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Mr TamiyaCowboy

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Posts posted by Mr TamiyaCowboy

  1. I have found the problem, It's a really faint reflection of my turned of lights, my laptop is causing it to cast a very faint shadow, almost invisible to the naked eye on the window. I feel stupid now...

    dont feel daft. 

    many of us have done the same sort of thing, like take a photo and forget you did not remove the lens cover first. 

    or you forgot to load a empty memory card into cam lol. 

    the good thing is, you know what the source was and can combat it next time. 

    • Like 2
  2. one of two things  possible three. 

    1: your shooting through a window i guess ( am seeing the reflection in the upper left quadrant)

    if so your glass has some sort of smear.

    2.: you have somehow damaged the fine coating on your lens , OR it is a dew/water blotch that you have smeared.

    i would advise using a decent lens clean fluid solution so a trip to camera store is at hand. also a new microfibre cloth.

    3. a water/dirt/dust mark on your main LPF in the camera. so i would advise a deep clean of the sensor and the filtering

    this usualy means sending camera off for a propper service. 

    i am putting my bet in either number 1 or/and 2

  3. i have another solution to your winder problem. 

    so you have to give the winder a small turn now and again, so you could always add in an error. 

    while bored the other night i found a youtube video, for a wired servo focuser mod. 

    soon as i saw it i thought of your barn door tracker and the winder.

    RC car servos are a 180 degree turn, but with a little dremel cut on the gear drove cog,

    they will rotate a full 360 degree. 

    2x servos are gutted out, the electronics are unsoldered and discarded.

    two wires are soldered direct to the POS and NEG motor termnals. pos - pos neg - neg.

    when you turn one servo arm the other servo arm turns in relation.

    so a small belt hooked round the handle end and onto one of the servos.

    the other is held in hand, when you need to ramp the tracker, you give the servo a turn

    and the handle starts to rotate. No batterys no touching the tracker and even less error.

    being a geared servo you can work out turns per degree ;)

  4. maybe run a secondary battery. 

    have this fitted with a DC-DC buck converter, inline with the crobar circuit.

    this lone power unit can be used to run the laptop from a 12v-240v inverter.

    your all good and well BUT, are you keeping your watts in check.

    what you require in watts from the battery and can it give them to you over the period required.

    3w solar panel is only just gonna keep the battery topped once you jam the electronics

    they all leach power from the cell. you may want to upgrade/add a couple more panels

    and a charge converter ( charges both batterys and keeps them safe from overcharge / undercharge)

    am in the midst of building a small portable 2 x 12v @ 17ah boost pack. am keeping them at the 12v output but

    doubling to 34ah 

  5. Autostackert 2 



    have these installed on your PC, yes some are memory intensive, but

    what you get in return is worth it. 

    PIPPS : we use this to center objects like planets, solar and lunar, we also use it to make our images smaller in size if need be ( cropping)

    Autostackert : this is a stacking program it takes your pictures/film lines them all up and outputs a final image of all the pictures layered up.

    Registax : this is a bit like autostackert, but it comes with Wavelets, after stacking and aligning we are given a chance to adjust the image

    it takes all those pictures/film finds the best images and stacks only them. it then lets you play with those images via slider bars

    to bring out your detail in those stacked images.

    Cameras : a few quid to over 100 pounds for a webcam. 

    for a starter everyone has praised the Xbox live cam. its cheap and works well for starting out.

    second on the list would be a microsoft lifecam studio/cinema these to produce some very nice footage but in HD

    last and the holy grail is the SPC900 , this webcam is full moddabled, and will allow the user to custom set exposure time,

    unlike any other webcam on the market, BUT these cameras are discontinued and fetch a demanding price second hand.

    I would advise a Xbox live webcam to start with, very cheap and if the newcomer makes a mistake does not break the bank.

    • Like 1
  6. i think the first thing should be " Get To Know Your Camera " 

    so a kit lens, something like a 17-55 -18-55 ( are the standard kit lenses that come with cameras).

    next a busy'ish road, plenty of cars going past. 

    set your camera up so the cars lights come past the camera lens view.

    set your EXPOSURE to say 8-15 seconds 

    set camera in manual mode.

    set APETURE to f3.6 - f5.6 ( usually the lower number )

    take a few shots and play with these settings, notice how exposure time and Apeture affect each other. 

