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Everything posted by DoctorD

  1. Hi Rob My SCT to T adapter allows me to rotate the camera with respect to the reducer - however it's not low profile, so may cause issues with spacing when used with the filter wheel. Might be worth looking around. Here's my set up - note that the reducer sensor spacing is incorrect in this photo - I've removed the colimatable 10mm spacer and am still experimenting with the spacing. HTHPaul
  2. DoctorD

    F3 3 Lodestar Arrangement

    Note this spacing will result in severe coma - I'm still experimenting with the spacing.
  3. Hi Rob I agree with Olly - T adapters is the way forward. SCT to T adapter, Filter wheel, T to 1.25", Lodestar This will allow you to fine tune the distance between the reducer and sensor to get the correct spacing (use a parafoal ring on the Lodestar. Alternatively: SCT to T adapter, Filter wheel, T spacer, T to CS, Lodestar This will be more ridged but you will need to get the right T spacer to get the correct distance between the CCD and reducer. A low profile T to CS adapter will give you more flexibility on choice of T spacers. I use this second arrangement with my Lodestar for EEA (albeit without the filter wheel) as it keeps the CCD secure (I found that my 1.25" adapter allowed the Lodestar to move slightly from side to side) HTH Paul
  4. I'm going to have to dig my SDC435 out and give it a go again. Great results Paul
  5. Fantastic work - I have a similar set up and use it on a Skywatcher AZ for my camping set up. Works well with a Ha filter too. Clear Skies Paul
  6. Hi I've had some success using a Raspberry Pi running Virtualhere USB over IP (free for one connection). Clients for OS X, Linux and Windows. Managed to achieve download in about 5 seconds, so OK for remote viewing but slow for alignment and focusing. I also use ser2net to provide remote access to the mount instead of paying for a second Virtualhere device. HTH Paul
  7. Hi I have used a small LCD monitor (reversing cam/mirror) with my SDC435 - here's a view of M1 taken with my Skywatcher 102MAk and F3.3 reducer: I still use this as my portable set up whilst camping on my SW Synscan AZ mount, however my main focus is remote observing from the warmth of my study whilst the scope is outside on the drive - here an HEQ5/EQMAC and Lodestar-C/StarlightLive give me the remote experience I'm after along with much longer integration times. My Macbook has a very good screen - even when used with an analogue video capture dongle so I ended up using this most of the time anyway. Clear skies Paul
  8. Hi Graham Looking at the price of the Watec on 365 Astro, I think that the Lodestar will be a cheaper option and give significantly longer exposure times. The only possible downside is that you will need a computer/laptop to view, although using Paul81's Starlight Live software (MAC or Windows) will give you automatic stacking and processing of individual exposures to get fantastic detail. The sensor size of the Lodestar is the same as the Watec so your potential field of view will be the same with similar resolution but with 16 bit data transfer allowing you to extract more information from the data. Here's the colour version on FLO's web site: http://www.firstlightoptics.com/guide-cameras/starlight-xpress-lodestar-x2-autoguider.html It's available in colour or mono - the mono offers better sensitivity which is great for dim galaxies and narrowband use, however seeing colour in nebula is where the colour version comes into it's own. YOu'll still need a focal reducer with the SCT/MAK though. Have a look at my gallery to see what is possible - I have the older version, the new X2 is more sensitive. There are much better examples of what can be achieved for more experienced users - just search for lodestar within this sub-forum. HTH Paul
  9. Hi I've no experience of the Watec but have used the SCD435 with a range of scopes. For the SCT & MAK you'll need a focal reducer - aim for F3 to F4. Have you considered the Lodestar cameras - cost a little more but much more flexible and no PAL/NTSC encoding so possibly a better image. HTH Paul
  10. Another vote for a 4-6" SCT or MAK on an Alt-AZ mount and a Lodestar. You'll need some focal reduction but these little scopes can be very effective as the short tubes put less demands on the mount. Have a look at my gallery to see what can be done with a 4" MAK. (And an 8" SCT [emoji3]) Clear skies Paul
  11. Hi Paul Thank you for the major update, cannot wait to be able to try it out. Hot pixel removal via a pixel mask or better still pixel replacement would be fantastic - my Lodestar-C suffers from quite a large number of hot pixels. Hope you have a great 2016 Paul Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  12. That was supposed to say pillar mount!!!
  13. Hi DP Have you considered a pillar mount - this could be set up permanently and you'd just have to put your mount on top each time. I'm not sure that dowels would be stable enough without substantial foundations. HTH Paul
  14. Another great collection. Thanks Paul
  15. Hi First time I've come across IC410 - you really can see the tadpoles - although I think they look more like the giant space worm from Starwars!! Fantastic results - keep em coming. Paul
  16. Fantastic work Martin - Sculptor is a definite target for me next tie I get out. This is what EAA/Video Astronomy is all about - quick results with more detail emerging during the viewing session, just like visual when you spend more and more time at the eyepiece. Clear Skies Paul
  17. Hi Rob Yes, the sensor is at the join line, 12.5mm back from the front of the camera. I experience similar distortion to that in your image but not as severe. I'm going to try playing with the spacing next time I have the opportunity. Clear skies Paul
  18. Hi Rob Here's a picture of my set-up as used on my C8: My reducer (courtesy of Olly) is a Meade made in China model. Works out about F3 on my C8 and exhibits coma or something similar around the edges. Have a look in my gallery - http://stargazerslounge.com/gallery/member/11951-doctord/ I use the same set-up with my 102MAK for most of my EAA/Video Astronomy. HTH Paul
  19. From the album: DoctorD's Photos

