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Everything posted by Alveprinsen

  1. So, I've prepared for tonight all day. I got up at like 07:00 even though I am working the night-shift and starting at 14:30 in the afternoon. I buy a bunch of stuff, new battery, extension cable, even a freaking new laptop with extra RAM so I can run Astro Tortilla and all my other software on ONE computer instead of two... And so it begins... 1. Windows 8.1 on the new laptop... No further comment needed here. I installed a Windows 7 skin though, but still alot of annoying features. 2. Scope wont connect to my new laptop. After four hours I give up, and go back to my 2x computer setup. (I should have read THIS before going down to the observatory with my new laptop.) Windows 8 users... please download this driver............. a little too late... 3. My Do-It-Yourself Finder-guider was juuuust outside of focus.. So, I drive back up to the house, and get a freaking hand-saw.. Now I have focus. 4. PHD guiding wont track. not enough movement.. I increase from 750 to 2000 .... No luck... then I increase to 3500 ... Finally, it will track. 5. Now my timelapse cam on its Polarie startracking is acting up. Or rather, Polarie's portable power supply at some time decided to stop delivering power... So the timelapse is botched now... The gods only knows when it will stop again, seeing as it will continue to run until 06:00 at which time I will go down and check up on it. Not to mention all the countless times I've driven back home, then down again, then home again, on and on because I managed to forget a USB cable, which turns out I didnt forget afterall but was ATTACHED to the thing it was supposed to be attached to. How I missed it - seeing as I am indeed not clincially blind (although one can start to wonder) I dont know... Or the Bahtinov mask... or the... or the .... the list goes on. And then theres the batteries... and the cables... omg... one 60 Ah battery and two 30 Ah batteries, one 9Ah for the timelapse heating strip, one 15 Ah for the NEQ6 Pro mount, and one 12 Ah for the guiding scope heating strip... aaaand one 15000 mAh for the Polarie star tracker. If the DSO imaging cam and timelapse cam sucks that 30Ah battery dry - I will seriously start contemplating suicide-by-staring-into-the-sun-with-a-huge-Dob.... At least this time I got NGC7023 in the middle of my scope, and if I'm lucky - perhaps focus wont shift.... Alveprinsen
  2. Awesome stuff... you just made my da.. uhm, night Sir. I wonder if it could guide my 2700mm Maksutov.... I got a bigass OAG, but ... FOV is soooo narrow with it. hehe
  3. I havent had the chance to actually use my cooled 600Dmuch. I've only used it for a botched attempt at NGC7023. but as far as my experience so far goes - it works like a charm. I must say, CentralDS has been extremely accomodating. And I cannot stress the word "extreme" enough. When I ordered it, I was told production time was 2-3 weeks, + shipping. After barely 3 weeks I got a notice in my mailbox that a package from South Korea was waiting for me at the post office. After having used the camera a couple of times, it stopped cooling. something wrong with the peltier system. I sent it back, and they fixed it and returned it to me after only two days! They even refunded my shipping cost... In room temperature it cools down to -5 C. Outside in an ambient temperature of about +5 degrees C it cooled down to like -18 C. It will probably cool down to like -25 C when the cold sets in. Whats really cool about it is that I can connect it directly to a 12V source if I dont want to use the AC adapter. Also, there is a port for remote shutter, so if I like - I can use a computer to get focus, then disconnect computer and use my remote shutter release to run the exposures. Price is listed on their webpage. I went for the full package.
  4. Impulsive is my middle name... How do you think I got into Astronomy in the first place... I bought a Acer Aspire E1-510 and a RAM upgrade of 8 gigs. That should be sufficient to run all the software I need. Now I just hope Windows 8.1 wont give me any software and driver trouble with ASCOM etc...
