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Author Topic: Quick review on the Telescope Services off axis guider  (Read 8071 times)

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Offline chrissuddell

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Quick review on the Telescope Services off axis guider
« on: 10:04:22, 15 April, 2010 »
Hi,

Like the 8" newt I got around to testing my OAG tonight for the 1st time, its a little fiddly to setup the 1st time, but blimey its good.

A couple of points before I waffle on a little, the initial things is this, if you are a Skywatcher user and have a Skywatcher Field Flattener the TS OAG will work out of the box, the from will screw onto the focal reducer and the back end is a t-mount it will go onto a T adaptor, or in my case a small T extension tube into the imaging scope.

The main reasons why I wanted an AOG was, a) flexture, I was getting quite frustrated with it especially over hours of exposures, and b) removing the extra scope, dew heaters, additional bits and bobbs and all the stuff which going along with having two scopes.

Here's the complete setup, look no guide scope or second set of dew hears.




Ok a couple of things to not from this picture, the way the OAG focuses is by slipping the guide camera up and down on a focus shaft (no puns please) and the pickup mirror will fit outside of the CCD path with the SW-FF.  Also you will see the QSI and OAG are at odd angles, this is because of the shape of the QSI, you cannot focus the OAG on the biggest part of the camera, this will be the same with a DSLR.

Initial focusing was done on a tree 200meters away, I focused the main camera, and then focused the guide cam, this gave an approximate and close to real focus when guiding, I only needed to tweak the focus a little.

I took some sample images using Astro Art for guiding, I tried 10, 20 & 30 minute exposure, all of which I was getting sub pixel guiding using a QHY6 CCD binned 2x2 and the ASCOM Camera guide relays.

Here's a full frame of M51 with this setup, non processed 10x10 minute exposures.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2705/4522224226_3f09f7caf6_o.jpg

Here's the centre full sized crop, look how round the stars are, there was about a 6 pixel shift over 100 minutes, I think this was the focuser bending a little, but its a lot better than what I was getting before.....



The TS OAG is a great bit of kit, they could do with improving the screws for the focus and mirror adjustment, as per usual it has not been designed for cold hands in the field, nice big adjusters like the WO extension tubes would be nice.

Offline Nomis Elfactem

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Re: Quick review on the Telescope Services off axis guider
« Reply #1 on: 10:59:33, 15 April, 2010 »
Nice work Chris !

I got a TS OAG a few months ago but I couldn't find a guide star using a DMK41 through my Equinox80.  Interesting to see you're using a 80mm scope (I'm assuming it is) and it works.  I think I probably need a guidecam with a 1/4" chip rather than the 1/2" of the DMK41.

I also agree about the adjustment screws needing to be a lot bigger.... I found trying to focus really quite fiddly but then I do have quite large fingers.

S.
Simon

Scopes: Astro-Tech AT-111EDT Triplet, TS65ED Quad, Orion ST80, Modded PST-90 Solar Scope, PST Cak (on loan)
Cameras: SXVF H694, Atik 16ic, Canon EOS 600d, DMK41, DMK21, QHY 5L-II (mono & colour)
Accessories: SX USB Filter Wheel, SX OAG, Baader LRGB Ha SI OII Filters, SharpSky Focuser
Mount: EQ6 (EQMOD), SW Star Adventurer, plus a lot (and I mean a lot) of other bits and pieces

Offline bern

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Re: Quick review on the Telescope Services off axis guider
« Reply #2 on: 11:12:19, 15 April, 2010 »
Gents,

I've had discussions with TS over the last months regarding the 9mm OAG and certainly there are a few compromises due to the design aim of making an ultra slim design.
I've tested it a fair bit myself and found it a bit tricky to start with but soon got the hang of it.

As the TS distributor in the UK I'll be doing a promotion on this item, details of which will appear shortly in the Sponsors section.
I'll also be at Kelling with a few different OAGs so peeps can get a look at them in the flesh, so to speak.

bern
Modern Astronomy: Visual, Video & CCD Astronomy
http://www.modernastronomy.com
bernard@modernastronomy.com
020 8763 9953

Offline Kingfisher

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Re: Quick review on the Telescope Services off axis guider
« Reply #3 on: 13:45:27, 15 April, 2010 »
Chris,

Good report, I have to agree OAG guiding makes life easy. I've just gone that way myself, as a result I shed the guide scope and all associated dovetails and brackets, plus 8 Kg of counter weight. I heard my EQ6 Pro breath a sigh of relief.

Dave
Canon 40D, DMK 21AF04.AS, EQ6 Pro mount, APM TMB 80 mm f6, Tak FSQ-106ED, QSI 583 WSG CCD  and an Irving flying jacket

My blog http://dasdaveadshead.blogspot.com/

Offline Nomis Elfactem

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Re: Quick review on the Telescope Services off axis guider
« Reply #4 on: 14:31:59, 15 April, 2010 »
Hey Bern - good to hear you're in discussion with TS. 

I understand the need for compromise due to the slenderness of the OAG (and you can't fault it at all in that respect) but even just increasing the diameter of the heads by a couple of mm would make all the difference !

Also, with regards to the angle of the prism being on a diagonal.... unless I'm missing something my thinking is that it would be better being square with the long edge of the CCD thereby enabling it to be pushed in as far as possible into the fov without encroaching on the CCD (an eos 400d in my case) ?  It would also cause less interference between the camera and the guide camera as my DMK only just fits without hitting the edge of the EOS ?!

