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Some low budget recommendations please

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  • Al
    Dear Folks, In a nutshell -I m new to the group; and just moved to CCD from film. I ve used very modest mounts in the past, including barn door trackers, for
    Message 1 of 11 , Jul 1, 2008
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      Dear Folks,
      In a nutshell -I'm new to the group; and just moved to CCD from film.
      I've used very modest mounts in the past, including barn door
      trackers, for my wide-field imaging attempts. I currently use only
      camera lenses. Sold my TeleVue Pronto years ago :(
      The problem I have, is that even the low-cost recommendations in Ron's
      book are a bit higher than my budget. I was hoping someone here (maybe
      even Ron) might be able to recommend some lower cost equipment? I
      currently use a Meade DSI color with 50, 135 and 300mm lenses (Mogg
      adapter). I would like to continue using (Canon) camera lenses and
      upgrade my mount and CCD camera.
      I'm in a highly light polluted area, by the way. Are the low-cost CG-5
      copies serviceable mounts? I haven't tried out the 'Calculator' yet.

      Any advice would be greatly appreciated,

      Al
    • Murray Hammick
      Al, I am only a small distance down the road in this hobby - but might have some useful suggestions Do you have amount ? If not, then you should consider this
      Message 2 of 11 , Jul 2, 2008
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        Al,

        I am only a small distance down the road in this hobby - but might have some useful suggestions

        Do you have amount ? If not, then you should consider this as the most important building block of all. You could avoid buying a scope for a while and use your photographic equipment in the near term as long as you have a good mount. Take a look at Astromart, a really good enthusiasts' trading site for astronomical kit. You can buy a good mount such as a Tak EM10 or 11 Goto for quite small sums. There are others of course - its just that I started with an EM-10. 

        All the advice I had at his stage was to spend as much as I could on the mount and let the rest of the kit trickle in later as funds allowed.

        You can get a good scope such as a 66mm AT or WO refractor for a few hundred dollars - again these would make really good starting scopes. Orion and others also make some reasonable scopes which come up on Astromart. I would not go for long focal length scopes at first as the longer the FL the harder they are to use for imaging in general. Also, it is a useful tip to note that refractors are easier to operate that SC scopes or anything else with a mirror.

        If you were to go for a small refractor it could then be used as a guide scope for later on when you buy that C14 or RCOS monster.

        Look at Astromart and concentrate on the mount to begin with would be my advice at this stage. Bear in mind that if you buy sensibly you will always be able to sell kit as you trade up. Stick to the best you can afford and you will increase your chances of selling it well later on.

        Hope that helps

        Murray



        .

        --- On Tue, 7/1/08, Al <ndbdxr@...> wrote:
        From: Al <ndbdxr@...>
        Subject: [ccd-newastro] Some low budget recommendations please
        To: ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Tuesday, July 1, 2008, 10:47 PM











        Dear Folks,

        In a nutshell -I'm new to the group; and just moved to CCD from film.

        I've used very modest mounts in the past, including barn door

        trackers, for my wide-field imaging attempts. I currently use only

        camera lenses. Sold my TeleVue Pronto years ago :(

        The problem I have, is that even the low-cost recommendations in Ron's

        book are a bit higher than my budget. I was hoping someone here (maybe

        even Ron) might be able to recommend some lower cost equipment? I

        currently use a Meade DSI color with 50, 135 and 300mm lenses (Mogg

        adapter). I would like to continue using (Canon) camera lenses and

        upgrade my mount and CCD camera.

        I'm in a highly light polluted area, by the way. Are the low-cost CG-5

        copies serviceable mounts? I haven't tried out the 'Calculator' yet.



        Any advice would be greatly appreciated,



        Al


























        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • sforster12
        Al, I started out with an ST-237 S BIG camera , which was unguided. Images were poor, even with a good mount. As soon as I borrowed an auto guider, my images
        Message 3 of 11 , Jul 2, 2008
        • 0 Attachment
          Al,

          I started out with an ST-237 S BIG camera , which was unguided.

          Images were poor, even with a good mount.

          As soon as I borrowed an auto guider, my images improved dramatically.

          Most important, GET RON's BOOK, "The New CCD Astronomy"!!!!!!

          Find your local club, and spent time with a CCD imager!!!!

          Get a good mount, that you won't outgrow. I'm partial to Losmandy's.

          Used ST-7's, which are self guiding show up for $550 0n AStromart
          shipped.

          Cheap way to get in the door, autoguided.

