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Everything posted by mindburner

  1. My local skies are abysmal and have been for some time now. Neighbours trees, orange glow, new streetlights Yada Yada. I am able to get access to a reasonably dark skies site on the north coast of Ireland. I already have the excellent Lighttrack II portable mount and a canon lens. This is great but I miss the advantage of GOTO and the bigger images obtained with my Meade 5000 127mm scope so. decided to strip down my current DIY pier and make a mini one for the new location. I gave the ,mount and USB/Power wiring a good spruce up as well. Some comparisons of the LP at the two locations and the new setup. I hope to leave the scope on all year round so looking at ideas for a wooden enclosure or obsy. Also hopefully going OAG instead of guide scope, just a bt unsure about the focus setup etc
  2. hi Thats a good point. I was using a Hutec Light Pollution Filter in the city but removed it for use at the dark sky site. I think the filter also has an IR block so must try this next clear night.
  3. had another go and it's a bit cropped but colour is better
  4. that's very nice, you got some great colour there and one can even see the nebulae in the galaxy. That's the kind of view I was getting with my 127mm scope and the Atik 428. I hope to bring the big scope up here to the dark site before the winter and all those clear nights (lol well that's the theory)
  5. thanks very much Adrian. Thats a good result. I especially like the colour you have brought out. It's a bit lacking in mine. I will get the other frames better aligned plus hopefully some more subs over the next few days.
  6. hi all after a break from AP I have managed to get to a fairly dark sky location and tried my trusty Canon 200mm lens and Fornax lighttrack II. I think I got some decent subs of m31 with ok tracking. Most are 4 min. No darks or flats. I was happy when viewing the subs on the PC. I have had some trouble processing them though, and have not been able to get out as much detail as I hoped. The camera is an ATIK 428 OSC, with FIT files This is the best attempt I can get with my understanding of the various software. I used DSS and then Photoshop I attach the FIT files if anyone would be kind enough to see if there is any better result possible. https://www.dropbox.com/s/ef7axrn6oh6equr/m31.rar?dl=0
  7. thanks guys. I know I shouldn't have taken the bait but it was quite funny thread here if anyone is very bored:) (hope it's ok mods to post this link)
  8. I know I shouldn't feed online trolls, but I was having a discussion with someone and they came out with the startling claim that stellar distances were wrong and inaccurate and that m31 for example was much closed then the 2.5 million LY we all know it is. After laughing and going on about gravity etc I asked why! One of their 'proof's was that they didn't have to adjust their scope from focusing on the moon to say a nearby star. I explained about infinity focus and lens range. But I was hoping for some more info on infinity focus and such. City lights 20 miles away would also be in the same focusing range as say the moon. By their logic then the moon must be 20 miles away. Daft I know but never ceases to amaze me the daft stuff on the internet.
  9. aw cheers I was just wondering how the big 300 would cope with the tripod/mount. I normally use the classic 200mm canon, but the 300 gives a bit more reach
  10. I used a Lightrack II for tracking under heavy LP skies. 10 x 120sec subs
  11. hi I have a pier at home and it technically works really well. I hope to transport the whole lot up in the next few weeks ready for the winter season. I hope to get something sorted where I can leave the scope attached to the mount. It's a 127mm refractor and a bit of a hassle setting up and down. I have the Lightrack II and a decent DSLR for now The sky at home is just so bad now.
