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Everything posted by kentronix

  1. I think I will have lots of options with this, although it seems there are lots of clouds that want to spoil it for me for the next few days. I am watching the DHL van carry it across the country now, just got to get from exeter to london So far I have to echo what everybody else has said about FLO, great knowledge, friendly and of course very keen prices. Luckily my waterproof cover (quality stacked chair cover) arrived before it has. I plan to have a thin blanket on top of the scope with a thin tarp over that. Then the chair cover. Depending on how it fits together I aim to put a pvc frame together for the chair cover and make a tiny roll off shelter. It all depends on sizes. I have chosen rather a big one I hate waiting for stuff to arrive, we need DHL teleport delivery service.
  2. Thanks and Grotemobile and m.tweedy, I have just bought the C11, hopefully I can work around the light pollution. I have some filters, quite high fences(now), and apart from 1 single security light (he will be getting a phone call) the immediate pollution isn't too bad, just general city light pollution, much of which the filter helps with. The ST80 is my first refractor too so although it is primarily for guiding I am looking forward to getting out and about with it too. Find some dark skies and gawp upwards. I suspect it will be a while before that happens, plenty to learn about the C11. Now I am off to find the pdf manual so I can spend my weekend like a schoolboy on christmas eve
  3. Thanks so much, really good advice, I am chuffed to see you actually read the waffle to see my circumstances. I am actually a little surprised, many people seem to push the 925 as almost as good in most situations but ignoring portability it just cannot be that simple. I am no arnie but quite strong. If they need to be split anyway (which I now know they do) then the 925 has no advantage, I am sure I can handle a 11 on its own. I still have my trusty 150p if I ever venture out with it and the startravel for holidays. My existing 150p is dovetailed to my modded mount so I should get the hang of it ok. Point noted about the alignment, I will bare it in mind. Dont worry, the second I get any images I will be back to ask what went wrong.... I mean to show them off Now, does anybody want to buy a kidney ?
  4. Morning folks, The short question, for a garden setup, not likely to be taken out of teh garden at all but quite probably moved between a few set locations (in the garden) every few weeks, is the C11 XLT on CGEM going to be annoying or should I stick with a C9.25 ? The waffle, Long time no post, unfortunately real life got in the way and I haven't done anywhere near as much observing or imaging as I would like. The main reason is my garden is very overlooked and I am uncomfortable staying out there with just the sound of goto motors for long periods. It also takes ages to get my scopes to the garden (through my house and small door) and then set up to point at the small area of sky I can see and then put away again. I should mention I live in london. I have addressed the privacy issue and would now like to try to get something that makes it easy to go out there and gives me more time observing and imaging. I currently mainly use my skywatcher 150p on an undersized alt/az goto mount, considering the sub £100 cost of the setup I am amazed at the results. My aims are split between imaging and observing, so far planets, the moon, and M42. I like as many object options and flexibility is important for me and I like trying different things and eeking out what I can from stuff. I have a canon 550d and spc webcam, both currently un-modded. The new setup that I have decided on so far is the CGEM mount, and a Startravel 80 (to be used as a guide scope and possibly imaging later). These are hopefully quite uncontroversial. Any cheaper alternatives to the st80 would be considered, I am somewhat over budget As would second hand. I have read up all I can about the two main scope options and despite my imaging aspirations think I can work with an Celestron XLT. With a little effort and a reducer I think it should be fine for me. I now the 925 is considered by many a bit of a "sweet spot" but aperture matters and the ignoring everything else I would get the C11. I was all set on the C11, it is intended to be set up all the time, initially with a homemade foam cover covered in a thin groundsheet and one of those stacked chair waterproof covers tied down over the top. I will be asking questions about moisture later. I do intend to build a pvc pipe based semi solid cover later but it wont be for a while. After inspecting the garden last night and working out exactly what portion of the sky I can see between the ever growing trees, the flats, my house, and the fences it became clear that there is no fixed spot that will regularly give me good targets. My new plan is to have the tripod sat in fixed location markers for the different views and move it from one to another every now and then. They are about 20 ft apart maximum, on uneven ground (wheels wont work). Will both setups require the OTA to be removed from the tripod to safely move them ? And assuming so, will the C11 be awkward even when removed ? I dont have any physical ailments apart from lack of elbow grease production, I am passionate about the hobby but with little time and lots of other things I am passionate about I want to design something that I will actually be bothered to use as intended, I am not sure if the C11 is just a bit too bulky. Ideally removing the weights, and moving it in 1 unit would be by far the easiest. Told you it was waffle but I figured you may be interested in my plans and have advice for me. In terms of hours looking upwards I am still a newbie.
