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About mountainmadman

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  1. mountainmadman

    A new Dob owner

    That could be tricky recommendation to make as inherently they get more expensive the bigger they get. I think the second hand market would be a good place to start. I have a 2" explore scientific which I am really pleased with, but not exactly cheap though. However, one bit of advice I was given when I was looking for mine was to consider the weight of the eyepiece. When you're talking that sort of size, they can be very heavy and you might find your dob will struggle to hold position with the eyepiece in place. Especially if you are viewing at around 50deg ish and lower. Before committing, I would research the weight, then see if your scope can manage that extra weight by getting something equivalent and if you can, suspend it from the eyepiece holder. Just don't drop it down onto the mirror. Do it at an angle so if it does slip, it fails to the floor. Even betterer, try someone else's first would be ideal, though I appreciate not always possible. Hope this helps, Tony
  2. mountainmadman

    A new Dob owner

    Hi Richard, UHC filter maybe? I have a similar scope to you, and the UHC filter helps me with various nebulae. Also, I have experienced dew problems with the secondary mirror and Telrad. However, when you start talking dew prevention, the budget soon starts becoming an issue, unless you are interested in DIY and don't mind having a go at making your own controller etc. There are plenty of DIY threads on making them if you're willing to give it a go. You don't mention any books that you might have bought, but I can recommend the Sky and Telescope Pocket Atlas. It's a good atlas to have to hand. It has a plastic covering on the pages and it pretty dew resilient. Hope this helps Tony
  3. Hi Ross I encountered something similar and went with the DIY option. I put it on my blog a couple of years ago. The first part is just a basic resistor ladder, but scroll down a bit to the part where I made one for the secondary. http://www.astromadness.co.uk/p/diy-dew-heater.html?m=1 It's based on 12v, not 9v though. Good luck! Tony
  4. mountainmadman

    Wooden pier

    I bought a railway sleepers (new, not reclaimed) cut it in half and bolted them back to back. I put some pictures and a description on my blog. Scroll down through this post for the details.. http://www.astromadness.co.uk/p/diy-astronomer.html?m=1 Hope it helps Tony
  5. Hi Graham, Depending where you are in the country, in my opinion it's well worth looking for a workshop based around PI to attend. I went to one last year with Gary Palmer. It was a full day workshop with theory covered in the morning. Then, he covered a solid, basic Pixinsight workflow in the afternoon. I found it really useful. You can ask questions and get some excellent tips throughout. I wrote pages of notes which I still refer back to. http://www.astrocourses.co.uk/courselist.html Also, Mitch (Astrodude on YouTube) has produced a really helpful 12 video series on Pixinsight for beginners. I learned huge amounts from this too. Sure, PI takes some time to learn, but these two resources helped me significantly. Warren Keller's book is great to refer to as you start to build your own workflow. Good luck! Tony
  6. mountainmadman

    Mount identity crisis: EQ6-R or AZ-GT6

    My EQ6-R Pro does the same. It has the latest firmware on it as I flashed it the day it arrived a couple of months ago. Must admit though, I'd never really thought about the question it asks. On the other hand, it seems to work absolutely fine as a mount, and with PHD2 as well.
  7. mountainmadman

    EQ6 R pier mount

    Hi there, this might not be exactly what you're after, but as it happens, today I have spent some time making a pier mount for my EQ6-R Pro. I think a couple of companies make them from milled aluminium, but in my opinion, they cost quite a bit for what they are. Undoubtedly though, they are the tool for the job. However, having said that, I bought a brake disc for a 1994 1.6l Seat Ibiza which just so happens to have the correct size hole for the mount to fit into. I don't know if the EQ6 R and the EQ6R-Pro have the same dimensions, but I believe the size of the hole is 65mm. If yours is different, you should be able to find an appropriate size brake disc by searching an online catalogue. The disc in this case came in around £10 each, but you have to buy them in pairs. I couldn't find anywhere that does them single. Of course, what it does mean is that you have a spare if the first attempt goes a bit wrong. I used this method for my AVX mount too. I did a blog post at the time with a couple of pictures here. http://www.astromadness.co.uk/2017/03/converting-my-pier-for-avx.html Of course, if you're intent on a purpose made pier adapter, there are options. There appear to be several options here but I have no experience of any of these products or the supplier. https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/index.php/language/en/cat/c80_Mount-Acc----Tripods-and-Piers.html/page/1 Hope this helps, best of luck. Tony
  8. Morning everyone, as the title says really. I have a 2 inch steel tripod from skywatcher already. I have ordered a EQ6-R Pro mount which I asked to be delayed for delivery until I am around to receive it. However, on my pier, I have used a brake disc as a pier adapter for my old AVX mount which works brilliantly. I want to replace that with a suitable brake disc for my new skywatcher mount. If the steel tripods are the same across the whole range of skywatcher mounts (EQ8 I think is the exception), then I already have what I need to get the dimensions and source what I need. If they are different, I'll just wait until I get delivery. Hope this all makes sense, thanks Tony
  9. mountainmadman

    Kelling Heath Spring 2018?

