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About nickarp2000

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  1. Thanks for the above info. I have also been investigating APT as an alternative to BYE but not sure whether it is as good to use. I have been looking and considering the ST80 skywatcher scope as a potential guidescope. If I used an old barlow barrel I think I could achieve focus straight through. Question would me NEQ6 Pro cope with the 2 refractors side by side and an 1100D and ZWO 120mm guide camera and still comfortably operate? Thanks Nick
  2. Hi all, Having had my NEQ6 Belt modified and overhauled earlier this year and investing in a ZWO120MM I was pleased to get my first real planetary images with a good stable set up through my C9.25. However I want to move on in the Autumn to try some DSO imaging. For this I propose to use my Equinox ED80 and coupled to this will be my new Canon 1100D with a 2" fitting into the ED80. I know that there will not be a tremendous amount left in the train for an OAG and really this refractor should perform better with a seperate guider (however I am open to suggestions) I have the losmady plate to mount side by side, and am familiar with PHD and using the ZWO as a guide cam It is my intention to purchase BYE and the appropriate shutter release cable However I am just really interested to know whether there could be any recommendations on a reasonably priced but adequate guide scope to mount to the side, and whether the above propsed set up would work? Thanks for any suggestions, feedback etc. Best wishes and clear skies Nick
  3. Hi My 2 penneth for what its worth I spent nearly 5 years with a Phillips Toucam getting basically no-where. My images paled into insignificance against other peoples efforts with the same equipement. I think it really came down to lack of practice due to available skies and planetary positions in the UK when seeing was good. I just didn't learn and retain the necessary techniques so almost every time I was re-learning skills. This year I made a real leap of faith and decided that I wanted to have a real go at planetary imaging and as Jupiter was so wonderfully placed I invested in a ZWO120mm Mono Camera and manual filterwheel with ZWO Filters. At the same time I had my EQ6 Pro upgraded and modded with ba belt drive conversion. So straight out of the box I got the images on the computer screen that quite simply blew me away, and they weren't jumping around or swimming in and out like with the Toucam. The learning curve was pretty straight forward and almost instantly I was getting final images far superior to those I had ever obtained. Practise, practise, practise and retain as much info as you can. It will get better although I think with the Toucam unless you have the time and patience to spend with it you could become frustrated quite quickly. The ZWO is a game changer for me, but obviously not for everyone and there are plenty of other cameras out there that produce fantastic images. Cheers Nick
  4. Graham at Astrotec does amazing work and keeps you informed all the time. I had a complete strip down and belt drive mod done earlier this year and the results are fantastic. Far from almost writing my mount off and spending an awful lot on something else, he has offered it a new lease of life and it should be great for a few years to come. You can find more information on him at East Midland Stargazing Forum and Astronomy Shed. Nick
  5. Thank you all. Reference rotating it. It's interesting isn't it that I see so many different images of Jupiter including those in published magazines that show the planet in all different aspects, and I semmingly get very confused with which way people prefer the image to be. Thanks for advising and I will make a note in the future. Just purchased the ZWO filter set and hopefully this may allow better transmission of available light to the sensor in future than using my old Meade CCD set Nick
  6. Thanks James, It's certainly a learning curve, especially in GIMP processing. I did do a luminence run but when I combined it to the RGB it seemed to wash everything out so I left it at RGB Not sure how the (L)RGB works on planetary imaging as the objects are so bright. I can understand it's use on deep field work where the extra luminence channel can bring out hidden detail lost in the filters. The ASI120MM is certainly a marveloous camera. I notice that you have the ZWO filter set too. Do these incorporate an IR cut or do you need a seperate filter. I currently have an old set of Meade DSI filters in my filter wheel but I have problems with the red filter as the IR + Red filter combined really dims the image, and although I could take the filter out to use the Red on its own I get concerned about camera orientation, focus and everything else that's took me the last 2 hours to get right. Nick
  7. Thank you for removing the Halo It only really became apparant when I uploaded it to the Lounge. I hadn't noticed it before. On the histogram then which slider did you tweak? I am much happier with this now Cheers Nick
  8. Well, here goes. Please be gentle. ASI120MM coupled to C9.25, 2.5x Powermate on a recently belt modded and refurbished NEQ6 Pro (which I had given up all hope on until Graham at Astrotec got his skillfull hands on it) Time approx 10.30 pm, 17th April 2014 in Northampton. Skies were clear, a slight breeze but steady conditiond, not much dew. I relaise that now is not the best time for Jupiter but I have to keep trying. Prerprocessed in Pipp, aprrox 1200 frames stacked through each filter is ASI2, waveletts in Registax 6, then combined in Gimp I realise its not great but for my own experience it's another massive leap forward and gives me great hope and excitement for the future Thanks for looking Nick
  9. Thanks I have indeed and my strip down was directed by the instructions on the site. However i just think thinks have warped or bent etc. That's rubbish aluminium castings for you. Just so soft Thanks Nick
