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  2. OK now I'm impressed. But you're clearly not using the ASI1600 camera. How do I know? Because Alnitak isn't showing the patent zwo pattern mind if I ask what scope, camera were you using? And how are you focusing? Everything for me is on point. Also what exposure lengths did you use for the flaming star nebula? What are you on the Bortle scale? I really don't see much in any of your images. I mean it is there but I'd be happy to have that level of noise. Maybe some parts of my answer will be within the questions that I've just asked above
  3. I wouldn't agree with that. A few folk on here may know me as the chap that developed retrofit antibacklash gearing for the EQ8 - in response to my own experience with severe Dec backlash. which was similar to yours. I studied the mount in detail, visited the factory where they are made and consulted with the design engineers about it. They are not engineered like 10Micron mounts, but then again they cost only a quarter as much, and they are solid and serviceable for long FL imaging once the backlash problem is tamed. 2015-on EQ8's are much better than the original ones in respect of Dec backlash, even if not as good or as reliable as genuine anti-backlash mounts. What's more, they have big accurately hobbed worm wheels and ground worms which generate low PE and are easy to autoguide with substantial payloads. There is a good ecosystem of community-designed extensions to the rather basic Synscan motion control system, e.g. EQMOD, Green Swamp, Wifi dongles and an engineering diagnostic tools. For those who can see beyond the 'rough and tough' cost-optimised persona of this product, and are willing to make allowances for its funny little ways (e.g they come in a huge flight case, but have no reverse polarity power protection or motor short circuit protection), EQ8's are a solid workhorse at a bargain price. There are several people on this forum who rely on one for much of their imaging work. Incidentally, no mounts of this weight class are mass-produced. The global market for such items is very small. All are built in small batches. Tony Owens
  4. Even though my NEQ6 isn't belt modded but at one point I did have to loosen the shaft a bit and I immediately saw and realised I now had to worry about this balance as well because even the slightest of touches would make the mount move and subsequently not stay upright if the balance was out. I found a solution and to this day I implement it as part of my scope balancing routine. Yup, that's the one I've got. Bought it for NEQ6 but since the only choice I have is the CEM60/EC, I'll be reusing that.
  5. Decisions, decisions! LOL. And .... if you raised the OBS one or even two metres off the ground all the above would change again! LOL All the best mate. Can't wait to see where you decide. Post up photos as you build ... cheers
  6. WIth the 60 you should almost always find something on the limb. I have been using my Quark, have the LS80 in the den waiting for warmer weather but there is usually something
  7. Yesterday
  8. Great shots Charl, I’ve just come in as well. It looks full but that’s tomorrow evening, I don’t think I’ll be able to tell the difference this time.
  9. I'm lucky enough to have a reasonably large garden and field near the house, so I'm slightly spoilt for choice on where to put an observatory, though there's plenty of constraints for each potential site. I wanted to get a good set of horizon profiles - I've seen some of the makeshift horizon visibility measurement tools, but this seemed pretty slow to do and coarse, not to mention fiddly to digitise and compare. I had a bit of a brainwave and figured I'd share the results. I have a 360 degree camera, a first-generation Ricoh Theta S - you can get them on eBay for sensible money. Alternatively, you can take regular photos (carefully, with a levelled tripod) and stitch them in software for this purpose. The Theta spits out equirectangular-projected images which are stitched in the camera for an approximately 360 degree view, using two lenses/sensors. So I figured all I needed was to take nice level photos, north-aligned, and I could do some simple software to draw a horizon line. This is the sort of photo you get out (once I've blurred out my ugly mug): Of course, I forgot to north-align my photos when taking them. While it would, as my partner pointed out, have been quicker to go re-take the photos I figured I'd have some fun so I wrote a rudimentary moon-spotting algorithm (using prior knowledge of approx location+time of the photos), used the moon azimuth to calculate which pixel column was north, and offset everything by that. Deeply unscientific, but for a relative comparison, good enough to get everything pointed roughly the same way! My horizon detection is very simple, and just takes a ~4 degree block of pixels, looks for darker pixels, and calculates an average height, the blue dots in this: The script outputs a CSV file with a set of azimuth/altitude values which can then get dropped into pandas/matplotlib or Excel for some simple plotting: The script is written in Python and can be found here, for those who feel inclined to tinker: https://gist.github.com/JamesHarrison/fd75fb768d0825d3a9b4db5622656f1b - it requires the skyfield, numpy, pandas and OpenCV Python libraries, and is fairly well commented. Not quite sure it's given me a good answer on where to put my future obsy, but it's some more data! I think I'm going to look at some further analysis where I take some common target catalogues and calculate aggregate visibility over a year for all the sites... Slightly mad, but it's a better way to pass the time than staring at my bank account balance and hoping it moves.
