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skywatcher58gb

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About skywatcher58gb

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    Star Forming
  • Birthday 05/08/1950

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    Male
  • Location
    North West Durham
  1. Hi B77, I have the Meade LX90 and about six or seven years ago I bought a 2" 38mm SWA 70 deg EP from a company called Astronomica, which I think stopped trading. However the EP I bought I'm sure can be purchased from OpticStar and is called the Ascension, the link is as follows http://www.opticstar.com/Run/Astronomy/Astro-Accessories-Telescopes-Ascension.asp?p=0_10_5_1_1_5. I also have two Hyperion EPs 10mm and 17mm, which are OK but I always come back to this 38mm EP as it seems to go with the LX90 perfectly, it's like floating in space when looking through it. The price is not bad either at under £50 excluding P&P.
  2. solar filter

    Made this for my 8" Meade LX90 out of a cake tin bought from local supermarket. The cut out is about 6" dia using Baader Film. The click in tin fits perfectly onto my scope, it looks like a bought for purpose filter.
  3. First outing as a family

    Once said to my wife a few years back come and see Saturn, this was in my LX90 and the seeing was good and the view really crisp. She said 'is that it' - never to be invited out again. She can stay indoors watching Strictly or the Bake Off as far I am concerned.
  4. Possible New Telescope

    Do get the book 'Making Every Photon Count' by Steve Richards', this will give you a good grounding in the art of astrophotography and the insight into what you will need. Then my two pennyworth is below. Considering the planets are not good viewing for the next couple of years I would suggest starting with a deep sky setup. The tried and tested baseline setup for AP is the one I have used for the last 5 years, Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro Synscan mount, Skywatcher ED80 semi Apo. Others say the EQ6, however consider the weight difference between the EQ6 and HEQ5 before you finally purchase especially if you have to travel to a dark site and then set up. If you can set up in your garden then OK with the EQ6. Once you get this you will need a few extra items such as a decent power source, maybe a focal reducer, dew heaters and dew controller, camera adapter to fit your camera (I would suggest a Cannon DSLR as these are the most common in AP) to your scope and an intervolometer to take the required shots. After you have mastered taking tracking subs you can then go further into guided AP which will need further equipment, computer, guide camera, guide scope etc. As you can see AP takes a lot of time, money and patience and is a bit of a learning curve and that's before you tackle the processing. When you get to this stage you will realise that AP is an upward spiral of equipment such better mounts better scopes, CCD cooled cameras and so on, but don't be put off think of this as a journey and take your time getting there. I would also recommend going to your local astronomical society as they will have members well experienced in AP and you can get first hand advice.
  5. Beginners with an equatorial mount

    Well done Brianpr1, learning to use an EQ mount when someone shows you is good but to work it out yourself is impressive and it will stick in your mind quicker. I'm sure you will master observing faster than most, and this site is great for the tweaks that you will come across when you get more into the hobby. Good luck and clear skies.
  6. Equipment for pc viewing

    If you get this setup which is nice little scope for grab and go but before long you will be looking for bigger aperture for light grasp. Therefore the 125 may be better bet, also SCT scopes suffer from front correctors dewing up which will require a dew heater and dew controller (more cost), this will then lead to power requirements and quite frankly a 7AH battery will not last long especially using a dew heater. I use two power batteries 70AH Leisure battery and a 22AH. Happy observing whatever you choose.
  7. The tried and tested baseline setup for AP is the one I have used for the last 5 years, Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro Synscan mount, Skywatcher ED80 semi Apo. Once you get this you will need a few extra items such as a decent power source, maybe a focal reducer, dew heaters and dew controller, camera adapter to fit your camera to your scope and an intervolometer to take the required shots. After you have mastered taking tracking subs you can then go further into guided AP which will need further equipment, computer, guide camera, guide scope etc. As you can see AP takes a lot of time, money and patience and is a bit of a learning curve and that's before you tackle the processing. When you get to this stage you will realise that AP is an upward spiral of equipment such better mounts better scopes, CCD cooled cameras and so on, but don't be put off think of this as a journey and take your time getting there. I would also recommend going to your local astronomical society as they will have members well experienced in AP and you can get first hand advice.
  8. Telrad dew protection?

    Hi Pictures of Telrad resistor mod for dew control.
  9. Telrad dew protection?

