Jump to content


PaPa Doc

New Members
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by PaPa Doc

  1. Ask & you shall receive;





    I have 25 feet of RS 232 cable on order for the long run of cable, that is why you do not see the cable in the long extension, it's being delivered still, otherwise it's all done. The long run of cable is 20 feet long, & I connect it to the tripod legs with plastic zip ties.

    Hope this is what you wanted to see,


    • Like 2
  2. My cable mess corrector is wire looming, used by automotive & computer techs to encase wires & protect them. I use 1/4", 3/8" or 1/2" for localizing cables on the mount, & 5/8" up to 3/4" for the wire run from the tripod to the computer. By having all my wires in the loom, the excess length of some wires is kept from hanging around & getting tangled or tripped on. I use bands of electrical tape to secure the looming.

    I run a full length COM port cable to the base of the scope, along with (3) 5 meter usb cables, in a 5/8" loom, taped up with reflective tape so I won't trip on it when walking back & forth from the scope to the computer. I run the scopes RS-232 Com port cable & the USB cables, up the tripod legs & let the connectors out of the loom as needed & tape the loom on both sides of the connector end, so it will stay in place. I taped up the open end where the last connector comes out to seal the end.

    When I set-up or take down, I just disconnect & roll the works up in 1 neat bundle & store it in a plastic bin with a lid to keep water safe. I leave a couple of desiccant packs in the tub as well to keep it dry.

    I too had problems using a USB hub as well, so I direct connect everything. My laptop has 3 USB ports, 1 for the RS-232/USB connector for the scope, 1 USB cable for the CCD or DSLR camera, connected to the scope, 1 USB cable for the piggy back DSLR camera, when a mouse is not in use.

    Since I started using the looming, I haven't had a disconnect or ripped out wire from tripping on it, Yet. (Knock on wood that I didn't just jinxed that). I don't worry about the cables wrapping @ the scope anymore or snag up on hanging cables, everything is neat, tidy & self contained.

    This is working well for me, I hope it may help you too.


    • Like 1
  3. I have the same camera, I use BackYard EOS as a computer program for the camera. It provides a live view, focus adjustments, the ability to programs photo-shoots and execute them, even moving the scope to a new location at start shooting more pics. For $40(CAN/US) it was one of the best buys I made in a while, it's really helpful. Combined with a planetarium program like Stellarium or Starry Nights, this makes AP much easier, & helps get great results the first time out & every time after that.

    As for attachments, this will all depend on type of scope, adapter size (1.25" or 2") & if your going prime focus with the scope or are placing an eye-piece or zoom EP between the camera & scope.

    You many need a USB to COM port connector to connect a scope to a computer, many scopes that do need this come with the RS-232 cable with a COM port end. If your laptop doesn't have a com port(older laptops may have a COM port) then you'll need a USB/COM port adapter.

    I hope this helps,


  4. Wow, you folks are lucky. Buy a scope & get 2 days out of 14 to try it out. I bought my scope in November, since then I have had 3 nights of decent skies, but the temps were minus 17-25 C. Ever since people started talking about the PannStars comet, being best seen from Western Canada, I haven't had a clear sky since mid Feb. I'm Jinxed, I tell ya.

    Living on the east side of the Rockies has it's drawbacks. Can someone please buy a really big Dob in the U.K. so this cloudy weather can find a new home. I haven't seen a star in months!


  5. Hello SubDwarf;

    I live in Innisfail, so I am right along Highway 2, about 21 km South of Red Deer. While I will readily agree that the location isn't the best for viewing from my flat in town, it is central to many different Dark Sky locations, & a 20 minute drive to Ken & Bev & All-Star Telescope, in Didsbury, Alberta.

    I am well within a 2 hour drive limit to some very nice dark sky locations. Abraham Lake on Highway 11 is just a little west of a favorite location of mine, Shunda Mountain & it's fire tower lookout. With Abraham Lake being located between Banff & Jasper National parks, either park is within a 2-3 hour drive from my flat. All 3 locations as well as many more in Kananaskis Country are my go-to locations that are all over 6000 ft of elevation and in prime dark skies. If the mountain weather is not great, I head East into the prairies & North towards Wainwright or South towards the Badlands, or anywhere in-between, on farm land & no where near any major towns.

    Naturally, I like my elevation locations & I have access to many(50+). The only real dangers are the grizzly bears & wolves, but if a person is smart, this risk is very low, just something to keep in mind when a branch breaks at 3 am.( EEEKS!)

    When there is not enough time for a quick trip to the parks, I drive about 20-30 minutes West, to get into the foothills North of Sundre & South of Rocky Mountain House. Being in the middle of the Calgary-Edmonton corridor, heading West for 20-30 minutes gets me into really good skies almost as good as Jasper.

