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About Domain105

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    Birmingham UK
  1. Hi all, I've finally managed to get my hands on a Star Adventurer Pro to allow me something less bulky than my SW 150PDS / EQ5 to take quick shots of the sky. The nights are so short now so I thought I'd try a very crude imaging attempt primarily to see how precise I needed to be with Polar Alignment. To be honest I was very surprised at what I achieved. I have a fair idea which way north is from my house so I set the SA to roughly 51N and then pointed the SA to where I thought North was from inside my office. I just sat it on my window sill - no tripod or anything! Without the SA I was getting approx. 7 seconds exposures with a Canon 450D and a Canon 50mm 1.8 and then I could see trailing so I thought with my very crude Polar alignment without actually being able to see the North I might be able to push exposures to about 15 or 20 seconds. Lets say I was surprised with the results! I was able to get nice round stars even with exposures lasting 150 seconds. Just to show you, I've attached a pic of Lyra through my windows with the following details: 5 x 120 second lights @ 50mm F3.5 (Bortle 8 - Inner City Birmingham) 5 x Darks 10 x bias Stacked in DSS and a very quick run through Photoshop levels and curves. All in all around 5 minutes of processing. As far as a test goes, I am very pleased with the SA. I always thought even for wide field I needed my PA to be somewhat close but to align with no view of the sky to the north it was a relaxation. I also imaged at around 23:00 (from the UK) so the sky was not dark yet.
  2. Hi, I managed to get a right angled eye piece from ebay for around £10. It was not designed for a polar scope but had a square end of a camera view finder so I just glued a piece of a plastic pipe on the end so it fits over the polar scope eyepiece and it works a treat. I just though the cost of an actual polar scope right angle view finder was very expensive especially as the same thing with a square connector was only around £10. I'm on a tight budget so make do with what I can. Also the view finder has a x2 slider options so makes life that bit easier. Hope this helps. Regards
  3. Hello, I also had this issue a few years ago. epoxy resin did the trick for a while but it was always a bit delicate. I finally reached out to FLO and asked if they had the lever available. FLO as always were more than happy to help. I can't remember what it cost but it was pretty much, just pay for the postage and you can have it for free I think. Give FLO a shout and see if they can help. Good luck! Regards
  4. +1 about the field of view. I had the camera horizontal and missed out on the running man Lessons learned for next time!
  5. Hi Peter, You're absolutely right now I look at it. It is too on the blue side. I'll reduce the blue as per your suggestion. Thanks for the pointer. Didn't notice at first but now I do. Regards
  6. Hi, I've just seen your image too and its impressive especially with out guiding. Once you get your guiding sorted out, you will be unstoppable! My unguided attempts were diabolical so I didn't even post them here and by the looks of it you are getting good results now and image how much better you will get when guiding. Its a slippery slope this AP lark. I only started off just seeing what I could image using a camera on a flimsy tripod and its been non stop ever since. Make sure you post pics once you have sorted out your guiding
  7. Hi all, I thought I'd give M42 a try last night as it's something I've never imaged properly before. It was a clear night but the Birmingham light pollution was pretty awful and the moon was so close and bright. To make matters worse, I only had a short while between it appearing from behind the trees and disappearing behind my house so I managed only 3 x 300 seconds shots and 3 x 50 second shots. Equipment used Skywatcher 150PDS Coma Corrector Astronomik EOS Clip filer Canon 450D Modified 9 x 50 Skywatcher guide scope QHY5 as my guide cam EQMod, Stellarium, BYEOS and PHD2 to control Image details 3 x 300 lights & 3 x 50 seconds for the core 4 x 300 darks 10 x bias 10 x flats Stacked using DSS and Photoshop to layer and curves The core is still blown out as I should have captured shorter subs Any advice etc will be most welcome as my only other two targets ever have been M31 and M45.