That said, me learning to get it all setup on the day light as Chris did would help matters too  :duh:

S.
Simon

Scopes: Astro-Tech AT-111EDT Triplet, TS65ED Quad, Orion ST80, Modded PST-90 Solar Scope, PST Cak (on loan)
Cameras: SXVF H694, Atik 16ic, Canon EOS 600d, DMK41, DMK21, QHY 5L-II (mono & colour)
Accessories: SX USB Filter Wheel, SX OAG, Baader LRGB Ha SI OII Filters, SharpSky Focuser
Mount: EQ6 (EQMOD), SW Star Adventurer, plus a lot (and I mean a lot) of other bits and pieces

Offline chrissuddell

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Re: Quick review on the Telescope Services off axis guider
« Reply #5 on: 19:21:25, 15 April, 2010 »
Nice work Chris !

I got a TS OAG a few months ago but I couldn't find a guide star using a DMK41 through my Equinox80.  Interesting to see you're using a 80mm scope (I'm assuming it is) and it works.  I think I probably need a guidecam with a 1/4" chip rather than the 1/2" of the DMK41.

I also agree about the adjustment screws needing to be a lot bigger.... I found trying to focus really quite fiddly but then I do have quite large fingers.

S.

Hi,

Couple of things with guide stars, firstly the QHY is a 1/3" chip I think, but I bin it 2x2 making the camera 4x more sensitive, with Maxim and AA they are extremely good at picking and guiding with faint stars, PHD isn't, and I'm not sure it supports binning either, but I could be wrong.  The QHY5 and QHY6 both make good guide cameras, as does a Lodestar. 

Chris

Offline chrissuddell

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Re: Quick review on the Telescope Services off axis guider
« Reply #6 on: 19:24:00, 15 April, 2010 »
 :scare:

Offline Nomis Elfactem

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Re: Quick review on the Telescope Services off axis guider
« Reply #7 on: 10:26:58, 16 April, 2010 »
PHD isn't, and I'm not sure it supports binning either, but I could be wrong.

You're right Chris, PHD doesn't support binning... it does have 2x2mean for noise reduction which I've just found out about so I may give that a go next time I'm out.  I guess the advantage of PHD it that it's free.

I think a 1/3 ccd is the way to go though !

S.
Simon

Scopes: Astro-Tech AT-111EDT Triplet, TS65ED Quad, Orion ST80, Modded PST-90 Solar Scope, PST Cak (on loan)
Cameras: SXVF H694, Atik 16ic, Canon EOS 600d, DMK41, DMK21, QHY 5L-II (mono & colour)
Accessories: SX USB Filter Wheel, SX OAG, Baader LRGB Ha SI OII Filters, SharpSky Focuser
Mount: EQ6 (EQMOD), SW Star Adventurer, plus a lot (and I mean a lot) of other bits and pieces

Offline bern

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Re: Quick review on the Telescope Services off axis guider
« Reply #8 on: 10:32:58, 16 April, 2010 »
I think a 1/3 ccd is the way to go though !


Or a 1/2"  :D

bern
Modern Astronomy: Visual, Video & CCD Astronomy
http://www.modernastronomy.com
bernard@modernastronomy.com
020 8763 9953

Offline Nomis Elfactem

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Re: Quick review on the Telescope Services off axis guider
« Reply #9 on: 11:09:51, 16 April, 2010 »
... my DMK41 is a 1/2" Bern, but I don't get that many guide stars to choose from even through a ST80 ?  Maybe I'm doing something wrong ?
Simon

Scopes: Astro-Tech AT-111EDT Triplet, TS65ED Quad, Orion ST80, Modded PST-90 Solar Scope, PST Cak (on loan)
Cameras: SXVF H694, Atik 16ic, Canon EOS 600d, DMK41, DMK21, QHY 5L-II (mono & colour)
Accessories: SX USB Filter Wheel, SX OAG, Baader LRGB Ha SI OII Filters, SharpSky Focuser
Mount: EQ6 (EQMOD), SW Star Adventurer, plus a lot (and I mean a lot) of other bits and pieces

Offline bern

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Re: Quick review on the Telescope Services off axis guider
« Reply #10 on: 13:38:58, 16 April, 2010 »

Small pixels though  :(

bern
Modern Astronomy: Visual, Video & CCD Astronomy
http://www.modernastronomy.com
bernard@modernastronomy.com
020 8763 9953

Offline peteftm

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Re: Quick review on the Telescope Services off axis guider
« Reply #11 on: 20:01:36, 04 May, 2010 »
Hi,after reading this, i think this OAG would be a good thing for me? I have a C9.25 on a HEQ5 pro, could use my DMK 21 for guiding? What else would i need? A guide scope is out of the question i think as im borderline weight wise.

Thanks
Peter
C 9.25, HEQ5 pro synscan,DMK 21AU04.AS, 400D modded.

Offline bern

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Re: Quick review on the Telescope Services off axis guider
« Reply #12 on: 14:55:48, 15 May, 2010 »
Hi,after reading this, i think this OAG would be a good thing for me? I have a C9.25 on a HEQ5 pro, could use my DMK 21 for guiding? What else would i need? A guide scope is out of the question i think as im borderline weight wise.

What's your imaging camera?

bern
Modern Astronomy: Visual, Video & CCD Astronomy
http://www.modernastronomy.com
bernard@modernastronomy.com
020 8763 9953

Offline peteftm

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Re: Quick review on the Telescope Services off axis guider
« Reply #13 on: 21:31:47, 22 May, 2010 »
I've gave up and traded my C9.25 for a APO! Much more managable for me.

Peter
C 9.25, HEQ5 pro synscan,DMK 21AU04.AS, 400D modded.

 

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