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Everything posted by SteveP

  1. Keith Don't do this!!!! Please follow Chris' advice Following the 'there's one way to find out approach' will bring a premature end to your mount's electronics. The EQDir module is there, amongst other things, to reduce the voltage to that which can be handled by your mount. That's also what in a small way, your hand controller is doing. You can however use EQMod without an EQDir module by connecting your mount from the PC via your hand controller and putting the HC into PC Direct mode. Thst will of course require an additional cable. HTH Steve
  2. Maxim seems to have many ways of handling drivers. Some, especially US cameras, are native and embedded in Maxim, some are partially included in Maxim but expect to find the 'real' driver somewhere else, others require to be 'downloaded' into Maxim whilst others use a plug-in in Maxim which then expects to find the appropriate driver elsewhere. I'm not familiar with Atik but that may be in the final category. In which case, i'd still check that you have the latest Atik driver installed in addition to the Maxim plug-in. Steve
  3. It looks to me like you haven't got the correct AtiK driver installed. I understand that the FITS header info for the CCD pixel size is provided by the CCD's driver. HTH Steve
  4. Keith Have a look here ... Drift Alignment- Ian King Imaging I think it's written for the Northern hemisphere so you'll need to reverse some of the instructions. HTH Steve
  5. Paul The maximum mag of 103P/Hartley will be about mag 5 so should be visible with the naked eye. It reaches its max on about 1 Nov and should be visible 2-3 weeks each side of that date. It's in Andromeda. I hope you find it! See here for a current image and a bit more info http://users.foxvalley.net/~dpersyk/new.htm HTH Steve
  6. Hi Olly I hope you get the EM200 working soon. My own experience with the European distributor's customer service was also less than acceptable. Unfortunately my 2 year old FSQ needed a new front lens (ouch!) and OU refused to get involved even though I was paying for the repair/shipping etc since the scope had been bought 2nd hand. Fortunately, a quick email to the US distributor sorted everytning out and he put me in direct contact with Tak Japan who repaired the scope quickly and returned it to the UK. Well, it's currently in transit. Good luck with resolving your issue Steve
  7. Stef I know from my nown experience that setting up an OAG can be very frustrating to begin with. As Helen says, it's easier done during daylight hours. The critical point though is to ensure that the image plane of the imaging CCD is at the the same distance as the plane of the guide camera's CCD. This doesn't have to be exact to begin with if your OAG has some means of adjusting the focus of the guide camera. You may need to experiment with different extenders. HTH Steve
  8. Martin The dark circles are dust.. and not far from the front of your CCD. The lighter circles are probably from the 'older' flats which you've calibrated with and when you've reassembled everything after giving it a wipeover, haven't lined up in their original position. A new set of flats with your setup in its current position should resolve the issue. Whenever any part of your imaging train changes, new flats will always be required Steve
  9. Ian Unfortunately, you're kidding yourself! To prove it to yourself, position the scope so that it isn't polar aligned. then follow your procedure and you should still be able to align your mount on Vega, or wherever, using the RA/Dec screws. Steve
  10. Hi Richard As others have said, a 4" scope is not the best for viewing DSO's. Also, the learning curve with astronomy can be quite steep and getting to grips with how your mount works can create some frustration. At this stage, I'd be tempted to stick to a small number of brighter objects and use that time to learn more about your mount and your scope. On the basis that you can view M31, have a look at the Double Cluster in Perseus (they're stunning) and if you're out a little later in the night, also have a look at M45 (Pleiades). Also have a look at a couple of double stars. These will help you to understand more about the use of different EP's and your Barlow. I'd recommend Mizar in Ursa Major and Albireo in Cygnus. You might also try and find M27 which is close by but again will look like a faint smudge. All of this will get you more familiar with your equipment before you decide you want to splash the cash some more HTH Steve
  11. Olly, there is something important missing here and no matter how good the polar alignment nor how many subs are stacked, the result will always be poor without some way for the mount to track!!! HTH Steve
  12. Ivan Are you using the manual slow motion tracking controls on your mount? You might find you can do better than 5secs exposure once the manual controls have been mastered Steve
