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Posts posted by RogerOfHeaton

  1. Hi Folks, I know this is an old thread but anyway....I got my 250PX back in March 2014, and then "graduated" (yeah right) to an equatorial platform bbut was not satisfactory.

    I finally made the move to an AZ EQ6 GT mount in January 2015, and it has worked well for imaging. Two provisos - get a coma corrector - I use both a Skywatcher 0.9x coma corrector and also a Baader MPCC III - and only image when windspeed drops below 12-13mph.








  2. Thanks for responding, StamosP. My understanding was that if it was just the focuser protrusion, the Baader and GSO would give a similar effect.

    My understanding from folks like Louise in Glasgow, who has the GSO, and the guys who started this thread on pages 1-3 like Uranium, who has had both Skywatcher and Baader types, that they don't have the same effect.

    If I'm wrong, then OK. If so, then I'll give serious consideration to the MN 190 DS Pro, which is coma-free apparently, and needs no corrector.

  3. Hello Folks,

    I run a 130 PDS and tube-ring converted 250PX ex-Dob newt on an AZ EQ6 GT mount, using the Skywatcher 0.9 coma corrector. This is with a modded DSLR

    On the 250PX, the bright star shapes are good and the coma corrector is fine.

    On the 130 PDS, no matter how I set up with the Skywatcher CC, the bright stars in the  image are flattened on one side. It has begun to cheese me off somewhat, and so I'm considering a second CC alternative for the 130 PDS. I've attached a cocoon nebula image to show the effect.

    I've read this thread back to front, and I guess the Baader MPCC III and/or the GSO are the main candidates.

    My first question is do either of these have any drawbacks at all?

    I understand that some users have had spacer probs with the Baader but only with narrowband and filter drawer. I also understand that the GSO pushes the scope focal ratio out to 5.5. No big deal, although I'll admit I do like the 0.9 cc for bringing the focal ratio down to 4.7.

    My second question is.....Is it possible to use a star mask and modify the flattened side?

    In PI there are loads of erosion options but can't see anything to refill up on one side. In CS2 Astronomy Tools I can brighten or diminish the whole star but that's it AFAIK.

    Any feedback much appreciated. Thanks folks.


  4. Hi TingTing,

    My imaging train is a modded Canon 100D, a relatively light DSLR, fitted with a Skywatcher coma corrector. Also using an Astronomik CLS clip LP filter. Thinking of switching this to a Hutech  IDAS P2. The thing is.......the filter is about the same price as the 130 PDS......seems the wrong way round but there you go. 

    As you can see, I am still plagued with gradient and focus hassles. I've been using DSS and Photoshop CS2 and running the Gradient Xterminator trial. For galaxies and clusters it works reasonably well but for nebulae I seem to fall into deep kimshee.

    Star colours are coming out ok but I seem to muck up on curves and levels and colour balance.

    Take the M81/M82 shot, for example. My individual subs clearly show a red hue in the middle of the M82 "cigar shape" structure. After stacking and histogram stretch and saturation shift, I seem to lose any red in the finished image.

    Never mind, I'm learning a lot and loving the journey. Thanks to all in this forum for their inspiration ad tips, re balance. In time I'll switch to guiding and EQMOD and CCD but for now I'll keep learning my ABC and times tables, so to speak.

  5. Bloomin 'eck Uranium....I hesitate to post, having seen that last image.

    To hell with it....hello folks, this is my first attempt with a modded Canon 100D with Astronomik CLS clip filter, using the Skywatcher CC, sitting on the 130PDS, sitting on an EQ6 AZ GT.

    27 x 210 seconds with darks, flats, bias and dark flats. Unguided.

    Have managed 4 minutes unguided but playing safe. Totally incompetent but keen as mustard. Cheers.

