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Thursday, April 1st, 2010
 
DAY 1 OF THE GREAT MIGRATION TO AUTO GUIDING.............
SOFTWARE & DRIVERS, CABLES, RINGS, DOVETAILS, MULTIPLE ADAPTERS, ETC, ETC:
 
Oh Ohhhhhh......I am now committed to [try] autoguiding and all that goes with it.   Neil stopped by, and we spent the next 3 hours piggy-backing my 80mm scope onto my 6" Newtonian, and loading software.   Looks like PHD Guiding isn't going to work with my StarShoot II CCD guide camera......so I am now looking at using the Maxim DL software that came with the camera.   We got the camera talking to the computer and the mount, so now I have to get it calibrated.
 
We were able to get the planetarium software, "Stellarium" to control the mount.  We'll see how accurately it works under real-time conditions.   We did a fake alignment of the scope in the garage, and it seemed to work quite well........click on an object, and the mount moves right to it.
 
So now I need to buy a 4 port USB hub to connect all this stuff to the computer at the same time..........DSLR = 2 USB, StarShoot = 1 USB, Scope control = 1 USB, Guiding control = 1 USB.   Add my USB mouse and I've filled 6 USB connections.
 
I should be out right now......some semi-clear sky.....but I am too tired to drag it all out to the driveway tonight.   The first order of business will be to align the guidescope with the primary scope......then the fun begins trying to calibate the autoguider.
 
Are you sure this is the way Edwin Hubble started?
 
This flies in the face of my "Keep It Simple Stupid" [KISS] concept, but what can possibly go wrong.....go wrong.....go wrong.......go wrong........
 
Oh, and I forgot to mention I am now on the hook for $75 for cables and adapters, plus additional money to pay for borrowed rings and dovetail.   I also have a borrowed field flattener......if it works well, there is another expense.  Sheeeesh.  LOL
 
4 years ago, I had a wild hair to aim my point & shoot at the eyepiece of my Dob.  In hindsight, that may have been a mistake.  :)   Now, look at the fine mess I've gotten myself into..........


Image Gallery For This Session
6 inch Newtonian 80mm ST refractor
   

6_inch_Newtonian_80mm_ST_refractor.jpg
Click picture above for larger version
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Comments:
On 04/02/10 at 12:56am Barry wrote:
NOW, you tell me. LOL

On 04/02/10 at 12:44am Neil Heacock wrote:
And just as an FYI, the process of calibrating the guider for 1) only takes a minute (assuming all is going well) and 2) happens every time you switch objects. So you don't calibrate once, but once every time you move the mount to point to an object.

May the force be with you!

-Neil



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