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Everything posted by Lonestar70

  1. A lot depends on how much run time you require in the event of a power cut. There is a good article on how to choose one here: - https://www.howtogeek.com/161479/how-to-select-a-battery-backup-for-your-computer/ The best types are the on-line type, since they totally isolate your equipment from the mains at all times. Hope this helps.
  2. Hi Jon, Welcome to SGL from the West Coast. You will probably need to get some extension components to account for the removal of the diagonal. See this link: - https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/55254-astro-imaging-noob-questions-for-nexstar-8se/ I fear you will struggle with that telescope due to it's very long focal length which will mean much longer exposures will be needed. Hope this helps. Good luck and clear skies. Sandy.
  3. Hi Billy, The md3.dll file you require is part of the Nikon SDK (Software Development Kit) file for each specific camera. Unfortunately for you Nikon have, for some unspecified reason, refused to release the D33XX camera range SDK files. This means that NO third party software can fully support your camera for all the functions you require. Controlling the HEQ5 mount, as far as pointing at a specific single target is concerned, and exposing a specified number of frames is easily done using EQMOD and something like BackYard Nikon... both are ASCOM capable and will talk to each other. Automating the moving between individual targets using a script would require yet another software package... getting them all talking together is the tricky part as most scripting stuff would not necessarily be ASCOM compliant. I am unaware of a single package which would come close to doing what you are requiring. Good luck and clear skies. Sandy.
  4. Hi and welcome to the mad house called SGL. If you take your scope out during daylight be very sure you DON'T point it at the sun (assuming it is out) or you can very quickly damage your eyes and possibly the scope eyepiece as well. Anything else is quite safe. You will soon get used to how it all works so ENJOY. Best regards and a Happy New Year. Sandy.
  5. Hi, Ok then it was just a thought. You say above that you are using Backyard EOS... But I assume you meant Backyard Nikon... BY-EOS won't work properly with a Nikon... also are you using the latest V2.01 release? earlier versions may not fully support the D7200. It sounds like your shutter is not remaining open for the required period. I assume you have set the camera to full manual operation and set it for BULB mode. I would suggest also that you don't use in camera dark subtraction so make sure that is switched off in you camera menu's. Are you triggering the shutter using BYN's intervalometer via the usb connection? and have you set BYN's shutter control selection panel for this correctly? (you need to select the type of release cable) Or are you using a separate external release? Have you told BYN to save to PC? and also what type of exposures you want to take/save (RAW, JPG, BOTH) I would suggest you use RAW for best results in stacking. Have you told it where to store the pictures? i.e have you set up a folder and told BYN where it is? BYN has a preview function which should show the last picture taken regardless of where it is stored... have you tried this. I would agree with Alan regarding trying it during the day on a distant object (at least a mile away or more) to find your focus point, the 150pds focuser is quite sensitive, even with the 10:1 knob, and it is easy to go past the correct point and the Barlow will make this even more tricky... and you may well need to use an extra extension with a x2.5 Barlow since this will place the focus point a good way out and the 150PDS focuser may not have sufficient outward travel. Once you have found the right point make a suitable mark on your focuser draw tube so that you can more easily find it later. Then set up BYN and take some short daylight subs and make sure you can see them... and store them. Once that is sorted you can then set up for Manual long exposures knowing that BYN will at least be saving them... and you will have a pretty good start point on your focus location... after that it is a matter of getting used to fine focusing using the live view focusing capabilities in BYN. I hope this helps a bit. I use BYN with my Nikon D90 on my 150PDS. Best regards. Sandy.
  6. Are you trying to use the Barlow in conjunction with the SW Coma corrector?... if so then remove the Coma Corrector since this will be forcing a 55mm back focus limit which, of course, cannot be attained with the length of the Barlow and T-adaptor etc. attached. This particular Barlow has been designed to produce a true flat field so a Coma Corrector should not really be necessary. Are you using the Live View function with a PC/Laptop for focusing or are you using the rear view screen?
  7. Hi Jim, I think you would be better off with the 5v version since the output of the 3.3v version can be as low as 2.2v with a max of 3.2v and a typical output of 2.8v which would almost certainly be too low for your mount... I think you will find it needs 3.3v as a minimum. The 5v version has a minimum of 3.2v and a max of 4.9v and a typical output of 4.1v which is the much more typical levels required for skywatcher mounts. See attached link for data sheet. http://www.ftdichip.com/Support/Documents/DataSheets/Cables/DS_TTL-232R_CABLES.pdf FTDI drivers are pretty solid, even for W10 (unlike the Prolific drivers), so I would bet on it being the voltage levels rather than the OP System. I hope this is of some help. Best regards. Sandy.
