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About malc-c

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  1. Barrie the images are really good, and I agree, if you have the scope nicely balanced, and nail the polar alignment you'll get acceptable results, and I would suggest that you also have the advantage of a decent dark site. But there are noticeable tracking errors in the images if you inspect them at a level of detail, which some people may run to (presuming that the images are single subs and not a stack, which may explain the errors I found). For example taking the image of the Orion Nebula, inverting you can see the stars are not round and tend to show drift, backed up if you zoom in.
  2. Good point on the backups - I've been using Macrim Reflect for ages. The free version is fine for backing up complete drives etc, but if you want to backup individual files or folders then the home version is required and that's £47 (single licence but works on multiple PCs in the same household). I back up to a NAS and an external network attached drive off the back of the router. Off site backup isn't really a requirement for me as most of my final videos etc are on Youtube etc. One option I found interesting and adopted by a friend is to use a wireless portable NAS run off an adapto
  3. Are you imaging or visual observing?? The stock EQ5 has less resolution in its gearing and steppers than the HEQ5, so would have thought that for long exposure imaging tracking errors would be more noticeable. But you are right in that precise polar alignment helps to reduce tracking errors as does resolving cone error
  4. LOL - our usernames are shown in the grey bar - the main sequence / vacuum etc are just member status based on post count - my user name is malc-c No tuning isn't just adding the rowan belt mod. If you click that link I provided it takes you to a website where the strip and replace bearings, fit the rowan belt mod and then tune the tolerances so fine the backlash is as minimal as you'll get. The belt mod does indeed help as it removes one component of the backlash harmonic. You could spend £500 having the mount tuned, or a £200 for a guidescope to get decent / perfect tracking...
  5. I think the issue of specing a PC for a particular function is not as critical as it was a few decades ago (Other than industrial CAD or a serious gaming rig). Having a "home" PC with 16GB of RAM was often only a pipe dream, let alone 32GB or even 64GB which these days is more affordable and available. Most mainboards have NVMe slots for fast NVMe storage, and the latest generation are blisteringly fast, and now 1TB NVMe can be had for around £120 for a PCIe4 generation board, or if you want a a branded make with good reviews, Samsung 980 Pro 500GB drive can be had for the same amount. I ha
  6. Need a little more information. How are you hooking all the equipment together? Are you using an EQDIR cable between the PC and mount, or running via the handset in PC-Direct mode? Are you using USB for the camera, or ST4 connection for guiding? How are you powering the mount? Lastly are you using direct connections or a USB hub and is the hub powered or not? If you could also give details of the mount, and guiding method (guidescope or OAG) you are using....It all helps to get an idea and then we may be better placed to offer advice
  7. Possessed by aliens In addition to the above, check your language settings in the OS - Google "Unicode settings"
  8. Thats a lot of gear on the mount. Whilst it may be balanced, the CoG may be out. There are some old but good videos on youtube from Astronomy Shed that show how to arrange the mass in a way that perfectly balances the set up
  9. It's probably an optical illusion, but in that image above it looks like the worm is bent too ! Good luck with the repairs. It would be interesting to see how you get on so keep us updated
  10. The fact you got traces for both axis suggest the motor board is functional. Can't say I understand the results of scoping the steppers, but as I mentioned, using EQMOD, set the pulse guide rate to x0.90 and see how PHD2 performs (enable the log files). If you get the same behaviour then it would suggest the issue is with the mount, so possibly reflashing the firmware might resolve the problem, or the issue is something physical on that axis. I would also check the soldering around the pads where the wires from the ST4 port connect to the PCB just in case there is any stray whiskers or
  11. Even if you never end up using is, it's always worth having it there just in case. Who knows two years after its built you may install CCTV or some other equipment and struggle to pull another cable through an existing packed data conduit... If you don't want to run two, then possibly increase the size of pipe used. I'm sure your builder will be best to advise you
  12. Steve, all sound good... I'm a little confused at to the plans. If the raised section is being removed and a low ground level base installed for the observatory then would there be a need for two sets of steps as shown, which to me seems dangerous as there is a chance falling down one set of steps from the other. Maybe amending the drawing like this, assuming the patio with the table on is raised a few feet. I have to agree with the comments from the other guys in that with the top of the observatory being 2m or less from the border it may be worth checking with your local
  13. If you are getting 3 minutes 30 sec unguided exposures that are useable from an HEQ5 that hasn't been tuned then I think that is acceptable... I think your expectations of 5 minutes unguided with this mount is pushing it to be honest
  14. So are you saying that regardless of the speed setting (1-9 on the handset) the mount will only move in three of the four rotations, ie the RA azis will move back and forth, but DEC will only move in one direction ? If so, does the same happen with the ST4 removed from the mount? I've never tried scoping a board, but if what I described is the case then it could be that one of the four driver chips has blown. It won't be the PICs as you've not reported any messages on the handset about an axis not responding. If both axis move in both directions when the fastest slew speed is selected
  15. I guess it's whatever you are used to. I played about with Linux, Kstars and INDI a few years back, probably not long after the Pi came out. For me I found it very confusing and frustrating as most of the time it was still command line driven and scripted. Things have probably moved along a lot more and now INDI is becoming as widely supported as ASCOM is on the windows platform. As I've already mentioned, I use two PCs which are both hard wired via cat6 cable to the GB switch that forms the centre of the home network, and use remote desktop for convenience. If you find linux "
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