    Lodestar with F3.3 reducer set up
  20. Hi Olly Your F3.3 is still being used regularly with my Lodestar C. Thanks!!!! Paul
  21. Hi I had a minitower for a while but only used it with short tubes such as my C8. The smaller Cubes get reasonable reviews when used with shorter refractors. What OTA have you in mind? I've seen mixed reports on iOptron QA - however if you are buying new then the 2 year warranty and Altair Astros support will give you some peace of mind. I sold my Minitower and got a second hand HEQ5 and have never looked back. Don't let the polar alignment put you off an EQ mount, it's not that difficult, especially if you are only doing visual. I have marked my tripod position on the patio and once initially polar aligned, I can drop the tripod back in place and get a rough alignment very quickly. HTH Paul
  22. Check out the iOptron Cube mounts - AZ Giri for ease of setup and visual use. HTH Paul
  23. Hi The SCB2000 is a great way to start - I recommend that you use manual exposure rather than the ESC which is sometimes recommended. This gives you more control over the exposure and allows you to gradually increase the exposure time upto the maximum of x512 or about 10s for a PAL camera. I'd also recommend setting the SSNR to OFF until you have got the exposure set, then turn on and gradually increase to see a reduction in noise but watch out for star trails if your tracking is off as the SDNR effectively extends the exposure time. You can play with the SSDR setting using it on objects with large dynamic range - Orion nebula is a good place to test this out. Hope this helps and welcome to the wonderful world of VA/EAA. Paul
  24. Hi If it ain't broke don't try and fix it - I know it can be difficult to see a spot of dirt on your pride and joy but leave it alone. Bear in mind that you have an obstruction the size of the secondary in the light path - what affect do you think a few specks of dust are going to cause? At worst you might notice a slight reduction in contrast due to scattered light but it would have to be pretty dirty before you really noticed any degradation in the views. I've had my SCT for more than 17 years and not cleaned it. Hope this helps Paul
  25. Hi A home made dobsonian mount is the way to go if you have the basic skills and time, how ever if you are interested in a CG5 I have one gathering dust in the back of the garage which used to mount my 8" SCT. PM me if you are interested. Clear skies Paul
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