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Thread: cheap & effective autoguiding setup DYI

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    geethq's Avatar
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    Lightbulb cheap & effective autoguiding setup DYI



    I was trying to find a cost effecting autoguiding method so i was searching for a camera that cheap and can be used as a guide cam.
    I tried to use SPC900NC webcam with a 18-200mm DSLR lens and also with a 70mm refractor but they didn't work as expected probably due to low sensitivity with the SPC900NC sensor. i could only see 6mag starts and didn't work well enough.

    so i was searching for better alternatives and looking at planetary/guide cams on market. I saw that the AR0130 sensor used in popular and good cam ZWO ASI120MC(150$) is also can be found on CCTV cameras and they have cheap USB plug and play cameras for 35-40$. so i did a search and saw this thread and confirmed that it can do the job.




    this camera has a color sensor, not a mono so i though the sensitivity will be low but its very sensitive. you couldn't find the mono version of the sensor. you can see details and part numbers of this sensor here.
    camera is plug and play. no drivers needed on win10 for me. it has max 0.5sec exposures by default when i checked through sharpcap. i read somewhere that it can be increased but 0.5sec is sufficient for the job.


    here is how i did it, as you can see its not neat.. but works..

    i had this flexible lens/eyepiece cap, so made a whole inside it and connected and hot glued the webcam to 1.25" adapter i bought with Philips webcam. then covered it with some black tap and inserted it in to a 8x50 finderscope. it fitted nicely but i have added some hot glue to it to make it permanent.




    then i removed the cctv lens from from camera and put the PCB assembly in a small plastic box



    then screw it in to the finder. it can be removed/rescrewed anytime.







    so this cost me only 35$ because i already had other things which are also cheap stuff or stuff that laying around.
    finderscope : 8x50 TPO (GSO)
    guide camera : ELP AR0130 (35$)
    webcam adapter (6$)
    some lens cap and a plastic box that i had with me


    note that i'm still new to this autoguiding stuff and my setup is 21-22lb which is more than the payload recommended for AVX when doing AP
    ignore the coma(no corrector yet)

    mount - AVX
    scope - 8" GSO Newtonian
    imaging camera - D5300
    guiding software - PHD2 (select Windows WDM-style web camera, you may need to do adjust some manual settings on phd2 camera settings to get the best view)


    the star guiding here is a 9.15 mag star. i can see up to 10mag starts here just with 0.5sec exposures and 50mm scope. so it has a very good sensitivity comparing to the price



    this is a cropped screenshot from a 5 minute ISO200 raw file opened in windows photo viewer. ignore the coma, no corrector yet

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    Last edited by geethq; 01-13-2018 at 04:08 AM.
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    color="#b22222">Telescope: 10" F3.9 Orion Astrograph on Skywatcher EQ6-R Pro
    Camera: Nikon D5300a + Optolong 2" UV/IR cut with Baader MPCC mark III Coma Corrector
    Guiding: 50mm Orion scope, ASI120MM mini camera
    Planetary: QHY5III 224C, Tele vue 5X Powermate, ZWO ADC, GSO 3X ED and 5X APO barlow
    Accessories: Laser Collimator, DIY Dew shields and heaters, Celestron 15x70 Bino

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    Default Re: cheap & effective autoguiding setup DYI

    Very cool, very resourceful!
    geethq likes this.
    Scopes: Orion 130mm APO Triplet, Orion 8" f4 astrograph, 10" RC Mount: Celestron CGX-L Guiding: Orion 60mm f4 scope, Starlight Loadstar, PHD2 software - Cams: Planetary: ASI120mc, DSO:Atik 383L+, SGPsoftware Processing : Regisax, Deep Sky Stacker, Star Tools, Pixinsight Assistant: One very large cat
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    Default Re: cheap & effective autoguiding setup DYI

    Nice. Definitely far more sensitive than my Lifecam Cinema guide cam, and for not much more money.
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    Default Re: cheap & effective autoguiding setup DYI

    Just find a used Meade DSI pro mono for about 60 dollars. They work wonderfully
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    Default Re: cheap & effective autoguiding setup DYI

    Quote Originally Posted by Leveye View Post
    Just find a used Meade DSI pro mono for about 60 dollars. They work wonderfully
    but this is way cheaper+new+more sensitive+widely available.
    BABOafrica and Hillrat like this.
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    color="#b22222">Telescope: 10" F3.9 Orion Astrograph on Skywatcher EQ6-R Pro
    Camera: Nikon D5300a + Optolong 2" UV/IR cut with Baader MPCC mark III Coma Corrector
    Guiding: 50mm Orion scope, ASI120MM mini camera
    Planetary: QHY5III 224C, Tele vue 5X Powermate, ZWO ADC, GSO 3X ED and 5X APO barlow
    Accessories: Laser Collimator, DIY Dew shields and heaters, Celestron 15x70 Bino

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    Default Re: cheap & effective autoguiding setup DYI

    Many thanks for the thread. Very interesting.

    Joe
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    Default Re: cheap & effective autoguiding setup DYI

    Amazing! just the thing i was looking for !!
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    Default Re: cheap & effective autoguiding setup DYI

    When my budget came around I finally picked up the slightly more expensive version with the metal case. Removed the lens, and fixed a 1.25" EP extension to it. I removed one of the elements out of a cheap 40mm Plossl making it an 28mm f/2.9 objective and slapped it together. The end result was a micro guider for rich field telescopes.
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    8/9 suburbs
    Meade SN8/LXD-55, Celestron 130SLT, LZOS 106/10 (A.K.A MC Rubinar), Houghton-Cass 62/8, SMC Takumar 200/4
    Altair Hypercam 183c, Canon 1100D (full spectrum), Sony Nex-3 (full spectrum)
    Nikon 7-21mm, 20mm OPPL, various Plossls/Konigs/etc.

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    Default Re: cheap & effective autoguiding setup DYI

    Hey can you post some pics of the setup? Would really appreciate that.

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    Default Re: cheap & effective autoguiding setup DYI

    Awsome project! Thanks for sharing, it says Android compatible, I think I'm going to try to control it remotely with my phone.
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