          STU

          --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, Murray Hammick <mphammick@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Al,
          >
          > I am only a small distance down the road in this hobby - but might
          have some useful suggestions
          >
          > Do you have amount ? If not, then you should consider this as the
          most important building block of all. You could avoid buying a scope
          for a while and use your photographic equipment in the near term as
          long as you have a good mount. Take a look at Astromart, a really
          good enthusiasts' trading site for astronomical kit. You can buy a
          good mount such as a Tak EM10 or 11 Goto for quite small sums. There
          are others of course - its just that I started with an EM-10. 
          >
          > All the advice I had at his stage was to spend as much as I could
          on the mount and let the rest of the kit trickle in later as funds
          allowed.
          >
          > You can get a good scope such as a 66mm AT or WO refractor for a
          few hundred dollars - again these would make really good starting
          scopes. Orion and others also make some reasonable scopes which come
          up on Astromart. I would not go for long focal length scopes at first
          as the longer the FL the harder they are to use for imaging in
          general. Also, it is a useful tip to note that refractors are easier
          to operate that SC scopes or anything else with a mirror.
          >
          > If you were to go for a small refractor it could then be used as a
          guide scope for later on when you buy that C14 or RCOS monster.
          >
          > Look at Astromart and concentrate on the mount to begin with would
          be my advice at this stage. Bear in mind that if you buy sensibly you
          will always be able to sell kit as you trade up. Stick to the best
          you can afford and you will increase your chances of selling it well
          later on.
          >
          > Hope that helps
          >
          > Murray
          >
          >
          >
          > .
          >
          > --- On Tue, 7/1/08, Al <ndbdxr@...> wrote:
          > From: Al <ndbdxr@...>
          > Subject: [ccd-newastro] Some low budget recommendations please
          > To: ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com
          > Date: Tuesday, July 1, 2008, 10:47 PM
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Dear Folks,
          >
          > In a nutshell -I'm new to the group; and just moved to CCD from
          film.
          >
          > I've used very modest mounts in the past, including barn door
          >
          > trackers, for my wide-field imaging attempts. I currently use only
          >
          > camera lenses. Sold my TeleVue Pronto years ago :(
          >
          > The problem I have, is that even the low-cost recommendations in
          Ron's
          >
          > book are a bit higher than my budget. I was hoping someone here
          (maybe
          >
          > even Ron) might be able to recommend some lower cost equipment? I
          >
          > currently use a Meade DSI color with 50, 135 and 300mm lenses (Mogg
          >
          > adapter). I would like to continue using (Canon) camera lenses and
          >
          > upgrade my mount and CCD camera.
          >
          > I'm in a highly light polluted area, by the way. Are the low-cost
          CG-5
          >
          > copies serviceable mounts? I haven't tried out the 'Calculator' yet.
          >
          >
          >
          > Any advice would be greatly appreciated,
          >
          >
          >
          > Al
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • Al
          Thanks, guys. I do have Ron s book, by the way. It s just that even his section on the Cheapest way to go is out of my budget. I ve actually been on the
          Message 4 of 11 , Jul 3, 2008
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            Thanks, guys. I do have Ron's book, by the way. It's just that even
            his section on the'Cheapest' way to go is out of my budget. I've
            actually been on the lookout for a used ST-7. As far as cameras go,
            I think I will make one of those my goal, I guess.
            I appreciate any and all recommendations,

            Al


            --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, "sforster12" <SHFORSTER1@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Al,
            >
            > I started out with an ST-237 S BIG camera , which was unguided.
            >
            > Images were poor, even with a good mount.
            >
            > As soon as I borrowed an auto guider, my images improved
            dramatically.
            >
            > Most important, GET RON's BOOK, "The New CCD Astronomy"!!!!!!
            >
            > Find your local club, and spent time with a CCD imager!!!!
            >
            > Get a good mount, that you won't outgrow. I'm partial to
            Losmandy's.
            >
            > Used ST-7's, which are self guiding show up for $550 0n AStromart
            > shipped.
            >
            > Cheap way to get in the door, autoguided.
            >
            > STU
            >
            > --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, Murray Hammick <mphammick@>
            > wrote:
            > >
            > > Al,
            > >
            > > I am only a small distance down the road in this hobby - but
            might
            > have some useful suggestions
            > >
            > > Do you have amount ? If not, then you should consider this as
            the
            > most important building block of all. You could avoid buying a
            scope
            > for a while and use your photographic equipment in the near term
            as
            > long as you have a good mount. Take a look at Astromart, a really
            > good enthusiasts' trading site for astronomical kit. You can buy a
            > good mount such as a Tak EM10 or 11 Goto for quite small sums.
            There
            > are others of course - its just that I started with an EM-10. 
            > >
            > > All the advice I had at his stage was to spend as much as I
            could
            > on the mount and let the rest of the kit trickle in later as funds
            > allowed.
            > >
            > > You can get a good scope such as a 66mm AT or WO refractor for
            a
            > few hundred dollars - again these would make really good starting
            > scopes. Orion and others also make some reasonable scopes which
            come
            > up on Astromart. I would not go for long focal length scopes at
            first
            > as the longer the FL the harder they are to use for imaging in
            > general. Also, it is a useful tip to note that refractors are
            easier
            > to operate that SC scopes or anything else with a mirror.
            > >
            > > If you were to go for a small refractor it could then be used as
            a
            > guide scope for later on when you buy that C14 or RCOS monster.
            > >
            > > Look at Astromart and concentrate on the mount to begin with
            would
            > be my advice at this stage. Bear in mind that if you buy sensibly
            you
            > will always be able to sell kit as you trade up. Stick to the best
            > you can afford and you will increase your chances of selling it
            well
            > later on.
            > >
            > > Hope that helps
            > >
            > > Murray
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > .
            > >
            > > --- On Tue, 7/1/08, Al <ndbdxr@> wrote:
            > > From: Al <ndbdxr@>
            > > Subject: [ccd-newastro] Some low budget recommendations please
            > > To: ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com
            > > Date: Tuesday, July 1, 2008, 10:47 PM
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Dear Folks,
            > >
            > > In a nutshell -I'm new to the group; and just moved to CCD from
            > film.
            > >
            > > I've used very modest mounts in the past, including barn door
            > >
            > > trackers, for my wide-field imaging attempts. I currently use
            only
            > >
            > > camera lenses. Sold my TeleVue Pronto years ago :(
            > >
            > > The problem I have, is that even the low-cost recommendations in
            > Ron's
            > >
            > > book are a bit higher than my budget. I was hoping someone here
            > (maybe
            > >
            > > even Ron) might be able to recommend some lower cost equipment?
            I
            > >
            > > currently use a Meade DSI color with 50, 135 and 300mm lenses
            (Mogg
            > >
            > > adapter). I would like to continue using (Canon) camera lenses
            and
            > >
            > > upgrade my mount and CCD camera.
            > >
            > > I'm in a highly light polluted area, by the way. Are the low-
            cost
            > CG-5
            > >
            > > copies serviceable mounts? I haven't tried out the 'Calculator'
            yet.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Any advice would be greatly appreciated,
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Al
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            > >
            >
          • sforster12
            Al, If you re over your budget right now, I d wait and save more $$. There is no sense buying junk, and then reselling it at a loss. Find the imager in your
            Message 5 of 11 , Jul 4, 2008
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              Al,