  10. Well I knew it was coming, but last night I thought I would once again continue learning to use my ASI120MM and tweak my planetary education curve. My NEQ6 pro has been niggly for some time now, having been subjected to continued movements from garage to patio and one major house move in the 3 years since I bought it. My latitude bolts, even though I replaced them were struggling to tighten against the block in the mount and there was continued play and slight movement in the head. The large bolt securing the mount to the tripod had bent last year and needed to be replaced, however the new steel bolt I purchase never quite seemed to lock the head to the mount successfully. Then last night the main head started to rock from side to side where it was secured with the horizontal bolt and 3 grub screws. I proceeded to strip the mount down and clean all the surfaces that were in contact with each other and re-assembled hoping to reduce the play somewhat. However it appears as though the mount just doesn't want to play ball, and the rocking and instability still exists. Time I think to invest in another. My requirements are as follows and I would like some considered advice as to the best route you think I should take. 1. A mount to be able to conduct planetary imaging 2. A mount to be able to conduct a degree of deep sky work, mainly from bright objects with a dslr 3. A mount suitable for taking the weight of a C9.25 and an ED80 side by side for imaging and guiding 4. A mount in my budget of around £2000 It might be a lot to ask given the budget and I will of course consider all possibilities. I am going to miss this hobby until I find a solution. I am not aversed to buying second hand, or dealing with heavy equipment and the storage and imaging area are only 12 feet apart. I would really welcome any feedback you could give me, Many thanks Nick
  11. What's going to happen to the little EQ6 head then? Keeping for spares or selling on? Nick
  12. To be honest I didn't get the right results with my Phillips, I just couldn't get the settings right at all. However I did invest in an ASI120MM and since that point my imaging has taken a collosal leap forward in ease and detail achievable. What programs are you using for capture, I used to use K3CCD with my Toucam The seeing has got to be really good to be able to push and use a 4X image mate particularly with such a small chip. I only use a 2.5X powermate and to be honest it gives a really good image size when coupled directly to my C9.25. Imaging planets is really difficult and precise as I am finding out. The seeing, the collimation, the dew, the steadiness of the mount, the upload capability of your computer etc etc, all adds up to pretty meagre results if you try to push everything a little too much. a 3X Tal would be more forgiving but you could just try a 2x barlow and to increase the image size just put some more distance in the optical train between the barlow and the camera (but not too much) Nick
  13. Looks like you had better seeing than me. I managed some reasonable luminance work with the ZWOASI120mm but I couldn't achieve good focus with the red or blue channels, and as I have cheapo Meade CCD filters I had to remove the camera to take the IR blocking filter off to use the Red filter and then the planet rotated clowise as I didn't put it back in the same place again. Oh this is a tough learning curve, but your results do compel me to push on harder and keep trying. Well done though, once again great images, I was out at around 8ish and managed to capture the GRS nicely with some lovely bubbly pale banding above it. Nick
  14. Well this one has created a level of interest unmatched by a firesale! I remember starting out over 15 years ago with initially a pair of binoculars (which proved useless as my hands shake ) Quickly onto a manual Dob with 2 eyepieces (25mm & 15mm plossl) and I was swayed into buying a 2.5x powermate , all that for what was then a pricly sum of £600. (still got the lot as well) Found very quickly that the images through the eypiece did not reflect what I was expecting particularly on planets. However over the years like everyone else I allocate a few quid for extra bits (normally beer money saved up!) and treat myself to what I think I might need after scouring all the forums I can and asking as many questions as I think I can get away with !! Then it's normally a hunt through the 2nd hand stuff and of course e bay and if worst come to worst I buy it new. I remember when I first started I didn't even look at imaging sections as I found them complex and the jargon most people spoke was way over my skill level. If people new to astronomy want to jump in at the deep end, blow a load of cash and then find it's not something they enjoy as it's blumming difficult then I say let them, it's their money. The forums are free and impartial (mostly), no-body forces anything down anyones neck, and advice can only be given properly by those who have knowledge. My telescope, mount and imaging equipment have improved naturally over the years to more capable systems for the development of my hobby. I am now exploring CCD work, and dslr work but this is after 15 years of scratching around, learning, developing, but most of all making sure it's what I wanted to do I don't do this to impress other people with my photographic skills or earn kudos in communities. My satisfaction comes from problem solving, and leaping over hurdles, and sometimes getting a little bit better at something than I was the last time I tried. A hobby only becomes a money pit if you have a shovel big enough to dig the hole ever deeper. Most of us, in my opinion, manage to get out and look, image, record the night sky or the sun less than we go shopping for food, and it's still the joy for me when everything starts to work right, and I can look at Jupiter or Saturn and know that at that moment I am only 1 or a very small number of people globally who are doing this. It's still fun, it's still a very hard hobby to master (bit like golf for me), and there will always be those that have strated after me that get better at it quicker than me. It's not a race, I'm not going to become a scientist, and no-one is going to pay me for this, but I do it for me, and I love it. Nick
  15. Nice 1st and 2nd attempts What was the stack number for these and which capture program did you use? The 2nd image appears pinkish on my monitor (could be my eyes ) Nice detail in the 1st image with the GRS showing Nick
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