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scoobymike

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About scoobymike

  • Rank
    Star Forming

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  • Location
    Esher, Surrey
  1. Drove nearly 40 miles to a dark sky sight. Forgot the power tank, rendering the eq6 pretty useless. And once, whilst tired as a newt, I tried to polar align on Jupiter as that's what I wanted to observe..
  2. I bought a Lucas 22ah golf buggy battery (40 quid) and a few female cigarette lighter sockets for under a Tenner from fleabay. This will power my eq6, my guider, and a portable dew busting hairdryer for at least 8hours without any probs. I am much happier with it than my old maplins powertank... It does need a good charger tho
  3. Hi Paul, I'm not hugely experienced in the guiding field, but I do own a MK I version of the LVI guider, and I use it quite frequently. I got it second hand at around half the price, and I will make a few observations from my experiences with it so far: There are some cons... Firstly this is not the most sensitive camera in the world! I use mine with an ST80, and I had no end of trouble getting the thing to locate a suitable star. I have since purchased a SW guidescope mount, which helps enormously, but was still another hundred quid. If I'd paid full whack for the LVI that would be 550 total, and I would be seriously questioning my sanity! I am sure with a good set of guidescope rings you would also be perfectly ok, I just find them a bit fiddly. Focus for the guidestar is achieved through the use of a 6mm parfocal eyepiece (supplied). This eyepiece has a moveable (?!) plastic ring around the barrel. If this ring moves - and it is quite hard to do inadvertantly, I will grant you - you have to readjust it, which as you cannot see the cameras' view is very difficult - basically find a bright star, use the handheld box to focus the camera as best you can (there is an on screen indicator), lock the focuser, then put in the eyepiece and play with the ring until the star is properly in focus. A right faff that took me 2 hours to get right. To be fair though, this is not something you will do very often unless you assemble your kit with a hammer, but it is a pain if/when you do. But there are also some pros too... It does remove the need for a laptop, and this is another piece of kit which I really did not want to have to take to a dark site, only to have the battery run out after 4 or so hours. The LVI and my EQ6 run all night in winter from a small 12v battery. And if like me you frequently have to travel then this is a good solution. When you have it all set up, and a suitable guidestar in view, it works very well indeed. And once you get used to it's needs you can be up and running within 5 minutes or so. It is pretty accurate even at 1/3 of the imaging scopes F/L too, I have managed some perfectly good 6 minute subs regularly. In summary, if I never had to leave home, I would have got something like a QHY5 and connected it to the laptop. But I do have to travel mostly, and getting one second hand, even adding the price of the guidescope mount, still would be a tempting purchase if I had to start from scratch. Not very scientific I know, but I hope it helps a little.
  4. Where abouts in Surrey are you? I'm in Esher so might be able to help if you can't get it sorted...
  5. Hi all, My Maplins powertank was left charging for a few days by accident and has now decided it doesn't want to play any more. So I have a few questions on a replacement; I've heard of gel batteries being recommended, and was wondering if these are the same thing as VRLA batteries? I've found some Yuasa VRLA batteries for under £40, which are 12v 22AH (designed for golf buggies I think), and was wondering if they'd be ok for an EQ6. I guess I just need to buy some terminal connectors and connect to a female cigarette lighter socket? Also should I get one of the quite expensive chargers to go with it, or can I charge more cheaply? (I don't want to damage this one!). Has anyone got any experience with these who could give me some pointers please? Many thanks, Mike
  6. My 8 and 12mm's (BST's) see most use in my mak for the high power. I have a 6mm, but it's very rare that conditions make it very useable. If budget was limited I'd recommend the 12 as your higher power - it's always a good view through that. Never gone longer than 28mm so can't comment on that part...
  7. A bahtinov mask allows you to achieve precise focus, whether you are imaging or viewing. People tend to use them more for imaging as imprecise focus of a faint/wispy cloud of gas means the image will be blurry and have no detail.
  8. And if you're gonna clean the mirror in situ, make sure the OTA is on its side, that way if you drop something, it's less likely to fall on the primary... Personally I'd see how you go without touching it first, but I do understand your concern.
  9. From my experience I use mine visually only for under 50 times magnification, for which I'm using 2" Eps. Above that I use 1.25" Eps and don't bother with the corrector, as the views are perfectly live-able with. Of course, if I get the camera out, then it is a definite 'must have'...
  10. That looks really good. Guess I'll be upgrading in the very near future too!
  11. That's a new one for me too... This hobby never ceases to amaze me!
  12. Pretty much yes, and as I said earlier, and is just what I do. Gets me some decent exposures without getting the guiding kit up and running...
  13. Should have been clearer... Only once you are aligned is the park position important, as the goto needs to know where its starting from. I will bow happily to Tom here, as the setting circles have always been beyond my enthusiasm limit!!
  14. The easy answer is that it should be wherever polar finder says!! If it is sitting at 7 o'clock then when polar finder says it should be at 7 you'd be ok. However, when polar finder says 8 or 9 then that's where your circle needs to be. If you rotate the RA axis until the circle is in the correct o'clock position then once the mount is aligned you can still turn the RA back to park and be aligned.This is because once the mount is aligned you can do whatever you want with the RA and Dec axis but the mount will still be aligned. After all this is how you point to anywhere in the sky - the mount stays aligned and you move the RA and Dec axis to your target. The small circle in the polar scope is getting the offset from Polaris of True North correct, as Polaris makes a small circle around true north. So as long as the o'clock position of the small circle is right then the offset is also correct. I am obviously better at doing than explaining!!!
  15. Just re-read your OP... I think it's factory set and non changeable. I certainly don't worry trying to change mine.
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