              If you're over your budget right now, I'd wait and save more $$.

              There is no sense buying junk, and then reselling it at a loss.

              Find the imager in your local club, and work with him/her for a few
              nights.

              Bring that data home, learn the basics of image processing and you'll
              be light years ahead.

              Imagers are always glad to share raw data.

              I don't have Ron's book right here, but a minimum used setup would
              run abot $2,000- $2,500, in my mind.

              I'm just going by what I have at home.

              GM-8 mount without setting circles - $1000
              Used Parallel port ST-7 $550
              SBIG relay box $75
              80mm ED scope, 2 speed focusr $400
              Plates,rings adapters $200

              I personally would not go without Digital setting circles, but a
              large finder will get bright objects in your FOV and on your chip.

              I've gone the cheap way, and found I should have saved longer.

              Wasting your time with poor equipment is painful.

              You can always get more $$, you can't get time back.

              STU-- Just my opinion


              In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, "Al" <ndbdxr@...> wrote:
              >
              > Thanks, guys. I do have Ron's book, by the way. It's just that even
              > his section on the'Cheapest' way to go is out of my budget. I've
              > actually been on the lookout for a used ST-7. As far as cameras go,
              > I think I will make one of those my goal, I guess.
              > I appreciate any and all recommendations,
              >
              > Al
              >
              >
              > --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, "sforster12" <SHFORSTER1@>
              > wrote:
              > >
              > > Al,
              > >
              > > I started out with an ST-237 S BIG camera , which was unguided.
              > >
              > > Images were poor, even with a good mount.
              > >
              > > As soon as I borrowed an auto guider, my images improved
              > dramatically.
              > >
              > > Most important, GET RON's BOOK, "The New CCD Astronomy"!!!!!!
              > >
              > > Find your local club, and spent time with a CCD imager!!!!
              > >
              > > Get a good mount, that you won't outgrow. I'm partial to
              > Losmandy's.
              > >
              > > Used ST-7's, which are self guiding show up for $550 0n AStromart
              > > shipped.
              > >
              > > Cheap way to get in the door, autoguided.
              > >
              > > STU
              > >
              > > --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, Murray Hammick <mphammick@>
              > > wrote:
              > > >
              > > > Al,
              > > >
              > > > I am only a small distance down the road in this hobby - but
              > might
              > > have some useful suggestions
              > > >
              > > > Do you have amount ? If not, then you should consider this as
              > the
              > > most important building block of all. You could avoid buying a
              > scope
              > > for a while and use your photographic equipment in the near term
              > as
              > > long as you have a good mount. Take a look at Astromart, a really
              > > good enthusiasts' trading site for astronomical kit. You can buy
              a
              > > good mount such as a Tak EM10 or 11 Goto for quite small sums.
              > There
              > > are others of course - its just that I started with an EM-10. 
              > > >
              > > > All the advice I had at his stage was to spend as much as I
              > could
              > > on the mount and let the rest of the kit trickle in later as
              funds
              > > allowed.
              > > >
              > > > You can get a good scope such as a 66mm AT or WO refractor for
              > a
              > > few hundred dollars - again these would make really good starting
              > > scopes. Orion and others also make some reasonable scopes which
              > come
              > > up on Astromart. I would not go for long focal length scopes at
              > first
              > > as the longer the FL the harder they are to use for imaging in
              > > general. Also, it is a useful tip to note that refractors are
              > easier
              > > to operate that SC scopes or anything else with a mirror.
              > > >
              > > > If you were to go for a small refractor it could then be used
              as
              > a
              > > guide scope for later on when you buy that C14 or RCOS monster.
              > > >
              > > > Look at Astromart and concentrate on the mount to begin with
              > would
              > > be my advice at this stage. Bear in mind that if you buy sensibly
              > you
              > > will always be able to sell kit as you trade up. Stick to the
              best
              > > you can afford and you will increase your chances of selling it
              > well
              > > later on.
              > > >
              > > > Hope that helps
              > > >
              > > > Murray
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > .
              > > >
              > > > --- On Tue, 7/1/08, Al <ndbdxr@> wrote:
              > > > From: Al <ndbdxr@>
              > > > Subject: [ccd-newastro] Some low budget recommendations please
              > > > To: ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com
              > > > Date: Tuesday, July 1, 2008, 10:47 PM
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > Dear Folks,
              > > >
              > > > In a nutshell -I'm new to the group; and just moved to CCD from
              > > film.
              > > >
              > > > I've used very modest mounts in the past, including barn door
              > > >
              > > > trackers, for my wide-field imaging attempts. I currently use
              > only
              > > >
              > > > camera lenses. Sold my TeleVue Pronto years ago :(
              > > >
              > > > The problem I have, is that even the low-cost recommendations
              in
              > > Ron's
              > > >
              > > > book are a bit higher than my budget. I was hoping someone here
              > > (maybe
              > > >
              > > > even Ron) might be able to recommend some lower cost equipment?
              > I
              > > >
              > > > currently use a Meade DSI color with 50, 135 and 300mm lenses
              > (Mogg
              > > >
              > > > adapter). I would like to continue using (Canon) camera lenses
              > and
              > > >
              > > > upgrade my mount and CCD camera.
              > > >
              > > > I'm in a highly light polluted area, by the way. Are the low-
              > cost
              > > CG-5
              > > >
              > > > copies serviceable mounts? I haven't tried out the 'Calculator'
              > yet.
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > Any advice would be greatly appreciated,
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > Al
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              > > >
              > >
              >
            • Bob Runyan
              Hello Al: You have already received some good recommendations, however, should you wish to pay a visit to our club site, most of my astroimaging is done with
              Message 6 of 11 , Jul 4, 2008
              • 0 Attachment
                Hello Al: You have already received some good recommendations, however, should you wish to pay a visit to our club site, most of my astroimaging is done with the SBIG237a and the ST7e. Still learnin' but I'm having fun and haven't broken the bank. . . .. .yet :) HTH's Bob R. www.pavo.us