  8. Hi Pete, The cable you have shown is for an HEQ5 mount... it won't work on an EQ6. The one shown has an RJ45 connector which is correct for the HEQ5 whereas the EQ6 cable should be fitted with a 9pin D-Type plug. Are you trying to use it on the EQ6 with it plugged into the guide socket?... if so that will not work. Can you clarify which mount you are attempting to use? Either way I understand there have been some issues with the Hitec cables on different versions of windows and you will need to download the correct driver directly from the Hitec Astro website... don't let Windows choose the driver. http://www.hitecastro.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=49:eqdir-adaptor&catid=37:eqdir-adaptor&Itemid=54 Best regards. Sandy.
  9. Hi CJ, This is an interesting project, however, I can foresee several potential problems with your proposed design: - 1/ Thrust bearings are fine for axial loading but are not at all good for Radial loading which you will certainly have with a worm and wheel drive... these will almost certainly deflect sideways in a short space of time. 2/ The use of threaded rod for your shaft will also lead to problems given the sideways loading at the point where it passes through the thrust bearings and top plate... the sideways movement will lead to the threaded rod fouling,and eventually wearing away, the hole through the top plate... which will lead to further sideways displacement. 3/ There is a substantial unsupported length of rod below the bottom thrust bearing which will potentially lead to the shaft bending under load thus adding further sideways pressure on the bearings. 4/ Using an unsupported shaft for the worm will lead to problems with the meshing of the worm and wheel... it will not be constant, which could lead to the worm jumping a tooth on the wheel... this will vary with camera load. I would recommend using flanged ball races rather than the thrust bearings... with 2 bearings spaced enough to fully support the shaft and pre-tensioned within a shaft housing (this would be achieved by using a nut and locknut just above the wheel) this would eliminate all the issues in 1-3 above. Rather than using a separate reduction coupling between the motor and the worm shaft, I would suggest a custom made shaft with a 5mm bore at the motor end and the outer of the shaft reduced to 4mm at the worm location... Also this should extend beyond the worm and be supported on a small bearing which will eliminate the potential for the worm and shaft to deflect sideways as in 4 above. I would also recommend this shaft be made from steel (stainless) rather than aluminium, which at 4mm dia. would bend like spaghetti. These are the sort of bearing I am suggesting: - http://simplybearings.co.uk/shop/p155036/FR168ZZ-Metal-Shielded-Flanged-Deep-Groove-Ball-Bearing-1/4x3/8x1/8-inch/product_info.html http://simplybearings.co.uk/shop/p155047/FR6ZZ-Metal-Shielded-Flanged-Deep-Groove-Ball-Bearing-3/8x7/8x9/32-inch/product_info.html Given the Outside diameter of your wheel (approx 18mm) I would suggest using a 3/8"(9.525mm) bearing at the top with a 1/4"(6.35mm) at the bottom which will leave enough room for the wheel to engage the worm whilst keeping the shaft housing long enough to fully support the shaft. How long this shaft support could be depends on the amount of space you have beneath the top plate and the mounting arrangements you have for the motor. The top of the shaft can have a larger diameter support plate for the ball head along with a 3/8" thread. I have a fully equipped workshop and would be happy to make any necessary parts for you. If this would be of interest to you then please PM me and we can discuss it in more detail. Best regards. Sandy.
