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tomato

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About tomato

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    Proto Star

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  • Location
    North Yorkshire
  1. tomato

    Narrow Band - Art or Nature

    This debate has been rumbling on for some time but in my view does it really matter? I started out with LRGB because I wanted ‘true’ colour images of DSOs but purchased a Ha filter so I could still image around the full moon. I have enjoyed acquiring these monochrome images sufficiently to now buy an OIII filter to add some ‘false’ colour. This will no doubt be a bit controversial, but I feel the data acquisition is more of the science and the imaging processing is the arty end of the spectrum in astrophotography. I guess that is why I prefer the former part of the process. If I have to start manipulating the data to within in an inch of it’s life that tells me my image acquisition has been mediocre, and I would much prefer spending time, money and effort improving that part of the process. But hey, it’s all good!
  2. Lets just say I’m glad it’s already all written down....
  3. I’m charged with sorting the dome control software out when my retirement dome project goes ahead next year. I did pure and applied maths at A level many, many moons ago, it will be good to put that trig to good practical use after all this time
  4. tomato

    Mesu 200 broke

    I wonder how much the component specs have changed since it first came onto the market. Olly must have clocked up hundreds of hours on his early version with no hardware failures to date? (I sure hope he doesn't read this......)
  5. tomato

    Mesu 200 broke

    Thanks for posting the pic Harry, I have always been curious about the friction drive but would have preferred to have seen it revealed under happier circumstances. Hope you get a speedy turnaround on the repair. Steve
  6. tomato

    Why Did You Start??

    My dad bought me a Prinz 2.5” refractor from Dixon’s when I was 14. I think the lens was stopped down but I got views of the moon (this was the era of Apollo), Jupiter and the Orion Nebula. It even had a sun filter which screwed into the eyepiece through which I used to observe sun spots, don’t try this at home kids! I sold it to pay for driving lessons and didn’t get back into astronomy until 17 years later. A friend at work lent me a copy of “the Cambridge Atlas of Deep Sky Objects” by the great Jack Newton, which got me totally hooked on astrophotography (the film emulsion kind). I was also into the engineering side of things and myself and my brother, built an equatorial mount from scratch. Interest peaked in the early 90,s with me importing one of the first ST-4s into the UK, it must have been one of the first because Mr SBIG called me from California asking me if I wanted to be the UK dealer! Just think if I had said yes I may have become another version of IKI or FLO..... Anyway, family took over and I got back into this fascinating hobby for the third and hopefully final time in 2014, when I joined this brilliant forum and spent a few bob on some decent kit. I’m still trying to do it justice.
  7. tomato

    SP2018 Talks - Volunteers please!

    That sounds great, particularly given the last time I looked the manual was only about 50% complete.
  8. He will correct me if I am wrong, but I think it was DHL who literally went the extra mile when delivering Tomatobro’s Esprit 150. The access road was temporarily closed so the driver delivered it by hand in it's cardboard box, carrying it about 100 yards. He is probably still recovering.
  9. tomato

    How Can I Improve? 📷

    Not sure if this helps, but I set up and take down each session and the biggest single time saver was to scratch circles on the patio slabs around the tripod feet once I had the set up accurately polar aligned. A couple of times since I have not had to make any adjustments after setting up. Mind you I have a very substantial steel pier/tripod arrangement (a bit like a Mesu stand) which doesn’t flex at all. It just puts my back out on odd occasions. +1 for Startools, I went for because I like the simple user interface and workflow, and it’s a fraction of the price of PI, but I also have PS CS2. Your data is clearly good, more subs would help, with no observatory I somehow feel duty bound to produce an image from every session so I rarely get more than 2-3 hrs of data.
  10. tomato

    Reputation count.

    Is this Crowd Funding SGL style?
  11. Just a comment on the mount. In my opinion, for astrophotography, your biggest single investment should be on this item of equipment. You can take good astro images with a variety of optics and cameras, but for DSOs, you do need to track reliably and reasonably accurately. I'm sure some folks will disagree with this view and the more recent camera technology is perhaps making good tracking lees important, but you will get frustrated with a wibbly wobbly mount.
  12. tomato

    What's happend to Alignmaster?

    And another vote for SharpCap pro, I have seen it in action and it works! So much so I have just upgraded from the free version ready for a trip to dark skies in North Devon.
  13. tomato

    AAPOD

    That’s a mighty fine image Rodd, worthy of your award. I didn’t think I would get into Narrowband imaging but your shot (and others like it) has motivated me enough to go beyond Ha and invest in the other filters to produce a colour image. Steve
  14. tomato

    M81, M82 and the IFN

    Very nice, never thought I would see an image of this region where the IFN takes prominence over the galaxies, but this one makes it. Only took 64 hours, gulp....
  15. tomato

    M51 and M101

    Very nice, a real sense of meaning to the phrase “Island Universe”.
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