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Everything posted by EdF_uk

  1. Hi Russell, I have the same combination of scope and mount and living in a 1st floor apartment need to transport the kit too. I wrap the scope in a blanket, put it on the back seat and hook the belt straps around it. To date I haven't had any issues transporting it but I have'nt got my collimator yet so can't comment on how it affects the alignment side of things. I'm in the process of buying a bag for the scope, which is going to be custom made from bags4everything.com. It's going to have 3/4" thick foam padding in and i should be able to just put it straight onto the back seat of the car. The price was reasonable too. I'll let you know what it's like when it's made. For the mount i was lucky enough to get hold of a Peli 1600 case which was going spare and this is a perfect size to house the mount. I also bought a half price tool box from B&Q which holds all my other bits and pieces. Hope you enjoy your new scope. I'm only just getting to grips with mine. It's really good fun though. Cheers Ed
  2. Hi, My next purchase is going to be a collimator and I'm not sure I can stretch out to the Hotech at this time. I was wondering if anyone can tell me if the Antares version is any good? Antares Laser Collimator. New & Improved Version | Telescope Accessories | Rother Valley Optics If not, are there any other cheaper alternatives to the Hotech? Cheers Ed
  3. Well, unfortunately I live in a 1st floor apartment in Milton Keynes so I haven't got a garden. In the car parking area outside there are what can only be desribed as Prison search lights illuminating the area so there is no hope of seeing and DSO objects there. Although I did have a go at looking Saturn the other day and that, to my surprise, looked pretty good. I'm out tonight otherwise I would be out again. clear skies Ed
  4. Thanks for the responses guys. I wanted to stay longer last night but as I have to travel to a semi dark site I finished at around 1120 and as you say DaBozUK it was still getting dark then. It sounds like you had a busy night DaBozUK, mine wasn't quite as jam packed but I did manage to properly align everything so was pretty chuffed about that. I'm planning to go to Kelling Heath star party in the early Autumn so I'm hoping for some clear and Dark skies there. Also, I want the sun to set a little earlier as there isn't much time to view before bed at the moment. :-( Especially as I have to pack the kit up and travel back home. I'll be wishing fo the winter next... Thanks for the responses. Ed
  5. Good morning all, I had a productive evening of stargazing last night and finally managed to align everything correctly. I was viewing Saturn for the majority of the evening which was looking very nice indeed. I can't wait for my SPC 880NC (900 after flash) to arrive so I can take my first photographs. What I really wanted to see was a DSO, so I was trying to hunt down M51 - The whirlpool galaxy. I think I saw it but it was incredibly faint and unidentifiable as the whirlpool galaxy. It was more of a faint smudge in the sky. I went to one of the darkest sites around (which is probably not that dark in the grand scheme of things - halfway between MK and Bucks) and was using a Skywatcher 200P on HEQ5. I haven't collimated it yet so I'm not sure if that could have been reducing the light gathering capability. I was using mainly the 25mm eyepiece as this has been recommended for thids type of viewing. Looking at the http://www.12dstring.me.uk/fov.htm site and selecting my equipment the image is magnitudes better than what I saw last night. I think the darkness of the sky plays quite a part for DSO's. Any comments? Ed
  6. Thanks guys. I sorted it out last night and managed to properly align to Polaris and also do a 3 star alignment with stellurium and eqmod. Thanks Ed
  7. Hi everyone, I need some help with polar and star alignment. I think I'm aligning the mount to polaris correctly. I have a HEQ5 syntrek mount with EQMOD. I've used the tutorial on the EQMOD youtube site to align the scope which seems to work OK. I do the alignmnet with the scope and counter weights off but my question is: When the polar alignment is complete what do I do with the dec axis? In what orientation do I put the scope onto the mount? Hope someone can enlighten me. Cheers Ed
  8. On a related note. Does anyone know of anywhere that would be able to cut a foam insert for the HEQ5 into a Peli style case? I'm not sure exactly what foam would be best at the moment. Either the low desnity spongy type foam which has a lot of give or a denser type foam which has more ridgidity. Any suggestions? cheers
  9. Doh! That's where I was going wrong. I did all the alignment before I turned it on. Thanks Ed
  10. Hello, I also went out last night and tried to roughly align the scope to polaris. It all went OK, although i found it quite difficult to see the reticule markings in the polarscope. Was I doing something wrong? Is there a way to brighten them up? I only roughly aligned it so that it was good enough for visual viewing, i.e just aligned Polaris to the centre of the reticule. I couldn't make out the small circle representing Polaris so I'm not sure how I would go about an accurate polar alignment. Has anyone else found this? Cheers
  11. Thanks very much for the responses everyone. I'll check out some of the recommendations. Thanks Ed
  12. Hi Everyone, I've just bought myself a Skywatcher 200P and and HEQ5 mount. Because I live in a flat and in a light polluted area I need to travel to darker skies. I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations for soft bags for the scope and tripod and a hardcase for the mount? I've seen a few online but they are quite expensive. I'm minded to try and make something myself by buying some foam. Any suggestions welcomed Ed
  13. Hi Everyone, I'm looking for sites around the MK area. I'm also keen on meeting other keen astronomers to exchange knowledge (although mines is very limited at the moment) and for company etc. Cheers Ed
  14. Hi Everyone, I'm probably going to buy this camera but have a question: 1) What is the performance of these on DSO like nebulae and galaxies? I know they are reasonable for planets etc. I have seen that there is a long exposure mod that can be done? How much is this? Is it worth it? Cheers
