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Everything posted by EA2007

  1. Hey kids, Last summer I had trouble reaching focus when I had my Olympus E-400 at prime focus on my 8"Reflector (Celestron Strahopper Series Newtonian Reflector). There was not enough down turn on the focusing knob, so the camera was hitting the focusing unit If I were to use a Canon 400D and a Skywatcher Explorer 200p would I have the same problem achieving focus, if so what equipment would I need to solve the problem?
  2. Here is the answer to the question of 'how loud is an EQ-6/5 mount: About halfway through the video, the scope whirs into action and that is waht the mount sounds like! The Celestron range is alot more grainier: Enjoy!
  3. Never said that it definitly was, I said it 'can' or 'may' be for certain types of people, its all in the reading. Younger users on this forum for example may need assistance. Anyway, I am sure that rusirius (good name btw) will make the correct choice and is interested in everyones opinions from every angle, I am just going on what I have seen.
  4. In reply to Whiplash: Its fair enough for one person to mount a small/medium sized refractor onto a HEQ-5/6 mount, but for an 8 or 10inch reflector then it may be easier for two people to work together....trying to balance the scope on the dovetail bar whilst tightening the screws may prove problematic for certain users. Each to their own though, I was merely stating that for some users wanting an 'easier' setup then they may want to look at an alternative route.
  5. The HEQ-5 is more than suitable to hold a 150mm scope and a load of accessories. I would not purchase the HEQ-6 mount if you are only going to use a small OTA on it. The HEQ-6 is a very meaty peice of kit and weighs a good amount. For your wife (not being sexist) to use or indeed anyone on there own, I would go for the HEQ-5 mount or even the EQ-5 mount. If you aren't going for astrophotography then the EQ-5 mount might suffice but I have no experience with this mount. I know of quite a few people who strugle with the HEQ-6 mount alone (including myself), you have to be quite tall and strong to be able to move it a distance. And attaching the OTA can take 2 people. However I am sure that there are people on here (Rambo's, Superman and the like) who will say that it isn't that bad. Just my opinion.
  6. I have a NexStar 4SE and have heard the H-EQ6 mount in action and the HEQ-5 aswell. First off the HEQ-6 and HEQ-5 mount are silky quiet, it makes more of a high pitched whining noise when slewing but its a pleasant noise, not a high-high pitch noise that will make you clasp your ears. The tracking noise is hardly noticable and the mount makes a slight high-pitched hiccup every so often, but other than that its silent. The NexStar 4SE mount however is far different.....its not really loud like I think the CG-5 mount is, but its loud enough to be noticed when slewing places but thats on the top slew speed. When tracking it makes a quiet ticking noise a bit like a watch. I think the main reason why people moan about it is because we all (apart from solar) observe at night when the hustle and bustle of the day has died down and the ambient volume is low, so the noise of the slewing NexStar is standing out. Thats my version of things
  7. Some good advice off Whippy. However having used both TAL and Skywatcher scopes I can say that in my opinion the Skywatcher scopes are slightly easier to use. My friends and I found the TAL to be quite troublesome in certain areas (mainly focusing and slewing), whereas the Skywatcher is more of a breeze once you get past the alignment side of things, also in my opinion the HEQ-5 tripod on the SW is more stable than the 'stand' with the TAL. Also to my knowledge, TAL dealers in the UK are limiting their selection, I could only find about 2 or 3 scopes (per site) the other day when dossing around. Whereas there is a multitude of Skywatcher scopes. Like Whippy said the 'Evostar' and 'Startravel' OTA's aren't as high a quality as the 'Pro' series, but you would expect that given there £1000+ price range.
  8. I can suggest two scopes that are <£1000 on HEQ-5 mounts This one @ £675 http://firstlightoptics.co.uk/proddetail.php?prod=st150heq5 and this one @ £880 http://firstlightoptics.co.uk/proddetail.php?prod=ev120heq5pro The latter having goto included. For <£1000 I see these as being a very good option for you and your wife, the mount is very good quality and the scope is good too!
  9. Personally, given the time constraint's I would think more about the NexStar line rather than the HEQ-5 Newtonian route. The time it takes to set-up the NexStar is minimal compared to the alignment/levelling/building up of an EQ mount. The NexStar's are also a fair bit lighter in my opinion and they come with the XLT coatings which give great views of the planets. But have a long hard think about it, £1000 is quite a lot of money and you want it to be worth it
  10. Hello, You mention 400 US Dollars, the current exchange rate here in the UK will give about £200 for that amount of dollars. For that amount you won't be able to get anything brilliant. However I assume that maybe the prices of telescopes are a little cheaper in Shanghai / China as this is where the majority of them are made. If I were you I would look at a 6 inch or 8 inch newtonian reflector. Or maybe even a smaller goto scope, such as this one: http://firstlightoptics.co.uk/proddetail.php?prod=slt130 if you are a beginner. For your $400's though you aren't really going to be able to get much. To view and take images through a telescope requires a webcam/ccd which can cost £200's alone. You will also need the accesories such as computer cables and power cables. A light pollution filter can be purchased also. Some other members of this forum can probably give you some better advice.
