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Everything posted by Lonestar70

  1. Hi Christoph, If you are using LIVE VIEW on your PC then you could try AlsReticle... it is free to download. http://alsreticulev3.software.informer.com/ This can overlay you liveview screen and can be adjusted for brightness and also rotated. Hope this is of some help. Best Regards. Sandy.
  2. Hi Watersblue, Just been looking at the user manual for your 350d (downloaded version) and a couple of things came to light that may be confusing the issue. Have you got 'Mirror Lock up' enabled?... if so then you will need to close the shutter button twice to take a picture. 1st full press locks the mirror. 2nd full press takes the picture. The mirror will return to it's down position after 30 seconds if you don't press the shutter a second time. if this is the case then I suggest you disable mirror lock up to simplify things. It would appear that you can enable the self timer when using BULB mode which will provide a 2 second delay after triggering the shutter, to allow the mirror to stabilise in the raised position, before the exposure is taken. This might be a good option to use, if the mirror causes shake/blurring, but you will need to add 2 seconds to your exposure time to compensate for the self timer. See 'Mirror Lockup' page in your manual. (page 94 on my downloaded version) I don't use 'Mirror lockup' with my Nikon D90 and have not experienced any problems with blurring, but I cannot say you will not get any... try it and see. Hope the 470 ohm resistor gets you going. Best Regards. Sandy.
  3. I don't use APT as I use a Nikon camera... so I am not sure exactly where everything is on APT. Under long exposure you will find a list of available ports, one of thee will be your USB - SERIAL adapter. Check under your computers control panel > device Manager > Ports and establish which port it is connected to. Select this port number in APT. I don't think you need to worry about setting up pin 7 (RTS) as I believe APT already has this set to RTS (pin 7) as default. For some other software you also need to tell the software which pin on the serial port is used for shutter release in which case you would specify pin 7 or RTS. Next you need to find the settings window for the number of exposures you want to take... this will also have a setting box for the exposure length... both of these need to be set before it will operate the camera correctly. There is probably also a setting box for DELAY between exposures... this should be set for 10- 20 seconds to allow the previous exposure to download and to allow the sensor to cool down between exposures. You should not need to connect the tip to the ring... the switch is made between the tip and the body(sleeve). Hope you get it working. Best regards.
  4. What software are you using to trigger your camera?... are you telling it what port the shutter release is on and have you configured it to use pin 7 (RTS) as the trigger. Some software also requires pin 4 (DTR) and pin 6 (DSR or DTS) to be connected together. I use the revised circuit which works well for both Canon and Nikon cameras. It also gives you a visual reference of being in an Active or Passive state by using a bi-coloured LED. DSLR%20SERIAL%20CABLE%20-%20NIKON%20TWEAK.pdfHi, NOTE** you do not need the PIN diode for a canon. If you are using a 3.3v or 5v USB to serial adaptor then the 2k2 ohm resistor is somewhat too large and will not allow enough current to activate the photo diode inside the opto isolator. at 5v 2.2k will only allow 2.2mA and at 3.3v this will only be 1.5mA... typically the opto requires around 5 - 6mA to operate adequately. Try reducing the value of the resistor to 470 ohm. Hope this helps a bit. Best regards.
  5. You could try soft mounts for your fans. http://www.ebay.co.uk/bhp/rubber-fan-mounts. These really do reduce noise and vibration. How are you planning on getting the air flow from the camera fan to pass over the sensor? or are you just blowing the air over the outside of the camera? Hope this is of help. Best regards.
  6. Now if I could only think of a way to make the workshop roof slide!!!!!!
  7. Hi Chris, You would be better adding the additional 1" (2 cm) to all the left hand wall uprights... this will then ensure the wall remains square to the base... it will also save you having to account for an angled wall when you are doing the roof. If yopu also add te additional timber to the top outside of the floor frame this will seal any gap and allow the flooring to fit without any angled cutting. Don't forget to fit a waterproof (breathable) membrane to the outside of the frames before fitting the cladding. Keep up the great job you are doing. Best Regards.
  8. Hi Chris, Make your frame and floor base to fit the 5m length so that the joists fit fully on the footings as planned at 90 deg. When you come to adding the outer cladding, if you first nail on some 2" x 1" or 3" x 1" on the outside of the effected frame this will buy you the necessary clearance to allow the cladding to fall below the footings as planned. I did much the same thing when I built my Workshop, which had 27" high stub walls all round. The outer cladding on this comes 18" below the top of the walls. Hope this helps. Looking great so far though. Best regards.