  15. Hi guys, Yes, I'm looking forward to viewing the moon when it has some phase to it. The area around the terminator looked very impressive on saturday, although it was very nearly a full moon so will get better. The reason in was using it manual mode was that I hadn't got a PSU to power the mount. I have subsequently bought one and the 17Ah jump starter unit from Maplin so I'm good to go. Ed
  16. Hi Brant, Yes I did figure that it's a very long way away. It's a great site though - seeing the rings for the first time. Infact i was able to track it manually at the top magnification (10mm with x2 barlow at focal length of 1000mm=200 times). I had it roughly aligned I guess so was able to just release the RA and use that to track. Ed
  17. Hello all, Well over the weekend I took my scope up to my girlfriends house in Norfolk and was lucky enough to put it to use. On Friday I thought the weekend was going to be a washout but last night the cloud broke and I saw the moon and Saturn. I was using the mount in a manual capacity and found it very easy. I roughly set my latitude on the altitude scale and used the finder scope to roughly point to the objects. I was amazed at how easy it was and i worked my way up in magnification from the 25mm to the 10mm + x2 barlow. A number of things that I noted: 1) I was surprised how small saturn looked, even when using the 10mm + x2 barlow. Is this normal? I was expecting to see it filling quite a ot of the eyepiece. 2) How quickly the objects moved through the view finder. 3) How bright the moon was. Infact, my eyes were hurting even this morning. I think i might purchase a moon filter. I live in a flat in the middle of a city with lots of nasty street lights and therefore, when I want to use the scope I'm going to have to travel to a darker sky site. Does anyone have any tips or do's and dont's about transporting the scope and mount? That's all for now. Ed
  18. Hello, I know this is a bit of a poor question but i was wondering if anyone can recommend a power supply for the HEQ5 Pro syntrek mount. I'm going to get a 6 in 1 power tank from Maplin for mobile use but I'm looking for a PSU to use indoors. I went to Maplin but the only one that was suitable for 12V to 15 V DC - 2Amps was about £30. There are cheaper versions online but though I'd just check and see if there any recommendations? Also, before I buy the power tank, does anyone have any experience with these? Many thanks? Ed
  19. Thanks for the advice. I've briefly checked out the Astro baby site and it looks very good. I'll give it a go this afternoon. Many thanks Ed
  20. Yes it is very heavy. I'm sure you could do a lot of damage if you dropped it on your foot. I was working my way through the manual and trying to orient the polar scope reticule however it didn't seem to reflect what was happening on the mount. It said to tighten the RA setting scale screw and then turn the RA axis so that the setting scale says 1 h 0m. When the screw is locked my the setting circle scale doesn't move. Any ideas? Is there a good tutorial for polar alignment that someone can recommend? Many thanks Ed
  21. Hi Chris, Yes I understand that I have to use a serial to TTL converter which I can get from FTDI or Farnell. Can I just join a RJ45 connection to the end so that the cable will go from a USB port on the laptop straight into the controller socket on the HEQ5 mount? Many thanks Ed
  22. Rik, Yes I will do. As I mentioned, I'm taking the kit up to my girfriends tonight so hopefully I can fully assemble it there. She's really going to love me this weekend! :-) Last night i got as far as putting the tripod and mount together and loading the scope onto the mount. I didn't open the box with all the accessories and eyepieces etc. I haven't found a power supply yet. Do they supply a power supply or is that something that I will need to buy? Ed
  23. Thanks guys, Yes the first thing I did was to set it up (minus the eyepieces and finder scope) in my lounge. It looked huge compared to the size of the room but I'm assured that bigger is better. ;-) I'm taking it up to my girlfriends this weekend who lives just south of Kings Lynn. I'm hoping for some clear skies but the forecast doesn't look great. Regarding the scope - I noticed that the balance point of the scope is offset from the longitudinal centre of the tube (due to the heavy primary mirror). Therefore to balance the scope on the mount the scope rings are more towards the primary mirror end of the tube. In the pictures in the manual they show the scope more centrally held between the rings. I take it that I should be balancing as best i can? Regarding the mount - I have gone for the Syntrek variant of the mount and therefore it is currently not a fully Goto scope. However, I've been reading about how to control the mount directly from a PC, Laptop or even my iphone. The EQMod website suggests a few methods of doing this, one of them is to buy a RS232-TTL converter. I don't want to spend lots of money so I'm going to make one myself. My question relates to to the cable - Is it possible to use a cable that goes straight from the laptop to the mount, i.e. a USB to RJ45 connection? All the threads I've seen on here relating to this mod seem to indicate that you make a USB to Serial cable which then plugs into the Serial to RJ45 lead supplied with scope. Can anyone help? Thanks Ed
  24. Evening everyone. Well my first scope arrived today. It's a skywaycher 200p on a HEQ5 syntrek mount. My first impressions were that it was a lot bigger than I thought. They look much smaller in shops don't they. Also, the mount is really heavy which is a good thing of course. I can't imagine how much the EQ6 weighs in at. I am very impressed with the quality of the mount and the tube, they really do seem well made and thought through. I can't wait to really get stuck in this weekend. I'll let you know how things go Ed
  25. Hmmm, I'm not entirely sure how I would connect a RS232 cable to the mount on the syntrek version of the HEQ5. On the Synscan you plug into the RJ11 connection on the synscan controller but i don't think there is an equivalent connection on the syntrek controller. Does anyone have any suggestions on this one? Ed
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