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INDI Library v1.8.5 Released (19 Apr 2020)

April 2020 release of INDI Library v1.8.5 introduces new drivers while providing fixes and improvements to existing devices and core framework.

Re:Newbie need advise on buying his 1st GEM

2 months 1 day ago
mhammady
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Re:Newbie need advise on buying his 1st GEM #55526
Hi all,

As the topic said I have almost zero experience about the GEM. I’ve concluded that I need good one for AP, but my budget is limited to around $1k. I’m inclining towards Celestron AVX just because I trust Celestron products and it fits my budget.

I would appreciate any advise before I place the order :)


Thank you
Mohamed

- Mohamed

Celestron 8SE
Sky-Watcher HEQ5 Pro mount
Raspberry Pi 4 Kstars-Ekos-Indi server
JMI Motofocus
OAG with ASI120MM Mini (mono) guide
Canon T3i
ZWO WFW
Celestron f/6.3 reducer

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2 months 1 day ago 2 months 1 day ago by El Corazon.
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Re:Newbie need advise on buying his 1st GEM #55527
What size of telescope do you want to put on it, and how portable does it have to be?

Don't underestimate the weight of the mount itself and how long it takes you to set up. That will make a huge difference how often you will actually use the mount.

Will you have to travel to a dark site, or will you take images from your backyard?

Having started with astrophotography about 3 years ago, I can tell you what factors have become important for me:

1) Fast setup so I can image at a moment's notice and don't need half an hour to prepare even in my backyard. If you always have to break down your rig every morning, schlepping it out again in the evening gets old very quickly. If you can let it sit there set up for a week, that is less of a factor.

2) Do you have to travel to a dark site? If you have to drive a long distance just for imaging for single night, you will not be doing that for very long, unless you are retired.

3) How much can you lift on a benchpress? These mounts can be heavy, so bear that in mind.

If you are just starting out, and if I were to do it all over again, I would be getting a very light travel mount that can carry a WO Z61 or Z71 FIRST. The iOptron SmartEQPro+ fits that bill. It can be driven by rechargeable batteries in the mount itself. It is full GoTo, but it is lower end, so not very precise on its own. To get good astroimages, you have to guide. But it weighs little, so I have my telescope with Pi4, camera, power supplies, everything set up on the mount itself and I just carry it out from my living room when I feel like imaging. Setup time is 2 min. I use that A LOT, simply because it is so easy.

I would honestly go that route. For $1K, you would get the mount, the telescope and the Pi4, basically everything you need to start imaging. Find out if you like it, gain experience, then upgrade to a larger mount and telescope next year. There is no upper end to how powerful you can go. But I suggest to start out small.

Hope this helps,

Jo


PS: This is my setup with the small iOptron mount: indilib.org/forum/focusers-filter-wheels....html?start=36#53928

Atlas Pro AZ-EQ, ASI1600MM-Pro, ASI120MM-S, ES102ED, WO-Z61, Nikon D3300, ASI-EFW, ZWO LRGB,Ha,O3,S2 filter set

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2 months 1 day ago 2 months 1 day ago by limburg11.
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Re:Newbie need advise on buying his 1st GEM #55528
Hi Mohamed,

I have a Skywatcher HEQ-5 which is in the same class as the AVX. Costs just below 1000 Euros here in Europe. I have it loaded with almost 10 kg (Celestron C9.25“) which is the upper limit for AP IMHO. I‘m really satisfied with the mount, I decided to buy a HEQ-5 and not an EQ-6 because of the price (I had a budget of 1000 as well) and the lower weight (I have to carry it out and into the house every session...).

The Skywatcher EQs work with the Indilib EQMOD driver which is really nice and loaded with options. What telescope are you planning to use with the mount?

CS, Bernd

Edit: From the image in your other post (NexStar...) and your scope‘s focal length of 2032 mm you seem to have a NexStar 8. An 8“ SCT perfectly fits a HEQ-5 (and AVX, too) with room (concerning payload) for additional equipment like guide scope, filter wheel, whatever.

Celestron C9.25 on HEQ-5 with belt mod, Celestron SCT focuser, ASI294MC Pro, ASI290MM mini (off-axis guiding), Astroberry on RPi4b, PixInsight

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2 months 1 day ago
mhammady
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Re:Newbie need advise on buying his 1st GEM #55531
Hi Jo

Thank you for your reply. My gear (without mount) is about 16 lbs (C8SE, guide scope, OAG, T3i camera, ZWO guide camera, pi, and other accessories). Of course, easy setup is a huge advantage, but I don't mind leave the mount (with suitable cover) over the deck as I mainly use it in my backyard. I plan to travel to an astronomy park, but I don't think that would be often. I want to replace the AltAz mount that came with the 8SE with GEM.

