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Everything posted by jackrussell0232

  1. Who knew renovating a house could take so long - and it's still a long way from being finished (maybe I shouldn't have tried to tackle it all myself...) But having finally uncovered some of the boxes containing my kit, and with a bit more free time than normal, I decided to have another go, starting with one of the top targets this time of year. (I am working from home, honestly). I felt like I was learning again from scratch. But at least I've discovered the masked stretch. This image might be over-saturated for some tastes, but what can I say, it's the first time I've managed to
  2. Wow, I know I've not been keeping up with the forum, but what a lot of posts on this topic! Everything from sensitivity, noise, stacking, spacing, flats. I love my atik 460, but still bought an 8300 after this (but in this case an SBIG STF8300M). On paper it's a good bit less sensitive, and noisier, but I don't really notice in the end results. What bugs me is the read-out artifacts if you bin 2x2. I can do this on the 460 with no issues, but brighter stars play horrible tricks on the 8300, like a 2 pixel bloom everywhere. So I'll only use it on shorter scopes. I'm sure I'm not the onl
  3. I'd have to say that if I was looking at a payload of 10-15kg, I'd go for an EQ6-GT (or an EQ6 and belt mod it myself). If I wanted to carry much more, I'm with Olly. Save a bit longer and go for a Mesu. A one-man band is not without its risks in terms of support, but when he shipped a few with a new batch of motors/encoders which turned out to be duff, he drove around the UK himself, fixing or replacing them (I know because mine was one of them). I just wish he'd put an engraved signature on it. Spent many months wrestling with a GM1000, but still have an EQ6 and Mesu in service. Do you
  4. Well, it has been so long since I posted anything........I just had to. Rushed capture, severe lack of processing skill (why is every time like the first time? - try to learn again what you thought you'd grasped when you last did this 3 months ago....) But here's my take on M82. 10x120s Lum, 10x180s R/G/B. 5x900s Ha. Alll bodged together in PI and photoshop. The Ha is really stretched, and it was taken with quite a lot of moon about (any excuse!) But you can see what it is at least. I know I should be doing better, but I'm busy renovating a house (with a nice dark garden - can't wait).
  5. Roy, I've used my Sitech Mesu remotely and found it fine. The level of remote-ness ('remotivity'? [Olly will love that...]) has varied - from 10m away while i sit in my lounge, to 3500 miles, when I've controlled it while I've been away working in California. Occasionally, at first, it did seem to have a mind of its own. Not always parking when asked, and sometimes setting off in the opposite direction to that which I expected. But with the latest version of sitech.exe it seems to be playing. It's in a DIY roll off roof obsy, using a garage door opener to slide the roof, and an IR reflectiv
  6. just lovely, and shows you don't have to get every planned subframe to get a cracking image.
  7. Per, I thought that comment would make you smile. I did look at the focuser and see if it had any play, but it seemed really solid. I tried to adjust the 4 screws, but couldn't set them any tighter without almost locking the drawtube solid. With the spacers I have fitted, the focuser is only extended about 1-2mm. I think the GM1000 model was probably ok, with decent dual-tracking, because the 10 minute subs looked much the same as 10 second ones - but they all had strange shaped stars! I'm hoping to have solved my problems by the time the dark nights return. Ian King has said he will arrang
  8. What's an 'eyepiece'? Sorry, that would be a Frejval question, but couldn't resist. Having said that, this snag was detected with a ccd - I haven't formally star tested it with an eyepiece yet, as I bought it for imaging only really. Seriously though, thanks Harry. You make me wonder if the tube rings supplied are too tight. I loosened the top halves last night to see if it made any difference and the scope didn't slip when I relaxed my grip on the heavy end, so the bottom sections must have been squeezing it a little? Thoughts? They are a new tube ring type supplied by Ian, made in the U
  9. Thanks for the feedback guys. Although I've seen a few artifacts on different scopes due to cooling and tube currents, I've never seen astigmatism. But I know from my baby Q that the petzval design does some funny things, (like making incorrect reducer to ccd spacing look like field rotation rather than field curvature). It being June and all, I typically only get the roof off at 2230, and the scope has probably reached 25 degrees during the afternoon, but it had had 3 hours to cool by this point (0130), and the temp sensor on the focuser was reading 15C when the temp outside was 13C, so I
  10. Gents, Ladies, please don't laugh (you can gloat of course), but I'm getting acquainted with a new FSQ106ED. At the same time, I'm testing a GM1000HPS (still...) Odd star shapes have occasionally come with the territory so far with this mount, but I had some very strange results with the 'new Q'. The long and short of this, is that I've discovered that slightly out of focus stars are elongated in one direction, and this direction swings thro 90 degrees when I go from intra to extra focal positions. The fully defocused star images look round enough, but this is really disappointing. I'm just
  11. John, The ccd choice isn't easy I'm afraid, but that's partly because there's some great kit out there. I have an atik 460 and think it's excellent, (low noise and pretty sensitive) but wanted a bigger chip area when I got my FSQ85. My STF8300M is also pretty good (if a bit noisier and less sensitive) but it does have almost twice the area. However, the pixels are a bit bigger, so I find it less well matched to a reduced baby Q. Both of these cameras are very capable performers, but the sensors are small when compared to an 11000 (which unfortunately has even bigger pixels). Unfortunately,
  12. Threads like this always make me smile. Everyone is really giving the same answer, but in an attempt to justify it, or just throw in an extra analogy, it's easy to get something the wrong way round. So here's my attempt to throw myself on my sword and re-write the laws of physics courtesy of a typo or grammatical error. (no digs at anyone intended ). 'Volt drop' along a conductor (power cable) is proportional to the current (I) which flows through it and the resistance ® of said conductor (not applied voltage). This is the V=IR bit. But current is of course proportional to voltage and i