    • Like 8

  6. I just want to say thanks to the contributors on this topic. I have finally.....finally....finally....got good balancing with the 130 PDS with my imaging train (100D + cc). I was going daft but then I read the posts.....and then made up 2 x 500g home-made counterweights, secured them to a spare large dog collar (literally), and velcroed them to the mirror end. It has worked like a dream. Thank you folks.

    Now happy to recommence imaging with my EQ6 AZ GT. Cheers.

    • Like 1

  7. Just to add some input, I've had the EQ6 AZ GT for a couple of weeks now, and am admiring it more and more. The Dec and R.A. clutches are really cool. I've got PA pretty much ok now but my goto alignment has had me climbing the wall until I read the various threads and also the Sky at Night review. After PA I kept getting the mount slewing to the wrong part of the sky for the first alignment star.  

    Finally realised that after PA I have to return the mount to the Home position, turn off, turn on, then start the goto alignment. After that, all the alignment stars popped into finder fov, just so.

    Nothing in the manual about that. Ah well, we move on.

    Loving it all though. Even the frustrations. Finally managed to sort out the proper balancing of my 130 PDS newt. It's such a short tube and the mirror isn't that heavy. So, the imaging train of focuser-coma corrector-dslr is relatively heavy compared to the whole ota. Needed an extra kilo at the mirror end on the opposite side to the imaging train to get proper balance at all angles. Feels really good, folks to finally get it nailed. Thanks for reading. Daft old [removed word] signing off.

    • Like 1

  8. Just to finish my modest input. I finally went for the EQ6 AZ GT with the 130 PDS newt, plus a 0.9 skywatcher coma corrector. Got the EQDIR adaptor. A lot to learn but have a good feeling about it. Awaiting a Maplin power supply to use with Astromiser cigar lighter adaptor.

    Swapped the mounting around by 180 degrees to give me a north pointing tripod leg, plus a comfortable position for the polarscope, as suggested in the Steve Richards FLO review of the mount.

    • Like 1

  9. Many thanks folks for responding. It is looking like February-March '15 for pulling the trigger. In terms of bangs per buck, my impression is that I either plump for maximum stability and better load capacity using the EQ6 AZ GT at £1300 from FLO or perhaps less stability (perhaps) and less load capacity using the Advanced VX but have £600 left over to get an autoguiding system and or GPS plus more mobility with the lighter weight.

    Totally perplexed at the moment. Hope I make my mind up by February.

    Also perplexed over Celestron emphasis upon ASPA - shows great confidence - they don't even include a polarscope by default. Forums here on the VX suggest that ASPA is the way to go, particularly if polaris is not always visible from ll parts of a back garden.

    On power supply, I may take the precaution of opting for the Baader 5A 12V supply, which gives better stability at low temperatures, particularly if mount/CCD probs are to be avoided, whichever decision I make on the mount.

    For me, there seems to be a bit of a gap on comparative reviews on mounts between say £500 - £2000, particularly since for astrophotography it is such a key component.

    Many thanks once again. Best wishes for xmas and 2015. folks.

  10. Hi Folks, Newbie question I'm afraid. Looking to get my first EQ mount for imaging using a 130PDS newt initially. Looking at Advanced VX, NEQ6 Pro Synscan and the EQ6 AZ GT.

    I think I may also be using a 200 PDS as well.

    My simple question is - Would the EQ6 AZ GT be too much of a steep learning curve for a newbie like me.

    I currently run a 254mm Dobson on an Eq Platform. I do some astrophotography but obviously, the Dobson is more of an viewing light bucket. The price range for these 3 mounts is roughly £750 - £1400. Capacity, mount weight and "you get what you pay for" suggest EQ6 AZ GT.

    I just worry that it could be too complicated as a first EQ.

    The budget is not a concern.

    Grateful for any comments. Cheers and thankyou.

