Tracking vs Guiding

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Tracking vs Guiding


Post by bigfish » Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:59 am

I'm sure this has been asked a hundred times but I want to be clear before I spend a fortune on the wrong equipment.
I have read this post 5 times but I'm still a little confused.

I have an Orion SkyView Pro 8 EQ.
If I want to take pictures of the Moon and planets I can track them using the Orion GoTo upgrade kit?
If I want to take pictures of DSO I'll need to add a guide scope hooked up to the GoTo mount?
Does this sound about right?
The next thing I want to buy is the GoTo kit. Is this a logical move?
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Post by Baskevo » Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:26 am

The GoTo kit will allow you to slew to targets and track. A guidescope will allow you to take images for longer than 20, 30, 40 + seconds (depending on how good your mount is) without star trails. but unfortunately, I do not think you will be able to do much in the way of astrophotography with this setup :( You might be able to do some really simple images, but I would save the money and put it toward a better mount.

If you are set on trying to do AP now with that budget, I would go for a small tracking mount (ioptron and skywatcher have them for $300 - $400), and attaching a DSLR with a lens onto it.

The mount you have has a payload capacity of only 20 lbs.
For astrophotography, you should cut that in half. The OTA itself weighs 16.5 lbs :(

If you are set on doing AP with that OTA, you can try to find a used EQ mount with a higher payload capacity, but it will be quite a bit more unfortunately :( There are some who do budget astrophotography, but it is not without a ton of headaches and hair loss :/
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Post by Lady Fraktor » Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:38 am

I would agree, your mount is close to max capacity as it is with this telescope, still good for visual but it will struggle once you start putting the AP gear onto it.
Check prices on used mounts on craigslist, goodwill and such or places like Astro Parts Outlet
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Post by bigfish » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:07 pm

Ok, so the problem is the mount is too small for this OTA.
Is this OTA sufficient for AP, if not what is it good for?
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Post by yobbo89 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:34 pm

A quick look at the manual, it looks like you can fit a dslr to the scope, but no indication of prime focus, it states you need to insert eyepieces for Eyepiece projection imaging. so any quality deep sky imaging is a no go. fine for planets/moon.The intent design of the scope is for visual use,focusing for a camera will be difficult. you might want to look for an astrograph newt or a refractor if you want break the bank and go down the deep rabbit hole of astrophotography. ... ro_8EQ.pdf
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Post by ARock » Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:15 pm

The picture you have of the Goto Drive does seem to have a guiding port, so it should be able to guide using it, but check the manual for details of whether it acutally can.
As others have said the the OTA weighs too much for this mount making it difficult for AP. An easier way would be to mount a lighter weight refractor on the mount to do AP. These based on the quality of pictures you want can cost from $100 to $1000. This is similar to the EQ3-2 mount, so look at this thread for the kind of pictures you can take with this mount with different scopes and guiding. ... challenge/

If you are into DIY electronics, you could also build the goto drive yourself, following examples on the ONSTEP site for a lot cheaper.

FInally if you get the goto kit, be very careful about which cables go where. Plugging a wrong cable, can fry the circuit board. ... d-mistake/
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Post by JayTee » Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:55 pm

Here's the one very important detail that has not yet been discussed. Not only will you need a guide scope, you need a guide camera. The guide camera through software like PHD2 is what tells the mount how to guide on the guidestar. Your mount may work for guiding inputs from PHD2 through the ASCOM drivers but the only way to really tell is to hook it all up and see. But none of this will work without a guide camera and your DSLR will not work for that.

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Post by Piet Le Roux » Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:32 am

As far as AP is concerned I am a novice but my take on it, at this stage, is that you should not differentiate between tracking and guiding because its part of the same thing: To get good tracking one should tick all the boxes starting with your mount, there should be as little as possible play on your drives, balance must be spot on, drive training must be spot on, then you polar alignment should be near perfect, If you have PEG or PPEG, train it, then and only then you add guiding to get near perfect tracking. If your setup is not near perfect, guiding will certainly improve your tracking but it is not intended to cover up a bad setup! It is intended to improve a good setup. If you utilise all the attributes well you will have the best tracking your equipment can deliver.
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