  10. Hi Chris, The usb/rs232 adaptor you have will not be suitable for your mount... it contains a voltage level converter to produce +/- voltages suitable for rs232 functions. This voltage can be as high as +/- 25v... which will produce severe damage. Even at the minimum output of +/-5v (see attached data sheet) it will damage your mount since it's inputs are rated for 0v - +5v TTL levels only... a -5v signal voltage will not be tolerated and you will damage the input stage on your mount mother board. The device I specified in my previous post is designed specifically for TTL output voltage levels and is the correct device for your mount. I hope this helps. Best regards. Sandy. FTDI DS_US232R-10_R-100-500.pdf
  11. Hi Chris, Reading all of the above, I agree with Julian in that it would seem you are trying to use the handset RS232 update cable as a direct cable to your mount, unfortunately that will not work for you as a direct connection. You could use it in conjunction with the handset by connecting the handset to the mount in the normal fashion and then connect the handset back to your PC/Laptop with the DB9 - RJ11 cable (using a USB/RS232 adaptor if your PC/Laptop is not equipped with a true 9pin RS232 port (most are not)). You would then set the handset into PCdirect mode via the menus and EQMOD should connect... you should then leave the handset alone (don't use the buttons for adjusting your scope) Unfortunately this method can also lead to timing errors and, as such, it is not the preferred method. For a true direct connection what you need is an FTDI EQdirect cable which incorporates a bunch of electronics between the USB connector on your PC/Laptop and the RJ45 plug which attaches to your mount.... you don't need the handset. If you are not that adept with electronic and soldering of connectors then I would recommend that you obtain a ready made cable, since you can very easily damage your mount with an incorrectly wired one. A suitable cable can be obtained from here: - http://www.astronomiser.co.uk/eqdir.htm Scroll down to find part number 'ASTEQDF51' (second picture down + list of optional lengths). You will also need to download the correct driver for your PC/Laptop: - http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP.htm You need the top VCD driver for windows Version 2.12.18. Hope this helps. Best regards. Sandy.
  12. I have an ED80 and can confirm that you will need at least a 50mm extension for your camera to achieve focus. When I use my DSLR directly, without the field Flattener/reducer I can reach focus with approx 15mm of inward travel remaining by using a 50mm extension... you should achieve focus at around 50% of travel since your back focus distance is only 17mm or thereabouts... my DSLR is 46.5mm back focus distance. You may also benefit from having a 2", internally threaded, nose piece on the front of the extension which will enable the fitting of a light pollution, or other, filter. Hope this helps. Enjoy, Sandy.
  13. Superb images of a tricky target, especially from a light polluted site. One minor error in your description though... it is approx 21 million light years away not 21 light years. M31 'Andromeda Galaxy' is the closest to earth at 2.5 million light years. Very well done. Best regards. Sandy.
  14. Hi and welcome to SGL. It is perfectly feasible to do deep sky astrophotography with a Newtonian telescope, even a modest size instrument will give great results... long focal length scopes such as SCT are better suited to planetary observation/photography. See this link: - https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/210593-imaging-with-the-130pds/ getting the camera set up correctly can be a little tricky with some models and you may either need to use a Barlow lens or move the primary mirror to allow the camera to focus properly. If you can provide more detail of your set up then members can provide you with a more specific answer and give you some ideas on what you need to do to get going. Best regards. Sandy.
  15. Hi Dave, Here is a link to the Skywatcher user manual for the EQ2 and scope. http://www.apm-telescopes.de/media/manuals/skywatcher/en/13.pdf. Hope it is of some help. Sandy.
  16. Hi Gina, This project has certainly given you a lot to think about. Having followed your progress for a while now, albeit in the background, it crossed my mind that I had not seen any mention of the execution times of the various sub routines and/or interrupt routines being mentioned. Normally these would not be of much concern for a focuser programme or such, however, they can be a very big issue when it comes to real time operations such as this one. I don't remember seeing any mention of these in any of your timing calculations, but I may have missed it, it's been a long post and I have only skimmed through a lot of the coding etc. It crossed my mind that perhaps this could account for ,at least some of, the ghosts you appear to be chasing if you had not factored them in to your timing calcs. I am not that familiar with C++, being an assembler man myself, but I can follow the major jist of it, however, I am not sure quite how you could assess such execution times accurately since the actual code seen by the processor is generated by the compliler... and they vary a lot in the way they compile... unlike assembler where you can easily assess the instruction times and calculate such things pretty accurately. Just thoughts really Gina so please forgive me if I have got this wrong. I hope you can find the problem/s and resolve them soon. Best regards. Sandy.
  17. Hi, If you can focus the DSLR with the short insert and Coma Corrector then with the correct additional spacing added to bring the CCD to 55mm behind the CC then YES. Good luck and clear skies. Sandy.
