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Everything posted by JimS

  1. Hi all, Starting to try my hand at deep sky imaging over the last couple of months and I seem to be running into a consistent problem. I appear to be getting multiple images within a single exposure. I doesnt look like a poor polar alignment as the error is random, it's almost like the mount has jumped part way through the exposure. I have a CGEM with a 8" SCT 2000mm focal length and Canon 450D at prime focus with a F6.3 focal reducer. As of yet I am not tracking, just polar aligning using the CGEM polar align routine. Here are some two minute exposures of the Dumbbell I took last night. None are processed, just the original images converted to JPEG to attach here. There are three images and also close ups of the artifacts i am seeing. There was absolutely no wind last night and I used the mirror lock up feature on the camera to reduce to a minimum any vibration. Coould this be an issue with the CGEM itself ie does it need a strip down to remove any manufacturing debris from within the gears? Cheers for any help Jim
  2. Made another attempt at processing the images from the other night. Think I have improved the end result.....
  3. I didn't really have time to set up my laptop and use live view on the big screen so I got close to focus using the viewfinder and then fine tuned by taking a few test images at 10 second exposures. Tweaked the focus until I got the best I could manage. On a longer session I would use live view on the laptop and use a bright star to focus on at 10x zoom. Also I imagine getting a darker sky site would help but difficult during the week....! Cheers for feedback all!
  4. Hey all! With the clouds finally parting and giving us a clear sky I was able to take out my CGEM and Canon 450D for the first time. Got the CGEM set up and balanced nice and easy. Initial alignment and polar alignment went well and the mount have initially been very easy to get to grips with, although I didnt have an extended session last night as I started my new job today...! Anyway, had a look at the Ring Nebula and Great Globular Cluster in Hercules from light polluted Bradley Stoke and then moved on to attempt an image capture of M13 at Prime Focus using my Canon 450D. Here is my first DSO imaging effort: 5 x 60 seconds lights @ ISO 800 1 x 60 seconds dark @ ISO 800 Images stacked in Deep Sky Stacker Curves processed in GIMP Very happy with my first basic attempt. With more time I would like to attempt more exposures. Any advice very welcome.
  5. Potentially interested! Actually stayed at Halse Farm back in May as a test weekend for diving into the car at short notice for a camping / astronomy weekend. The site is pleasant, and the toilet block is nice and clean, if not the largest in the world. And yes it did have a big bright light blasting out all night unfortunately. The owners were friendly and the local village very pretty.
  6. Woohoo! Picked up the CGEM this morning from the local FedEx depot! All unpacked and assembled, and I have changed out the supplied saddle with the ADM dual saddle, so that my 8" SCt from the 8SE set up could be mounted. Also had a play around with NexRemote and Stellarium and got the both working thanks to the USB - RS232 adapter that arrived today - good timing! It is a monster of a mount! Was hoping to be able to store it in a 570 x 370 x 415 box storage case I have but it looks like it is the tiniest bit too big....! Might get lucky though. Only eyeballed it so far. Hope the skies clear soon and I can try it for real!
  7. Ordered a load from efoam - i would certainly recommend them.
  8. Cheers for the advice guys. Read a lot of postives for both mounts EQ6 and the CGEM. Was leaning towards the CGEM generally, and got to admit I also like it as it will look fantastic with my 8SE OTA coupled with it. The clincher was FLO offering a discount last night on the CGEM so I have snapped that up! Very much looking forward to my heavy boxes arriving. Apologies for adding an extra couple of weeks of cloud on top of the appalling forecast we already have.....!
  9. Hey all, I am fortunate enough to be moving jobs towards the end of the month with a tidy pay rise and hopefully a chunky pay off from old employers due to unused annual leave. With this in mind I am considering splashing out on the Celestron CGEM mount, to upgrade my Nexstar 8SE to an equatorial mount, as I really want to get into DSO Astrophotography. Already checked with FLO with regards the mount adapter to fix my OTA to the CGEM but wanted to ask peoples opinion of the CGEM mount generally. Good option?
  10. JimS


    Really can't afford to buy the full version of photoshop, so I have downloaded a copy of GIMP. First impression is that it seems very good. Is there anything major that I would be missing out on using GIMP as opposed to Photoshop? Are the photoshop tutorials still reasonably applicable to GIMP? Cheers all.
  11. New DSLR (well 2nd hand but new to me!)..... New HD Webcam.... F6.3 focal reducer..... SCT focusser knob cunningly upgraded with a rubber lego wheel..... Nexstar power socket upgraded with locking socket components..... And not one chance to use them for days and days......
  12. Decided to ditch my Canon 350D and upgrade. Managed to get my mitts on a Canon 450D and a Battery Grip for £185 from eBay, so I am pretty happy with that. Turned up in the post today, and had a little play with Live View. Looks very useful, especially with the ability to use the laptop as well. Now just have to wait for the rain to finally stop! Want a clear night so I can try an extra long star trails image with the help of the grip! Hopefully live view (and the use of a lego rubber wheel fitted to the focusser knob) will aid my attempts at prime focus photography as well!!
  13. i tend to play around with the settings. This was in my back garden with loads of street light pollution so went with the 400.
  14. Improving attempts at producing a nice startrails image. Took this from my back garden in Bristol. Around two hours worth of 30 second exposures taken with my Canon 350D at ISO400 mounted on a cheap jessops tripod. Used startrails.exe to produce the end image.
  15. Just starting to get back into imaging again. I was without a scope for quite a while due to circumstances but bought a new nexstar 8se a few months back and getting back into the swing of things! Just bought a HD webcam for planetary and also a canon 450D for some piggyback and prime focus imaging. Will let you know how I get on....! Stuck with the driven alt-azi mount for the moment but would like to upgrade to a CGEM when I can afford it.
  16. Hi all, Imaging taken back in 2005 / 06. Using ToUCam, 114 Newtonian and registax to stack videos. Enjoy. Jim
  17. Hello all, As mentioned in my welcome post, here are some of my older photos. These images were taken between 2005 and 2006. Used a ToUCam and a Celestron 114 Newtonian to take a series of videos, all stacked in registax and then stitched together. Mosaics consist of between 5 and 12 images stitched together. Hope you enjoy. Jim
  18. JimS

    Hello from Bristol

    Hello all, Just wanted to introduce myself. Living in lovely light polluted bristol! Started taking things a little more seriously in the last few months as my salary now allows me to buy more toys! So treated myself to a Nexstar 8SE a few months ago. Loving it! Getting back into imaging after a hiatus of a few years after I had to get rid of my old 4.5" newtonian after a change in circumstances..... Will post some of my old webcam related imaging from back in 2004 / 2005. When I get some more recent imaging i'll pop that up as well. Will be a long learning curve again but thats half the fun! Jim
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