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Thalestris24

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Everything posted by Thalestris24

  1. ps - a link to Dion's YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fO6hyYtPwM This is part one of a series for setting up a mount. He does it with an NEQ6 but there's no difference.
  2. Hi Did you get it to extract ok and install? If you've done that successfully can you see any detail in your individual subs. DSS lets you view them but you usually have to adjust display brightness with the slide control on the top right. What happens exactly when you go through the registration and stacking process? Louise
  3. If it's any consolation or help - I've never used the polarscope and never actually 'properly' polar aligned. I have a very restricted view of the sky. Assuming you have a laptop and can use it to control everything (If you don't then sorry, ignore most of this! But Dion at 'Astronomyshed' has an excellent series of videos on YouTube for guiding you through setting up conventionally) : After installing Stellarium, EQmod, APT and Astrotortilla, and connecting a PC to the mount via an EQdirect cable, I set up my kit by 1) Levelling the tripod (using a small 'boat' level) in all three axes 2) Setting the tripod so the 'N' leg points to true north (I used a tablet compass app) 3) Putting the head on and adjusting the altitude to my latitude as best I could using the scale (it's not very accurate but good enough to start.) 4) With scope and camera in place first balance the scope in RA and DEC. (See Astronomyshed videos!) 5) Polar aligned using Astrotortilla PA tool (which uses plate solving) - Point to East via Stellarium, then to South The first 4 steps can obviously be done in daylight. Step 5 should give you a fairly precise polar alignment but it can take some time to do all the adjustments. It's a question of get error, adjust, repeat - until you feel the error is small enough (or until fatigue wears you down...). It does rely on having clear views to the East and South. As it happens I only have a view to the East so I have to apply an heuristic approach to azimuth adjustments (a lot of trial and error!) ** It's recommended to upgrade the alt/az bolts as there is quite a strain put on them when adjusting with scope in place. Astrotortilla is a bit complicated to install and use but there is a good step by step guide here: http://lightvortexastronomy.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/tutorial-imaging-setting-up-and-using.html And a user guide here: http://ftp.jaist.ac.jp/pub//sourceforge/a/as/astrotortilla/docs/AstroTortilla_user_guide.pdf AT works in conjunction with APT+camera to take pics of the sky. It then compares what the camera sees to that stored in databases and can then accurately calculate where your scope is pointing. It takes multiple images and works out the error between where the mount thinks it's pointing at and where it's actually pointing. AT allows you to 'slew' to a target (selected in Stellarium), and can re-slew to get a very accurate positioning. I only use my setup for imaging and the above combined with PHD guiding makes it all possible. If you're into imaging all the software is a godsend - and free too! Just a practical note - when I first got my HEQ5 Syntrek I could not budge it to adjust the altitude even with no bolts in place. I had to apply my whole weight (60kgs!) to shift it! Phew - hope that covers most things... Hth Louise
  4. You may be right! Let me know if you try them successfully
  5. Just to mention - having liveview on for long periods makes the sensor temp go up so good idea to switch it off for a while before taking subs. Louise
  6. I bought one when I purchased my 1100d. I've never used the battery! The lead from the psu to the camera is a bit short but it's light and I have it taped to a tripod leg. Make sure you keep the psu lead well away from usb lead!
  7. That will keep the chill out nicely Hope you get plenty of excellent subs! It looks like being cloudy here for the next week
