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I have the ST2000XCM CCD that comes with the integrated guider. I find that using an external guider, like the Orion SS Autoguider works better. What are your experiences?

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External guiding is much better for a variety of reasons. I have an internal guider as well and never use it.
I bought the Orion short tube with starshooter package. It instantly upgraded the setup, but I'm thinking that the short tube optics kind of suck, so I'm thinking of upgrading to a cheap longer focal range autoguider scope.

And yes, internal guiding isn't all it's cracked up to be. It is less weight on the mount sure, but the results aren't worth the ten pounds roughly that you save.
Honestly, the only issue I saw was that every tenth image my software would lock up. Thought it was more an issue of the cpu being crap rather than the guider. Results were otherwise about the same.

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