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Darren Knight

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About Darren Knight

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  1. I get regular e-mail's that ping up on my phone from the Maxim users group and a lot of people have guiding issues. Funny how for some people it works straight out of the box and for others they just cant get it to work. But its so hard to fix a problem if you cannot diagnose the issue. I think a big part of this learning curve is our weather. When something generally goes wrong you think "I'll take another look tomorrow" but with our hobby tomorrow maybe a month away and by that time you've forgot what the problem was! I may take up flower arranging. Darren
  2. Olly & Sara, I got slightly confused a few posts ago regarding Maxim and EQMod being used together. I thought they we're stand along programmes, so you either used one or the other. I realise now (only by the previous posts) they can be used in conjunction. Ian tried to set my mount up via TV but failed with the guiding. I'm assuming that if I had Maxim guiding, I wouldn't need PHD? I do however like PHD as it's never given me any problems, apart from M81, but since I've increased the guider scope size it now works. Maxim is just frustrating me and I worry it will crash on a valuable clear sky so I've stuck to what I know works. Having said that, I would love to get it working and learn more about EQMod. Regards, Darren
  3. Thanks for the reply guys. Sara:- it's been a while since I fired Maxim up because of the problems I was having. But I will take some screen shots and post them on if that's ok. I've tried pulse guiding and ST4 guiding, but again without any success. Rik:- Many thanks for your screen shots. Just from memory they do look similar to mine, but I will double check tonight. I was guiding with a mini guider, but have just purchased a cheap 80mm refractor, just to see if that makes a difference. All I need now is a break in the clouds :-) Regards, Darren
  4. Thanks for all the replies guys. If you wouldn't mind Rik, that would be fantastic. Darren
  5. Rik, Can I ask what size guide scope you use? Regards Darren
  6. Afternoon guys, may I ask your opinions on Maxim V EQMod. Firstly, may I say that I have both items of Software loaded onto my Windows 8 laptop (all though I haven't really played around with EQMod). I purchased Maxim around 8 months ago and planned to use it as my "Do all" software, but I encountered problems with the guiding straight away. At the time I was running a 4 years old Dell windows 7 laptop and chose to upgrade to a newer laptop that came with windows 8. After a few problems with the serial to USB cable, I got Maxim to talk to my Avalon mount and could slew with it using maxim's E-W-N-S directional buttons. However, I could not get it to guide. So I called a friend of mine that lives quite far from me to take a look Via Team Viewer. He is very experienced with Maxim but couldn't get the guiding it to work either and suggested I contacted Maxim. I contacted Maxim who did the same, taking control via TV. and after an hour or so of changing different settings they said it should work now, but as the weather had clouded over, we could not test it fully. The following evening, I tried and it wouldn't guide. After that, I pretty much gave up. At Present I shoot with Artemis, guide with PHD 1 and calibrate my images with Astroart5. I must admit, I love using all 3 and will definitely stick with Astroart5 no matter what. Now, this is where my problem comes in. I have a Pulsar observatory and eventually I would like to sync my dome to the mount. After speaking with Gary from Pulsar, he said I would need something like Maxim for the dome drivers to operate with . Also in the future I would also like to use something like Stellarium or the Skyx to dovetail into the system as well (but that's not that important at the moment). It's the dome drive that I would really like to get working. I realise I'm asking some big broad brush questions, but here goes. Does anyone else have problems with guiding in Maxim and have they found out what it was? Would EQMod give me everything I'm looking for and is it relatively easy to use? Has anyone tried both pieces of software and which was better? Or am I just over complicating things?Thanks in advance for you time. Regards, Darren
  7. Thanks Olly, that's exactly what I was thinking ;-) Colin an I are at Kelling Heath star party (well I assume he is here) and very poor wifi, so many thanks for everyone's comments. Will check in tomorrow Regards, Darren
  8. Hi Gav, yeah it is......sorry :-( But if it's any consolation, since I've had it there's been a permanent cloud sitting directly above it. That's one of the reasons I chose to purchase the SCT. At least I can do some planetary work in-between the gaps. Admittedly, I've been very fortunate to acquire some nice equipment over the last 12 months, but boy, this has been the hardest learning curve of my life. All the gear no idea!? Still, I'm working hard on this crazy hobby and so hopefully it will start to pay off soon. I do have a Flikr account at D M Knight 68. When I was with Olly, we acquired some data on his rig and I processed it. (After he gave me a tutorial on how to do it correctly) It blows my other attempts out of the water. God that mans good (but don't tell him). Regards, Darren
