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I agree

Low cost !

picsAstro
05 Jan, 2020 18:57
Not much activity here, so thought I would post my latest low cost effort…

https://www.astrobin.com/1kfpvf/

Approximate prices in USD:

Meade Adventure 80mm F/5 achromat: $90
Rings + Dovetail:  $50
ES EXOS Nano EQ mount: $100
Extra Counterweight: $20
DIY Arduino/Stepper:  $50
Brackets etc : $10
Guidescope (from ebay): $60
Guidecam (security webcam): $40
Canon T3i (bought used from ebay): $150
Android TV Box running Armbian for acquisition and guiding: $50
StarTools software for postprocessing: $50

Home desktop was used to process using Startools and I am not counting that.
I am using a slightly modified LinGuider for guiding running under Armbian. Image acquisition using gphoto2.
Drift alignment using platesolving (astrometry.net) and some scripts under Armbian.
Edited 13 Jan, 2020 21:24
TareqPhoto
05 Jan, 2020 21:10
I think the group isn't that much interesting for many to post and share, sounds now one want to go low cost direction, but thanks for your post anyway.
dvdearden
05 Jan, 2020 21:43
Nice image. I'd love to see a picture of your gear as well. I guess I should look and see if you've already posted some! Thanks for sharing.

David
picsAstro
06 Jan, 2020 00:48
David Dearden
Nice image. I'd love to see a picture of your gear as well. I guess I should look and see if you've already posted some! Thanks for sharing.David

Thanks !
This picture is from sometime ago, I was using a raspberry pi then …

dvdearden
06 Jan, 2020 01:11
Very nice!
TareqPhoto
06 Jan, 2020 07:08
The problem is that i don't use low cost equipment even when i started out.
Ferre
15 Jan, 2020 14:48
Keep on posting, not everybody can/wants to effort 5000+ euro/dollars/pounds. Great job smile
picsAstro
17 Jan, 2020 03:32
Ferre
Keep on posting, not everybody can/wants to effort 5000+ euro/dollars/pounds. Great job smile

Thanks

smile
frederic.auchere
17 Jan, 2020 21:00
Thumbs up to the low cost approach! This hobby is not fun without a challenge. Images taken with large telescopes can of course be beautiful, but there is also much beauty (and satisfaction!) in being able to get a nice picture out of smaller/cheaper hardware.
Frédéric
Edited 17 Jan, 2020 21:00
Starstarter86
18 Jan, 2020 13:03
Totally agree with Frédéric and Ferre! It's really impressive what you have built there. To achieve trailing-free 120s shots on a self-motorised mount, I can't even imagine how hard that ist, congrats!

Two more ideas for a crafty person such as you:

1. If you don't also use it for daylight, have you thought about modifying your Canon T3i: https://www.lifepixel.com/tutorials/infrared-diy-tutorials/canon-t3i
I've just bought a cheap Nikon D3200 from ebay and took out the UV/IR-Cutfilter and the Result just keep blowing me away (soon to upload my first project with it) You just get so much more signal for each exposure!

2. You could get a Baader Semi-Apo or Fringe Killer filter to reduce the Halos arround brighter stars.

CS, Marc
picsAstro
18 Jan, 2020 17:22
Thanks for the encouragements folks !! Yes, getting something working well, is a big part of the fun smile I think for the low end mounts some form of guiding (at least in RA) is very helpful even for wide field shots.

Marc Agostini
Two more ideas for a crafty person such as you:1. If you don't also use it for daylight, have you thought about modifying your Canon T3i: https://www.lifepixel.com/tutorials/infrared-diy-tutorials/canon-t3i
I've just bought a cheap Nikon D3200 from ebay and took out the UV/IR-Cutfilter and the Result just keep blowing me away (soon to upload my first project with it) You just get so much more signal for each exposure!

I am still building up courage to do the mod on the T3i.
The other option would be get a cheaper astrocam like the IMX224 based ones, but the arcsec/pixel go down and might be harder on the tracking/guiding.
But it cuts down on the weight, which might help overall.

Marc Agostini
2. You could get a Baader Semi-Apo or Fringe Killer filter to reduce the Halos arround brighter stars.

I had not thought of that. That might be a good simple addon to try.
I have also been looking at the Skywatcher 72ED, it is a little heavier than my short tube 80mm but maybe still manageable on the mount.
Starstarter86
18 Jan, 2020 19:08
picsAstro
I am still building up courage to do the mod on the T3i.The other option would be get a cheaper astrocam like the IMX224 based ones, but the arcsec/pixel go down and might be harder on the tracking/guiding.
But it cuts down on the weight, which might help overall
I Know that feeling, trust me smile I even managed to solder into one of the flatband cables when I did mine because I had to unsolder/resolder 6 wires, and I had done that exactly once before  in my life smile But when everything was reassembled it all turned out well. And I also did some work with an uncooled cmos cam, an IMX 178 based one so sampling went to 1.45arcsec/pixel with my reducer: https://www.astrobin.com/pv27ke/C/?nc=user I won't lie, this is very challenging on a mount only guided in RA like the Star Adventurer or your mount. Polar alignment has to be spot on, and even then I get some dec undulation because the quality of the Worm/Gear/Clutch/bearings is just not engineered for these levels of precision in my opinion.

picsAstro
I have also been looking at the Skywatcher 72ED, it is a little heavier than my short tube 80mm but maybe still manageable on the mount.
Are you talking about the Evostar 72 ED? Well, in my opinion If you want to go down that road you'd be better off if you spend just a little bit more and get a scope with the 72/432 FPL 53 doublet which comes in many different guises like WO Megrez 72, TS Photoline 72 F6 (my scope), Altair Astro Altair 72 EDF Refractor…….probably even the WO Zenithstar 73, by the looks of it. They're in essence all the same scope with different colours and extras as far as I can tell. When I decided which would be my first proper scope I was deciding between the Photoline 72/432 and the Evostar but I went for the 72/432 and have never looked back; For a bit more you get  a scope with similar properties, roughly the same weight (apart from the Zenithstar with all its bells and whistles) but a better focuser. Furthermore, if you look at images taken with the evostar on astrobin or in magazine reviews you will still see some colour fringing, while on the 72/432 I haven't yet seen any. There are also some reviews out there which will tell you the same, for example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OB03ceWZOd0 I really love this scope and think it punches well above its weight, but that could well be owner's bias smile
picsAstro
19 Jan, 2020 01:09
Good points indeed. So you think the noname glass of the Evostar 72ED is indeed a risk compared to the well known FPL-53 of the rest.

I am currently at about a little more than 7 lbs with my gear, and it is a sweet spot in pixel scale, weight, low end mount gearing,  tracking/guiding accuracy.  Still debating if the next step in spending money should be a ED scope on this lightweight mount, or buying a CG-4/LX70/Skyview pro mount, and ONSTEP ing it.
 
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