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  1. Past hour
  2. Lovely description of a fine morning! I was viewing after imaging in the wee hours myself the last three mornings and views were spectacular with steady seeing and perfect transparency. Clear Skies Mike
  3. Hi, I'm matt from the UK, essex to be more accurate. I had a skywatcher 150p around 8 years ago and had some amazing moments with it, Jupiter being one of the highlights despite the 150p's declination towards DSO's. Unfortunately due to some financial problems at the time I had to sell it. Astronomy was a hobby I locked away to a quiet corner of my brain until my very wise other half helped me realise how much I missed it. We have just bought a skywatcher 150pds as i want to focus on astrophotography this time. Its currently on a eq3 pro mount with synscan. Not the ideal mount, i plan to upgrade to the heq5 as soon as possible, but its perfect for me to learn and practise on. We bought the scope and mount second hand in an amazing deal, coming with the coma corrector, all 3 sky panorama uwa lenses, the canon t ring adaptors and a clubman flight case for £700. Everything in perfect condition, although the mount has some stickiness and i think maybe some binding in the gears, so I plan to strip it down, de and regrease and reassemble as soon as possible. Have only had the opportunity for a couple of hours viewing so far, during which I very unsuccessfully attempted to polar align and then 2 star align the mount, but loved seeing it slew. I did get some amazing manual visual observation on the moon, but was surprised that despite my previous experience with a very similar scope just how much I don't know. Am very eager to learn as much as I can and am very excited to be back in the hobby, as you can probably tell from my extracted and probably boring welcome message. Anyone with any experience of this scope or mount with any tips or little known tweaks I would be exceptionally grateful for any advice. Or any tips in regards to polar aligning and star aligning, especially in a class 6 bortle or similar. One problem I struggled with was gaining any focus on any lens I have while using the barlow lens. Am sure it is either my error or cheap equipment but I gained a very nice focus with the 28mm supplied lens and the panorama range but struggled gaining focus with the barlow and said lenses. After looking into this though I'm wondering if it was due to me not accounting for eye relief? I look forward to meeting like minded people on this forum. Many regards Matt
  4. Today
  5. Acquired with Ha Lunt 60mm & rich tuner and FLIR Chameleon cam Cak FS60 Lunt 600BF Pt Grey Blackfly cam and x2.5 powermate Wl 80 mm Vixen 990 Lacerta Herschel Wedge Pt Grey Blackfly cam x2.5 powermate Extra filtration provided by high cloud and haze. Give i a click or 3
  6. This is not the topic of this thread. I will reply your question when I get time.
  7. Good morning John, Last week I asked you politely a question about a topic, but I didn’t get a reply (or somehow I missed your reply?). I give a screenshot here: May be it is related to the topic here?
  8. 2.5" Focuser now sold, ad edited, just the 2" and controller available now.
  9. I purchased a 2.1m dome in May from a member on here and finally collected it Mid June. I bought it because it was motorised and should improve my imaging, you can read more on Here I originally purchased it for £1800 and since that time I have replaced the complete drive belt at nearly £100, stripped and sealed the paint with International Yacht Paint which cost about £130, I've replaced the drive dampers at £25 and this doesn't include the collection charges or sealants. Its in excellent condition and has not leaked a single drop since being through some really torrential rain. This is the MkII Pulsar dome, which runs on Aluminium tracks and gatepost rollers, with the motor drives disengaged it will rotate very freely. I have spent virtually two months getting it to a high standard. The dome rotation is controlled by a bespoke Arduino system that the previous owner designed and configured and it really works exceptionally well, pointing the dome absolutely perfectly from the offsets that I have inputted, it has never failed to rotate precisely where it is needed. The Arduino controls two steppers motors, one for the rotation and the other for the shutter, the shutter does jerk when opening and closing, but I knew that when I bought it and my intention was to convert it to plastic chain drive, which from my research would not be very difficult and would just take a little thinking about. This was the dome after first putting it together and preparing it for the new paint: - And this was after the second coat: - So why am I selling after so much time, effort and money? Well I live in a small village about 6 miles north of Wolverhampton and although our home is in a pleasant