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    Manchester, UK
  1. Hi, I bought a Skywatcher 127 mak a couple months ago, I know Mars is close to us now, so as soon as it clears I tried to have a look. With Jupiter, I see a small beige disc with 4 moons, but no banding, red spot or any other detail. With Mars I can't see more than a tiny orange dot. It appears to be apparently 1mm in size. I've read lots of stuff saying you can see basic detail such as the polar caps and maybe some red/black contrasting areas with something like a 4 inch refractor. My 1500mm 5 inch telescope should give me better views, gather more light, than that, surely? I've got two EPs, the 20mm, (or is it 25mm?) and 10mm that came with it. The 10mm is awful quality, so I don't bother with it, but the 20/25 seems quite good. I've got two 2X barlows, the TAL one everyone recommends, and the sky watcher one that came with the scope. I've tried every combination of all the optics I have and I can't get more than a tiny dot, barely more than a point of light. It is definitely Mars I'm looking at. I know that orange glow, and it's not Venus. My iPhone 4 apps confirm that too, when I swing around and it shows maps of the sky, where things will be, when, etc... So I'm not looking at a star, which I know will never be more than a point of light... What's going wrong? Could it be poorly collimated? I've had some pretty sharp shots of the moon from it, if you look at these, you'll be able to gauge the collimation quality, I'd guess... Moon again | Flickr - Photo Sharing! Thanks for any advice offered... Mike.
  2. Well as at that scale the moon doesn't have much colour, unless you take lots of shorts in raw, boost each colour and then stack, you're not going to see much colour, it's just grey. So why not just desaturate it? Won't have to completely, but you can reduce the colour tinge to a huge degree with just that. As you only really see detail on the peaks and troths of the surface, where light hits highs and shadows are cast in the lows, your issue looks a little like chromatic aberrations, but it's not, so don't follow any guides on reducing that. You can shift the entire hue in photo shop, or something like Lightroom is excellent for desaturating specific colour channels. A couple of my moon shots show this pretty well, the colour that the moon does have, heavily boosted, and the "white balance" it should have when no apparent colour cast is present. The moon is very bright, though, so not usually much need for stacking, I'd avoid it if possible for the moon. Shot 1 The Moon (31st January 2012) Shot 2 Moon in colour Shot 3 Moon again
  3. You're doing better than me. It took me over a week with mine to see M42. Where are you? It's been totally cloudy for days here... I've been eager to try out a new barlow lens I got, but not had a break in the clouds yet!
  4. Hmm... The handset is the v3.08 firmware, and I didn't know the goto mount was upgradable, or how to find out it's version. The handset is the same handset that worked fine with my previous goto mount, when my previous mount's motor went, I swapped the mount only, not the handset. What do you think I can do? :S
  5. Hi, Thanks. I tried that, but it's not made a difference. Besides, it still knew the date, so it's clearly not a complete factory reset! Is there a reset for the mount separately? What is the "re-align encoder" setting? That sounds hopeful. But it's always "Not available!". Thanks again.
  6. Nice scope, watch ya don't do anything daft 'n' drop it or anything!
  7. Hi, I took my previous mount back for replacment last week as it's motors were ****. The altitude motor was grinding and sounded awful. Anyway, I took it back and got a new one, which sounds much smoother. A few days ago when we had a pretty clear sky, I tried to align, with no success, but I was cold and gave up. Tonight, there's a brilliant clear-ish sky and I wanted to give it another go (I've just got a new coat). Bare in mind, I had no problem aligning my previous mount, and I kept my handset, so it's not "human" error. So I told it my location, time, etc, and went to 2-Star align. The first on the list was Sirius, which I looked up and spotted instantly. So I slewed, centred, and hit go, ready for the next star to align with, I choose Aldebaran, I could see it clearly. The brightest point on the top of the "V" shape of it's constellation, so I selected that star, and my previous mount would then slew to it's rough location and I'd just have to fine-tune centre it and then we're aligned. The problem is, after centring on Sirius, and choosing Aldebaran as the 2nd star, the scope goes about 10 degrees in azimuth, 15 degrees in altitude from it's location pointing at Sirius and stops, asking me to centre it. It's not even in the same region of sky! It's still pointing south, largely at Sirius when it should be pointing roughly west! What's going on? Is this mount just broken too? I don't really see how it could be broken in that way... What do you think?
  8. Almost left my 127 mak with Canon 550D stuck to the back of it over night. I kept meaning to bring it in, but was hoping for the sky to clear up then it'd be "back on". But it never did, and I forgotten all about it, came back down to bring it in though, and all was fine.
  9. I've got a very long focus travel, I think... It goes for miles in either direction in any situation, from terrestrial to DSOs, so I'll give it another go when the sky is clear, see if the higher mag is worth it with the barlow in front of the diagonal.
  10. Yeah, looks very well made, but I'm after optical quality, overall. The TAL ones have been mentioned to me lots, so the TAL it'll be... Thanks.
  11. Hi, I've seen this barlow on eBay. It looks very well machined, but is that just asthetics? There's no real model name, but I want to know if this would likely be an improvement over the one I've currently got. This is the one I've seen: Celestron x2 Barlow Lens Astronomical Telescope Doubling Eyepiece (0050234933261) | eBay This is the one I've got: First Light Optics - Skywatcher Deluxe 2x Barlow Thanks.
  12. Hi, Does it make a difference in which order the elements are arranged? I was trying to figure it out, but if the light rays from the barlow don't leave completely parallel to each other, then it would make a difference giving it the extra distance to the eyepiece. I can't really tell much of a difference in practice, but is there any recommendations to the way they're arranged? Thanks.
  13. You can get a 5A 12v mains power supply if you're in your garden or a 7Ah power pack if you're out of mains reach. Or your car cig socket.
  14. Yeah, agreed, on both points. HA! Balanced? I tried without a telescope at all! I swapped it for a replacement, and it turned out that not only was my altitude motor really rubbish, but both were running really loudly. The new one still has some slight unevenness to the sound of the slewing, but it's much quieter in both directions which is a bonus.
  15. Nope. You need to actually point it at the stars and tell it that they're centred in the scope. I know, nightmare.
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