  11. Knew this would happen....nevermind. I meant lens not mirror, so what, I made a mistake gees! ALSO Gareth has a budget of £1000's so he is not going to be able to get a refractor larger than say 6 inches. The reason I mentioned 'collapse' is because the lens is made of glass material which (at large scales) is liable to sag, bit like when people get old! If you read my post you would also realise it had the words 'ccd and webcam'-BOTH can give realtime views through a scope. (Some people are always there to disagree, but thats life)
  12. I have no idea BUT...... Ditch Outlook Express, its rubbish. Get a hotmail / windows live account or yahoo account. They are far easier to use, they are integrated into the web unlike Outlook Express and don't take a year to load and bring your system down when it screwsup (which is frequent). Most things by microsoft are pants: Windows Media Player (get iTunes), Outlook Express (where's the express bit?, get Hotmail), Internet Explorer (get Firefox, less crashes and it saves your pages if it ever does crash, also Microsoft copied all there ideas) This should help
  13. Hi Gareth, I am going to sway completely the opposite way to what 'Whiplash' said on a couple of things. If this is your first scope then I would recommend not going down the route of astrophotography straight off..... as you will find it better to find things first with your eyes, there is always plenty of time to get into imaging, for now I would focus on using good old eyesight. However, if you did want to go down that route then you can get definitly get away with a reasonable setup for imaging. As an example I would perhaps go for this http://firstlightoptics.co.uk/proddetail.php?prod=C8nGT, as it gives you a very large aperture for a beginner, goto and the ability to take images if you so wish. Alternativly go for the skywatcher 200p (non-goto) http://firstlightoptics.co.uk/proddetail.php?prod=200heq5 for around £500, this will leave you with £500 to get your webcam / ccd / dSLR and extras Of course you will need a digital SLR or webcam / CCD for imaging. Even a cheap dSLR such as the Nikon D40 will happily get you on your way. But if you want to see results on a laptop then go for a wedcam, you can get modified ones to take longer exposures from astronomiser.co.uk and other sites. For £1000 you can actually get quite a bit, I should know as I am a student!! If you go into a shop for something, definitly haggle the price down or see what extras you can get thrown in. You will need a t-adapter and t-ring if your going for a dSLR and you will also need a 12V powertank to power any goto or motorised scope. Light pollution can be a massive pain in the 'rear'. As Whippy said, you can get a filter for this and I know from experience that this works a treat! Otherwise you are left with a washed out orange image which looks like a dog has spilt orange juice all over it!! Enjoy!
  14. Basically its all down to 2 things (well maybe 3 or more...) : 1 = How well you set your scope up 2 = The power supply If you take the time to properly align your scope then you will get better tracking. I know from personal experience that by giving even just a few more minutes to aligning and setting up, you will be rewarded when you come to observing. If your using a go-to alignment process then it can help to align objects by slewing to them from a certain way, therefore the motors don't back track and lose a little bit of alignment. So (for a very crude example) rather than going 'right' to Rigel then back 'left' to Betelgeuse, continue right all the way around to Betelgeuse and then your alignment should be better for finding other objects. The power supply is crucial, atleast from my experience anyway, the NexStar eats batteries so do not use them, get a dedicated powertank or adapter. Polar alignment can sound daunting but I found it a breeze with the NexStar, far easier than using a HEQ-6 mount. Infact to my suprise, I found the tracking on my NexStar 4 better than the HEQ-6, but that may be down to a number of other factors. Enjoy!
  15. Very funny captain K!! :s I meant for stray light from one of my silly parents whacking a light on when I am observing or something. Thanks for the info guys
  16. Ah okay, I aren't at home atm to check on the 1.25" adapter so I shall check in a few weeks. Just I had major issues when trying to get focus on it last time, there wasn't enough room on the down turn on the focusing knob to achieve proper focus. I know that there's an adpater you can get that reverses the focus somehow. Also, the Starhopper has a hole in each side of it, I assume that these could just be covered over with tape or something to prevent light getting in?