  11. Thanks for the feedback folks.Much appreciated, both.

    I of course, have no experience of the AVX. I do however have a little experience on power supplies, in particular ccd video cameras. Cheap, underspecced power supplies are frequently responsible for video camera under-performance, due to inadequate consistency of power supplied, particularly with varying ambient temperature. Users generally overlook this and blame the camera quality or some environmental factor.

    That's what warmed me to the Baader unit, in that the general description highlighted those aspects, which mirror my experience.

    The Celestron power connection does provide some security screw feature but I have read an AVX 1 STAR review by a user, where due to their accidental tripping over the trailing cable, they tore out the housing on the AVX power connection, because of this "security" screw feature.

    I appreciate your insight Louise on the fitting. Have seen various equivalent non-screw units for £19-£30.

    Compared to the £900+ overall bill for the imaging rig, I'm comfortable with a £55 rip-off spend for the foreknowledge of a consistent power supply. In future years (I hope), I'll also be pushing the envelope on imaging payload weight, with bigger OTA, autoguider rig and imaging train with coma correctors, zoom eyepieces and Barlows, etc. Thanks again.

    • Like 1

  12. Thanks for coming back, Louise.

    I've just noticed this Baader mains 12V 5 Amp unit, which looks to have some thought behind it for scope mount mains drives. A bit more expensive perhaps but I'll be mainly in our back garden with the AVX, rather than at dark site. My budget might stretch to that, when the time comes to order.


    Looking forward to cutting my teeth on the AVX.

    Thanks again, Louise.

  13. Hi Folks,

    I'm currently running a 254PX Skywatcher Dobsonian on an equatorial platform with Astro Devices DSCs and Nexus wifi to Sky Safari Pro. It's not a bad viewing rig but somewhere along the way, I swallowed the red pill from The Matrix and have gone hook, line and sinker into astrophotography. Stupid I know but hey, what the hell.

    I use an EOS 100D and Phil Dyer Huviron ccd astrovideo camera. I have only just started to use BYEOS and use DSS. I also have Astrotortilla but have not used it yet.

    Consequently, I'm going to pull the trigger before Christmas on the AVX with the 130 PDS Skywatcher (I just prefer newts over fracs, mainly bang per buck, plus f5 before the cc and a similar FOV to 80ED), a coma corrector and the CG5 polarscope. The area that I'm uncertain about is the power supply. I have one of the ex-Halfords "6 in 1" 12V DC power tanks, with 2 cigarette lighter sockets. I think it is 17Ah rather than 7Ah but strangely, the instructions are a little vague.

    I've followed this thread very closely, and understand the various viewpoints. For budget purposes, I'm going to stick with this powertank, as an opening strategy.

    Would be interested in your views folks on the power pack decision, plus any views on the imaging spec I'm going for. Thanks for any feedback, folks.

  14. Hi folks,

    I currently run a 10inch Skywatcher Dob with equatorial platform and DSC encoders for Sky Safari Pro app navigation. Mainly viewing, although have begun DSLR prime focus solar/lunar work, and also use a Phil Dyer colour cctv camera for lunar vids. Loving it but of course, now realising that to learn more on astrophotog, in particular DSOs,I need to augment with a stable GEM mount.

    Looked at HEQ5 Pro Synscan and Advanced VX, and have sort of set my eyes on the Advanced VX, for reasons of ASPA and later, StarSense.

    Struggling with OTA decision....same old, same old frac or newt?

    ED80 APO fits the bill for high FOV for DSOs at £430ish at F7.5 (reducer/flattener will bring it down to F6.3ish) but that 150mm Newt on the VX for something like £83 extra seems an incredible bargain. It does have a poor focuser, compared to say the Skywatcher 150 PDS (£228) but both are F5.

    Since I'll be a newb with polar aligning and equatorials, my head says frac ED80, my heart says Skywatcher 150PDS. I know you get what you pay for but I'm a sucker for diffraction spikes.

    Apologies for asking this but what do folks think please? Head and heart views much appreciated.

    Cheers and thanks for any feedback.

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