Date   

Re: need learning aids for astrophoto

Don Anderson
 

Hello Dick
Yes there are a lot of things to consider when getting into (or back into) this hobby. however it can be quite rewarding and mentally stimulating.

When you set your equipment priorities, the mount is the most important, just like the foundation of your house!. Get a good mount. Everything else is secondary. For the scope, you want a reasonably good scope with a solid well made focuser that can carry the weight of you imaging train without sagging or flopping around. If you go with a refractor, try to get an Apochromatic (APO) model. There are lots of well made APOs in the 100mm aperture range on the market for a reasonable price. For cameras, the choices have never been wider. If you choose to go with a dedicated astro camera, there are some great reasonably priced CCD cameras out there. The newer CMOS dedicated cooled cameras are relatively inexpensive, some are less than a good new DSLR and a lot lighter as well. If you go that route, don't try to get one with a really large sensor. Large sensor cameras require a scope with a large image circle and these are really expensive.
Take your time and do your research. There are several astro related blog sites like this one out there where you can get good information and lots of opinions!

Remember to start small and work up.

Just some more food for thought! 

Don Anderson


On Tuesday, May 5, 2020, 09:41:46 a.m. MDT, fastqx . <fastqx@...> wrote:


thanks, all of you who responded to my plea.     yep, i'm overwhelmed.    not just by the tsunami of new issues to think about, but also by everyone's kindness and generosity.       one day i hope to be less overwhelmed, but i'll always be grateful.

dick fast
atlin bc

On Tue, May 5, 2020 at 8:33 AM Geof Lewis <geoflewis@...> wrote:
Don,
Thanks for pointing out my error, I should have read the original post. Yes, a 12" will make the difficulties that I experienced with my 10" Meade all the more challenging, but I believe that it is still possible, just probably not from where you'd want to start...
Regards, Geof


Re: need learning aids for astrophoto

Don Anderson
 

No worries Geof! Another challenge Dick is facing is his location. Atlin is in the NW corner of British Columbia near the border with Alaska pan handle. This is on the lee side of the coastal mountain range. Seeing conditions will be a challenge for long focal length astrophotography. We here in Calgary Alberta face the same problem being on the East side of the Rockies. That's why I stick with wide field.
Keep safe.

Don Anderson


On Tuesday, May 5, 2020, 09:33:35 a.m. MDT, Geof Lewis <geoflewis@...> wrote:


Don,
Thanks for pointing out my error, I should have read the original post. Yes, a 12" will make the difficulties that I experienced with my 10" Meade all the more challenging, but I believe that it is still possible, just probably not from where you'd want to start...
Regards, Geof


Re: need learning aids for astrophoto

fastqx .
 

thanks, all of you who responded to my plea.     yep, i'm overwhelmed.    not just by the tsunami of new issues to think about, but also by everyone's kindness and generosity.       one day i hope to be less overwhelmed, but i'll always be grateful.

dick fast
atlin bc

On Tue, May 5, 2020 at 8:33 AM Geof Lewis <geoflewis@...> wrote:
Don,
Thanks for pointing out my error, I should have read the original post. Yes, a 12" will make the difficulties that I experienced with my 10" Meade all the more challenging, but I believe that it is still possible, just probably not from where you'd want to start...
Regards, Geof


Re: APCC Tracking Corrections Not Working #APCC

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Jerry,

I seem to have exactly the same issue. I have the latest V2 dirver, APPC version and a CTOCP4 controller. The
Tracking Correction Status in the APCC Pointing Model window never matches what is in the info bar at the
bottom of APCC. Although I had always thought that there was some sort of conversion happening between the
two sets of values and they were not meant to be the same ...
The values in the Tracking rate correction are in units sidereal secs/hour (RA) and arc-sec/hour (Dec). These values do not include and offset rates that may have been sent via the ASCOM driver for tracking an object (comet/asteroid/planet/sun/moon/etc.).

The values in the status bar are in arc-sec/sec for both RA and Dec, and *include* offset rates.

