UPDATED (February 2016): PAGE UNDER CONSTRUCTION. This page is being updated to reflect the current changes and upgrades in my setup. I am now using other alternatives such as a GPUSB or an Arduino as a means to establish communication between the telescope and the mount since the parallel port (the port used in the original version of this DIY) is now becoming obsolete.

In this article, I will describe how to setup your own autoguider, a guidance system astrophotographers use to automatically follow the motion of sky objects, which is a requirement in imaging distant galaxies, nebulas, and many other deep-space objects. The key to imaging targets beyond our solar system is accurate and precise tracking, only achievable with the use of an autoguider. To view some sample images of what can be achieved with this setup, click here.

whyautoguide

In an attempt to help those with no electronics background to fully understand how the system works, I have used the simplest circuits available. In future posts, upgrades to these circuits will be implemented to improve its reliability. Feel free to browse the details of the project below, which is presented in four parts:

Part 1: Introduction UPDATED JANUARY 2016
Autoguider November 2015

Part 2: Setting-up the Guiding Software UPDATED JANUARY 2016
PHD_loop

Part 3: Wiring Diagrams PAGE UNDER CONSTRUCTION
typical wiring diagram of a hand controller

Part 4: Autoguiding and Polar Alignment PAGE UNDER CONSTRUCTION
PGD2_guidestar

For tutorials on how to get started with astrophotography, click here.
For DIY astronomy projects useful for astrophotography, click here.
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© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

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