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Everything posted by DeepSkyMan

  1. DeepSkyMan

    What did the postman bring?

    First purchase in my patient road to EAA capability, Hyperstar 3 for my 8” Edge. Compliments of ABS.
  2. Hi there folks, my EAA/AP ambitions got severely curtailed last year due to unforeseen domestic expenditure. Moving into the new year, resolution renewed, I’m looking at investing in an EAA setup. Had been thinking about the new Altair Hypercam 183c TEC cooled offering. However on reading up it appears that the pixel size would not be a great match for the 8” Edge. So, looking for some advice from you guys as to what the ideal camera would be to pair with the 8” EdgeHD. Initial concentration will be on EAA however I would like to have the flexibility to move into a more traditional AP setup down the line. Camera budget is £1000. Kind Regards Paul.
  3. Guys, I have an order in for a Starizona Hyperstar for my 8” EdgeHD. What sub-1k camera would you pair with this kit? Also what is the learning curve involved, bear in mind I have no imaging experience? I have been looking at the Altair Astro Hypercam Pro TEC 183c, which seems to be getting some favourable comments. My intention is to use an INDI based platform, probably a StellarMate for image and focuser control. Paul.
  4. Had notification from Nick at Altair Astro, that Ikarus Technologies have recently made the drivers for the Altair Astro range of cameras available for download with their StellarMate plarform. I would imagine at this stage they are probably still in Beta status. I’m favouring the INDI approach due to the lightweight small footprint of the required hardware and more importantly that the platform is intended for remote operation over iOS.
  5. DeepSkyMan

    Best CMOS Camera for 8” EdgeHD

    Hi there Louise, unfortunately even though I live in what is probably the only border line green/yellow zone left in central Scotland (Slamannan), it still doesn’t make up for the surrounding central Scotland light-dome.... Thanks for your feedback regarding my imaging/eaa requirements. As you’ve no doubt already picked up, from my later post, my imaging strategy has firmed up in the past week, I will shortly be the proud owner of a Hyperstar. So I’m now looking for the best sub1k camera to pair with my 8” EdgeHD in this format. Clear Skies Paul.
  6. Hi there, our Astro group were booked into our normal dark skies venue for an observing weekend in February. Unfortunately, the accommodations are now going to be undergoing renovation and will be closed for the first 3 months of the year. We are looking at a couple of alternative venues. These are field study centres, one at Blancathra near Keswick and the other Malham Tarn in the Yorkshire Dales national park. Wondering if anybody has any observing experience of the skies in these areas. Kind Regards Paul.
  7. Hi there everyone, I’m interested in getting peoples take on where they think mount control technology will go in the years to come. I currently control my Sphinx SXW remotely and almost entirely from SS on my iOS devices. Although this works a treat, it still employs a technique that is a mish-mash of separate components rather than an integrated wireless solution, along the lines for example of TV wireless integration. As far as I am aware none of the major players in the amateur astro mount market have yet addressed this in the form of a complete integrated solution, I may however be wrong Using current technology, I can see a future product whereby the mount hardware arrives via conventional delivery, you receive as part of the package a code for pre-paid access to an app from an online App Store, which you can then download and install on your remote control device, be this Apple or Android. You then power up the mount which will hook into an available wireless network. At this point the mount just sits and waits for connectivity from the control application. You start up the control app, connect to the mount then have complete control of the mount from the remote app. All contributions appreciated, let’s innovate Paul.
  8. DeepSkyMan

    What's your favourite Hubble image?

    Soooo many... But for me it’s a toss up between The Pillars of Creation and the Deep Field, maybe just The Pillars of Creation by a whisker
  9. DeepSkyMan

    What did the postman bring?

    Well I missed the postie earlier in the week so had to do my own delivery, but very happy with my new acquisition
  10. DeepSkyMan

    What did the postman bring?

    Well I found after I removed my Baader SteelTrack and it’s smooth 10:1 focus capability from my setup, that going back to the stock focuser just wasn’t going to work for me. The FeatherTouch is yet to see first light, but the movement certainly feels silky smooth so bodes well for my next observing night... whenever that is
  11. DeepSkyMan

    What did the postman bring?

    Finally received my new FeatherTouch Microfocuser from FLO. Fitted over the weekend.
  12. Hi there, I've been searching for a supplier or manufacturer of wooden observing chairs in the UK, with very little success (plenty over the pond). Do any SGLrs know of a source for these in the UK? I've looked at the Geoptik offeirng 'Nadira', but not sure of the build quality. In addition the base looks too narrow to me, also, being a short a##rse, the lack of foot rests in the design is a negative for me :-) Looking for something akin to this: Kind Regards Paul J.
  13. DeepSkyMan

    What did the postman bring?

    Well since it’s reached that part of the year where my other hobby fly-fishing begins to get the focus of my attention, happy to say that Postie very kindly delivered my newly repaired waders from Diver Dave.
  14. DeepSkyMan

    Feathertouch Microfocuser US

    With the incorporation of the mirror locks in the EdgeHD design, from an imaging perspective, mirror flop is not really an issue, that is of course if the claims by Celestron are to be believed
  15. DeepSkyMan

    Feathertouch Microfocuser US

    Anybody from the UK ever buy a Feathertouch Microfocuser from the US? I’m considering replacing my Baader Steeltrack with the Feathertouch. Comparing prices in the UK against suppliers in the US it seems that it might be beneficial to buy direct from the US, especially considering that as a CN member you get 10% discount from Astronomics. If the package is small enough it might just get by customs as well
  16. DeepSkyMan

