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  1. Past hour
  2. To be honest the associations in our country have never been of much help to me though I'm going to ponder over your suggestions and think of something to do. Greatly appreciate your help. Thanks.
  3. You and me both Every day is a step closer, i'm already very glad the exterior work is done so i can get to work on the observatory part, witch is off course the most important part of the whole building (don't tell my wife )
  4. So i guess you need more outward travel on your focuser ? there are extension tubes available, but that would put your camera quite far above your telescope, making it more difficult to balance and you would have more vibration in your image train. Is this the field of view you have ? Doesn't seem to bad no ?
  5. Raptors better not disappoint this year, but then again the Leafs did it for decades and still sell out their games. I still remember when people switch from lets go Raptors to lets go Pizza once they realize we were going to lose and just wanted the free pizza next day with your ticket if they go above 100. The head's fine. Heads bleed a lot even with minor scratch, but what I did took some doing to fix. The glue the ER doc used took something like 6 weeks to come out and was itchy. The size is 6 foot by 6 foot exterior. I only image so the scale of it was not really a concern when I started, and the wife didn't want something that big cause she was concerned I'd use up all the yard space. In hindsight a bit more negotiation or taking the apologize after the fact track, and getting a bigger building might have been a good idea. As now I realize future OTA size is now going to be observatory limited. And this is also one of the reasons why I ended up with a CEM60EC instead of a CEM120EC, at some point while drooling over the 120EC I realize that I wasn't going to be able to really load it up. The other side of this is that the slide I used are rated for 400lb per pair. While I suspect a 8x8 size roof would still be within spec it doesn't leave much room and I'd question performance under snow loads with roof closed. The estimated limit to OTA length + imaging train now is about 1 to 1.2 meters depending on balance point. If the building was north oriented I could get a much bigger length so if that's possible for you it might be a good way to minimize the scale of the building while still being able to fit larger kit. Another thing to consider is your own scale, I am not a slim guy even though I am Chinese, but I am not fat either. So I can move around the setup without too many issues, but someone bigger around the middle might find it much more challenging. In all though if I do it again I'd aim for single section roof to ease automation and likely do a 8x8 instead to gain that extra space for flexibility. This summer's addition would be to finish painting it/trimming, add the automation and potentially solar power the whole lot so I don't have to extension cord it everytime I want to image. The lack of AC power was to reduce the costs and disturbance as I don't think the whole yard dug up to fit AC power was something my wife would have been too happy with. However, again it would be nice to be able to have power on all the time.
  6. I can see someone waving it around in their backyards, saying the names of the constellation, star or nebula and making their neighbor think they are some sort of Harry Potter enthusiasts...
  7. That was quite the slide show, nicely documented. I hope your head healed up, no Frankenstein scar? Would your drive to the hospital be considered distracted driving? (Okay, enough, I'm sure it was nothing to laugh at at the time. Once I was helping a buddy move a bed/couch (I forget what they're called exactly) and the cheap cord we were using to tie it closed snapped and the thing sprung open and caught several of my fingers so bad that I was afraid I'd severed one or all because while we were carefully folding it to get my hand out the blood was pouring out of the glove. Fortunately it was more fright than serious, though I do have a couple of nasty scars.) I will definitely be installing a pier, as much for rigidity as for ground clearance inside; I've kicked my tripod legs one time too many! Sinking it won't be too much of a problem, as my son has installed a number of pilings for decks, etc. Even a flagpole one time! It looks about 2 meters square? After a year plus, are you finding it at all cramped? I was thinking 3x3 but that may be overdoing it, especially as I will only be in there for setup, not observing, and extra width is extra cost. That is an interesting roof design, something I'll keep in mind as I go forward. I'm not very concerned with how it will finish out, as it will be fairly well hidden from view from the house (my wife's concern), and almost entirely from neighbors (my concern), though knowing my son, I'll have to keep a rein on his enthusiasm for aesthetics. As long as it is solid, functional and weather-proofed to a reasonable degree I'll be happy. I think my dog might wonder why his house is so much smaller, though, haha. Thanks a bunch for the ideas. (Just watched the Raptors game. I'm not much into basketball, but that was exciting.)
  8. Today
  9. Oh. My. Your maturity and restraint serve as a model to us all. EBay, nothing, I would have been more like "It's all going ON THE MOON" and started hurling things. I can't say I haven't had KStars and Ekos roll over and die on me. But at least on the Mac it's uncommon. On the Pi...maybe once every other imaging session. If I'm checking it, no huhu, I just miss a bit of imaging time till I get it back up. If not...lunar astronomy. I am saying.
