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Grant

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Everything posted by Grant

  1. Not as many entries as we were hoping for this one well done to those who did enter though and based on the results, Android is the way to go for astrophotography! Congratulations to the winners: Moon and Venus By Angvd Moon with Samsung S7 Android By Pete Presland Piccolomini - Galaxy S8 By CraigT82
  2. The theme for the 28th challenge - July 2019 - is Lunar Landings! Start Date: 1st July 2019 End Date: 30th September 2019 Rules: To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing the challenge this month is to take an image or produce a sketch / drawing showing any of the Lunar Landing sites from not just Apollo missions but any place where a human made object has landed on the moon. Close-ups, wider field, animations, movies with annotation or graphics you create are all welcome Prize: A personalised mug for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places featuring your image kindly provided by our sponsors FLO and a virtual trophy for your signature. -- RULES All data must be captured and processed by you (no collaborative entries). Data must be captured during the challenge start & end dates. Multiple entries are allowed but please start a new topic for each entry. Multiple submissions of the same image, processed differently, will not be accepted. -- To enter please start a new topic with your image in the ‘Imaging Challenge #28' forum (each challenge will have its own). Please post as much information as possible - when it was taken, how it was captured and processed, etc. The info won't necessarily be used for judging but will help fellow SGLers looking to learn and improve their knowledge and technique.
  3. If you check the forecast in the AM and you have it set to centred on Midnight, it has to show part of yesterday in order to be able to show the forecast for the current AM. We are working on some changes to Clear Outside this year and the 'views' is one thing I want to tidy up and have a more intelligent view which shows you the full days hours centred on Midday if you check in the morning and then the over night Center on Midnight view if you check in the afternoon - I think that would be more logical.
  4. Please enter entries for this imaging challenge here.
  5. Snap - spent most of the night working out that I needed to use every extension supplied with the iOptron RC6 to reach focus and then struggled to get polar aligned due to the seeing / clouds rolling in. On a positive - it does now focus and the ZWO EAF seemed to work a treat Hoping tomorrow and / or Saturday is better!
  6. We've just set one of each of these up at FLO HQ - first impressions, these are so much better than a wibbly wobbly EQ1! The new white / green OTA colour scheme looks great and it's nice to see the high quality dovetails and rings being used on these beginner scopes as well. Eyepieces and accessories as you would expect are average but enough to get you started. All have a red finder. I'm not a fan of the tripod - it's OK but I would've preferred they had bundled it with the Star Adventurer type round leg tripod with the clip in tray rather than having to use the little thumbscrew things. Looking forwards to seeing a tracking drive for these to see how that works. Initial impressions though, I think these are going to be new favourites for beginners who want an EQ mount...
  7. I'm really excited about this - Ian is a super guy, lots of knowledge and experience and has the same attitude towards looking after customers as us. I think he is an excellent addition to the team and I think it will enable FLO to help our customers all the way through from beginner, intermediate through to expert and professionals! I for one will definitely be tapping his knowledge to help my own teetering steps into astrophotography
  8. One other silly thing - I don't like how long the counterweight shaft is - with the RedCat, the counterweight is nearly at the top and it's a very long shaft - great if you need it for balancing but if you don't, you can't slide it away like on the NEQ6 - perhaps there is a market here for shorter counterweight shafts. I know it's a silly thing, but I like to keep things as tucked away as possible to prevent cable snag and me clumsily banging into something in the dark!
  9. I managed a few nights of (semi) clear skies last week to test the new CEM40-EC mount. So far, I'm very impressed - setup was easy and altitude and azimuth adjustment are very easy and smooth to get a good accurate polar alignment. I opted for the 1.5" tripod but have a 2" tripod on the way to test as well. The 1.5" is more than good enough, unextended for 80mm or less refractors but I think if I were wanting to extend the legs or use a heavier scope I would definitely go for the 2" tripod or, the tri-pier. Tracking - the results speak for themselves: I would like to extend the guiding exposure further but this is as far as the ASIAIR goes currently. I suspect the DEC isn't performing as well as it's completely out of balance - not the mounts fault but I was using a RedCat at the time with a lot of gear on the back so need to find a better way of balancing this. There is a lot to like about this mount - it's small and light so I was able to easily move the entire setup around in one go, the in-built iPolar works like a charm and makes polar alignment really straightforward particularly with how easy the altitude in particular is adjusted. The in-build USB port is great and worked perfectly with the ASIAIR to control and guide the mount and I actually liked having the handset there as well (normally I use EQMOD so lose the handset option). I haven't used the built-in wire management yet - I'm testing a few different scopes and other bits at the moment so don't have a setup permanent enough to warrant tidying the wires properly but they look jolly useful. There are a couple of bits that I am less enthusiastic about - the GPS unit is an add-on device that simply plugs in and hangs down - it's a shame it's not a built in unit like on the CEM120. It feels like an after thought. Similarly the optional WiFI unit is the same, it's a shame it couldn't have been built in again like the CEM120. The case is nice and functional but rather tight and requires the mount to be put in a specific position to repack - probably OK for occasional star parties but if you are a portable user then it would become a pain having to reposition the mount position each time to refit it into the box, particularly in the dark. One issue I've had so far is using GoTo through the ASIair, it seems to send the mount in the wrong direction so it hits itself - I think this is an ASIair bug so have reported it, using GoTo from the handset works perfectly with things bang on center. SkySafari also doesn't work with the CEM40 on an iPad running through the ASIair yet, I suspect this is either a SkySafari or ASIair issue so hopefully will be resolved in future updates - not sure I can blame the mount for that I think this mount might replace my EQ6 as my portable / star party setup... Who am I kidding, it just means I need to take two setups I'll post more updates as I get to use it more. Any questions, I'm happy to do my best to answer.