  17. Hey there Richard. I have the NexStar 4SE with the built in wedge, only the 4 and 5 have them I think, so the 6 and your 8 are left only with the alt-az movement. I am seling my NexStar 4 soon.....but I can highly recommend the wedge feature for a budget, from what I gather you can purchase one for around £200. The NexControl setup for the wedge is easy once you know how to do it properly (took me about 4 attempts to learn it off by heart) and the tracking is very good there after. I would recommend using a 12V powertank to power your scope as the tracking and NexRemote can screw up if there isn't a good enough energy supply. For basic astro-imaging I would recommend the wedge and also a focal reducer as the NexStar range have a very high focal ratio. The bad thing about doing imaging on a Alt-Az mount is something called field-rotation, where objects appear to rotate the longer you expose them, so your final image will look blurred-hence needing the wedge. If your unsure then I would save up for a EQ mount, you can get a HEQ-5 for around £350, although the upgrade to a goto system is another £300. In my opinion I would save for the EQ mount, basically because the wedge is £200 and for only £100 more you can get the HEQ-5, you don't really need the go-to on it (for another £300). Also the HEQ-5 mount is far more stable than the (plastic) fork-arm which your NexStar is currently on, so for imaging it will irradicate the wobble you may get from vibrations. If you want a EQ mount on a budget with a goto system then maybe consider the Celestron CG-5 mount. Your choice though!
  18. Hey kids, Wondering if it would be possible to attach the OTA from a Celestron 8inch Starhopper onto a Skywatcher HEQ-5 mount? I assume that I would be needing the dovetail bar and tube rings to make the attachment possible. Also.... I am wanting to do some astro-imaging with this setup, when I attempted to rig my Olympus digital SLR upto the OTA last summer I couldn't achieve focus. I would therefore like to know if the problem lies in the camera or the scope? I am going to purchase a new digital SLR in the next few months so if anyone has any ideas on a dslr which would achieve focus with this setup, it would be appreciated. Otherwise what would I need to achieve focus? Thanks
  19. You need to image this DSO using a long exposure in very dark skies. The 'horsehead' in the nebula is dark so viewing with a scope isn't going to work as you can't see it
  20. Hey there, I also have the NexStar 4SE and am actually wanting to sell it sometime soon...so if you are interested 'PM' me. I would really recommend this telescope for a beginner for the following reasons: -Easy to set up, once you have the scope on the tripod the alignment process is easy to get to grips with and you can do it without reffering to the manual after a few goes. -If you align it correct (works best when using the built in 'wedge') then it will slew to targets with good precision and tracks well from there on in. -Good sized aperture for the type of scope (4" on a goto is very reasonable for around £300) -The mount/tripod is solid. -The goto control is very easy to use. -The 'Starbright XLT' coatings are in my opinion brilliant for observing planets. So, yeh, for a beginner I would go for this scope. There are however a few draw backs to this scope though BUT they only really come about if your wanting to get into astrophotography..... -The scope is liable to wobble a little as its on a single arm fork, but for general viewing its alright (just when the camera shutter on an SLR clicks it wobbles it) however the dampening times are <2 seconds. -The focal ratio is quite high for astrophotography -Buy a powertank (12volt) and don't use batteries (this thing eats them) but if you do insist on using batteries then use IKEA ones, they are a) cheaper than say duracell and last loads longer. It ate 8 duracells in about 20 minutes whereas I have used the IKEA ones for a lot longer I also have an 8inch dobsonian, which in my opinion is better than the NexStar as its far easier to use and you get loads more apperture for your money......again I am selling this one aswell...so if your interested
  21. Its not a camp site as far as I know, however there is plenty of room for a good few tents. Basically the car park is long and thin with the toilets at one end (south), just before you get to them on the left (east) then there's a big grassy area which looked ideal for tents.
  22. Hello there, First off good images, you have plenty of stars, colour and nebulosity. But could I make a few pointers...... I notice you have used a Canon 400D, I assume that this camera can expose for as long as you want on bulb. Therefore I would try exposing (especially with M42) for a little longer than 1 minute. I see you have stacked 12 x 1 from an ISO of 400. I personally would bump the exposure upto say 2/3 minutes (just to collect a little more detail). This way when you stack them the detail comes through and you get more 'depth' to the image. Also try tweaking your focus a little, play around with it and see if you can get a slightly sharper image. Good stuff though
  23. Hey all, If anyone lives in the vicinity of Cardiff, Merthyr, Brecon etc then I highly recommend a good observing area just south of the town of Brecon. Went there last night and the skies were amazing, the best I have seen so far in the U.K. There's a small hamlet named 'Libanus' just south of Brecon, if you take the road to the west (signed by a big brown mountain centre sign) when in Libanus and follow the road upto the top you will come across a junction after a cattle grid. Turn right and follow for about 100 yards and you'll come across a car park on the right. Its a very useful area, even a toilet built into the mountain centre at the south end of the carpark. If you find that the trees in the car park are in the way (for horizon stuff) then go back out of the car park and turn right and straight away you'll come to an off road track which is basically open land (think the army use it for training exercises / hiking). Got some great images of M81,82,42,44,51,Flame nebula and saturn. (Only downside to the location is the posibility of cloud rolling in and mist)
  24. With reply to Whiplash, thats why I '' partner, I know they sponsor but they also pay for the servers that SGL run on. and it is 10 posts, I am sure it was 30, maybe its changed. Yeah I second the Newtonian route, they are loads faster (focal ratio) than a Schmidt Cassegrain.
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