    While spring has sprung elsewhere, not here, at least not this week. We're in a major snow storm as I type this. Snow, winds at 50km, minus 23C by 3 am, many highways are closed all across Alberta & Saskatchewan yesterday & this morning, it's a mess right now, but give it a week or so & we'll be in warmer weather for the next 5 months.

    At least, you know why it's not good to visit Alberta in the winter. LOL

    May you have dark skies...

    Cheers Mate!

  6. Starnut;

    A go-to scope is nice to get someone to where they are going, if the person knows what they are looking for, & Stellarium can show them what they may see when they get it there. It's kind of like a property builders rule of thumb, "Call before you dig". With Stella, a user can see something of interest in Stella, then send the scope to that location. It may be something the nekid eye can't see in the nights sky, Stella will give the user an idea what they will be seeing once the scope gets to that location.

    Rather then having to find an objects proper scientific name & knowing which catalog to look into to find the object, with a click of the mouse, this takes that process & makes it automatic. Furthermore, when people are using a scope for AP work, it's a lot easier to use a program like Stella to arrange a nights session of picture taking, the ease of transferring location data from the program to the scope, and in the winter, a person can stay indoors, while the scope is outside in the cold. With Stellarium & a camera program like BackYard EOS, a person can program the scope to take a set of pictures, then move to another location & take more pics, so on & so forth. By having both programs running, this makes the process much easier to program a session, the data transfer is instant, and with the correct location values, keeping mistakes fewer & farther between.

    I hope I haven't confused you further,


    • Like 2
  7. Hello again Baggy. I have a solution for you.

    Alt + 1 = Center scope to the reticle spot on screen

    Ctrl + 1 = Move scope to point of reticle. Once your aligned & connected to Stella, click on Saturn, let's say, so the reticle is highlighting Saturn, then hit ctrl + 1 , & the scope will slew to Saturn. You had the right idea, you just confused alt with ctrl. You can highlight the commands when your in the F1 sub screen, then paste them to a new notepad document, then print them up. It will make life a little easier. I printed out the commands & they are a big time & hair saver. ha ha When your in the telescope set-up sub screen, make certain to tick the box that will show the scope in Stella, & it will be there for you.

    Hope this helps mate,


  8. Something to think about; once you have bought the Nexstar 5 SE, you have the goto mount that is used by the rest of the same line of products. You can actually purchase the 6" or 8" tube assembly by it's self and use the same mount. There is little difference in the mount, you just need to flash the handset with the 6 or 8" values & your up and running with a larger tube using the same mount. This will allow you to go into a larger tube without having to buy the goto mount again, making for a less expensive upgrade in the future.

  9. I'm A NexStar 5 SE user, I like it a lot.

    The wedge tripod allows for the user to do some light AP work, usually exposures below 5 minutes come out great. I have not tried exposures longer then 5 minutes, yet, so I cannot comment on that aspect.

    I am also a disabled gent, with multiple spine problems. Although I am not in a Wheelie chair yet, I soon will be. So portability is a big concern for me, I like the 5 SE for just that reason. I can pack it up by myself in very little time, If you buy a hard/soft shell case, it goes that much easier & the hard case is great for flying or on a train trip to dark skies.

    A power tank, EP's & accessories (barlows, Neb filters, color + moon filters, a retical EP for easy alignments, camera adapters, adjustable astronomy chair) will add more to any price of a telescope, so you should keep this in mind as well when making a decision. The 5 SE can be set up & running in about 5-7 minutes for alt / az viewing, while polar alignment can add up to another 30 minutes, depending on how bright Polaris is in your location. I find it takes about 10-20 min for the SCT to cool to -15C, from room temp, when it is first placed outside during the winter.

    When I purchased the scope, I also purchased the Celestron 1.25 EP kit along with a Baader Hyperion Mark III 8:24 mm zoom & I am happy for the moment. The Plossl EP's in the kit are good for just starting out as many top end EP's are costing between $200-500 each. The zoom is the one of the best zooms on the market, there is a buyer guide report in these forums if your interested, it's worth the money in my opinion. The views from the 5 SE are great, Jupiter is clear, bright & easily seen with 4 of it's moons, Saturn is well defined, & star hoping is a fun exercise will little to disappoint, alignment can be very accurate when done correctly, & the keypad is user friendly. There is a little bit of a learning curve involved to use this Go-To scope properly, but that can be expected with any scope.