                ----- Original Message -----
                From: Al
                To: ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Thursday, July 03, 2008 6:16 PM
                Subject: [ccd-newastro] Re: Some low budget recommendations please


                Thanks, guys. I do have Ron's book, by the way. It's just that even
                his section on the'Cheapest' way to go is out of my budget. I've
                actually been on the lookout for a used ST-7. As far as cameras go,
                I think I will make one of those my goal, I guess.
                I appreciate any and all recommendations,

                Al

                --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, "sforster12" <SHFORSTER1@...>
                wrote:
                >
                > Al,
                >
                > I started out with an ST-237 S BIG camera , which was unguided.
                >
                > Images were poor, even with a good mount.
                >
                > As soon as I borrowed an auto guider, my images improved
                dramatically.
                >
                > Most important, GET RON's BOOK, "The New CCD Astronomy"!!!!!!
                >
                > Find your local club, and spent time with a CCD imager!!!!
                >
                > Get a good mount, that you won't outgrow. I'm partial to
                Losmandy's.
                >
                > Used ST-7's, which are self guiding show up for $550 0n AStromart
                > shipped.
                >
                > Cheap way to get in the door, autoguided.
                >
                > STU
                >
                > --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, Murray Hammick <mphammick@>
                > wrote:
                > >
                > > Al,
                > >
                > > I am only a small distance down the road in this hobby - but
                might
                > have some useful suggestions
                > >
                > > Do you have amount ? If not, then you should consider this as
                the
                > most important building block of all. You could avoid buying a
                scope
                > for a while and use your photographic equipment in the near term
                as
                > long as you have a good mount. Take a look at Astromart, a really
                > good enthusiasts' trading site for astronomical kit. You can buy a
                > good mount such as a Tak EM10 or 11 Goto for quite small sums.
                There
                > are others of course - its just that I started with an EM-10.
                > >
                > > All the advice I had at his stage was to spend as much as I
                could
                > on the mount and let the rest of the kit trickle in later as funds
                > allowed.
                > >
                > > You can get a good scope such as a 66mm AT or WO refractor for
                a
                > few hundred dollars - again these would make really good starting
                > scopes. Orion and others also make some reasonable scopes which
                come
                > up on Astromart. I would not go for long focal length scopes at
                first
                > as the longer the FL the harder they are to use for imaging in
                > general. Also, it is a useful tip to note that refractors are
                easier
                > to operate that SC scopes or anything else with a mirror.
                > >
                > > If you were to go for a small refractor it could then be used as
                a
                > guide scope for later on when you buy that C14 or RCOS monster.
                > >
                > > Look at Astromart and concentrate on the mount to begin with
                would
                > be my advice at this stage. Bear in mind that if you buy sensibly
                you
                > will always be able to sell kit as you trade up. Stick to the best
                > you can afford and you will increase your chances of selling it
                well
                > later on.
                > >
                > > Hope that helps
                > >
                > > Murray
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > .
                > >
                > > --- On Tue, 7/1/08, Al <ndbdxr@> wrote:
                > > From: Al <ndbdxr@>
                > > Subject: [ccd-newastro] Some low budget recommendations please
                > > To: ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com
                > > Date: Tuesday, July 1, 2008, 10:47 PM
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > Dear Folks,
                > >
                > > In a nutshell -I'm new to the group; and just moved to CCD from
                > film.
                > >
                > > I've used very modest mounts in the past, including barn door
                > >
                > > trackers, for my wide-field imaging attempts. I currently use
                only
                > >
                > > camera lenses. Sold my TeleVue Pronto years ago :(
                > >
                > > The problem I have, is that even the low-cost recommendations in
                > Ron's
                > >
                > > book are a bit higher than my budget. I was hoping someone here
                > (maybe
                > >
                > > even Ron) might be able to recommend some lower cost equipment?
                I
                > >
                > > currently use a Meade DSI color with 50, 135 and 300mm lenses
                (Mogg
                > >
                > > adapter). I would like to continue using (Canon) camera lenses
                and
                > >
                > > upgrade my mount and CCD camera.
                > >
                > > I'm in a highly light polluted area, by the way. Are the low-
                cost
                > CG-5
                > >
                > > copies serviceable mounts? I haven't tried out the 'Calculator'
                yet.
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > Any advice would be greatly appreciated,
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > Al
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                > >
                >






                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Murray Hammick
                Al, Do not overlook the cheaper CCD camera systems such as the Meade DSI or the Orion equivalent. You can pick these up for so little on Astomart and you might
                Message 7 of 11 , Jul 4, 2008
                • 0 Attachment
                  Al,

                  Do not overlook the cheaper CCD camera systems such as the Meade DSI or the Orion equivalent. You can pick these up for so little on Astomart and you might learn a great deal before you choose your mainstream CCD (SBIG, SX or whatever). They do not have guide heads - but you can progress to guidance a bit down the road.