  10. I think you've done a great job here Adam. The colour looks great to me and has really made the image. It could perhaps do with a smidge more saturation, but just as equally perhaps not! And in any case we're now into personal taste territory anyways. If i open the Levels tool in PS, select the White Point marker, and then hold the ALT key while the eyedropper icon is hovered over the image, it shows that very little has been clipped at the top end. This is a great result, and one i aspire to stick to myself as much as possible these days. If there's one area i think it could be improved on, slightly, would be just a tad more subtle NR in the areas outside the IRIS nebula itself (mainly the far RHS of the image).
  11. Going to be getting my 700d modified soon, and I've got two options. (I'll be using it for daytime and astro, this is the important bit). Option 1 - Get my 700d Baader modded and to retain autofocus (it's my understanding that the Baader bcf will also act as a UV/IR cut filter, but please correct me if I'm wrong) and then purchase a Skytech cls filter (I live in a Bortle 6). Total cost £195. Option 2 - Get my 700d modded, without the Baader filter but with a re-shimmed sensor to retain autofocus, and then purchase a Skytech cls-ccd for the necessary UV/IR filter. Total cost £165. Now, I am your average skint student, so those extra few quid are reasonably important, but if the more expensive option will yield better results I can stretch to that amount. I'm not fussed about colour balancing, I've been dealing with RAW colours for years so that's not an issue. All I need to know is which will be the better option, which will give better star colour or better contrast etc etc, or is it just six and two threes? Thanks.
  12. Same thing happened to my Atik EFW2 the prism has a way round but can't remember which way that is now. Dave
  13. I am sad to say that my 130pds has seen the last of it's imaging days. I very strong gust of wind blew it and my mount (HEQ5 Pro) over. The tube has got good selections of bends in it, and the focuser is a mess. I took everything apart and rebuilt it, but it seems the metal under the focuser is so bent out of shape that the focuser doesn't sit right anymore. I won't even talk about the focuser needing a helping hand to focus properly, so focusing is a 2 handed process. So basically it's easier and cheaper to buy a new one than to fix it. Unless someone has a used one they don't want any more!
  14. Done some changes on the picture. A little here and a little there in my effort to make it better. This was taken with the 190MN and Canon 700D.
  15. http://m.skyatnightmagazine.com/news/telescope-houses-dudley-fuller-dies-aged-85
  16. Just came in from admiring a blue sky at night.
  17. I've attached the 3 stacks ive done in Ha. These are are just the stacks, fresh out of preprocessing and just an STF stretch applied, no noise reduction. The Flaming Star one is a stack of around 4 hours of 5 minute subs. I feel this is also too noisy. It was because of this i decided to try longer Ha subs. So i stretched out to 900s! The Rosette is only 7 x 900s, just under 2 hours but he Horsehead is 16 x 900s, 4 hours. My favourite one as it needed nothing apart from a stretch! All used the same pre processing settings.
  18. That's perhaps more suggestive that Exeter is sufficiently light-polluted that no-one can see any more than seven stars in Orion :) James
  19. I think these results are fairly accurate and not dependent on age. I have lived in Exeter for over 25 years and still only see 7 stars in Orion. Chris P
  20. hi all after few guide cam problems thought i would start at the beginning and reset the oag ,but when i loosened the screw that secures how far the plate /prism goes in i removed the arm and the glass prism fell on the floor,there is a very small screw that holds the prism in place that obviously was not tight enough,now ive put the glass prism in correctly but cannot get the guide scope to work at all ,how critical are the prism set up
  21. Lovely Moon Charl, just been looking at it with bins, can still see it burned into my retinas Dave
  22. The 4mm is fab Helen. I've had several really good nights with Luna, where the sky was clear and steady and I'd pushed and pushed the magnification. It seemed like a sensible investment and is paying off, so far!
  23. Take a look at the Altair Astro pier adaptor, does a few mounts in one
  24. The 16mm UWAN was my first premium eyepiece, and I still love it 10 years on! I then bought the 28mm, which again is lovely (although hand grenade size!). I completed the set a couple of years ago with the 7 and 4 mm in the Nirvana guise when they were on offer. I think they are all amazing value for money! Enjoy Ben Helen
  25. Banding and noise mostly. So much red noise I couldn’t work out what was dust and what was just noise.
  26. My eq6 is belt drive modded, you should see the effect hanging cables has on the images. The cem60 will be the same.
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