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About tomato

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  1. I am just starting out on LRGB imaging and I must admit I am really struggling to make a composite with 2x2 binned RGB subs and unbinned luminence subs. I am using the Moravian SIPS package and/or DSS to align and stack and then trying to load them into Startools for post processing but ST won't load them even though the manual says it should. For the time being I am going to stick with unbinned for all of the subs, once less variable in the mix. I never had this problem with OSC!
  2. Today's APOD - Congratulations Sara

    Another superb image Sara, did you capture this with the ODK?
  3. Nice image, l love the subtle colours. I'm concentrating on the Dumbell to get to grips with my new LRGB camera, but l am not there yet... Regards Steve
  4. If they broke into my house they would of course find everything already packed away in flight cases ready to facilitate removal from the property, so that's not very good either.
  5. I could do with taking a holiday from bringing it all back in the house every session.... As for the criminal element's interest in the Mesu, it would be the ideal thing to use if they wanted someone to sleep with the fishes😎
  6. Used KAF-8300 or new ASI 1600MM-Cool?

    I had already invested in a stable, high capacity mount, and I currently have limited PC processing capacity, so I went with the Moravian G2-8300. It is a heavy camera mind, and I've only just sorted out the scope balancing issues. A big +1 for the quality of your sky, to date I have only imaged once from a good dark site and the results were far superior to my previous efforts from my suburban backyard.
  7. After my moan about balancing and securing the camera, it's amazing what a few hours access to machine tools can do. An alloy baseplate now bolts to the existing scope rings with a pedestal at one end to take a small counter weight bar with a 2 kg weight. The plate has also been used to make a more rigid base for the guide scope mounting and I now have a lanyard in place to give me more confidence when removing the camera. The tiniest dab of Vaseline on the adapter threads has made the operation smoother, quieter and less nerve wracking. Just need to get to grips with the camera now.
  8. The lens cap on my Altair scope is a flat threaded aluminium plate, not too great a mass but hanging on the very end of the scope (yes, force x distance, it's all coming back to me now....) Anyway, I'm looking at attaching a fixed bar along the scope with a moveable counter weight, as I don't like how currently half the saddle is now hanging out in fresh air instead of being nicely centred on the mount plate.
  9. Thanks for the replies. Gnomus, I'm intrigued how you can measure the effect of the lens cap on the balance with presumably a Mesu mount, given the inherent drag created by the friction drive. Do you use a sensitive spring balance or do you have some clever software that uses the mount's encoders to measure overrun after a slew or something? At the moment, with the power to the mount off, I just give it a gentle push in either direction in the horizontal position to estimate if it is in neutral balance. It was so far out initially, I didn't need to give it any assistance, the heavy end would just keep moving.
  10. WOW! The Milky Way element is like looking at NGC 891 only in mega detailed close up. And with regard to the whole composition, with apologies to Steve Richards, if anyone on this forum aspires to wanting to 'Make Every Photon Count' just keep studying this image. Superb
  11. That's what I did. I took an Atik 314 off my refractor and replaced it with a field flattener, and G2-8300 with filter wheel. I then couldn't figure why the tracking was poor until I checked the balance, it was seriously out (as you'd expect) in both RA and DEC. The Mesu is reasonably tolerant to inbalance but even this mount has it's limits! I needed to double the counter weight and radically move the saddle on the mount plate and relocate the guide scope but it's nicely balanced again now. The mount won't fit in the flight case anymore, but that's another story. Just waiting to see what the next gremlin will be, I just love this hobby....
  12. Thanks Steppenwolf for the encouraging words, as you say I don't think I have compromised on the equipment at all, although I do need to make it all work as it should and get some images worthy of it! The quick release couplings are certainly an idea, maybe not as solid a connection as the screwed connection but much more predictable when dismantling. Anyway I should get my safety retaining device today so we'll se how that goes.
  13. Thanks DaveS for the suggestion, I have one of these covers but I just cannot bring myself to entrust my rig to just that level of protection. My brother is going to machine up a slip ring that will fit in front of the flattener and this will be attached to the camera using the tripod thread built into the casing. By unscrewing the camera with the Dec axis horizontal even if I do loose it then it will just swing free and not hit the pier. Roll on retirement and a permanent observatory.
  14. It's on the end of an Altair 102mm refractor fitted with field flattener. I cannot bring the whole thing inside, it's on a heavy weight steel pier tripod that stays outside and a Mesu 200, which is feat in itself putting that back in it's case. The other problem is I have limited storage space and the scope has to go back in it's flight case, and of course it won't fit in with flattener and camera attached. Careful disassembly on the table with a soft cushion underneath will have to be the way to go for now, I think. And while I'm on such a big downer, how long before I cross thread the adapter I wonder? I know, I know, I have totally the wrong kit for a portable set up, but at the time I was totally focused on what makes a stable rig, so set up practicalities went out the window. What's the saying "act in haste, repent at your leisure", or something like that, it only took me 4 months to decide which scope and mount to buy......
  15. When I purchased my new camera (Moravian G2-8300) I did the right thing imaging wise and opted for a fully screwed together optical train. What I didn't foresee as a set up and take down imager is just how tricky it is unscrewing a bulky heavy camera off the end of the focuser when I'm tired and doing everything in haste to pack it all away. Only solutions I can come up with is lift the scope and camera still attached off the mount and take it inside, then dismantle in the relative safety of the kitchen table, or purchase a bayonet adapter for the camera so the point at which gravity takes over is a bit more predictable. I suppose I could resort back to extension tubes and hold the camera with the locking ring but I have visions of it coming loose and dropping on the floor (aaaagh!), it's a heavy piece of kit compared to my old camera. Proper answer I know is to leave it all set up, if only.