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    http://www.james-benton.com/Astro/

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    Houston, TX
  1. those are some excellent shots Olly, thanks for sharing. to give you an idea, those shots of yours are well beyond what I am wanting/expecting to do. I will be doing shots around 500mm to 900mm, and have been looking at guiding. Im trying to keep the gear down to a minimum, so I was investigating one of those self contained auto guiders that does not need a laptop/PC to use. I haven't done much research on them yet. something like this. http://www.celestron.com/astronomy/celestron-nexguide-autoguider.html I have been trying to find out if I can control / operate an auto guider with my Android Tablet (Android Galaxy Tab 7.0) so I would not have to purchase a laptop to be able to set up and control the auto guider. But I cant seem to find any info on the web except for star mapping software for Android tablets.
  2. thanks for the input. Now on to begging the wife to allow me yet ANOTHER expensive toy.
  3. I currently have the Orion AstroView EQ mount with a single drive motor. I have the Orion 120ST and a 90mm Mak-Cass. I'm NOT looking at getting another scope, what I have does fine for my needs/wants, so the load I put on the mount wont be all that much. I'm looking to do a little bit more astrophotography besides the moon. Noting intense or anything, just some of brighter DSO's and star clusters that don't require hours and hours of exposure time. I will be using my Canon 60D at prime focus. Im not really wanting a goto mount, I had them in the past but not wanting that now. Just something sturdy with good tracking. Basically I would like to manually move the scope to where I want, then turn on tracking so it tracks what i point at with a fair amount of accuracy with a good polar alignment. Would something like the Orion SkyView Pro do a good job for like 2 to 5 minute exposures? Or would I be better off going with something like the Orion Sirius EQ-G? Again, Im not looking to put a heavy load on the mount, no more than 16 lbs ( 8 kilo's) I have spent the last 5 days researching and Im pretty much confused. James
  4. i figured it out..... i drilled a hole in the dovetail shoe and will use a short 1/4 20 screw to tighten it to the scope ring 1/4 20 hole..... im not sure why I did not think of that first James
  5. oh trust me, it will NOT be used at star parties. just in my backyard or when i go out to a park somewhere. one of the links i posted has the exact bracket that the laser pointer will fit in, just need to figure out a way to attach it to the scope. James
  6. I have been looking and looking, but I can not find a solution. I have an Orion 120 ST scope an have a regular finder scope on it. However, I want to add a laser pointer to the scope so when I manually move the EQ mount I can quickly see where im pointing to. then i can fine tune the adjustment with the 9x50 finder. I have a spare dove tail shoe like this Dovetail Base for Orion Finder Scopes | Orion Telescopes plus I was thinking of getting this Orion SkyLine Deluxe GLP-to-Telescope Bracket | Orion Telescopes i know i could swap them out, but i would really like to have both on the scope at the same time. the scope rings do have a 1/4 20 standard camera threads, and I would like to see if i can put the dovetail shoe on one of those, but i just cant think of anything that would work. I am open to any ideas... James
  7. I thought all the stuff i used with my LX90 would work on my refractor as well. The visual backs are a bit different. there are several options to chose from OPT 2" to T-Thread Adapter - OPT Telescopes Orion 2" T-Adapter - 5269 - OPT Telescopes Celestron T Camera Adapter Universal 1 1/4 Inch - Telescope Accessories at Telescopes James
  8. Thanks Grant... I will check out that program. I have an EQ3 mount with the EQ3M single axis drive with a ST 120 F5 scope. hopefully i can get a decent set of shots to stack James
  9. what program are using to stack/combine those shots? James
  10. i pulled up the user manual for this mount and it shows the CW shaft over the north leg.... look at page 7 of the manual....it specifically calls for the north leg http://www.celestron.com/c3/images/files/downloads/1250207279_cgepro11086inst.pdf what the manual says and what you have could be 2 different things.... if so.... thats really weird James
  11. are you sure you have the mount on there correctly?? all the photos i found online show the CW shaft over the North leg. I dont have this mount, so just searched for photos of the mount. James
  12. the 20D software that came with the camera will have the ability for you to control the camera via USB port to your mac. When you take a photo the image will transfer to the PC and you can view it right away. I forgot the name of the actual utility, Canon Capture or live view.... "Dark's" this is an exposure that is identical in exposure length to the original image. But you will cover the objective to NOT allow light into the scope. Technically it is preferred to take the Dark, right after the original image so the noise level will be about the same, so when you subtract the dark from the original, it will do a pretty good job at removing hot pixels and noise to make the Blacks "Darker". I could be wrong, but i think the Flats are a shorter exposure using a white light exposure. I have seen people place a white bucket over the main objective and place a white light source behind it. This is to capture any dust specks on the camera sensor or anywhere in the imaging path. Then you would use that Flat to process with the others to remove any unwanted specks. Like I said... i might be wrong on something so dont throw rocks at me.... James
  13. I have the Canon 60D. I specifically bought it because of the rotating LCD screen. It makes imaging with it so much easier, plus the live view and 10x live view really helps with focusing. James
  14. I received my new scope Friday, an Orion AstroView 120st. The views were great, but i need to get a filter to eliminate the false color. other than that im really happy with the scope. James
  15. the texas skies are much better out in West Texas. Here in Houston, there is a lot of light pollution. I can drive 2 to 4 hours west of here to get some ok dark skies. But much further west, out in Ft. Davis, the skies are extremely nice. Its about a 10 hour drive from here. I participated in the Texas Star Party several years ago for about 4 years at the end April/May time frame. The skies are so dark and there are so many more naked eye stars its just amazing. here are some of my photos from the Texas Star Party. my site is running pretty slow for some reason so please be patient http://www.james-benton.com/Astro/TSP/ James
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