Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

  • Announcements



Advanced Members
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

4,604 Excellent


About StuartJPP

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Interests
    Birding and now a bit of astrophotography.
  • Location
    Leeds, UK
  1. Focus of DSLR

    Because most lenses focus past infinity (no Buzz Lightyear jokes please!). If there was a hard stop at infinity then you wouldn't be able to achieve infinity focus when the temperature changed dramatically.
  2. HEQ5 vs NEQ6 physical size

    Although I don't and have never owned either I did pick up both in the shop within minutes of each other as a test when I was looking for mounts. Both heads are "heavy" with the NEQ6 obviously being heavier. The difference to me wasn't massive though, both were big lumps of metal, but it could be if you struggle to carry things a long(ish) distance. If you are to take it out your car boot and place it on the mount, then I'd say there is little difference, however if you were to carry it 100 yards or up and down stairs then you'd certainly notice it. NEQ6 = 16kg HEQ5 = 10kg
  3. Pixinsight issues?

    Why not try the software on trial if you haven't done so already? Save the time for when you have collected some data that you want to put it through it's paces. I asked for an extension to my PI trial because of the limited amount of time we get to image and they were happy to do that (they may not these days but did in the past). During the trial period, try free/cheaper software using the same data and see what produces the best result. Do this many times over using the same data and online tutorials. Each time you process the data set, you will get a slightly (or vastly) different outcome depending on what your workflow is but eventually you will peak and see what works for you. Then after the trial period, if it does the job for you and you are happy with the results, is it then not worth the money? Although I am like you and spending any money on software seems alien...people may spend just as much on a filter. I would say that using PixInsight (or similar) is like upgrading your mount/OTA/camera at a fraction of the cost. In my view it is certainly worth it, it will outlive most of your astronomy buys, especially if you are in the early stages of astrophotography.
  4. Focus of DSLR

    Are you talking about LiveView focusing or focusing, taking an image and then re-focusing? Although I didn't buy a SharpStar mask, I did make some various similar ones on my engraver. The longer the focal length the better for LiveView, at 135mm for my Samyang Lens, a bright star is usable in LiveView. When you get to say 50mm and wider, you really struggle in LiveView as the stars are so small. Have a look on this thread...
  5. Hi, It all depends on where and what time of year I image. If it is on holiday abroad and it is warm or Autumn/Spring in the UK then I will just use a portable battery like in the photo above. It is a 75W/h lithium ion battery pack (Anker Astro Pro2 20,000mAh unit) and it will power the mount for the whole night. I will either use another one (I have got two) to power the camera seperately or use actual camera batteries. In Winter when I am using dew heaters and it is much, much colder I just use an SLA type battery, I think it is 40Ah. It will power everything for a full night.
  6. VDB 15, QHY 367C

    Cracking image. I have been focusing on the vdB catalog of objects, much more interesting than the Messier ones of course there are some overlap.
  7. Rosette to Cone 6 panel mosaic (First Draft)

    Hope you get to add to this, looks great. Puts things into perspective seeing one popular object (Rosette) and another not so popular object (Cone) and how close they are to each other.
  8. I spent Friday (15th) and Saturday (16th) collecting some additional data for my NGC1333 from last year. I havent' been out for ages, despite the clear weather recently. Since the village I image from changed from Sodium to LED lighting recently I kept the IDAS filter to try and keep some consistency in the subs, but there was certainly a difference in the colour, could have been conditions as well as the neighbour's Xmas light wonderland Both nights weren't great overall, but there were periods of good transparency. I plodded along regardless as I wanted to "finish" off NGC1333 once and for all (though we are never really finished are we?). Baader modified Canon 6D at ISO 1600 Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens at f/4 Avalon Instruments M-Zero Polar Alignment using homemade PoleMaster PHD2 for guiding using QHY5L-II-M and QHYCCD MiniGuideScope APT for image acquisition, GOTO++, framing, plate solving, and dithering. SQM (according to Unihedron SQM-L) was ~20.77. Total of ~120 subs of varying quality of 300 seconds each (totalling ~10 hours) A fairly quick process, the raw data is still a bit noisy but a lot easier to process now with additional data. Will spend some more time on this. Typical guiding: Setup on Saturday night during a clear spell: Just prior to packing up at 02:10 as freezing fog came in: Dew heater doing its job: SQM of 20.77 apparently. Thanks for looking!
  9. Ngc 1333

    Very nice indeed...I was on this on Friday and Saturday evening. Didn't catch the structure on the left like you did...
  10. Inspired by the M104 image in this thread... I decided to have a bit of a play with stacked teleconverters on my Canon 500mm lens. A bit silly but the night was practically over, well the target I was after ended up in the murk so I pointed towards M106 and I thought..."what have I got to lose". M104 isn't ideally situated at the moment (and isn't usually in the UK anyway) so I wanted a target of similar size, although M106 is noticably larger. M104 is one of my favourite galaxies and would have been my preferred target of course. So here's my terrible cropped version of M106 done on a Canon 6D, with an effective 1400mm focal length (500mm x 1.4TC x 2TC). F ratio was f/11, ISO 3200, 180 second subs. Just to put things into context there's 29 glass elements in total...17 (500mm) + 5 (1.4xTC) + 7 (2xTC). I managed to get ~30 subs (1.5 hours) using my Avalon M-Zero. Don't laugh! Not much processing done because the whole image is a bit soft. But guiding was still quite good with no real trailling of the stars which was also part of the test. Will revisit the data at some point to see if I can eek out a bit more. Imaged resized 50% as the noise at 100% was terrible (effectively removing the 2.0x TC)
  11. Sat24 Stealth cloud!

    Was clear most of the night for me just outside Horncastle but freezing fog has set in, so just finished packing up.
  12. I hate home printers. A massive money pit. If you use them frequently they cost you in ink. If you use them infrequently they cost you in ink because of the head cleaning so either way you pay. Best is to use them often to be honest. So my suggestion for things like this is to take the file to a physical professional printers and get them to print it off for you. If they are good, they will do a few different versions and you will only pay for the one that you want. Well that was my experience anyway. Finding a decent one is a gamble, but not all are bad and neither are all good...try to catch them on a not so busy day... Only cost me about £2 for an A3 print...I may have got lucky with these guys though.
  13. What happened to the iOptron CEM120

    I saw this resurface, so let the public beta testing commence... Seriously though, I hope someone spending that amount on the mount has trouble free usage. Time will tell.
  14. If you are using a polar scope to begin with then there would be no issue as you'd be pretty close to start with unless your polar scope was very poorly collimated.
  15. Depends on the arcseconds per pixel of your camera and guidescope combination but I would have thought that the main disadvantage would be that you have to be pointing pretty much accurately to begin with. I doubt you could just put the mount down and point in the general direction of the NCP and go from there. With the PoleMaster I can basically do that, eyeball it roughly and I will get Polaris in view and be pretty much guaranteed to fit everything on screen needed to do the alignment. At 400mm you'd probably be adjusting quite a bit as things may not even be in the FOV.... But I may just be speaking rubbish... On the flip side you should be able to get a more accurate polar alignment with the longer focal length...