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Snaggerman

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Everything posted by Snaggerman

  1. Actually very surprised to get a result on this: First image on left is from Tuesday evening while out looking for Perseids, second shot on the right shows last night's sky (Friday) between clouds and with very bright moon nearby - nova clearly visible, estimated at 4.8 magnitude. Basic set up, both images taken with my Pentax K-m, 28mm f2.8 lens, ISO1600 30s exposure. Totally disproportionate levels of excitement!! Just shows what you can do with very little equipment and a little planning, not to mention luck!
  2. Don't forget for a few Euros you can get a realtime view of 2005yu55 from 20:15 tonight! The Virtual Telescope - Bellatrix Astronomical Observatory - Ceccano (FR), Italy
  3. Hello all - just a quick note to point you in the direction of the Virtual Telescope. Located in Ceccano in Italy, this facility offers various viewing opportunities, tonight you can sign up to watch 2005yu55 as it makes its way across the sky! There is a small fee, but if you fancy that sort of thing, it's a lot less than buying the gear that they have! Check them out at: The Virtual Telescope - Bellatrix Astronomical Observatory - Ceccano (FR), Italy Can't guarantee a cloudless night, but I am hoping that everyone has they're calculations correct!! Enjoy the close encounter
  4. Hello all - just a quick note to point you in the direction of the Virtual Telescope. Located in Ceccano in Italy, this facility offers various viewing opportunities, tonight you can sign up to watch 2005yu55 as it makes its way across the sky! There is a small fee, but if you fancy that sort of thing, it's a lot less than buying the gear that they have! Check them out at: The Virtual Telescope - Bellatrix Astronomical Observatory - Ceccano (FR), Italy Can't guarantee a cloudless night, but I am hoping that everyone has they're calculations correct!! Enjoy the close encounter
  5. Excellent thank you for all this - I think I'm going to be brave and scratch the PCB when I dare! I do like the 'paint it red' idea though.. I don't think any light is getting into the focus tube, just want to eliminate the posibility; and try to preserve my dark adapted vision.
  6. Yes that's the one - I'm assuming it's an LED so there will be some diode significance as part of a circuit. I don't want to upset the camera! To those who painted/taped over - do you find that this is enough? I'm just trying to eliminate any and every stray photons...
  7. Hello - I have the Phillips SPC900 webcam, which has an awful light leftover from its pre-conversion guise; I have read that you can paint over this or cover it with tape but surely it would be better to remove it entirely? Has anyone done this? I'm just wondering because I don't want to mess up the circuitry - I'm hoping I can just snip it out!
  8. It's a focusing aid that you attach to the end of the telescope - it has a series of slits in it that result in a characteristic pattern in the viewfinder, which changes as you finely alter the focus. When the pattern lines up - the object is perfectly in focus. Each telescope has it's own requirements for the mask, you can either buy one for your particular model, or do as I did and cut it out of a bit of card! To generate the pattern of the mask you can go to this website: astrojargon - Bahtinov Focusing Mask Generator: Overview - link provided by Steve Richards in his excellent book Making Every Photon Count.
  9. I've got the TAL-1 110mm newtonian, second hand from eBay. it's great; built like, well, Russia. The observed views I have got have been keeping me going through the difficult technical problem solving sessions - Jupiter is just amazing at the moment, and I saw a tiny Saturn earlier this year. I still love just being out there.
  10. So I've got a scope I can handle, a reasonable place to view from, a half decent set of eyepieces plus a webcam, I've got my head around positions of objects in the sky and how they (and we) move, I even recognise a few stars and can name them. I've got a laptop and some capture software, some processing software, and my old faithful DLSR, I've modified my scope so that I can get focus on the camera after buying the correct T-ring, and then bought the extension tube to get my EP's to work again, then bought good new EP's because my originals were slightly non-standard and don't fit the tube. I've carefully cut out my Bhatinov mask. The clouds have finally parted and there's Jupiter and the Moon and some nice objects I can nearly see. I've dug out the thermals and gloves because it's quite chilly and getting colder, I've gained the (slightly puzzled) understanding of my family and particularly my partner, and I've developed a slight need for espresso late in the evening. After all this and probably more, I was last night rewarded with an AVI of a fuzzy blob that may or may not be Jupiter! On top of this I have the realisation that THIS HOBBY IS REALLY HARD! Don't get me wrong I'm inspired to continue - I just wondered if anyone else has these sort of 'revelation' moments, it's like walking a up a mountain to the peak only to find an even more massive peak beyond that. Sorry for the rant! I am so impressed with the results of many of the members on this forum now I appreciate the work that has gone into them. Cheers to you all: Here's looking forward to a winter of learning curves! All the best Matt
  11. Hello Does anyone have any experience of using the Pentax K-m DSLR together with a Skywather 150P, I'm considering the 'scope secondhand but I'm a bit worried about the old primary focus position problem i.e. not being able to wind the camera in far enough! I have a suspicion that my Pentax has a larger than average distance between the body aperture and the sensor - just wondered if anyone else has made any conclusions..?
  12. Ah ha! My laptop does dim - Function key + F8/F7 - there's even a little symbol on there: Doh!
  13. I still like to be out there looking at the stars in the real, the laptop is a bit of a necessary inconvenience!
  14. Can you let me know how it goes with the theatrical gel? I've managed to set all of Windows to black on my laptop - but even the black is fairly bright on the LCD screen.. Hope it works!
  15. Snaggerman

