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About Ant-33

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    Star Forming

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  • Interests
    Astronomy, microscopy, photography, birdwatching, writing.
  • Location
    Kent, England

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  1. That sounds like good advice - many thanks. I'll give it a try. I noticed that I can see a lot more detail, but it's very faint, so I'll see if I can bring it out that way.
  2. Many thanks Me too - It's a great binocular target, too.
  3. I just took the gear out for my first imaging session this winter. Mainly I wanted to make sure everything still works. I didn't have much time before the clouds rolled in, but I managed to get this capture of the Perseus Double Cluster. This is my first stab at processing it. It's five 3-minute guided subs stacked in DSS, and tweaked in PS. I see plenty of amazing images here on SGL, and you guys are amazing. I know I have a lot to learn, so I'm always open to feedback - with the caveat that I don't have expensive software packages at my disposal. Clear skies Tony
  4. Fascinating video - thanks for posting the link. The part about making optical glass fascinates me. Without understanding the Japanese I'm not sure how much explanation they gave, but it's a complex and time-consuming process. I'd love to find a video that goes more deeply into the materials, equipment and processes for making optical glass. I've read about it, but seeing people actually doing it brings it to life.
  5. Indeed - time to breathe a sigh of relief when it's completed successfully!
  6. Thanks for the clarification, Kerry I'm glad to hear the updates went well in the end. It's always a fear of mine that I'll end up with a failed, half-installed update that I can't recover from - but that's probably just me being paranoid. Clear skies, Tony
  7. Glad you had a good evening, James. The location sounds great, and it's nice to get away from the lights. We got lucky here, too. There was a little cloud, but not enough to stop us seeing a good display. Like you, we found them to be not too frequent, but there were some whoppers. Lying flat on our backs (my wife and I) on loungers, with a sip of sloe gin, we were well away I enjoyed your report Clear skies, Tony
  8. That was my thought too, but looking at the firmware website there was definitely a 'motor controller firmware' update available - but without instructions. It's the first I've seen of such a thing. Not sure if that's what the OP was referring to, though.
  9. Just curious - what version did you upgrade from/to? Mine is currently at 3.33, but their website shows version 3.3 from 2014. Perhaps I'm just getting confused I didn't realise there was another part to update... is that what they call the motor controller firmware? I don't see update instructions for that. Cheers, Tony
  10. Another alternative is Pec Pad wipes. They're single-use, and designed for this kind of work. That way you don't run the risk of damaging your lens coating if the cloth has picked up some dust or grit. I also use powder-free vinyl gloves or something similar so I don't get the oils from my skin on the wipe before touching the lens with it. Hope that helps. Cheers, Tony.
  11. A happy update: I've taken the lens assembly off and given it a careful but thorough clean with the Baader lens cleaning fluid - and the lens now looks as good as new! (new was about 1960). I've put it all back together and done a quick alignment, and an aeroplane at 30000ft looks like a clear single image, so my first stab at alignment seems fairly good. Once I've checked it out on the stars I'll know whether I need to collimate it the hard way or just do a bit more tweaking. Billion thanks to you all for your advice. Clear skies Tony
  12. Thank you. Yes, I tend to agree with this, but the discolouration is visible when I use the bins - even if it's minimal. The bottom line is it's enough that if there's a way to improve it, I'd prefer to give it a try. I think that's what I'll do. It's reassuring that you say the coatings are hard - I was worried about the difficulty of doing anything without damaging it. Of course I'll still treat it as easily damaged, but I can clean it with some degree of confidence. I'll plan to do it at a time when I'm willing to re-collimate the bins, since the collimation (on that side) is lost
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