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    toddpe's Avatar
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    Default Guide scope on ETX 90-EC?

    I am currently using a Meade ETX 90-EC with the #497 AutoStar. When I take an exposure longer than 15 seconds I still get lines. Is there a way to add a guide scope into the system? On the telescope, I have two AUX inputs that aren't being used and one HBX port that is used for the controller. On the controler, there is another HBX used to connect to the telescope and one AUX input.
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    Telescopes:Mead ETX 90ec Eye pices:9.7mm Super Plössl, 26mm Super Plössl, and Barlow lens. Camera:Canon EOS 30D

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    Default Re: Guide scope on ETX 90-EC?

    I have an ETX-125 and -- it is F/15, so I can relate to your issue quite well. Two things that I have had success with on that -- I polar align the tripod using a PoleMaster. I bought the universal adapter and it mounts right on the latitude plate using a screw. After that, I mount the ETX-125 and I then use a QHY Miniguidescope with a QHY-5II camera and PHD-2. Although my FL is 1905mm and the guidescope is 120mm -- it works okay. I have not had it available for some time, but -- I was getting good 15 second subs from that. These scopes aren't built to hold a lot of extra weight and the Synta mount limits the choices, but -- the QHY is Synta mount and PHD-2 can guide your mount pretty well.

    You will have to plug into the HBX, not the mount. You might also need a RS-232 to USB converter. However, the very first thing you should check out is the upgrades available here... Star Tools GPS Having a GPS input will help, as well.

    Meade made an adapter for the ETX-90 to allow using ST-4, and I have one of those, but -- you are better off to connect PHD-2 to your mount using ASCOM.

    Be warned -- this will be expensive! I only did mine because I am stubborn and really like the ETX line. You can get good results with 30 second exposures and -- you can probably do that with the ETX-90 and PHD-2.
    Meade ETX-125 Observer (127mm f/15) Maksutov-Cassegrain
    Explore Scientific ED80CF f/6 Apochromatic Refractor
    Celestron AVX
    QHY 30mm Mini Guidescope
    QHY 5II Guide camera

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    cjdawson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guide scope on ETX 90-EC?

    If you are using SharpCap Pro to take your images, there is a polar alignment tool in there, which works great for me. It does the same job as the pole master, but using cameras that you already have. It's requirement is that it needs to be able to see about 5 degrees of sky near the pole and it'll help you get perfect alignment from there. I use it all the time on to align my LX-90, but I'm using a Starlight Express Superstar camera and a SkyWatcher ST-80 piggy backed on the LX-90 to do the alignment. Works a treat.

    Also you don't need to spend money on StarTools. I'm a programmer and have just released a new driver for the Meade scopes, it already supports the Autostar #497 (and audio star) and I have created an other program called AscomGPS that lets you set the scope co-ordinates using a GPS attached to your computer. Best part, it's all free.



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