                  Also - this  will leave you with more choice for your mount as you will have more money to spare.

                  Again - concentrate on a good mount. Stu mentioned Losmandy - they are excellent and something of a benchmark at the medium end of the market, along with the Tak EM 10 and 11 series. Orion do some good mounts as well. Keep checking on Astromart for deals. You will certainly get a reasonable exposure out of them without guidance.

                  Make no mistake about it - if you really do want to get into this sport you are going to have to spend a few thousand dollars to get going.  A  decent smaller goto mount  might set you back up to fifteen hundred  dollars for starters.  Yes - you can get away with less, but cheap kit today will lead to frustration tomorrow - and nothing more so than a mount that does not track well.

                  By the time you have the CCD and all the "little connectors and cables" etc - think in terms of at least a couple of thousand plus the scope and eyepieces.

                  Perhaps someone else has a different view - but I hope this helps.

                  Murray



                  --- On Fri, 7/4/08, Bob Runyan <runrob@...> wrote:
                  From: Bob Runyan <runrob@...>
                  Subject: Re: [ccd-newastro] Re: Some low budget recommendations please
                  To: ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com
                  Date: Friday, July 4, 2008, 11:01 AM











                  Hello Al: You have already received some good recommendations, however, should you wish to pay a visit to our club site, most of my astroimaging is done with the SBIG237a and the ST7e. Still learnin' but I'm having fun and haven't broken the bank. . . .. .yet :) HTH's Bob R. www.pavo.us



                  ----- Original Message -----

                  From: Al

                  To: ccd-newastro@ yahoogroups. com

                  Sent: Thursday, July 03, 2008 6:16 PM

                  Subject: [ccd-newastro] Re: Some low budget recommendations please



                  Thanks, guys. I do have Ron's book, by the way. It's just that even

                  his section on the'Cheapest' way to go is out of my budget. I've

                  actually been on the lookout for a used ST-7. As far as cameras go,

                  I think I will make one of those my goal, I guess.

                  I appreciate any and all recommendations,



                  Al



                  --- In ccd-newastro@ yahoogroups. com, "sforster12" <SHFORSTER1@ ...>

                  wrote:

                  >

                  > Al,

                  >

                  > I started out with an ST-237 S BIG camera , which was unguided.

                  >

                  > Images were poor, even with a good mount.

                  >

                  > As soon as I borrowed an auto guider, my images improved

                  dramatically.

                  >

                  > Most important, GET RON's BOOK, "The New CCD Astronomy"!! !!!!

                  >

                  > Find your local club, and spent time with a CCD imager!!!!

                  >

                  > Get a good mount, that you won't outgrow. I'm partial to

                  Losmandy's.

                  >

                  > Used ST-7's, which are self guiding show up for $550 0n AStromart

                  > shipped.

                  >

                  > Cheap way to get in the door, autoguided.

                  >

                  > STU

                  >

                  > --- In ccd-newastro@ yahoogroups. com, Murray Hammick <mphammick@>

                  > wrote:

                  > >

                  > > Al,

                  > >

                  > > I am only a small distance down the road in this hobby - but

                  might

                  > have some useful suggestions

                  > >

                  > > Do you have amount ? If not, then you should consider this as

                  the

                  > most important building block of all. You could avoid buying a

                  scope

                  > for a while and use your photographic equipment in the near term

                  as

                  > long as you have a good mount. Take a look at Astromart, a really

                  > good enthusiasts' trading site for astronomical kit. You can buy a

                  > good mount such as a Tak EM10 or 11 Goto for quite small sums.

                  There

                  > are others of course - its just that I started with an EM-10.

                  > >

                  > > All the advice I had at his stage was to spend as much as I

                  could

                  > on the mount and let the rest of the kit trickle in later as funds

                  > allowed.

                  > >

                  > > You can get a good scope such as a 66mm AT or WO refractor for

                  a

                  > few hundred dollars - again these would make really good starting

                  > scopes. Orion and others also make some reasonable scopes which

                  come

                  > up on Astromart. I would not go for long focal length scopes at

                  first

                  > as the longer the FL the harder they are to use for imaging in

                  > general. Also, it is a useful tip to note that refractors are

                  easier

                  > to operate that SC scopes or anything else with a mirror.

                  > >

                  > > If you were to go for a small refractor it could then be used as

                  a

                  > guide scope for later on when you buy that C14 or RCOS monster.

                  > >

                  > > Look at Astromart and concentrate on the mount to begin with

                  would

                  > be my advice at this stage. Bear in mind that if you buy sensibly

                  you

                  > will always be able to sell kit as you trade up. Stick to the best

                  > you can afford and you will increase your chances of selling it

                  well

                  > later on.

                  > >

                  > > Hope that helps

                  > >

                  > > Murray

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > > .

