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About skywatcher58gb

  • Rank
    Star Forming
  • Birthday 05/08/50

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    North West Durham
  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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 !
  7. Hi Cuke and welcome to the forum In answer to your question on point 1, this would seem a decent scope for a beginner, reasonable aperture to see quite a range of objects visually. GoTo to find a good variety of subjects both planetary and deep sky. However point 2 as an instrument for photography it has limitations, you will be able to take the moon with a DSLR and planets using a webcam, because the weak point is the mount for taking deep sky objects with your DSLR as it is an alt alz configuration. This means that the tracking is a series of side ways and upward steps which is OK visually but not for photography, any images taken will have to be very short duration. To do DSLR photography properly especially on deep sky objects such as nebula and galaxies you would need an equatorial mount, this tracks the sky in an arc which compensates for what is called field rotation. It would be interesting to note if the images you have seen using this scope have been done by placing this tube assembly on an equatorial mount, I say this because the tube assembly itself 150mm at f5 is quite a decent imaging unit but placed on a more appropriate mount should yield good results. I would take time to investigate the scope and read up more about equatorial and alt az mounts before you make a final decision.
  8. Welcome Ewalks77 and a nice little discussion you have started. I have a Skywatcher Startravel 102, a Skywatcher Evostar 120 and both the Skywatcher EQ3-2 and HEQ5 mounts, these are the lighter duty and heavier duty equatorial mounts similar to the one you are considering. Having used the 120 on the EQ3-2 mount and although it works I find the mount a wee bit too near the knuckle for this size of scope, it works fine on the HEQ5. Have a look at the following post on the lounge; TAL 100RS or Evostar 120 ... that age-old discussion. If I were in your position I would also consider the TAL 100RS on an EQ5 mount, an optically good scope on a solid mount. I am not sure of the costs in dollars this would need to be checked out, also the equatorial mounts are not that difficult to use they just take a bit longer to get your head around. Whatever you decide enjoy the ride.
  9. I've never owned one of these scopes but have used other peoples, the one common theme is the poor red dot finder. I would personally replace with a standard red dot finder or for a bit extra money fit a Telrad, observing will be so much more enjoyable.
  10. Beginner Scope / Mount Question

    You would have no problem mounting either scope on an EQ3-2, obviously the bigger the mount the more stable but the EQ3-2 isn't bad for stability. Also the mount is quite light to transport and second hand ones are always available, another good thing is these mounts can easily be stripped down and rebuilt / re-greased and adjusted and are pretty bomb proof. I sold one as a complete set up which I had motorised with a Helios150, after a while I missed the quick grab and go and so I got myself another second hand which I use with a Skywatcher ST102.
  11. Hi JOC and welcome, collimation and focusing are two different things. Collimation is the procedure to get the optical train in line, ie adjusting the primary mirror using three collimation screws and also adjusting the three secondary mirror screws, this will be done when using your laser collimator. Once collimation is complete and you want to focus on stars and planets the Bahtinov mask can be used, select a very bright star put the mask over the end of the scope and adjust until the three lines converge, then your scope is focused on the object. Remember to remove the mask, especially if you are imaging, I have taken countless photos of the Bahtinov mask. Happy viewing and clear skies. Dave
  12. New to sky watching

    Hi and welcome, there are various free programs that will show you what you can expect to see through various scopes, one that I like is called 12Dstring, the link is www.12dstring.me.uk. You can go to the drop down box for your scope ie Celestron and pick your model 70AZ, then pick from an assortment of eyepieces, the image you see is what can be achieved. However the images are colored which you will not see, also the clarity will vary depending on the seeing conditions, on 12Dstring the images shown are at the very best seeing conditions and the darkest skies, so don't expect to see exactly what is shown, as these are a guide only. Check it out, it is a bit of fun to play around with.
  13. Newbie

    You can always observe with an old fashioned planisphere, these are a basic way to get to grips with whats overhead on any day at any time. Good luck and enjoy.
  14. Andromeda Galaxy

    No problem with your scope or a pair of binoculars, however it is not a spectacular object. It looks like a grey smoke cloud, the best view I had was through a friends pair of 25X100 binoculars.
  15. Check out the following Dalby Forest campsite astronomy events http://www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/discover/dark-skies Dave