T7C Guide Camera

Dual mounting bar for Sky Watcher Equinox Pro 80mm OTA and William Optics 66mm OTA

I used my existing bits of mounting gear to create a dual mounting bar for my two scopes today – the idea is that the William Optics scope will act as guide scope once that is set up. For time being I have an eyepiece on it and it is useful for aligning the scope.

Andy

 

Sky Watcher Equinox Pro 80mm OTA + Tele Vue TRF-2008 field flattener + QHY10 camera & William Optics 66mm OTQ with T7C guide camera + TS OAG/flip mirror on HEQ5 Pro & focus points on both scopes with these cameras 20/9/2019

Sky Watcher Equinox Pro 80mm OTA + Tele Vue TRF-2008 field flattener + QHY10 camera & William Optics 66mm OTQ with T7C guide camera + TS OAG/flip mirror on HEQ5 Pro & focus points on both scopes with these cameras 20/9/2019:

     

Here I go again…..T7C camera on Sky Watcher 72mm DS Pro OTA & Sabre alt-az mount 280819 & focus points (for chimney) on focus tube for camera and for eyepiece in flip mirror observing port

This post also contains photos showing focus points on telescope and eyepiece for camera/flip mirror arrangement in camera port of flip mirror and for eyepiece in eyepiece port of flip mirror.

I bought the T7C guiding camera from ebay some time ago after Ed Mann recommended it in a RAG meeting talk he gave. I thought it would be a good idea to try using this to take some video of Jupiter as it currently visible – however this first involves setting up the camera on my Sky Watcher DS Pro 72mm scope and finding focus. The photos below show the camera on this scope on my Altair Sabre alt-az mount and with a flip mirror from Teleskop Service. There is a Meade XY adjustable illuminated eyepiece in the observing port of the flip mirror aligned to the chip on the camera and I have focused both camera and eyepiece on the chimney of my neighbour’s house.

The homemade weight on the side of the scope is to balance its front end – a temporary solution until I install a longer Vixen bar so that I can shift the scope forward and balance it properly.

Next steps are to align the finder scope, learn how to use a Bahtinov mask to obtain focus, have a trial of taking and processing video from the camera in daytime on this neighbour’s chimney to learn how to do it, and then when we eventually get another clear night try the set up of Jupiter – does not look like it will be this week! See end of blog post after photos below for follow up discussion on what happened next.

Andy

Note that SharpCap 3.1 treats the T7C as ZWO ASI20MC camera and I downloaded drivers for that camera from the internet  as the T7C did not come with its own drivers. Notice also exposure settings for day time imaging of chimney on right side of SharpCap screenshot below:

Follow up to above on 29/8/2019:

Aligning the finder scope and re-aligning the eyepiece/finder scope after accidently knocking camera slightly: I am shocked how easy it is to knock the scope/finder/camera out of alignment – slightest knock and I am aligning again. With visual observations, I really don’t need to be so precise – this astrophotography is a lesson is getting everything just right.

Taking my first video file with T7C:

This turned out to be very easy in SharpCap 3.1 – just press “Start Capture” – only thing is need to know where SharpCap stores the video files! In my case, I have set it to C:\Users\andre\Desktop\SharpCap Captures\

Using Registax 6 – a failure!

What did I do wrong? Here are the results of my stacking 1200 frames from AVI video taken in SharpCap 3.1 with Registax 6 using default settings.

Roger recommended changing the alignment box size in Registax 6 with a change to this settings below:

It did not work! Still no identifiable picture at other end of process.

So I tried Autostakkart – produced this….

So what has gone wrong?

QHY10 camera and T7C guide camera

It has taken me some time to work out that the T7C guide camera I bought off ebay uses the ZWO ASI120MC driver so after downloading that here is image of neighbour’s solar panels through the T7C.

In EZCAP here is image of similar field through the QHY10 camera.

The QHY10 camera is on my Sky Watcher Equinox Pro 80mm and the T7C is on my William Optics Zenithstar SD Doublet APO 66mm telescope.

Both are my HEQ5 Pro mount.

Andy