                  > >

                  > > --- On Tue, 7/1/08, Al <ndbdxr@> wrote:

                  > > From: Al <ndbdxr@>

                  > > Subject: [ccd-newastro] Some low budget recommendations please

                  > > To: ccd-newastro@ yahoogroups. com

                  > > Date: Tuesday, July 1, 2008, 10:47 PM

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > > Dear Folks,

                  > >

                  > > In a nutshell -I'm new to the group; and just moved to CCD from

                  > film.

                  > >

                  > > I've used very modest mounts in the past, including barn door

                  > >

                  > > trackers, for my wide-field imaging attempts. I currently use

                  only

                  > >

                  > > camera lenses. Sold my TeleVue Pronto years ago :(

                  > >

                  > > The problem I have, is that even the low-cost recommendations in

                  > Ron's

                  > >

                  > > book are a bit higher than my budget. I was hoping someone here

                  > (maybe

                  > >

                  > > even Ron) might be able to recommend some lower cost equipment?

                  I

                  > >

                  > > currently use a Meade DSI color with 50, 135 and 300mm lenses

                  (Mogg

                  > >

                  > > adapter). I would like to continue using (Canon) camera lenses

                  and

                  > >

                  > > upgrade my mount and CCD camera.

                  > >

                  > > I'm in a highly light polluted area, by the way. Are the low-

                  cost

                  > CG-5

                  > >

                  > > copies serviceable mounts? I haven't tried out the 'Calculator'

                  yet.

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > > Any advice would be greatly appreciated,

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > > Al

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > >

                  > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

                  > >

                  >



                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


























                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Yahoo - Wodaski
                  If you can t afford a high-end mount, then the best thing to do is to keep your focal length short, and the weight of the load small. For example, I m
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jul 4, 2008
                  • 0 Attachment
                    If you can't afford a high-end mount, then the best thing to do is to
                    keep your focal length short, and the weight of the load small.

                    For example, I'm currently playing around with a Canon 40D, a lenses
                    from 10 to 300mm in focal length. Just about any mount will provide
                    accurate enough tracking for those wider focal lengths!

                    And the Canon doubles very nicely for terrestrial photography, too.

                    I'm having a lot of fun with such a simple setup. Heck, I even got some
                    fun shots using no mount at all, just a regular old photo tripod. It
                    limits my individual exposure times, but I can always stack the images.

                    Otherwise, if you are working on a budget, always start with the mount -
                    that hasn't changed. Get something that is at least entry-level
                    photographic. The only realistic way to find that out is to ask the
                    folks here to comment on what inexpensive mounts they've used - and how
                    they got them to work.

                    Then put what you can afford to on the mount. Look closely at Astromart
                    to get affordable deals on mounts and camera and scopes. And think
                    creatively, like maybe putting a digital camera you already have, no
                    matter how simple, on that nice used mount and having some fun for a
                    while you move up to a scope, and/or some kind of astro camera.

                    But the mount sets a limit on how well you can do with other stuff, and
                    always requires careful (sometimes painful, in that you have to postpone
                    other parts of your dream setup) thought.

                    Ron Wodaski

                    Al wrote:
                    > Thanks, guys. I do have Ron's book, by the way. It's just that even
                    > his section on the'Cheapest' way to go is out of my budget. I've
                    > actually been on the lookout for a used ST-7. As far as cameras go,
                    > I think I will make one of those my goal, I guess.
                    > I appreciate any and all recommendations,
                    >
                    > Al
                    >
                    >
                    > --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, "sforster12" <SHFORSTER1@...>
                    > wrote:
                    >> Al,
                    >>
                    >> I started out with an ST-237 S BIG camera , which was unguided.
                    >>
                    >> Images were poor, even with a good mount.
                    >>
                    >> As soon as I borrowed an auto guider, my images improved
                    > dramatically.
                    >> Most important, GET RON's BOOK, "The New CCD Astronomy"!!!!!!
                    >>
                    >> Find your local club, and spent time with a CCD imager!!!!
                    >>
                    >> Get a good mount, that you won't outgrow. I'm partial to
                    > Losmandy's.
                    >> Used ST-7's, which are self guiding show up for $550 0n AStromart
                    >> shipped.
                    >>
                    >> Cheap way to get in the door, autoguided.
                    >>
                    >> STU
                    >>
                    >> --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, Murray Hammick <mphammick@>
                    >> wrote:
                    >>> Al,
                    >>>
                    >>> I am only a small distance down the road in this hobby - but
                    > might
                    >> have some useful suggestions
                    >>> Do you have amount ? If not, then you should consider this as
                    > the
                    >> most important building block of all. You could avoid buying a
                    > scope
                    >> for a while and use your photographic equipment in the near term
                    > as
                    >> long as you have a good mount. Take a look at Astromart, a really
                    >> good enthusiasts' trading site for astronomical kit. You can buy a
                    >> good mount such as a Tak EM10 or 11 Goto for quite small sums.
                    > There
                    >> are others of course - its just that I started with an EM-10.
                    >>> All the advice I had at his stage was to spend as much as I
                    > could
                    >> on the mount and let the rest of the kit trickle in later as funds
                    >> allowed.
                    >>> You can get a good scope such as a 66mm AT or WO refractor for
                    > a
                    >> few hundred dollars - again these would make really good starting
                    >> scopes. Orion and others also make some reasonable scopes which
                    > come
                    >> up on Astromart. I would not go for long focal length scopes at
                    > first
                    >> as the longer the FL the harder they are to use for imaging in
                    >> general. Also, it is a useful tip to note that refractors are
                    > easier
                    >> to operate that SC scopes or anything else with a mirror.
                    >>> If you were to go for a small refractor it could then be used as
                    > a
                    >> guide scope for later on when you buy that C14 or RCOS monster.
                    >>> Look at Astromart and concentrate on the mount to begin with
                    > would
                    >> be my advice at this stage. Bear in mind that if you buy sensibly
                    > you
                    >> will always be able to sell kit as you trade up. Stick to the best
                    >> you can afford and you will increase your chances of selling it
                    > well
                    >> later on.
                    >>> Hope that helps
                    >>>
                    >>> Murray
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>> .
                    >>>
                    >>> --- On Tue, 7/1/08, Al <ndbdxr@> wrote:
                    >>> From: Al <ndbdxr@>
                    >>> Subject: [ccd-newastro] Some low budget recommendations please
                    >>> To: ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com
                    >>> Date: Tuesday, July 1, 2008, 10:47 PM
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>> Dear Folks,
                    >>>
                    >>> In a nutshell -I'm new to the group; and just moved to CCD from
                    >> film.
                    >>> I've used very modest mounts in the past, including barn door
                    >>>
                    >>> trackers, for my wide-field imaging attempts. I currently use
                    > only
                    >>> camera lenses. Sold my TeleVue Pronto years ago :(
                    >>>
                    >>> The problem I have, is that even the low-cost recommendations in
                    >> Ron's
                    >>> book are a bit higher than my budget. I was hoping someone here
                    >> (maybe
                    >>> even Ron) might be able to recommend some lower cost equipment?
                    > I
                    >>> currently use a Meade DSI color with 50, 135 and 300mm lenses
                    > (Mogg
                    >>> adapter). I would like to continue using (Canon) camera lenses
                    > and
                    >>> upgrade my mount and CCD camera.
                    >>>
                    >>> I'm in a highly light polluted area, by the way. Are the low-
                    > cost
                    >> CG-5
                    >>> copies serviceable mounts? I haven't tried out the 'Calculator'
                    > yet.
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>> Any advice would be greatly appreciated,
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>> Al
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>>
                    >>> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >>>
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > ------------------------------------
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                  • Neil Fleming
                    Another good one is the Orion EQ-G. Around $1500. 20-40 arc second error, but it guides out well. ... === message truncated ===
                    Message 9 of 11 , Jul 4, 2008
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Another good one is the Orion EQ-G. Around $1500.
                      20-40 arc second error, but it guides out well.

