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Everything posted by tmarkuk

  1. I'll also note that when I took mine out for a rare evening of visual observing for a messier marathon earlier in the year the goto's were solid all night after a decent alignment. Slinging from one side of the sky to the other without missing a beat all night long.
  2. I've had mine since February, the only issue I have had was with occasion error codes on the handset reporting that it had lost contact with the mount. However I recrimped the RJ12 connector (just gave it an extra squeeze really) and I've seen no issues since. I've had no problem with the power connector, mine has a secure screw in collar to keep it tight which I think is standard on the CGEM now. If you are interested in PEC curves then check my website, the link is in my signature.
  3. Thanks for the positive commets, I wasn't sure if I had over done the saturation a bit myself! I should probably mention for those interested in such things : Image calibration and debayering in Iris Aligned, stacked and processed in Pixinsight. I can't quite get the new calibration tool in Pixinsight to work as I would like them to yet, I'm not sure if it's debayering the image correctly yet either.
  4. It looks like I'm not the only one having a go at this object over the last couple of nights, however one more can't hurt! I am open to all tips, comments and criticism, please let me know what you think! Imaging Kit : William Optics ZS66SD Refractor / Canon EOS1000D (unmodified) / Astronomik CLS CCD Filter 285 minutes total exposure time (57x5 minutes) Guiding : Vixen A70LF Refractor / modified webcam / IR cut / 0.6 focal reducer / Guidedog Celestron CGEM Mount.
  5. The only thing I have found that does not work on my windows 7 PC down the shed is my modified SPC900NC webcam. The cam itself functions perfectly provided the parallel port for mod control is not connected and the mod mode is switched off, but turn it on and it stops. Still trying to work that one out, it's a bit odd.
  6. Yes, this was a two part series on Radio 4.
  7. The BBC appear to be giving us a wealth of astronomy related programming of late, I've not seen this one mentioned here though, apologies if it has been : The New Galileos - 1. The James Webb Space Telescope BBC iPlayer - The James Webb Space Telescope Meet the scientists behind the James Webb Space Telescope, the gigantic successor to the Hubble Telescope. In the first of two programmes on modern day telescope builders and astronomers, Andrew Luck-Baker talks to some of the 2,000 strong team constructing a telescope unlike any that has been sent into space before. The New Galileos - 2. The Large Binocular Telescope BBC iPlayer - The Large Binocular Telescope The world's largest telescope is nearing completion on a mountain top in Arizona. With the combined power of its two giant mirrors, the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) will image the Universe in greater detail than NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.
  8. Look what my popped into my email not 30 minutes ago : 'Your Shield Request' 'Apologies for the delay in replying following your email containing the additional information requested as I've been on leave. Your shield request was passed to the service provider SEC on the 06/05/10 and their system shows an order due 11/05/10 (tomorrow), hopefully this will resolve the problem for you. Kind regards Street Lighting - Environment Group ' It was about two years ago when I first contacted the council about the streetlight over the garden. At the time it was an orange light and spent more time broken than working, they wanted me to pay £127 to put a shield on it and I left it at that. Last August while I was on holiday it was changed to a bright white light and a month or so ago I got fed up with it enough to try again. I'm not sure what changed at the council but I'm really happy to have got this far with it. I'll get a before picture of the light tonight, and hopefully an after picture of the shield tomorrow. With any luck it will have the required effect but I guess I'll have to wait an see.
  9. tmarkuk


    From the album: Deep Space

  10. This was guided, it's a combination of 5 and 10 minutes exposures as it goes. Five minutes proved a bit short to get the outer areas of M106 to show up above the noise, 10 minutes just got to much sky glow, I couldn't capture enough 10 minutes exposures to get a decent SNR anyway. I'll be trying my next target at 6 or 7 minutes when the skies clear as I think that will give the best results from my location. I had originally just stacked the calibrated 10 minute exposures, something like 33 of them in total, this was an experiment to start with. Take all my 10 minute exposures and all my 5 minute test images, calibrate the lot then stack them and see what happens. It's not possible for me to stop fiddling with an image ever, so saying that heres a slightly modified version with an unsharpen mask applied.
  11. A first real test of my finally working autoguiding setup and my Astronomik CLS CCD clip filter. It's mostly been an experiment in working out my maximum exposure length before my urban location starts causing to much trouble and getting a handle on how many images produce a decent SNR. All comments and criticisms gladly accepted! Orion Optics 250mm Reflector on a Celestron CGEM Canon EOS 1000D Unmodified Image calibration and registration in Iris, stacked and processed in Pixinsight. Tim.
  12. tmarkuk