- Mohamed

Celestron 8SE
Sky-Watcher HEQ5 Pro mount
Raspberry Pi 4 Kstars-Ekos-Indi server
JMI Motofocus
OAG with ASI120MM Mini (mono) guide
Canon T3i
ZWO WFW
Celestron f/6.3 reducer

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2 months 1 day ago
mhammady
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Re:Newbie need advise on buying his 1st GEM #55532

limburg11 wrote: Hi Mohamed,

I have a Skywatcher HEQ-5 which is in the same class as the AVX. Costs just below 1000 Euros here in Europe. I have it loaded with almost 10 kg (Celestron C9.25“) which is the upper limit for AP IMHO. I‘m really satisfied with the mount, I decided to buy a HEQ-5 and not an EQ-6 because of the price (I had a budget of 1000 as well) and the lower weight (I have to carry it out and into the house every session...).

The Skywatcher EQs work with the Indilib EQMOD driver which is really nice and loaded with options. What telescope are you planning to use with the mount?

CS, Bernd

Edit: From the image in your other post (NexStar...) and your scope‘s focal length of 2032 mm you seem to have a NexStar 8. An 8“ SCT perfectly fits a HEQ-5 (and AVX, too) with room (concerning payload) for additional equipment like guide scope, filter wheel, whatever.


Thank you Bernd, You are correct, I have the SCT 8SE with Canon 600D & both OAG and guider scope (experimenting). I have also other accessories for the Nexstar mount as Celestron SkySync GPS. Do you know if I can use it with HEQ-5?

Here is my latest rig picture

- Mohamed

Celestron 8SE
Sky-Watcher HEQ5 Pro mount
Raspberry Pi 4 Kstars-Ekos-Indi server
JMI Motofocus
OAG with ASI120MM Mini (mono) guide
Canon T3i
ZWO WFW
Celestron f/6.3 reducer
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2 months 1 day ago
limburg11
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Re:Newbie need advise on buying his 1st GEM #55533
Hmm, I don‘t think that the SkySync will work with the HEQ-5 but I don‘t know for sure.

I‘m using the HEQ-5 with Indi on a Raspi which has internet connection (via my house wifi). So the EQMOD driver gets the coordinates and local time from the Pi, so no need for a GPS module. But if you‘re out in the field, a standalone GPS receiver is nice and comfortable.

Celestron C9.25 on HEQ-5 with belt mod, Celestron SCT focuser, ASI294MC Pro, ASI290MM mini (off-axis guiding), Astroberry on RPi4b, PixInsight

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2 months 1 day ago
El Corazon
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Re:Newbie need advise on buying his 1st GEM #55534
The GPS should not be the decisive factor. You can use a GPS dongle instead for the few times you are going to a dark site. If you are at home, you won't need it. Enter your coordinates once and you are set.

www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NWEEWW8/ref..._title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I would also recommend the HEQ-5. Thought about that as well, but don't have first hand experience with it. But I know it uses EQMOD and that is the same driver my Atlas Pro is using. And that works VERY WELL, from Day 1, no problem.

The SmartEQ is too small for your telescope, so forget that recommendation. I did not know you already had one.

Atlas Pro AZ-EQ, ASI1600MM-Pro, ASI120MM-S, ES102ED, WO-Z61, Nikon D3300, ASI-EFW, ZWO LRGB,Ha,O3,S2 filter set
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2 months 1 day ago
El Corazon
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Re:Newbie need advise on buying his 1st GEM #55535

mhammady wrote:

limburg11 wrote: Hi Mohamed,

I have a Skywatcher HEQ-5 which is in the same class as the AVX. Costs just below 1000 Euros here in Europe. I have it loaded with almost 10 kg (Celestron C9.25“) which is the upper limit for AP IMHO. I‘m really satisfied with the mount, I decided to buy a HEQ-5 and not an EQ-6 because of the price (I had a budget of 1000 as well) and the lower weight (I have to carry it out and into the house every session...).

The Skywatcher EQs work with the Indilib EQMOD driver which is really nice and loaded with options. What telescope are you planning to use with the mount?

CS, Bernd

Edit: From the image in your other post (NexStar...) and your scope‘s focal length of 2032 mm you seem to have a NexStar 8. An 8“ SCT perfectly fits a HEQ-5 (and AVX, too) with room (concerning payload) for additional equipment like guide scope, filter wheel, whatever.


Thank you Bernd, You are correct, I have the SCT 8SE with Canon 600D & both OAG and guider scope (experimenting). I have also other accessories for the Nexstar mount as Celestron SkySync GPS. Do you know if I can use it with HEQ-5?