  13. I will try to put some info on my site Roger. I did most of the build while I was in between jobs so to speak, but rushed the roof opener into service before I started going away with my new job. The roof runs on sliding gate track and wheels, which are galvanized steel, but the wooden chassis I used to reinforce the shed absorbs any noise, so it is almost silent in operation. The garage door opener is just a screwfix special, which I think was 180 quid. Will get some pictures soon. Jack
  14. Feel a bit guilty that I've not posted anything about my diy obsy build, but have now got my garage door opener installed and my arduino based controller running. Finally proved the setup by running it while I was away with work recently. Only I could do something so backwards. Out in the californian desert, 50 miles north of mojave, with perfect clear skies - and I'm remotely controlling a scope in lincolnshire, 8 hours ahead of me... Took some time to learn how to speak arduino and ascom driver, but here's a link to to roof sliding open and the scope starting a scripted run: http://www.you
  15. I'm afraid it's all downhill from there. Saturn, that's about as good as it gets in a telescope. I remember getting my wife out of bed at 0300 about twenty years ago, to look at it through a borrowed 3" zeiss refractor. As mad as she was, she forgave me once she'd seen it. 'That's unbelievable' were her very words, 'like someones put a cartoon of saturn just in front of the telescope'. Wouldn't try to wake her now, even for a bright (relatively) galaxy in an eyepiece. I can't see what kit you've used, but more magnification normally means a softer image. So not much point going beyond 150
  16. You're not alone Louise, this happens to everyone. Differential flex between guidescope and imaging scope, or focuser sag (which amounts to the same thing). Dithering, where the next sub starts a bit early, can give you the problem too. I think it's more frustrating for us in the UK, because we know we're unlikely to get another clear night straight after losing one to technical gremlins or just being a biff...(me, always). Chin up, Jack
  17. It's not unusual to see quite a difference between guide traces at the start and end of a night, as the seeing improves and the air cools and settles down. So seeing a difference between days isn't completely unexpected. I've swapped mounts before during the same night, using one at 2200 and another at 0400 and thought 'wow, what an improvement', only to see the second mount mirror the performance of the first at 2200 the following night, and then settle down as less thermal turbulence comes off nearby houses etc. Then I remembered reading something similar in a book 20 years ago... Sometime
  18. John, Always difficult when you're trying to make a decision as big as this. An ODK 14 is serious dollar, but as a PME, pyxis, OS refractor, QSI ccd and 14" ACF owner, I'm guessing budget is not a major concern. I'm assuming there's more to it than just a change of OTA? If the reduced meade ACF covers the KAF8300 ok then you wouldn't be changing, unless you're looking to move to a 16803 chip or similar. If this is the case then the specs say the ODK would give you more flat field coverage. The OO scopes are supposed to be really good, if you get a good one, but there are still people wh
  19. I caught these subs last night, 6x20 mins. The wind was not helping, but imaging at 330mm FL on a Mesu takes a lot of the pain out of it. There's only Ha data here, in false-ish colour, as it wasn't grabbing me in black and white (probably because I messed up the processing). I've cut a lot of the stars here with noise and scratch filter, which hasn't given quite the result I was after, but I always find the huge number of stars in this field detracts from the nebula a little. Reduced Baby Q with STF8300, piggy back guided at 160mm with ssag. Hope someone likes it. Criticism always welcome
  20. Great images, and even better processing than your 'award winner'! Lovely colours, in both interpretations. Jack
  21. Go on Jeffrey, buy the truss RC. Loads of us want to see if they're any good! I'm hoping they've remade the primary mirror support - did you see Rob's 891 with those mirrors in a better chassis? Amazing. With the flat rear plate, if you did get issues with the imaging kit weight distorting the mirror, you could machine a plate to attach the focuser direct to the back of the scope. You've got a great ccd already, and better ones will be out in a few years - for the same money, but this rarely seems to apply to scopes. I have an atik460 and now an STF8300, and although the 694 chip is suppos
  22. Rob, This is right up there with some of the best images I've seen of this target. I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking that. You'd probably need to be on a mountain in Chile to get much more detail. You should probably include not just subframe durations and totals, but also hours collimating/stripping/modding/rebuilding/collimating/screaming/crying/collimating. Or are you trying not to think about it. I'm pretty sure they fixed Hubble quicker than this. Only joking. Very hard earned this one, and kudos well-deserved. Jack
  23. I bit the bullet and bought the galvanised steel half round track (4x3m lengths) and 6 metal wheels, probably 300 quid all in (ebay). I thought this was expensive, but worth it as one of the key functional components of the build. I've just automated it with a garage door opener and it is almost silent while moving, I was genuinely amazed - no noisier than an EQ6 on max speed. When I ran the wheels along the rails before I assembled everything, I thought 'mmm this might be a bit noisey - metal on metal (brass on steel)', but I guess now it's all mounted, the wooden supports for the rails dam
  24. Cheers for the all positive comments, really appreciate them. Was quite pleased with the detail I managed to get at just 800mm of FL, although it is a decent sized target of course. This was captured and guided using Bisque's the sky X pro, with their camera add on. It really is quite a slick package now, with planetarium, imaging camera, guide cam, scope all integrated. It does plate solving for closed loop goto, dithering and all sorts. I used to use PHD and nebulosity, until dithering was added to the sky X. Think I might be the unluckiest guy ever when it comes to mounts though. I ha
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