Lacerta MGEN II

Boommutt
30 May, 2018 02:02
I am interested in the Lacerta MGEN II. Seems almost no one has one in the USA. What is the general opinion of this device? Is it easier than using PHD2 (I understand it doesn't use a laptop, which is part of the appeal)?
Thank you!
M.Henssler
30 May, 2018 17:28
Hello Boommutt,
I use the Mgen II for a little more than a year now.I never had anything else,so I cannot compare it to other Guiding Systems.
But as far as I know of,if you do not want to carry a Computer with you,the Mgen is the definitive Solution.
It just works,I never had a Mgen related Guiding Problem.I run it on an off Axis Guider and with Guiding Scope,both works well.
I can recommend it.
CS,Marc
Boommutt
30 May, 2018 17:33
Thank you!
PeterFeltóti
30 May, 2018 23:29
Mgen for everyone 😉
FrankT68
31 May, 2018 08:36
Hello Boonmutt,
I'm using the MGEN for three years now. I never had guiding issues. It simply works. You have plenty of options to adapt the guiding parameters to your setup and you don't need a computer. For me it's the perfect guiding solution.
CS,
Frank
_Frank_
31 May, 2018 12:41
Hi Boommutt,

and also not to forget: You can use the MGEN for steering your Canon DSLR (exposure time, number of exposures, etc.) and you are able to use Dithering, which is a real advantage. I like this autoguider a lot :-)

Frank
astrobrandy
31 May, 2018 19:39
Hi to you all,

I am also a user of the MGEN for more than three years. This autoguider is one of the best things I ever purchased, absolutely superbe.
I love it to work with it.

many greetings to all users of the MGEN

Stefan
Edited 31 May, 2018 19:39
BastiH
31 May, 2018 20:36
Hi Boommutt,

I can only agree - it's a superb guider. Once you have found the correct settings for your setup, it just works perfectly and seems to be very resistant to changing temperatures, air humidity etc.

CS

Basti
Sky-Jennersdorf
31 May, 2018 20:49
Good Evening!

I‘ve started with PHD but the MGEN is an absolute dream to use, so easy to handle, dithering, exposure programming for the DSLR, also for Nikon, clearly thumbs up for it!

👍
Boommutt
31 May, 2018 23:50
How many of you used PHD2 before and then switched to the Lacerta? I am finding PHD2 to have way too many variables to keep track of. Any comments?
THANK YOU ALL AGAIN!
ImNewHere
01 Jun, 2018 06:23
I bought 2 and they are great! I need 2 more so I can run them on all 4 mounts!
GWLopez
01 Jun, 2018 15:34
I used PHD2 for about a year and had occasional guiding failures that were frustrating, despite much tweaking and input from expert users. I’ve been using MGEN for about 10 months. It is very easy to use and has worked flawlessly. There have even been occasions were the imaging camera output is badly obscured by fog or clouds, but the MGEN continues to guide perfectly. I have even moved from SGP to APT because APT supports MGEN dithering. Again, it works every time and affords tight, round stars and reduced noise.
Edited 01 Jun, 2018 22:42
Boommutt
01 Jun, 2018 23:03
Sorry Gary but what are SGP and APT?
Astro-tuto
01 Jun, 2018 23:10
European use MGen a lot, me and friends have one.
Very reliable, powerful, no problem, efficient, fantastic ;-)
GWLopez
02 Jun, 2018 01:14
I apologize for the acronyms. Sequence Generator Pro and Astro Photography Tool. Both are applications for planning and executing astrophotography. SGP is very powerful and flexible. APT is not as capable, but it does support MGEN.
StephenGarretson
02 Jun, 2018 08:55
I just got an MGEN II and have not yet figured out the right settings.

Here’s my setup. If anyone has a similar configuration it’d be great to know your settings.
William Optics FLT 132
Starlight Xpress OAG [on scope side of filter wheel]
Starlight Xpress USB filter wheel/2” NB filters
ZWO 1600MM/ or Atik 16200 M
Paramount MyT

I have tried the MGEN on a William Optics 200mm [9x50] guide scope. Not set up to use on the OAG yet. The guide scope is very solidly mounted; I don’t think flexure is an issue. I would really like to be able to get to 15-20 minute exposures for the Atik to totally smother read noise, and yield great subs for NB.

I let it choose the guide star.
Last time I did fine focus to get the column narrower, but it seemed to make it worse.
Calibration nets 99-100% orthogonal, so it’s good.
What exposure length, gain setting, etc. seem best?

Any help is appreciated.