  8. Cold and clear - best imaging weather! Don't get frostbite!
  9. Hi Being another 150pds owner I'd say I wouldn't now bother getting another scope with a shorter focal length and smaller aperture (I have an ST-80 which I might use as a guide scope one day). The opposite, perhaps! I always want to image things which are more distant! But it depends on what you might want to use it for? It'd be easier to transport. The ED-80 is certainly highly regarded but I can't quite see any advantage in getting one if you are happy with the 150pds? Unless you hate diffraction spikes?? Just my opinion! Louise
  10. Hiya If I were you then before buying anything I'd put potential scope and camera data into Stellarium or a FOV calculator such as this one: http://www.skyatnightmagazine.com/field-view-calculator That way you can better judge what aperture and focal length will suit you. The focal ratio is important if you want to do any imaging. I think F5 is usually considered a good value for imaging. You can, of course, improve a larger focal ratio with a focal reducer. Hth Louise
  11. Oh dear, sorry for that A.G. The perils of being in the West - especially Manchester and Glasgow! Weather - the cause of, and solution to, most of an Astrophotographer's problems! I've no doubt lots of peeps had lovely clear skies and good imaging sessions last night. Our time will come. Louise
  12. Um, no, but I'd suggest redownloading the DSS Beta. Hth Louise
  13. You need the beta version: http://deepskystacker.wikispaces.com/Where+do+I+get+the+beta%3F
  14. Oh nooo! That's even worse than just having clouds! I got a couple of subs done earlier but very poor transparency and PHD wasn't working well either. Oh well. I'd like to say I'll have another go tomorrow but forecast is rubbish for the weekend. I wish I could move to Norfolk - you have lots more clear skies down there! Oh well
  15. Commiserations to everyone who's frustrated. Also, apologies for posting my gripes here - should have been in the Astro Lounge. Next time I'll think before I post in anger! Louise
  16. It was forecast clear here, and it was for a short while. It's still forecast clear but in reality can never trust the met office forecasts. I'm hanging on for another hour or so. You never know. Otherwise, if I pack up, the stars will come out! Louise
  17. ... that nearly everyone else is out observing or imaging. Why is Glasgow always so murky?? Grrrr.... Rant over Louise
  18. Yes there is QHY's EZplanetary software that you can use with it. You have to turn the gain right down as it is very sensitive - QE is 74%, I think. It's also easier to align the guide scope with the main scope during the day too Firecapture also works with the QHY5L-ii Louise
  19. Opening Notepad on a monitor has worked for me . Had the end of the scope not far from the screen and took exposures in AV. Having said that, I've never actually analysed my flats. There is software - CCDInspector - available for doing that but it costs $180.... It might be worth getting though - probably worth the expense compared to time spent trying to figure out image quality problems which might simply be caused by poor flats. Louise
  20. Hi again Sorry, had to cut the previous one short as I had to dash out. I was going to mention that there is obviously a big difference between the amount of data per sub that you download via usb and the size on disk of the corresponding file (other than with dslr's). The above calculation based on resolution and bits/pixel gives a minimum for the size in Mbytes of the sub data that is downloaded via usb i.e. 12Mb/sub for the QHY8L (ignoring data headers etc.). So the data transfer is trivial for usb 2.0. The file size saved to disk will depend on which capture software you use and the file format options you select. I think bitmap (BMP) will give the smallest uncompressed files (correct me if I'm wrong!). FTS and TIFF are big - but I think maybe are more useful as a stacked output file format for porting between image processing applications. I've only ever used DSS for stacking Canon CR2 files but DSS appears to allow almost any image file format including bmp. Not tried it though. I don't know what file format options are available for stacking with other packages but presumably they will also allow most formats. If I'm talking rubbish here, I'm sure someone will point it out! Louise
  21. Hi It's simple enough to calculate the theoretical raw file size (excluding headers which are negligible: resolution = 3032 x 2016 multiply by 16 bits = 3032 x 2016 x 16 divide by 1024 x 1024 x 8 to get megabytes This gives a size of 12 Mbytes so that's a minimum size. The exposure time makes no difference. However, the file format will make a difference. I assume qhy use something standard such as fits format. Then the actual files will be much bigger! I'm sure someone here can confirm qhy file formats/sizes and actual qhy8l file sizes. Note the above formula doesn't quite work for Canon raw files. They vary in size from image to image so Canon must do some compression on the initial raw data. The 1100d files are several Mb smaller than the theoretical minimum 17.4 Mb. Louise
  22. Yeah, I realise it's mainly the pixel size that's the difference. The smaller pixel size of the QHY10 would still be bigger than the 1100d and would be advantageous especially if I were to use a barlow. I don't think there is any problem with focusing as there is a preview mode. I think after exposing for say 5 or 10 mins having to wait 10-15s for the image to download isn't really a problem. As soon as I get the qhy8l, get set up, and get clear skies, I'll be sure to post my first light images and my opinion of the camera. Louise
  23. Yeah a truly lovely image made with his F2 Nikkor - and very dark skies, no doubt! Only 6 subs too. Sometimes I wish for city lighting powercuts! I'll maybe try some widefield shots with my cheap canon zoom lens attached to the qhy8l! I should invest in a laptop and a leisure battery so I can take some of the kit outside. I hope I don't regret not buying the qhy10 but I really wanted the monochrome camera too. I have to wait several weeks now until Bernard restocks. Getting excited already! Louise
  24. Hi Well the ST-80 is pretty light - only about 1.5kg, I'd say. The HEQ5 should take up to about 11kg ok for imaging. The EdgeHD OTA comes in at about 6kg? That's similar to my 150pds which is well within the heq5 imaging limits. So, add a kg for camera and bits, that's 6 + 1.5 + 1 = still only 8.5kgs. I'm assuming you don't have the evostar 80ed mounted at the same time?? If you use the ST-80 for guiding you can get away without the finder and just use AT to put you in exactly the right place coupled with the guide cam output + Liveview/ APT/Byeos. I think it's really your scope's long focal length that's making the guiding challenging though flex is also often a hidden enemy. I'm sure there must be others here that have a similar setup to you. The AT polar alignment is in the 'tools' options. I must admit I do find actually adjusting the HEQ5 a pain even with upgraded alt/az bolts. Louise
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