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Everything posted by Grant

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Will be interesting to see how he gets on using it - wouldn't having it mounted at the back restrict the FOV?
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. The theme for the 27th challenge - June 2019 - is DSLR / Mirrorless! Start Date: 1st June 2019 End Date: 31st August 2019 Rules: Very simple - any astronomical images taken with a DSLR or Mirrorless camera goes, be as creative as you like! Can be through a lens, telescope, pin hole! Videos, animations, single shots, stacks, guided, unguided all as you like but it must be captured using a DSLR or mirrorless (or point and shoot...) camera. Creative / unusual images always capture the judges eye! Have fun 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 #27' 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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!
  13. +1 for some Radio astronomy workshop / talks from me as well. I'd also like some Pixinsight workshops - pretty please
  14. 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.
  15. 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...
  16. 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!
  17. 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!
  18. 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
  19. Less entries in this challenge so we will rethink the format of this one next Christmas. Tough judging - shared 2nd and 3rd places this time! Well done everyone for entering, the winners are: M100 By Nigel G M51 with my new guiding setup By discardedastro M3 with Santa's gift. By Nigel G Nodal Ninja By MartinB lunar eclipse By clarkpm4242 https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/329357-lunar-eclipse/
  20. I can’t see any reason why they would sometimes load and sometimes not - those files are there and no other reports of this so far - bit of an odd one. I will keep my eyes open.
  21. FLO doesn’t share hosting with SGL so any speed improvements there are coincidental or perhaps something else changed for your internet speed.
  22. It's significant, there website will give you some idea but it's not really something I feel comfortable discussing publicly. Luckily for us, our sponsor FLO takes care of these bills so we don't have to fill the site with loads of flashing banner ads!
  23. Digital Ocean is the data center / platform we are using but the host we are using are: https://stablepoint.com/ They are a great bunch of guys, really helpful and I've been working with them for probably 10+ years at this point. They offer all sorts of hosting, so even if you just need to host a blog or your astro images, they will have a package to suit. They put together something pretty custom for us and so far the speeds I am seeing on SGL are fantastic!
  24. I'm not sure this is avoidable as there are so many emoticons in the list which just take awhile to load, especially on some browsers / internet connections. I confess, I never use this feature I just type the smilieys in but I will have a look.
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