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Everything posted by Lonestar70

  1. Something wrong with your link kalasinman... cannot be opened. 404 error 'not found' Sandy.
  2. Check first... M42 screw mount is 42mm x 1mm pitch. T2 is 42mm x 0.75mm pitch... you can't use one with the other. The only one I know of is the Geoptics one for Nikon lenses. Hope you find something. Sandy.
  3. That sounds like a better/safer option. Sandy.
  4. It may have the Prolific chipset inside... not the same as FTDI and uses different drivers. In any case, you would still need the USB connector to connect to your PC... the RJ45 would connect to the RS232 side of the adaptor. You would need to be sure which wire was which and also the voltage levels from the RS232 side. RJ45 EQDIR pins: - 1 = gnd 2 = n/c 3 = n/c 4 = gnd 5 = txd 6 = rxd 7 = 12v 8 = 12v Hope this helps. Sandy. EDIT. You could check the pinout by using a multimeter on your RJ-11 handset cable... which would normally attach to the USB-RS232 adaptor. The RJ-11 pinout is: - 1 = n/c 2 = rxd 3 = gnd 4 = n/c 5 = txd 6 = n/c Just check which wire on the RJ=11 connects to which pin on the RS232 end... then wire the RJ45 to suit. You can probably ignore the 12v connections on the RJ45 in this application... the converter gets it's power from the USB side on your adaptor and the mount gets it's supply from a separate source.
  5. OOps...My Apologies... yes you are correct, I was thinking of the handset connection to the PC serial port, which is RJ-11. Whilst it is in fact an RJ45... I am not sure the cable connections are the same... I am inclined to believe the mount needs a straight through connection rather than the cross-over consol type. The schematic on ASCOM should show the correct conections for this. Good luck. Sandy.
  6. Even the NEQ6 does not have a true serial port. The only thing in common is the use of a DB9 connector... this does not mean it is an RS232 port and is also wired differently...it also has very different voltage tolerance. Sadly it is a mistake a good few users have made... with the inevitable high cost of replacing their mounts motherboard. Always check your manual... don't assume that becouse it looks the same, that it is the same. Keep Happy. Sandy.
  7. Hi Guy's, It may be a lot cheaper, however, be very aware that this cable may damage your mount... The FTDI FT232R chip alone would be fine which is what the EQ Direct cable does (it only outputs 0V to + 5v)... however this cable is combined with a ZT213 RS232 level converter... this bit will increase your TX output voltages to +/- 12v ... which may well fry your mounts input... it also expects it's RX input to be in the range +/- 25v (both of these voltage levels are within the true RS232 voltage levels range). See attached Data Sheet for the ZT 2xx range. Most Skywatcher and Celestron mounts are +5v max levels for input and output signals. The mount connection type is more usually RJ-11 or a DB9... NOT RJ45... the pinout of these is not the same as the cable you are looking at... Check your SYNSCAN manual, or your mount's equiv. Be Safe... not sorry. Best regards. Sandy. ZT230E_ds.pdf
  8. You could do much worse than buying a Nikon D5200 body only (can be got NEW for less than £300.00) which can use all your lenses. For astro work you can use 'BackYardNikon' tethering software which will do everything you will ever need. You would need a DSUSB (or equivalent) usb cable release for shutter control... as you would with many Canon models. http://www.otelescope.com/index.php?/forum/6-backyardnikon/ Good luck. Best regards. Sandy.
  9. Hi Don, Just a thought... is your phone app set to give your location in Degrees, Minutes and seconds or are you actually entering decimal degrees by mistake. 92.33 deg W is 92 deg 19minutes 48 seconds W.... which is pretty close to 92 degrees 20mins W. Similarly 34.37deg N would be 34 deg 22minutes and 2 seconds N... it's an easy error to make and many off us have made it. This could account for some of the error you are getting. Best regards. Sandy.
  10. Hi There, I would be inclined to say your pictures are suffering from LIGHT POLLUTION, you certainly have a great deal of it at your site. Try taking a shot at say 10seconds rather than 30 seconds with the same iso etc as in the above frame and see what that comes out like. Also try taking the same 2 shots at a dark site... I think you will be surprised by the difference. . A couple of other points... did you turn the camera body to manual focus as well as the lens?... not sure if this is available on the D60... I have this function on my D90 and it makes a large difference to the noise if I forget to turn the body to manual. Have you turned off all in-camera noise reduction, oddly this can sometimes add noise if left on for astro shots. Are you covering the viewfinder before taking an exposure... a lot of unwanted light can get in via this route. Finally, it is possible that you have displaced the internal mirror, used for the viewfinder, when you dropped the camera... this could mean some light is getting past the mirror seal when in the viewfinder position or it is not rising to it's proper open position when in exposure position... which again could be doing strange things with the available light. This would not always be obvious when taking daylight shots, since the huge difference in available light would tend to mask it. I dont think this is anything to do with hot pixels... if the sensor had that many it would also result in very poor daylight shots. Try taking a BIAS shot ( Camera in M mode, manual focus,lens cap on, viewfinder covered, all noise reduction turned off and highest shutter speed)... this will show true number of hot pixels and noise. I hope you can find the cause and the solution. Best regards. Sandy.
