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Everything posted by Delboy_Hog

  1. Hello folks, I was wondering if you could help with diagnosing an issue that's cropped up when I've stacked some frames in DSS. I've done no processing other than stacking, but some fairly awful splodges have appeared, particularly in the top half of the image - it looks like someone's sneezed on it! If it helps, this image was taken with a Canon 1100d through an ED80 telescope. I haven't used the camera for a little while, my other half has been using it for work, and I know she changes the lens quite regularly. I'm guessing these splodges must be on the camera's sensor? If so, is there anything I can do to fix this so it doesn't appear on future images? I've been eyeing a new camera recently (expect another thread on here soon!) but had still anticipated using this one for widefields etc - please tell me there's something I can do?! Many thanks for any help you can offer, Derek
  2. Wow Bagnaj, that's impressive! Spending a bit of time this weekend looking over all the options and making the decision about how to power my set up. It looks like we might start to see some breaks in this awful cloud we've been having after the weekend, so I want to make sure I'm in a position to make the most of it! Thanks again for sharing all of your thoughts, advice and experiences!
  3. Thanks Stu, that's helpful to know. It certainly seems like the most straightforward option... I might opt for a Tracer to get me sorted straight away, and work on customising my own set up over the coming weeks / months for when my power needs grow! There's a few little astro-kit projects I'm thinking about, and they all require a certain degree of up-skilling on my part, so I'm quite looking forward to it all!
  4. I see that Stu, definitely. Part of my love for this crazy hobby is the peace and quiet, so it would have to be pretty quiet for me I think, if I was to go down this route. How has the Tracer been for you so far?
  5. Thanks for the tips in your message My father-in-law is a bit of handy man and I've seen him soldering things before - I think he'd probably quite enjoy the challenge of helping me to figure it all out, and as you say, I love that satisfaction of having worked on something yourself. Perhaps my (slightly late) new years' resolution should be to get stuck into this little project!
  6. That's a good question - it's pretty rare that there's anyone else around where I go out on a night, but if it's relatively quiet so that no-one can accuse me of disturbing the peace when I've got it fired up and running, then this would certainly be a good option. Thanks for setting out the sums so clearly Waldemar, that's really helpful, especially taking the laptop / camera etc into consideration as well. So on that basis, I'd need to go a bit bigger than I was probably thinking, to be on the safe side. That's genius! I've lost count of the times where I've drained my thermos flask of coffee within a couple of hours and then wish I had a bit more on me to keep me awake for the journey home! Not at the moment BRUN, don't have the skills, knowledge or equipment to do it (safely!), though I might be tempted to do a bit of research, as it sounds like a really good way of customising to get exactly what would be useful. Thanks CJ, helpful to see it in context. I think I'd probably be ok with the weight, and the amount of power you get for the price is excellent compared to some of the Tracers etc that are available. Hmmm, options options...
  7. Thanks Dave. That mod you made to the Tracer sounds really handy! Thanks Ken. I hadn't thought about that as an option - off to do a bit of researching to see what I can find out!
  8. Hi Folks, I was hoping to get your views on a suitable power solution for when I pack my kit up and take it all out away from home. I’ve been working with the little Skywatcher 7Ah power tank for the last few years, and it’s served me very well indeed. However, I acquired a new mount a little while back, an HEQ5, which seems to take a lot more power than the little old Synscan AZ goto. I’m spending a bit more time travelling to dark sites to escape the local light pollution, and so when I’m under dark skies and the conditions are good, I don’t want to be limited to the couple of hours of power that the little power tank gives me on the HEQ5 when I’ve got the dew straps going too. Ideally I’d like to be able to power both the HEQ5 and the Synscan AZ goto – one for imaging, and the other for observing while the camera is clicking away. That potentially means 2 mounts and 2-3 dew straps on the go too. In the interests of future-proofing, it would be handy if the power supply could keep a laptop going too, in case I decide to invest in a CCD camera. I don’t think the larger 17Ah power tank would quite cut it on a long cold night with all of the kit going, so I guess it’d be between the leisure batteries, where it’s easy to pick up a 50+Ah battery for £50, and the more expensive tracer batteries as sold by First Light Optics. Size / weight wouldn’t be too critical for me, though being portable and safe (when sat in a car / tent) would be. It would also help if it was ‘plug and play’ like the power tank I have now, as wiring and the like makes me a bit nervous!! Does anyone have any views or experiences that would help with making the final decision? Many thanks for any help you can offer. Derek
  9. Nice little set up, thanks for that Iain. And with all of the time and effort you've put into this, it makes a fabulous end result!
  10. Wow, that's lovely Iain, really lovely to see our star in action. Can I ask what kit you're using? The results are most impressive.
  11. Thanks Uplooker, thanks Carole - very much appreciated. Yikes, drilling? It's such a classic combo of scopes you'd have thought someone would have found a way to attach the two without the DIY-ing? Maybe that's just me not being very good at all that kind of thing! I don't actually even have one at the moment - I'll go and pester my next door neighbour to see if I can borrow his! Still, it'll be worth it once it's all sorted! Thanks again! D.
  12. Good evening folks, So I'm just trying to piece together the rings of an ED80 with those of an ST80 guide scope - thought I had all the bits that would be needed to piggyback them, but for the life of me I can't figure out how to attach the two sets of rings together! Am I missing something obvious, or possibly missing an essential piece of kit?! Many thanks, Derek
  13. Ah, ok thanks Michael. Still learning the ropes on the debayering options, but it sounds like that might be one of the settings we need to check! Much appreciated!