  18. Hi Shelster, The problem is not the amount of travel available in your focuser, or the method you use for focusing... it has everything to do with the Coma Corrector. Most Coma Correctors have a strict backfocus distance and this is typically 55mm. (there are others though so check your Correctors specification sheet/user guide) With a DSLR camera having a typical sensor depth (from front of camera flange) of around 45mm you will need to add an additional 10mm of extensions to achieve the required 55mm. Typically with DSLR camera the required T2- camera adapter will provide this. With the typical CCD camera having only around 17mm sensor distance from the front flange then you would need to find an additional 38mm of spacing to bring the CCD sensor to the correct distance from the Coma Corrector. This would typically comprise of T adapter and extension tubes... or T adapter and filter wheel, both having the necessary camera to extension/filter wheel adapter. The telescopes focuser cannot be used to account for this spacing... it has to be fixed behind the Coma Corrector and is critical to around +/- 1mm for a CCD camera having a smallish sensor... for a DSLR, with a much larger sensor, the distance is critical to +/- 0.5mm or less. Failure to get the distance correct will result in some residual Coma and possibly a little field curvature. Once this distance is correct then either camera should come to focus with the telescope focuser at pretty much the same extension/position. I hope this helps you get sorted and also rid you of the headache. Best Regards. Sandy.
  19. Here you go Martin: - http://srb-photographic.co.uk/c-mount-to-m42-lens-adaptor-6112-p.asp I believe 'Modern Astronomy' also do one around the same sort of price. Hope this helps. Best regards Sandy.
  20. Hi Leo, You will also need the correct M48 Canon camera adaptor... a standard T2 Canon camera adaptor won't fit. http://www.firstlightoptics.com/reducersflatteners/skywatcher-dslr-m48-ring-adapter.html Apart from some possible software issues for the MAC (the majority is written for windows) you should be good to go with that set-up. Perhaps another MAC user can recommend suitable software to use. Good luck and clear skies. Sandy.
  21. Hi Guy's, This issue is not unique to W10... it was also a problem in W7 and 8. It is possible to disable the auto driver update whilst still retaining other Auto updates. http://www.thewindowsclub.com/stop-windows-7-from-installing-drivers-automatically This works for W7 thru W10 Hope this helps. Sandy.
  22. Hi Macavity, JT3 taper refers to the small tapered socket on the rear of the drill chuck. Most general purpose pillar drills have a short taper on the end of their spindles to accommodate a chuck... this would usually be either JT3 or B16. On the majority of mid to high quality pillar drills this short taper is on one end of an inserted spindle arbor which is generally MT2 or MT3 the latter being more common on larger models... there are several other tapers and types of abor, however the MT type is the most common on pillar drills. JT3 is a Jacobs taper size 3. B16 is a Brown and Sharp Taper size 16. MT2 and MT3 are Morse taper sizes 2 and 3 respectively. The following shows a typical 2MT to JT3 arbor: - http://www.rdgtools.co.uk/acatalog/MT2-ARBOUR-TO-JT3-769.html#SID=195 The smaller, shorter, section being the JT3 which fits into the back of the drill chuck. The following shows an MT2 to B16 vesrsion: - http://www.rdgtools.co.uk/acatalog/MT2-ARBOUR-TO-B16-TAPER-775.html The only difference being the profile of the taper on the short/smaller end. You really only need to know the MT taper size of you pillar drill and the appropriate arbor can be obtained. Hope this helps. Best regards. Sandy.
  23. 16mm drill chucks are reasonably common in both keyed and keyless styles. Here is a 16mm key style with a JT3 taper: - http://www.rdgtools.co.uk/acatalog/KEY-TYPE-DRILL-CHUCK-1---16MM-CAPACITY-JT3-703.html They also do one with a B16 taper. I would suggest you try and get a refund first though, since it is 'NOT AS ADVERTISED'. Hope this helps. Sandy.
  24. Sorry to disagree Peter, Extract from the User manual for this scope... http://www.skywatcher.com/downloads/Star_Discovery_Manual_SL26032014_V1.pdf It would appear to differ, depending on the version of handset supplied. I hope this does not cause any confusion for the OP. Sandy.
  25. I would also add to what Peter has stated... you should also set your scope tube horizontal and point it, and the tripod, North (a compass is useful). After this has been done the Synscan system will require to know where you are on the planet, so you will need to enter your Longitude and Latitude and also the time and date... be careful how you enter the date... it is normal for this to be in American format MM.DD.YY. Enter these on the handset as requested and then proceed to the star alignment routine to get the Goto setup. Good luck with your new scope. Sandy.
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