Testing out some new gear

This past Thursday with full moon blazing, I tested out some new gear under pristine skies. I recently decided to revisit autoguiding.  I have a few criteria to meet: no laptop and ease of use. You see I am old and come from the film days of ST-4 and my all time favorite the STV/efinder combination.  

The SBIG SG-4 caught my eye since it requires no laptop in the field. One is necessary for initial focus on your guidescope, but as long as nothing changes with the scope/guider, just a click of the button and it guides away.  

   AP130EDTGF on APMACH1 mount with guidescope and SG-4 attached.

 AP130EDTGF on APMACH1 mount with guidescope and SG-4 attached.

The guidescope selected is the Baader/AP guide rings combination for it’s promoted rigidity.  

   The additional ring support on the focused tube is why I went with the Baader/AP guidescope .

 The additional ring support on the focused tube is why I went with the Baader/AP guidescope.

After initial setup of the SG-4 and focus achieved, I decided to also setup my Canon for first run with the Astronomic 12nm h-alpha filter. the goal was to begin collecting data on eastern veil. 

Long story short, the SG-4 stores the XY calibration in the unit  As long as the orientation of the SG-4/guidescope/mount remain constant, the SG-4 is always ready to guide with a click of the button   

   H  ere is the final part of the SG-4 calibration log. The most important part is the X+, X-, Y+, andY- movement in pixels and direction .  

 Here is the final part of the SG-4 calibration log. The most important part is the X+, X-, Y+, andY- movement in pixels and direction.  

With the SG-4 calibrated and the Canon focused with the h-alpha filter, we are ready for a test run.  

Here is a raw image at nearly 100% of the eastern veil nebula. It is a 15 minute auto guided frame. I did a simple polar scope alignment to begin the evening. I am very happy with the SG-4 in the backyard-the real test will come from a dark sky site.   

 

  100% crop of h-alpha eastern veil at ISO 1600 for 15 minutes with the SG-4/Baader/AP scope.

100% crop of h-alpha eastern veil at ISO 1600 for 15 minutes with the SG-4/Baader/AP scope.