    m106 & NGC4217

    From the album: Deep Space

  13. I'm on my second attempt to get Basingstoke council to put a shield on the light over my garden. Previously it was a old style orange light, which broke all the time and really wasn't that annoying, but the council wanted to charge me £127 to put a shield on it. They went and changed it to an insanely bright white light last year and I am still pushing to have something done with it without much luck. Last night I found a section of old roll / camping sleep mat fits over it perfectly and can be put up with a pole, so that is at least a nice easy fix. My neighbour at least has been very helpful in sorting out his rear security light to stop it coming on every time I walk down my garden!
  14. I think the CGEM figures for PEC are a bit off, I reckon that guy had something set badly wrong with his image scale when he did the testing. You can see my results with graphs for both uncorrected and corrected here : Periodic Error Correction Results with the CGEM « Very Amateur Astronomy Great resource though, very useful for anyone researching a new mount! Tim
  15. Incompetence mostly, but a bit of all really. On Monday night as I walked out of the shed to go find tea, instead of turning off the switch for the red lights I switched off the whole shed., one of my more brilliant moments.
  16. I had a bunch of car paint in the garage, including a big can of anti-rust primer and some clear coat, seemed to do the job! Otherwise it would have been the green Hammerite that's been sat around doing nothing for a while.
  17. I'm slowly getting to the point where I can go from turning everything on to imaging in a short space of time. However with clear nights few and far between, coupled with a busy work schedule it's slow progress. I've just come in for the night, which is a pity as it's actually clear out all night but a 5am start tomorrow doesn't allow for a late night. I did however get the CGEM PEC training done, down from +/- 15 arc sec to +/-4, and got my alignment a bit better dialled in. I had set it up to grab a couple of hours imaging but then the CGEM suddenly stopped responding and gave rather nasty error codes which is a bit worrying. I got it working again but I'll have to keep an eye on that.
  18. It feels like pier building season every time I look in here at the moment, and a good thing to, they really do make all the difference as I have found out. Here's mine : Excuse the very messy shed, this was taken just after I finished getting everything back together. I based my design largely upon the ideas presented in this article. The main points I took away were : 1) Don't get hung up on tube wall thickness, the requirement is that it can hold up the weight, it does not have much effect on stability at all. 2) Tube diameter is the most important thing, get as big as you can. 3) A telescope pier works like an inverted pendulum, make sure the base is heavily reinforced against movement. The pier itself is build from the following parts : 1m length of 6" diameter steel tube, 2mm wall thickness. 10mm thick steel plate, 3x250mm square, another 250mm square to be chopped up for gussets. 1 length of m20 threaded rod and bolts. My dad kindly welded it all together for me, the hardest part by far in the construction was drilling the 20mm holes for the uprights. I bought all the parts off ebay, and painted it with whatever car paint I happened to have in the garage, I had a big can of undercoat, another of Mitsubishi blue and some clear coat which was handy. The adapter plate I bought from Altair Astro at astrofest, though annoyingly the CGEM altitude adjustment bolt actually sits lower than the mount base, so I had to put in a spacer to stop it hitting the top plate. It currently holds a CGEM mount, 250mm F4.7 reflector, 70mm guidescope and all the cameras and other parts to go with it. I've had a few nights use with it so far and I'm massively pleased with it.
  19. tmarkuk


    My kit
  20. Ready and waiting for it, though I need to test out satellite tracker on the CGEM, it would be nice to better my previous ISS images without having to play the 'manually chase it across the sky in the finder' game!
  21. It could be worse, I've just finished my new pier in the roll off roof shed and as I had some 20mm threaded rod sitting around from another project I decided to use that for supporting the top plate. Eight 20mm holes through 10mm plate, or four holes through 20mm of plate as I actually ended up doing it was no fun at all with my hobby drill press. However my Dad's posh clutched SDS drill made reasonably short work of it. Slow speed and lots of cutting fluid and working in 5mm steps. I always forget to take my camera along when I do these things but I'll post some pics of the finished article soon.
  22. Mine is the CGEM, I've not stood outside the shed whilst it's going yet but it feels really loud on the inside!
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