So, the values won't match unless you do a conversion. In my screenshot the values were dramatically different even after the conversion,

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Jerry
Sent: Tuesday, May 5, 2020 7:14 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] APCC Tracking Corrections Not Working #APCC

I seem to have exactly the same issue. I have the latest V2 dirver, APPC version and a CTOCP4 controller. The
Tracking Correction Status in the APCC Pointing Model window never matches what is in the info bar at the
bottom of APCC. Although I had always thought that there was some sort of conversion happening between the
two sets of values and they were not meant to be the same ...


Jerry


Re: need learning aids for astrophoto

Geof Lewis
 

Don,
Thanks for pointing out my error, I should have read the original post. Yes, a 12" will make the difficulties that I experienced with my 10" Meade all the more challenging, but I believe that it is still possible, just probably not from where you'd want to start...
Regards, Geof


Re: need learning aids for astrophoto

Don Anderson
 

I looked at his original post. His scope is a 12" Meade.

Don Anderson


On Tuesday, May 5, 2020, 03:22:20 a.m. MDT, Geof Lewis <geoflewis@...> wrote:


Hi Dick,
I tend to agree with most of the advice you've been getting, BUT I want to say that it is not so difficult to get images with a 10" Meade LX200 and a stock DSLR (mine was the Nikon D90) as that is exactly how I started out. Of course the route that I followed is not recommended, but the first thing I did (that is within a few days) after taking early retirement in 2012 was purchased a pre-owned 10" Meade LX200, at which point visual observing, not photography was my main ambition. However, it didn't take long (about 3 months) for me to try attaching my Nikon camera, then a guide scope + guide camera, focal reducer, etc, etc.. For sure the LX200 mount had terrible tracking and PE, so yielded poor shape stars, but I was excited and pretty pleased to get some reasonable DSO images, plus I learnt a lot on the way. For planetary and lunar imaging where accurate tracking is less of an issue the 10" Meade performed extremely well.
All of that said, it is FAR easier to get better results with a smaller refractor, even piggy backed on the Meade and of course I ended up parting with the LX200 in favour of a pre-owned Astro-Physics AP1200 mount, which is an absolute joy to use, but these are rare items to find, certainly in the UK where I'm located.
Good luck and above all have fun.

Geof

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Cheng-Yang Tan via groups.io <cytan299@...>
Sent: 05 May 2020 01:04
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] need learning aids for astrophoto
 
Hi Dick,
   I'm not sure that an old 10" LX200 OTA is the correct scope to start with for astrophotography. Its focal length is too long for a beginner even with a focal reducer. It also has mirror flop which means guiding should be done with an off-axis guider.
  
   I'd consider a nice f/6 100 mm to 130 mm refractor. AP sells top of the line refractors -- but getting one new will require a long wait.

  IMO, I'd really recommend buying cheaper equipment to see whether you like astrophotography first before sinking in more than $10k to $20k and then discovering you don't really like it.

cytan

On Monday, May 4, 2020, 06:39:19 PM CDT, fastqx . <fastqx@...> wrote:


thanks, charles, for the advice.    i'm a "re"-new watcher, so i appreciate all new comments.

dick fast
atlin

On Mon, May 4, 2020 at 4:34 PM Charles Thompson via groups.io <cthomp97=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Dick, there is a choice you will have to make up front on cameras. Either one shot color like the ZWO ASI294MC Pro or monochrome with red, green and blue filters like the ASI1600MM. These are the only two I have used personally and they both have pros and cons.  

For the mount, I would go with the 1100GTO.  Mach2 is over a year wait if you get on the list now. I have a 10" truss RC and it's a little bit much for the Mach1 as well as an 11" RASA. I ran these on the Mach1 and it did ok but I could tell they would be better suited to the 1100.  You call also get absolute encoders on the 1100 but I have never felt like I needed to use them. This subject could get controversial. 

Hopefully that helps some.



Thanks,
Charles

Sent from mobile device.


-------- Original message --------
From: Stuart <stuart.j.heggie@...>
Date: 5/4/20 5:37 PM (GMT-06:00)
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] need learning aids for astrophoto

Dick, get ready for the deluge of advice! LOL! This is THE list for getting help with premium gear. 

