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Everything posted by DeepSkyMan

  1. My second 22ah Golf Cart power unit. These are awesome mobile power units and at only £139, a real bargain compared to the Tracer units I’ve previously bought.
  2. Not before time I have eventually sourced a protective carrier for my Oberwerk Tall Tripod. The Geoptik carrier for Eq6 and tripod. It has a bit more capacity than I envisaged, wondering if I might fit my Vixen HAL 130 alongside it, need to get the Vixen in from the garden to check it out. No more dings and scrapes
  3. I contemplated getting one of the Telegizmo 365s, then one day whilst visiting a Halfords branch came across motorcycle covers, and thought they might be worth a try. I’ve used the bike cover now at numerous dark sky sites, under wind rain and snow and they work a treat. When covering up I secure the base of the cover to the ground with a number of strategically placed steel tent pegs, then a pair of bungee cords secured to alternate tripod legs ensures that the cover stays put. Consider some of the weather we have had this summer, my kit has been out there through it all. Of course all eyepiece glass has been removed, and all possible ingress points to the optics have been carefully covered and obviously the battery pack has been removed indoors. I don’t remember the exact price but it was like £28 or something.
  4. Helen, how are you intending to use the ASIAir? Ah... after reading your signature, it’s pretty obvious. You will using it with your ASI1600. My next big purchase scheduled for November will likely be an Atik Horizon, same Panasonic chip as the 1600.
  5. Helen, congratulations on your new Sphinx, I have an SXW, they are splendid mounts. Regarding wireless setup here is an excerpt from a post I made on CN regarding my setup: Regarding the Sphinx and remote setup you need the following components: Additional 12v power supply (or one with sufficient capacity to power your WiFi, Dew control and Sphinx) Length of CAT5 ethernet cable (Note: This is std ethernet NOT cross-over) A small WiFi router, I use this one: https://www.netstoredirect.com/tp-link-routers/39960-tp-link-tl-wr802n-6935364071721.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI6abnst6L1wIV8TLTCh34EglnEAQYAiABEgJk1fD_BwE). There are more compact solutions available now, but this one works for me. A tablet or mobile phone (Apple or Android) A planetarium app (again Apple or Android). I use SkySafari. You connect the Starbook to the WiFi router power it up and subject to config changes in your planetarium software thats all there is to it. Make sure the router is powered up prior to the Starbook. When the Starbook then powers up it immediately detects the router and obtains an IP address from the DHCP server on the router. The IP address can be found under the About menu option in the Starbook. Using SkySafari is a breeze. You just make the appropriate IP address setting in the Scope Setup in SkySafari, connect to the mobile router from your tablet or phone and hey presto! From this point forward you communicate with the Starbook from SkySafari. You have all the functionality of the Starbook but in addition you have access to the 'gazillions' of astro objects in SkySafari and a more intuitive user interface. One thing to remember make sure you are running SS and the Starbook in the same time-base. If DST in the Starbook make sure SS is in DST as well, otherwise your gotos will be out by an hour in RA. Something else that you might find useful and caused me some confusion when trying to understand how SS worked with the Starbook, SS knows within its coding what epoch co-ordinates a specific mount is expecting and always converts the SS co-ordinates to that epoch. This is from correspondence with Bill Tschumy at Simulation Curriculum: "Bill Tschumy February 08, 2017 20:49 The setting for the epoch (J2000, Now, etc) in SkySafari is for your benefit only. It has nothing to do with the coordinates we use when talking to the scope. We know what each mount expects and always convert to that epoch before sending an RA/Dec to the mount. Here is a pic of my setup: Hope this makes you take the leap to remote control, it really is liberating. Kind Regards Paul J.
  6. Here you go Steve https://www.tectake.co.uk/universal-box-rifle-hard-shell-case-long-40287 A single 5lb weight does the job for me Kind Regards Paul.
  7. Finally... A solution for transporting my UA T-Mount, a repurposed double rifle storage case from TecTake.com. Decided on a diagonal layout for the mount, on the basis that this would spread the load better rather than focussing all weight vertically along the parallelogram shaft. One thing about this case is the depth of the pick.n.pluck, it’s deep enough that I will be able slot another counter weight in on top of the existing one. Total all up weight 14.7kg, but if I’m feeling lazy it also has wheels
  8. First purchase in my patient road to EAA capability, Hyperstar 3 for my 8” Edge. Compliments of ABS.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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 ?
  15. Well I missed the postie earlier in the week so had to do my own delivery, but very happy with my new acquisition
  16. 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?
  17. Finally received my new FeatherTouch Microfocuser from FLO. Fitted over the weekend.
  18. 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. ?
  19. 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?
  20. 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.
  21. 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 ?
  22. Thanks for the offer Craig, but I think I’ll hold off for now. Let me know how your little project goes?
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
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