Re: need learning aids for astrophoto

Don Anderson

Hello Dick
Welcome back to the astronomy/Astrophotography hobby! A lot has changed with the hobby in the past 25 years. There is a wide range of equipment available to the amature today ie. mounts, scopes, cameras as well as associated support equipment and software that  amatures, and some pros only dreamed about 25 years ago. You need to figure out what kind of astrophotography you want to do and what would work best for your location as well as what you feel you are capable of. Your 12" Meade is a large heavy long focal length scope which could be difficult to master as the basis of a starting astrophoto rig. My suggestion would be to start with a good mount such as an AP, a reasonably good smaller to medium size short f/l scope such as a short focus refractor of say 100 mm aperture, possibly a DSLR(unmodified to start) or a one shot color cooled astro camera. I would keep things as simple as possible so you don't get overwhelmed and frustrated. This hobby can be quite taxing physically and mentally.
As far as equipment goes, I would recommend you search sites like Canada-wide Astronomy Buy & Sell or Astromart for good used equipment. Can't go wrong with an Astro Physics mount new or good used. They are rock solid and simple to use with great support from the manufacture and from people on sites like this.
With regards to software, there is a dizzying array of choices out there from expensive to freeware. Do your research on that as well. Keep in mind that you don't want to get overwhelmed with complicated software suites when you are just starting out. I would start with basic camera control software and try using the mounts hand control (AP has an excellent one) to select and track your targets. I would suggest you spend a good deal of time researching what's available for your budget(none of this is cheap especially in Canadian dollars!). Not sure if there is any local astro clubs near you. Atlin is pretty remote but try to find someone who can help you through the early stages.
Just my Toonys worth!
Good luck. 

Don Anderson

On Monday, May 4, 2020, 03:30:32 p.m. MDT, fastqx . <fastqx@...> wrote:

i'm an old guy who, after 25 years absence, (now at N 59.5 degrees) wants to watch the sky again. can you help me find a book/course/tutorial that would update me on modern amateur astrophotography? i am building a new dome, and have an old meade 12" lx200. electronics are eff-ed, but ota is just fine. i'm looking for a solid equatorial mount and the requisite "go-to" and tracking software.

dick fast
atlin bc canada

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