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Everything posted by Key

  1. Suddenly, out of the gloom... Fantastic images. Gives me hope. So far my photo's have been limited to a few seconds without proper tracking with absolutely nothing hiding in the shadows, but I'm hoping with my new mount and scope I'll start to get better images now. A long way to go though!!!
  2. Finally had a clear night last night and got the HEQ5 set up and properly aligned: had been having real trouble with NCP alignment until I read about Polar_Finder and gave it a go; a brilliant, tiny bit of software! http://myastroimages.com/Polar_FinderScope_by_Jason_Dale/
  3. Yes, I read about that problem - thankfully the mount I bought had already been upgraded to better quality bolts. Why don't SW just use a higher grade set from the outset; it wouldn't cost them much and their customers would be a lot happier. From the ad's I've seen it's not even as if people buy the upgrades from SW so they wouldn't be losing out on sales either.
  4. Well, I finally took the plunge on an HEQ5 and have to say very pleased. Reassuringly heavy but still manageable for assembling/moving. Still very early days for me in getting to grips with my first EQ mount but it's very sturdy so I'm hopeful of getting far better results than with my old Dob GoTo. Thanks for all the advice - as usual there's been a wide range of opinions but it all helps. Cheers, Key
  5. Thanks guys, I'm still scouring the Adverts and aiming for an HEQ5 or even an EQ6 if the price is right! (Disappointed with a number of contacts made that I haven't had replies from though.) Cheers, Key
  6. Oh yes; I'll be scouring the adverts on a regular basis! ;-)
  7. Thanks guys, must admit the Pro version sounds the best option. Having used the Synscan on my Skyliner I'd be loathed to do without it now. Will have to look out for a bargain somewhere!
  8. Hi, I've read various articles saying that the EQ5 is the minimum requirement for deep sky astrophotography but also seen some impressive pictures by people using an EQ3; would it be a mistake to go for the EQ3 to reduce the initial cost but soon feel the need to go for the EQ5? Anyone upgraded from EQ3 to EQ5 that can comment? Cheers, Key.
  9. Anyone got any ideas why I can't achieve prime focus with the set-up shown? Visually the stars appear fine but they appear as small discs even when using EOS Backyard to assist with the focussing - very frustrating! Help!!!
  10. Hi Mitchelin, I've been having a look at my scope and attachments; my set up looks very much like in your photo's for prime focus use as these pic's show: T-Ring and adapter attached to the focus tube: T-ring and adapter exploded view: Close-up of the T-ring which I've discovered can be taken apart but unfortunately even then it can't be fitted directly into the focus tube after removing the 2" eyepiece holder: Grateful again for any further ideas or suggestions. Cheers, Key.
  11. Hi Mitchelin, thanks for your reply. Yes, I'm using prime focus. I'm away for a couple of days now but will try to get photo's or at least describe the set up when I get back. I'm hoping you're onto something and I've just got an unnecessary piece of gear that's extending beyond the focal point. Cheers, Key.
  12. Well, it turns out that the two holes at the bottom end of the trusses are at right-angles to where the tightening screws make contact - is this normal? (I bought the 250px 2nd -hand so not sure if these trusses come ready assembled on the tube or not); I tentatively tried to rotate one of them but it didn't seem to want to move and I don't want to risk any damage if they're not intended to move! Next I measured the noted 110mm and just slipped the scope down that amount before tightening the screws to see if reaching focus was now possible - it made no difference at all: stars which are nicely pin-pointed visually (with the tube fully extended) were again seen as small discs even when using EOS Backyard to assist with the focussing. Anyone got any ideas? Anyone had the same focusing issue for astrophotography with a 250px Flextube and found that fitting a low-profile focuser was the answer? Cheers, Key.
  13. Hi, I'm very interested in this: unfortunately my 250px flextube doesn't have the extra set of holes drilled into the truss tubes. Has anyone tried just tightening the lock at 110mm without holes? Is it safe to do this with the extra weight of a DSLR attached to the scope? I've tried some basic DSLR astrophotography with the scope but achieving enough inwards travel on the standard focuser is a problem - I'm hoping the shortened tube idea may avoid the expense of gambling that a low-profile focuser would be the answer. Will give it a try next time there's a break in the clouds! Grateful for any ideas. Cheers, Key
  14. Anyone know of a good UK source for the equivalent "Set of Three (3) Leveling Feet for Dobsonian Telescopes" sold by Opticsmart.com in the USA? They come with strong steel brackets so it's a complete package - they do seem a bit pricey though and that's not even including the overseas postage/import tax, etc.. so a home-grown solution/supplier would be very useful. Cheers.
  15. Another top tip, and given that the cost of 2" eyepieces is enough to give anyone heartburn it's likely that there'll be a Gaviscon container to hand should you need to borrow the lid!
  16. That is a brilliant tip! Just bought a couple of cheap eyepieces off ebay and one came without a dust cap; tried a lid off a milk container as suggested: a perfect fit and a heck of a lot cheaper than importing from USA! I don't understand why there are no UK suppliers of decent and reasonably priced dust caps though; there's clearly a market for them - and afterall, they can even double-up as lids for milk containers!!!
  17. Where did you find the plans? Any ideas on where to source the parts?
  18. Thanks for the tip Dave! I recently bought a 50mm finderscope that didn't have a lens cap so made do for a while with a paper bun case held on with an elastic band - not very elegant eh? Having read your post I gave it a go and found a pinch lens cap with lanyard for 99p on e-bay and with free postage!! It's a good fit and has restored my street cred! Thanks again for the tip! Key
  19. That's OK for general info, cost and features, but I'd like to find out what actual 'users' think of the apps as opposed to what the 'sellers' put in their advertising blurb.
  20. Originally Posted by AndyH If funds permit, get the best quality power pack you can. I've had about 4 over the years and 2 had to be sent to the recycling after about a month. Of the other 2, one is perfect and the other holds only a 50% charge. A bigger outlay at the time may be a bit disheartning, but it will pay off in the long term. Andy. @AndyH: You can tell me; I won't tell anyone else!
  21. Thanks for the info guys. Got any links to reviews of the apps?
  22. Are there any comparison reviews of astronomy-related smartphone app's?
  23. Mmm, me-thinks buying the 'scope is going to turn out to be just the first of many items; and not many of them will be cheap! No wonder astronomy is regarded as a hobby to last a lifetime!
  24. Go on then: what make/model is the "perfect" one?
  25. Is that the Maplin £30 battery pack I keep being recommended - how does it do for you?
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