  12. I haven't been doing much imaging due to various reasons. But the main one was just the terrible weather and sky conditions where I live. We all know about that don't we. I was lucky to be able to get a house up the North coast of Ireland and the Light pollution is about a third that of Belfast. I didn't have any kit up with me last weekend, just my DSLR and a 17- 50 tamron lens. So I decided to just plonk the camera on an old shovel and set it to 30 seconds at manual. no tracking or anything. It was a bright evening about 11.30. I was impressed by the colour of the skies. Obviously this shows vignetting, noise and all sorts. But with tracking, it could be good If this was a city it would just be orange soup. I usually need a LP filter to do anything at all I do have the superb Lightrack II so I have high hopes for the future I just don't know if I should use my Pentax K3 with a prime DA 300mm lens with just an intervalometer. or get a body (maybe 700D )for my trusty 200mm canon prime and Back Yard EOS. If the portable setup works out. I will bring up the 127mm scope and NEQ6
  13. camera is a an Atik 428 OSC attached to a Canon 200mm lens via my own DIY adapter terrible LP skies and about 50 mins of data The Lightrack II is an amazing mount and I got 200sec exposures with 200mm, unguided
  14. hi can anyone who has a geoptik canon to ccd adapter check how a 2 inch filter is supposed to fit inside. I can see the 1.25" ok. I cannot seem to see how this can work with 2 inch? The filter just slops around as the threads are too big in the Geoptik. I could wedge it in but it's a bit DIY. It's a IDAS LP filter
  15. hi this may be a daft question, but as these old lenses seem to focus to infinity, can you just whack them to infinity and shoot with a bit of stopping down? My major bugbear as a newbie widefield astrophotographer is nailing focus. I know that many if not all modern consumer lenses seem to focus past infinity I have a SMC 1:2/55mm lens to try here, but as usual skies are grey
  16. managed to get a few 2 min subs, unguided with a Canon 1100d and 200mm F2.8 lens the tracking was pretty good, but was easily upset due to my ebay special ball head. The mount is wonderful and easy to use. A red led and a right angle attachment for the polar scope are a big help in PA
  17. cheers. It was a bit of a random bunch, just to check the mounts performance. Got some field rotation going on but probably due to the fast polar alignment. Also a bit of a red/green gradient.
  18. had bad LP but managed to get a shot of m33 127mm scope and 428OSC
  19. managed to get my first light with the LightTrack II. I had very Light polluted skies but sill got some great tracking.Fantastic mount and easy to use for a newbie like me. The mount itself is excellent. The only issue is the 2 hr running time before rewind. But this is the same for the astrotrack I believe Got a few snaps with a Canon 1100D and the 50mm lens pleiades, deneb area, m31
  20. Hi I decided to take the plunge into portable mounts. I looked at the astrotrac which looks really good but I also noticed formax mounts. The lighttrack II seems to have very low error and has decent specs regarding weight etc. I already had skywatcher wedge. Plus an old tripod which was quite good quality from a video camera. I got a cheap ball head from eBay and installed my Trusty Canon 1100D and nifty fifty lens. I also have a 200 millimeter lens as well plus a Pentax camera with the 300 millimeter lens I was a bit confused about the polar scope seem to be for the Southern Hemisphere. But apparently this should work ok with apps and so on. I have aligned the celestron polar scope so that the 0 Mark is Uppermost in the field of view and try to get it like vertical compared to say a lamp post. Next I plan to use an app to show the NCP. It's all new to me as I was used to using EQ mod. I also collimated the polar scope at the centre was off by quite a bit. The fornax Mount is beautiful. Very nicely made and makes a rather pleasing sound from the stepper motors. I have yet to try it out but hopefully I will be in the possession of a dark Sky site pretty soon. I was up for the weekend and could not believe how fantastic the sky was compared to my suburban area. I could actually see wispy bits in the sky I think this was the Milky Way. Pretty cool for a townie like me. As usual, I hope to get a bit of stargazing if the weather clears up and will report back on how good or not the device is.
  21. many thanks steppenwolf and Robin. I was looking at the merlon which seems good but is pricey. My initial worry was polar alignment, but I now have The QHY polar align camera thingy which should be useful. I currently use teamviewer to check my setup from indoors a bit like Robin. It works well. I also have a USB focuser, although I usual use my skywatcher electric focuser as it;s quicker and less fiddly in practice. I will check out that link Steve and do some research. I don't mind spending money if something actually works but it could be a path full of expensive mistakes without checking out the options first. I can image the frustration of just needing a switch pressed or something adjusted at a site 100 miles away. Maybe a future robo assistant would be a godsend when the robotics techno future finally arrives:)
  22. Hi I hope to have access to a holiday cottage at a dark sky location. My plan is to have a completely remote telescope. Something like a 90mm refractor and ccd. Is there anything off the shelf. I am prepared to spend some cash if I have to. My kit at the moment is a 127mm refractor and eq6 with Atik 428 osc Many thanks all
  23. I got another few suba, but because of stacking issues couldn't use some of the calibration frames. But result 'may' be a bit better
  24. Thanks everybody. I hope to get a few more subs tonight, moon is up but will have a bash anyway
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