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Everything posted by EA2007

  1. Quality idea! I pondered on a similar idea a few years ago - fed up with having so many cables and electrical wires, I thought "why can't there just be one or two" I mean, a few years ago (prior to dvd recorders) your average household family could need: -T.V. aerial cable -T.V. power cable -VCR power cable -DVD power cable -FreeView Box cable -Scart lead from VCR to T.V. -Scart lead from DVD player to T.V. -Scart lead from Free View Box to T.V. -Home cinema system power cable -5.1 speaker leads x 5 -1x Subwoofer cable -1xSubwoofer to T.V./DVD/VCR Alltogether that is 16 cables! You can further this by stating that younger members of the houshold (such as my girlfrinds household) have individual T.V.'s, VCR's, DVD players, SkyBoxes, Playstations, X-Boxes, Wii's etc Then take into account the household computer: -Monitor power cable -PC power cable -Mouse Cable -Keyboard cable -Speaker power cable -2xSpeaker cables -Monitor to PC cable -Printer power cable -Printer to PC cable -USB extender cable -Extention cable (sometimes x2) -Internet cable -Internet router power cable -Internet Wireless power cable -Cat5 cable (sometimes x2) That's a possible 17 for the household computer, more still needed if individuals use laptops or computers in the bedroom. This is not to mention mobile phones, telescopes (had to get that one in), vacuum cleaners, kitchen equipment etc In total there can be >50 different cables. Many of these could however be made to be a) more environmentally friendly and interchangeable between manufacturers
  2. I think that someone is in somewhat of a grouch. The FOV is wholly dependant on the eyepiece, type and manufacturer of a scope, even within the realm of maksutovs and schmidts then the focal length and ratio can change by quite a margin. I know for one that I have complained about this issue on imaging with a mak. HOWEVER it was made because I have somewhat of a bad mount and also a bad camera, both of which do not complement either the a) great optics small size or c) light-weight that maks/schmidts can offer. I have no problem with either a schmidt of mak, providing the accompanying tools are upto the job. Its kinda like wanting to make a nice sandwich but the only bread you can get is five years old and lidl's own brand!
  3. Hello again Nanoman, I had exactly the same probem the other night aswell. Don't worry, its not you, its the scope. As I mentioned in the other post, its very prone to vibration and focusing via an SLR viewfinder is near impossible. As 'Winfij' said, attaching a 2x or even 3x barlow lens would be tricky given your use of the t-mount. I would only purchase a barlow if I were doing planetary work, due to the small field of view that the maksutov provides then most DSO's wouldn't appreciate it. I tried to image M44 the other night aswell and well I only got a very small portion of it (I know its a big wide field object anyway) and virtually no background stars due to my scope giving up tracking after 50 seconds. I am however moving onto another scope (and better mount) sometime in the near future. If its clear tonight (please please) then I shall have another go at getting some images but Saturn just appears small and out of focus when using an SLR. Even if it is focused the wobble from my SLR shutter destroys the image anyway. 1.5sec.max exposure (for Saturn) is near enough the same as the 1sec 'shakedown' time, ah well!
  4. The George Lutz observatory..... there is one George Lutz (or Luz) who served in the 506th Parachute Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division during the Second World War. Anyone who has seen the (excellent) mini-series Band Of Brothers will know of this very funnny quote. However, http://www.geocities.com/lutzobservatory/org.html this is the real story.
  5. I use both the built in 5in1 card reader on my laptop, 7in1 card reader which plugs into a USB port and also the PictBridge thing on the Epson printer. The problem spans across mulitple computers though. I don't think I hve ever used a cable from the camera to the computer. And have formatted the cards. Maybe there's a ghost!
  6. George Lutz....... "remember men, flies spread disease, so keep yours closed!"
  7. Hey kids. After a short stint in the back garden last night with scope I was able to image M44 quite nicely. Got the scope set up okay, everything was going well, then the mist came in and covered up my #1 target M42, so I headed to clearer skies and found the beehive. Managed to get about 5 good shots and then the cloud took over. Came inside to put my images on my laptop and every single image apart from the ones I took last night was able to copy over. My history with xD cards is terrible. Everytime I get some great shots (be it astro or normal) then the card screws them up when I try to load them up to a pc. So today I decided that I would try and transfer them via an Epson Stylus DX4850 printer. The computer found the card and even showed the images, but when it came to copying them over.....(extreme frustration).......it gave up and the laptop restarted itself. Has anyone here had similar problems with xD picture cards ?? I have had problems with both Olympus and Toshiba cards in various types of camera. Why can't people make things that work!
