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Bagnaj97

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About Bagnaj97

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  1. Mono cameras at this level all use similar sensors - either the MT9M034M (QHY5L-II, ASI120m, early GPCAM v1), or the slightly more sensitive AR0130m (later GPCAM v1, GPCAM v2, touptek). In all honesty I'd just get whatever's cheapest! There's a heatsink+fan cooler available for the GPCAMv1/touptek camera - https://www.altairastro.com/Altair-GPCAM-USB-Cooler-Module.html I've got a MT9M gpcam v1 mono for guiding, but I did some unguided LRGB experimenting with it one evening just to try it out - the results won't win any awards, and it was my first time attempting mono imaging, but there's definitely potential for more than just guiding! and I've just realised how old this thread is, but I'll leave this post here in case it helps someone!
  2. If it gets picked up by customs it would be 20%VAT, but there's no import duty on cameras. I've ordered loads from abroad and it's all got through, although this was the first high value item.
  3. Heatsink and fan for cooling though, rather than a TEC with set-point cooling. Given the design of it I'd hazard a guess it's the same OEM as the Altair Hypercam series - Given that the touptek cameras sold by FLO are the same as the Altair GPCAM cameras, I wouldn't be at all surprised if this is actually the same camera as the Hypercam 1600. It says ascom drivers are available, and I can't find the Hypercam 1600 anywhere - who's brave enough to get one of these? As for the deal I got, it's not available any more - the cheapest QHY163m on aliexpress currently (the same seller I bought from) is now ~£905 after a 7% discount for using the mobile app, and as a new user you get a $50 off a >$750 purchase, giving an approx total of £865 (and potentially VAT if customs pick it up - I got lucky). It's still a decent amount cheaper than getting one from a UK dealer, but given that you'd have to wait a couple of weeks for shipping from China, the possibility of VAT on top, and possibly an iffy warranty (at the very least having to ship back to China) if it's faulty, it's no longer quite so tempting.
  4. Yes, I'm pretty sure those corners won't entirely calibrate out, but I reckon I can live with it. I mostly posted this to help anyone else thinking of using the QHY163m with 1.25" filters as information wasn't easy to find. My FoV (480mm FL f/6) should be enough to comfortably crop the image for most targets to avoid the worst of the vignetting, and anything big enough to not be croppable is probably big enough to require a mosaic in the first place. It also looks like QHY have developed an adapter to lower the backfocus slightly, I just need to find one - https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/563069-qhy163-qhycfw2-lens-adapter-solution/ I picked the QHY163m up from a seller on Aliexpress during their 7th anniversary sale - coupled with coupons as a new user and a discount for buying through their mobile app it came to £730 delivered. I couldn't say no at that price, despite suspecting I may have vignetting issues! I've just got to hope it doesn't go wrong or I'll have to send it back to China.
  5. I bought a ZWO filter wheel and baader 1.25" filters with a view to getting an ASI1600mm-cool. I was a little apprehensive about the QHY equivalent because there was no information about vignetting with 1.25" filters, but a deal appeared that I couldn't pass up, so I've ended up with a QHY163m rather than the ZWO equivalent. I'll hopefully get some dark and bias testing done this weekend, but the forecast isn't looking great for getting lights. If anyone else is wondering about vignetting with the QHY163m and 1.25" filters, here's a quick flat test - the corners are quite severe, but until I get lights I don't know to what extent they'll calibrate out.
  6. Definitely don't get a 3000 series Nikon if you plan to control the camera from a PC - Nikon's SDK, and therefore all the software (BackyardNikon etc), only supports the 5000 series and above. You can still do >30 sec exposures using an intervalometer though. Canon's DSLRs are much better supported and therefore much more widely used for astrophotography. As has already been said, you can get astro modified cameras (to make them more sensitive to nebulae) from cheapastrophotography. The Astro modified ones are purely for astro use, the more expensive Baader modified ones are suitable for regular use as well as astro.
  7. That's probably a better way of doing it, the way I've done it all the weight is on one end of the AZ3 bar/bracket. I think I'll put some sort of spacer on the other end so the dovetail and OTA weight is supported evenly even though it's only clamped in place at one end.
  8. I wanted to mount my Skymax 127 on an AZ3, but the AZ3 doesn't have a dovetail clamp- I ordered one of these without looking at the measurements, with a view to bodging it on somehow. I got lucky and it turns out the spacing is identical between the holes on the clamp and the holes on the AZ3. I tapped the AZ3 holes to M8 and the dovetail clamp bolted straight on, but you could use smaller bolts with a nut on t'other side. Hopefully this will help if anyone else is in a similar situation.
  9. I would guess the market for colour sensors is much bigger giving economies of scale.
  10. Finally had a chance to play around with the data in PixInsight, I still don't have much of an idea what I'm doing in it, but I think I've improved things. The colour balance is certainly better.
  11. Widefield imaging is certainly possible with just a DSLR on a tripod. The general rule of thumb to avoid star trails is to keep the exposure length under 500/focal length, but that's for full frame rather than crop sensors, so it's more like 300/focal length with your camera (1.6x crop factor for Nikon). e.g. if you're using the kit 18-55 lens at the wide end (18mm focal length), 300/18 = 16.666 so try and keep your exposure under 16 seconds. At the long end (55mm) 300/55 = 5.45, so try and keep your exposure under 5.5 seconds or so. Of course it's just a guideline and you may find that, depending on your lens, sensor and tolerance for trailing, you can take longer exposures. A fast lens is better and generally you'll want to shoot wide open. This was taken with my D3300, 10 second exposure, f/1.8, ISO1600 using a Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 lens at 23mm:
  12. A lot say 40 days, but I've often had things from aliexpress or chinese/HK ebay sellers in a week or so - that's the risk!
  13. ~£20 if you don't mind waiting for shipping from China. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/S7959-new-medium-dovetail-telescope-accessories/1971053752.html https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Grus-s7933-dovetail-vixen-type-telescope-accessories/1971183711.html https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Grus-s-series-of-small-dovetail-sets-s7922-s7923-telescope-accessories/1971152991.html https://www.aliexpress.com/item/S7947-Vixen-Clamp-with-2-Brass-screws/1949864838.html <-- this one looks a bit sturdier but is £30. aliexpress is also a reasonably cheap source of dovetails, side-by-side clamps, tube rings etc. You just have to wait for shipping from China.
  14. I recently bought a Skywatcher 80ED and I added an Altair Astro 0.8x reducer/flattener because it's almost £100 cheaper than the Skywatcher 0.85x. This is the proper first light (I had a quick visual peek between clouds with no flattener) and I'm pretty pleased with it. I was slightly concerned about flexure, not because of my 3d printed tube rings (they're very solid!), but because of the 3d printed extension tube for the guide cam to reach focus. This is just a quick stack and levels in DSS at the end of the imaging session and the colour balance is a bit red, I'll process it in PI later. 18x600s lights (ISO200), 20x flats, 30x bias Scope: Skywatcher 80ED DS-Pro Mount: Celestron AVX Camera: Canon 450d (modded) Guiding: ST80, Altair GPCAM, PHD2 The subs have all got this line down them, which I've never seen previously. Any ideas what could cause it? I hope it doesn't mean the sensor is on its way out...
  15. It was reasonable along with a complete AZ3, a couple of Revelation/GSO barlows and a t-extension! From the pics and description it sounded as though the bottom had fallen out but the rest was intact, and the foam inner was all complete. It may not be pretty, but I reckon I'll be able to bodge it back into usefulness.