I'm pretty certain that an AP1100GTO would be more than adequate for the 12" LX200 OTA. You can get on the list for the Mach2 which I think would be awesome but not sure the wait time for those. Karen or Marj will know.

As for cameras ... if you look in this list's archives there was a very recent lively discussion about the move away from ccd to cmos and which cameras people are favouring.

As for books: you can't go wrong with the classics like Terry Dickenson's Backyard Astronomers Guide but newer resources might be more useful when it comes to gear. 

Camera choice will come down to what you want to photograph. You going to go after planets? One camera. Deep sky? A different camera. 


On Mon, 4 May 2020 at 17:30, 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


--

Stuart
http://www.astrofoto.ca/stuartheggie/


Re: Just for fun with AP1200GTO

DFisch
 

Sorry GERRT, darn autocorrect!

On Tue, May 5, 2020 at 10:55 Geert <geert.vandenbulcke@...> wrote:

Hello,

 

On 2 May 2020, over a period of 4 hours I took 120 images, each 60s exposure and 60s interval with a 150mm refractor at 1093mm focal length, unguided with my AP1200GTO mount, periodic error correction enabled.  So the mount was just running without autoguider inputs during this period.  This was to measure the changing brightness of a HADS variable star GSC3810-1553. 

 

As I had all those images anyway, I wanted to see how much the mount drifted in this 4 hour period, so I stacked the first and last images and measured a drift in RA of 14.08 arcseconds in RA (3.52"/h) and 66.56 arcseconds in Dec (16.64"/h).  This star is at +55° declination.

 

I suppose a mount with optical encoders would probably do better, but for me this is largely well enough.

 

The image stack can be seen on https://astrob.in/pve8nm/0/

 

Best regards from Belgium,

 

Geert Vandenbulcke


This email has been scanned by BullGuard antivirus protection.
For more info visit www.bullguard.com

--
TJF MOBILE


Re: Just for fun with AP1200GTO

DFisch
 

Gerry, this is a very nice and practical experiment that is very illustrative, thank for the analysis, Tom 

On Tue, May 5, 2020 at 10:55 Geert <geert.vandenbulcke@...> wrote:

Hello,

 

On 2 May 2020, over a period of 4 hours I took 120 images, each 60s exposure and 60s interval with a 150mm refractor at 1093mm focal length, unguided with my AP1200GTO mount, periodic error correction enabled.  So the mount was just running without autoguider inputs during this period.  This was to measure the changing brightness of a HADS variable star GSC3810-1553. 

 

As I had all those images anyway, I wanted to see how much the mount drifted in this 4 hour period, so I stacked the first and last images and measured a drift in RA of 14.08 arcseconds in RA (3.52"/h) and 66.56 arcseconds in Dec (16.64"/h).  This star is at +55° declination.

 

I suppose a mount with optical encoders would probably do better, but for me this is largely well enough.

 

The image stack can be seen on https://astrob.in/pve8nm/0/

 

Best regards from Belgium,

 

Geert Vandenbulcke


This email has been scanned by BullGuard antivirus protection.
For more info visit www.bullguard.com

--
TJF MOBILE


Re: Just for fun with AP1200GTO

Roland Christen
 


I suppose a mount with optical encoders would probably do better, but for me this is largely well enough.
Drift rate is not dependent on whether you have encoders. The primary drift rate is dependent first and foremost on your polar alignment. This is especially true of Dec. The RA drift rate will be affected by how close to sidereal the clock motor is running, and that depends on the crystal frequency accuracy inside your CP controller. These usually are accurate to better than 1 second per day.

Encoders provide precise pointing in both axes and moment to moment tracking accuracy that does not vary due to worm and gearbox errors. Since in your case you were not changing the position of the Dec axis or tracking in Dec, then the motor in Dec was stationary and would be stationary the same way with or without encoders.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Geert <geert.vandenbulcke@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Tue, May 5, 2020 9:55 am
Subject: [ap-gto] Just for fun with AP1200GTO

Hello,
 
On 2 May 2020, over a period of 4 hours I took 120 images, each 60s exposure and 60s interval with a 150mm refractor at 1093mm focal length, unguided with my AP1200GTO mount, periodic error correction enabled.  So the mount was just running without autoguider inputs during this period.  This was to measure the changing brightness of a HADS variable star GSC3810-1553. 
 
