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PlanetGazer

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Everything posted by PlanetGazer

  1. a question that I have been wondering about lately, though, only looking for short exposure only, as I use my dob usually for visual. But would love to take a couple of short exposure pictures. Wonder if the Canon EOS 4000D (NIS) is any good for astrophotography? Also, Nikon COOLPIX B500, found it on sale
  2. That's a great price! I did find similar car jump starters, but they are either small cheaply made lithium batteries, which is a safety concern for me; or a lead acid battery that's over priced (equivalent to £ 100 after discount link). So maybe buying a proper safe lithium battery with double the life-span (theoretically), could be the best value.
  3. I do need a power tank as most of my observing sessions are remote. I live in a flat with restricted outdoor space. the power tank is expensive, but the cheapest available power tank that can be shipped to my location. Regarding voltage, the manufacturer states it has a " 4* 12V DC for car powered device under 60W" which I think means 4 outlets that you can connect to a cable with negative car socket adapter. The mains outlets are 2 and are 120V AC (300 Watt Surge)
  4. I tried buying the SW or Celestron power tanks from multiple sites, US and UK. but non would ship internationally. For safety reasons
  5. What do you guys think of this power station. I would buy one for my current telescope or any other in the future. Reason I'm thinking of this one, as it's the only site that'll ship internationally. https://www.rockpals.com/collections/portable-power-station/products/250-watt-portable-generator-rechargeable-solar-generator-with-110v-ac-outlet https://www.amazon.com/Rockpals-250-Watt-Generator-Rechargeable-Emergency/dp/B075SSMR6K
  6. lots of good tips and advise in this post, which helped me. Thank you! No problems at all 3 Amps for mains power seems fine so far, 4 Amps could be next on my list, though mobile batteries are my priority now Trust me I have lost more, and kept my patience in many xD but glad that I gained knowledge in a new area (power and electricity) This was also helpful, I've never went back to the battery and decided to try a working car battery first, before buying a dedicated one. Thank you! I'm considering a 17 Ah or larger. Can't find a shop that will ship to me, due to safety regulations. Though I may just end up buying a separate car battery Impressive battery! I've bought a value voltmeter for the long run. I will start to learn how to use it. I have used the default accessories for the initial trials until I got it aligned and then used different accessories but were similar weight and did not find any major problems. regarding set up options, all were correct, I double checked with the amazing Synscan init 2.0 app as well. and yes I was excited! I found that the scope takes the longer angle to rotate sometimes, and the the cables get extended to the limit. to remedy that, I locate the object on the sky map, manually rotate the scope to the direction of the object (with the handset directional buttons) then use the GoTo to locate the object, this will make the scope not turn more than 180 degrees and will contribute to saving power. They have, but I'm much happier now xD Thanks for the help Ron This is good advise. the use of up and right as final steps to align, do contribute to the accuracy of the allignment
  7. Update : I would like to thank everyone for their contribution in this topic. I have finally managed to sort it out. As many have suggested, power was the issue, and I have managed to solve it. Sorry for the late reply, but finding the right time for an observing session + weather + debugging the issue, all contributed for the late reply. I have planned to test 2 methods: 1- Use mains power 2- try car socket battery power. Which meant I had to find some power supply cable and an extinction cord for the cigarette socket to position the scope an appropriate distance away from the car, to keep all sides visible. 1- I found 2 power supplies with 2 Amp 12 V (Mains power), tried them and both didn't align the scope correctly . I managed to find a power supply with 3 Amp 12 V and with multiple tries on different nights I finally managed to get the stars aligned with acceptable accuracy. As long as the target is anywhere in the 25mm EP view, I'm pleased. Boy was I happy when I managed to view Uranus for the first time! Not an easy target 2- So after I managed to align successfully using mains power, I had to insure that my scope works well when using batteries, since I ,mostly, stargaze outside my home. I tried using a working car battery via an interior cigarette socket, using the original cable that came with the scope, connected to an extension cord I bought. I manged to get an alignment that was one nudge away from target ( I might have been able to align more accurately if I tried again), though this was good enough for me to start the session and this time I went for Neptune! very small even in a 5mm EP, which was pushing the limit of my skies at that night. I have also enjoyed the views of a couple of DSOs. My next mission now is finding the ideal battery for my use! I would like to thank this community for helping me solve my problem and for keeping this hobby live and enjoyable!