  5. No matter... I just ordered a new laptop and 8 gigs of RAM. I will be plate solving in notime!
  6. Because one of them is not strong enough to run ASCOM, Stellarium, Stellariumscope, PHD Guiding and Backyard EOS at the same time. And I cannot afford to buy yet another laptop just so I can use Astro Tortilla. I'd have to fork up at least 470 GBP for a suitable laptop to run all that stuff. EDIT: Hmm, found a Acer Aspire E1-510, 4 Gig RAM, Quadcore Celerom processor.... If I beef that up with another 4 gigs of RAM, I guess I could use that instead of two comps. It only cost like 235 GBP anyways... I guess I could treat myself... What a little more debt? But a drop in the ocean...
  7. Yeah, however - I'd like Astro Tortilla to use the guiding cam for plate solving since I am using one computer for guiding and go-to with Stellarium, and another for imaging with Backyard EOS. I am using a enhanced and cooled Canon EOS 600D from CentralDS in Korea. My imaging computer does not have a connection to the mount, so Astro Tortilla would not be able to slew the mount. But seeing as the finder-guider and the main scope will now be more or less perfectly lined up with eachother - I could use Astro Tortilla to center the object for me, and I could fine-tune it myself by slewing slow-mo and snapping a couple of test images with the main scope afterwards.
  8. Yeah, I figured that. I just read in another post in some other forum about a guy who added a barlow to his finder for better accuracy. But if it is as you say, that the 180mm FL finder scope will guide 1000mm FL imaging scope just fine - I'm down with that. I wonder though... if Astro Tortilla will image with the Orion Starshoot Autoguider. Since I will be now actually aligning my finder scope with my imaging scope - it could come in quite handy.
  9. Thanks. I just put in a 2x barlow as well. FOV is narrow as hell, and I suspect the F ratio plummets if I use it... I would prefer not having to use a barlow, but if it is as you say - my 180mm FL finder-guider should be able to guide my 1000mm FL scope, thats good enough for me. As long as it can guide 10 minute exposures flawlessly. If not, I guess I will need to install the barlow or get one of those ST-80's....
  10. I see. Well, in order to get focus with the guiding cam, I need to move the chip closer than the secondary lens in the reticule previously attached. What I am wondering now is: 1. What is the Focal length? From googling around, I'm being led to believe the 9 x 50 finder is at a 180mm FL. 2. Will the Orion Starshoot Autoguider camera guide correctly using this finder scope? I am reading mixed epxeriences on this on various forums I've googled. Some say the manage to achieve 3 minute exposures, others say a 9 x 50 finder scope should be able to guide for focal lengths up to at least 1000mm without problems. In other words... Should I rather go for a Skywatcher Startravel 80 instead and be absolutely sure its enough? Up until recently I've been guiding with the Startravel 102, but I feel its too heavy to piggy-back on the 200PDS. Which is the only reason why I've now made a finder-guider. Sincerely, Alveprinsen.
  11. Looking good! Here's mine: I tried with a web-cam first, and failed at focus. Then I went down to the observatory and dismounted the guiding camera and tried that, and managed to aaaalmost achieve perfect focus due to the chip being closer than that of the webcam. Gonna take the sliding-tube I made at work yesterday back to work today and shave off just a little. Seems I got this solved. Nice looking setup btw Red.
  12. Cool. Thanks allot Olly! I guess I will use my 200PDS then, and attempt to center the object in my frame. Or just do a super-good alignment - and shoot blind and hope for the best. Is this object visible with a single frame at... say iso 12600 and 30 sec exposure, or 60 sec exposure?
  13. Hmm... Well, the image of NGC7023 as seen on this webpage is taken with a 1268mm Takahashi BRC-250. I am so confused right now... FOV Calculator says a 200mm FL will do it, google image searches says anything from 600 - 1000mm... and the above picture at 1268mm FL... I guess I will have to break out the 200PDS 1000mm FL in order to image this object...
  14. Ok, so.. Ordinarily I've guided using my Orion Starshoot Autoguider through a 500mm FL Skywatcher refractor. BUT - I will be using my Skywatcher Explorer 200PDS next week, and I want to mount a lighter guiding scope on it. So - I butchered one of the finding scopes I had lying around, picked up an on T-adapter, and modified it so that it would slide smoothly in and out of the guilder scope body. But there is one problem. I just tested it using an ordinary web-cam, and I can only get focus on stuff that is closer than 4 meters to me. If I push it as far into the barrel as I can, I can focus on stuff a few meters in front of me. If I pull it out - the focus moves closer. So, I suspect that in order to get infinite focus with it, I will have to push the camera far far into the finder scope body. Does anyone else have any experience with making finder-guiders? Sincerely, Alveprinsen.