  8. I think it is, the small smudge to the left of M81
  9. Tried loads of things but sometimes I follow the tutorial wrongly. Lol, anyway more practice is needed. Thanks for your help though
  10. Don't worry too much, Take things slowly.... The wedge align is purely for better tracking of the night sky, it removes what is known as 'field rotation' when imaging. If you were to take a long exposure image (say, longer than 1 minute) then the object within the field of view (FOV) will appear to rotate over time, your final image will look blurred in one direction, hence field (the view) rotation. The wedge feature as far as my experience goes is better for both photography and tracking as it eliminates the errors that can occur when the scope is moving in both the altitude (up+down) and azimuth (left and right), when your using the wedge the scope is only using one of the motors to move so the chance of any errors in tracking is reduced. In reply to the 'cooled scope' phrase, basically all that is meant by this is that your telescope needs to be at a similar temperature range of the air in which you are using it. So if you are outside with your telescope and its cold (say 2 degrees) but you have just moved your telescope from inside your house where its nice and warm (say, 15 degrees) then there will be a massive difference between the scope's temperature and the ambient temperature of the outside air. All telescopes require different 'cool-down' times. From what I gather, open scopes like a newtonian require less cool down time than a housed refractor or Schmidt/Maksutov Cassegrain. This is because the outside air cannot get into the scope due to the lenses, so additional time is required for the scope to cool down. I allow about 30 minutes for my newtonian, but the longer you wait the better it gets. For the NexStar it can require a bit longer. Basically the air currents withing the scopes tube affect how well you can see an object, its like looking at the heat wave on a road in summer, objects on the horizon appear to shimmer. You will get loads more detail in a DSO (deep sky object) if you allow you scope to cool down. With regard to Saturn, I don't want to be rude but perhaps you are maybe looking at the wrong thing. I know that right now Saturn is close to Regulus in Leo so maybe you are aimed at that instead, if I remember rightly, Saturn is to the left of Regulus.
  11. Ah, yeh, most probably. Trouble is the pics were taken ages ago, with a different scope and camera to mine, never mind. I shall mess on as much as I can. Cheers
  12. That seems to work, its the second to last option. However, another problem I have is some issues at the top of the image I get from DSS, they always seem to have purple / grey areas at the top left, middle and right areas which look faded compared to the rest of the image. Anyone else get this? Thanks for your help
  13. Hey kids, When using Deep Sky Stacker I have come across a problem when it reveals the final image. For some reason my copy seems unable to align images, so the resulting image is out of alignment making it quite fuzzy. I do the following: Open the images> register them> align them > stack them Anyone come across the same thing?
  14. now that's the best advice you can get...... Ian Other than not eating yellow snow!
  15. Lots of questions......I shall attempt to answer some to the best of my knowedge, but you may get better info from other users. I attach my dSLR to the scope via a t-ring and universal t-adapter (I remove the lens of the camera to achieve prime focus). The t-adapter is 1.25" wide and I slot it into the eyepiece holder. Alternativly you can purchase a threaded t-adapter which (I assume you have) screws into the back of the scope beneath the eyepiece. With the way that I do it then I have to rotate the focusing knob to achieve focus. The scope in 'normal' mode with the 12V power pack attached: The back of the NexStar with the threaded adapter hole open: My Olympus E-400, universal t-adapter and t-ring (note that the t-ring is for a standard Olympus SLR, I had to purchase an OEM adapter which screws into the t-ring and the Olympus camera): The t-ring and t-adapter (together) which attaches to the Olympus E-400: The finished article ready to go into the NexStar 4SE's eyepiece holder: The NexStar with the Olympus dSLR placed into the eypiece holder, not the threaded hole beneath: The Wedge feature in operation, mine is set up fro 54 degrees as this is where I am at : The alignment scale pole, make sure that the number you need is level with the base of the wedge: The scope pointing towards polaris (yes I know its daytime, but its only to show), when performing a wedge align (after a EQ North Align) the scope slews to where it thinks polaris is -MANUALLY move the scope to where polaris is using the red dot finder and altering the scale pole. DO NOT use the goto handset : Wedge alignement is the process of aligning your scope using the built in wedge with the pole star (polaris). This means that the scope can track at a sidereal rate (the rate at which the stars 'appear' to move across the sky) in only Azimuth thus erradicating the use of Altitude in the scopes motors. If you look at the celestron maunal then it tells you the process but it is quite backwards in my opinion. From what I remember then you have to align the scope in EQ North mode (if your in the Northern hemisphere) using the wedge to place your scope at the desired angle (for me it is 54 degree's whereas Los Angeles is 34 degrees I think. Then perform a wedge align and then perform another EQ North align. I would ignore whatever someone has said about needing to spend more to get better results. Its down to the user getting the most out of the scope. Stacking requires taking a set of images say 10 x 2 minutes and then using a computer program to add them together so your final image incorporates the data from each picture. There are many ways of doing it however.