    I paid $699 Canadian for my 5 S/E, & by the time I bought the stuff needed to make it work, I spent $1200 before leaving the store, but this included a few camera attachment accessories, the EP kit, zoom, power tank, & a focal reducer/corrector. This can give you an idea about how much you may be spending to make the scope work right out of the box. The 5 SE comes with a 25mm Plossl & this EP fits into the EP kit nicely. The EP kit comes with a 2x Barlow, 6, 8, 13, 17, 32 mm EP's & 7 moon & color filters. The 2'' EP kit is also of benefit, I will be buying 1 within the next month so you won't go wrong by buying either EP kit.

    I guess the rest is up to you, & your decision will be affected by what you want to accomplish in astronomy, viewing only or possibly AP, this will influence your choice as well. To finally answer your real question, YES, it is this difficult to make a decision, there are many great scopes out there, just steer clear of the cheap knock-off & department store scopes & you'll do just fine with whatever your decision may be.

    Clear Skies to all,


  10. I have an offer for you Greathouse202. Your in B.C., I'm in Alberta, I'll start my offer to you & double what you paid for the telescope when your done with it. At present I have a NexStar 5" SCT, but I would like to add your older scope to my collection. I think it would be a nice addition to have with my 72 Chev 1/2 ton, having the telescope set up beside an old restored truck at a star party, combining the old & new, makes for a great conversation starter. Besides, I like the looks of it, & luv the look of the wooden cases. I found some advertising material for this scope, i'll reprint it here;


    Here is a link with a lot more info about your scope; http://www.company7.com/library/unitron/unitron_114.html As mentioned, If/when you decide to sell the scope, drop me a pm & we can discuss a price, but I'll start my offer by doubling your price of $75. Until then, enjoy the views & the added info. Might I suggest you print out the info from the link provided, then who ever you sell it to in the future, they will have the technical specs for their scope as well as it's history.

    Clear Skies


  11. Skir;

    1 book that is available for persons new to astronomical photography & astronomy in general is called The Backyard Astronomer's Guide, by Terence Dickinson & Alan Dyer. Both of these gentlemen have decades of experience, Terence is the editor of Sky News magazine, & Alan Dyer is the associate editor of the same magazine. The magazine can be seen at www.skynews.ca. Both gentlemen have published many books on astronomy and astronomical photography. Alan Dyer, if my memory serves me well, is a multimedia program producer for many of the planetariums in N.America.

    Alan has a web site; http://amazingsky.net/ where you can see some of his work & the equipment he uses. There are links at the top of the page. I would like to suggest to you to look at his web site, you can see some of his written & lots of his photography work. The Backyard Astronomer's Guide, I think, would serve you well when thinking about what to photograph & how to accomplish the best results. For people just learning about AP, this is a good start, other wise, google either authors name & you will certainly find the information your looking for, as both gentlemen are well published in N.America & regarded as some of the best AP photographers in N.America.

    Hope this helps you a little bit,


    • Like 1
  12. Paul;

    I took notice of a small crescent of light just above the tree on the left side of the top photo, & I was wondering if it was some kind of aberration or reflection? I ask this because I'm new to AP & trying to learn. Either way, nicely done mate, I would love to have taken a photo similar to yours, from my dark sky location on the west side of the Rockies, but chances are I won't be :bino2: through the :clouds1: & :clouds2: until May or early October :dontknow: .


  13. Greetings to all. :hello:

    My next question for you fine folks to consider is this; Does anyone here use a Corel photo editing suite to process their AP? It's called PaintShop Pro. I have versions 3, 4, & the latest V5 & I have been using this photo editing suite for a few years now for processing 35mm slides into digital format & the required repair work work, but I am wondering if this program has similar tools I will need to process AP that Adobe PS has?

    Is there anyone using it here for your AP? Should I buy the Adobe products instead? I do own a free copy of Adobe Elements 6, should I be considering up grading it to Elements 11, for $80, or go into debt and buy CS6 for $700 or get on the cloud for $60/month.

    Any suggestions or comments will be greatly appreciated. I am fairly new to all of this, especially AP. I have a rare opportunity to take an Alan Dyer workshop in a months time & I want to be ready for it. Your replies will help steer me in the right direction.

    Thank-You for allowing me an opportunity to pick your brains,

    Clear skies to all,


  14. Greetings All;

    I have been working with Celestron support for the last month or so, trying to identify the problem the SkyQ Link Wi-Fi dongle has with Windows 7 operating systems. I have sent in many mb of system information & even videos showing the process taken to connect with the dongle, and the many failures to connect. My most recent contact was 2 days ago, by phone. Having spoken with the same people during the entire process, I have been assured that the company is working very hard in trying to establish the issues. I have sent in videos showing the connection error that happens on 3 different computers, all with different wireless adapters, all using Win 7 OS, & Intel I-5 & I-7 processors.

