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Everything posted by piprees

  1. Thanks John, I'll uninstall the PHD programs and give your list a go. Lousy weather for the next few days so nothing to loose. P.
  2. Hi, I really feel the need to go guiding and well, I've downloaded PHD and I've read that I need an Ascom platform, then I've read that I need an Eqmod driver, then I've read that I need Stellarium, etc, etc. Can anyone tell me what I really do actually need, it's to guide a NEQ6 with a QHY511. Also, I think that I've gone through the motions of downloading the Ascom platform 6.1 SP1 but all that I can find is the install aware wizard. I click it to open and it does say installing said platform although, when it finishes, it says ascom platform 6.1 repaired. I click on finish and the whole lot disappears. Am I missing something here??? Any help is really appreciated, Kind regards, Phil
  3. Thanks Mike, bit technical but I'll google it and check it out. I reckon 5mins will be enough for me for a while. Regards, P.
  4. Thanks guys, have to curb my enthusiasm a little.
  5. Just wondering, perfect polar alignment, tracking and guiding, wonder what the maximum safe exposure time for a dslr, (canon 40D), would be before things went pear shaped? I have this vision of blue smoke coming from the chip!!!! Phil
  6. Thanks Ibbo!, so the PRO Synscan GOTO upgrade would be ok for AP on a EQ5 but NOT with the 200p. A lighter newtonian or refractor, plus autoguding may work. P.
  7. Hi, When you read the load capacity of a mount is it for just the scope and guider or do I have to include the counterweights? A bit fundamental but it has to be asked. Kind regards, P.
  8. Listen to Olly, he talks so much sense. This can be a relatively expensive hobby, (as are most, I suppose, when you get deeply into them). There's a pretty good fundamental tutorial on youtube, 'imaging without a tracker', by Forrest Tanaka. You can also ask other people for stacks of images for you to work on, (never done this myself but heard of people who have). That camera mount from First light optics looks like a good bit of kit and if you have some pretty good photographic equipment it may be the way forward but be warned, if you're into learning, this is damned addictive. No, don't be warned, be afraid, be very afraid!!!!!!
  9. Hi, I have a NEQ6 and was wondering if anybody has used a HitecAstro USB Guider with a Pentaflex digital eyepiece camera or similar for autoguiding, (or am I missing the point), and then, what sort of results are achieved. Could this setup be used with PHD? It's just that I'm an absolute scrooge!!! Kind regards, P.
  10. Thanks cthorpey, I've been considering the skywatcher syguider. Reviews have been a little ambiguous. They do away with using a laptop but not too sure about actually locking onto a star. Has anybody had practical experience of one of these? P.
  11. Thanks Adam, it'll be for a skywatcher 200p so, hmmmm, have to give it some thought.
  12. Hi, after reading about various scopes used for attaching an autoguiding camera, anything from a skywatcher ED80 down to a 9x50 finderscope, how about a relatively cheap beginners scope like a Celestron Travel Telescope 50. Obviously this scope doesn't have the finesse of the ED80, yet surely is comparable to a finderscope. Any comments gratefully received. Kind regards, P.
  13. Also, with an EQ6 with full guiding the world is your oyster, 3 minutes, 5 or even try 10 if there's no wind etc..
  14. Try and find Polar Finderscope by Jason Dale. It's free, and a simple little program that tells you where polaris should look in your polarscope. Just to show that things will go wrong if they can.......went out last night to image Triangulum galaxy. Even 60 sec exposures were dodgy. Had to chuck out 42 out of 103. Got really fed up as I couldn't find out why. Backlash, polar alignment, wind, moles!! 3 night ago managed 55x90 secs of Bodes out of 60 and 88x60 secs of Bodes out of 90, and that was after getting the hairdryer onto it half way through each session to get rid of condensation. God I love this hobby!!!!
