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  1. Past hour
  2. Hi, Quick question. 9.25 Edge with a SW 72ED Guidescope on a CGX. Tried OAG and didn’t like “fiddling with the prism depth, spinning around for stars, etc...” so back to the guidescope. the 9.25 is on the mount via the Celestron dovetail it came with, the standard Celestron orange D type 4 screw mounted. I put Losmandy on top for the guidescope and it seems so much more rigid I’m thinking of swapping the dovetails and using the ADM with the 9.25 and the Orange Celestron for the guidesope. Any opinions on adding flexure to guide vs reducing it on main scope? I know, should probably break down and get a second ADM but this stuff gets expensive really fast if you know what I mean...
  3. Good score! The Green Cross Code has obviously worked well for you. You should definitely stay away from "The Express" click bait headlines. Every single day, something is "out to get us." Read on down and it all proves to be complete nonsense. The Express used to come up as a suggestion on Google News. They were obviously aware of my interest in astronomy. TMA! Too Much Advertising! So I stopped being taken in and now I'm almost back to what passes as normal. Ticket prices to the Ark?? If you have to ask...
  4. I use a Wixey angle finder to get the Alt angle right and then I tend to use a compass. I align the North arrow of the compass and rotate the body so the long edge is aligned E-W then I have a piece of string between the E and W legs of the tripod. Once the string is parallel to the side of the compass, its normally close enough for me, but I do visual only. This is a tip a saw on @Montana blog when I was searching how to polar align in daylight for solar observation. I use this method in daytime and at night. I think I've only ever properly polar aligned my EQ5 once and found the process such a nuisance that I quickly looked for a lazy man's way to do it.
  5. John Well done on spotting M74 in your 130mm. I was also touring the sky. The transparency here was not perfect but despite that I spotted a few new pisces galaxies around NGC 524. Here is a pic from the internet.
  6. Brilliant report just shows you dont need high mag to see so many beautiful objects.
  7. Adding anything on top of a curved tool will increase its radius of curvature. It follows that grinding will remove the outer regions first. Ceramic isn't that hard under the glaze. Steel washers and Araldite used to get a good press. I cut up thick glass into squares. Then used pitch to stick them onto a 16" pre-curved, dental plaster tool. The plaster was too soft even after gentle baking and a nightmare to clean up between grades. A metal disk from a scrapyard would be my choice of tool these days if I couldn't afford a plate glass tool. Plate glass has the advantage of being softer than "Pyrex." So "boulders" will be crushed into the plate glass surface first. Use less abrasive for a sharper but shorter cutting action. Too much powder and it just grinds together and turns to mud. Be guided by the noise. If there is any with your plaster and ceramics? Glass on glass rings nicely. You could play it by ear. Even if you were tone deaf.
  8. I use an XP-10 from antigravity batteries. Has the right plug at 12v/10a for the mount and I tee it to power the camera cooler. never gets hot, runs for days, no complaints..except the price. $189 i think US for the regular and $219 for the heavy duty. but its seriously 3 times the capacity of the new celestron I see at 6 or 7 ah. its 18 ah (18,000mah) and has jump started my 4x4 on occasion. https://antigravitybatteries.com/products/micro-starts/xp-10-hd/
  9. Today
  10. Hi Grant Thank you for all your time on this. I suggest going down to seasonal challenges, four a year. Hopefully the range of entrants would be broader. Limit the number of submissions per entrant if the number to judge gets too high. Cheers Paul
  11. I very much enjoy them... and I know others do as well. Maybe we just need some new ideas for the challenges.
  12. Yep the bottom one definitely has smoked and measuring the other it doesn't look good either. Looks like the 12V goes into the first guessing 5V and I think that feeds the second most likely 3.3V ? A Schematic would be nice. PCB appears to have been worked on before too! I've looked around for a schematic but so far nothing, Skywatcher won't give me one no surprise there. Pretty sure they are 3.3V or 5V regulators , got my Handset working again today. Was a 3.3V regulator in that fried.
  13. Ended up testing a bit more, and this interpretation seems to be a bit more blended. Feels like fuzzier details, though. I didn't get this with daytime photos, so this just feels very confusing. dcraw64 -r 1 1 1 1 -d -4 -T -b 16 *.cr2 (FYI, I did stretch the image a touch, which is why it appears brighter.)
  14. Nice one Neil and great to be out again. Galloway for possibly 10 nights and fingers crossed lots of memorable star hopping sessions. Looking forward to some very nice views and lots of galaxies
  15. Good to get out Paul. Looks like some clear skies are moving in.
  16. Tripped over mine at the foot of the stairs so definitely know where it is!!!
  17. I added a larger TEC (50W, this time) and heatsink. It dropped the EXIF temperature very quickly, and condensation began forming within a few minutes of having it turned on. I needed to use a desktop PC power supply to get this one started, as the laptop PSU had some type of short-circuit protection preventing it from running. I noticed something interesting while I was messing around with my camera again. I went back and looked at a photo with light leaks, and saw vertical lines. But, it's not "banding noise", per se... it almost looks like it's showing the gap between pixels, now that I'm using DCRAW to ignore the Bayer interpretation for RGB. I think that's what I'm seeing as vertical banding in my images. I hope that dithering will reduce that significantly. Any other ideas as to how to eliminate this? Can I "re-debayer" the image as mono, but in a way that's more like when it's interpreted as RGB to get rid of those pixel columns?
  18. Here is the first light image with my new Atik460EX mono CCD. captured 20 X 15 min subs but had to delete the first 5 due to camera tilt, so this is only 15 x 15 mins with Baader 7nm Hydrogen Alpha filter and my Altair wave F7 Triplet refractor + Planostar 0.79x focal reducer bringing it to F5.5. Guided, captured & stacked in MaximDL, DDP stretch in Astro Pixel Processor, final processing in Photoshop. No Darks or flats. pleased to have captured the exceedingly faint Soap Bubble planetary nebula near bottom centre, this object is so faint it wasn't discovered until 2008, the bubble is an almost perfect sphere of gas expelled by its progenitor red giant star in the centre. Really pleased with how clean the files are with this camera, the single subs are clean enough to post by themselves with no calibration. Also attached close up of the soap bubble
  19. I've had a pleasant evening out under the stars tonight here in Cornwall. Just come in. I decided it wasn't really clear enough for any imaging. So I spent the time looking at various objects in Auriga, Persius, Gemini and Orion partly with bins and with scope. Had a quick look at Uranus too.
  20. You lucky devils. Nearly three weeks of terrible weather and has been caning down most of the night. Can hear it drumming on the roof. Small river running down the drive!
  21. Wowzers, congrats on the new scope Adam! All that aperture.... and F2.8! So does this hereby endeth the reign of the dual rig? My (probably bad) Maths says this will gather 2.5 times as much light as two 80ED's, but obviously with tonnes more resolution. Nice!
  22. Clouds still holding off so set comet time lapse running again, just make out Milky Way overhead so pretty clear still, Orion looking good and Moon rising. Dave
  23. Ok, that's me finished for tonight too. Goodnight and good luck to anyone still going....
  24. It's pretty good here. I've packed the scope in but just popped out with some 8x30 binoculars and found M33 quite easily.
  25. Come to think of it... What method do you use for polar alignment? It may well be that you could do that before it's sufficiently dark for imaging anyhow. James
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