getting a tracking error of approximately 1 arc/second per minute. Since I am stacking images of 1 minute or less with a maximum focal length of 1000mm, I haven’t been using a guide scope/camera, which greatly simplifies set up time.

With your mount and scope and a good polar alignment with PHD2, I believe you can do fine without a guide scope/camera.

Have fun.
Posted 09/02/2020 03:32PM | Edited 09/02/2020 03:36PM #4
Hi Ken

Probably included too many details in my reply above.

Bottom line. With your equipment and a good polar alignment, you should be able to get good 2 to 3 minute images for stacking without using a guide camera. In heavy light polluted skies, even with a narrow band filter, that may be as long as is practical anyway, even with a guide camera.

So I would recommend going with what you have.

There are a lot of good narrow band targets high in the sky at just the right time of night right now.