    During this process, Celestron sent me a new SkyQ Link, thinking it may have been broken, sadly, this did not fix anything. After advising Celestron support that the issue still stands, they have asked for more info, which I have given freely & gladly.

    I would like to let everyone who is experiencing this issue to know they have not been forgotten. This process is taking some time to identify the issues, I get the feeling that Celestron doesn't know whats going on to cause these failures. I was told that the SkyQ Link works with Windows 8, but this doesn't help those who use Windows 7.

    I will continue to follow this issue until such time that Celestron implements a fix, or refunds my money, after telling me they don't know how to fix the problem. I will let you all know the results as soon as I hear back from Celestron.

    If anyone is operating a Windows 7 OS & has gotten a connection, can you please PM me & let me know how you did it, & what the connection settings are that they used to establish a connection. Perhaps if someone who is using Win 7 OS & has gotten a connection & the SkyQ link working, this may help narrowing down the issue some of us are having. This would also indicate the OS is not the issue, but settings may be the issue. If anyone else would like to offer their comments, it would be greatly appreciated. The more info I can provide Celestron, the better.

    Clear Skies to all,


  15. Nice picture you have there Paulf. Your pic is the best of the 4-5 that I have seen so far. I'm still clouded out, with no chance of clear skies for another 2-3 days.

    Best of luck to all who are trying to see this event.


    • Like 1
  16. Well folks, being in Western Canada is not helping me to see the comet this week. :( I have been up a few nights already trying to take advantage of the new moon, & all the events this week has to offer, but cloud, rain & snow all week & into the weekend will not be helpful, to say the least. With clouds & rain/snow expected until at least this coming Sunday, :clouds2::clouds1: I have almost lost all hope of getting a picture right after the comet swings around the sun. I was seriously hoping to get a few minutes of clear skies in the early evening to frame a picture or 2 but clouds on both sides of the Rockies is keeping the clear skies at bay.

    I can only hope the folks at the Texas/Arizona star party :blob3::blob5::blob1::blob10: are having better luck.

    If, with any luck, I get a chance to snap a pic or two, I promise to share with you all. However, for the moment, weather in Western Canada will be cloudy with rain/snow till Sunday, so my hopes are falling. :dontknow::crybaby2:

    I do wish ev1 the best of luck with their efforts to capture the comet & hope others are having better luck than I.


  17. I should have also noted that the Antares SCT-2" "visual back" will thread onto the Celestron f/6.3 Corrector/Reducers if someone is thinking of some photography work. The added weight of the reducer/corrector, the zoom EP & a DSLR WILL cause smaller scopes to droop. I fixed this with an adjustment of just a few inch pounds added to the ny-loc nut securing the vertical axis gear. The adjustment is easy to make, just completely take out the long "clamping" bolt that secures the tube to the go-to mount, the ny-loc nut is in plain sight, right behind the long bolt. Give it a 1/8 turn at a time, then check the adjustment. Do not over-tighten!! This will cause excessive wear on the nylon washers & may break the gears, so be very very careful.


  18. DSCF0594.jpg

    What needs to happen is; Take off the 2" rubber coated eye-ring as shown above, carefully thread on the adapter - Baader Hyperion T-Adapter M 43 / T-2; #2958080. Attach the adapter to the T-Ring. The adapter does allow a person to attach extension tubes between the zoom EP adapter & the T-Ring, thereby gaining more over-all magnification options. The 2" "visual back" is an Antares T-2 SCT to 2" adapter, which is made in Canada. All pieces shown in this picture were purchased at All-Star Telescope in Didsbury, Alberta Canada. If you cannot find it locally, Call Ken From, the Owner of All-Star Telescope, he can help you get what you need, or want. :hello:

  19. The reason I bought my 5 SE is the wedge feature. I found the 4'' too small, and I would have loved to have 6 SE but it doesn't come with a wedge & I didn't want to spend more money getting into the hobby at that moment. I have had no troubles with the 5 SE at all, it's light, portable, the goto scope is great for anyone who is just learning about the many facets of the hobby but does not want to be over whelmed by the information available. Visually, although this winter has been poor in Western Canada for viewing in reasonable weather, I did manage to find Jupiter along with 4 moons with the 5 SE, during a night of great viewing in minus 27 C. Saturn was observed during an early morning session & the few general pics I've taken so far are not too bad. I would not want to depend on this mount for long exposure photography, but anything under 3-5 minutes would be ok. I only say this because so far I have not tried any exposure longer then 5 minutes, I do not know how well the scope preforms in longer exposures, Yet! :icon_rendeer:

    Had the 6 SE included the wedge mount, I would have gladly paid the $100 difference. For me, it was the wedge mount vs mirror diameter of 1".


  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.