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Tommohawk

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About Tommohawk

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  1. Hi - wondering of tis is still for sale? Looks like the one I enquired about on ABS, so I'm guessing its sold? thanks Tom
  2. Lovely image - and all done in only 2 hours! Nice job!
  3. Platesolving…. yet another dark art! I'm doing more widefield now, so much easier to locate targets. But sometime I want to return to longer EFL work and then maybe I should check platesolving out. Too much to do.... too few clear nights! Out of interest, whats the longest focal length you think it's practical to platesolve at? Reason I ask is that when doing planetary work I'm often using about 5000mm focal length with tiny chip and then it can be tricky locating target.
  4. Ok thanks for that. I think I'm way too mentally overloaded to be re thinking my kit now! I seem to be forever changing my hardware and software and I need a period of stability!! I think I'll just stick with the sky watcher EQ3 Pro for now.
  5. OK that's useful info. Sounds like Ioptron system works well … the biggest issue for me would be alternating between that and the Synta setup. I'm not familiar with Commander at all - looks like its possible to control the mount via Stellarium.. have you had that working?
  6. Thanks Geoff. TBH the whole ASCOM /EQMOD Stellarium/Scope control/ thing is a bit of a mystery to me! And I've no idea what the FTDI chip/cable does - I seem to remember having a serial port converter thingy previously and cant recall why I switched to the LYNX FTDI cable. I do know that my current system works well with both my EQ3 Pro and my HEQ5 and my own internal chipset wont cope with any more information, so not keen to change unless its straightforward!.... but I do like the look of the Ioptron mount!
  7. That looks interesting - nice image and nicely framed! I always seem to be on a mission when imaging! Plan the target, usually something that's been done to death, and then get stuck in. It would be great to have the time to look around and "browse" and find new areas as you have done here. Funny thing - I'm off to Spain in March and was looking for a target somewhere in this neck of the woods. I think I'll need something further East by then though - my timing is a bit bad.
  8. OK thanks Geoff. I did a bit more searching and was surprised to see the counterweight diameter is published for the Smart EQ pro - it's 16mm. So my weights with a 20mm hole would be a bit sloppy - probably OK if clamped tight or with homemade collar/insert I guess. Hmm. so not sure how this would work and the Synta tripod top - maybe could be adapted. I had a look at some assembly pics but difficult to see how it would match. Thanks Peter. Looks like there is an FTDI cable available for PC control, but presumably different to the Synta one. Not a deal breaker, but I'd rather avoid yet another cable with potential to pack the wrong one! It's a shame cos I like the look of the Ioptron Smart EQ Pro for travel, but too many possible issues. Don't want to get to my chosen holiday spot only to find I cant get the gear working. If anyone else has any thoughts I'm still listening!
  9. Hi all I've been using an SW EQ3 pro for some years as a travel mount with generally good results, but the head doesn't pack very easily - I usually have to remove the motors and then resetting them is a bit of a pain. I've been wondering about the Ioptron EQ pro not least because it has a flatter profile when packed, and is a bit lighter. I plan to use my Sharpstar 61 + 7 posn wheel + guidescope - this works fine on the EQ3 pro. The key issue seems to be the tripod. At the moment I have a steel Skywatcher tripod (and weight) stashed in Spain which fits the EQ3 pro nicely, and is a good and solid. So questions are: 1. Anyone got the Ioptron mount? Any thoughts on how it compares to the SW EQ3 pro? 2. Can I use the Ioptron mount head on the SW tripod? 3. I use a Lynx FTDI cable/EQMOD. Do I need a different cable for the Ioptron mount? 4. Are the weights interchangeable? Grateful for any thoughts on this!
  10. Definitely!! Again yes, and this is the point I made in my earlier post! (No post numbers anymore??) Totally agree - the problem with haloes on NB filters is quite different - I think this has more to do with the limitations of dichroic filters. Maybe you have an Apo, not an achromat? The Astromomik Deep sky filter clips at 420 ish - see my earlier post, but I agree the others all seem similar.
  11. Interesting that the UV filter helps - would be interesting to see the transmission curve for this, also the one with the IR / UV block. I rejected the idea because its another element in the system with more potential reflections etc, but maybe it is worth exploring further. Worth bearing in mind that a UV/IR block is the same as a LUM filter - astronomic refer to their LUM filters as UV/IR block filters. Hoya curves are published but only for some products - again, might be worth exploring especially if it would double as a LUM filter. Bit hopeful maybe!
  12. If the issue were simply that the sensor is exposed to a greater amount of signal with blue light then this would be so - but the issue is partly that the light at the blue end of the spectrum is defocussed, and especially with very short wavelengths. Have a look at this, from Olympus life-science's website: This probably isn't a typical telescope achromat but it makes the point - light below 450nm wavelength has a huge shift in focal length. A similar example is given at Thor labs here. This illustrates nicely the real problem with light at 380-420nm - its not so much the additional energy, but more about the blur. The same probably applies to luminance filters which transmit at shorter wavelengths when used with achromats. I certainly agree that you might want to explore all the less expensive options first, but I think you will struggle, as I did, unless you find a way of limiting/blocking the short blue wavelengths. That's a great idea …. and I thought exactly the same. But I don't think conventional UV filters block much below 390nm, so unfortunately may not be much help.
  13. Hi Martin - thanks for your kind comments! The framing worked out really well, but TBH more luck than judgement! I tried reducing opacity in the star layer, and I also tried switching the layers, and putting a reduced opacity layer under and over the nebula - I guess switching the layers doesn't really make any difference. I may be wrong, but the main problem seems to be that when using a star layer with reduced number of stars, only the star centres are selected, so they are a fairly uniform hue / intensity. Even with the lowest default stretch in APP the stars are pretty big. I wondered about using a really teen - weeny stretch to minimise the size, and hopefully keep more dynamic range. But by the time I had that thought I was exhausted and just left it!
  14. Hi Dave - thanks for that. Sorry I thought Id replied but must have forgotten to hit Submit! Your image shows the horizontal filaments you'd expect in that area plus the odd spiral you refer to. Mine shows horizontal striae/filaments which just shouldn't be there. I'd not heard of the ASI1600 microlensing issue, but looking around I can see other folk have mentioned it. However mostly the effect other folk refer to seems to be like this which is different yet again. I also get that defect - sort of like short squat diffraction spikes - but it doesn't bother me too much. Curiously, that example also refers to 16 Aurigae, as in my case! The thing that is especially odd with my 16 Aurigae is that it only occurs on that one star and not on adjacent ones which are only 0.5 mag dimmer. It was also definitely transient. Initially I though it was a filter artefact on SII, but I can see it was also evident on the last few subs on the previous filter, OIII. By the following night it was no longer discernible. I guess a tiny droplet on the sensor could do this, but I'd still expect some effect on neighbouring stars. I've never had this before BTW even with very bright stars. The striae do look quite "real" to me - but I guess if 16 Aurigae was going supernova or something we'd have heard about it by now!
  15. If you can see any trails at all then shorten the exposures and up the ISO - but if your tracking and polar alignment is good ie your stars are nice and round, then just do more of the same. Have you done calibration files too, ie darks and bias and flats?
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