…Stephen
M.Henssler
02 Jun, 2018 09:48
Hi Stephen,

the Mgen has been designed to work with Finder Scopes like your 9x50,so I would suggest the Factory settings and
please do not forget totell the Mgen the correct Focal length of the Guide Scope.
I run it on a 60/240mm Guide Scope with Factory settings and have no Issues with 10min. Exposures.
Also I have it on an OAG with a Megrez 72,also Factory Settings and it runs great.
What exactly are your Issues? I had once a problem with enourmous Shifting,but it was relaed to balancing the Mount right.
You could also get in touch with Lacerta directly,they speak english and they will help you hasselfree.Those Guys are really great!
Hope that helps.
CS,Marc
Edited 02 Jun, 2018 09:49
Hornisse
02 Jun, 2018 13:31
MGEN was my best investment in AP.
A must-have-tool.
Boommutt
02 Jun, 2018 16:19
Stephen, your photos are gorgeous. I am hoping to get a MGEN soon. Let us know about your progress with the MGEN. Where did you purchase it?
Tim
iamsiggi
02 Jun, 2018 19:25
I start Astrophotography now near 4 years before.  By reading about AP it was clear that I need guiding too. After some month to see how I can manange AP, I additional buy the MGenII. It work great since this time, I use only a small finderscope 50/180 and with an Y Cable I trigger the exposure of 2 Cameras.
Here in Austria we have the luck to know the People of Lacerta, and the support is always great.
Over the years, there was al lot of new features developed, and you can update simply by firmeware update.

Siegfried
PeterFeltóti
04 Jun, 2018 09:29
M.Henssler
Hi Stephen,the Mgen has been designed to work with Finder Scopes like your 9x50,so I would suggest the Factory settings and
please do not forget totell the Mgen the correct Focal length of the Guide Scope.
I run it on a 60/240mm Guide Scope with Factory settings and have no Issues with 10min. Exposures.
Also I have it on an OAG with a Megrez 72,also Factory Settings and it runs great.
What exactly are your Issues? I had once a problem with enourmous Shifting,but it was relaed to balancing the Mount right.
You could also get in touch with Lacerta directly,they speak english and they will help you hasselfree.Those Guys are really great!
Hope that helps.
CS,Marc

Surprisely the focal length of the guider scope does not matter at all. The calculation algorythm does not use it at all. Correction tolerance has to be correctly set based on your guider focal length. For example if 0.2 is good for the 200mm, than with OAG on a 800 mm tube, the tolerance should be set to around 0.8-1. This is how the guider scope focal length matters, but that field in Mgen does not do anything
ftapissier
04 Jun, 2018 11:17
Boommutt
I am interested in the Lacerta MGEN II. Seems almost no one has one in the USA. What is the general opinion of this device? Is it easier than using PHD2 (I understand it doesn't use a laptop, which is part of the appeal)?Thank you!
Hello
I have lacerta for 3 years and I use it successfully. the interface to PHD is simpler overall, but there are a few less practical things. the screen is small and therefore the menus are on several "pages". to change the date numeric values, for example, you have to drag the cursor to the digit to be changed, click on set and then use the up and down arrows, scroll the numbers. the selection by "set" is in my opinion superfluous. I love this device because it allowed me to be nomadic and consume much less energy, and it's really effective. I have the impression that it is a kind of PHD adpaté to this accessories which has been implanted in because the algorithm of calibration and guiding seems very similar. the manual is quite indigestible but it must be admitted that the economy of the lacerta is such that the manual is very quickly no longer necessary
StephenGarretson
04 Jun, 2018 19:40
Hi Tim/Boommutt…   I got the MGEN from a guy on Astromart. I don’t remember why he was selling it.Going through some equipment changes perhaps. He said he liked it but had not used it too much.
StephenGarretson
04 Jun, 2018 19:57
Gary…  you said:

 I have even moved from SGP to APT because APT supports MGEN dithering. Again, it works every time and affords tight, round stars and reduced noise.

How are you finding APT? I am pretty hooked into SGP, and not concerned about dithering. And I am a complete novice re: guiding, having relied on my MyT to track efficiently. Working with an ASI ZWO 1600 MM cooled, I have become spoiled with really low read noise, so I can work in short exposures. But I am about to install an Atik 16200 monochrome. To properly swamp the read noise of that camera I want to take at least 10 minute subs; guiding is required.

When you were still using SGP did you just run the MGEN from the HC?

…thanks, Stephen
GWLopez
04 Jun, 2018 22:11
I'd suggest that you stay with what's working. I find APT less capable, as well as less reliable, compared to SGP. I too am using an ASI1600MM Pro and it is well paired with SGP. The timing of your question is perfect. After loosing three days of clear skies to unexpected technical failures of APT (USB communication hang ups), I returned to SGP last night and had a trouble free session. As you say, with our camera, dithering is a feature I can live without. The MGEN, paired with your AST1600MM cooled and SGP, is a wonderful, trouble-free combination. What OTA are you using?
 
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