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Everything posted by SteveP

  1. Congratulations! There'll be a few people on the Tak Tech Groups drooling over your purchase. It's reputation goes before it ... a super visual scope which should also be great at planetary imaging. At F/12 or so, it will be less competent though with DSO imaging. Does it already have the Tak finderscope? So far as diagonals etc are concerned, you ought to find a System Chart in the manual which will describe the various Tak accessories which are suitable. Steve
  2. Hi Tim A couple of good 'first' attempts - good focus, a well-centred object and good tracking. You'll see some radial trailing on the stars which will be either a sign of a less-than-flat image or some chromatic aberration from the Newt. As you know there is a gradient on the first image and some vignetting on the second. I would have expected both to have been removed by the use of flat fields. I suspect that the way you're producing flat fields has something to do with it. I'm unsure as to why you'd need to rotate the flat fields after each batch. It would be good to reprocess the images with say 20 flats all taken in the same orientation and median or SD combined. Since you're using a DSLR, i'd also take a few more darks at a temperature similar to the lights HTH Steve
  3. Is this in addition to the purchase price? That would make it an expensive 'upgrade'!
  4. Sky6 Pro has now been 'retired' as Software Bisque term it and disappeared from the SB site some time ago. Their intention is that customers should now buy SkyX Pro. I've no idea what the improvements are of SkyX over Sky6. HTH Steve
  5. Keiran I understand that the SX Exview is designed specifically for use in conjunction with SX's SXV imaging cameras. Do you already have an SXV camera? If not, the SX Lodestar is an excellent alternative and a very sensitive guider which can be used stand-alone with any other camera HTH Steve
  6. SG Since DSS provides some simple processing of the RGB image, it would need to have de-bayered the raw image in order to have created the RGB channels. So DSS might well be a good start. Alternatively, have a look at the Canon Utilities which came with your camera - they may well have some mechanism for extracting the different channels Steve
  7. Sgazer You're right. The CCD is made up of a large number of 2x2 matrices each normally comprising 1xred, 1xblue and 2xgreen 'filters'. This is the Bayer matrix. De-bayering means extracting the pixel values for each of the filters separately and creating separate R, G and B images. Of course there are several combinations of how the three colours are arranged in the matrix eg RGGB or GRBG etc and the software which extracts the colour channels needs to know the arrangement of your particular CCD. Once the software has created the separate R, G, B frames then they can be combined and processed in the same way eg by PS, as any other RGB images HTH Steve
  8. Ambermile was my first thought. The website suggests however that Arthur is unfortunately suffering from ill health and is no longer producing his products. I'll drop him an email to find out how he is. Steve
  9. Thanks Ed - I'll drop Brian an email Steve
  10. Does anybody know of a good source for one-off custom parts in the UK, similar to the service Precision Parts provides in the USA? I'm looking for a threaded adapter - approx 25 mm long, approx 70mm internal diameter with female threads at each end (one 72mm metric, one 2.7" UNF) - to connect an OAG to a filter wheel. Ideally black anodised! Steve
  11. Daz You'll probably a Yahoo group specifically for the LPI! Steve
  12. Daz Alternatively have a look at the Maxim help. It suggests referring to the Meade documentation for setting Gain and Offset
  13. Daz My advice would be to join the Maxim group on Yahoo and post the question there. Doug George, the designer/author of Maxim regularly posts there and these more technical questions are just the type he answers personally Steve
  14. ngc I assume you're buying the standard Versaplate with the Paramount. In which case, have a look at the Parallax Rings on the Parallax Instruments site. They have them for most scopes inc the Meade 16". Not cheap but fantastic quality HTH Steve
  15. Daz It appears you have 3 otions 1 Get a camera with a shutter - the expensive option! 2 Check in Maxim whether your filter wheel can be setup to include a 'dark' position and then use that for taking darks 3 .. and this would be my own preference in your situation ... create a library of master darks and bias frames so that during CCDC control, there is no need for dark frames and you can create the lights without any calibration. Of course, that would mean applying the calibration (darks, bias and flat fields) during the processing phase rather than the image acquisition phase HTH Steve
  16. Rich I use TheSky6 with Maxim DL occasionally with EQMod. I select TeleAPI as the scope in TheSky and then select EQMod Ascom in Properties. The combination works reliably for me. I don't understand how you can find named stars and yet have difficulties finding Messier objects. There are two logical possibilities. Firstly, are you sure that you are centring on the correct stars? One way to confirm this is to use TheSky to go to a double, say Mizar/Alcor which can't be confused for anything else ... except another double... and confirm that you have centred the double. Secondly, after you have taken your image of the M61, say, in Maxim, are you doing a screen stretch or defaulting to whatever Maxim selects? Without a stretch it sometimes apears that there is nothing there. Tweaking the screen histogram in Maxim with the black/white points can show otherwise Also, the M objects you've mentioned are all quite small. Have you tried something a little larger eg M101? Steve
  17. SteveP


    Hi Microcuts A warm welcome to SGL At this stage, I'd recommend you start with observing the skies. To give you some idea of what you can buy within your budget, have a look at FLO's website Steve
  18. SteveP


    Hi Enigma A warm welcome to SGL Steve
  19. SteveP


    Hi Steve A warm welcome to SGL Your tinkering has certainly paid off ... IMO that's a very good image of M42 Steve
  20. SteveP


    Hi Rob A warm welcome to SGL Steve
  21. If you're short on 'outward' focus, you will need something like this .. Adaptors - Two-inch Focus Extension tubes It fits into the 2" focuser tube and the 1.25" adapter and EP then fit into the extender Steve
  22. EA Why not give David Hinds a call about the issue with your mirror? Although i've never used them personally, they seem to have a reasonable reputation for sorting things out. So far as cleaning the 'corrector plate' (as its known) is concerned, have a look here .... Schmidt Cassegrain telescope advice - maintenance - cleaning your optics Note the advice to blow the dust away first! Steve
  23. EA I'm far from convinced that the Fastar option is appropriate for a DSLR. The DSLR will be a major and irregular obstruction to the light. Fastar is best used in conjunction with narrower, circular CCDs such as some of the Starlight Express options. Why not use the DSLR 'conventionally' on the rear of the C8 ... once you've given it a bit of a scrub of course? Steve
  24. Hi Richard I occasionally use my Mak 180 for planetary imaging with my SPC900 in confunction with a 2.5x Powermate. The one thing it takes is patience. Whilst the long focal length is fantastic in getting in close, it unfortunately means that the FoV is very narrow and combined with the small chip of the SPC900, it's difficult to get the object on the chip. Consequently your mount's pointing has to be quite accurate. I do it by using a low mag, wide angle EP in the Powermate to help get the object centred before swapping it for the camera and then refocusing knowing that the object is there ... somewhere. Like others have said, don't use a diagonal Steve
  25. Definitely isolate the pier from the pad. You'll be surprised how well concrete transmits vibration ..even footfall. There is a guy on the CN site (or it maybe the Yahoo RoR group) who bolted his pier directly to the pad. He was so disappointed with his imaging results that he subsequently excavated part of the existing concrete pad, dug a new hole, installed a new footing for the pier and put everything back together. Based on his experience, I wouldn't recommend taking a shortcut at this stage Steve
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