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DSI autoguiding and imaging questions

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#1 Guest_Skyhawk727_*

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 10:11 PM


I'm getting deeper into astrophotography and trying to do so on a tight budget (what else is new).  At any rate, I presently have a permanently polar mounted 10"LX200GPS in a small observatory with a TeleVue Pronto piggybacked on top and Losmandy counterweights system on the bottom.  I'm actually pretty well on my way. In addition, I upgraded focusing and replaced the Meade electric with a Moonlite 2 speed manual focuser which houses a focal reducer. (ask me how I like the Moonlite focuser.)

I'm presently doing my imaging through both scopes but only have one camera which is a Meade DSI III pro.  I'm able to take 30-90second unguided subframes, but I'm not too happy with that.

I was using a laptop with 32bit Vista which, once Meade posted a USB/RS232 32/64bit driver worked pretty well until the laptop crapped out on me.  My other options for a PC are an old Windows XP unit or a new Windows 7 64 bit machine.  Yup, I'm using the old machine which works, but for how long is anybody's guess.

But I digress from my question(s).

I use both Envision and Nebulosity for capture and have tried PHD for autoguiding.  PHD seems to work very well using either scope and I used it for PEC which made that operation simple, but without a second camera to image, autoguiding doesn't help.

It's time to get an autoguider. 

My first question is:  If a get a Meade DSI II to use as an autoguider how does PHD know which unit will be used for guiding and which is for imaging?

Second question:  I have tried hooking up my DSI III through Envision to use as an autoguider but I keep getting the Error: Invalid IP address.  Anybody got any ideas.  I use Com 4 to connect to the scope through the Autostar Suite or The Sky the  PC without any problem, but it’s a no go with Envision.

Third question:  I’m also considering saving my sheckles  for an SBIG ST8300 camera and use the DSI as the autoguider.  Does anybody have any experience with this combo?  I know the ST8300 is new but looks like a nifty unit.

Any and all input is appreciated.


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