location, the builders did build the homes quite close and our particular garden is surrounded by 4 homes, the location is very quiet almost eerily quiet at night time and that is where the problem lies, I have provided links to the videos below, the issue is that in my mind the stepper motors are noisier than I expected and are accompanied by the occasional bang and bump, during daylight you would really struggle to hear them, but at 03:00 in the morning it does sound excessive to me. I have tried everything within my skill set to alleviate it, believe me when it was first installed it seemed to me like Big Ben, this was traced to perished dampers, which have now been totally replaced and made a massive improvement, but not enough of an improvement to help me relax. I'm no engineer and I have truly tried to achieve the best I can, an engineer or an articulate person such as many that I have met within the Astronomy field would find rectification a piece of cake, indeed one solution could be to change the rotation system so that it sits on skateboard wheels, that would almost certainly reduce a lot of the reverberations as would the previously mentioned Chain drive for the roller shutters and as someone suggested on here, design a rotation system that was held securely either side of the walls would also help massively and would create a virtually perfect system. However, I am shortly due to go in for a very big and painful operation on my spine (yeah a second one) and I have been advised that I won't be able to do anything for a very minimum of 6-12 months and then only with a great deal of restrictions, so I need to get this sorted before my admission to hospital otherwise I will go mad looking at 4 walls. Here are some YouTube Videos showing it all working: - Shutter closing as seen from outside Shutter Closing from Inside Shutter rotating as seen from the outside Dome Rotating from the inside How the Arduino control system interfaces with the Ascom software The Arduino Interface setting the dome to Zero Well hopefully you can see I have been as honest as possible, I don't believe that anyone gets anywhere by trying to pull one over on another, I would rather not sell something than tell a lie or mislead. I'm going to replace this within the next couple of weeks with the latest model, albeit second-hand, but installed and fitted by the Pulsar team and fitted with their latest rotation and shutter system, the colour isn't as pleasing, but hopefully it will succeed where this hasn't for me, and although I have never been under the thumb, I do agree with my wife that we need a virtually silent dome or at least a bigger improvement on this one. I will this weekend start to dismantle it into 2 halves for the base and two halves for the dome, I may have to split a wire to separate but this is easily resolved as I had to do the same when I collected it. You will need a Luton Van to collect and some strong willing hands as I cannot really assist with the lifting, but I will ask my son and Son-in-law to be available to assist. My neighbour will I am sure once again allow us to lift up a fence panel to bring the parts out via his garden. Nearly forgot, Price is £1800 bank transfer please, no cash, this will be for the Dome, Motors, software but not the RCD fusebox, lighting, switches etc. as I will be transferring them into the new dome. You can message me on here or email me j o h n k u l i n @ outlook.com
  10. Hello everyone, can somebody, who've had an experience with 105 MAKs help me, please? I'm just starting out:) I live in a Bortle class 5-6 area of the city and I'm looking for a compact (so I can put it in a backpack or smth) scope for mostly planetary and bright DS observations. I've read a lot about different scopes and thought that for the starters I should get Levenhuk Skyline PLUS 105 MAK (https://www.levenhuk.com/catalogue/telescopes/levenhuk-skyline-plus-105-mak/#.XzMzYCgzZPY). 127mm MAK is out of my budget range and in the end I will have a lot of time to go for bigger aperture later. Will I be able to see, for example, bands in the atmosphere of Jupiter or Cassini division? Will such scope be useful for some DS observations (on rare occasions I can go to Bortle 4)? Recently I've had a chance to see Saturn and Jupiter through Celestron PowerSeeker 80EQ and I really liked the way planets looked. And since then I've been thinking of buying 105MAK... Since it has a bigger aperture than 80EQ, will the visible image be sharper/better? Will I be able to make out more details on the planets' discs? Can such scope even compete with Celestron 80EQ at all? Maybe there are some alternatives to Levenhuk? Although I don't think Celestron C90 will do best for me.. Maybe some Sky-Watchers, but here in Ukraine there's not much choice among budget MCT:( Thanks for taking your time to read that:))