  11. Hi Jazzy and welcome to SGL. That must be a first... usually it is a DSLR which has the problem of not enough in focus travel, since they all have rather large backfocus requirements. WEBCAMS on the other hand have relatively small backfocus requirements and usually need the focuser wound out more. A Barlow would sort this inward travel problem for a DSLR, by moving the image focal point futher out of the focuser, however this would probably make the available outfocus travel too little for a WEBCAM... as would shortening the truss rods, thus requiring some extension piece on the front of the WEBCAM. What scope and DSLR Camera are you using? and how are you attaching the Camera's?... have you removed the lens from the SPC900 and fitted a nosepiece? Not come accross this situation before. Best regards. Sandy.
  12. Hi Paul, Don't give up it can seem a little confusing at first but just take it one step at a time. You can run EQMod without CDC in the frame, which just adds another lot of settings to the mix... run it without and get it running on it's own... then add CDC. Looking at your screen shots it appears that you have not actually set up EQMOD... you appear to have just set up CDC and, unfortunately, a lot of this input just stays with CDC it is not automatically transferred to EQMOD. For example... your EQMOD screens show different Latitude and Longitude and also time to those shown on CDC screen shots.... These must be identical or all sorts of strange thing can happen. You must set up EQMOD first to use the correct COM port and also make sure it's coms parameters are correct. You then set CDC to the same when you set it up later. This Tutorial is a good one to follow: - http://lightvortexastronomy.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/tutorial-imaging-setting-up-equatorial.html It is aimed at Windows 7 users mainly but does mention some thing that are different if using Windows 8. I am sure your main issue is that EQMOD does not recognise the COM port... even though CDC appears too. I hope this helps. Keep happy... we are all here to helps each other and a great many of us have been through this same setup procedure, and all had some issues to deal with. Best regards. Sandy.
  13. Another option would be to fit a parfocal ring on the 1 1/4" nosepiece... but a longer screw would be the best solution. Keep Happy. Sandy.
  14. Hi, With my ED80 + Nikon DSLR + Focal reducer/field flattener + Autofocuser + Finder Guider I made up a sliding weight unit for DEC balancing, mounted on the dovetail bar on the mount side to minimise differential balance... RA balance is achieved using a single counterweight. The 2 sliding weights are around 600grams each. Another way is to use a longer dovetail bar and mount the scope with the focuser ahead of the mount... I could not do this as my autofocuser fouled on the dovetail... also the DSLR in some orientations. Keep Happy. Sandy.
  15. Hi, Yes I agree that it is perhaps early days yet to be making the claim about the AZ-EQ5GT and that it needs to be confirmed. Having said that... SW do not appear to have addressed the problem for the AZ-EQ6GT or even their flagship EQ8 so I will not bank on them having addressed it for the AZ-EQ5GT either... I would be happy to be proved wrong though. Regardless of the above, it would seem to be born out by the fact that this particular AZ-EQ5GT will not work correctly and has low battery warnings flashing at above the claimed 11v lower limit... perhaps this suggests something is still not quite true with the specifications. I sincerely hope that SW have actually resolved this issue for their latest mount, since it has caused a great deal of anguish in the past for many users and should have been dealt with many moons ago... they have had plenty of fault reports and time to have done so... but seem to have just ignored the problem. Keep happy. Best regards. Sandy.
  16. Hi Guy's, At the risk of the wrath of the gods.... I am with Tinker on this one... it is a fairly well known fact that Skywatchers voltage specification is wildly wide of the mark when it comes to LOW VOLTAGE limit. Most Skywatcher owners I know of, and from my own experience with the HEQ5, would agree that a low voltage of 12.5volts is the more accurate lower limit. I know Gina has problems with her mounts at anything below this and my own mount (HEQ5) will start flashing and becomes erratic at around 12.5volts. A fully charged lithium polymer battery will be at 12.6 volts MAX and will drop to 12volts (or slightly below) within about 20 minutes (take a look at the discharge curves on FLO site)... at which point it remains reasonably stable for a few hours with typical use. Furthermore... if yours is only outputing 11.45v after a full charge... then it (or it's charger) is faulty and needs to be replaced I would therefore conclude that your battery is not capable of driving your Skywatcher mount... for more than a few minutes before it falls below the REAL low voltage limit. A better choice would be a Deep Discharge leisure battery, which will have a fully charged voltage of approx 13.8v. (this would also apply to a power tank) The down side is... they are a lot heavier to lug around. For home use... a mains powered stabilised 13.8v DC at 5 - 10 Amps power supply would be the best. Keep happy. Best regards. Sandy.