    Wow, thanks Michael! I won't be able to leave until around 9.30. I'm using a hire van which I am picking up at 8.00am, so by the time I load it and grab my supplies from the supermarket, it's going to take up a bit more time. The last time I went anywhere in Norfolk, I was a teenager in the halcyon days of chasing after a young lady! Those were the days! Really looking forward to it though. Have a safe trip over
  10. mountainmadman

    Kelling Heath Spring 2018?

    Yep, I'll be popping my Kelling cherry too. I'm on T369, arriving Thursday afternoon with any luck. I would usually go to Astrocamp in Cwmdu, but it's time to try somewhere new. Looking forward to it, if only for the break away from home! I look forward to meeting everyone. Tony
  11. mountainmadman

    Micro-observatory build plan

    @Ceramus It's never something that occurred to me before I started looking to be honest. I've got a dob too, but that gets man handled out the shed for observing. The build will be to accommodate a lightweight imaging rig. @MarsG76 Noted. Thanks for your input. @Bizibilder Thanks for your reply too. Now I know that I can leave the scope in different positions, it gives me a little more flexibility. Thanks everyone! Tony
  12. mountainmadman

    Micro-observatory build plan

    Thanks Steve. I've spent the last week going through I don't know how many observatory build threads on 3 different forums trying to get some ideas. I look forward to adding mine to the list come Summer time :-)
  13. mountainmadman

    Micro-observatory build plan

    Good evening everyone, I've raised the subject of a micro observatory with the good lady with some success, so have turned attention to the planning phase. I only have a small footprint of round 1200mm square to work with, but that's not a problem. What I am struggling with though is gauging how high I need to make it. At the moment, with my scope and mount set up, the distance from the floor at the foot of my pier, to the end of the dew shield on my refractor is 1700mm when it's in the traditional 'home' position. A height of +1700mm is a bit too high for my liking. I can lose around 200mm off the top of the pier bringing down the total height to around 1500mm. I can possibly go with that, but I would like to ask the question about how people park their telescopes when not in use. When not in use, I could park the scope at 90 degrees so either the dovetail bar is horizontal (East/West), or so the counterweight bar is horizontal (East/West). Would there be any adverse affects of me keeping the mount and scope in one of those positions for perhaps several weeks at a time (because of the weather and lack of opportunity to use it), or is really the only way to park your scope in the more traditional home position? If I could park my scope in a different position, I could probably lose another 150mm - 200mm off the total height. I don't really want to shorten my pier any further because of my neighbours fence, and the view I currently have to the WSW over it. Any advice or comment will be greatly received. Once I know this, I can complete the plans and then later in the Spring/early Summer, I'll be back with a build thread. Thanks Tony
  14. @ollypenrice @wimvb @Rico @Philip R Good evening, Well, I said I would report back with some results after some tampering. From all of your feedback, the prime suspect, and easiest to amend to start off with was omitting the focal reducer from the light train. So, I went through, every thing the same as I did before as best I could. Same number of flats/bias/light/darks and used the same processing and stacking routines in PixInsight as I did before. I used M27 as a target too, so I could get as good a comparison as possible. I'm really pleased that in this instant, the halo effect has disappeared, and then image is fairly uniformed throughout. While this is obviously a massive improvement on the first image, I also have data on another 3 targets from last night. One set of which is for M45 which is another image that had issues with the phenomena at my last attempt too. I doubt if I will have time tonight to go through the stacking and processing routine, but I will finish it off some time this week before declaring it a 100% success. Even though in this case I have only omitted the FR from the light chain, I have on order a UV/IR filter too which I will introduce into the kit in an attempt to improve things further. My thanks to everyone who has contributed and made suggestions to help me. It's truly appreciated. When I finish the M45 image, I will add that to this thread as a comparison too. Thanks so much, Tony
  15. Hi Wim, Most of the data I had from using my reflector and DSLR has been purged, because to be frank, it was rubbish. I do have this though, which, although isn't exactly the same was similar. Looking back on it now, it's not really the same artefact. That'll be my inexperience I expect, and I fear that I might have lead people astray slightly with regards to the reflector/dslr combination. Since I bought my refractor, I've packed away the small reflector and it's now up in the loft so don't use that for imaging any more. Some of the other images that I have taken with the refractor set up, but haven't shown the halo effect have been using less frames and when I was first getting to grips with AltairCapture. On the other hand, I'm dead impressed on the way that you have managed to almost totally remove the halo from my image using pixinsight. I've got another set of data from that night when I was imaging the Pleiades so I will run it through PI and see if I can replicate your technique in there. Thanks very much for explaining those steps. @ollypenrice I haven't had chance to get outside again yet, though it was clear outside. The fireworks cause my dog great distress so my priority has been with him. That, and the fact that the moon phase is quite full at the moment. The filters have gone on the Christmas list and I am yet to try removing the reducer from the light train. I'm dying to get back out there again. The forecast is mixed this week. It was looking hopeful for tomorrow night at one point, but the forecast rain is not due to clear until gone midnight now, too late for me on a school night! Later in the week is looking more possible though, and the moon will be out the way a little bit longer. I will report back with my findings though. Thanks once again everyone. It's much appreciated, Tony

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