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StuartJPP last won the day on December 18 2017

StuartJPP had the most liked content!

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About StuartJPP

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Interests
    Birding and now a bit of astrophotography.
  • Location
    Leeds, UK
  1. Of course it is fine Ivor, anything to help out with the fight against light pollution. Some of the the biggest culprits are Leeds/Bradford airport and the Parkinson Building (Leeds University) which is always over-exposed. I'm sure there's many, many more. I'll PM you the location.
  2. 14 x 2.5 seconds @ 200mm on a Canon 5D Mark III. Over such a short period not only has the comet moved quite a bit in the frame (to be expected), but the noctilucent clouds have changed shape a fair bit, though not nearly as much as the regular clouds. No wonder stitched panoramas at long focal lengths are practically impossible!
  3. Regular Clouds, Noctilucent Clouds, a Cityscape and a Comet. Unfortunately by the time the Noctilucent Clouds came along Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) had risen quite a lot so was tricky to get some foreground action in as well so the comet is tiny in the panorama. Neowise was easily visible naked-eye, even over the heavily light polluted city of Leeds. A Bit Of Everything. by Stuart, on Flickr Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) by Stuart, on Flickr
  4. I had the same issue with Stellarium v0.15 but updated to the latest version v0.20 and it worked fine. I usually don't like updating applications on my astro laptop (if it ain't broke). Managed to find it with the binoculars so happy about that.
  5. I've always struggled to make homemade projects look like anything but a homemade project. Athough nothing quite as elaborate as the OPs project image.....which kind of reminds me of this project....
  6. If people knew how Switch Mode Power Supplies operate then they'd think twice about using them. Think of a Switch Mode Power Supply as a nest full of angry wasps buzzing away, until something (anything) upsets them. I am of course being a bit facetious, and allegedly they can be designed properly. On the flip side, a freshly charged 12V leisure battery can deliver at most about 14V, give or take. It can deliver a lot of current, so it can melt wires and set fire to things if wired incorrectly, but it will never deliver more voltage than chemically possible. Now if only the manufacturers would put an "idiot" diode in line with the circuit board or better yet a FET and derate the component operating voltages/currents then it would be practically impossible to blow a board up by plugging it in, except for actual component failure on that board.
  7. The simplest method I'd say is to use SharpCap with your guide scope and camera. The PoleMaster equivalent is handy for people who already own the QHY5-L-II cameras and just have to purchase a cheap 25mm lens. I used this method long before SharpCap did polar alignment and iPolar was available.
  8. I frequently run a Windows 10 virtual machine within Virtual Box running on a Windows 10 host. I do this to evaluate software before installing it on the host machine, so in my experience it works well. Pass-through of USB devices is pretty good, but I am not surprised if it doesn't work occasionally for devices other than the usual suspects. Thankfully there's so many distributions of Linux that every person on the planet can have a unique one.
  9. I saw this new variation of Avalon Instruments' M-Zero mount called the "Avalon M-Zero Obs" on their website. One new feature is the ability to mount the StarGo Controller under the scope, this not only acts as a counterweight it also allows a more compact setup and less wires. https://www.avalon-instruments.com/products-menu/mounts/m-zero-obs-wi-fi-detail Hmmmm it looks very similar to the method that I have been mounting the StarGo Controller to my Avalon M-Zero since 2017! However since Luciano of Avalon Instruments is such a fine person I'll refrain from sending in the lawyers . (Besides I originally stole the idea from Avalon Instruments' M-Uno mount, so he might send in his lawyers).
  10. Forgot to mention though that I think that the 130PDS will have a focal length that is too long for SharpCap to plate solve, but I am no expert in that area. So definitely hold off paying any money for SparkoCam until you are sure it will work.
  11. I gave it a quick try using my Canon 80D and Canon 18-135mm lens. Installed SparkoCam then ran it to get live view from the Canon 80D. Ran SharpCap and selected SparkoCam as the imaging camera source (selected 1280x720 resolution). Started up Stellarium to view the NCP area and pointed my camera at the PC monitor and SharpCap instantly plate solved the image. I zoomed in/out a bit in Stellarium and it seems to track well. The logo will get in the way of some stars, but SharpCap does use up 100 stars so I think you would be okay. I also didn't bother removing the labels in Stellarium and neither the equatorial grid, none of which caused an issue with SharpCap's ability to plate solve. In the 1st image you can see a screen capture that SharpCap successfully solved the image that the Canon 80D was seeing and presenting to SharpCap via SparkoCam. In the 2nd image you can see the setup as I captured it with the Canon 80D in the foreground pointing at Stellarium. Definitely worth a try before forking out any money.
  12. I like to get the most out of what I have already got so in your case a small(ish) outlay to get you guiding will be money well spent as you can use that investment going forwards. Then take it from there. I love it how people say that if they had to do it all again that they would do it differently....I don't think so. Imagine considering a new hobby.....I don't know.....fishing.....and before you even cast off you need to spend £2499.99 on a fishing pole (just the pole), £4500 on a reel, £849 on hooks and fishing line and £750 on waders. You'd never take up fishing in that case. However investing a rather large sum of money on a new scope and retaining the rest of your imaging setup will most probably end in disappointment. Just my thoughts.
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