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Everything posted by kk4df

  1. Haha. I have ankle weights on the left arm of my LX90 as well. Balancing takes some time during daylight, with some tape placed at appropriate points on the mounting rail for the weights and the placement of the guidescope. Loosen each axis, one at a time, until the scope does not "flop" to the heavy side. When you're done, you can typically loosen both axis locking screws, point the scope in any direction, and it will stay there. There are a few directions I can't quite get balance, but I can get very close. First time took me about 15 minutes of experimenting on the back porch.
  2. Polar alignment: On my LX90, it typically takes me only a few extra minutes to get excellent polar alignment. Pointing as close to true north with a level tripod (and properly adjusted wedge), I make my first polar alignment. I do the alignment as accurately as possible using an illuminated reticle eyepiece. Right at the end of the alignment, the Meade Autostar tells me where true polar north is with respect to my current setup. I've calculated that my wedge requires about 1 screw turn rotation to move about 33 arcminutes left or right, and 1 screw turn in altitude to move about 55 arcminutes up or down. My second polar alignment typically shows the message indicating less than 5 arcminutes error, as long I was pretty close on the initial polar north.
  3. I am using the Meade Classic and Autostar I ASCOM driver (v5.0.2) with pulse guiding enabled.
  4. I use the ADM 125mm rings as well for my ST80 guidescope. Good luck!
  5. My son and I have the setup for imaging down to less than 10 minutes setup, after getting the scope mounted on the tripod and power connected. It took us a while figure out how to get good polar alignment with our scope, but it's now no longer than it took to polar align for observing. So the extra setup just includes bolting on the guidescope and counterweight, mounting the guide camera, routing all the cables to our netbook (for autoguiding), and mounting the Canon camera. With the camera, we've been able to "see" (in images) much fainter and prettier objects than we ever could have seen visually. Plus, we get to share these with our family and friends. Yes, it took some time and practice and research and a little money to make imaging successful, but it's been well worth the effort so far.
  6. I use a Meade LX90 8" with Orion ST80 guidescope and Phillips SPC900 webcam, guided using PHD software. Fairly simple and cheap for me, considering I already had the small netbook available.
  7. Here is an image of the Lagoon Nebula I shot on 6/30. This was my first real attempt with my new autoguiding setup, so I was pretty pleased.
  8. It depends somewhat on what part of the sky you're shooting. I see less field rotation along the ecliptic, and more near the polar regions. I still do my best alignment, but I don't do any drift alignments.
  9. I had good results from Lagoon Nebula last week in my southern light polluted skies. But I was using a Hutech light pollution filter while imaging.
  10. Yes, the spikes were introduced in Photoshop using the Astronomy Tools 1.6 actions. I'm ready to get out again the LX90.
  11. Second time out with the guidescope this past week. Shot a few pics of Lagoon Nebula. 4 exposures at 6 min each, Canon 500D mod with Hutech LPS-V4 nebula filter, stacked in DSS and enhanced in PS CS5, Meade LX90 polar-aligned with Orion ST80 guidescope, Phillips SPC900 webcam guiding with PHD software, updated firmware in LX90 for autoguiding. This was my first successful attempt with autoguiding. I'm looking forward to much more, once the weather cools off.
  12. I purchased a Canon 500D that I had modified before I received it. Very pleased. Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
  13. I don't have any pictures yet, but will try to get some over the next week or so. I've yet to resolve all the cable and balance issues. I have a Losmandy weight on the bottom rail to help offset the guidescope on the top rail, but will likely have to add more weight on the bottom. I use velcro straps for helping to secure the cables once I get everything connected.
  14. Yes, this works. Camera into laptop running PHD. Ascom 5.5 driver for Meade classic scope, usb/serial adapter with Meade 505 serial cable to Autostar. Autostar has to be patched to work properly to guide the LX90. I just got this working on mine a few weeks ago. Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
  15. I chose to go with the Orion ST80 guidescope mounted with ADM 125mm rings to a Vixen style dovetail. For guide camera, I'm using a SPC900 webcam. Using PHD software and a netbook connected via Meade 505 cable and USB-serial adapter. You could use similar, but get a guide camera with ST4 output along with the 909 clone adapter, instead of the webcam and the netbook. BTW, the Orion package you mentioned does not attach to the LX90 directly. BTW, most LX90s will need their Autostar patched to work properly when being guided. Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
  16. I've been pleased with the Antares FR. Much better than the Meade it replaced. Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
  17. Very nice. I now have a new goal for my next imaging session. Thanks. Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
  18. The real test will come in the coming weeks. I was just watching it in PHD lsat night for 10 to 15 minutes, and tracked pretty well. Pics coming. Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
  19. I was finally able to auto guide my LX90 using PHD software, the 505 serial cable, ASCOM 5.5 with Meade Classic driver, and patched 5Ce1 firmware in the Auto Star. It would not work until I loaded the firmware earlier today. Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
  20. I just tried it, and it seems to work! Thanks. Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
  21. I personally just ordered the V4 filter. It seems to be more designed to pass the light I want rather than to block the light I don't want. The H-alpha bandwidth is a bit narrower for this one than the V2. My aim is to use this primarily for nebula photos.
  22. I've been playing with a new method of polar alignment, and can now say it's been successful four times in a row. This should work for any Meade Autostar or similar scope that tells you where the celestial pole is at the completion of the alignment process. This method typically requires an alignment followed by one wedge adjustment followed by a final alignment. First, I level the tripod and use a compass to aim north. Then I do the "Easy" alignment, letting it select two alignment stars for me. I use a 9mm reticle eyepiece to make certain I'm dead centered in the eyepiece on each star. Once aligned, the controller briefly indicates where the true celestial pole is located, both in direction and magnitude. Now, the goal is to move in that direction by the amount of the error and align again. I took some measurements and did a little math to find that for my wedge, the altitude adjustment moves about 55 minutes per rotation and the azimuth screws move about 33 minutes per full rotation. Except for one time when had a large initial error, I get the desired "less than 5' from the pole" message after one adjustment. Make the adjustments indicated after the first alignment, turn the screws the desired amount, and align again. Maybe someone else wants to try this and let me know how this works for you.
  23. I have a modded Canon T1i DSLR. I have some white cards that I've shot in sunny, shady, cloudy, flash, incadescent, and flourescent lighting. I use these shots as a custom white balance, and get good daylight shots straight from the camera, without having to adjust white balance using software. It's a little extra work to change the custom white balance every time you change lighting conditions, but it suits me fine. I'll probably not ever purchase a normal camera, but will have only the modded one.
  24. I always us the wedge on my LX90 and polar align. Firstly, I'm usually putting the DSLR on sometime during the observing session. Secondly, I probably still need the practice of doing good polar alignments.
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