                      ...Neil

                      --- Murray Hammick <mphammick@...> wrote:

                      > Al,
                      >
                      > Do not overlook the cheaper CCD camera systems such
                      > as the Meade DSI or the Orion equivalent. You can
                      > pick these up for so little on Astomart and you
                      > might learn a great deal before you choose your
                      > mainstream CCD (SBIG, SX or whatever). They do not
                      > have guide heads - but you can progress to guidance
                      > a bit down the road.
                      >
                      > Also - this  will leave you with more choice for
                      > your mount as you will have more money to spare.
                      >
                      > Again - concentrate on a good mount. Stu mentioned
                      > Losmandy - they are excellent and something of a
                      > benchmark at the medium end of the market, along
                      > with the Tak EM 10 and 11 series. Orion do some good
                      > mounts as well. Keep checking on Astromart for
                      > deals. You will certainly get a reasonable exposure
                      > out of them without guidance.
                      >
                      > Make no mistake about it - if you really do want to
                      > get into this sport you are going to have to spend a
                      > few thousand dollars to get going.  A  decent
                      > smaller goto mount  might set you back up to fifteen
                      > hundred  dollars for starters.  Yes - you can get
                      > away with less, but cheap kit today will lead to
                      > frustration tomorrow - and nothing more so than a
                      > mount that does not track well.
                      >
                      > By the time you have the CCD and all the "little
                      > connectors and cables" etc - think in terms of at
                      > least a couple of thousand plus the scope and
                      > eyepieces.
                      >
                      > Perhaps someone else has a different view - but I
                      > hope this helps.
                      >
                      > Murray
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > --- On Fri, 7/4/08, Bob Runyan <runrob@...>
                      > wrote:
                      > From: Bob Runyan <runrob@...>
                      > Subject: Re: [ccd-newastro] Re: Some low budget
                      > recommendations please
                      > To: ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com
                      > Date: Friday, July 4, 2008, 11:01 AM
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Hello Al: You have already received
                      > some good recommendations, however, should you wish
                      > to pay a visit to our club site, most of my
                      > astroimaging is done with the SBIG237a and the ST7e.
                      > Still learnin' but I'm having fun and haven't
                      > broken the bank. . . .. .yet :) HTH's Bob R.
                      > www.pavo.us
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > ----- Original Message -----
                      >
                      > From: Al
                      >
                      > To: ccd-newastro@ yahoogroups. com
                      >
                      > Sent: Thursday, July 03, 2008 6:16 PM
                      >
                      > Subject: [ccd-newastro] Re: Some low budget
                      > recommendations please
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Thanks, guys. I do have Ron's book, by the way. It's
                      > just that even
                      >
                      > his section on the'Cheapest' way to go is out of
                      > my budget. I've
                      >
                      > actually been on the lookout for a used ST-7. As
                      > far as cameras go,
                      >
                      > I think I will make one of those my goal, I guess.
                      >
                      > I appreciate any and all recommendations,
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Al
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > --- In ccd-newastro@ yahoogroups. com, "sforster12"
                      > <SHFORSTER1@ ...>
                      >
                      > wrote:
                      >
                      > >
                      >
                      > > Al,
                      >
                      > >
                      >
                      > > I started out with an ST-237 S BIG camera ,
                      > which was unguided.
                      >
                      > >
                      >
                      > > Images were poor, even with a good mount.
                      >
                      > >
                      >
                      > > As soon as I borrowed an auto guider, my images
                      > improved
                      >
                      > dramatically.
                      >
                      > >
                      >
                      > > Most important, GET RON's BOOK, "The New CCD
                      > Astronomy"!! !!!!
                      >
                      > >
                      >
                      > > Find your local club, and spent time with a CCD
                      > imager!!!!
                      >
                      > >
                      >
                      > > Get a good mount, that you won't outgrow. I'm
                      > partial to
                      >
                      > Losmandy's.
                      >
                      > >
                      >
                      > > Used ST-7's, which are self guiding show up for
                      > $550 0n AStromart
                      >
                      > > shipped.
                      >
                      > >
                      >
                      > > Cheap way to get in the door, autoguided.
                      >
                      > >
                      >
                      > > STU
                      >
                      > >
                      >
                      > > --- In ccd-newastro@ yahoogroups. com, Murray
                      > Hammick <mphammick@>
                      >
                      > > wrote:
                      >
                      > > >
                      >
                      > > > Al,
                      >
                      > > >
                      >
                      > > > I am only a small distance down the road in
                      > this hobby - but
                      >
                      > might
                      >
                      > > have some useful suggestions
                      >
                      > > >
                      >
                      > > > Do you have amount ? If not, then you should
                      > consider this as
                      >
                      > the
                      >
                      > > most important building block of all. You could
                      > avoid buying a
                      >
                      > scope
                      >
                      > > for a while and use your photographic equipment
                      > in the near term
                      >
                      > as
                      >
                      > > long as you have a good mount. Take a look at
                      > Astromart, a really
                      >
                      > > good enthusiasts' trading site for astronomical
                      > kit. You can buy a
                      >
                      === message truncated ===


