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Rockrae78

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Everything posted by Rockrae78

  1. CLS Filter arrived today. Can barely tell its been used. Pleasure doing business with you Anthony! I'm very happy!
  2. I would like the Astronomik clip filter if its still available... PM me your bank details, and let me know postage costs... Cheers, Rae
  3. Hi Eddie, Thanks for that... its useful information. Unfortunately, my hand controller doesn't have the wedge align option... I've checked and I've got the most up to date MC firmware (version 5.14), and fairly up to date HC firmware (NXS 5.21.2064). Perhaps you've got the different type of hand controller (apparently there are two different types that have been supplied with the CPC scopes) to me. Oh well, I'll just carry on doing what I have been doing - although still no clear nights as of yet! Let us know how you get on with this method. At least you have a solution to what could have been a very vexing problem!! Rae
  4. I've got the Mey chair. Not cheap, but to me it was worth every penny. I have fibromyalgia, and am in constant pain as a result. Trying to polar align even my little SkyTracker was a complete pain because of the positions I would have to contort myself in to. But with this chair, its not a problem at all. Can comfortably perch on this all night! I've never managed to take it away with my, because no matter how hard me or my OH try, I can't get it dismantled so it will lie flat in the car. That is the only downside for me. Once, I put it together, it never wanted to come apart again! Oh well!
  5. It thought they were a necessity to get accurate alignment. I can't think why they would be left off! Having said that, I've never checked mine to see if they are accurate. Must do that soon! Please let me know how you get on with it. I'd be interested to see what you are doing differently and if I can improve my method any.
  6. I don't have the wedge align option. I spent a while having major problems trying to align because I couldn't find it on the handset. It was only reading stuff on another forum that I found out about the all-star polar alignment, which I was led to believe is the newer way to do it. I may be wrong though. With regards to point 5, you say this is ok... Which bit? The bit where I'm trying to centre Poaris, or the bit where I said I wanted to try and position Polaris slightly off-centre using an app to show me its location?
  7. Oh, and the 'arrows' are marked at Alt Index on my scope and only appear on the top of one arm. See attached photo. When these arrows are lined up, the OTA is parallel to the ground (in my mind, at 0o altitude (obviously, without wedge attached). Maybe you could point your OTA as mine is in the image (again without wedge), and use a spirit level on the top to ensure the tube is completely level and at right angles to fork arms and make your own marks? Just a suggestion. Mods: Would it be useful to merge the two threads?
  8. Oh, and spotted this morning that this is also being discussed here: http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/255005-cpc-1100-hd-wedge-north-polar-alignment-nightmare/?p=2782211 One way or another, we will sort this out!
  9. Hi, I've been discussing this with a couple of other members in another thread: http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/235579-polar-alignment-with-a-cpc-and-wedge/#entry2782082 The instructions from celestron are (I think) out of date. The wedge align option doesn't exist on my handset (which I believe is up to date - or maybe its the other way around and I'm out of date!). Anyway, using the celestron instructions, combined with the instructions in both the scope and wedge manuals, and from various internet sources, I have managed to cobble together some instructions that seem to work. At least, I get the thing set up and aligned. But the errors in polar alignment seem a little large to me. Anyway, I've attached my instructions, so read through them, then the thread and you will get the full picture of what I am doing. Maybe the more of us that collaborate on this issue, the more likely we will be to come up with a foolproof technique! Polar Alignment Method CPC800.docx
  10. Hi Mark, Happy to share my experiences using the wedge with you. As mentioned previously, I'm not convinced I'm doing things exactly right, but I will go through my set up and alignment method, and would be extremely happy to compare notes with you regarding this. It is a bit of a faff, and the steps are numerous. I don't think I can be that brief, so the instructions are going to seem really long, but after the third or fourth time of doing this, I had it down to just 20 mins. The instructions are very long, so rather than type them out here, I've attached a document where you can view them, and possibly even print them out for you to use next time you set up. I'm really not sure that I'm doing everything correctly, so please don't take my word as gospel! This is just what I have been doing and its been semi-successful. I say that because the first time I did it, the errors were: Azm: -00o 04' 10'' Alt: -00o 00' 02" These errors are explained in more detail in the final