  11. Hi there, I'm new to this discussion. I am trying to get my classic 8" LX200 and simple JMI motofocus (plugged into the focus port in the drive base) working over ASCOM with a couple planetarium programs. While everything sorta works with the standard (old) ASCOM LX200 driver "Meade LX200 Classic and Autostar #494, #495, and #497 (combined telescope/focuser, 5.0.4, May 2013)", there are some serious quirks and I am hopeful your driver will eliminate those quirks. However, when I installed your version 0.7.12 I find it has its own quirks 1. Slew buttons in the ASCOM device hub are greyed out and non-responsive. This is important to me since I was hoping that I could use the device hub to center objects once I perform a GOTO in a planetarium program. Not sure why this is. FWIW, they work (briefly) in driver "Meade LX200 Classic and Autostar #494, #495, and #497 (combined telescope/focuser, 5.0.4, May 2013)" but after one use, the hub throws an error and complains that it cannot determine side of pier. 2. There is no way to enable focuser dynamic braking. This is important for a simple DC focuser.... especially since focus movement settings below a certain point do not result in smaller movements in version 0.7.12. Dynamic braking works in driver "Meade LX200 Classic and Autostar #494, #495, and #497 (combined telescope/focuser, 5.0.4, May 2013)" but I do not know if dynamic braking is an LX200 function or if the driver issues a brief opposite polarity after a movement. 3. Not sure if it is important, but the site longitude in "static properties" is inverted.... it shows my longitude as -82.xxxx when it is actually +82.xxxx. Not sure where this comes from but if it is supposed to have been read from the scope, it is displayed correctly in the hand controller display. Thanks for your continuing work here! Hopefully you can get things working 100% and breathe more life into the venerable LX200. I stand ready to help in any way I can. Got nothing else to do Paul
  12. Excellent image, not an easy target by any means.
  13. A good set of images, couple of lovely prom captures.
  14. Thanks David. When I load in the sequence which had been previously created in the framing tab the actual coords used will be slightly different to the centre of the target name, in order to get the best framing. Having to select the target again in CdC to transfer it across seems an unnecessary extra step, and the previous framing centre will be overwritten if I use 'replace as sequence'. Just clicking the 'slew' button next to it would be better in that case. Also after transferring the coords from CdC you have to wait for the image to load from the Sky Survey if it's not cached. The correct coords are already there in the sequence, It's a pity they can't be used with one click for a manual slew. Alan
  15. Phew, I’m relieved to read this as I have been lying on the sun lounger, enjoying the occasional Perseid meteor, wondering why there seemed to be quite a lot of occasional flashing. Fairly confident it wasn’t my eyes, I had put it down to lights on the combine harvesters I could hear working in nearby fields, but I wasn’t totally convinced! Would love it to be a Pink Floyd reunion gig! Saw the Floyd at Earls Court in 1994 and would love to relive that whole experience!
  16. Yesterday
  17. And the Meade Series 4000 SWAs, to my knowledge, are not compatible with the DioptRx.
  18. I was out briefly with the Tal 100RS tonight - the sky was bright and transparency poor, but seeing was really good, I say Pickering 7 at least. I have stuck a scale into my zoom eyepiece to better judge the focal length I’m operating at. I was getting a split on the close pair at 14mm (x71) but not quite at 15mm (x66). Very pleasing result helped by the good seeing I think. Had a quick squint at Mars for the first time this year and , although fairly low, it was very crisp, with the polar cap very obvious and some surface shading visible. Large, gibbous and sharply defined, it was far cry from the boiling red featureless disc that I have observed in the past. Bodes well for the upcoming months.
  19. To yield a short barlow means the curves on the lenses must be deep. This makes the barlow harder to make (read: more expensive to manufacture). If a 3rd lens is added, the barlow can be shortened without the deep curves on the lenses that would be required of a 2-element barlow. That is the reason why some short focal length barlows have 3 lenses. A 2 element can be free of false color, so 3 elements are not necessary for that. 4 element barlows are typically telecentric, and have a positive lens following the negative lens. This is done to allow the barlow to have the same magnification at various distances from the lens, whereas a regular barlow's magnification increases with distance from the lens. I haven't really figured out the why of a 5 element barlow (there are some), but perhaps the configuration merely added a positive lens to a 3-element barlow to make it telecentric.