  17. After you do your polar alignment just be sure to return the mount to the home position (weights down and scope pointing North... you may, or may not, see Polaris through the scope... it depends on the scopes field of view... that does not matter. Then switch on the mount and enter any Time, date and location info... then skip through the handset polar stuff (just press enter) and go straight to your star alignment selection. Good luck and clear skies. Best regards. Sandy.
  18. Hi Paul, For EQMOD to work you must also have the ASCOM platform installed... this was probably the other item you had to download first. You then need an EQDIR lead for your mount: - http://www.firstlightoptics.com/astronomy-cables-leads-accessories/hitecastro-eqdir-adapter.html Make sure you pick the HEQ5 version... and also download the Windows 8 drivers from the same link, also the driver installation info. One end plugs into a usb port on your PC/Laptop... the other end plugs into the mount in place of the handset. You don't use, or need, the HEQ5 handset... all control is from the EQMOD user interface and/or the planetarium software on the PC/Laptop. You will also need a planetarium software, either Cartes du Ciel http://sourceforge.net/projects/skychart/ or Stellarium +Stellarium scope... http://stellarium.org/en_GB http://stellariumscope.software.informer.com/ all are free downloads on the web. This is then used to select a Star/Planet/DSO for alignment or goto. Once you have the planetarium software installed you can just open it and select your telescope... this will then open EQMOD for you. The most important thing is to make sure that both Planetarium and EQMOD both have identical Location and time settings. Hope this helps. Good luck. Best regards. Sandy.
  19. Bet you will though The most important thing to remember when aligning the polar scope reticule is ('only turn any grubscrew about 1/8th turn before adjusting the opposing ones') and be very gentle when tightening them... the grubscrews bear on the edge of the glass reticule and overtightening can easily chip, or crack, the reticule. Slackening by any more than 1/8th turn can cause the reticule to fall away from it's seat. Just take all the time you need... you only ever need to do this once, unless you damage the reticule. Good luck. Best regards. Sandy.
  20. I am inclined to agree with Laurie... focus on one target should be same for any other target. I suspect what you are seeing is a blueish halo around Jupiter (and possibly other bright stars.) This would also apply to the moon, however, since it is very large and close it is not always so obvious/apparent. You can't focus this out. This is mainly caused by your telescope optics, since it is an achromat... therefore it will produce what is called chromatic aboration... this is due to the optics focusing different coloured light at different focal lengths. Seeing also can cause this to be worse. Keep happy. Sandy.
  21. The mount will only draw what it needs... so no problem using a 5 Amp power supply... if the output voltage is adjustable set it to 13.8 Volts (same as a fully charged battery). If it is a fixed voltage supply just use it as it is. Best regards. Sandy.
  22. Hi Peje, Here is the link: - http://www.firstlightoptics.com/astronomy-cables-leads-accessories/hitecastro-eqdir-adapter.html Don't think you will find one much cheaper anywhere else. The other alternative is to use the RS232 firmware update lead supplied for the handset. This plugs in to the computers RS232 port and then into the firmware update socket on the handset... the handset connects to the mount using it's normal cable. You then set the handset to PC-Direct mode (you will find it in one of the handset menu's) and you can then use the PC to control the mount using ASCOM and EQMOD. The only downside is that one or two functions are a little slower (which may/or may not cause a problem with other software such a PHD or the like)... it depends a lot on your PC as to how much of an issue this will be. The EQDIR route is by far the best though. Best regards. Sandy.
  23. Hi John, That's good to hear and I am happy to have been of some small assistance... it is, after all, what this place is all about. Clear Skies. Sandy.
  24. Hi Vox45, Yes the Orion finder is a good solution, there is also the Altair Astro one which has a micro focuser included: - http://www.altairastro.com/starwave-50mm-guide-scope-kit-straight-thru-with-non-rotating-helical-focuser-no-eyepiece-or-illuminator.html This also has good reviews and the micro focuser is an added bonus... especially as they are both much the same price. The Orion starshoot camera is a rebadged QHY 5 (early type) so I would not bother with it if you already have the ASI 120MM... it should work just fine as a guide camera. The other advantage of using a finder/guider is that you will generally get more guide stars to choose from since it has a wider field of view than an OAG. I think you will find using the separate finder/guider a better solution... especially if you go for the ED80 later on. Good luck and hope you get it all up and running soon. Best regards. Sandy.
  25. Hi Neil, Deep Cycle batteries require a special type of charger... a standard car battery charger will not suffice, and can easily damage the battery. For best results you need a multi mode charger which monitors the battery charge level and switches between different charge modes accordingly... and won't overcharge your battery like some very cheap ones would. Unfortunately, they are not cheap: - https://advancedbatterysupplies.co.uk/batterycharger121000leisure This would do all you require and keep your battery in tip top condition. Hope this helps. Best regards. Sandy.
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