    Hi all, I have made many dew heaters for Telrads, I use a 2 watt 1% Metal oxide film resistor 10 ohm (bought off e-bay) run from a small battery box (also bought off e-bay). The battery box is for 2 x 1.5V AA batteries with an on/off switch. The resistor is mounted just beneath the Telrad glass and the battery box is vecro fixed to the side of the Telrad. The whole fitting takes about 30 to 45 minutes. It's late now but I intend to drop a couple of photos to show how this works, anyone with a minimum of DIY experience can put this together.
  10. First Telescope Advice

    All the above comments are valid and time should be spent considering each and every one. To get an understanding of AP you should consider buying a book called 'Making Every Photon Counts' by Steve Richards, this examines and advises on all aspects of Imaging. For my two pennyworth I'm another fan of the HEQ5 Pro mount, with one of these mounts you can do both visual and AP. One advantage of the mount is that you can change scopes to suit your needs. A popular scope at our society for imaging is the SW 130PDS tube assembly, again you can use this for both visual or AP to start with. Once you are up and running with whatever setup you choose you will then start to realise the pro's and con's of each and every setup and your aims will change accordingly. Dave
  11. sharpcap 2.9 polar align

    Had problems with the ST80 and SharpCap Polar alignment, changed to a 50mm Finder Guider and then had success in locating stars and finally achieved polar alignment. Note that focusing is really critical, once set I locked guide camera down solid.
  12. EQ3 EQ5

    One thing you could try is doing a one star alignment, then a two star alignment as well as the three star. i have found that the three star alignment usually involves a meridian flip which causes problems in itself. I now usually do two star alignment and it seems to work.
  13. Moonsighting with a Telescope

    I assume the mount you have is an EQ2 with no polar scope. If this is the case you need to set your tripod level using a spirit level, then point the mount/scope due north and finally set the latitude at your location ie in the UK London is 51.5 degrees, Newcastle is 55 degrees, so check and set at your latitude. As the scope is manual you will need to judge where the moon will be and find using your finder scope, once found you can track using the slow motion flexi screw knobs on the RA drive. I hope this makes sense. Dave
  14. Dew Heater Advice Please

    Where is the dew forming, on the primary, secondary or the eyepiece? I ask this because a newtonian tube normally acts as a dew shield. A friend of mine uses an elasticated shower cap on the primary end of his newt, you can try this before making a dew heater. If the secondary is dewing up you may need a 12v hair dryer to clear it. If its the eyepiece use 2 eyepieces, keep one in your pocket ready for swap over. Making a dew heater is reasonably easy once you have sourced the materials, in your case making one for the primary (150mm primary) if the tube is say 7" outside diameter. This would be approx 22" circumference. The rule of thumb for a lot of people is 1W per inch of diameter therefore you would be looking at about 7W. The formula is watts W=V squared / resistance ohms. If you are running at 12V then V=144, now I would suggest about 34 ohms/meter nichrome wire. As your circumference is 22" then 22"/39" = 0.56m of nichrome which will give about 19 ohms, therefore 144/19 ohm = 7.6W. To make a heater what I would use is Duck tape 2x24"x2" strips, this will be enough to go around and overlap by a few inches. A couple of meters of speaker cable or enough to go from your heater to the battery. Solder the 22" of Nichrome to the ends of the speaker cable, heat shrink the joins if you have any, pin one of duck tape pieces to a length of wood with drawing pins then lay the nichrome wire the length of the tape. The tricky part is sticking the second piece of duck tape to the first. Connect a 12V cigar lighter male to the other end of the speaker cable. I normally finish the heater strip with black velour where you can buy a roll from Wilkinsons for £5. If in the future if you want to buy a dew controller you can replace the cigar connector with a phono connector which is the normal for controllers.. Hope this is of some help.
  15. PHD2 Calibration and Guiding

    Hi 0x0539 and welcome, just a couple of points that I might throw in for consideration. Firstly the setup you have using an ST80 guide scope, that's the setup I had initially, but always seemed to have trouble finding guide stars, when I did it was OK at best, but guiding would fail at times. Changed to a 50mm finder guider, this didn't seem sensible, 80mm down to 50mm, but I found guide stars no problem and had it guiding for hours at a time. It may be that the guide camera I have (QHY5-II) suited this size scope better, who knows! Secondly a program I am considering and have downloaded the software for is SharpCap with polar align, a fellow imager has used this polar align feature and has had very good results. He has tested this with 9 minute exposures with hardly any star trailing on tracking only using an NEQ6 mount. The initial set up is using the guide camera for polar alignment prior to guiding and its polar accuracy is claimed to be down to seconds of arc. Check this out on the SharpCap Polar Align web site and have a look at the tutorials, it seems quite simple to use. PS - I have used PHD2 but as I am more used to PHD1 and I tend to stick to it, it seems less complicated as I am only interested in guiding and not all the bells and whistles that come with PHD2. Happy imaging !
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