  9. Hi Spacedawg, If your mount is a manual heq5 then you will need the synscan upgrade to allow for Go-to; which will then also give you the option of using EQMOD/EQdir and controlling your scope via a laptop or PC. The EQMOD/EQDIR option cannot be used without the upgrade. GO-TO can help in locating objects in the sky, but, learning your way around the sky with the aid of a good planitarium programme (such as stellarium... a free download) or a book with star maps (such as Turn left at Orion) can be very rewarding. GO-TO will get you there, but it won't teach you how to do it. Best regards.
  10. Hi, As Peter has stated, you will need a step ring. Both of your Nikon lenses have 52mm filter threads and the Orion LP filter has 48mm (T2) thread. The following adapter will do what you require: - http://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p1427_Adaptor-from-T2-thread-to-M52---for-projection-photography.html Hope this helps. Clear Skies.
  11. Hi Tim, and welcome to SGL. You will get plenty of help from the members here... just ask the questions. Clear Skies and enjoy.
  12. Hi Mike, and welcome back to the hobby and to SGL. Can't help much with filters for LP, other than I use a SW LP filter which is good for the very small amount of LP I get... mostly Sodium... not quite sure how it performs under heavy LP though, also I don't know how good it is for the newer LED types, we don't have any of those in this part of the world. Clear Skies,
  13. Hi Jay, and welcome to SGL. Another vote here for 'Making Every Photon Count' it will save you a lot more than it's cover price when choosing equipment for astrophotography... more importantly, it will save making expensive mistakes. Clear Skies,
  14. Lonestar70

    New member

    Hi Avtar and welcome to SGL. Hope you can find some dark skies to use your new gear under. Best regards,
  15. Hi Paul, Designer handbags and shoes don't count then do they? :grin: The ST80 and SPC900 with LX mod are a common pairing for guiding and PHD supports this camera and modification. The SPC900 is not quite as sensitive as the QHY5 and certainly a lot less sensitive than the Lodestar, however, it is adequate for most general guiding where a suitably bright guide star can be located (you may need to adjust the guidescope a little in order to locate one). 2 or 3 second exposures will usually be enough, any more and you will run into too much sensor noise. The use of the AMP OFF modification will help with this. All camera control and exposures can be directly controlled from PHD so you won't need any other software for guiding. I use an SPC900 with LX and AMP OFF mods on a SW 9 x 50 Finder scope under PHD. Hope this helps. Best regards.
  16. Hi Blinky, No problem my friend... always ready to help a fellow stargazer. I think the main problem you were having was that you had not selected 'Relative' mode. The standalone package always defaults to 'ABSOLUTE MODE'. It also assumes the focuser is in the parked (fully in) position and sets the POSITION value to ZERO... regardless of where the focuser is physically positioned... hence the recommendation to manually set your focusser fully In before starting the software. The results you were getting suggest this, since you were only able to perform one button push (using your 100 steps) Absolute mode works a bit like GO-TO in that it will go to the position stated by the NUMBER OF STEPS if it is not already in that position. When you powered up the software defaulted the actual position of your focuser to be position ZERO... you set number of steps to 100 and pressed the out button... it moved to position 100... when you pressed the IN or OUT button a second time nothing happened, since the focuser was already at position 100... to get it to move a further 100 you would have had to set the step number to 200... if you then wanted to move IN 150 steps you would have to set the number to 50 (position 50).. etc etc. RELATIVE mode works in a different way... it just moves the number of steps set in either direction (IN or OUT) from where it currently is, so long as this would not make it go beyond the INWARD or OUTWARD limits (0 and 10,000 by default) and it adjusts the POSITION value accordingly. Apart from finding, and setting, your focuser limits, as described in my last post, the only parameter which may need a bit of playing with is the SPEED (step 3 in my last post). This number is actually the delay (in microseconds) used for the stepper pulses and is used to set the ON and OFF times of each pulse. The default is, if I remember correctly, 200... this number will probably need changing to suit your MOTOR/Load. A higher value will give longer, but more powerful, ON and OFF times to each pulse. A lower value will give shorter, but less powerful, ON and OFF times to each pulse. Shorter pulses will make the motor move faster but it may not be able to move the load of your camera (especially is the scope is pointing toward ZENITH). Not usually a problem in the OUT direction, but it may not be able to do it in the IN direction, since it will be trying to lift the entire focuser tube and camera weight. Selecting a higher value will make the motor move more slowly but it will have a lot more power, allowing it to lift the load. Play around with this value and find one that allows your motor to lift the required load in the ZENITH orientation and always set it to this value. I found I needed to set mine to 600 to lift my Nikon D90, SW x0.8 Focal Reducer/Field Flattener on my ED80. I use the same value on my SW 150PDS. Hope this makes sense. Let us know how you get on. Best Regards.