  20. Hi Mike What focal length are you using? The Earth rotates 15 degrees an hour or 1 degree every 4 minutes - that's twice the width of the full Moon in 4 minutes. At around 900mm the Moon will fill a full frame completely. If your lens is long and heavy then the leverage will be significant and will require a very robust mounting mechanism to stop it sagging
  21. Looks a bit silly with all those extension pieces fitted and looks like the 6” version. Don’t need any extensions on mine for visual use. Wouldn’t focus with all those extensions. The extenstions are for straight through use with a camera.
  22. Hi, welcome to SGL. Planets and stars move across the sky. This is due to earth's rotation about its axis. Your camera is probably pretty solid - but things simply move out of the frame because - well, they move all the time. Not everything is moving at the same rate though and the time it takes for it to leave the frame depends on focal length - as you've noticed. In a nutshell - this is what happens. Sidereal rate is about 15 arc seconds per second. Arc second is very small measure for angles - 360 degrees in full circle, 60 arc minutes in one degree and 60 arc seconds in one arc minute. Depending on the size of your sensor and focal length that you are using - you can calculate how fast things will move out of the frame. http://www.wilmslowastro.com/software/formulae.htm#ARCSEC_PIXEL For example - Canon 750d with 200mm lens will be at 3.82"/px. It has 6000px across the sensor, so that is 6000 x 3.82" = 22920" If we center planet and then let it drift - it will drift for half a field of view or 11460 arc seconds. At speed of 15"/s it will take 764s for it to drift out of FOV. This is strictly true only at celestial equator. Once you start moving in declination (towards Polaris) - this apparent speed drops with cos(declination) factor. At declination 60 degrees it will only move at half this speed - ~7.5"/s. In any case, if you want this to go away - you need an astronomical mount that can track for you. In particular you want something called equatorial mount. There are very nice compact - star tracker type mounts that will track the stars for you, like this one: https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-star-adventurer/skywatcher-star-adventurer-astronomy-bundle.html What focal lengths do you use and what do you want to image?
  23. I have to admit that I was a bit put off by a picture I saw of a Cassegrain with an extremely long focuser due to the fact that you need to add multiple extensions like so: On this picture there is almost no more dovetail left ! It looks like it is a nightmare to balance But still, I would love to have the chance to look into one as, like you said, the magnification can be much higher in a Cassegrain and it must kill on planets and the moon
  24. Hello 130PDSers! Having just learned about plate solving (and how to do it properly in APT, which I use for capture) I have revitalised my interest in imaging. I was having real trouble locating targets and centring them but since getting plate solving working I feel WAY more ready to move up in the world. I've been having some problems with my Canon 550D disconnecting from my laptop during imaging and it's really starting to bug me. I've tried troubleshooting in lots of different ways and this has included a complete update of the laptop software, drivers, etc and re-install of all the guiding and capture software. Sadly the problem (while improved tonight, compared to normal) is still present and I am wondering if it's likely to just be the fact that my camera's USB connection is dodgy. Alas, on top of this I have always wondered how well my NEQ6 is functioning. PHD2 guiding is usually OK and in the 0.5-1" total RMS range, but it sometimes goes higher, and there's a fair whack of backlash in certain directions. So, two-part question: Has anyone here belt-modded their NEQ6, did it go well and was it worth it? I've been considering it for a while but been put off by the worry that some of the hex bolts are REALLY REALLY tight and I might buy the kit and find myself unable to actually install the mod. I'm also just a little worried about screwing up my expensive mount.... Considering I live in the middle of a medium-sized town and LP is reasonably strong near me, do you think I'd see significant upgrades moving to something like a ZWO ASI1600MM-pro with narrowband filters? I *love* the look of hubble pallet images but so far have never really dabbled in nebulae imaging because of my light pollution and camera. I'm assuming LRGB will be affected by LP as badly as OSC, but narrowband would help a lot? I'm just looking for excuses to spend some inheritance but I don't want to waste my cash PS. Sorry for anyone in here who's already seen another post I made with similar questions but I wanted to hone in specifically on the 130PDS community as that's the scope I have and have so far really enjoyed using.
  25. I guess I'll be long-dead by the time there's a reduction in the horrible glow and glare where I live. Maybe if initiatives like this started in the late sixties, there might just be the beginnings...
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