  8. From my experience, I learned so much about the sky from trying to align the GOTO than my manual EQ scope. Note that aligning the GOTO scope is not a straight forward task for a complete beginner, you would have to learn the bright stars and their positions in the sky with a map/app to align your scope to it. It requires patience in the first sessions. + it's an Alt-Az mount, so you can push it manually any time. A manual scope, however, would force you to learn more of the sky extensively on the long run. Also, an equatorial manual scope will require you learning Right ascension-declination grid to set-up your mount, the scope doesn't move in an upright motion on an equatorial mount If you ask me, a manual EQ scope is a good choice early on on the hobby. If you consider the GOTO, I would recommend that you search more on how to use GOTOs before buying it, hopefully it will lead to an informative decision. Edit: just noted that the scope you bought has an EQ1 mount, note that both EQ1 and EQ2 are note that sturdy.
  9. nice picture there! This could be of topic, but I wonder how you clean such a big a mirror? Clear Skies
  10. Have a look at these: 1. https://www.firstlightoptics.com/beginner-telescopes/skywatcher-heritage-130p-flextube.html 2. https://www.firstlightoptics.com/reflectors/skywatcher-explorer-130.html This one requires learning how equatorial (EQ) mounts work 3. https://www.firstlightoptics.com/beginner-telescopes/skywatcher-skyliner-200p-dobsonian.html If your are going to go deep in this hobby, pick this rather than buying one now, and another later Before you buy, search for better deals, and you can price match at FLO
  11. This could help as it shows the different types of viewing conditions, if you do a star test, qouted from Astro Baby's website: http://www.astro-baby.com/astrobaby/help/collimation-guide-newtonian-reflector/ " Collimation perfect. Airey disk shows neat concentric circles. The innermost are dark due to the telescopes central obstruction caused by the secondary mirror. Collimation is out of adjustment – Results such as these suggest the primary mirror is not well aligned. This is simple to correct in the field by adjusting the primary mirror collimation screws. Small adjustments only are needed. Atmospheric turbulence – The air around the telescope and in its line of sight is being disrupted by rising heat or by higher altitude turbulence. You cannot star test with this present. Pinched Mirror – this is the classic ‘heart’ shape indicating the primary mirror has become stressed. Initially check that the collimation adjusters are not over tight. If the problem persists you will need to remove the primary mirror cell and make sure the clips holding the mirror to the cell have not been over tightened. Another common cause of ‘pinching’ is often over tight tube rings. Tube currents – the telescope has not cooled sufficiently to the outside air temperature. Allow the telescope more time to cool down. Astigmatism can be caused by poor collimation but also by poor quality optics. Secondary mirrors which are not flat either because of bad collimation or bad polishing are typical causes. Usually caused by incorrect figuring of the primary mirror. This cannot be corrected by the user. It indicates faulty optics in the mirrors design or production. These show typical patterns for mirrors with poor optical surfaces. This may be caused by roughness of the mirror caused by poor polishing or damage from poor cleaning. This is not correctable."
  12. Agreed! I also had the same issue with my 10 inch, I left it to come into equalbrium with surrounding temperature and manged to get a good view. Though in the last two weeks, I'm not getting the best views, as Jupiter is getting away from us. I also noted that some nights have a turbulent atmosphere where viewing planets deteriorates extremely, specially when the planet is not up at a high angle. May I ask what have you used to capture this image? Edit: just realized it's not your image, my bad
  13. yep, it's the same as the one I have. My scope came with the CollapsibleGoToDobsonian manual, and a synscan manual, both are similar regarding alignment. Noted, thanks for the heads up. Reading all the feedback, I can conclude that I will have to test it on a main (AC) power source, and see if it works (that would be me asking my friend to bring his car that have an AC plug). If it works then, I would have to find a permanent working solution for my battery and charger, as I don't have an observing site with an AC power available. Thanks all for the contribution, I will update this topic after my next session. Clear Skies
  14. Oh! well thanks for that, I will have to try this next time! I will confirm this after my next session Daylight saving is set to no all times, local time zone doesn't use Daylight saving. All data entry shouldn't be the problem, as I have tried using the Synscan app which enters all data automatically once you allow it to connect to the web and allow location on before the start of linking the app to the scope.
