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About SteveNickolls

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    Sub Dwarf

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    Nottingham UK

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  1. The "No EQ" DSO Challenge!

    That's a great looking image you have there-well done indeed. I don't use the software you do in processing. In StarTools there is a module called LENS to help remove coma and also the module called REPAIR. Cheers, Steve
  2. Second hand camera lenses

    Hi Alistair, I can heartily recommend the Samyang 135mm f/2.0 ED UMC if you can get hold of one. It's reviewed here-http://www.lenstip.com/442.11-Lens_review-Samyang_135_mm_f_2.0_ED_UMC_Summary.html You can get new for somewhere over £300 from many retailers. Cheers, Steve
  3. No, but at 135mm the Samyang f/2.0 ED UMC is a great lens at f/2 with a cropped frame DSLR-http://www.lenstip.com/442.11-Lens_review-Samyang_135_mm_f_2.0_ED_UMC_Summary.html. It would be an excellent lens to use with the new SW AZ-GTi wi-fi model provided the mount can allow 30-60 second exposures or better (as can my existing Synscan Alt-Az model) since when compared to imaging at f/5.6 with f/2 you are hoovering up x8 more photons and can be almost as effective as 4-8 minute sub exposures. The new mount would be a great low cost, portable introduction to imaging with go-to and wireless remote control. Cheers, Steve
  4. Petition against Sony's Star Eater

    I too have just signed the petition hoping it will help those with the affected cameras and make Sony DSLR's an option for astro-imaging in the future. Cheers, Steve
  5. But it would be very encouraging if some enterprising soul did have a stab at imaging DSO's with it. An Alt-Az mount, 30-60 seconds exposures coupled with a fast f/2 lens could pull off wonders... Cheers, Steve
  6. Hmm, after a bit of digging I'm intrigued wondering how much this advances from the Star Discovery AZ Go-To apart from the wi-fi capability. Against the older Synscan AZ Go-To the available data on motor resolution is better along with Freedom-Find ability and the wi-fi. Will the older Synscan mount be heading for the technological rest home? Regards, Steve
  7. Ball head

    Hi, I have a Pergear TH3 and the Andoer, both support the SA and my barn door tracker fine. Both are rated for up to a 8kg load (as is the Beike). You ought to be ok with any of them. Cheers, Steve
  8. The Surprisingly Unknown

    August 6th 1933-http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/2009JBAA..119...67M 10 hours 16 minutes and 17 seconds. Not bad for an old theatrical performer. Cheers, Steve
  9. Aww, just when I didn't want to spend any more of the children's piggy bank money they bring this out... :-) No, only joking-a fine looking piece of kit you could place on a pillar for using a Star Adventurer. Cheers, Steve
  10. SkyWatcher Star Adventurer

    Hi happy-kat, going on the images on the FLO site they look somewhat similar with the adjustable Alt and Az knob controls although the Celestron has a thicker connection area with a rotatable 1/4" screw mechanism that fits directly into the bottom of the SA mount. It looks like the Skywatcher needs a camera adapter plate accessory-https://www.firstlightoptics.com/alt-azimuth/skywatcher-az3-alt-az-mount.html to do the same. I really tried the Celestron tripod as I wasn't satisfied with the wedge and I had it spare lying around. I'm really glad I did as it makes polar alignment so much easier for me compared to the Wedge controls that I personally found fiddly, stiff and coarse to operate. Incidentally I've found the Celestron tripod robust and it holds the mount+camera+lens with no problems and importantly no wobbling. Presently I'm using the SA as shown in the previous image (not got to using the L bracket or counterweight yet) and I have not had any issue with polar alignment being affected when adding the camera and lens or adjusting the ball joint to point to a target so the tripod is solid. I actually add a 3kg weight onto the eyepiece tray to add rigidity to the set up. Cheers, Steve
  11. SkyWatcher Star Adventurer

    Hi, For me the old Celestron tripod was, 'free' but you can get one from FLO-https://www.firstlightoptics.com/celestron-mounts/celestron-heavy-duty-alt-azimuth-mount.html for £79. The ball head was around £18 off Amazon and is a strong one capable of holding 8kg. The right angled polar accessory from memory was around £60 (can't recall the seller) but for me it was essential to allow me to align without stooping or twisting my back and neck. There are guides on the Internet to make your own if you want to use one plus expensive ready made items at any price you can afford to pay :-) Best regards, Steve
  12. SkyWatcher Star Adventurer

    Hi, The SA comes with a polar scope already, you will need an app or other means to place Polaris on the polar scope reticule. I don't use the wedge for the SA but use an old Celestron Alt-Az mount I have as I find I can more easily adjust when polar aligning. Cheers, Steve
  13. Star Adventurer first light

    Hi Horwig, and thanks for posting. The SA is good isn't it? Interested to learn you considered the wedge adjustment screw coarse, I found it also extremely stiff to operate so now I have removed the wedge from the set up and use the SA directly fitted to a Celestron heavy duty Alt-Az tripod instead. Incidentally the SA fits onto the overkill CG-5 tripod with 2" ss legs :-) The adjustment controls of the Alt-Az mount make polar aligning very quick, accurate and easy to perform. Interested to hear your success with your camera and lens combination achieving 5 minutes exposures at 200mm, well done. So far I've worked up to 135mm, I've a new Samyang 135mm f/2 lens that I've found excellent. On trials using BYEOS I've found stars exhibit no discernible movement over 7.5 minutes at 200mm; that's just using a ball head to connect camera to mount. I also use a red dot finder attached to the camera hot shoe to help with aiming. I've found the Android app meant for the SkyWatcher SA Mini provides the clearest polar alignment software (nothing else works on the SA), and it's free to download. Good luck with your continuing adventures. Cheers, Steve
  14. Viewing From the Attic

    Hi, So you are looking to emulate Curly Watts' attic observatory on Coronation Street? You will have very restricted views and suffer badly the effects of heat and turbulence from the house and roof. As for choice of Velux-no idea sorry. Do let us know how you get on. Cheers, Steve