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buzz

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Everything posted by buzz

  1. It is now a year on from the "November update" on their website, with no sign of saleable units. Anyone got news? I really liked the concept
  2. thanks all - I remember Maplin when they first started out in Rayleigh. clear skies Chris
  3. I have acquired one of these and need to make up a spare power lead. Does anyone know where I can buy the two pole locking connector? I just need the connector, as I use XLR connections for power distribution in my system.
  4. I think that is about it , the link in the subscription email showed the same- Teleskop Express informed me they would be getting units next month.
  5. Some new news on their website now. Looks like its electrical interface has developed. I'm guessing if you can control a modem or printer via a HTTP webpage, there is no reason why you couldn't do the same with a mount to align it and point it in the right direction. Full robotic control (via ASCOM say) would be the icing on the cake.
  6. Is there any news on availability? The website is unchanged for several months now and it feels like the days of the Sinclair QL
  7. thanks - like everyone else I started with a NEQ6 - I'm assuming the belt-driven ones have less backlash?
  8. This is not a newbie question but a genuine one, trying to find a sensible mount recommendation around £1000 for imaging. I already have an Avalon Linear and Paramount but I'm not up to date with the less expensive models. I'm trying to put a system together for a strict budget and which is going to be usable. I bought a GEM last year, which will remain nameless, which had a PE of 80" pk-pk. A replacement worm increased that to 110 and a replacement mount was worse still. It went back. I really don't want another horror story. I did consider Fornax and Astrotrac but once you add all the bits together, the price is close to a GEM. The load will be no more than a medium refractor and small guidescope. Any suggestions (it doesn't have to be new)?
  9. buzz

    Whirlpool Galaxy (M51)

