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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:35 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 9:01 pm
Posts: 39
Hi again, long time since last post
Just wanted some advice as to what is the best software and cables to guide my celestron cg8 on a heq5 mount.?
I have a Phillips toucam modded which I hope to use to guide and a celestron 5mp neximager
Just ordered an off axis guider from opticstar so I'm nearly there
Still having trouble trying to align my scope but would a guiding package counter my lack of telescope alignment ?
Thanks in advance lee

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:39 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:58 pm
Posts: 3540
Location: Wellingborough
Hi Lee.

I have no experience of guiding, but maybe there's something here that can help you : ... eshooting/

It does cover more general things as well as PHD,


52.3N 0.6W
Wellingborough UK.

254mm LX90 on Superwedge, WO ZS66SD, Helios 102mm f5 on EQ1, Hunter 11x80, Pentax 10x50
ASI120MC Toucam Pros 740k/840k/900nc mono, Pentax K110D
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 10:27 am 

Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2004 12:12 pm
Posts: 1052
Location: Flackwell Heath, Bucks, UK
I have used my Toucam to guide my HEQ5 Pro successfully. You need a reasonably fast guide scope (I used 60 mm f/5) so you can find guide stars down to about mag 6 or maybe 7. This considerably limits the number available so you need a fair amount of adjustment on the direction of the guide scope.

As for cables, you need an adapter to plug the serial cable supplied with the scope into a USB port. Each USB port has a different port number so you have to use the same one each time and tell the software which it is (trial and error to get the port number right). You need to download the ASCOM driver for your mount, which means first downloading the ASCOM platform.

Once you have the mount wired up you can test that it works by controlling it from computer software. I use SkyMap but I think it should run from Stellarium as well.

For guiding I use PHD. You need to let it run for about 8 mins to work out which way is up, and check the guiding parameters. Sometimes you have to fiddle with these if it says the star is not moving enough during its checks.

Then if you are lucky, miraculously it all works!

I now use a Lodestar guider and a dedicated 60 mm APM guidescope, and the advantage of these is that the unit stays together ready-focused and just fits into the finder shoe when I've aligned the scope. The CCD is sensitive enough that there is always a guide star available, since it will go down to mag 11 or so. But the downside is that the combination costs around £500 so my £40 Toucam and the 60 mm refractor that I bought in the 1980s were much more economical!


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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 12:32 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2005 1:53 pm
Posts: 1168
Location: Somerset, UK
I guide with my ToUcam and PHD. I use it in ASCOM mode using EQASCOM software. This can be done with either an EQ Direct cable (USB to guide port), or like me with a USB to Synscan controller cable (all the commands go through the controller). I like to use EQASCOM to use stellarium connected to my scope (this really helps with hunting down the fainter targets for an imaging session).

Evostar Skywatcher 120/1000mm Refractor, Motor Driven EQ3.2 Mount.
Skyliner 250PX, EQ6 GOTO Synscan Mount
10x50 Bressner Bins, Canon EOS1000D, Canon S30
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