Here is my latest rig picture



The biggest problem I see with that setup is the deck. That vibrates like crazy! No way will you get good long exposures with that. You either need a pier or transfer your telescope to the lawn. Best to put some tiles into the ground as well, to reduce shifting soil problems. I have done that in my lawn and have had no problems since.

Atlas Pro AZ-EQ, ASI1600MM-Pro, ASI120MM-S, ES102ED, WO-Z61, Nikon D3300, ASI-EFW, ZWO LRGB,Ha,O3,S2 filter set

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2 months 1 day ago
ChrisRowland
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Re:Newbie need advise on buying his 1st GEM #55539
I've had an AVX for many years and I think it's an excellent mount. It certainy carries 10 kg for imaging.

Jo's point about having a set up that is quick and easy to set up - and more importantly close down in a hurry - is a good one, and the AVX does it for me. I've got two 80mm scopes mounted side by side with a Raspi 3 driving an Atik 383L+, an ASI 1120mm guide camera, a Moonlite focuser and a quantum filter wheel. The mount is controlled using a separate Pi zero. Everything is connected wirelesly and I'm using 12V to 5V adaptors so the whole lot is driven by one 12V supply. I can carry it out and set it up in 5 minutes and get it in in two.

One thing about the Celestron mounts is that the alignment and control is mature and just works.
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2 months 1 day ago
mhammady
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Re:Newbie need advise on buying his 1st GEM #55541

ChrisRowland wrote: I've had an AVX for many years and I think it's an excellent mount. It certainy carries 10 kg for imaging.


Thank you Chris. Do you have any issues with AVX with Ecos/Indi use?


Thank you
Mohamed

- Mohamed

Celestron 8SE
Sky-Watcher HEQ5 Pro mount
Raspberry Pi 4 Kstars-Ekos-Indi server
JMI Motofocus
OAG with ASI120MM Mini (mono) guide
Canon T3i
ZWO WFW
Celestron f/6.3 reducer

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2 months 1 day ago
mhammady
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Re:Newbie need advise on buying his 1st GEM #55543

El Corazon wrote: The biggest problem I see with that setup is the deck. That vibrates like crazy! No way will you get good long exposures with that. You either need a pier or transfer your telescope to the lawn. Best to put some tiles into the ground as well, to reduce shifting soil problems. I have done that in my lawn and have had no problems since.


Do you think Celestron Vibration Suppression Pads will solve this problem?

www.celestron.com/products/vsp-vibration-suppression-pads

- Mohamed

Celestron 8SE
Sky-Watcher HEQ5 Pro mount
Raspberry Pi 4 Kstars-Ekos-Indi server
JMI Motofocus
OAG with ASI120MM Mini (mono) guide
Canon T3i
ZWO WFW
Celestron f/6.3 reducer

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2 months 1 day ago 2 months 1 day ago by El Corazon.
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Re:Newbie need advise on buying his 1st GEM #55544

mhammady wrote:

El Corazon wrote: The biggest problem I see with that setup is the deck. That vibrates like crazy! No way will you get good long exposures with that. You either need a pier or transfer your telescope to the lawn. Best to put some tiles into the ground as well, to reduce shifting soil problems. I have done that in my lawn and have had no problems since.


Do you think Celestron Vibration Suppression Pads will solve this problem?

www.celestron.com/products/vsp-vibration-suppression-pads


Short answer is 'no', because what is vibrating are the wooden 2x4s on the deck. I made that experience first hand a few years ago when I wanted to image a moonrise in a nature preserve in New Mexico. There was an observation deck, sturdier that your patio deck, and whenever someone moved at the other end of the deck the entire camera moved about half a moon's width. That was with a 600 mm lens. Imagine the trails that will make with your 8"! I could see the image shaking even from breathing in and out when I was alone on that deck.

I also have vibration pads, they are good to prevent the tripod legs from sinking into the grass, so definitely they will work there, but they will make no difference at all on your deck.

You can try that out with your current setup, just take 10s exposures with your Alt/Az mount while moving around on your deck, then look at the star trails. If you are serious about astrophotography, you will see right away that that is not going to work.
Don't take my word for it, try it out. You already have the equipment to do that test.

PS: If you run the rig exclusively from inside the house, maybe, just maybe, you will get a few useful frames, but the problem with that will be that for the polar alignment you will have to step out on the deck and that will bend the 2x4s enough to throw off your polar alignment. I see no way how can get around that. What you could do, is cut a hole in the deck and sink a concrete pier into the ground below, at least 3 to 4' deep. Make sure that the deck is not touching the pier anywhere. Then that site will work for your mount.

Atlas Pro AZ-EQ, ASI1600MM-Pro, ASI120MM-S, ES102ED, WO-Z61, Nikon D3300, ASI-EFW, ZWO LRGB,Ha,O3,S2 filter set

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