    amazing image - the LP around me effectively masks the fainter details, even after 25 hours of exposure.
  10. There is a Tak 130 on ebay over this week for a remarkable price. I was initially interested but the advert keeps on being taken down after a few days and put up again with a different buyer name with a different buyer history. Proceed with caution.
  11. I agree with the last post. I share the frustration with UK weather and LP and am finding myself resorting to narrowband imaging more and more. I did a talk at a local junior school on astronomy. One lad asked me why do I do it (astrophotography). I thought for a moment and replied 'because it is difficult'.
  12. I need to update this. Worse - iOptron iEQ30 pro for lightweight imaging - had three before throwing in the towel, PEs of 65, 80 and 110" pk-pk and refused to guide and do PEC at the same time. Also went haywire with low level RFI and had to use with DC dew heaters rather than PWM. Real shame.
  13. The tripod has sold. thanks for the interest
  14. John - sorry, you just missed it. I just sold it. Skybound - I didn't know there were any issues, I certainly had none with mine - it was tack sharp in every corner. Wide field scopes are always very sensitive to build issues and even Tak's I hear have issues, requiring collimation.
  15. I bought this for my EQ6 mount and then, with an adaptor plate used it with 10Micron GM1000 and a Paramount MX. Tripod is boxed and has rubber and spiked feet and is in excellent condition. Prefer buyer to collect but will post (two boxes). This is the double clamp version. This is a fantastic tripod and only reason for sale is that I now use a pier in an obsy. If the buyer wants to use it with a Paramount MX, I still have the professionally made adaptor/pier extender.
  16. I bought a full frame SLR and decided to splash out on a Tak Baby Q. I have to sell the WO Star 71. It is extremely good for the price and can thoroughly recommend it for APS-C cameras. It is in excellent condition and is stored indoors when not in use. £765 - buyer can collect, or I can post in original box for £20 to the UK. I took this image with it: http://www.digitalastrophotography.co.uk/Astrophotography/Images.html#16 I also have a Lakeside focuser bracket for it, if you want me to include it.
  17. I found this thread after receiving my new Baby Q, fiddling with the grub screws on the reducer and then wondering; 'What the hell did I do that for?' I took Olly's advice and decided to square it off. Then I decided to loosen them completely and remove the ring and look at the adjustment 'mechanism'. I am not convinced this is a tilt adjuster. The design resembles the classic rotation device, with the grubscrews resting on a sloping surface, designed to automatically nestle up against the shoulder when they are tightened. If it were meant to be a tilt adjuster I would have expected an extremely shallow draft angle. Anyway, I squared it off and when the customary 3 months of cloud pass, I will test my theory
  18. DrRobin - the mirror separation affects focal length. I simply did a platesolve using PinPoint and noted the imaging scale. That goes to 3 sig figures and is sufficient to alter the mirror spacing. Bringing them closer together lengthens the focal length - by about a 10:1 ratio. I am using a KAF8300 too - I do not have vignetting and I sometimes don't bother with flats. I am using Astrodon filters that fit into the 1.25" housing but do not have a metal threaded ring.
  19. Useful information for iOptron users: Another user (CEM60) on the user group suggested the PEC failure could be due to interference from a dew heater. I was using a (filtered) high frequency PWM dewheater and fully regulated DC power supplies. When I turned the dewheater off, PEC worked. All my other electronics and cameras have no issue, including the Avalon mount, using exactly the same interfacing kit. I used to design RF circuits and the first thing I would try, if the mount was not in warranty, is put shielding inside the plastic covers and a few more decoupling components near the connectors. I thought that was it, as my Pk-Pk reduced from 60" to 7" but it then refused to execute the ASCOM guide pulse commands that I had used 10 minutes earlier to calibrate PHD2 or learn PEC. I tried repeating the whole exercise using ST4 but ran into other issues: With the original and replacement mount I noted that after a slew, the mount would sometimes track, but at the wrong rate. (Slew command issued from TSX via ASCOM). In both cases it was immediately following a PHD2 guider calibration using ST4 (one was with a Lodestar X2, the other with a Superstar). The 2-second PHD2 exposures were streaks! A second slew fixed it and the mount tracked at sidereal rate. When it happened the first time, I pulled out the ST4 cable but it still kept going. I use PHD2 with ST4 or Pulseguide on other mounts without apparent issue. Bizarre. I'm using the latest firmware and maybe something slipped up. I cannot roll it back as iOptron only show the latest version.
  20. iOptron #3 came back. PE slightly better but not great. Pk-pk values change significantly with RA and I cannot get PEC to work with either ST4/ASCOM (with latest firmware). Not good. Will have to use the Avalon for lightweight gear - so I'm getting another shorter counterweight bar being made up in aluminium for balancing and their lightweight aluminium tripod to reduce the overall package weight.
  21. I knew that guiding the Avalon was going to be interesting.... I just didn't know quite how much. Currently I'm using Lodestar/ST4/PHD2 with 0 min move, 1sec exposure and 100% aggression. and lowest guide rate (0.125x). Scope was William Optics FLT98, with the lodestar securely in the eyepiece holder. My guiding last night resembled a wounded fish! I tried a few variations 0.5 sec to 10 sec, changed aggression down to 50%. DEC seems OK when there is drift but the RA is proving a challenge. ( have not yet tried pulseguiding through the Skywatcher ASCOM driver or using guiding through EQMOD) This is only my first light with the setup so I expect a learning curve. I would be really interested in other users suggestions and typical performance. [update] I think I nailed the guiding. I conceptualized a ball suspended from a piece of elastic and thought about how I would raise and lower the ball without vertical oscillation. The trick was to find a scheme that introduces the smallest moves, as gently as possible, without leaving behind the residual PE. The PE without guiding measured about +/-5" with some quite quick swings, so longer 10 second exposure times had less seeing noise but potentially big corrections and oscillations. I needed to first remove all other causes of tracking errors - so PA'd with the PoleMaster beforehand this time and supported the wiring bundle to minimize any drag. The combination of Skywatcher ASCOM pulse guiding and less aggressive inertial moves reduced the RMS to under 0.5". Very short exposures were a bit too reactive to seeing noise. Somewhere in the middle, 1-3 second, a little hysteresis, 0.75 or higher aggression, low guide rate and good PA seemed to work well. I disabled DEC compensation as that introduces more sensitivity to seeing noise at high DEC. The hysteresis / aggression is a balance; rapid guiding with high aggression helps if it has some hysteresis to filter the noise. My DEC RMS was less than 0.1"
  22. thanks Beulah - that was the one. Where did you find it?
  23. I once came across a combination map showing the likelihood of clear nights and the level of light pollution in the UK, but an hour on googling cannot locate it. Has anyone seen this before, got a link etc.? Would be appreciated. regards
  24. For info - I'm using the ASCOM driver through the handset, rather than EQMOD. I have used EQMOD in the past with an EQ6 but it was a love / hate thing. With my Paramount I use Dimension 4 NTP program to set accurate time in TSX and noticed that Synscan does not have an inbuilt clock. I needed to send the PC clock to the Avalaon. (I'm not using GPS) I noted that the API supported reading and writing UTC to Synscan and after a discussion with the ASCOM driver author, Chris Rowland, he very kindly provided me a script that sends the clock over. It is a VBS, with options for daylight saving or not.
  25. I bought the Avalon and await the return of the iOptron. You might be surprised but I would like to keep both. My original post was for a lightweight system. The Avalon, fitted with a William Optics Star71 / EOS cannot be balanced. The counterweight bar on its own is too heavy. There is still a place for a super light-weight mount that balances lightweight equipment.
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