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About rickstanners

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  1. Thank you all for your replies! Carole - yes, I know what you mean about there being no such thing as a quick setup, but perhaps quickER than my previous! I have memories of lugging the C8 around, waiting for it to cool down, As well asthe joy of collimation and focussing the SCT too! I certainly found the WO72 to be a great little scope. I remember looking at OAGs last time as well and ended up steering clear of them for similar reasons. A permanent pier might be an option here down the line, but the markers are a good call in the mean time. jkosefsen, thanks - I will look into that. I like the idea of setting things up in an easy “plug and play” format. Terry - great to hear firsthand experience of a similar setup. I remember I was guiding my old mount in a similar way, but plugged into the hand controller at the time. I will probably give the Canon 450D a go to start with, as I still have it (it was able to take much longer exposures if you controlled it using the Canon laptop utility, otherwise it had a similar limitation to the 400D) - how do you find the D2 filter and what kind of light pollution are you dealing with? That is something else that seems to have moved on since I was last involved. Rich
  2. Hi all, Firstly, sorry for the long post! Having been away from astronomy for nearly 10 years and having sold all my kit off, I’m now in the position of being able to get back into it properly! Before I jump into buying lots of kit this time, I’ve been trying to work out exactly what I want to do with it. I’ve always had a large interest in imaging and, before I had to stop, had just started getting into autoguiding my 8SE SCT with a WO Megrez 72 and using a DSLR. The issue I have with going down the same route again is that, whilst I want to get back into serious imaging, I also want a setup that I can put together and store relatively quickly and easily so that I can get maximum use out of it - I always found that setting all that up was always a faff and either ate into the available time, or put me off heading outside at all! On top of that, I’m now living in the suburbs with Bristol to the South, which is also pushing me towards narrowband and a dedicated imager due to the light pollution. Finally - I do want the capability of doing the odd bit of visual observing too, mainly lunar and the odd fuzzy when the mood takes me. So, now that’s all out of the way(!), I’ve been looking at something along these lines for an eventual set up: WO ZS73 with the matched flattener - good compromise for widefield imaging with either DSLR (LP permitting) or narrowband imager - whilst still portable and easy to set up/take down quickly. Just not sure how much I will realistically be able to do with it on the visual front (Don’t know how much more bang for buck a larger aperture refractor would be - probably couldn’t push the budget to much more than an 80-ish aperture, looking at prices). HEQ5 Mount - doesn’t necessarily meet the easy to set up/take down, but imagine I will need the capability again for guided imaging. Small spotter scope with something like an ASI120 for guiding (and maybe also some lunar imagery through the main scope). ASI1600MM pro with a filter wheel and narrowband filters for the main imager. I’d probably start with the scope and mount, along with an LP filter to start off with the DSLR again, then slowly expand into the guiding set up and, finally, the narrowband kit. Fortunately, I still have a couple of half decent eyepieces left from my former life. I’d appreciate any thoughts on the plan so far! One thing that’s obvious is that I am way out of touch with the available kit now compared to 10 years ago, so there are probably better options for the money that I’m not aware of. Thanks all!
  3. Hi Derek, Thanks for the comments. I wouldn't be surprised if there had been some rotation. It was a very quick and dirty polar align last night at about 9pm (having had the usual computer related imaging "issues" continually cropping up! ) Rich
  4. Sorry to hear that Stef. How frustrating! I hope nothing too serious with the mount? Rich
  5. Now that I have just about finalised my guiding set up, I took the opportunity last night to actually do some proper imaging, and this is the result. Nearly 4 hours' worth of 5 and 10 min subs, then subjected to my usual amateur processing in PS I would be grateful for suggestions as to how to improve the image. Should I just add more subs, or try for some even longer ones to pull out more colour and detail? I haven't actually added any darks or flats to the image. Would these have a dramatic effect on the outcome? Thanks for looking Rich
  6. Having got totally fed up with an inability to image anything thanks to LP, I bit the bullet and went to find a decent filter. Initially I went for a Skywatcher LP filter, which although it did make a difference, was not really allowing me to achieve a huge amount more than without. I have read that sometimes the type of lights in your area can have a bearing on which filter will work better, so I decided it might be worth having a go with a different one. So next on the list was an Astronomik clip-in CLS, which was also meant to be a bit more 'aggressive' anyway. Unfortunately, with the weather as it is, I can't do any meaningful imaging comparisons (especially over how 'process-able' the resulting images are), but I decided to do a bit of a ground-based comparison. Below is the comparison between no filter, the Skywatcher and the CLS. All images are 30s exposures with the 450D and Megrez 72. No Filter Skywatcher LP Filter Astronomik CLS From this test, it would seem that the CLS will be the better choice here, but I'll just have to wait for some good weather to try it out properly! I will update the thread with the results, if people are interested. It would perhaps be interesting to run some sort of survey on which filters people use in different areas, with different set ups, and different aims (e.g. visual/imaging etc), and see if there's any correlation... Rich
  7. Matt, I can't comment on the DDG version, as I have the previous...but it is a cracking little scope. Really portable and very crisp views. I'm sure you will be able to find plenty of praise for it on these forums. Definitely worth every penny. Look here: http://stargazerslounge.com/imaging-deep-sky/111099-some-dsos-ssp-2010-a.html ...to see what it's capable of in it's own right, let alone as a guidescope (and I am a total beginner at imaging!) Rich
  8. Thanks guys, I really appreciate the comments. I do feel like I really achieved something last week (apart from surviving absinthe night Toby ). It's always nice when you've got something to show your mates when they ask what you were up to on holiday! Rich
  9. Looks like you've got some good help there, so I'll leave you to it. All I would say though is don't try and run it on the AA batteries!!! Total nightmare!! (but sounds like you've planned for that already ) Rich
  10. Hi Alonso RE the moving by hand...I must admit I have done it occasionally on my 8SE BUT definitely not supposed to!! What specifically were you having problems with on the handset? Let me know and I'll see if I can point you in the right direction (though I haven't used the Nexstar mount for a while). Rich
  11. Well I'm back from another great week of astronomy at this year's Salisbury Star Party Probably one of the best bits for me was first light using my WO Megrez 72 for imaging...and seeing subs coming in that literally blew me away! This imaging lark is definitely time consuming, and comes with a steep learning curve, but I was amazed at what that little scope and some good skies could produce in the hands of a total amateur like me!! The set up was the Megrez with Field Flattener III, taken with my Canon 450D, all mounted on an HEQ5. All the subs were either 1, 2 or 3 minutes unguided (thanks to Toby, Dave, Carl, and just about everyone on the campsite who ended up fiddling with my polar alignment ). And a big thanks to Toby (Astrokat) and Dave (Milliways) for their processing help . M31 Widefield M27 Crop of the same M27 image Part of the Veil Nebula Rich
  12. I'll be posting them later on mate...
  13. Great result with your new kit mate! Glad you got some good imaging done with it. Rich
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