                      www.flemingastrophotography.com
                      Direct from Boston - brilliant diamonds in pea soup
                      Also check out the astro_narrowband Yahoo group!
                    • Jim Ferreira
                      I d steer clear of the clone CG-5s, unless you have lots of time to tweak and adjust, essentially overhaul...even then, depending upon which drive motors you
                      Message 10 of 11 , Jul 5, 2008
                      • 0 Attachment
                        I'd steer clear of the clone CG-5s, unless you have lots of time to
                        tweak and adjust, essentially overhaul...even then, depending upon
                        which drive motors you end up with, it is only a marginal mount at
                        best. Usually the tripods they come with are worthless.

                        The Meade LX-75 would be a better direction to go in that price
                        range, but you're still looking at a lot of tweaking to get up to
                        speed for imaging with a 80mm or 102mm scope.

                        I settled on the Losmandy GM8 due to budget, and with my small
                        aperture scopes and entry level, light weight cameras, I've been
                        pretty pleased with results. GoTo is good, but, in my opinion,
                        setting circles only take a few moments to use, seeing as how the
                        mount needs to be accurately aligned for imaging anyway. And, when
                        CCD imaging, you usually only need to locate one or two objects a
                        night at most. In this digital age, there is still uses for analog
                        tools.

                        Cheers
                        Jim
                        Livermore CA
                        http://www.lafterhall.com/ccd_imaging.html


                        <<snip>> Are the low-cost CG-5
                        > copies serviceable mounts? <<snip>>
                        > Any advice would be greatly appreciated,
                        >
                        > Al
                        >
                      • Murray Hammick
                        If you can afford it I would try for GoTo capabilities - just to remove one more element from the loop. I agree with Jim s points - and a good astronomer
                        Message 11 of 11 , Jul 5, 2008
                        • 0 Attachment
                          If you can afford it I would try for GoTo capabilities - just to remove one more element from the loop. I agree with Jim's points - and a good astronomer should not have problems with setting circles: its certainly worth making sure that you do not overlook the setting circle option as a potential cost saving route.

                          But..... personally I would still try to reach for a goto mount. Perhaps I am a tad timid !

                          --- On Sat, 7/5/08, Jim Ferreira <bakerst@...> wrote:
                          From: Jim Ferreira <bakerst@...>
                          Subject: [ccd-newastro] Re: Some low budget recommendations please
                          To: ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com
                          Date: Saturday, July 5, 2008, 5:39 PM











                          I'd steer clear of the clone CG-5s, unless you have lots of time to

                          tweak and adjust, essentially overhaul...even then, depending upon

                          which drive motors you end up with, it is only a marginal mount at

                          best. Usually the tripods they come with are worthless.



                          The Meade LX-75 would be a better direction to go in that price

                          range, but you're still looking at a lot of tweaking to get up to

                          speed for imaging with a 80mm or 102mm scope.



                          I settled on the Losmandy GM8 due to budget, and with my small

                          aperture scopes and entry level, light weight cameras, I've been

                          pretty pleased with results. GoTo is good, but, in my opinion,

                          setting circles only take a few moments to use, seeing as how the

                          mount needs to be accurately aligned for imaging anyway. And, when

                          CCD imaging, you usually only need to locate one or two objects a

                          night at most. In this digital age, there is still uses for analog

                          tools.



                          Cheers

                          Jim

                          Livermore CA

                          http://www.lafterha ll.com/ccd_ imaging.html



                          <<snip>> Are the low-cost CG-5

                          > copies serviceable mounts? <<snip>>

                          > Any advice would be greatly appreciated,

                          >

                          > Al

                          >


























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