    So far...

    Just a few oddments - enough to kick start the addiction process for me.
  16. I have to admit that the 25mm figure I went for was a guess! However this was partly based on the fact that originally the DSLR was so close to being in focus that it only seemed to need another couple of millimeters further travel into the focus tube to get it. I'm amazed therefore that with 25mm gone off the tube that I still don't have enough travel. The eyepieces are now position at least 20mm further out that before, suggesting that the prime focus has moved by this amount..
  17. Hello Does anyone else find that if you use a laptop to view a signal from your webcam/telescope, it completely destroys your night vision? I look away from the familiar Windows to find the sky practically empty of stars until I readjust, but then I look at the screen again. Doesn't everybody have this problem?! Is there any capture software with a nice dim night mode??
  18. Hello I have a nice solid Russian TAL-1 which has been great for observing but I have found that photography is particularly exciting for me - Unfortunately I can't get my DSLR (Pentax K-m) close enough to the prime focus, although it looked like a few more mm would do it. I read a lot about using long bolts and springs on the primary mirror, but didn't fancy that so instead opted for chopping 25mm out of the tube. This all works well mechanically. Now my eyepieces don't go in far enough into the focus tube - no problem I can use a 1.25" extender tube to get the focal length back. My Phillips SPC900 webcam achieves good focus in the middle of the rack - great. BUT! My DSLR still does not wind in far enough, I'd really like it to for the convenience of using the camera over the webcam and laptop and all of the other gubbins that requires; leads, power etc.. I don't understand! I know the primary focus has moved because of the new position required for the eyepieces, so why can I still not bring the DSLR camera to focus: Any bright ideas??
  19. I can think of a few! Most bothersome of the lot was getting a nice 4" reflector off eBay for a song, getting it home and thinking "Hmm... all this needs is a bit of a clean...." Can you guess? Took out the big shiny mirror and got out the meths to get all that nasty dust and stuff off it.... "Hang on a minute, the coating appears to be on the surface....." "Wait a sec, now it's got a scratch in it.... in fact, many scratches; quite large ones actually." Swearwords followed. Lesson learnt: I'm still making blunders though - I think it's all an essential part of the process! Needless to say my error rate has been lower since joining this forum, but it certainly is not zero
  20. First crack at imaging with my Pentax K-m - very enjoyable night, if nothing else I learnt that I really like getting stuff photographed - but must improve!
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