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About froxfield

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    Appledore, Devon
  1. Hi, I have bought one of those from the seller, it is really useful and makes life so much easier to polar align and realign. It is one those things that should have been with it in the first place. You can of course diy your own, or use blutack, but this one looks really nice on the adventurer (albeit in blue). If you have access to a 3D printer you can also find the design for the it on the web... https://www.redpah.com/product/2932/star-adventurer-polar-illuminator-adapter Mine arrived from France in 4 days. The seller speaks a bit of English too, well he understood my emails ok.
  2. Thank you all, for the tips on dark frames. I will have a go using them next time. I am really enjoying the Lodestar. Sharing the view is really good, plus another lovely bonus is that it is mostly out of the wind and cold, as I am towards the top of a hill facing the sea with westerly winds! Sometime in the future I may get the urge to upgrade the mount, but I am about to add some weights to the tripod which I hope will improve stability a bit. Patrick
  3. Ah, thank you Martin, that is exactly the information I was hoping for, this is my first ccd astro camera and did wonder about taking darks, but thought that was more for general noise (of which the Lodestar seems to have little!) . Would I need to take as many darks as stacked normal images? With the above I was using my st80 with a MAK127 synscan ALT AZ mount.
  4. I have noticed that there seems to be a number of hot pixels on my colour Lodestar X2. Mostly with 30 second exposures, how many would be considered usual? Is about a dozen to be expected? Here is an example from an M42 H alpha shot. I think some of it might be because of my mount alignment and 30 seconds being a bit long at that point so there is some blurring(!) I am still playing with learning how to use the Lodestar, but I am sure you get my point though... I know that there is going to be a hot pixel removal option in the new lodestar software but until then is cloning out the way to go?
  5. Excellent suggestions all. Very much appreciated. I love the idea of using a focal reducer with spacer on the MAK, got to be worth a try. Mind you i think it will have to be a .5 x one. Sadly, Meade F3.3s don't seem to come up that often! I am going to get the the 7nm filter too. Thank you everyone.
  6. Thank you for posting those images Don they are really good, it definitely looks as if I am going to give the ST80 a try then for widefield. As soon as the weather improves I will put it to the test. I can't help but agree that the ST80 performs very well!! I am now thinking that I will at some point need another less wide field scope. I did have a dob some time back so collimating isn't a problem, but I would prefer not to! I don't want to change my Synscan AZ mount (yet) on the basis I want to keep things really nice and simple, I do have some cash left to spend but want to spend it on the best value I can get. I already have a bader yellow filter plus an Astronomik CLS. I am thinking a narrow band filter might be a useful thing to have, those images look excellent, which one did you use for the images above Don? I just wish there was someway I could use my MAK 127, but it looks like I might have to get a 6" reflector of some sort, the qualifier is that it has to be light though for the mount. I might go for the F4 imaging Newtonian, although some reviews put me off a bit, the collimation has to be ultra precise apparently? I don't mind used, so my last major question is what to buy to complement the ST80? Something to give me narrower views of smaller objects, and of course with decent fast light gathering ability or the ability to use a .5 focal reducer to good effect! Oh, I definitely am going to be using the starlight live software. That was a major factor in choosing the Lodestar!
  7. Very interesting points, for some reason I was thinking a nice small scope would be more stable on the AZ mount. My thinking was to try and get something small about F5 and reduce it somehow to nearer F3 to 4 to get more light. A bigger reflector though might be a good idea, as I am not going to be doing long exposures, that approach would also mean I could see what the ST80 could do, funnily enough, although it was as cheap as chips I have seen some quite acceptable, to me, astro photos from it. I wish I was more confident about the weight the Skywatcher MAK 127 mount would support, I can't find that ota in the UK, what about the Skywatcher 150 PDS over 5 kilos, would that be too heavy? I believe the ota of the 130 PDS weighs about 4 kilos. Mind you I have used the Mak 127 with a dslr camera, and a 1/2 kilo balancing weight on the front total weight about 6 kilos and it was fine. I have also tightened the leg bolts etc. Mmmm, food for thought.... I am looking forward to doing some observing in the warm....
  8. I have a question about the Lodestar X2 colour version, and what telescope combo to use with it to get best general results for deep space. I have been avidly reading this forum a lot lately and have recently had a bit of extra cash coming in that I didn't expect, and as a result bought the Lodestar, which seems absolutely spot on for my needs to get quick astro photos and records of what I see. The problem is I want to make sure that I make the best of it for visual and fast image capture. I have a MAK 127 and a standard ST80 but I suspect the MAK 127 at F12 will need reducing quite a bit, will the Skywatcher ST80 be good enough? I want to use the scope with my sysnscan AZ mount so do not want anything too heavy. I do want to get the best images I can quickly get out of the set up , would a ED80 or Megrez 72 be worth upgrading to, or even something similar, not too expensive? What could I buy that will reduce down with a focal reducer and give good quick images? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Many thanks
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