  10. With the official adapter, the HEQ5 one fits the same as the EQ6 version I have here, it uses grub screws to fix to the inside of the polarscope view hole at the top of the mount. This is the same way the Polemaster affixes as well.
  11. I don't think it's as simple as that - polar scopes come in a variety of sizes and attachment methods. I will try to get a chance to do a proper drawing of the iPolar with the full dimensions on as there is a 30mm diameter 'step' part inbetween the main body and lens part as well. It looks like the iPolar is intended for fitting to the rear of mounts like the CEM25 and IEQ45 as well as the front so perhaps the FOV isn't an issue: When I get chance to fit the iPolar to my NEQ6 I will have a look at the polar scope at the same time but I think it screws in so you would still probably need an adapter for the iPolar.
  12. Will be interesting to see how he gets on using it - wouldn't having it mounted at the back restrict the FOV?
  13. Good point about the darks - it just seemed odd to me to see an imaging device installed automatically with a HID driver, I didn’t think that was possible as HID is normally used for low traffic human interface devices like keyboards, mice and serial devices - I’ll have another dig.
  14. The external version of the iPolar is exactly the same - the adapters are available separately and FLO has stock and will be listing the individual adapters soon. ADM do a dovetail bracket for the PoleMaster and I see no reason why you couldn’t do the same with the iPolar - I’ll see if we can sort something as I would quite like to mount one on the tip / underside of a dovetail.
  15. Nope - they are two totally different products. The iPolar installs as a USB HID device rather than a camera which means no driver is required, just the client software. I'm not sure if the device itself does some image processing before sending the results back to the computer - perhaps some basic edge / contrast detection to identify the stars in the image - I'm not sure, that's just speculation on my part.
  16. the iPolar is physically smaller, here are the PoleMaster dimensions: The base part of the iPolar is 36mm diameter so around 4mm less. The lens part is 26mm diameter so around 11mm less. Height is similar, 49mm so just under 2mm less. That's for the standard version - plus the adapter parts are separate. I am going to be using it on my NEQ6. The CEM40 I am currently playing with learning my way around has the iPolar built in already which is really neat and means the wiring is all integrated into the mount itself.
  17. Two different things - iOptron used to sell a branded version of the PoleMaster which was identical, apart from the branding. The iPolar is a completely new product that uses a different methodology and software to do the polar alignment.
  18. The latest beta software for the ASIair has added a polar alignment routine - I tried it for the first time Tuesday night and it works great! Made polar alignment a lot quicker, simpler and ultimately, I think more accurate!
  19. +1 for some Radio astronomy workshop / talks from me as well. I'd also like some Pixinsight workshops - pretty please
  20. I'm easily getting a full disk with the 25mm eyepiece supplied with it and with a Hyperion Zoom at 24mm but I remember it being a tighter fov than the fov simulator would suggest so I will double check that next time I use it.
  21. I have the bundle and, in all honesty think it's probably better to buy the scope and add other bits as you need them - e.g. the powertank is useful, but only if you don't have one already. The diagonal and eyepiece are nothing special...
  22. Initial reaction - very positive, nice build quality and a great size. I had a brief first light with it yesterday and directly compared to a Lunt 60, B1200 Pressure tuned and I could see some very faint / small prominence through the DayStar that I could not see in the Lunt. This was a very quick peak between clouds and there is very little on the sun at the moment so I will repeat the test for longer when I get a chance and will keep comparing the two. One thing I am going to have to get used to is powering it and waiting for 5-10 minutes when adjusting the tuning for the temperature to stabilise - I am used to instant tuning results on the Lunt. I suspect when I am used to it, I will know what setting works best and start from that and the need for messing with adjustment will be less. Two things strike me already though - the helical focuser works way better than I expected at getting a nice tight fine focus without moving anything and secondly, it's nice to be able to adjust the tuning without needing to brace the scope / mount as the pressure tuner on the Lunt does take a fair bit of torque to adjust. For reference - I am using both on a Sky-Watcher SolarQuest mount - I love this mount!
  23. Grant

    DIY Pier

    That's looking great! Interesting to see how it all pans out and how stable it is - looks like it will be pretty solid!
  24. Wow - I know I say this every time but this was another tough one to judge with three people sharing third place! Great to see some sketches and some unusual compositions in this challenge - keep them coming Winners are: Large moon mosaic, full saturaded colors By wouterdhoye I won't be back ! - My 2nd Terminator Image By PembrokeSteve Luna 14-2-2019 By Ibbo! Chalk-/charcoal sketch from Grimaldi to Cavalerius, Feb 17th By acr_astro Terminator Challenge #23 By Lurcher
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