Beginner Stripes and The ZWO ASI294MM Pro Camera

As you may know I recently received my ZWO ASI294MM Pro monochrome astrophotography camera. I'll share in another post about how I came to select the ZWO ASI294MM Pro monochrome astrophotography camera including camera specifications along with which resources I used in the decision making process. If you have been following me on my YouTube channel AstroVagabond, you know I'm a beginner. 

You will also know I'm located in a heavily light polluted area being located in San Mateo, California on the SF Peninsula. 

When I was doing my research in November 2020 trying to decide if Astrophotography Deep Sky Object (DSO) was right for me I knew the light pollution would be a challenge. I also learned through my research that moving to a monochrome camera and LRGB and Narrowband filters could help mitigate the light pollution in my Bortle 8 Zone.

So I made my move February 3rd and ordered the following items from Agena Astro Products:

  • ZWO ASI294MM-PRO 11.7 MP CMOS Monochrome Astronomy Camera with USB 3.0 # ASI294MM-P
  • ZWO 8-Position Electronic Filter Wheel for 1.25" or 31mm Filters # EFW8-125/31
  • ZWO 12V 5A AC to DC Adapter for Pro / Cooled Cameras, EAF or ASIAir-Pro (US Only) # DC12V5A-US


Being excited I did not think through what potential issues I might run into before pairing the ZWO ASI294MM Pro and ZWO 8-Position electronic filter wheel with my Sky-Watcher HEQ5 Pro German Equatorial mount.

I attempted to operate the camera paired with my William Optics Zenithstar 61 mod II telescope using Astrophotography Tool for the automation software only to encounter several issues which with forethought, and greater experience, could have been avoid.

This video will provide an overview of the issues and what will be my next steps. It may save you some time if your headed in the ZWO ASI294MM Pro camera direction.

In a nutshell:

  • I did not account for the weight difference between my Canon 6D and the ASI294MM and filter wheel. I had to reposition the mounting ring to a forward position on my dovetail to get proper balance on the declination axis.
  • I did not think through which extension tube spacers I should us along with my William Optics Z61 Adjustable field flattener to achieve proper back focus.
  • I did not do a rough focus of the scope and camera to confirm proper back focus.
  • I failed to review all drivers to see I was using the latest releases for the ZWO ASI294MM monochrome camera. Initially there was a conflict between my ZWO ASI120mm-mini guide scope camera and the ZWO ASI294MM Pro monochrome imaging camera,