step of the alignment procedure, but this is within the error limits it says to aim for. And given that North has been difficult for me to pinpoint exactly each time (again, this is explained in the first step of the procedure), it makes sense that the azimuth has the largest error. After doing this the first time, I was fairly convinced that I had it sussed! However, the errors the second time I did it were: Azm: -00o 09' 04" Alt: -00o 05' 11" Still within the error limits, and again, azimuth is further out than altitude, but they are larger errors. There is no denying it. The third time I did it, the errors were: Azm: -00o 17' 48" Alt: -00o 06' 46" This time, the azimuth was over the recommended error limits. I didn't record the exact errors the next couple of times I did it, but they were definitely close to the errors in the third attempt. So it seems that I'm getting worse at it - not better! The last time I tried was in April, and I give up trying to observe during the summer. Waiting for the next clear night - now that its darker quicker - to try again. I still think that buying an inclinometer and digital compass may help me to be more accurate in the first couple of steps. Anyway, let me know what you think. And if you do anything differently. Maybe by collaborating, we can actually come up with a foolproof method for this! I'm surprised that given the popularity of these scopes, there aren't more detailed instructions out there. Polar Alignment Method CPC800.docx
  11. Word of warning... I purchased something that looks incredibly similar for camping... The popaloo: http://www.popaloo.co.uk/shop/private-convenience-pack/ These look scarily similar to the soccer mom shelters. I say scarily because it was absolutely useless. Firstly, it is easy to put up (not surprisingly)... it just pops up on its own. Only one guy rope was provided for it, so it nearly took off the first night with some medium strength winds... Both list themselves as being 'water resistant'... Something I found out the hard way... it leaked like a very leaky thing... and then the seams started to come apart. And it took 3 people to get it folded back in its pack so that I could return it to them. I really wasn't impressed for the price I paid. The only real different between the two seems to be the cover that the soccer mom shelter has over the roof. Maybe this will be an improvement on the popaloo. Now, if you are just using it for keeping the wind off when observing, it might be perfectly fine... but I would want to ensure that it is wind proof, and that it has some adequate means of holding it in place in case of a strong breeze. The popaloo certainly didn't!
  12. Hi Andrew, I have a CPC 800 and a wedge, and have managed to cobble together some step by step instructions from various sources. Still not sure if what I am doing is correct, but I'd be happy to share my experiences with you. I realise that your post is quite old now, and you may have actually traded your scope in, or you may have deciphered a method of your own, so if you could just let me know before I type up my really long set up procedure! Rae
  13. Can't go wrong with Starlight feather touch. I've had mine about a year now, and I love it. Fitting is a doddle. http://www.firstlightoptics.com/starlight-instruments-feather-touch-sct-microfocusers/microfocuser-for-celestron-cpc-800-6se-c8edge-8se.html
  14. I have just noticed that ABS has put a notice on stating that from 03.10.2015, if you want to respond to an ad, you have to be a registered user. Maybe this will help to weed out the time wasters?
  15. I managed to capture some images - completely by accident! I was just setting up my camera to test out the repairs made to my SkyTracker, and whilst I was focusing and taking test shots the aurora was captured! Of course, by the time I had properly set everything up, it had died down! Typical! Nothing was seen with the naked eye though... too many streetlights! So, my pics are rubbish, but here is one to prove I captured something on 'film'!!
  16. I went on holiday to mid Wales in April, and right outside the cottage was LED street lights. I have to say, I was really impressed with them. It was a very rural location, so no big towns etc nearby, but there were a few A-roads that you could see in the distance, but the sky was just spectacular. Way better than I have in my (also rural) location at home, where I have to contend with the traditional sodium streetlights. I don't know anything about the type of lights they were, and they were very bright, but the light was directed down. I took some wide field images (with DSLR on a SkyTracker) whilst I was there. No filters were used, nor have these images been processed (they are the original jpegs taken) and images and details can be seen below: IMG_1705 60s exp, f5.6, ISO 800 IMG_1711 60s exp, f5.6, ISO 800 IMG_1783 147s exp, f4.5, ISO 800 Compared to similar exposure times taken at home, it is a world of difference. I understand that things may be different when taking pics using a telescope, but I have to say, I was impressed with the lighting. I can appreciate though, that this was a very rural location - and views of the night sky may be worse when viewing from a town or city with LED lighting.