  10. Oh, sorry Carole! I just formed an assumption based on your text and the screen shot. Never mind! Siril is definitely worth a look. It has its quirks, and has misbehaved occasionally for me and for some friends, but it's my go-to among the free programs for stacking. Multiplatform, open source, reasonably performant. User interface takes a bit of getting used to and it does leave intermediate files on your disk with the gay abandon of a bunny fertilizing your yard. Calibration, registration, stacking, and (L)RGB composition are pretty straightforward (in addition to the registration it does among the subs in a stack, it also automatically registers your L, R, G, and B frames.) Demosaicing Bayer-gridded frames is a bit nonobvious, easy enough once you get it. Wow, is that a ringing endorsement or what?
  11. Wow, I'm envious. You figured that out while you were still shooting? >;-}
  12. Conditions weren't great Thursday morning but wanted to test a luminos barlow with the 294mc pro. Scope is c925, best 15% of 1,000 in autostakkert, sharpened in registax and processed in photoshop.
  13. I can’t get “Starwand” out of my head, finally I’ll be able to point my scope at other objects!!
  14. Mine's pretty rough in appearance as my day job doesn't involves a tool belt.. but you can see it here: The major consideration for you is pier or not? A pier is more stable so I would suggest it, but in Ottawa the depth of the concrete pier will need to be more than the relatively easy 4 feet in Toronto to get under the frost. My design ended up with a split roof to help avoid over loading the heavy duty sliders. And in the end I am happy with it as the roof sections are aligned with prevailing winds and I find the two sections together tends to stop wind from getting into the obs when the roof's open. However, a single section roof is better for easy of use and automation. I have plans to automate but am not there yet due to needing a way to open and close the two safety flaps on the top. Feel free to ask me any question, since I am in similar climate my experience will likely be similar to yours once you finish.
  15. I for one am glad there's little nationalistic politics here. I found that stuff on the other forum unpalatable. It is a good thing that more manufacturers are at a state where quality can be produced at reasonable price. IMHO the quality gap was always more about perception than performance...
  16. Hi, folks. I'd like to set up a permanent location about 20 meters off the side of the house to hold my imaging scope. I am quite handy and my son is an experienced contractor so we are confident of handling what needs to be done, but this is something neither of us wishes to jump into without some tech advice. Can anyone provide suggestions or details or preferably schematics for a reasonably priced observatory to enclose an F9 100mm APO that will be mounted on a pier, especially a simple roof design that can be manipulated by one person. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  17. That's pobably true....but I really like this framing. I guess the reducer would be perfect. Rodd
  18. Wow! Those are indeed wonderful images. I'm a new user of the Revolution R2 from California (the camera, not me!). I have gotten lovely colour views of M57, the Blinking Planetary, and an OK view of the Eskimo/Clown Face. I can't see any galaxies or star clusters at all. The galaxies I suspect are just a matter of more practice, but I think the problem with star clusters is the number of really bright hot pixels on my camera. I've got 17 super bright ones, and quite a few more small ones. Does anyone have any advice for how I might deal with this issue? It's lovely to see the colours in the planetaries, but that's not my sole reason for buying this kit! Forgot to mention, I'm using a Celestron Evolution 9.25 inch SCT (so I *know* those star clusters were in the FOV, even if I couldn't see them.) From an urban location. I don't know if it was necessary, but I used a Bahtinov mask to focus before observing with the R2, and that worked a treat!
  19. Thanks for spreading the word! I'm really hoping the Tracking video helps people understand better what is so incredibly special about ST's processing engine vs traditional applications. Tracking is actually where most of my time, efforts and R&D are spent. The "time-travel" of your signal is why StarTools can/should yield better results with the same data. There are some significant improvements coming up to the Decon module (again!), making even better use of "future knowledge" about your signal. I try to explain it on the website;
  20. Hi all me again I bought some rgb filters I while ago new ,I finally tried using them tonight and the red glass rattles ,does this happen with change in temps or is it a straight contact shop and go from there?
