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  2. Hard to get a sense of scale from that photo, but a queen common wasp is probably around 25mm long. A hornet is probably nearer 40mm long. If you saw it and thought "Hmmm, that's quite a big wasp", it's probably a wasp. If you thought "Hellfire! That's enormous!" then it was probably a hornet I think hornets (the ones we commonly see in the UK, at least) tend to have a browner throax than the common wasp, but again it's hard to tell from the photo. To me, the hornet abdomen looks more angular than that of the wasp so in this case I'd probably plump for wasp if I had to, but I'm really not sure. James
  3. I have used my Star Adventurer for a while now and is very satisfaid with it. But it could be improved and I have installed an angled viewfinder to the polar telescope, rebuilt the wedge, etc. But there is also the tripod, the one I have now is stable but very big, nothing that I could take with me when traveling. All photagraphy tripods I have looked at that is maximum 0.5 meter long folded look a bit weak or are very expensive. Now I have bought an used Manfrotto model 144, very stable but too long folded. This weekend I cut off the legs to make it shorter. I don't need very high tripod now when using the angled viewfinder. Here is my tripod project: http://www.astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/project-star-adventurer-tripod/01-project-star-adventurer-tripod.html /Lars
  4. I like this video (voiced by William Shatner) and the "We Are NASA" one voiced by Mike Rowe. It's incredible to think that in my lifetime, we could have people living on the moon, in orbit around the moon, and possibly setting foot on Mars.
  5. Hi guys I recently picked up a used QHY163c, and i noticed something strange while taking some calibration frames. I can't explain it, so thought who better to ask than the fine SGL community! Basically, whenever i take some Bias or Dark frames, SGP shows the Median ADU amount as being precisely twice the value of what i am expecting. As SGP reports the ADU count in 16bit, and the QHY163c is 12bit, then AFAIK all i should have to do is divide by 16 and the result should be equal to (or very very close to) the Offset value. I tested numerous combinations of Gain and Offset, but the result was always twice as high as it should be. I've included links below to 10 Bias and 10 Darks. They were taken recently, indoors at night, at Gain 80, Offset 35, and at -15C. Nothing else was connected to the laptop other than the camera. SGP shows the Median ADU as 70, instead of 35. Everything is seemingly working fine. No crashes or hangups, and files download in about 5 secs, so everything seems ok on the surface. I wonder is it possible the firmware is doubling the Offset behind the scenes somehow? I'm convinced the camera is fine, it's just i can't explain what is going on here, and i want to make sure it's not anything silly that i am missing, or if it is even going to be an issue for me going forward. Note, i still haven't given the camera a proper first light test yet, but there's a chance i might be able to tomorrow night. Thanks in advance for any advice! Bias: https://1drv.ms/f/s!AhhWC3D3zU7BpQjaXQo83p953Thp Darks: https://1drv.ms/f/s!AhhWC3D3zU7BpQlBlAUwG-8L2szP ps - The Darks were 180s long, and the Bias were 0.3s long (as i know Bias don't work at extremely short exp times with these cameras).
  6. I'm currently using a newtonian and a very nice mono ccd camera, and am quite satisfied with the experience so far. However I'm still thinking of moving to astrophotography with refractors, for better contrast and supposedly more crystal details. But I was again and again put off by the price for high quality Apos, for the fact that even a "small" 80mm ED will cost more than twice the price of my 150mm Newt, let alone the higher end triplets with larger apertures. Recently I was thinking of the feasibility of using Achromatic refractors for astrophotography. I understand that achromatics are prone to chromatic abberation as colors don't usually focus on one point. However this can be countered by the use of mono cameras, as what I have now. So all I need to do is to refocus for RGB channel and ideally I have have quality monochrome images for each channel at a much lower cost than a Apo (although Lum frames may be affected as it contains information of all channels). I'm not an experienced refractor user so I'm not sure how plausible this idea is. Has anyone had any similar experience or even had a trial on this? Any suggestions will be helpful. If it is a doable idea, are there any suggestions for the "good" achromatics for astrophotography on the market? Thanks in advance.
  7. got the ASIaIR - not had a chance to use in anger - went to Sky before easter - it rained al the sum unsurprisingly. Only one faces rig - in rebuild stages but can knock up a couple semi rigs - per plus the Adventurer- also failed the test in Skye Too much stuff, no time to work outset combinations now....... wish I could retire - but at least 5yrs to go to UK pension
  8. No the drawtube travel on an SCT focuer is short, about 30mm and diesn’t go inside the OTA. Here’s a dawing of the Badder Steeltrack.
  9. The former I have no chance with now, given up on now. The latter, well, I let her marry me, so, there needs to be a two way compensation ............ as if.