  9. Hi Sara, Many thanks. Your name was mentioned a lot when I was in France with Olly and Colin Cooper, so I'm grateful of your advice. Regards, Darren
  10. Hi Guys, thank you for all your views and opinions. I've been trying to read them all via my phone but I will take a closer look from my PC. I will Just to give you a little more insight as to who I am and my set up. I purchased my 1st scope in October 2012 and started to take my 1st images with a DSLR around 12 months ago. The reason I'll telling you this is just to clarify I'm still very much a novice and don't always fully understand what dovetails with what and what equipment is best suited for different objects. A few people have questioned my mount, so I will list my equipment just to clarify. DSO set up. 1. Permanent pier. 2. Avalon Linear fast reverse mount. 3. Skywatcher ED 80 refractor. 4. Atik 4900 mono camera. 5. Atik electric filter wheel. 6. Skywatcher travel star guide scope. 7. Lode star guide camera. 8. Windows 8 laptop. Planetary set up (as from last month) a. C9.25 (the non Edge version) b. Skywatcher Crayford focuser. c. Skyris 618 colour camera. Possible DSO set up with the SCT. 1. Permanent pier. 2. Avalon Linear fast reverse mount. 3. C9.25 (the non Edge version) 4. Skywatcher Crayford focuser. 5. Atik 4900 mono camera. 6. Atik electric filter wheel. 7. OAG??????? 8. Lode star guide camera. 9. Focal reducer????? 10. Windows 8 laptop. As I've said, I do need to read all of the views and opinions a little more closely, but thank you again and if any of the additional info above can help, please feel free to keep them coming. Regards, Darren
  11. Hi ET, Thanks for the reply, but was was your experience, good or bad? And what problems did you encounter using an OAG? Many thanks Darren
  12. Hi guys, A month ago I purchased a C9.25. At the moment the only extra fitted to it, is a skywatcher Crayford focuser. I would like to use it to image galaxies but unsure if this is the right way to go. I have a Atik 4900 and filter wheel that's currently fitted to my refractor. I was thinking about moving the camera and wheel onto the SCT, but wanted to know what else I should add / purchase. The SCT doesn't have any rings, so should I purchase some rings and use my guide scope or buy an OAG? Should I consider a focual reducer? Should I consider a lakeside focuser? Will all of the above work together? Sorry, a lot of if buts and maybes but I'm just planning for the future. Many thanks in advance. Darren Knight
  13. Thanks Guys for your swift comments and help. With regards to Brown Dwarf's comments on Stellarium, this is how I use my hand set for a 3 star alignment. I open Artemis capture and slew to a star. centre it on the Artemis reticule and press enter on the hand set. Repeat for the other two stars. so this is my interpretation of what I should be doing now, on EQMOD and Stellarium. 1. Click on a star within Stellariumscope and the scope and mount will move to the target. 2. Centre the star on the Artemis reticule as before. 3. Click back on Stellarium and hold down Ctrl and 3 to sync the star. 4. EQMOD should then register it as 1 star or 1 point count. 5. Repeat for the remaining 2. Is that correct? Thanks again guys. Darren.
  14. Hi Guys, This is my first post on an astronomy forum and would like some guidance on EQMOD please. I downloaded EQMOD a few evening ago and I'm just feeling my way around it. Due to last nights full moon, I took the opportunity to try out a few things from Chris's video tutorials and now have a few questions. Guiding. Does EQMOD actually guide or does just control the guide settings? I usually guide with PHD and within PHD you tell it what guide camera you are using and go through calibration steps etc..... Within EQMOD I couldn't find any camera selection drop box or a button to start calibration etc.. so I'm assuming that I need to run PHD in conjunction with EQMOD. 1. Is this correct? 3 Star alignment As I always use my Synscan handset, I now need to carry out an alignment routine within EQMOD. I have had Stellarium for around 12 months now and I'm comfortable using it, so I downloaded Stellarium scope. On Chris's video he uses Cartes du Ciel. When he slewed to a chosen star, it was then centred and synced. I have 2 questions here. 1. Will the alignment method shown in the video, replace my 3 star alignment on the hand set? 2. Can I sync with Stellarium the way Chris did with Cartes du Ciel? If you guys have the time to reply, please keep your answers "Dummy" proof as I'm still a novice and an EQMOD virgin. Many thanks for your time, Regards, Darren
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