  16. Great image Ian. Seen similar taken in very clear skies in Portugal and your image is a lot better.
  17. Hey there, I too have the NexStar 4SE (although I am selling it in a few weeks) and it is not the ideal scope for astrophotography. That said however, you can manage somethings from it and in my opinion its down to just a few things: -Power supply -Focus -Alignment and -Camera The power supply must be coming from a continuous source i.e. a power tank or mains adapter. The in-built battery compartment is a waste of space and I think that Celestron should have designed the scope better here to perhaps accomodate some stronger motors or a more sturdier fork arm instead ofgiving a battery compartment that uses 8 whole batteries in about 5 minutes. NOTE: The plastic (why oh why Celestron!!) fork arm is very prone to vibration, indeed the shutter release on my SLR is enough to wobble the scope. I can remove some of the vibration by having the scope's legs at their lowest point and by hanging my 12V powertank from the accessory tray, but the problem is still quite noticable. So your blurry star images are similar to what I recieve. However keep with it as some exposures you take will show no blurring. Focus must be spot-on, I images M13 last year and my focus was right off, like Ian said, try imaging a bright star and get that focused first then move onto your DSO subject. However saying that, focusing a dSLR isn't easy-why can't all dSLR's feature LiveView! Alignment, I assume that you have the wedge alignment done, this makes a huge difference to not only images but the tracking on the whole. From my experience taking the time to do a proper alignment is crucial to good tracking. The use fo the wedge not only iliminates field rotation but provides far better tracking than using the NexStar in Alt-Az. The camera has to be upto the task, unfortunatly I purchased an OIlympus dSLR and its bad for astrophotography as it will only expose for 1 minute on BULB mode with an ISO of >500. Given that the NexStar is an f/12 scope then long exposure imaging with my camera is basically out of the question. So you ideally need a dSLR that isn't an Olympus, which can expose for as long as you need. If you have all of the above set up okay then you may be able to gain a few good images, try getting the best out of your equipment before you give up though! I have found that there are some areas the 4SE is good in and others which it isn't. Planetary observations are great, Saturn appears the same size as in my 8inch Newtonian but with more contrast. Jupiter is the same although it is brighter in the NexStar, and I can only get the cloud banding with my 8" Newt. The problem arises with DSO's. Obviously the NexStar is only 4inches in aperture and has a narrow FOV so relitively faint DSO's such as M81+82, M51 aren't that possible in my experience. Brighter objects such as M42, M13, M44 and M45 are possible as these are bright nebulae and star clusters. I have managed to get M57 and M27 and indeed imaged M57 last summer but I needed way more images to be able to stack for a decent image. If I were you I would wedge-up your scope and try M42 before its completely lost for summer, you can always take smaller exposures, say of 2 minutes and then stack them in programs such as DeepSkyStacker and then mess around with it in Photoshop.
  18. Very very similar, have you had any trouble focusing the 8" scope? I cannot get enough down focus on the focusing knob. I know that the Skywatchers come with a dSLR adapter but my Celestron doesn't seem to have anything. Do you know of anything to solve the problem?
  19. Note that............Celestron Dobsonians do not reach focus using a dSLR (at prime focus) as I found out last summer.
  20. That's fine enough, thanks for your help. Just I am thinking of using my Celestron Starhopper 8" mounted on a HEQ5-pro. Then placing a very old and pretty basic Bresser beginner scope as my guide scope. But its all a long way off, just getting ideas for what is possible and what is needed.
  21. Thats a great help. So basically you have your main scope with your imaging camera and then a seperate smaller scope (usually ontop) with a webcam or similar which is just used to track a star? Would any old scope be suitable for a guide scope? Which mounts work with the software/autoguider?
  22. Hey kids, I should know this but I guess its one of those things that everyone but you knows about and when you search for it you can never find an answer. So, what is autoguiding and how does it work ? Hope everyone is having a good day, I am, its sunny-wahey!
  23. Do you mean t-mount or t-ring? I have a universal t-mount which is plain metal: http://www.telescopeplanet.co.uk/ViewProdDetails.asp?name=Celestron%20Universal%20T-Adapter%2031.7mm&prod_code=PON06B000022 But I also know you can get screw-in t-mounts:http://www.celestron.com/c2/product.php?CatID=50&ProdID=363, is yours the screw in type?
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