As I had all those images anyway, I wanted to see how much the mount drifted in this 4 hour period, so I stacked the first and last images and measured a drift in RA of 14.08 arcseconds in RA (3.52"/h) and 66.56 arcseconds in Dec (16.64"/h).  This star is at +55° declination.
 
I suppose a mount with optical encoders would probably do better, but for me this is largely well enough.
 
The image stack can be seen on https://astrob.in/pve8nm/0/
 
Best regards from Belgium,
 
Geert Vandenbulcke

This email has been scanned by BullGuard antivirus protection.
For more info visit www.bullguard.com


Just for fun with AP1200GTO

Geert
 

Hello,

 

On 2 May 2020, over a period of 4 hours I took 120 images, each 60s exposure and 60s interval with a 150mm refractor at 1093mm focal length, unguided with my AP1200GTO mount, periodic error correction enabled.  So the mount was just running without autoguider inputs during this period.  This was to measure the changing brightness of a HADS variable star GSC3810-1553. 

 

As I had all those images anyway, I wanted to see how much the mount drifted in this 4 hour period, so I stacked the first and last images and measured a drift in RA of 14.08 arcseconds in RA (3.52"/h) and 66.56 arcseconds in Dec (16.64"/h).  This star is at +55° declination.

 

I suppose a mount with optical encoders would probably do better, but for me this is largely well enough.

 

The image stack can be seen on https://astrob.in/pve8nm/0/

 

Best regards from Belgium,

 

Geert Vandenbulcke


This email has been scanned by BullGuard antivirus protection.
For more info visit www.bullguard.com


Re: need learning aids for astrophoto

Mike Dodd
 

On 5/5/2020 5:22 AM, Geof Lewis wrote:
Hi Dick,
I tend to agree with most of the advice you've been getting, BUT I want
to say that it is not so difficult to get images with a 10" Meade LX200
and a stock DSLR....
...parting with the LX200 in favour of a pre-owned Astro-Physics AP1200
mount, which is an absolute joy to use....
I'll weigh in again with a few more comments about equipment, not learning aidss.

1. I agree 100% with how wonderful the AP1200 is. I too started imaging with a 10" LX200, then quickly moved to a 9.25" SCT on a GEM, then another GEM, and finally a second-hand AP1200 that I still use. It is a wonderful mount, and imaging with it is MUCH easier than with any of the other mounts I've used.

I use a separate guide scope and camera <http://astronomy.mdodd.com/observatory.html#Autoguiding> that typically yield guiding errors less than 1 arcsec with the AP1200.

2. IMO a DSLR is a good choice if you're just starting out. But I think buying a cooled CMOS astronomy camera is a better choice if your budget allows. Consider:

A) A CMOS camera is powered from the USB (usually USB 3.0) cable, not from an internal battery that might not last through an imaging session.

B) A cooled CMOS camera has lower noise than an uncooled DSLR.

C) ZWO offers an off-axis guider (OAG) that mounts in between the OTA and the imaging camera. A small lightweight (and inexpensive) camera screws into this OAG. You can easily add autoguiding without needing a separate guide scope and camera. (I use a separate guider for specific reasons related to my imaging goals.)

There's a lot to think about; I hope you're not overwhelmed.

--
Mike

Mike Dodd
Louisa County, Virginia USA
http://astronomy.mdodd.com


Re: need learning aids for astrophoto

DFisch
 

+1 for Dean’s recs.. I read both of these before I went online for some visuals of how to put it in play.  Still a pilgrim on a pilgrimage.  Tom Fischer

On May 5, 2020, at 09:41, Terri Zittritsch <theresamarie11@...> wrote:

On Tue, May 5, 2020 at 09:18 AM, Dean Jacobsen wrote:

1. The Astrophotography Manual by Chris Woodhouse - https://www.amazon.com/Astrophotography-Manual-Practical-Scientific-Approach/dp/1138055360/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1588684414&sr=8-5

2. The Deep Sky Imaging Primer, Second Edition by Charles Bracken - https://www.amazon.com/Deep-sky-Imaging-Primer-Second/dp/0999470906/ref=sr_1_7?crid=LW7SLOLA05HO&dchild=1&keywords=astrophotography+books&qid=1588684493&sprefix=astrophotography%2Caps%2C201&sr=8-7
I'll second Dean's recommendations, and I have both of these (and wish I had both when I started out).    The forums are great for helping to solve issues but can be difficult to use as a guide for starting out, as there are so many differing opinions on what is, and is not, the way to go.   There is no substitute to getting a good foundation.

