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About BlueAstra

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  1. Desiccant Caps

    Yes I have one of these caps and can confirm it doesn't lock properly with the 2" Baader click lock.
  2. Baader Diamond SteelDrive

    I had one of the original steeldrive units with a Baader steel track. The mechanical parts are very good quality, I think the main problem was with the software. I had no end of issues until the software became eventually became usable. If you do a search you should be able to find the original posts.
  3. M33 LRGB

    This is M33 taken with my RC250 and an SXV-H16 camera last week. 15x300s L, 15x150s RGB binned 2x2, full camera frame. Processed with DSS and PS.
  4. Starsense or better mount - can't decide!

    Check the usual second hand sources. Starsense units come up for sale from time to time, so that might help with the budget. That's how I got mine.
  5. I have a ZWO 178M USB2/3 camera, and I'm finding the frame rate a bit disappointing with my old USB2 laptop. What laptop spec (processor, speed, memory, battery, etc) would you recommend to get the best out of the camera? I guess I'm looking for one which is fast enough with USB3 to handle the full frame data at the fastest frame rate, has enough storage for the data, and has a long battery life. Are there any specific laptops recommended?
  6. Had a strange power supply event last night. I haven't used the Evolution for a few weeks, and I think I charged it up fully after the last time I used it. Last night I had it out for a session. It has a Celestron gps unit, HC, attached and the tray lights are on. The weather was mild, about 9C, but humid. I controlled it from an iPad using Sky Safari Pro. It ran for about two hours and then both power and wifi lights went out and I couldn't connect with the iPad. I assumed the battery had discharged. Once inside I examined the power status. With the power switch ON the HC said '9.9V discharging', with both lights off. I could still move the scope with the HC buttons. If I connect the mains charger (output 12.09V), power switch ON, the HC says '10.42V charging'. The power light flashes quickly and the wifi light gives a slow pulse. If I turn the power switch off the power light is off and the wifi light pulses slowly. I also have a Celestron Lithium power tank (the small cylindrical one). This reads 13V when switched on. If I connect it to the Evolution, with the power switch OFF the wifi light pulses quickly and the power light also flashes quickly with a synchronous audible 'click' from the electronics. If I turn the power switch ON the wifi light pulses slower and the power light still flashes quickly, but with no 'click'. Also, the HC still says '9.76V discharging'. If I turn the power tank off the HC still says '9.76V discharging'. I never checked the voltage before the session, so I cannot be sure the Evolution was fully charged, but I wouldn't have expected the battery to discharge so much in a few weeks of no use. I also have no idea what's going on with the power tank. Its as if its doing nothing, maybe because the voltage is too high. Its behaviour is certainly different to the mains charger. Any comments about what's going on would be welcome. Is the Evolution battery OK? Should the power tank work? What do all the flashing lights and 'clicks' mean? Graham
  7. I'm going on Saturday and hope to attend some lectures
  8. OK I have it now. You gently rotate the top plastic cover with the Fastar plate on it. I think the lower finger holes are for removing the mirror.
  9. I have a Celestron 9.25 SCT, but I can't see any collimation screws at the secondary mirror. The manual shows the screws clearly visible, but mine appear to be under cover, as shown in the photo. I know this mirror is removable to fit a Fastar system so I don't want to turn the wrong thing and see the mirror drop out. What precisely do you do to access the collimation screws and not remove the mirror?
  10. Camera Upgrade?

    I currently use a DMK 21 AU 04.AS mono camera (640x480, 8 bit ICX098BL chip, 5.6um pixel, 3-60 FPS) with a ZWO 1.25" FW and a Celestron 9.25" SCT for planetary and lunar imaging. Technology has moved on and I'm thinking of updating the camera for a better frame rate and maybe resolution, or even trying colour, but not sure which way to go. What would be good recommendations for a mono camera upgrade? Is it worth thinking about colour and if so, which ones are flavour of the month?
  11. The Evo 9.25 tripod is much larger than the Evo 6/8 tripod. I'd seen your solution before and tried it, but the 9.25 HC bracket is too large (the tripod legs are larger diameter) so its a sloppy fit on the handle. I believe this one is 3D printed, and the designer has put the drawings on the web, so if you have a 3D printer you can make at home! I also have a wedge and Starsense but not used them yet. I know about the bug so I'll be following your method!
  12. I didn't like the tripod leg HC bracket since the cord would wrap around the mount as it rotated. The 9.25 HC bracket was too big to clip to the mount handle, and go around with the mount, so I found this simple bracket on the Starzonia site. They ship to the UK so got one and it works a treat! No more wrapped cables.
  13. I can see two Celestron wedges, a NexStar Evolution 6/8 wedge and a HD Heavy Duty PRO wedge. I would assume that the HD Pro wedge is required for the Evolution 9.25, but the description for it only mentions the fork mounted SCTs up to 11". Does HD Pro wedge fit on the Evolution 9.25 tripod and take the Evo mount? Alternatively, does the Evolution 6/8 wedge fit on the Evolution 9.25 tripod? The Celestron website lists the Evolution 6/8/9.25 for the Evolution 6/8 wedge, but doesn't mention the Evolution 9.25 in the HD PRO page. So I'm confused now as to which wedge to use for the Evolution 9.25. I'd like to use the 6/8 wedge, but should it be the HD PRO wedge?
  14. C6 v C9.25 for Planetary Imaging?

    So from this analysis, the optimum sampling of the Airy disc is with an F/Number of about 5 x Pixel Size (microns). So from Michael's post, his sensors would work best at 5.3um = F/26.5, 3.75um = F/18.75, 2.4um = F/12, all of which ties in with his experience. However, this just states the optimum F/Number for Airy disc sampling, so on the face of it both the C6 and C9,.25 would work optimally at say F/30 with a 5.6um pixel (DMK), since both work at F/10 (done with a x3 barlow). However, I think the key thing is Michael's comment on image scale. With the longer focal length, the C9.25 will always put x1.5 more pixels on the object than the C6 for a given camera.
  15. C6 v C9.25 for Planetary Imaging?

    The C14 and C11 have slightly lower obscuration ratios, but similar F/Numbers, so would produce similar spot sizes. The lower obscuration would make the central peak of the spot slightly brighter.