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About c3po

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    Star Forming

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    Odiham, Hampshire
  1. Ahh, yes indeed! The camera's own lens needs to be removed also for it to reach focus on the'scope, didn't think of that myself, good shout Pat!
  2. hi Fazerdenzil, and welcome to SGL. Firstly, as you may have gathered already, the BigBoss isn't the best of scopes, but as they say, any 'scope is better than no 'scope! Yes, you should be able to use a webcam with it, any should do but CCD are best, although a CMOS will work fine, dependent on its low-light sensitivity. Either way, the Registax software will be your best friend here in enabling you to stack individual frames from your webcam footage and provide a reasonable image as a result. Webcams are generally only used for planetary imaging due to their limited sensitivity and exposure times, so i wouldn't go expecting to be able to image things like Nebula and Galaxies with one... also, you note that you removed the lens from the focus tube, has this been replaced after collimation? If not, this will cause all eyepieces and webcams used with it not to reach focus. The Seben Big Boss uses a short tube design, and as such needs a 'Corrector Lens' to bring into focus the light-cone reflected by the primary on to secondary mirror and then up the focus tube into the eyepiece/webcam. Without it, the light cone focus point will move too far up the focus tube for any EP to reach focus correctly. If you mean the 'extra' lens at the bottom of the focus tube you removed for collimation, no. This must be fitted for the 'scope to reach focus. If you're still experiencing focus problems with a webcam even with the corrector lens in place, you may need an additional Barlow lens to move the focus point even further into the webcam.
  3. Very good point, didn't think about that. I've just checked though and the week we're going (22-29Aug) is around the new moon - great news! Sent from my GT-I9305 using Tapatalk
  4. I'd agree with this to a point, 240mW is a substantial load for a Carbon pot to dissipate, although most sold should take the load well, but as you note, for how long is another thing entirely.A wire wound pot like this one would certainly fit the bill better.
  5. Spurred on by Gina and others experiences with 3D printers, I've set about searching out the cheapest one available for my basic requirements... and I think I might have found it! The PrintrBot Simple runs in at just £300 inc. VAT. It does, however, have a maximum print size of just 4 inches in each dimension... pretty small I agree, but more than enough for my very basic needs. Here's what RoboSavvy have to say about it: Could be worth a look. What do we think?
  6. Having tried widefield piggy-back AP with the Celestron the RA tracking motor, i know what you're attempting, albeit at a higher zoon with the 300mm lens. However, the theory is the same, and I quickly became tired of the restrictively short exposures i could expect with the DC motor - i use a Sony A200 with a CCD at a 1.5x crop factor and i was getting 30-50 seconds at best, no thanks to the DEC error and Polar Alignment tweaking needed and Periodic Error in the mount coupled with the faff of getting the tracking rate of the DC motor correct. After some disheartening results with the piggy-back AP, i looked for other solutions to the RA motor and came across this Stepper Motor drive unit designed by SGL's very own AstroTux. It takes the guess work out of the setting the RA motor and provides you with Sidereal, Lunar and Solar traking speeds. I've tested the unit briefly with my scope indoors to confirm correct tracking rate at 'solar' speeds, and have also tinkered with EQAlign and a webcam on the few clear nights we've had this year using the RA Stepper Motor to get my head around Drift Alignment. So far i think i'm getting there, and the next logical step would be to hook it all up and perfect the drift alignment with EQAlign; when that's sorted i'd attach the DSLR in place of the webcam and start shooting, how long an exposure i'd get is anyone's guess, but with the PE i've experienced with the mount, i'd hope for anything upwards of a minute or two given the mounts basic design - nothing extraoridinary, but certainly better than a handful of seconds.