  21. Hello, Michael. If you could indulge me once more (a figure of speech, perhaps I mean once or twice more), I have the results from Tuesday night's imaging session, and results are mixed. I was very conscious of my setup routine, tension, balance, cable placement, etc., but while centering the third star (Vega) of alignment in the DSLR 10x live-view box for B-mask focusing, I noticed it was drifting briefly uncommanded, not out of the box, so the drift was not much, but some drift nonetheless, and I had to recenter a couple of times before it settled down. Then after focusing and re-placing the star in the unmagnified center of the DSLR where it was originally after 3-star align, I selected M51 and after framing this galaxy with a couple of 30s exposures I turned my attention to activating GA, and when I returned to the DSLR (2 minutes?) to check positioning of M51 with another 30s exposure, M51 had drifted up the DSLR live-view screen exactly as it had done before! Not all the way out, but a significant drift considering that the DSLR live-view was unmagnified, and far enough that I had no choice but to re-center it, which I did with a couple of short exposures, and then moved it around a few times to see if it would drift again but it seemed stable this time, so I went back to PHD2 to reset. Here is the last short (30s) exposure taken to frame M51 in the DSLR live-view. Magnified, you can see that the image shows star trails (significantly, in the same direction as all the bad subs in the earlier sessions that started all this trouble) over the 30 second exposure, which I only discovered later when studying the exposures: IMG_5248.CR2 And here is the 30s exposure after activating GA where I discovered that the image had drifted in the DSLR live-view along the lines of the star trails in the image above: IMG_5251.CR2 All that aside, once GA gave me the go-ahead and I set the recommendations it provided, I started 3 minute exposures. I could not find calibration setting in GA and only discovered last night that it lies in the 'brain' section of PHD2. This I will rectify next session, but it remained as-is for the two objects I imaged Tuesday night. Results from 26x3m M51subs were varied. 9 were very good, 10 showed very slight star trails under heavy cropping but adequate for wide-field look, and 7 showed significant trails, not as bad as they were in the previous sessions where all the trouble started, but pretty much useless nonetheless. Following are an example of each. Good 3m M51 sub: IMG_5269.CR2 Mediocre sub: IMG_5275.CR2 Bad sub: IMG_5289.CR2 Keep in mind that even the bad subs show star trails significantly shorter than the trails that first brought all this to mine and your attention a couple of weeks ago, which were perhaps 3 times longer, and I'm wondering if it's possible that the 7/26 bad M51 subs from Tuesday might be attributed to the scope orientation, which was nearly vertical during the 90 or so minutes of exposing? I wonder this because after M51 I switched to M57 and my percentage of bad subs dropped from 7/26 for M51, to 14/69 for M57, though a loss that is still far more than I was getting before all this trouble started. I imaged 69 3m exposures of M57. 42 were good, 13 mediocre, and the 14 bad ones just mentioned. Following are examples of each. Good 3m M57 sub: IMG_5297.CR2 Mediocre sub: IMG_5305.CR2 Bad sub: IMG_5309.CR2 Again keep in mind that these short star trails are nowhere near as bad as the ones that brought all this to our attention in the first place, so something has changed for the better. That said, I remind you that my sub losses before all this were minimal, perhaps 2-3% at most. I thought that maybe all this scrutiny of my subs was making me too critical of their appearance, but I checked a bunch of my subs from six sessions a couple of months ago comprising 17 hours total of 5 minute exposures on M81-M82, and they are near perfect, an example of which follows. Typical 5m sub of M81-M82: IMG_2775.CR2 I'm at a loss as to why even the best subs from Tuesday night can't match the typical M81-M82 sub. They are okay, but looking at my M81-M82's thoroughly shows me they are crisper without a doubt. This is driving me crazy. Finally, I attach the guide log from Tuesday night. PHD2_GuideLog_2019-05-21_215054.txt What on earth, or should I say Heaven, is going on? (A rhetorical question for the most part, but at this stage I'll try any suggestions you might have!) Yours in agony, Sean
  22. I cant get focus with my skywatcher only if i used 2x barlow
  23. Proper documentation is the hardest thing to build.. I've been doing a lot of effort to give this project a proper documentation, I believe it's not ready for prime time but for sure has improved a lot. Have a look at https://ardufocus.com/ This will be the location with the most updated information around this project. Any [good or bad] suggestions are welcomed. Is that a world first ? This is my motorized OAG focuser.
  24. Looks a lot better David, the remaining odd stars may just stack out with luck. Dave
  25. To add to what Buzzard75 said I second the bahtinov mask approach - was a game changer for me. You can make your own too so you dont have to buy a ready made one straight away. Theres a few tutorials online for it, and a generator if I recall. I have used card ones and currently using a 3d printed one and they are sooo simple.
  26. Hi, I've a SW Heritage 130p, and i mount it on my lovely SW Az5 which i use with my Lunt 50mm for solar Ha. Ive noticed a lot of vibration at the EP (eg using a N13T6, so not a big heavy lump). I suspect the nifty flextube 2-truss design, plus the plastic focusser board + focusser. This vibration really detracts from pushing up the magnification. Anyone experience similar vibration / have any suggestions to reduce this? Thanks, -Niall
  27. I've tried focusing using just the preview image, manual and FWHM method and finally a Bahtinov mask. The mask makes it dead easy and would be my recommendation if you're doing it manually. Getting those spikes lined up takes out a lot of the guess work and fiddling.
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