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Captain Tweaky

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About Captain Tweaky

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  1. There were collimation issues with the GTF81 that was tested for Sky@Night apparently. Also there is debate over the use of a focal reducer conflicting with the built in field flattener. All-in-all it went up like a lead balloon with the British astronomer. Mine does have a very minor aberration that on close inspection hints at distortion in stars, but as I only have an Atrik 314L+ this issue is not painfully obvious. As I purchased it with a substantial discount I'm not unhappy with it and it is very nicely made.
  2. Will - Thank you kindly for your thoughts. In many respects they go along with my own experience and it's good to know I'm not alone with what I've been struggling. I had forgotten about Firecapture in my efforts to obtain increased FPS in SharpCap - I think I need to give it a go. Your point 4 refers to the HEQ5 which I only use for DSOs. The LX90 is mounted on its own alt-az mount and there can be issues with Periodic Error Correction and what I refer to as backlash. I'm interested to note that you also have a WO GTF81. It did not go down well in the UK so I'm pleased to see that I'm not the only person who has one!!
  3. PeterCPC - having had quite a lot of experience imaging DSOs I did know not to use the Bahtinov mask on Jupiter itself - I tried using one of the Moons. As you suggest, this is not particularly successful. I shall maybe try something like Procyon with high gain. leelee970 - as I said, I do leave the 'scope outside for around 2 hours before using it. After collimation about 2 weeks ago there was no substantial difference in the ability to focus or the image quality. As for the ROI and fps - if I reduce the image size to 640x480 for example, the mount has a tendency to allow the planet to drift-off the edge of the frame. This would seem to be an issue with the mount I guess. I have found that 960x960 allows approximately 25fps and the planet usually remains within the frame. Grotemobile - I was very interested to see your images as they are remarkably similar to those that I achieve before using Wavelets in Registax 6 - albeit mine is with a x2.5 Barlow so consequently a fair bit larger.
  4. Peter - yes, as I said in the beginning, I bought some Bob's Knobs and collimated the 'scope just recently, but the improvement was nominal. The image is too 'fuzzy' to achieve an accurate focus with the Bahtinov mask - the planet moves 'in and out' most of the time so it is only possible to stop focusing at a sort of 'mean' position. I have taken to cooling the 'scope for about 2 hours outside beforehand, but this again only seems to make a nominal difference. I am wondering what is the best image that I can expect to achieve with my set-up? I have seen some quite detailed images from Celestron 9.25" and even an 8" RC so I imagine that I should be able to get very much better than the images above. The very best I have been able to achieve is as follows, but this has involved a ridiculous amount of processing in Photoshop and there is still very little actual detail:
  5. Knobby many thanks for your input. I've tried using 640x480 but the rig allows the planet to drift-off - I've not done any PEC training, but it seems more like backlash that causes the issue. The focus seems to be very difficult to achieve any great accuracy - the image is always blurred. It just seems to be a case of minimising the blur. I use a Revelation Crayford focuser which allows for very accurate movement, but I still never manage to achieve a properly focused image. I do have an Antares 2" x1.6 Barlow so I may try 'fiddling' about with that - providing I can get enough travel to achieve focus at all! I shall persevere, but it is getting quite disappointing when I see some excellent results even with an 8" RC.
  6. It did just occur to me to give some idea of the videos. For the most part they are 2,000 frames at somewhere around 20fps. The image is created from anywhere between 25-60% of the frames with little realistic improvement in the end result. By the time I have managed to get as far as wavelets in Registax 6, the image I normally have to deal with looks something like this: Capture 26_02_2015 22_13_58_g3_b3_ap7.tif
  7. I have a Meade LX90-8" ACF, a ZWO ASI120MC and a Revelation x2.5 Barlow and a huge number of disappointing images. After taking a video using SharpCap, I either use PIPP, A!S2, Registax 6, Photoshop CS3 or a combination of them. No matter how I post process I can normally end-up with the same kind of result in terms of quality of image. If, as a result of seeing my images, anyone has any suggestions as to how I can improve I really should be most grateful. I recently bought a set of Bob's Knobs and collimated the 'scope, but the improvement was nominal. The images of Jupiter all started the same size, the smaller ones have been reduced purely to clarify the image - they were that bad!!!!! And there are plenty more where these came from!!