  7. Thanks Alan. My unit is finally fully functional and ready for its first use in anger. Just bought a T-ring for my dslr and sky glow filter... Just need some clear skies and a night off work (I've been on nights for the past few weeks :-( ) to try it out. Sent from my GT-I9305 using Tapatalk
  8. May I throw a spanner in the works? I have the Celestron 130 and accompanying motor drive, and sadly, it's not as easy as attaching the drive to the RA shaft and switching it on. The MD has, in addition to its North/South switch, a speed control knob that you turn to adjust the tracking rate of the motor. Getting this set perfectly took me far too long, and as the battery voltage wore down, so the speed decreased and further adjustment to the speed controller was required....
  9. There are a couple of options I think for this, but the most basic would be to introduce a simple voltage divider I the guise of a variable resitor (also called a linear potentiometer) between the battery and fan... By turning the dial on the potentiometer you increase/decrease the resistance in the circuit and therfore reduce the voltage output to the fan, essentially giving you a variable speed controller for the fan.
  10. Hi all and thanks for the suggestions. Over the past few weeks we've been researching places in the area and finally settled on a lovely place near Bellingham, less than 9 miles from Keilder. It's on the site of Hesleyside Hall and advertised as Reivers Rest. With landscapes like those above designed by Capability Brown surrounding the cottage, finding a dark sky shouldn't be difficult at all! Sent from my GT-I9305 using Tapatalk
  11. I used the original PCB as supplied by AstroTux for my project, and updated the code to include micro stepping and brightness controls from files supplied recently by AstroTux via email. The only extra components needed for my unit were the project box, a selection of gears and shafts to match, push button switches (3 of), solder tags (not mandatory but makes things easier) and, finally, the stepper motor. The motor is the crucial item, it MUST be Unipolar, run from a 12v source and must have enough torque to move the scope on the mount - read the documentation and the rest of this thread for ideas on which one to get.
  12. Cornelius, many thanks for your help. I had thought this was the case, but most of the documentation for both applications refer to pressing the "E" or "W" buttons, i assume this means causing the mount to slew Est or West respectively? If so, i can do this manually with my RA Drive control pad. However the manuals for both also discuss stopping the RA drive completly, the only way i could do this (at present) is to pull the power from it, not ideal i guess, but it will suffice for drift alignment. I note that both say they will work with any WDM compatible webcam, but would the like of an xbox webcam or ASDAcam be sensitive enought for reference stars to drift align with?
  13. Anyone? ..... Please? Sent from my GT-I9305 using Tapatalk
  14. Not entirely sure if this is the right place for this post, but it is with relation to setting up for basic prime focus AP with a dslr... I have a celestron 130eq on an EQ2/CG3 mount and have been able to drift align, albeit not entirely accurately, as before i lacked an ra motor that tracked at sidereal speeds (it was a basic dc motor). I now have one thanks to AstroTux diy build and have tried again to drift align my scope with it, but still my accuracy could do with some assistance to allow some long exposure AP without the blurring or small star trails I'm still getting. Now, before I get told my scope is useless for prime focus AP for dso's, I'll save the abuse and admit I know that I could do better for my needs, but could equally do much worse (Seben anyone?). I have what I have, and I will battle with it, and get what I can out of it, before I really do need to upgrade. Until then, I'd really like to get this working as best I can. I've read about EQAlign and PHD as softwares for webcam drift alignment that uses just the 'scopes RA drive motor and a webcam in the OTA to align correctly the scope for AP. Is it feasible that this software could be of any use for my needs? I understand it's primarily for GoTo scopes, but if I manually start/stop the RA drive as needed and adjust the latitude and azimuth settings manually, could it work? Thanks in advance for any help you can throw my way!
  15. Many thanks Steve, this is very similar to what I am doing now and it takes quite a while with my non-live view camera as I've got to manually download the files to view them on my laptop. All the while this is eating away precious exposure time, but as i said before I think I need more live data on screen to help narrow it down much quicker. Hence my thinking that a webcam and one of the softwares above would tell me where i am going wrong sooner. Also, I don't think my case is helped much by my views South being nonexistent and eastwards blocked by a large tree in the neighbours back garden. Up 'til now I've been making do with stars towards the North and West (instead of South and East) and reversing the normal directions given for drift alignment
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