  14. Good afternoon all, I'm really hoping you could help me out with a query about the ZWO ASI 224MC camera. I’ve been trying to help a friend out, but we’re stuck. We’ve got it capturing frames, which is great, but the data it’s capturing seems to be in monochrome, rather than in colour, which has us stumped as it’s a one-shot-colour camera. I’m sure there’s a simple setting we’re missing (I’m used to my ancient version of Sharpcap, not this whizzy new Firecapture!) but would be very grateful if anyone has any experience of these (or similar?) cameras that might be able to shed any light on what we're doing wrong on this. Many thanks Derek
  15. Thanks Knight. Focus could definitely be an issue with that lens - and I certainly need to spend a bit more time looking through the subs before stacking. Not taken any flats yet though - I wonder if they might help - if I get them right of course! Got side-tracked over the weekend but will post an image of the problem soon hopefully...
  16. Thank you all for your consideration - with your comments (and some re-visiting of some of the ed80 images on here) I feel quite sure that the ED80 + focal reducer is the sensible, logical choice, that I'll be happy with for a very long time...though I have "stumbled across" (read: repeatedly and intensively googled) enough images and reviews on the WO Star 71 to make me hesitate a little. When I come back to budget I lean towards ED80 over the WO71...I think... Given my budget, I've spent a disproportionate amount of time looking at Taks too, but that's a completely different matter! I was relieved to read Kirkster501's evaluation of the cost - improvement ratio of going Takahashi...it convinced me that is a step (or 2500) too far for me at the moment! Rob - thanks for putting my mind at rest regarding the f4s - I'm happy to leave them for now I think...though Laser_Jock may just have encouraged me to keep them on the "for future consideration" list! Going to finalise my "what I need" costs (I'm conscious that I'm near the top of a huge plunge of spending!) and figure out exactly how far my budget goes, and then probably reconsider 84 times before finally making a decision! Thanks again for all of your help. You guys are awesome.
  17. Thanks all. I have been impressed with what the ED80 has achieved for a long time now, and I have heard that the fast newts can be quite 'fussy'. I might save the newt-route for when I've got a more permanent set up / obsy. Knight, I've been a fan of your work for some time, as you may know. It was your images that inspired me to purchase a cheap Tamron 70-300mm zoom lens (about £70 on amazon) - partly for day-time photography, but mostly for astro. I'm actually really loving the 200 - 300mm focal length, though I've found a weird effect appears when stacking frames with this lens - a kind of luminous circular glow that appears around the centre of the stacked image. (I must post a pic on here later to see if anyone has any suggested reasons / cures!) I am tempted to get a camera lens instead - I notice there are 100-600mm zooms out there for around the same money as a 600mm refractor! Endless possibilities!! I think though (if I can sort out that 70 -300mm Tamron lens anyway) I'm probably after slightly more focal length than these lenses, but something considerably short of the 1500mm the mak127 provides!
  18. Hi all, It's been a while since I posted - swamped with work and trying to save the pennies for the next astro purchase...which I hope will not be far off now, and which is why I need your help! Some time back I purchased an HEQ5, and I'm now looking for a deep-sky imaging scope to accompany (as in 'add to the collection', rather than 'dual mount with') the Mak 127 that I've learnt the ropes with for visual, planetary (spc900 and dmk21) and deep-sky imaging (with a Canon 1100d). My initial thought was an Evostar ED80 DS-Pro as I've seen fabulous reviews and images with the same set up. But I've recently been having second thoughts on account of the speed of those scopes, even with the focal reducer. I've been practising my imaging with an f12 scope, which as you can imagine makes you hungry for something considerably faster. I'd also quite like my next purchase to last me as long as possible before I get the urge to step up again! Which got me to wondering, should I go for a faster scope? Skywatcher do the Equinox 80 Apo Pro for a bit more money, which is slightly faster, or the larger aperture "Quattro f4" Imaging Newtonians (these might be a bit heavy for the heq5 though I might be able to get away with the smaller model), and the William Optics zs71-ed 2013 sold by FLO is faster too. The Skywatcher 130p is faster AND cheaper!? I'd like to get the scope, essential accessories (camera adaptors, focal reducers, coma correctors etc) and have as much change as possible from £1,000 to make some headway into costs for a light pollution filter for the dslr and / or a guiding set up. That said, if it means saving for a few more months to get something better I'd certainly be tempted, and would love to hear your thoughts! What would you recommend? Derek
  19. Hi Graem, I've been dabbling with "long" exposures on an alt-az mount operating at nearly f/12. It's hard work! Good that you have the focal reducer to make life a little easier. I thought I had noticed some variation in the exposure length I could get away with, depending on where in the sky I was looking, but hadn't really come around to thinking about how / why that was! 30 - 50 seconds is about it for me unfortunately. Any longer and the sausages start appearing at the edges of the image and the central object starts smudging. Currently scrimping and saving and hoping to get an heq5 sometime in the new year. It's all good experience though. Gives a good chance to learn the ropes in the meantime, but boy I do look forward to a time when I don't have to scrap 70% of my subs because of trailing! I've not seen anyone pulling 2 - 4 mins off alt-az before, but best of luck to you and look forward to seeing your images! Cheers, Derek
  20. I'd second that. My wife and I planned to walk up to the observatory from the campsite when we were there, but last minute we changed our minds - thankfully - and drove. It would have been a fair hike if we hadn't. I'm not sure of the exact distance, but I'd definitely investigate other means of getting up there...unless you like walking of course! If you do, google maps is a good idea to see how much time you'd need to leave. Anyway, hope you have a great time. It's amazing, we loved it, and can't wait to go back! :-)
  21. Lovely image Matt, really nice. Look forward to seeing more of your images in the future - what are you going to try next?
  22. I've now created another post with the Dropbox links in to the tiff files if anyone does want to have a go at processing any widefields! http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/221886-any-volunteers-to-try-processing-my-widefields/
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