  13. Dennis Just an aside.... what version of Maxim are you using? Mine is 5.08 and it allows you to stack a whole folder of images without having to load them all into memory simultaneously thus avoiding running out of memory. It's under Stack > Select > Add Folder It will also calibrate the frames as well Then you can set it running and go to bed! HTH Steve
  14. Daz After you've reinstalled TheSky you might want to check that the TheSky version of Teleapi has been replaced by the Ascom downloaded version. Although to be rational, the fact that you can't connect Maxim either suggests that the Teleapi isn't the issue. If you can't connect either of the software, it probably indicates that whatever is causing the problem is something which is common to both arrangements. At the risk of insulting your intelligence, does the mount work with just the handset in place? Steve
  15. If neither Maxim nor TheSky can connect, it sounds like it's either the USB-serial converter although that is recognised in Device Manager or something upstream of the converter. I see you're using the handset in the process rather than one of the EQDir units. This might be obvious but have you checked that you've put your HS into PC Direct mode or whatever the equivalent might be for your HEQ5? Steve
  16. Also, just so you can narrow down the issue, why not try to connect to your mount from TheSky and Maxim separately? Steve
  17. I'm not familiar with what Windows does exactly with existing drivers on a reinstall but have you checked that the driver for the serial-USB converter is still loaded - assuming you're using one that is! Steve
  18. Tim As Nick says, the difficult issue with using an OAG on a Newt is the limited backfocus inherent in a Newt's design. I'm guessing that's why most Newt users have installed a separate guide scope. To see whether you have enough BF, work out where the focal point is and imagine that this is where the plane of the CCD in your camera has to be. If that point is sufficiently beyond the focus tube when it is retracted to install the OAG and whatever adapters you will need to connect the camera>OAG>focus tube then you'll be OK. If not, then it will have to be the guidescope route. HTH Steve
  19. Hi Janos That's an interesting dark frame. I'm puzzled why you believe it is 'bias noise'. In a 10min dark, I'm not convinced you could distinguish 'bias noise' from everything else which is happening. Why not take a conventional bias frame to confirm your assumption? The dark looks like it contains a lot of light seepage. If i were you, I'd also check all the connections in your optical train, especially those close to the camera Steve
  20. I'll admit that I've also had a similar stupid thought! I'm guessing that the answer is 'No'. My own reasoning is that our own sun will emit so much light itself in the 'narrowband' ranges that it will swamp anything else from the nebulae etc just as it does across the rest of the spectrum. Steve
  21. ps unless you live in a National Park or a listed building where the rules are different and much more onerous
  22. YesYes The Planning Regs were relaxed a couple of years ago and so long as the building doesn't exceed a certain size which is linked to the size of your house and whether you have any other recent extensions eg aconservatory, and doesn't encroach too close to a neighbour's area, most small/ medium outbuildings don't need planning permission. Interestingly, decking above about a certain height (30cm?) now does! Have a look here ... Planning Portal - General Public Home HTH Steve
  23. JBM When you're using the mount on its own, you shouldn't be drawing more than 2 amps or so, so the PSU is well within its limits. Even with dew heaters and other devices which might draw a relatively high current, you should stay within the 'safe' output of the PSU. However, do remember that these PSUs are NOT designed for external use. They are usually called 'bench supplies' and as the name suggests designed to be used internally, ie well away from moisture. If asked, I'm sure that Maplins would not recommend them for external use withoput additional protection from the elements. A large transformer such as is contained in a non-sealed PSU does not mix well with water! HTH Steve
  24. Olly Sorry to hear about your problems. Here are a couple of Yahoo groups which might provide some advice. You will probably have to register first UncensoredTakGroup : Discussion group for Takahashi owners and fans takahashi-europe : takahashi-europe The first group is a very large group but comprises mainly Tak owners in the US. The Tak distributor for the US is very active on the group and usually very helpful. The 2nd group is as exactly what it says on the tin. I'm not seeking to defend Takahashi or to suggest that their mounts are as fully-featured as other designs but I don't believe that they are unique in providing only a serial connection to a PC. Both of my mounts - the reliable and ubiquitous EQ6 Pro and the very accurate MI-250 - both only provide a serial connector. A serial-USB connector is an easy and cheap add-on though! It seems that only the most recent designs incorporate a USB connector I hope you get the advice you need and the mount is up-and-running soon Steve
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