    To hook your camera to a telescope you require a Nikon to T-mount Adapter ( http://www.firstlightoptics.com/adaptors/t-rings.html )

    and to slip it into the focuser you need a t mount nose adapter ( http://www.firstlightoptics.com/adaptors/flo-125-inch-t-mount-camera-adapter.html )

    • Like 1
  7. the first time, the light cone coming into the focuser was just about

    perfect, this light cone sits just right for the camera to see it.

    the cone is also big enough to cover the whole sensor ( few mm x few mm big)

    we pop a barlow in. now what we have to remember is the light cone is now 3x smaller

    than it first was and it has now moved.

    so pop the barlow in the focuser.

    pop a 25mm eyepiece into the barlow, now center target.

    quickly swap over to a 10mm eyepiece, and recenter again.

    slip out the eyepiece and now replace it with your camera. 

    you should notice on the screen the blackness, moving scope a little you will notice a brightish hue.

    the brighter the hue gets the closer you are to the image/object.

    keep moving scope till your object appears. now focus and there we go

    barlowed at 3x with the camera

  8. the setting circles on the mounts are NOT very good at ALL. 

    working it out to have the resolution you need, you would need an 8 inch disc

    as the setting circle, 

    problem is the RA and DEC setting circles are so small, and a paint mark say 1mm thick could really 

    equal 3 degrees in scale, that and given the fact the setting circles resolution is poor does not help us. 

    BUT !!!! they can be used as a rough guide, a rough pointer your in the rough area you want.

    how i set mine on an eq-1. 

    roughly align mount to north and polar align roughly ( no polar scope)

    Now i find a star, usually something bright like sirius, i also go to

    stellarium and select the same star,

    now using the star in my scope and the cordinates given in stellarium, i adjust my DEC

    setting circle to read the same as Stellarium. im aligned now so my setting circles can be used as a rough guide.

    i can now use circles to get a rough contact point and use my fine tune controls to centre my object

    i want. 

  9. this is known as timelapse flicker. 

    your shooting full manual mode, dialing in all the settings but, you still get flicker.

    this is your problem above, and below is why it happens.

    your shooting in full manual mode, problem is over time the sky darkens and lightens.

    we dont see this change much, but the full manual camera does.

    what your seeing is the camera overexposing and underexposing. 

    timelapse flicker is a bane, have a google search on it to see how you can combat it.

    most will  Shoot in Aperture priority mode (Av mode on your camera dial) instead of full manual

    but at night this can become a problem when camera cannot go to longer than 30s exposure.

    so in short its timelapse flicker, you get the same thing doing daylight timelapse.

    anti flicker software can be used to help, as with good camera settings.

  10. they should get outside in the sun more lol , no need to worry about how many photons they can catch

    then lol.

    a camera is a camera you point it, it makes a click sound and the magic appears. 

    if it dont click the batterys dead

    if it dont make magic appear on the screen, try taking the end cap off. 


    life is simple like a point and shoot 

  11. Lovely Kat and thank you. 

    so the blacking does help then, last night 10mm on jupiter was CA all the way.

    25mm on barlow an ugly sight, so i went star hopping.

    02:35, my eyes hurting i set the scope back up, lobbed it at saturn, shoved in TWO of those

    cheap SW 2x barlows and the 90 diag , 25mm in the line to. 

    OMG i split saturn from a CA ugly blob to a small but perfect ( with little green and blue banding) saturn and even split

    the ring from the main planet body. 

    i didnt have an 4x barlow so i went with the dual cheapy risky but paid off.

  12. i run a 12ah SLA ( one of the solar battery jobs mention above) found in the maplins car jump starters, i hacked of the jumper cables

    added a in line fuse and a couple crock clips to a center positive adapter port. ( bypassing the onboard diode charger)

    my charger is an RC type, multifunction, lipo - lion - nicad - nihm- PB ( lead batterys).

    charging: 12v @ 500mah UPTO 1A using ac/dc, but again i tend to charge at low mah around 500mah

    i dont like fast charging any lead acid battery, slow and easy is the way. 

    If your going solar ( i also run solar chargering) you NEED a charge controller.

    your panel will keep feeding juice into the battery its not smart so WILL overcharge.

    your wanting a MPPT solar control charger in the line to take control

    feed the battery and keep it tip-top but shuts down when the cell is full.

    buying batterys, these little cheapy solar batterys are sold in a number of places.

    they are used in the radio control hobby world to power up devices in the field. 

    more heavy duty batterys with bigger more beefy use, you can find these in old golf carts

    (2 man-4 man) , asking at the local golf course to see if they have any old batterys you could have.

    other places are Caravan parks / sellers - motorhomes. these all run heavy duty leisure cells.

    also asking if these places have any old batterys you could possibley have/pay for.

    when you get them home, crack open the vent lids, check the liquid level, and if need top up

    then stick them on a nice long slow charge, one mans rubbish is another mans battery bank.

  13. Gah you Happy-Kat 

    now been hunting high and low for a perma marker. 

    draws cupboards in the sink under the sink, in the pen pot.

    i found one, got everything ready and, ITS RED !!! a red marker lol !!!

    if you get to glance tonight pop back and update, be nice to see if it has worked some wonders.

    flocking is on my list to , have studied the ST80 mod video lots of times lol. 

    Would love to be able to shoehorn a Dual speed focuser to the 80mm i dont like focus hunting

    like i had to last night on mars.

    Are you getting stars stretching on the outer field of view ? 

    last night i noticed this a lot when trying to see jupiter, bad stretching of star field 

    on outer edge, but nicer to the center of image ? 

