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LDUNN1

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About LDUNN1

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    Southampton, UK
  1. Hi & thank you. No, I wasn't planning on making/selling these, just knocked one up for my own use, thought I'd post here to give others ideas on how I went about mounting the PM on my AP mount. I machined out the base that screws into the mount thinking that I would still be able to use the Polar scope without removing the adapter, by just removing the PM. The reality is that I've not looked through the polar scope since getting PM, & I can't see I've ever going to need to now. With that knowledge, I would not have machined out the base, but I would have drilled & taped a 3/8 hole, so I could have unscrewed the adapter from the AP & screwed onto an Astrotrack or something similar.
  2. Thought I'd post this here as it may help others with AP900 mounts and Polemaster i made my own adapter to screw into the Polarscope peek hole in the Dec axis casting (my first proper piece of work since getting a lathe - a purchase driven from my astronomy habit and never seeming to have the right adapter despite having two boxes of various adapters!). only used PoleMaster once so far, velcroed and tie strapped to my mount, but it worked great, and this adapter should improve the mounting somewhat!
  3. I have not read all the posts in this thread, so maybe someone else has suggested this as future development already, but just in case.... ......one of the features of Calsky that I like is that I have set it to email me with 'clear observing' opportunities. So a day or so before the clear patch I get an automated alert & can make suitable arrangements & preparations in advance. Could you consider a similar feature?
  4. Just a thought, but as a dedicated astro weather site, wouldn't it make more sense to split the 24 hour period per row at midday rather than midnight? That way you get all of one night on a row, rather than having to look at one row for the night up to midnight, and the next row for the following days small hours. .....maybe have a toggle to offer the split at midnight or at midday, that way it can be tailored for both nighttime observers or daytime solar observers. Just an idea, anyone else have an opinion on the above?
  5. Brilliant idea! This is always a source of frustration, going to multiple weather sites and getting multiple responses, some of which are not astro specific or minded with their forecasts, so it's great to see one being added that is. Cheers FLO!
  6. thought I'd post this link here as it shows nicely how a gitzo systematic tripod can be used to provide shooting at or close to the Zenith (scroll half way down for photo) it seems especially applicable to 'us' in the astro world.:- http://www.naturescapes.net/articles/reviews/review-gitzo-5541ls-tripod/
  7. I have a couple of Gitzo CF tripods, the 1541T & a series 2 leveller, primarily for photography, but I do use the series 2 for grab n go visuals with a small refractor. & I have used the 1541 with an astrotrac & DSLR + 70-200L f2.8 (& other smaller lenses) for widefield imaging overseas. I agree that they are great when size & weight is an issue. I've been looking longingly at the bigger Gitzo systematics for a while now, for photo/video/timelapse use, & now you've just reminded me of another potential use - to put a small EQ goto head on.....thanks ;-) Just a word of caution though, I did read somewhere on line about a design issue with the Systematics which can result in the payload working loose & dropping to the ground, don't want to scare you or anything, & I can't recall the details, but you might want to do some googling on that - there is a simple fix for the issue involving twisting a bit of wire through/around some part of the systematic to stop it unscrewing. Check it out before you suffer a failure!