  17. Hi Blinky, Have you may not have set up all the parameters on the standalone user interface. Start by manually setting your scopes focuser fully in (without the electronic focuser powered up). Power up the electronic focuser, and standalone focuser software. On the standalone control panel: - First select your COM port... then connect to focuser. 1/ On the left side of the control panel ... Set Position = zero (0) default. 2/ exactly below it... Set Steps = 100, or whatever step number you require. 3/ On the RIGHT side of the control panel... type, say 500, into the speed box and click the SET speed button just below it. 4/ The SET LIMIT should be set for the maximum number of steps you need to reach the FULLY OUT position of you scopes focuser, however, since you don't yet know this number just leave it at the 10,000 steps shown as default. 5/ In the centre of the control panel click on the SET RELATIVE button. (It defaults to ABSOLUTE) You should now be able to step in and out the number of steps you have set in step 2 above. If you try to go below the lower limit (0) nothing will happen. Step out at say 500 step intervals until your focuser is almost fully out... then reduce the number of steps to say 10, or 20... keep stepping out whilst watching for movement of you focuser... as soon as you see none... then step back IN by the same amount of steps. In the centre of the control panel, at the top you should see an entry labeled 'POSITION' with a number just below and to the right... this is the number of steps between the FULLY IN position of you focuser and the FULLY OUT position. If you now type this number into the SET LIMIT box (step 4 above) and click on set limit, this will set the maximum number of steps beyond which the electronics will ignore any further OUT button presses. Unfortunately, the Standalone focuser control panel does not remember any of this when it is powered down so take note of the numbers for next time... then you can easily preset them the next time you use your focuser again. Hope this helps.
  18. Nicho, The link you gave is for a 'Skywatcher Power supply cable with a cigar lighter plug. This has the correct 2.1mm Centre positive plug for your Atik but it will require a power tank (battery) to supply the power, or a Mains powered regulated 12v DC power supply. If you don't want, or have not got, a battery/DC power supply... FO also do a mains powered supply for the Atik: - http://www.firstlightoptics.com/power/atik-power-supply-unit-psu.html Beware of any cheap mains 'PLUG TOP' type power adaptors... a lot of them are not stabilised and can output a substantially higher voltage than 12v if used at a lower current than it's label says it is rated for. For a £1000.00 + camera, it is better to spend a little more on a properly regulated (stabilised) power supply than risking any of the cheap units. Hope you get it sorted out. Best regards.
  19. Hi Gaz, and welcome to SGL. If you are getting in to AstroPhotography then the 200pds would be the better scope... although the HEQ5 would be at it's limit with this OTA, especially when you add a guidescope etc (a have must for long exposures)... the HEQ6 would be the better mount. Whatever you end up purchasing you will get lots of help and guidance from the members on SGL. Enjoy... and clear skies.
  20. Another alternative is to use o-rings... obtainable from most good hardware stores or garages. Get 3 or 4 with an inside dia just a little smaller than the OD of your focuser knob and stretch them over it. Several fitted side by side will give a good grip and are easily replaced when/if necessary. Hope this helps.
  21. Whilst it is true that the SPC900 gives approx the same image scale as you would get from a 6mm eyepiece, it does not mean they focus at the same position on your focuser... unless the eyepiece and the camera are exactly parfocal. The best way to focus the camera is to use a nearby bright star and focus on that, using a bahtinov mask. Once focus has been achieved you can then slew back to Saturn and adjust brightness, contrast and exposure time to give you a fairly dim image in liveview. As has been stated, if you find the image too small then employing a barlow will be of benefit... but remember this will increase the focal length of your set-up... meaning a longer exposure time would be required. Hope you manage to get some decent images.
  22. Hi Guy's, Replacement ain boards are available from: - http://www.opticstar.com/Run/Astronomy/Astro-Accessories-Mounts-Skywatcher.asp?p=0_10_5_2_0_60 not exactly cheap, but may save a lot of headaches trying to reconfigure a suspect board. Keep happy.
  23. OOp's...I should have also stated, the whole lot runs just fine on my machine. Hope you find the problem with yours.
  24. Hi All, I have eqascom/eqmod installed on my window 7x 64bit pro laptop and am also using eqdir to my HEQ5 pro. Ascom, Eqmod, Eqdir are all installed (by default... by the ascom installer file) as win32 programme files and it uses the 32bit drivers. I also run all these packages as ADMINISTRATOR... which often helps with such problems. I was always under the impression that ASCOM et al were 32 bit programmes by default, have yours installed as 64 bit? if so then this could be the problem. Hope this sheds some possible light. Best regards.
  25. Hi Emad, You could try the following: - http://www.rosshandling.co.uk/economy-handwheels.asp http://www.mossplastics.com/polypropylene-scalloped-handwheel http://www.wdsltd.co.uk/products/Machine-Parts/Plastic-Hand-Knobs/WDS-8161-Hand-Screw-195/ They may have something suitable. Best Regards.
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