ZWO ASI 120MC 2.0 vs 3.0 port

Discussions of using SharpCap for Planetary Imaging
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danjhorw
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ZWO ASI 120MC 2.0 vs 3.0 port

Post by danjhorw »

I'm trying to do planetary imaging with the ZWO ASI120MC 2.0 USB version, but all new laptops, mine included, have only 3.0 USB ports. I'm getting images that aren't clear in the SharpCap software and even dancing around on the screen. Is my 2.0 version just no longer useful, or do I need some knowhow here? Thanks
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admin
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Re: ZWO ASI 120MC 2.0 vs 3.0 port

Post by admin »

Hi,

have you tried adjusting the 'Turbo USB' setting? Turning that off of auto mode and then turning the value down may well help stabilise the image. I've seen similar reports of problems with the older USB 2.0 120 MC cameras here on the forums, but I can't find the right link just at the moment. Certainly worth having a try at tweaking the Turbo USB setting and also potentially working through some of the other hints in the USB troubleshooting page.

viewtopic.php?f=18&t=349&p=1556#p1556

Cheers, Robin
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turfpit
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Re: ZWO ASI 120MC 2.0 vs 3.0 port

Post by turfpit »

danjhorw
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Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2020 11:35 pm

Re: ZWO ASI 120MC 2.0 vs 3.0 port

Post by danjhorw »

Thanks for the links. I see that others have experienced a variety of USB related issues between the 120MC USB 2.0 camera vs USB 3.0 port and SharpCap 3.2. I've got some experimentation to do, and if I find a workable solution I'll post it.

Thanks much!!
danjhorw
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Re: ZWO ASI 120MC 2.0 vs 3.0 port

Post by danjhorw »

ZWO says that the 2.0 ASI120MC camera and 3.0 PC will not work well. I'm looking at upgrading the camera to a 3.0 ASI290MC, very affordable, or the OPT recommended ASI174MM, not so affordable. OPT says the 174 monochrome is a better match for pixel size to the 8SE focal length, which is true, but my problem is that in order to achieve/process color images I then need narrowband filters, separate time/effort for captures with each LRGB, and more processing to get to the final color image result. Not to mention the significantly higher cost to of the monochrome cameras and related accessories.

Any suggestions or experience with using the 290 and/or 174 with the 8SE to achieve decent quality color pics?

Thanks,
Dan H
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turfpit
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Re: ZWO ASI 120MC 2.0 vs 3.0 port

Post by turfpit »

Dan

See my Jupiter here viewtopic.php?f=7&t=211 , captured with a Celestron C8 and ASI120MC back in 2017 when Jupiter was at a decent elevation for me. Your 8SE and my C8 are the same scope except for the colour.

If looking to spend money these days I tend to use Astrobin as my resource by searching out what can actually be delivered by the proposed equipment. For example a search for 174MM + Top Picks gives https://www.astrobin.com/search/?q=174m ... d=top-pick
This gives some idea of the capability of that particular camera in the hands of a capable imager. You would need to look at what type of scopes are being used. Of course the vendor will pick up the additional sale of filters and maybe a filter wheel if you go that route.

A search for C8 + ASI290MC https://www.astrobin.com/search/?q=C8+asi290MC gives a good indicator of what you would be able to achieve with this combination. Note there are no Top Picks.

A search for C11 + ASI290MC https://www.astrobin.com/search/?q=c11+asi290mc gives some good images including Top Picks and Image Of The Day.

From the above you will have some idea that the £250 invested in the ASI290MC is capable of giving decent results with your scope and won't break the bank.

Astro imaging is a progressive hobby - spending £20k on a fancy mount, scope and camera would not achieve good results for a beginner. The skills have to be developed over time - there is no short cut.

[EDIT] If your 8SE is mounted on a single arm, you will need to be careful about how much can be attached to the back of the scope and still clear the mount.

On the 120MC 2.0 v 3.0 USB port, ZWO created the camera to use a non standard USB packet size. This is why the camera plays up in some USB3 ports. This was was well documented in the ZWO forums relating to capture programs running on Linux. The 'S' (USB3) version of the camera has no such problems.

Dave
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