  5. Hey guys and gals, sorry for the long absence, once again life got in the way of hobby Last night I happened to spot how incredibly clear it was here in Londinium. I knew I didnt have much time before having to retire so I grabbed my dslr, rested it on some books pointing out my open bathroom window and left it taking shots every 30 seconds. After an hour or so I popped in to see how it was doing and was pretty pleased so I took a bit more care with the focus and exposure and repositioned for when orion emerges from behind the flats again.The result was even better. I joined them together and this is the result :- Timelapse of orions belt and sword passing over the flats at the end of my garden. - YouTube This is my second ever timelapse so over all I am pretty pleased with it ! It was using a canon 550d with a kit lens, exposure of 7 seconds or so. 800 ISO. I couldnt go wider because of the window frame
  6. after reading all the 'nearly didnt' text I was expecting to have to try to be impressed , but no, mate, lovely pic. Every time I see a new pic of orion there is something new that I am drawn to. This one is just nice as a complete image. Nothing screams out, just a nice , complete image. Print.... laminate...
  7. I dont actually observe/image that often so I have a bit of a problem that I am capable of ignoring the cold until its too late, I dont have the experience to know when to pay attention to my nerve endings I dont really realise that because of my 'outside the back door, lenses in the kitchen' set up, by the time I give up to come in, I am frozen and so is the rest of my house, including all my previously warm clothes. Last time turned out to be minus 8 C. I would say for me that is the limit. At those temps you need a nice warm place to retreat to, without that its really hard to shake off the cold.
  8. The advice so far is all good advice. For anyone wanting to get serious atroshots (which your hubbys camera suggests he would strive for) the most important thing is a stable EQ mount that tracks, these are not cheap. Dont get me wrong, I strongly believe you can get great joy from a more basic setup (like what I use) but if photography is the main goal you will hit a wall where the mount wont allow any better and the only option is to upgrade. You can get great shots using just a camera and a decent mount, and pretty good shots with what he already has (widefield shots, the moon etc). If you just want to get him started and wont blame yourself when he spends money upgrading as his ability starts to increase and the mount becomes the weak point then there may be some cheap options.
  9. Saturn for me. There is just something about it. I am a tad obsessed with orion in general, the whole area of the belt and sword but in terms of pure wow factor it has to be saturn.
  10. thats a really nice shot, I wouldnt like to catagorise it either but its nice to have views at all zoom levels in my opinion, really helps you to see the context of the objects. Is that a prime lens or zoom ?
  11. To reduce wobble, and assuming the 450d has IR, a IR remote can be about £3 delivered on ebay. The do normal trigger and 2s delay. Combine that up with mirror lock (if you have it) you can get extremely steady shots.
  12. excellent, this is great info to have, I am watching and taking notes is there an easy multiplier to convert these 35mm figures to the APS-C size sensor ? I am happy to take proof or example pics if the thread goes that way. (550d and a few lens options)
  13. You can stack non-tracked images to get reasonable results. Not as good as tracked but it depends what your hoping for really. I am very happy with my non tracked M42 pics. You will of course need to keep the shutter speed down which means you will need lots of subs i order to get the detail out. You may need to raise the ISO which unfortunately increases noise, making it important to take several dark frames.
