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Everything posted by AndyKeogh

  1. You could just take the mount down as all you want to do is set the altitude so that you have a reasonable start point for drift alignment. Have a look on the net for illuminated tent pegs. They work great on campsites to stop people walking into the scopes and they do not ruin your night vision.
  2. Hi Mark, I faced your problem last night when setting up my equipment at a very dark campsite in Dumfries an Galloway. I was just setting alignment via the polar scope when the clouds rushed in but there were a few stars visible to the south so I had to complete the task with drift alignment using PHD2. I only went for one iteration of each axis but that was good enough or 2 minute subs with less than half a pixel movement in either axis between subs. My advice is place your scope where you will get the images you want, learn drift alignment, as Olly Penrice would say, it is the gold standard. If you set up your scope at the bottom of the garden you should be able to get your altitude setting pretty well set up as long as you make sure it is levelled first. Move it up to your patio or location of choice, relevel, use a compass to align with north and then play with drift alignment. A nice feature of PHD 2 is that you can make some notes as you align and it will remember these for your next session. For AZ ,I record which alignment bolt to tighten depending on whether the slope is positive or negative. For altitude adjustment I record which direction the star should move according to the sign of the drift. HTH Andy
  3. That's really nice Mike could you give exposure details and which lens/scope you used. Ta.
  4. It paints a picture far worse than the BBC for next week It would be useful if you could produce a comparison at the end of the week as to how it compared with reality. Andy
  5. Well if the BBC forecast is to be believed, then the next 3 nights should be clear mind you that's what they said for here last night but it was total cloud clover til the moon rose Can anyone recommend a reliable weather forecast site? Andy
  6. Booked today for 3rd to 10th so will be able to catch up with those staying for the Sunday night. Andy & Sandra
  7. and this is an all sky image at 22:34 (13 minutes later) on the same night severely stretched to try an find some stars. So it is not surprising there have been so few starry images.
  8. Well here is a 1 min guiding test shot of M45 from Tuesday 20th at 21:21 unfortunately EQDIR locked up and I gave up as the sky was not promising. Andy
  9. Nice to see the field is filling up . Could not see Adrian or Julian or Di is that a field of view issue?
  10. Well this is what the sky looked like on Tuesday night around 10:15pm albeit with a little stretching . North is at the top but east is on the left and west on the right. Andy
  11. Quick update. Sandra and I have just been outside for a quick look at the sky using our mk1 eyeballs and she said she had never seen so many stars. It is dry but a little windy and very cold. A promising start so tomorrow will unpack the scope and get set up.
  12. Its now looking good for Saturday Sunday and Monday but its going to be very cold -2 degrees
  13. Well on the 22nd March there should be about 7.5 hours of astronomical darkness. There will however be a 30% moon which sets a little after midnight (00:40). So there will be 3.5 hours of real A.D. Excludes clouds rain etc. Surely The weather has to be better than the last 6 months. Andy
  14. I was keeping well til you asked. Within 24 hours I was in an ambulance to the RVI. Excellent service from the many NHS staff involved during the period. Diagnosis was Septicemia and I am now back home convalescing. So I hope to be fit enough by March
  15. That’s where we normally stop and pick up “fresh sandwiches” as well. Sandra and I willl be arriving on 15th March and leaving the following Thursday, So let’s hope the weather is better this year. Andy
  16. I would second this choice as I have been using it very successfully for over 2 years with my canon camera. I use both local solving via Astrotortilla and occasionally nova.astrometry.net. Have a read the whole thread you should find it enlightening. I can now get polar alignment to better than 30" in a couple of iterations. Andy
  17. Hi James and Gav Your timelapses are great and remind me that some good astrophotography can be achieved by capturing the wider picture. How do you covert your stills to a video? James I too have been to the hacienda but never thought to record a time lapse. Guess I will have to go back and try again Andy
  18. Hi Gav What is your verdict on scope nights? Andy
  19. Well I unpacked all the astronomy bits from the car yesterday and managed to get the rig up again. After polar alignment I only managed to get 11 usable 4 minute frames out of 16 before the clouds rolled in. I guess this counts as the Mesu's first light so it shows real promise after an EQ6. It is just a shame that it was from the light polluted NE skies rather than Drumroamin. Leo Triplet wide angle and a crop. PHDLog reports polar alignment error of 0.52 arc minutes. Only processed in DSS and cropped in Photoshop elements. Until next time. Andy
  20. Well home safe and warm now. Drove through some pretty squally weather around Gatehouse of Fleet. Hope that conditions do improve for those staying over tonight. As for the weather over the past 24 hours it ranged from sunny, calm and settled to a raging gale that dropped lots of water on our tent. Looking at it positively the tent stayed up and no guy lines came loose and I slept through most of it. But my wife was terrified . Still over the journey home she suggested that maybe she just needs to work on her fear as the tent did seem to stay up. Heres' hoping that by the next star camp she is looking forward to camping again Many thank to Mike for his assistance in erecting the tent. And to Derek, Stuart, Damien and Ian for their assistance in taking it down and helping to pack it away. Now if the weather forecast is right I may get first light from my Mesu tomorrow. Ever optimistic Andy
  21. Well off to bed now in hope that tomorrow show promise, Car is still packed so it will be a quick decision after breakfast and a BBC weather check. Just had a look at the BBC site and it is looking good for you guys after midnight......... assuming the spirit has not got you first.
  22. Are you saying that Lesley's advice to stay away was wrong? Well the weather here in the north east has moderated somewhat so I hope Doris has had her day and we can get on with some stargazing; once my tent is pitched Andy & Sandra
  23. Just spoken to Lesley and she reckons the winds will be with you around 2pm today and that pitching my tent is not recommended. So tell Darren he will just have to sit there for another day . Not unpacking the car so we can set off early in the morning. Until tomorrow then.
  24. Thanks Mike Just about to start breakfast and final packing. An update by 9am would be appreciated
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