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About Steve789

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    Falmouth, Cornwall UK

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  1. Steve789

    Mono Atik 314L or similar

    I have a Atik 314L+ mono CCD I'm about to sell if you're interested. I was going to sell it bundled with a 5 position 1.25" manual filter wheel and was thinking of asking £500 although I haven't really researched the secondhand value. I also have a set of RGB-IR CCD filters and astronomik Ha and Oiii narrowband CCD filters I was going to sell separately.
  2. Steve789

    Modified Canon 450D Images Wanted

    If you have a look at my album in my profile there are a few I took with the 450D that I modded myself. Probably not the best examples of what can be achieved. Also worth noting some of the images were taken with a Atik 314L+ but the notes should identify the ones taken with the 450D.
  3. Until recently I've always taken my dew shield off my newt' before using my bahtinov mask to focus but recently I've got a bit lazy and started hanging it off the front of my dew shield. So my question is; will doing so affect the accuracy of my focus? Does the extra distance of the dew shield in front of my scope affect how the bahtinov mask performs? I have no real idea of how the bahtinov mask works, other than employing some form of dark magic so am clueless to whether I still get perfect focus with it hanging off the dew shield.
  4. Steve789

    Should I Buy a C8?

    Thanks for the further comments. I think I see what you're saying about reducers Olly, I probably need to read up a bit about the "f-ratio myth". I imagine a reducer might help if you're struggling with guiding just by increasing the field of view. DSOs aren't really part of the equation for now anyway as I'm only just getting to grips with guiding with the 150pds. I've fitted a belt drive to my HEQ5 which has improved things but my phd graph seems to go a bit whacky every 9 minutes or so. A C8 edge, like a C9.25, would be nice but again budget. Also part of the appeal of the C8 is used ones come up for sale quite often. Is it worth holding out/paying a bit more for one with XLT coatings rather than just the Starbright coatings - thinking purely about planetary and lunar, forget about DSOs.
  5. Steve789

    Should I Buy a C8?

    Thanks for the reply Peter. A 9.25 would be nice but I need to keep an eye on the budget. After all we are talking about a scope that I won't use all that often, my primary interest is DSOs which I still intend to use the 150pds for. I agree the C8 alone would be hopeless on DSOs but I thought if you add a reducer such as the Celestron f6.3 reducer it could be good for smaller DSOs or am I missing something?
  6. My first scope was a cheap Jessops reflector that was a Christmas gift from my parents when I was about 30. Everything about it was terrible from the plastic eyepieces to the rickety EQ mount. I probably used it less than 10 times and can only remember viewing the Moon, Jupiter and a faint glow from M42. I wouldn't say it put me off the hobby but the price of a good scope did. About 5 years later I had enough money to buy a used skywatcher 150p with a EQ5 which I consider to be my first proper scope. I soon became a bit obsessed with imaging and have since upgraded the mount to an HEQ5 and replaced the OTA with a new 150pds just because I needed a 2" focuser that would accept a coma corrector.
  7. I've been thinking about upgrading my SW 127 Mak for a long time now and have been looking into going for a used Celestron C8 recently. My main interest is in imaging DSOs for which I use a SW 150pds with an Atik 314L+ on a HEQ5 mount. However all too often the only clear nights are during full (or nearly full) moons and on these occasions I like to image the moon or the planets. This is why I bought the 127 mak to try and improve on what the 150pds gives me when imaging lunar/planetary. I use my guide camera a ZWO ASI120mm to capture video for this type of imaging. On a few evenings I've compared both my scopes for lunar and planetary and while the mak gives better results on Jupiter there's very little in it when it comes to lunar imaging. On the Mak I can't use a barlow for lunar as it gives a ghost image (like the mysterons circle) but the 150pds performs quite well barlowed when lunar imaging. In essence the difference between the two scopes isn't enough to warrant owning the 127mak. So my question is will there be a significant improvement if I upgrade from a SW 127 mak to a C8 for lunar and planetary imaging? I know I'll gain about 35% in focal length and I'm hoping I'll be able to use a barlow to increase that. I'm also hoping the extra aperture will make a big difference. There's also the added bonus of using the C8 with a reducer to image the smaller DSOs like M57 if I ever get my guiding good enough. I guess I'd just like some confirmation that a C8 is the right scope before I take the plunge.
  8. Steve789