Terri



Re: need learning aids for astrophoto

Terri Zittritsch
 

On Tue, May 5, 2020 at 09:18 AM, Dean Jacobsen wrote:

1. The Astrophotography Manual by Chris Woodhouse - https://www.amazon.com/Astrophotography-Manual-Practical-Scientific-Approach/dp/1138055360/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1588684414&sr=8-5

2. The Deep Sky Imaging Primer, Second Edition by Charles Bracken - https://www.amazon.com/Deep-sky-Imaging-Primer-Second/dp/0999470906/ref=sr_1_7?crid=LW7SLOLA05HO&dchild=1&keywords=astrophotography+books&qid=1588684493&sprefix=astrophotography%2Caps%2C201&sr=8-7
I'll second Dean's recommendations, and I have both of these (and wish I had both when I started out).    The forums are great for helping to solve issues but can be difficult to use as a guide for starting out, as there are so many differing opinions on what is, and is not, the way to go.   There is no substitute to getting a good foundation.

Terri


Re: need learning aids for astrophoto

Dean Jacobsen
 

Hi Dick, you asked for "learning aids" so here are a couple of recent books I would recommend:

1. The Astrophotography Manual by Chris Woodhouse - https://www.amazon.com/Astrophotography-Manual-Practical-Scientific-Approach/dp/1138055360/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1588684414&sr=8-5

2. The Deep Sky Imaging Primer, Second Edition by Charles Bracken - https://www.amazon.com/Deep-sky-Imaging-Primer-Second/dp/0999470906/ref=sr_1_7?crid=LW7SLOLA05HO&dchild=1&keywords=astrophotography+books&qid=1588684493&sprefix=astrophotography%2Caps%2C201&sr=8-7

Both are great book and either [or both] will get you a good start on the modern cameras, mounts, software and techniques.

Good luck.
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/ 
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 


Re: need learning aids for astrophoto

Geof Lewis
 

Hi Dick,
I tend to agree with most of the advice you've been getting, BUT I want to say that it is not so difficult to get images with a 10" Meade LX200 and a stock DSLR (mine was the Nikon D90) as that is exactly how I started out. Of course the route that I followed is not recommended, but the first thing I did (that is within a few days) after taking early retirement in 2012 was purchased a pre-owned 10" Meade LX200, at which point visual observing, not photography was my main ambition. However, it didn't take long (about 3 months) for me to try attaching my Nikon camera, then a guide scope + guide camera, focal reducer, etc, etc.. For sure the LX200 mount had terrible tracking and PE, so yielded poor shape stars, but I was excited and pretty pleased to get some reasonable DSO images, plus I learnt a lot on the way. For planetary and lunar imaging where accurate tracking is less of an issue the 10" Meade performed extremely well.
All of that said, it is FAR easier to get better results with a smaller refractor, even piggy backed on the Meade and of course I ended up parting with the LX200 in favour of a pre-owned Astro-Physics AP1200 mount, which is an absolute joy to use, but these are rare items to find, certainly in the UK where I'm located.
Good luck and above all have fun.

Geof


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Cheng-Yang Tan via groups.io <cytan299@...>
Sent: 05 May 2020 01:04
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] need learning aids for astrophoto
 
Hi Dick,
   I'm not sure that an old 10" LX200 OTA is the correct scope to start with for astrophotography. Its focal length is too long for a beginner even with a focal reducer. It also has mirror flop which means guiding should be done with an off-axis guider.
  
   I'd consider a nice f/6 100 mm to 130 mm refractor. AP sells top of the line refractors -- but getting one new will require a long wait.

