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About KnightTrader

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    Ruther Glen, VA
  1. I purchased the Orion 8893 Field Flattener for my ED80 and am waiting to receive it. I also got the Orion 5528 T-Thread Spacer Ring Kit, so I can adjust the spacing to optimize the performance of the FF. Still waiting to receive them, and I hope they work out for the images I have been taking with M51 (Whirlpool Galaxy) later this week.
  2. I enjoyed looking at your pics. I only hope to obtain results any where near to yours within the next few months.
  3. Thanks for the tip on the focal reducer. I have found the Orion 0.85x Reducer-Flattener, and will add that to my list of pre-reqs when I start imaging with my ED40. Can you recommend a Canon SLR camera in the $500 - $700 price range for astro imaging? How has your 450D been standing up? Mike
  4. Not bad at all, without any tracking. Thanks for sharing, as it provides me optimism moving forward to eventually get back into taking subs again. Mike
  5. Hi, my name is Mike and I thought I would share a little of my experiences to date, which have led me hear to try out astronomy once more. I started out in Astronomy in 2012, when I decided to do some research, and then went gung-ho into astrophotography. Here was my initial setup. Celestron CGEM 8-inch Edge-HD telescope with mount ($2500)Celestron 80mm Guidescope Package with 125mm Rings ($160)Orion StarShoot AutoGuider ($280)Canon EOS DA camera ($1500)Misc adaptersI bought many books and did some reading before hand. Since my main interest at that time was to photograph galaxies, I began taking the steps necessary to learn how to polar align my scope properly. However, what I found was that I was unable to take 5-minute subs without having the stars elongated. I since then tried several things to try to work out those kinks. Like PEC training, and trying different tracking approaches. I think one of the biggest mistakes I made was having the telescope mount located on my pool deck, in which I used by sit on a chair and have my laptop located on the table on the deck. Whenever I took shots, I would delay the start of the capture by 1-minute, to give me time to go inside, and then I would come back (20) minutes later after capturing the (4) 5-moin subs on my camera, which was controlled by an electronic remote. Since the pool deck is also connected to the house, I always thought that any movement in the house could propagate to the deck. However, I did not want to try putting the mount on grass, as the stand would then sink in the dirt. I also has a problem with the declination motor drifting, which I was able to visually observe, when I had the motor cover off with the control board moved off to the side. I tries switching the R/A and dec motors, but never got tracking to my expectations. In short, I tried too much at one time, and made some errors in judgment along the way, in which the most I ended up with was a stacked image of M51, with some elongated stars. Still captured my heart that I was able to get that far. I since gave up for the past 1.5 years with my scope gathering dust in my garage. I was able to sell all of my supplies, which recapped some of the cost. Here it is in 2014, and right after I sold my GCEM mount, the spark ignited once more, probably because it opened the door for me to start back over with a clean slate, to get another mount and scope, and try again in baby steps. So I have done a lot of due diligence, and have decided on the Orion Atlas EQ-G mount along with an Orion ED80 80mm f/7.5 Apochromatic Refractor telescope. (1) My goal is to initial view Jupiter and other targets, get use to how to use and polar align the mount. (2) And then to try astrophotography again, taking wide-angle shots with the 80mm. (3) Finally, ,my goal is to get back into tracking objects successfully, to get 5 - 20 minutes subs, as I have noticed that others have been able to achieve, so I know that it is possible. I am interested in any comments others may have as far as where I went wrong the first time, and if I am on the correct path moving forward, so that I do not get frustrated like I did the first time. Even though I am comfortable with investing up to three grand now, I do not want to go as far as I did last time (six grand), until I can be confident on achieving my results. Pretty much, I want to capture pics of planets and nebulae and galaxies, just to know I can do it (self gratification). Wishing you clear nights.... Mike
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