  17. I'm surrounded by weirdos... Well, more weird than me being out in the cold at all hours! One neighbour has a passing interest, and has brought his grandkids round to see the planets, and even came over to see the solar eclipse. Another one always leaves his hallway light on (which must be a 100W mega bulb - it lights up half the street!!) when he sees I'm out. Seriously, its never left on ANY other night. Wouldn't be so bad, but there is a large glass pane above his door... Another neighbour has a penchant for leaning out of her bedroom window to smoke a cig, whilst naked... She called the police on me once. Said I was perving. They came round, saw what I was doing and realised there was no way I was and admitted that if she didn't want people to look, she shouldn't really be doing it in the first place. We had a good laugh about it!
  18. I did try, but honestly, they were very, very bad! I will try again at some point, but when I have less stuff going on!
  19. Yeah, I've got a really naff Celestron Solar System Imager. It's proper pants. It's a really old one. I tried taking a pic of Jupiter and Saturn about 18 months ago on my NexStar 130SLT and both were really rubbish. Couldn't get proper focus and the mount really, really wobbles. Now that I've got a bigger and better scope I was thinking about trying again. I know the camera is rubbish, but I really can't afford to buy a better one, and as I said, I'm more of a visual observer anyway, so it's probably not worth the investment for me. Because I've always had Alt-Az mounts, I just don't know anything about polar aligning. I received a wedge for my birthday last year in July (probably because my OH likes photography), but I've not had the time to spend to try and get to grips with it (and of course, when I did have time, the weather was pants!). I just thought I'd give it a go whilst the skies are clear. Its a very long, drawn out process and the instructions in the Celestron manual are about as clear as mud. But, think I've got it now. Totally not worth setting up for just visual use though.
  20. Either. Both. i'm just asking because there doesn't seem to be any advice as to how small the error should be. I mean, what is the maximum error you would cope with? What size of error would make you stop and do the polar alignment again? I'm mainly a visual observer. I've had a couple of go's at taking planetary images, but I don't really think I've got the patience for proper astrophotography. But it would be nice to know I'm on the right track should I ever want to go down that route!
  21. Ok... Thanks for that! Much appreciated! So the bigger error is the azimuth then. Not surprising seen as getting pointed exactly right to "True North' is proving impossible with compass on phone. It has a selection for both true and magnetic north, but they are so close together that I think that the app is rubbish! My next question is if this is in acceptable limits? It's less than a degree. What would be unacceptable for errors (i.e. how big of an error would be worthwhile me doing it again)? Rae
  22. Hi all, Not sure if this is the right place to post this... mods feel free to move it! I have a Celestron CPC 800 and heavy duty wedge. Only tried polar aligning twice, and on the 2nd go, I think I cracked it (sort of!). Followed all instructions and when I finished, I chose a few targets, and each one was bang on centre in the eyepiece. The final instruction was to check the polar alignment errors. The errors were displayed as: Azm: -00o 04' 10" Alt: -00o 00' 02" I have no idea what this means!!! Is this good or bad? Any advice would be appreciated. Rae
  23. Get the book Turn Left at Orion. Not only is it a great guide for star hopping, but it will also give you an idea of what you can see in a smaller scope. I've always found it very useful. Without knowing anything about the sky where you live, dark skies are better for DSO hunting. A large amount of light pollution will wash out fainter DSOs. Also, the scope you have is a flex tube, which means that erroneous light (from street lights etc) can enter the tube. You may want to consider a shroud to help you block his out. Also, because it is a flex tube, chances are that it will need collimating regularly as mentioned by others! Good luck and clear skies!
  24. I mainly use 2" EPs when observing DSOs. But that's my preference. If you got yourself a 25mm EP in either 2" or 1.25" I think you'd give yourself a better chance at spotting some DSOs. Like I said, EPs are an investment in the hobby. But, you could always try meeting up with a local group, or attending a star party and ask if some members would be willing to let you try one of their EPs before you decide to buy one.
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