  10. Great review Chris, nicely put together, good to see an honest and realistic assessment of the package. As you say it is a bit odd that Maks and SCTs don't come with dew shields when every refractor I have seen has one as standard! Overall it looks like a very neat and ligtweight package, with the tripod being the weak point, but not actually as bad as I had previously thought.
  11. Have you measured the backfocus? I'm wondering if the F10 and F8.5 versions have the same backfocus. Mine is F10, and I have measured it (roughly) at 155mm from the rear plate. Another question ... do the drawtubes in SCT focusers retract back into the OTA?
  12. Jkulin

    OAG wanted

    Adam, have you seen this?
  13. @Cosmic Geoff thanks for the reply. nice to know someone else is using similar kit and experiencing the same technicalities. here's what I've managed today: ■ Next Remote software - all good, now for the real work. ■ two sets of drivers ASCOM and PL2303 Prolific - which are required to control the scope remotely both installed and recognised. ■ virtual com ports setup on my tablet pc and am controlling the scope via the usb socket on the hand-controller. ■ both Cartes du Ciel and Stellarium will communicate with the scope - but can't find out how to control it. ■ Celestron CPWI 2.1.25 on the other hand, is up and working - built in alignment/tracking/and slewing - and is a piece of cake both to configure and use. would like to get Cartes du Ciel and Stellarium to actually control the scope - but perhaps that's a battle for another day Next stop hooking up the Bresser camera and viewing directly on laptop via Cam Lab Lite. as regards the EQ Wedge - my intention is to use it for some astrophotography - if possible. The Celestron 127SLT does have an EQ North menu option - so (I'm told) the wedge should work.
  14. Today
  15. The observatory column is usually concreted deep into a large volume of concrete. If you did that with a tripod you’d have either 3 large concrete blocks or one enormous block. Tripod legs tend to get in the way, a column much less so, also depending on how long the optical tube is, at some positions the lower end of the tube contacts the legs necessitating the “meridian flip” that interrupts imaging or visual. As already mentioned, the column can be inexpensively done. The column is a tried and tested solution. Ed.
  16. WO Megrez 90, alas no longer made, but it's an ED doublet 90mm f/6.9. With the flattener the colour correction is pretty good.
  17. I've gone maybe 2.5yrs now without buying an eyepiece (is that a record?!! ). I did buy a Ha scope ~1.5yrs ago though (absolutely love it). I himmed and hawed and missed out on a rare opportunity to buy a used ED80 locally for a good price, but on a whim took a punt on a Heritage 130p for when camping with the family. So no - i dont think I'll ever be 'done' buying, despite thinking it time and again... Hopefully I'll go through the astro equipment purchasing equivalent of the Maunder Minimum now - and it will last for a good while
  18. Exciting times ahead, once again...Cheers for that Stu!
  19. Thanks Wornish. You should see the image before I dealt with the stars. The above image is virtually starless in comparison. The fact of the matter is there are A LOT of stars in this region. An amazing number. IMO Too much star control is as bad as too much noise control or too much sharpening. Rodd
  20. +1 on the idea of going for clusters- they're probably your best bet for the next month or 2, although the globs will be quite small in your setup. The beehive is around for a little while yet- that's pretty good.
  21. For one it means your tripod is no longer any use if decide to use your telescope away from home. But honestly it’s a terrible idea from every perceivable angle. My pier is an off-cut of plastic sewer pipe, filled with concrete. That didn’t cost anything apart from the cost of concrete. To save yourself money remove the legs from your tripod and use the top piece as your adapter on top of the concrete pier. You don’t have to spend a lot but don’t scrimp on perhaps the most fundamental part of your setup
  22. not so far, but then the camera board modules do generate heat and run quite warm, so I guess that'd keep the dome above ambient. Hog cam is exposed direct to atmosphere and never had a problem over winter so hopefully the dome will be the same. Forgot to wipe it over with rain-x when I fitted it so will get around to doing that when I next open it to adjust focus or fit the 5MP board, just to hopefully keep the dome clearer in the rain.
  23. @Stub Mandrel don't laugh... this was on a single arm alt-az mount that wobbled with me just breathing near it.... 30 sec exposure, ISO3200 non astromodded DSLR..... ah memories of the start of the AP track....
  24. I take it it's not under Celestrons 2 year warranty then? Let us know how you get on!
  25. Hi Piero, Q is just simply about the colour, I'm looking for variations
  26. A really great image. The star field is a bit overpowering for me. I understand it is a result of bringing out the reflection nebula. There are always trade-offs and it depends on what you want to show in your image. Chance would be a fine thing! from my perspective.
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