    Feathertouch Microfocuser US

    Thanks for the feedback guys, in the end I placed the order with FLO. Was given a bum steer initially by a price of £334 at one website, which is what prompted me to look at US suppliers. Kind Regard Paul.
  17. DeepSkyMan

    Wooden Observing Chair - UK Source Required

    Thanks for the offer Craig, but I think I’ll hold off for now. Let me know how your little project goes
  18. Okay folks, so, for a variety of reasons, including but not least an appalling sequence of poor weather since my last post on this particular topic, I have been unable to obtain an accurate measurement of the focal length off my 8” EdgeHD incorporating Baader SteelTrack Focuser and Click-lock Diagonal. I managed to remedy this situation over the weekend just past. Initial measurements based on adding the optical path of each of the components together, had the complete resulting optical path at about 2400mm, however this was not bourne out in practice. Using my 22mm T4 Nagler, at 2400mm focal length this should have given approx 45’ TFOV. Using M81 and M82 as a yardstick (approximate separation 36’), they should easily have been visible in the same field of view, however they were not. Extrapolating back from these values seems to be indicating a focal length somewhere between 3000 and 3225, which makes the revised speed of the system a whopping F15 to F16. This must be having a significant detrimental impact on the sub-aperture correction inherent in the Edge HD design, so I’m thinking of removing the Steeltrack from the system and replacing with a FeatherTouch or equivalent. This measurement is actually consistent with a drift measurement I made last year, (instructions courtesy of Don Pensack), but discarded due to it being so far removed from the expected result nearer 2400mm. But the proof as they say is in the pudding. So for those considering adding a Crayford to their EdgeHD, based on this experience I would say don’t. From feedback on this topic in CN, it is very possible that it is something to do with either the slightly faster primary/secondary combination in th EdgeHD and/or the sub-aperture correction in the baffle tube, possibly resulting in significant vignetting. (Thanks to Don Pensack and Edggie from CN, for their input). If you are interested in reading the CN thread discussing this you can find it here: https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/574002-calculating-effective-focal-length-of-an-edgehd/ Kind Regards Paul.
  19. Paz, I was aware that there would be some increase in FL as a result of introducing the SteelTrack, based on a rule of thumb for SCTs which says that FL is increased by 10mm for every 3.1mm of backfocus. On this basis I should have been looking at approx 2400mm FL, and I was happy to wear this, even though this would have hurt the correction in the Edge design, and any potential vignetting would have been acceptable to me at this FL. But this past weekends results show that the 3.1mm rule of thumb obviously does not hold true for the EdgeHD, and an increase to in excess of 3000mm is definitely indicating that the quality of the optical delivery has been severely compromised. Paul.
  20. Well, I was finally able to put the newly repaired Sphinx through its paces over the weekend, Saturday night turned out a bit of a bust weather wise, however it gave me the advantage of already being set up for the following evening which was a completely different story. Sunday...? Transparency not all that great, (perhaps NELM variable 3 to 5) and with a half moon shining, not ideal conditions for deep sky observing, however was still able to bag a few old favourites, including M53, M13, M92 and M51, M81 & 82. Then spent the next two hours exploring some galaxies in Canes Venatici, Coma And Virgo. Managed to pick up M63 - The Sunflower Galaxy, NGC 4565 - The Needle Galaxy, M64 - The Blackeye Galaxy, M104 - The Sombrero Galaxy, NGC 4631 - The Whale Galaxy, NGC 4559, M84 and M86 from Markarians Chain, The Leo Triplet and M87 - Virgo A, plus a whole host of other NGCs. Not much in the way of detail, (mainly due to variable conditions), they pretty much all lived up to their names as ‘faint fuzzies’, but nonetheless a most rewarding couple of hours. The Sphinx performed spectacularly, with each goto resulting in the target well within the FOV. The most gratifying aspect of the evening was the integration of the Avalon X-Guider into the ensemble, getting the main scope and finder dialled in is just so much easier now. Also the laser pointer performed its function perfectly as well, that being to improve efficiency of initial star alignment. All in all a most enjoyable two hours or so of observing. Date: 2018 03 25 22:00 to 00:00 Wind: None NELM: Variable 3 to 5 Seeing: II Antoniadi Restrictions: 1/2 Moon to SW Scope: C8 EdgeHD with modified longer focal length due to 2” Crayford and Diagonal. Aperture: 200mm FL: Approx 3200mm FR: F16 Eyepiece: 22mm T4 Nagler: Mag: 3200/22 = 145 AFOV: 82 Deg TFOV: 34’ Exit Pupil: 22/16 = 1.3mm
  21. DeepSkyMan

    What did the postman bring?

    Hmmm in that case the T4s are gonna be just a bit on the big side methinks. Was looking for something a little bit smaller than my Maplin heavy duty flight cases, to clear up some space in the car when travelling. Thanks for the feedback anyways. Paul.
  22. DeepSkyMan

    What did the postman bring?

    Jeremy, those cases do look like they might be pretty useful. Are they waterproof, that is sealed or does it just zip closed? Also do you reckon they’d be deep enough to take a set of Nagler T4s?
  23. DeepSkyMan

    What did the postman bring?

    Nothing new, though I did receive delivery of repaired Sphinx SXW from Vixen, over a week late due to the ‘ Beast from the East’. Gave me a warm fuzzy feeling as I recalled just how pretty it looked in it’s packaging when it arrived the first time round back in 2014
  24. This is obviously a cathartic ceremonial burning at an AA (Aperture Anomomous) meeting, see the desperation in the poor addict’s face and posture even as the scope beckons to him in the midst of its death throes
  25. DeepSkyMan

    Power Tank Build Completed

    Thanks for the links Alan. Yes these look like they would add that nice final touch

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