  15. I might be imaging next week, and I'll try to remember doing a dark frame at the end of the session.
  16. Ok, so I've attempted and failed a couple of times now to image NGC7023. The weather forecast for next wednesday/thursday is pretty sweet, and if it holds true, I will be able to squeeze perhaps as much as 9 hours of exposure of the target of my choosing... Now, I've been quite keen on getting a good image of NGC 7023, but I am a bit confused as to which focal length I should go for. Using the FOV calculator on http://www.12dstring.me.uk/fov.htm it seems that a 200mm SLR lens in combination with my modified and cooled Canon EOS 600D from CentralDS should be able to capture the whole thing, not too small, or too big - with all of its dust-clouds and stuff. However... When googling for images of NGC7023 taken with 200mm lenses, I mostly get search results of images taken with 200mm primary mirror diameter scopes, at a focal length of 1000mm, roughly... I get a bunch images taken with refractors and reflectors alike, at what seems to be everything from 600mm to 1000mm focal lengths, and the object looks smaller in those images than what the FOV calculator gives me for my 200mm SLR lens... So I am naturally a little confused here. Is the FOV calculator lying to me about the object size on my chip with my setup? I kind of need to know whether or not I should stick with my Pentax 200mm prime focus lens I've recently bought solemly for NGC7023, OR switch to my Evostar 80ED Pro at 600mm focal length, or Skywatcher Explorer 200p at 1000mm focal length. If the weather holds, this will be one of a VERY few chances I get. I dont want to mess it up by selecting a lens that makes the object look like a small blue smudge on the image, instead of the incredibly beautiful "iris" it is... Any ideas guys? Does anyone have any examples? Sincerely, Alveprinsen. EDIT: After a little googling, I found THIS example, apparently taken with a Skywatcher 200PDS - same as mine. Looks like I need to break out the 1000mm.. I am naturally nervous as I have never ever imaged with it before, and have no experience with reflectors and collimation... omg... This is gonna be a test for me... :/ Might just go for horsehead nebula instead. At least that is something I "know"...
  17. No no... I first tried using my regular M42 adaptor which I've used for various telescopes and stuff. It was with that adaptor it didnt work. I then tried with my "modified" Chinese thinner M42 adaptor, and it was thin enough to achieve focus.
  18. I am totally gonna look into one of those. I will have to get some more lenses for more wide-angle. (I consider anything smaller than 600mm "wide angle" )
  19. I just tried with one of those, and it worked. Awesome.
  20. Ahh, solved it! It appears my M42 ring was indeed too thick. I had ordered from China this little M42 EOS thingy .. wafer thin... I had put it aside since the auto-focus chip gave me an error message on the camera. But I pried off the autofocus chip and screwed it on. Worked like a charm. Managed to get focus on a far away street-light. Even had to go slightly back on the focus to achieve it. Thanks! I bought this lens solemly for imaging NGC 7023 you see. I want to get all that dust in frame. Sincerely, Alveprinsen.
  21. I recently bought an Asahi Super Multi Coated Takumar F4 200mm lens for some wider-than-my-smallest-apparture (600mm) imaging. However, with my Canon EOS 700D I am unable to focus to infinity with this lens. In fact, I can only get focus about 2-3 meters in front of me. Nothing closer, nothing further. I tried putting on a T2 extension ring, but that only moved the focus closer to myself. Seems I need to glue the lens directly on top of the sensor in order to achieve focus. Does anyone have any experiences with such things? This is the first time I've tried imaging with a M42 mounted lens. (As I understood it, they are old, cheap and the quality is good for astro photography.) Is there any clever sollution to this, or have I wasted my money here? Sincerely, Alveprinsen.
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