About a year ago (November 2011), I started constructing a home-built autoguider, a setup astrophotographers use in imaging galaxies, nebula, and many other deep-space stuff. The setup is no different from what is used by observatories world wide, except that this one was built entirely from scratch. Feel free to browse the details of the project here.
This part of the DIY guide focuses on the actual guiding operation and the drift-alignment method for precise polar alignment. We begin by first assembling the telescope along with the guidescope. We also attach the imaging and the guiding cameras and connect all the necessary cables leading to and from the computer.
This Kenko NES tracking mount is classified as an EQ3 mount. I got this mount from a surplus shop in relatively good condition but without the motor controller and counterweights, and sold “as is” with no assurance that the motor will work since it is already 2 decades old (1990 model)! Read more.
Results of the initial tests on guiding capabilities of my home-brewed autoguider setup seems to be promising. I can’t wait to have it tested in the field. :)
Main scope: Sky-Watcher Equinox 100 ED
Guide scope: Meade DS 60
Main camera: Canon S3 IS
Guide camera: Logitech 4000
Mount: Kenko NES
Controller: Eteny Tracker 3
Guiding Software: Guide Dog
Computer: IBM T42