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Author Topic: Beginners Basic Setup  (Read 2833 times)

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Offline chris.bailey

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Beginners Basic Setup
« on: 11:49:07, 25 February, 2013 »
The question that seems to come up time and time again is what beginners setup do you recommend for deep sky imaging with a DSLR. Though a broad range of equipment can be used, discussions always seem to settle on the best beginners setup being a stable German Equatorial Mount and an 80mm refractor, together with a few must have accessories.

Mount - The mount that seems to have best £££ vs performance is the Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro Sysncan. This reasonably portable mount has GOTO (so does not rely on an attached computer) and has a payload capacity of 11kg. The included Polar Alignment Scope is illuminated and of reasonable quality. Given good polar alignment this mount is capable of unguided exposures of 3-4 minutes with an 80mm scope and DSLR combination. As experience grows the mount integrates well with computer control (via EQMod) and responds well to Autoguiding to really get long exposures.

Scope - Though long focal length scopes have an appeal, they can be a source of much frustration to a beginner. An 80mm or so refractor has a wide field of view, is easy to setup and mates well to our recommended mount. Used with a DSLR it gives access to a wide range of objects from larger galaxies, nebulae and clusters. http://www.altairastro.com/product.php?productid=16496

Power - The mount requires a 12v supply and a car jump starter pack such as http://www.amazon.co.uk/station-Emergency-jumpstart-inverter-compressor/dp/B004ITAF72/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1361792050&sr=8-8 will power the mount for several hours. A mains 12v switched mode supply can be used though caution is needed when operating in outside conditions.

T-Mount - a T-Mount is needed to connect your DSLR to the rear of the scope. These are specific to the camera to be connected http://www.modernastronomy.com/accessories.html#accTRings - bottom of page.

Dew Heater - The front glass of the scope is very prone to dewing. To prevent this, dew heaters can be wrapped around the objective lens to gently warm it and keep dew at bay, though at a cost in terms of battery charge life. A range of dew heaters and controllers can be found at http://www.altairastro.com/home.php?cat=243. The Kendrick Firefly heaters and simple two channel controllers work well and will give several years service.

Image Capture - Though a timer remote can be used with a DSLR, software packages such as APT http://www.ideiki.com/astro/ or Nebulosity http://www.stark-labs.com/nebulosity.html offer a lot of functions at reasonable cost.
LX200|ZS70|FSQ85|FLT110|Altair DF250RC|EQ6 Pro(Rowan Belt Mod)|ParamountMX
ATIK383L+/EFW2/OAG|Lodestar|Baader 36mm LRGBHaSIIOIII
Starlight Express SXVRH16/ONAG/FW|Lodestar X2|Baader 2" Filters
Starlight Express SXVRH814/ONAG/FW|LodestarX2|Baader 2" Filters
Lunt LS60PTBF1200|DMK41|Quark Chromo
Samyang 135mm f1.8

 

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