  8. That is a fantastic effort. You've managed to get the dust lanes very nicely and the faint outer regions too!
  9. Hi all, I've managed to modify the arduino code so the focuser compensates for motor backlash when changing direction. For me, there was a 7 step backlash in both directions so I modified the code in the following way... 1. On each T command to move to a new target position, the code checks to see what the direction of travel is. 2. If there is a change in direction, it adds the backlash ASCOM steps to the movement 3. Finally is stores the current direction in a variable (not the EEPROM) so next time the T command is issued it knows what the last direction of travel was. The modified bits of the code are: // User-configurable values #define BACK_LASH 4 // Blacklash value - Extra ASCOM movement steps to take when changing direction //Global variables int lastdir = 0; // The direction of thr last move command 0 = clockwise 1 = anticlockwise int currentdir; // The current direction of travel 0 = clockwise 1 = anticlockwise if (targetPosition > currentPosition) { Serial.print("Higher"); currentdir = 0; } else { Serial.print("Lower"); currentdir = 1; } if (lastdir != currentdir) //Check to see if the new command has changed direction { if (currentdir != 1) //If current direction is Clockwise { for (int blc = 0; blc < BACK_LASH; blc++) //Move Clockwise the number of ASCOM steps define in BACK_LAST { for (int ic = 0; ic < MOTOR_STEPS_PER_DRIVER_STEP; ic++) { clockwise(); } } } if (currentdir != 0) //If current direction is Anti Clockwise { for (int blac = 0; blac < BACK_LASH; blac++) //Move AntiClockwise the number of ASCOM steps define in BACK_LAST { for (int iac = 0; iac < MOTOR_STEPS_PER_DRIVER_STEP; iac++) { anticlockwise(); } } } } lastdir = currentdir; // Save the current direction as the last direction moved ready for next command I've attached the full Arduino code file too. I think I set the backlash value in the file to 4 but you can change it to what ever suits your needs. It seems to work perfectly for me so I'm hoping it can help others too. Thanks to tekkydave for his pointer on how to do this. Regards AAF2.2.ino
  10. Hi, Thanks for the pointer. I'm glad you suggest the arduino code rather than the ASCOM driver as I feel more confident with Arduino code. I'll give it a try and see how it works out! Thanks again for the prompt reply Regards
  11. Hi all, I finally got round to building the focuser and I am pleased to say it works wonderfully. The hardest part was getting it attached to my SkyWatcher 150PDS. I did not want to drill any holes into it or glue anything so I just made life more difficulty for myself! In the end I got a 3mm thick sheet of black acrylic so it was reasonably strong and cut a shape that allowed it to attach to the two big screws at the bottom of the focus assembly. I then used a heat gun to put a bend in to it so it would hold the new focuser with enough tension to turn the focus knob. The next issue I had was that the belt kept slipping and I didn't want to take off the Skywatcher focus knob so I got some heat shrinking rubber tube and cut it so it would just cover the knob and heated it so it just wraps it self around the knob but the belt still kept slipping. In the end I purchased some grip tape and put that over the heat shrink tubing and now it works well with no slippage!! I can now happily control it using BYEOS which is my primary imaging tool. The one question I do have is that there is a 7 step backlash in each direction so I manually compensate for it but I would like to go for a autofocus solution such a Sequence Generator Pro so my ask is... Is there any pointers on how I can update the arduino code or the ASCOM driver to add this in so I can enter a backlash value to auto compensate when I change focus direction? I'm not that great with programming but have written using VB/VBscript and Powershell for work. Any pointer on where to start would be really appreciated. I was thinking along the lines of holding the last direction in a variable and for each move command, it compares the held value with the new direction command and if there is a change, it adds 7 to the move value? Finally a massive thankyou to all those who have contributed to the thread and especially to tekkydave for all the hard work and effort he has put into this project and kindly shared with the rest of us. Regards
  12. Hi, I'm hoping to get longer subs but I was worried about my histogram as it was already approaching 40% as it was. I think I may need to upgrade my LP filter from the Skywatcher one to maybe an Astronomik UHC or CLS. This hobby really get you spending £££! As for the glints, as I use a Reflector telescope for my imaging the 4 vanes holding the secondary mirror are producing the glints. There is no real way to get around this so I've come to like them. Also, thanks to all for the kind words on the image. I still have along way to go but I'm enjoying the journey! Regards
  13. Hi all, I finally managed to use this fantastic software earlier this week and it was brilliant. The longest it took as 40 seconds to resolve. Comparing that to how I used to try find my objects is a no brainer. A big thank you to the author of the software for such a fantastic tool! The tutorial helped immensely too. I tried resolving some subs I had captured previously before I tried it on the night so everything went perfectly! Regards
  14. Hello all, At what seemed like an age, finally there was a clear night so I decided to have at a go at M45. I only had limited time before it dissapeared behind my house. My set up is: Skywatcher 150PDS EQ5 Pro Mount Canon 550D with a Skywatcher coma corrector and light pollution filter PHD2 using a QHY5 cam and 9x50 Skywatcher finder (Dithering enabled) Image data: 12 x 200 second lights ISO 800 12 x 200 second darks 15 x Flats 15 x Bias I'm still finding my way around and most of what I do is trial and error so I would be very grateful for any advice etc. I did post some M31 shots earlier so I thought M45 would be a good next target. Just to add, the images where taken from Birmingham UK under very light polluted skies. I was hoping to get more nebulosity with 200 second subs but I think I may have to go longer next time as what I got out from the image was hard work!! Next on my list is a Modded Canon EOS before I have a go at M42.
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