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Everything posted by trekker308

  1. Ant Good luck for tomorrow night! The latest Metcheck cloud forecast looks vaguely promising for Dorset ....... (Tempting fate putting it into print though!)
  2. Mike As another newbie I am distinctly un-qualified to give you advice, but I'm going to anyway:- Woolly hat, or other ridiculous headwear is a MUST (think of it as the astronomy equivalent of those nutters wearing Lycra you see cycling....) Seriously:- I wouldn't consider forking out for the GOTO add-ons yet, believe me, within a couple of weeks you will have a list of 'want-to-haves' as long as your arm! Get to grips with the mount first (it takes a while) Get to know a small part of the sky - say, the Orion constellation region .... After a while you will be able to transfer co-ordinates of the more obvious objects taken from a sky map to the 'scope and that will allow you to find other objects, and so on ........ Don't rush all this - yes, you will be lost and confused quite often - but hey, there's a lot of help to be had from this forum! ...... but above all - ENJOY!!! P.S. You never know - you might be collimating your own 'scope before Caz gets round to doing hers! :laugh:
  3. Rob You've set a high hurdle for me 'cos either Saturn or Jupiter is next on my list of objects to have a go at .... Well done mate! :cheers:
  4. ... and a heartfelt Aye to that!
  5. Before I got the DSLR, I had a Sony compact digital and shot this of the full moon on the night of 21/22 June 2005. Turned out better than expected! I'll leave you guys to do the various identifications ......
  6. could be my fault:- Jobless, so I can do all the late nights I want, and what 'appens?? The weather turns to total, absolute sh**e for the forseeable future ....
  7. Ant Aaahh - Dorset pubs - Yes I live on the Hampshire/Dorset border(about 200 metres away), and as I understand it one can fall amongst thieves in them! Not that I ever go in them of course ......... :laugh: You probably pass by my door at Ringwood as you travel back to Rayleigh though!
  8. Stunning one Rog! An image to inspire us newbies.
  9. Nice picture Ant! ..... and what was a Rayleigh lad doing in Dorset I wonder?? :scratch: - it's a long way from your home down in this neck of the woods!
  10. MartinB That would be much appreciated - I think that there are quite a few of us newbies who are looking to go the Toucam route to get into webcam imaging, and a primer which highlighted the 'dos' and 'don'ts' could save a lot of heartache!
  11. Thanks guys for all the info, it's all being noted! In fact, is there any chance of a primer being collated and put in the Learning Zone??
  12. And another boyhood memory bites the dust ..... Shame, but let's look forward to the new version!
  13. I think I should give due credit to the Orion 'scope here! For various reasons I'm not yet kitted out to take any shots with the MN78 (like not being able to achieve focus!), so I put the Orion out to cool while Damien was putting on his Astrocam show :salute: just to see what it could do - and I think I did it a dis-service there 'cos the result pleased me no end! After I had finished taking the shots I put in a 19mm Panoptic to do some visual observing along the terminator and if it wasn't for the fact that I was desperate for a JD to get warm, I could have happily spent another hour there! The prime reason for getting the Mak-Cass was its portability, but it's managing to delight every session I use it (Orion - send fivers in an envelope please!) :laugh: P.S. Astronomy:- I know next to nothing - photography:- I know a little more - I found it helped to go for underexposure so that the craters didn't burn out and let the tweaking in Photoshop bring it back .....
  14. Very much appreciated Damien! I took the laptop outside where I was setting up and it enthralled a couple of passers-by (and me!). ....... and many thanks to James as well - what next? Full blown webcast with James doing a sound commentary??? thanks again to both
  15. Grant Great idea - a big yes to that idea! Err - would your own log be downloadable to your PC??
  16. Whoops! It's me as**ng about! I just tweaked the sharpness and managed to delete the image ... DUHHH!
  17. Well, I had to take my first leap into imaging, and here's a small version of the result:- The little burgundy monster (Orion Mak-Cass) was used with my D200 straight onto the visual adaptor ....
  18. A very warm welcome Mike! Yet another forum member from Hampshire ..... Hope you have fun here, and have even more fun deciding how to spend that bonus money I'm not sure at all about the 'reasonably normal' bit though ........ :scratch:
  19. I'll look forward to that Damien - I missed the last one........ I was going to be taking some piccies of the terminator myself tonight, but I'll use the Astrocam time as a cooling down period for the 'scope!
  20. Thanks for that Daz! When you're only just starting to get serious about the hobby it's impossible to know the shortcomings of any software! I'm getting to the point where I'm not having too much difficulty finding interesting objects to view just using Starry Night to get the co-ordinates and transferring them to the EQ6 - I don't have/don't want GOTO, as in my ignorance I believe that it's difficult to get any real knowledge of where things are in the sky if you just have to press a button and let the electronics do their bit - (due apologies to Damien here with his awesome collection of Meades ) I've drawn up an Excel spreadsheet with the appropriate formulae to work out mag and TFOVs for any eyepiece I have or buy in the future, and that serves me just fine - I can get the angular size of any object from Starry Night so that side of things is reasonably well sorted now. As I'm on the verge of doing some imaging I thought it was about time I started to properly record observation sessions, but a lot of the logs I've come across are targeted at folk with very specific interests - variables, Messier, doubles etc., and it's way too early for me to get that specialised! I've been thinking to design my own log using MS Access, but again it's difficult to know what parameters you should cover if you ain't got the experience yet - and as for logging the imaging side, I wouldn't have clue - yet! Thanks again mate for the reply - I'm still tempted to play with doing my own though ......
  21. CC - I'll be back later on - I'm just going out to do a couple of daylight moon shots to get the gear sorted! I believe the D200 does have the facility for dark subtraction noise reduction, but I'm leaving that for Lesson No. 2!
  22. Nice one - a complete primer in one response! Thanks very much CC - I'll have a dabble with the easiest target first - the Moon, and I don't expect too many problems there - single exposure and I can rescue any exposure/contrast problems in Capture and/or Photoshop, but obviously nebulae and star clusters etc. are going to be a different kettle of fish! One of the problems is my unfamiliarity with the software:- Registax is loaded on the PC but I haven't even played with it yet(!), and Photoshop CS2 is still fairly new to me - I was a Paint Shop Pro fan, but I have bought a book on 'CS2 for Photographers' and if you ignore the cheesy USA writing style, it's pretty good (think I'm on page 32!). You're right, I've really got to get out there and do it - starting tonight ...... BTW - I reckon that your response deserves a place in the Learning Zone - it's a gem!! Cheers!
  23. CC Dumb stuff really mate:- 1) Do you leave the Nikon on Auto exposure, Manual, B or what..? 2) Do you set any exposure compensation in-camera or sort it all out in the processing stage? I apologise for the inane questions - I've been using SLRs for about 30 years but NOT for astro stuff! How are you getting on sorting out the HEQ5?? Cheers! 8)
  24. Cracking one James! Would you mind telling a newbie who is going to have his first attempt at using a DSLR with my Mak-Cass tonight what in-camera exposure compensation you applied (or not)??
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