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Whats Happening in my Atronomy World

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Been a while

Hello All   Been a while since I last went out, due to cloud and timing of the clear nights, all ways when im on morning shift.
During this time I’ve done a system swap from my Olympus E-510 to a Canon EOS1100D. got same kit off the bay, 2 zooms and a flash gun.
Now have to get the old stuff sold.   Saturday 12 September   Got a few hours in last night, Visual only with the 150p on the EQ 3-2, with new motor upgrade.
M39 open cluster The perseus double cluster M103 open cluster

All were stunning especially the double cluster. It amazing how rich Casseopia and perseus region is.   On each of these I gave first light to my new EOS 1100D.
I was most impressed, I was getting 2 min tracked subs on the mount. I also gave first light to the Baader MPCC mk 3 which was excellent.
I didn’t do any calibrating frames as I was only giving a few exposures to see how long I could get on the mount and I was expecting clouds.   Im looking forward to giving the whole imaging setup a good run now after those results. I think the target has to be the double cluster.   Im on afternoons this coming week and a week off after that so Im also going to get the camera with the 70-300 lens and do some tracked wide shots on the EQ3-2.   steve




8th to 16 August

Hello All   Saturday 8 August
Got the new ZWO120mm-s on the st80 as a guider atop the astromaster 130eq
Went after M52
All went well apart from the backlash in Dec causing a drop off the chart. Had to up the correction time to 999ms (max) had a massive saw tooth pattern but it was bringing it back. So ive proven that the mount is guidable.
Got a good image with round stars in the middle so I just need to fix the coma. Got the baader MPCC to try out once ive moded the astromaster to a 2inch focuser.
Well pleased sofar       Monday 10 august   Set the ZWO 120 MM-s as an all sky cam for the persieds.
Couldn’t spend much time on it as I was on morning [removed word] so I run from 10 til midnight.
I captured many aircraft but I also got the ISS and a couple of meteors in a 15 minuite run  
Sat 15 August
Just had a visual evening tonight. I did try the Baader MPCC on the e-510 attached to the 150p.
I was surprised I achieved focus with over an inch to spare (wondering what the pds version gives now)
Had an issue with the spacing though and the coma corrector going on the tilt as I tightened the lock screws on the focuser.
I need around a 12.5 spacer to get the required 55mm from the focal plane of the camerato the CC shoulder.
Just shows how everything is geared for canon/Nikon and nothing else (bigger deeper bodies)   So im thinking now can I utilise the 150p as an imaging scope rather than mod the 130eq   Hmm allways something to think about and or buy J




15 to 21 July (2 outings)

Hello All   Friday 17 July   Big set up.   150pl on the exos 2 GOTO   First target was Saturn to see what the longer FL made. I wasn’t disappointed, more magnification on the same EP. Used the 9mm x-cell (133x) the view was superb even though it was behind trees for a while and very low in the sky. Next outing I will capture some webcam video and see how it goes.   150p on the EQ 3-2 manual   Found M57 ring nebula. This was more an experiment in seeing how my manual finding skills were. I must say a proper finder scope rather than a RDF made a huge difference. I first found Vega and set the setting circles. Then found the RA/Dec for M57 and slewed round. A quick look in the finder to get bearings then looked in the 25 mm NPL EP, M57 very slightly of center but in view.
Once I was dark adapted I changed to 9mm X-cell and learn’t how to use averted vision, I was stunned by the difference it made.
Then I slewed to M13 co-ordinates and that was bang in the centre of the 25 mm EP, back to the 9 mm WOW
I found the EQ 3 so much easier to use than the old wobbly CG-3 my astromaster came on.
I can’t emphasise enough the difference a quality mount makes even for visual use.
Also the extra 20 mm aperture over the astromaster 130EQ
I have now shortened the Astromaster 130 EQ tube by 20 mm to allow Prime focus photography without the need for a barlow.
Overall I have the options for visual and AP simultaneously and am now starting to enjoy astronomy rather than think about what else I need to do it  
Sunday 19 July   130EQ on the Exos 2 GOTO   I piggybacked the ST80 to use as a guider with a webcam. Couldn’t resolve a star on M27 so I reverted to 1 min unguided exposures with the Olympus.
After focusing on Vega I slewed to M57 and ran the first exposure. Checked the screen and there it was bang in the middle a fuzzy white BMW badge. So ran off 30 1 min. exposures plus 5 each flats, bias and darks. For the lights I used the laptop screen with notepad open over the tube and set the cam to shutter priority. All calibration frames taken at same focus and orientation.     150p on EQ 3-2   While the images were running, Observed M27 and M57. Finding it so much easier now.   M57strainght on target with the slewing, first a distinct ring with a slightest two tone hint of greys.
M27 Again strainght on target with the slewing, a brightish fuzzy but I could resolve the swirl looking something like a BMW badge
Both of these were sketched.
Sketeches can be found in my gallery   Lesson learnt
Lower the mount when I want to sketch so I can sit down and concentrate   steve




In the Beginning

“the Story So Far”   This is my first ever blog   It started Christmas 2014 when I had a Celestron astro master 130 EQ with motor drive. I soon discovered that although the OTS part was great the mount and motor drive were severely lacking in quality and function.
First I stripped and re-greased the mount and modified the motor drive to use 8 rechargeable AA batteries to provide more amps as the pp3 was poor in the cold.
This made a massive improvement to the mount and made viewing a little more pleasurable but it was still very light weight and not sturdy.   It was this time I joined “SGL”   It was then I made the decision to upgrade the mount but found them more than I could justify spending thus I hit “the bay” and found a Bresser EXOS 2 GOTO and got it.
I found it to be excellent and solid as a rock. It also transpired that it was formerly owned by an SGL member and I had read his thread before deciding to buy.   This is where the “money pit” really started.   I bought some Quality EP’s
I found an interest in AP starting by piggybacking eventually getting an ST-80 to use as a guidescope and other bits and pieces. I’m still short of a guide camera though and I’m trying to used a webcam with varying success.
I then shortened my astro master tube to hit prime focus without barlowing.
I got a second DSLR body, an Olympus E-510 as the E-500 couldn’t be controlled by a cable remote only IR and thus had to stand there through an imaging run.   I have also discovered “astro boot” and I now have 2 more scopes
A 150 p and pl ota's along with an EQ 3-2 mount
I learnt that longer focal length is more suited to planetary so I got both. Along with the astro master I hope to have viewing and photography options covered. And be able to view on the EQ 3-2 whilst performing an imaging run on the EXOS.   I am hoping now guide camera aside the spending will “slow down” and I can start doing dome more observing/imaging without thinking

“I need something else”   Though I doub’t it J   steve



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