  15. Darks are taken with the telescope cover put on so that no light gets to the sensor in the camera. They are taken with exactly the same settings as your main photos, length of exposure, iso number and aperture setting, also at the same time as temperature affects the result. This is because your camera will produce loads of little dots that the final photo doesn't need. The stacking system will see these in your 'darks' and deduct them from each photo that makes up your final image. Your camera produces different amounts of these dots, and in different positions, according to the camera settings but same settings equals same amount and position. A good way to see these is to install Astronomy Photo Tool, APT, (free), and take say a 60 sec. exposure with the lens cap or telescope cap on and with the 'image preview' box ticked. You'll see the little blighters and think where on earth did they come from!!! I haven't a clue what Bias frames actually do, I've googled it but still don't understand, but the final image is not so good without them. As a general rule of thumb, the number of 'darks' is the same as the number of 'bias' and this should be no less than the square root of the number of 'lights'. This hobby really does have a steep learning curve but like most things it's practice, practice, practice and the rewards are quite incredible. I found Deep Sky Stacker,(free) really daunting to begin with but once it comes out right it truly is 'eureka'!!! Any problems can be sorted by the guys on here, it really is an excellent website. P.
  16. Hi Rob, all the above info is quite correct. For long exposures, over 90secs, you need autotracking and a very sturdy mount. I'm having similar problems as I've no tracking capability only a motor drive on right ascension. One of the major contributors to good images is with the processing. Loads of people swear by Photoshop, (megabucks!!!). Corel Paintshop is cheaper and Gimp is free but I have found these to be a little difficult, interesting, but a little difficult. You could try StarTools. I got the trial a couple of weeks ago and my images seem to be a lot better. Their tutorials are pretty good but without narration. Most importantly, it can get rid of light pollution and other bad stuff that can appear on the original. The program is for astrophotography, Photoshop is for Vogue and other glossy mags. The trial is open ended, no time limit, problem is, you can't save anything, they've got you by the bits but it is great for practice. I'm getting it for Christmas so I'll be able to save stuff after that. If you want to keep in touch we can compare notes as I'm pretty new to this game myself. One other essential bit of kit is a Batinov mask. Even slightly out of focus will ruin everything and just by the way, mine's a 40D as well. Best of luck, P.
  17. Lovely image and I must agree with Alexxx about getting polarfinder. It's a brilliant little addition, free, and always on my toolbar. The NEQ6 is quite a heavy bit of kit but something that you could do is try to get excellent polar alignment, mark the ground where the legs are and make a shallow indentation on the marks. I still have to do a slight adjustment each time but only very minor. What processing system are you using?
  18. Thanks Glappkaeft, I thought about doing a collimation check thinking that it was really difficult and needing special, (very expensive!!!), tools. After reading about it on various forums I had a go and found that what you've said was exactly correct and it was fairly easy to rectify. Just waiting for a clear night to see what the difference is. Yes, your also right in that it's a continual battle against anything that can go wrong as it's certain that the thing that's forgotten will creep up and bite yer bum!!!
  19. Thanks Tinker, Yes, it takes a 2" filter as well. Getting it for Christmas!!!!
  20. Hi, I have a canon 40D attached to my Skywatcher 200p with a T2-EOS adaptor ring. I would like to fit a light filter AND a coma corrector. Is this possible. The light filters that clip inside cameras seem like a brilliant idea but they're sooo expensive compared to the skywatcher ones. The hole inside the T2-EOS is about 1.35 inches across and is threaded. Anybody know why? Kind regards, P.
  21. Just an update, I've adjusted the motor so that the cogs are more tightly meshed and dropped the counterweights a little on the bar. The difference is quite noticeable. Many thanks again for all of your advice. P.
  22. Thanks everybody, my viewing area is severely limited, north east to south east and about 30 deg to perpendicular with a small area towards the west. This is due to atrocious light pollution and nearby buildings. Lordy D4N, your eyesight is far better than mine, I hadn't noticed those. The balance and backlash sounds interesting Olly. I'll give it a stripdown and see if things improve. Thanks again and Jack, that image of Pleiades is first class.
  23. Can't think of anything knocking the mount. Maybe the motor could be a bit jerky, really difficult to tell. Guess I'll have to live with it. Thanks again. P.
  24. Yes, I'd love to have a guided scope, problem with dosh!!! I'll try loadsa 30 - 60 secs exposures and see how things work out. It's odd that up until a couple of weeks ago I was able to take lots of 4 or 5 minute exposures with no problems, Bodes and cigar, whirlpool, pinwheel, even Leo triplet. It's a hobby that throws up strange problems, with a steep learning curve and a hungry appetite for knowledge. Thanks folks. P.
  25. Thanks guys, looking a little closer, the 'trailing' seems to be between 3.00 and 12.00, if you see what I mean. If it's a periodic issue how can it be resolved? P.
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