  14. I found this page fantastically easy to follow :- Astronomy Shed UK Astronomy Forum • View topic - Superb Processing Tutorial My first DSO (orion like you) was only about a week ago so I am learning just as you are. The link (which I agree with) basically suggests to adjust the RGB/k levels so the colours are roughly even, leave the luminance, then use levels in photoshop to do the rest. Leave everything open and save lots of backups so you can go back and try another go. I am not the man for the job , still a total newb to it, but it looks like you have a fair bit of light captured there. Focus may mean you wont get the detail but I think there is promise. ps, sorry if I was moody in the other thread, as a software developer myself I probably get a bit defensive big hugs
  15. Can I just add, I know its very good advice to suggest anyone primarily interested in serious astro photography should only consider an EQ mount, you can still get extremely rewarding pictures on AZ or even non tracking mounts. If you want to record what you have seen (not get into astro calendars), and dont mind working to overcome shortcomings you dont actually REQUIRE a specific mount, or indeed a specific camera. Its just my view which I have sat on for a while because its clear EQ is better, but personally I dont think its absolutely required. The minimum requirement for astro photography is a sky, and a camera
  16. excellent, Once I get a clear view I always go straight to the camera so I havent actually spent long viewing it other than through images. Its a sight to behold though, and the more I learn about it the more I want to see of it.
  17. there are 3 stars in a row in the nebula itself, in M42. I have no idea what you would see through 168x , I am a bit of a scope monkey once I get on it, not really paying attention to what mag I am at because I am jumping from lens, to ep, to webcam etc. in this pic you can see the three in a line, could it have been that ? There would have been haze around it I would imagine. Not as much as here but some.
  18. Removing covers and lens caps is one of the cheapest upgrades you can make to a scope, highly underrated First experiences are never boring, I think I speak for almost everyone when I say we love to hear about them. The three stars you saw were one at a time right ? Not all visible together in the eyepiece ? If so it is probably orions belt. That is close to horizontal. Orions sword is more like vertical, it hangs below the belt and points to the middle star in orions belt, M42 is the middle 'dot' in the sword.
  19. welcome to the forum, it was a recent trip to spain over christmas that rekindled my interest. First thing I did when I got back was ordered the bits to fix my broken scope. I ended every night with a chill on the balcony staring into space.
  20. my indicators melted so I cant see the colour through it any more I still use them regularly but am very careful that nothing is in contact with anything else.
  21. I use those mini dehumidifiers at work. They work really well but dont lean them near each other when charging. They get hot and the plastic melts. In my opinion they are extremely dangerous. But also very cheap. Tempting combination
  22. You may find different camera presets have different exposures. Or you may have EV compensation where you can still use the auto settings but tone it up or down a bit relative to the auto setting. Thats what my pentax compact has.
  23. I use K3ccdtools for lunar stuff. DSS needs stars so its only really good for deep sky or widefield stuff, not the moon or planets. I find registax crashes when I feed it large files from my 550d. It tends to do better if I crop them first but obviously thats only if the part of the image you want isnt full frame.
  24. I was going to keep quiet because like everyone else I agree its great to have science in any form on telly. I thought her presentation was dull though and the effort given trying to make the obvious seem interesting (hold the object closer and it seems bigger, no honestly, look, here is an orange to prove it) just left me cold when the bits that may well have been interesting came by. I dont remember very much of it at all, nothing sunk in.
  25. The rumor is that the universe is a pretty big place, there will always be the pull to see more and more and people will be happy to follow that path and list how they have achieved it. You definitely shouldn't be put off though, the kind folks here are listing their wares because its helpful, not to brag or show that others should follow. If you can resist the pull there is plenty to get without following the upgrade path. In terms of viewing other peoples observations and images its incredibly helpful to know what gear they have. I think one thing to note is the amount of recommendations for the cheap books, cheap eyepieces, cheap webcams, and budget scopes (sky watcher for example), I notice far more recommendations for skywatcher than I do for any of the high quality scopes that the seasoned frostbitten folks use themselves. Just my view on the matter
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