    Hi Adrian, As already mentioned there is Cornwall Astronomy Society. I've never attended a meeting myself but whoever is in charge of their Facebook page makes regular posts so I assume they are active. https://www.facebook.com/Cornwall-Astronomy-Society-169037896475728/info/?tab=page_info Here's a link to their web page http://cornwallas.org.uk/ Welcome to SGL.
  9. Steve789

    Hello from Cornwall

    Hi Dave and welcome to SGL. I live and do all my imaging from just outside Falmouth, Cornwall. Its always nice to hear of another like minded enthusiast nearby.
  10. Whilst sifting through my Astrophotography folder on my PC (I was shocked to see I've amassed over 650GB of data) I found a folder named Pacman that I had completely forgotten about. I've imaged NGC 281 before with my DSLR but I only have vague memories of doing so with my CCD but I must have done in October last year. Anyway I processed the subs in DSS and Pixinsight and was quite pleased with the results. 10 x 480s Ha 9 x 480s Oiii It could definitely do with more data which I'll try and get the next time I get a chance. Thanks for looking
  11. Steve789

    laptop humidity solutions?

    I use a fairly old second hand laptop that didn't cost me much. I've left it out on very damp nights and its got soaked a couple of times in rain showers and its still going strong I'm pretty sure the heat produced by the cpu etc will keep the internals dry even on a very dewy night. I do run off mains though and I keep the laptop closed when I go inside.
  12. Steve789

    Dew Prevention for Guidescope

    Thanks for the replies. This is something I've been wondering about for a while. I use a small 50mm guidescope that has a dew shield built in but still gets dewed up. I'll look into getting a dew heater and controller.
  13. Do I need it? I have never experienced dew bad enough to prevent me from finding a guide star but I'm wondering if an accumulation of dew on my guide scope might be the cause of slight guiding errors? In other words can it change the light path enough to affect the guiding over the course of a session?
  14. Steve789

    What cost guiding?

    I have limited experience with guiding but I'll share it with you for what its worth as I have tried using a webcam as a guide camera. Like you I wanted to avoid the expense of guiding so I used a very cheap 70mm refractor with a converted MS LifeCam Studio as a guide set up. I found the webcam to have a huge amount of amp glow/noise down one side of the image so that ¼ of the image was unusable for finding a guide star. It was also often hard to find a guide star depending on what part of the sky I was imaging because the camera just wasn't sensitive enough. After spending quite a lot of time trying to get this set up to work I realised a more sensitive camera was required so I bought a used ZWO ASI 120mm and have never had a problem finding a guide star since. I've recently bought a smaller finder/guider scope from here http://www.365astronomy.com/365Astronomy-50mm-Compact-Deluxe-Finder-and-Guidescope-Kit-with-1.25-Non-Rotating-Helical-Focuser.html to try and reduce weight and the improvement in brightness of the stars is remarkable. It makes me realise how bad my cheap old guide scope really was. My advice would be 50mm finder scope - yes. Webcam - No. I see you've already got the webcam so you could always try it on a finderscope but my bet is the guidecam will be the next upgrade on your wish list. I'm guessing your 8" SCT has a long focal length which will make it hard to do long exposures without getting star trails but I'll leave that for more experienced members to comment on.
  15. I had a prolonged period of clear skies while the moon was about at the end of last month so I decided to use the time to try and improve my guiding. I had also recently discovered eqmosaic so I thought I'd give that a try. While eqmosaic was a complete success I can't say the same for my guiding experimentation but at least I've eliminated potential causes of my guiding problems. Here is the result of the data captured (my first mosaic). Mostly 8 minute subs with a few 10 minute subs that were keepers. The Witches Broom Nebula NGC6960 2 panel mosaic Ha/OIII bicolour. (Approx 3hrs per filter in pane 1 and 2½hrs per filter in pane 2.) Once I got tired of imaging NGC 6960 I turned my scope towards the Pelican Nebula for a quickie 80mins per filter and was quite pleased with the result for such short total exposure time. All criticism welcome, I know I've got several areas to work on to improve my images.

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