  8. I am not sure if plugging in your laptop to the mains would make any difference the the amount of juice the laptop supplies it's USB sockets, I doubt it will make a difference, but maybe worth a try. Start by only connecting up you guide cam to the laptop with the best quality and shortest USB lead you have, and make sure nothing else is plugged into the laptop USB wise and just see what happens to your image. If it is good, you may have found the culpit to your issues. I run my lodestar via a USB hub located on my scope, and have everything else on the scope also plugged into that hub (Ccd, filter wheel, camera camera rotator, efocuser, motorised light panel, kitchen sink!) BUT, I have a 12v to 5v converter powering up the USB hub, so all the equipment gets enough juice, and the lodestar seems happy enough, but if I take away that 5v supply to the USB hub, the lodestar goes down. I messed about for a long time with long USB cables so I could monitor and control everything 20m or so away from the mount, but it was a disaster, I had erratic running, replaced USB cables multiple times all over the place, just got random results, so times things worked sometimes they didn't. In the end I ditched the long USB cable idea and now have a netbook by the mount and a long cat 5 cable connecting the netbook up to a full sized lap top located 20m away. I run teamviewer, which allows me to see and control what the netbook is doing. It works well, very well. USB cables kept as short as possible to the hub and one data cable and one power cable between scope assembly and netbook at base of mount. I've set the netbook up so that closing the lid doesn't do anything other than turn the screen off, so once I'm set up at the mount, I shut the lid and retire to the back of my van or inside the house when imaging at home. My whole scope assembly stays assembled, I just disconnect the two cables and lift the whole assembly off the mount into a large Peli case. This speeds up set up / tear down times a lot, and as I disturb fewer things, I reduce the risk of forgetting something or having a failure.
  9. don't know if anyone else has suggested this, but I've seen similar with a lodestar. Took me ages to nail it down, but the lodestar is a bit of a power hog, if you have the lodestar connected to an unpowered USB hub, or to a laptop with a long low quality USB cable, then you are likely to get erratic images from it. I had mine give a dark screen with only the very brightest stars showing, regardless of where I adjusted the display, & then these brightest stars might disappear for a while or return with no apparent logical reason. So my advice would be to take the feed from the lodestar directly to the computer on a high quality USB cable less than 5m long - it may not be practical to run like this all night, but you could apply it as a quick test to prove/disprove the USB cable / power supply issue. The other thing to watch is that some computers might share a power supply across a couple of the laptops built in USB sockets, so you might potentially be splitting the power supply to the lodestar via USB unwittingly if you have all your other USB devices hanging off a usb hub attached to the computers other USB socket. just something else for you to consider & check out next time you have the issue.
  10. it also didn't seem much of a saving to me. The seller advising in the ad "with the conversion charges and shipping comes to nearly £6k!!" & the asking price of this second hand scope being £5,500. I have not checked the Obsession website for new costs, nor done the shipping/vat/import duty calculations myself, but £5,500 sounds very close to "nearly £6k" to me.......
  11. Hi Brian, congratulations on your new purchase. I noticed you are Southampton based, same as myself, i often go out to the New Forest with a group, where it is away from the city lights, this gives you a much better view of the heavens.......just make sure there is no moon about (unless you specifically want to look at it) because the moon can be a terrible light polluter itself, the Milkyway vanishing before your eyes when the moon rises!
  12. nice little Apple app from Atik here Chris: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ccd-field-calculator/id779440109 and there is a windown CCD FoV program here:- http://www.newastro.com/downloads/ccdcalc/ccdcalcfull.exe and an online one here:- http://www.12dstring.me.uk/fov.htm Enter your two scope & camera details into these & you can get a visual representation of what you would get on the Rosette Neb Caldwell 49 (or others), & you can 'play' around with different focal lengths on your cameras to see what you would be happy with.
  13. Oh, & if you did mean using a camera lens with the Atik, you will have to watch the back focus. Canon EF & EF-S lenses are design with a 44mm lens flange to sensor distance. The Atik 428EX will use up 13mm backfocus, which leaves 31mm for your adapter, which should be okay........unless your Atik 428EX is the mono version, in which case, you might want/need to squeeze in a filter or more conveniently/likely, a filter wheel in that 31mm too, in which case, suddenly, that 31mm gets gobbled up fast. I've yet to test it out, but I've managed to mount an eos bayonet on an Atik EFW2 & after the necessary adapters on the camera end (I have an Atik 460EX mono) to filterwheel, & then the filterwheel to Eos bayonet, I think I might JUST have scrapped in, but I haven't got a millimetre to spare if I have, it really is that tight.
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