  IMO, I'd really recommend buying cheaper equipment to see whether you like astrophotography first before sinking in more than $10k to $20k and then discovering you don't really like it.

cytan

On Monday, May 4, 2020, 06:39:19 PM CDT, fastqx . <fastqx@...> wrote:


thanks, charles, for the advice.    i'm a "re"-new watcher, so i appreciate all new comments.

dick fast
atlin

On Mon, May 4, 2020 at 4:34 PM Charles Thompson via groups.io <cthomp97=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Dick, there is a choice you will have to make up front on cameras. Either one shot color like the ZWO ASI294MC Pro or monochrome with red, green and blue filters like the ASI1600MM. These are the only two I have used personally and they both have pros and cons.  

For the mount, I would go with the 1100GTO.  Mach2 is over a year wait if you get on the list now. I have a 10" truss RC and it's a little bit much for the Mach1 as well as an 11" RASA. I ran these on the Mach1 and it did ok but I could tell they would be better suited to the 1100.  You call also get absolute encoders on the 1100 but I have never felt like I needed to use them. This subject could get controversial. 

Hopefully that helps some.



Thanks,
Charles

Sent from mobile device.


-------- Original message --------
From: Stuart <stuart.j.heggie@...>
Date: 5/4/20 5:37 PM (GMT-06:00)
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] need learning aids for astrophoto

Dick, get ready for the deluge of advice! LOL! This is THE list for getting help with premium gear. 

I'm pretty certain that an AP1100GTO would be more than adequate for the 12" LX200 OTA. You can get on the list for the Mach2 which I think would be awesome but not sure the wait time for those. Karen or Marj will know.

As for cameras ... if you look in this list's archives there was a very recent lively discussion about the move away from ccd to cmos and which cameras people are favouring.

As for books: you can't go wrong with the classics like Terry Dickenson's Backyard Astronomers Guide but newer resources might be more useful when it comes to gear. 

Camera choice will come down to what you want to photograph. You going to go after planets? One camera. Deep sky? A different camera. 


On Mon, 4 May 2020 at 17:30, 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


--

Stuart
http://www.astrofoto.ca/stuartheggie/


Re: need learning aids for astrophoto

Ken Browne
 

I agree with Cheng-Yang Tan - wow, starting imaging with the Meade 10" SCT would be extraordinarily challenging.  


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


Re: need learning aids for astrophoto

fd@...
 

I would not start AstroPhotography with a 3048mm FL scope.  But buy a mount that can support it later, and an 80-100mm triplet refractor for now.   Camera? A ZWO cooled one-shot color camera is a good choice.  Mono is "better" but much more complicated
--
Mach1GTO and GTOCP4 on permanent pier


Re: need learning aids for astrophoto

fjk5146
 

I found the following book very helpful when I was dipping my toe into Astrophotography: Getting Started: Long Exposure Astrophotography by Allan Hall.  It is available on Amazon. 

It covers the basics: mount, camera, guiding etc.  The equipment section is probably a little out of date, but the fundamentals discussed in each section are still valid.  It provides a good overview of the whole process.  

I started out with a non-Astro-Physics mount but later moved to an AP1100.  Once I moved the the AP1100 I found that I was no longer fiddling with the mount because it just blends into the background.  Once your ready to actually start trying to image, I would recommend that you start with a 90-127mm refractor.   If you jump right into a long focal length scope you could spend a lot of time chasing your tail while you're trying to learn the basics.  Just my 2 cents.

Fred


--
Fred Keller
Gold Creek Observatory
Martinsville, IN


Re: APCC Tracking Corrections Not Working #APCC

Ray Gralak
 

Are you by any chance using a GTOCP3?

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): https://www.astro-physics.com/apcc-pro
Author of PEMPro V3: https://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: https://www.siriusimaging.com/apdriver

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of dnakic via groups.io
Sent: Monday, May 4, 2020 2:20 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] APCC Tracking Corrections Not Working #APCC

Ray, I did an experiment to understand the source of issue. When I run APCC and nothing else, including not
having the ASCOM V2 I immediately get the -15.04056 vs the 4.48 in Tracking Correction. I don’t know of where
I could introduce an offset. Open to suggestions of the source and how to resolve.

9661 - 9680 of 79796