  8. Alec Hi The Moons were very faint and I was able to bring them out by 'stretching' the available data in Photoshop independently from the planet. Yours aye - Cap'n
  9. You've got me a bit worried there Dave. I have deforked it and then repositioned it as close as I could to the original - although there isn't a great deal of adjustment. How does it manifest whether it is aligned properly or not? Once I've been through the star alignment procedure it seems to GoTo and track as well as it ever did.
  10. I've had the Baader Hyperion Mark III ClickStop Zoom 8-24mm Eyepiece now for about three years and have used it every time I set-up for imaging or observing. Recently I noticed the plastic eye-cup holder had lost two of its retaining lugs. I sent an e-mail to Baader in Germany asking where I could buy a replacement for the broken item in the UK. The reply asked for my home address and the following day I received the whole eye-cup assembly Free-of-Charge. Not only is it an excellent eyepiece for the money, but how's that for customer service? Very impressed.
  11. Someone recently recommended the ZWO ASI120MC camera and the only supplier I could find was Tring Astronomy. Ordered online - received next day. I had been considering one of these DSLR star tracking devices and decided to look at Tring Astro again. After a very helpful, friendly and informative phone call with both Jane and Neil, I changed my original idea from the Skywatcher Star Adventurer, that seems like a lot of equipment for the money, to the iOptron Skytracker. Theirs was supplied with a ball head and was consequently the best value available. Received next day with a couple of other small items. Very pleased now that I know I made the right choice of device. They had the Celestron SkyScout on as a very good offer - 50% discount! As I still cannot find my way around the sky after 5 years this seemed like a good plan. Ordered one day, received the next. BUT, after having it for about 2 weeks and trying it in different places, I could not get a reading from the GPS, so I called Tring and spoke to Jane. She could not have been more helpful and understanding. I sent the item back and they were going to check it and see if the only other one they had in stock was any better. It was but only marginally and Neil was quite upfront and honest about it. He gave me the option of trying the marginally better one from stock or have a refund without any pressure or sense of obligation at all. I took the refund and the amount was registered and the return postage also refunded to PayPal within half an hour. I shall use Tring Astro as my first port of call in future because I know they care, they are very easy to talk with and they can be trusted to look after you - what more can you want?
  12. Daren - many thanks for that - I fear it may be outside my price range! :-( As for the balance kits - thank you kindly for the links, but until I can get a Meade Wedge it's all a bit academic! And Opticstar tell me that they may get them around May time!! Then again they may not!
  13. Believe it or not Astroboffin - there's not a Meade LX90-8" equatorial wedge to be had anywhere in the country!!!! - unless anyone who reads this has one for sale!!
  14. Astroboffin - Very many thanks for your comprehensive explanation and offer of assistance. It had been my intention to buy another wedge imminently, but that was just before I smashed my plate-glass patio door about 2 hours ago. Hopefully, by the time the insurance company and glazing people have sorted things out I shall still have some shekels left to proceed with this little project!! In the meantime I can but prepare. You mention a '... proper Meade balance kit ...' - can you point me in the direction of the seller of one of these? I'd not come across this before. I have all the other bits from imaging with an HEQ5 Pro Synscan and various refractors and have created lots of images with an Atik 314L+ and filterwheel. I should now like to do some distance 'stuff' using the 8" SCT, but I do recall having all kinds of issues trying to guide with the LX90. I shall certainly try the process as you suggest (finances permitting!!) now that I have a little more experience and shall be pleased to call upon your expertise if I have experience any of the issues I had before.
  15. I've just bought the ZWO ASI120MC from Tring Astornomy Centre (highly recommend them - very nice helpful people, Jane & Neil). Value for money it's hard to beat, although I have found planetary imaging can be challenging. I have a Meade LX90-8" and the best result I have achieved so far is - but I've also managed a lot of rubbish!
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