  15. what would make the clutches slip other than heavy weight or cold temperatures? I did use a heavy 5mm eyepiece X-Cel, but was not using the heavy finder with it, only a light red dot finder. Temperatures are high since I received the scope. The scope is new anyways, received it in early August.
  16. Well I was in a dilemma since I received the scope whether to keep it or take it, but the frustration made take. I regret taking it apart. I will have to find an alternative. regarding the clutches, they are embedded inside the box yes.
  17. Well I checked the voltage before and after, and it does increase, a five minutes charge increased it from 11.7 V to to 12.2 V , this is based on the handset reading. I could charge it at a regular plug (AC), but would have to order a special charging cable. According to the the Synscan Manual, the requirement is 10 to 15 V and 1 Amp. I remember reading that it requires 12 V and 2 Amp in another manual, but I guess the difference is little, in which both cases is covered by 7Ah by the battery.
  18. I use a lead acid battery which is 12V & 7Ah, I check the voltage before starting each session using the option on the handset. Currently it's 12.3 V. Below is a picture of the battery (I charge it by connecting it to the car's battery for a few minutes, engine running of course). Is the handset accurate in measuring the voltage? should I get a Voltmeter to accurately measure it? The battery used is 7Ah, that should be more than what is required. I'm sure that I reset the park option, and have done a factory rest as well. and there is no polar scope on a dobsonian. it's an alt/azm mount. Not at all, thanks for your help. Also there is no counterweights on Dobs.
  19. I was doubting that the foam ring is there for protection, though it's not a reliable material and won't last in place with glue only. Do all SW dobs come like this?! I will have to try this next time, thanks for the help! the dob has no clutches, once you point it at something it will stay still unlike non dob mounts
  20. I'm sure it's north in this case, as I know the area well, I only use the compass to point with more accuracy. Thanks for the tip
  21. Other extra info: • One time I tried the 3 star align method, the first star to align was capella, the scope slew to capella, exactly, from the first time! But by the time I completed the alignment, the scope was misaligned with the other stars • There was a foam ring covering the gears between the two wooden layers at the base (glued), it was there the whole time, however I took it apart at the last session. I tried to align after, but no luck. Didn't know the gears were exposed! • Here is what I suspect the problem is, but I could be wrong: • In one of the sessions, I noticed that when the base is level when measured with a spirit bubble, the scope (OTA) is not level, when it's set at zero reading. I would have to move it down minus one of the zero to make it level • could the gears/morirs be faulty? • backlash issues? Uncharted waters for me
  22. I was hesitant to write this earlier, but I wanted to try all possible ways to get my new SkyWatcher 250P GOTO allgined, but to no avail. I have followed the instruction manuals of both the synscan and SW, and managed to get the message "alignment successful" multiple times on the handset or the app. The closest I got when I tried to dial a different star was a 20 to 25 degrees off on the azimth axis. Most times it's off by a margin on both axes. I have tried aligning around 30 times on more than 5 diffrenet occasions, different locations as well. I end up ignoring the thing and switch to navigating manually as the eager friends want to observe instantly, but we ran out of objectes and the planets are not close anymore, so I figured it's time to get deeper DSO's and sort out the GOTO. Here is what I do: • I level the scope to the zero reading on top of the base • I make sure the base is level with a spirit level I bought recently • I point the scope northish, but latley I bought compass to pinpoint north • I plug all equipments in and then switch on the power from a lead acid battery • I enter the date ( US fromat, month before day ) • enter correct time zone obviously • the coordinates in the format of E 000 00 , N 00 00 • As for elevation I use "my elevation" app, not sure if it's accurate. Does this entry have to be that accurate? • I tried both brightest star and the 2 star align methods on the handset (which seems to be the same thing apart from the brightest method having an extra menu asking for which direction you are pointing at) I even used the synscan app and the synscan pro, and tried the 3 star align method. The app uses location and enters all data automatically •I use the top and right arrows as the last press before centring the star in the eyepiece as recommended by the manual These are the steps I follow when I align , is there anythung I missed? Your kind help is much appreciated. Update: issue solved, check the reply in the second page
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