Orion Magnificent Mini Deluxe AutoGuider Package
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- Complete, compact, and easy-to-operate autoguiding system designed for precise astrophotographic guiding with instruments up to 1500mm focal length
- Included Deluxe Mini 50mm Guide Scope with Helical Focuser allows you to focus guide stars precisely for optimal results
- This complete autoguiding solution includes the popular and easy to use Orion StarShoot AutoGuider - capable of subpixel guiding accuracy!
- Adjustable-aim dovetail guide scope bracket installs on virtually any astrophotography telescope quickly and easily
- Very small and compact autoguiding system adds hardly any weight to an astrophotography setup and can conveniently be stashed in an accessory case between uses
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This complete, compact, and convenient autoguiding solution will help you acquire accurate astrophotos easily. Our compact, all-in-one autoguiding solution includes everything you need to enjoy enhanced accuracy in all your astrophotographs. Designed for use with imaging instruments up to 1500mm in focal length, the Magnificent Mini Deluxe AutoGuider package includes a 50mm guide scope featuring a precise helical focuser, StarShoot AutoGuider, dovetail mounting base, and a small adapter plate. The 50mm aperture, 162mm focal length (f/3.2) Deluxe Mini Guide Scope features fully multi-coated achromatic optics and a precise, machined helical focus mechanism to allow for faster, more precise focusing of potential guide stars. The Deluxe Mini 50mm Guide Scope's machined and anodized helical focuser has a fixed-orientation design that will not rotate the installed StarShoot AutoGuider or similar device during focus adjustments. This ensures the field of potential guide stars will not rotate when focus adjustments are made. You'll never have to search for potential guide stars thanks to the Deluxe Mini 50mm Guide Scope's bright and wide field-of-view. Our popular StarShoot AutoGuider features a 1.2" format 1.3MP CMOS sensor with 5.2 x 5.2 micron sized pixels for accurate guiding performance. The dovetail guide scope bracket omits the need for a piggyback oriented guide scope system which can be a hassle to install and balance.
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As far as ease of use, it really is simple. I attach the supplied cables, one to my mounts guide port and another to my laptop. It takes a few minutes to calibrate itself and then the guiding can start. I do have to recalibrate whenever I shift my scope from tracking on either side of the meridian, so I usually set it to track objects on the west side just after dark. When I finish with those objects I recalibrate if my next set are still on the eastern side. You don't have to recalibrate from object to object provided they are on the same side of the meridian, just stop guiding until you center the next object, pick a new guide star (or have the software pick for you) and start guiding again.
I did have to use the adapter supplied to mount it to my Explore Scientific scope, my scope has both this autoguider and the original finder scope. It adds weight roughly equal to my DSLR, but my mount is still well within its load capacity. If you have any problems just type PHD into a search engine and you'll find plenty of helpful advice to resolve any issues.
I was running this on a old Acer One netbook which seemed to handle the PHD software (included with the guider), BackyardEOS and WinVNC without issues!
My process was just these few easy steps:
Set up scope as you normally would for imaging (I purposely did a sloppy polar alignment)
Start up PHD (Push Here Dummy)
adjust shutter time of guidescope to get desired results (it is very sensitive once you get it focused!)
Take a dark (needs to be done with the same length of time as your lights) which vastly improves the image on the screen
and you can either manually select a guide star near your intended target or let it auto choose.
You then make one more click and PHD will begin slightly moving the mount around to orient itself, E, W, N, S etc.
After a couple of minutes it will say Guiding and that's it!
Even with my sloppy polar alignment it was able to keep the star centered even though it was making adjustments in both the declination and ra. I had to mildly bump up the size of the adjustments it was making in the declinations but this was also due to my polar alignment which was intended to test it.
I did some brief imaging of M5 and Albireo. The images where not perfect but each one was identical so it was guiding just fine and the results would in all likely hood have been spot on if I did a proper alignment. Even at two minute subs the smear was very minor and only noticeable when zoomed in.
Great little product, they can't make this a simpler device! Worth every penny! The only suggestion I might make is to get the Guide package with the focuser as you may want to use the guidescope as a finder scope as well.
I finally dug my refractor out which is an Explore Scientific ED102. This is my heaviest scope and I was easily able to attach the SSAG to the top handle rails. If you want to use the carrying case, you will need to remove the base as it sticks up too much to close the case. I plan on having a base which will hold the SSAG and attach to the ED102 where the original finder scope base is and mount the finder scope in rings with a more common mini dovetail so that I can swap between the SSAG and the finder scope.
The good news that you want to hear is sometimes I'd be lucky to get 2 minute subs with my ED102 and Canon 7D on my Celestron CG5GT. Often after a really good balance and polar alignment I'd get 3 minute subs and throw out almost half the images. With the SSAG attached, I have gotten TEN minute subs with the same good/bad frame ratio! Worth every penny!!!
The first few times you use this you will likely want to play with the settings and get it tweaked in to your mount and get used to it. The 50mm has been able to pick up stars nearly every time I have needed it to. And it draws very little cpu time from your computer. I run my setup on an old Acer Netbook with BackyardEOS and RealVNC running as well as PHD without a hitch or hiccup!
Now? Easy peasy lemon queezy!
I pretty much only have to do a polar alignment, and turn this thing on... and I am tracking, accurately, for hours....