    If so did the blacking of lens edge also help with this stretching ?

  14. The little red lens is what is known as a IR blocking filter. 

    it has special coatings that stop Infrared light entering the camera. 

    Removing this filter makes your camera more sensitive to IR light. 

    you can see this at work, pick up your tv remote and push a button.

    you do not see any light, now place your camera/webcam/phonecam

    looking at the remote control and again push the button. 

    you now see the light glowing up. removing the blocking filter makes this IR lightband more stronger

    in effect. 


    camera is more sensitive, astro modded cameras ( expensive use this IR band to capture nebula, it enhances the red channel)


    camera now focuses IR light at a different point, this can cause fuzzy/blurred/out of focus look.

    camera now produces an image with a very red/pinkish look - Hue, that needs either custom white balance changes

    and or some software tinkering on the computer of the final images ( the red/blue channel swap) 

    As a point, most conversions of webcams will have a screw in IR/UV blocking filter purchased.

    when used with your modded camera it removes away the pro's and the cons.

    most of the time a IR/UV filter is a good choice. 

    We remove the smaller filter , its cheap and does the job ok, but a dedicated IR/UV filter will be much better.

    you will also find trying to remove the filter from the small lens is near impossible, they always tend to snap or shatter.

    hence replacement.

  15. not done nothing to my ST80 yet. 

    can say jupiter had CA last night through mine, very noticeable purp/blue.

    on a none modded tube and lens unit. but at 10mm and no barlow you could make out jupiter and four moons. 

    Mars at 25mm was fine, just the usual orange star like thing in the sky.

    Mars using the standard 10mm skywatcher eyepiece and a 2x cheapy barlow.

    not a good sight at all, impossible to focus down enough without CA coming in strong

    i did notice a marked drop in  brightness, the barlow and 10mm seemed to

    act like an extra -4 stops ( F number (apeture F)

  16. It is possible the camera is in auto exposure mode.

    this means the camera is choosing at what speed to expose for, and

    is going a little to far. 

    if possible try and adjust exposure speed ( ie shutter speed)

    if you are not able to, you could try something like a color filter,

    or maybe a moon filter ( neutral density( ND25 of something along the lines)

    color filters can help pull contrast and cut glare. 

    Without an IR blocking filter it is known that the optics will try and focus all light.

    the problem comes with IR lightwaves being focused not at the same point. so images can appear,

    slightly blurred/off focus. an IR blocking filter will correct this. 

    you may also find without an IR filtering you have a somewhat pink'ish picture,

    colors are pink tinged, you can remove this, by swapping the color channels.

    in gimp or some other programe, goto the color adjustment 

    in the red channel move the red slider to 0 and the blue slider to 100.

    in the blue channel move the blue slider to 0 and the red slider to 100.

    you should now have a false color IR image, the pink is somewhat less

    after the channel swap.

  17. Definitely some fun things to try there, thank you.  I was just looking at someone else's images of a highstreet taken in this way, it looks really good.

    I really like that moon shot you posted too.  I like the size of it in the frame, it's nice to see it against the dark sky - is that taken with the 18-55 again? 

    Looks like the skies might be starting to clear here soon so might get another chance to see what I can do!

    My moon shot was taken with a longer canon lens, an EF 90-300mm  

    the little 18-55 is an ok lens, it can give some nice shots , but its just taking the time to learn the camera

    and its settings. 

    have a try at other things to when its cloudy, water drops make for some fun and stressful imaging.

    a small bowl of water, a little water/eye dropper and your camera, set it to burst mode photographs

    the aim the dropper above the bowl and try to capture the water droplet impact.

    the usual car light trails, and when its foggy you can get some nice shots. 

    if you have little ones have fun with them to a couple small'ish led lights and a dark field, have them do some

    light painting and drawing, you learn to get those long exposures and the kids have fun to.

    you could also try timelapse, short'ish long exposures over a period, capture the clouds zooming over and the clear spells.

    it all helps you get to grips with your camera and its settings and how they can work to your advantage or disadvantage.

    • Like 1
  18. its possible your trying to open the tiff file as layers. 

    have a try at this, dont drag and drop images into gimp. it complains they are not 8bit.

    open gimp, at top click, File  - Open 

    now browse to your image/images

    select the tiff you require hit OPEN.

    a small box will appear , (import from tiff )

    click the Open pages to IMAGES and not the layers default.

    you should now have your tiff imported into gimp in 16/8 bit as an image .

    hope this helps and works to solve your problem.


  19. yes Spikes 

    some love them some hate them, a bit like that ( starts to gag )  marmite stuff.

    i  personaly think its the artistic flair in the user/ post production, you throw some in spikes to spangle up a picture for the joe public.

    but when your pushing the limit and trying for that ultimate jaw dropping data grab your going to smudge out them 

    spikes as much as possible. throwing masks, layers the lot into the mix. you want it more perfect true to life

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