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Everything posted by Mark_C

  1. Depending on the Canon camera you have, for manual focus it may be possible to install Magic Lantern and use focus peaking to find the desired focus? Also, has anyone found contrast autofocus to be rather slow and clumsy on Canon cameras? I haven't tried the newer ones so am not sure whether this is still the case but I remember from when I owned a 60D and owned a 50mm lens, it wasn't a patch on my GH5 (which I believe also uses CBAF).
  2. I will have to try this when I get hold of a Canon lens, this is interesting! If an OWB filter does indeed act in part to allow autofocus to work then this reinforces the viewpoint that the MC Glass is just not worth the time and money to install. On a sidenote, I have managed to get the scope out quickly tonight, took a few unguided subs at orions nebula under heavy moonlight and stacked in DSS, there doesn't seem to be any focus issues that I can see, not bad! Can't believe what a difference a modded camera makes.
  3. Oh dear, that's not good! Unfortunately no way of checking focus consistency across the frame as I have no lenses and it's pouring down outside. Frustrating as I really want to know if this was a success. If I do mod another camera, this will learn me to use a permanent marker that doesn't rub away so easily. Given the location of the screws, if there is indeed sensor misalignment then it looks like its going to be a nightmare to correct with all of the ribbon cables situated where they are. ?
  4. I decided to go ahead and perform the mod and remove both filters, put it all back together and the camera seems to be working just fine, I've no way of testing yet as the weather is awful outside. I "think" I've wound the screws near enough back to the original position for the sensor but I'm not sure whether they're 100% in the same place as before. I marked the screws position but stupidly most of the markings had rubbed off. I did measure the height of the black pins by cutting up an old credit card and drawing a line across, so I used this as a guide. If the screws are slightly off, will this affect the image in any way? Of course I have to accept that autofocus will probably not work again on this camera, but I bought the camera cheaply so it's no big issue. I think Merlin does have a point about having a second camera rather than a do it all in one solution. I do actually have a Panasonic GH5 for everyday use but I thought it'd be nice to have a backup body with some nice Canon lenses which I could also use on my GH5 with a Metabones adapter.
  5. Hi Merlin, The reason I want AF to work is because I want to be able to use the camera for everyday use with an OWB filter as well as for astrophotography. Jannis, I'd be happy to do this but unfortunately (and ironically) I have no Canon lenses to try at the moment, I was thinking of buying a cheap 50mm 1.8 lens soon though so if the camera isn't modded beforehand then I will certainly try this out! Happy new year! Mark.
  6. Thanks for the response guys. I have yet to mod the camera but am considering doing so later today. I just wasn't sure whether to wait and order the Astronomik MC glass, however if it's not needed then I'd rather save the £60. Ideally I'd like phase AF to work as it's much faster than Live AF. @Merlin66 - So did you find the Astronomik MC glass unnecessary in the end? Everywhere I read seems to indicate that the glass is required or else autofocus will never work regardless of sensor adjustment or clip in filters. There seems to be a lot of conflicting information about this and it's getting very confusing. Did you have to adjust the sensor positioning screws after reassembling the sensor? Lastly, has dust been an issue with there being no glass in the sensor path? (Other than the clip in filter.)
  7. Hi everyone, Hope you have all had a great Christmas! I have bought a second hand 600D at a decent price and wish to perform a full spectrum modification on it so will be removing both the LPF#1 and #2 filters. I wish to use this camera both for astrophotography with a CLS-CCD filter that I currently own and for daytime and IR photography use (also using relevant clip in filters.) From what I understand, autofocus will be an issue if I do not buy something like the Astronomik MC glass in place of where the LPF#1 Filter/Piezoelectric assembly sits. My question is whether this glass is actually a requirement to retain accurate autofocus? Or can I modify the sensor spacing for autofocus to work without any glass in the way whatsoever? Has anyone tried to do this and if so have you been successful? I have been reading the modification guide by Gary Honis for this camera thoroughly and it still looks as though slight sensor adjustment is required even with the MC glass in place due to its thickness. Any input on this is most welcome! Thanks, Mark.
  8. Hi all, I'm looking for a Canon camera that has had a full spectrum modification but has retained its autofocus ability. I own an Astronomik CLS-CCD clip in filter hence the reasons for this choice. Looking for something along the lines of an EOS 450D onwards at a decent price. Let me know if you wish to sell! Cheers, Mark.
  9. Just bought 3 x Bluerigger 10m active extension cables, they are USB A to A Female (tenner each from Amazon) and they work perfectly. Just plug your existing USB cable in to the end and they work perfectly. I haven't had the chance to try them out properly yet but preliminary tests seem to indicate that they work just fine, full USB 2.0 capabilities too. Looks like there could be some clear skies tonight so hopefully I'll be able to put them through their paces whilst sitting in the comfort of a warm room!
  10. I was wondering this too as I wanted to do exactly the same thing! Was looking at getting a few active 10m cables so I can run everything from inside but would be nice to hear from people who have had success with this before making an investment.
  11. Yes, I know what you mean. I was also reluctant to make any modifications, particularly as the mount was new at the time, however I found it did make quite a difference. It's not all that bad though, it doesn't require opening up the mount so is relatively low risk. Having said that, it may also help sometime in the future to open the mount up and clean the worm and gears of the factory installed grease, as this has been known to contain bits of swarf that can cause PE. I don't think the grease Synta use is that good either, particularly in cold weather when it is likely to stiffen, which is certainly not going to help with tracking. I will admit that dismantling and reassembly of this mount is quite a daunting task and not for the faint hearted, so it may be best left in the hands of someone who does this on a regular basis!
  12. After looking at your previous thread, I can say that I suffered this exact same issue, and experienced the exactly the same images as you have shown. I found that the problem was both a combination of flexure of the finder guider and play in the mount. I have the same mount as you and found that when both axes were locked down, there would be a slight 'rocking' of the mount, this was enough for the mount to move ever so slightly during guiding and cause all kinds of issues. This could be contributing to the severe backlash you are experiencing. Have you tweaked your DEC and RA set screws for your AZ-EQ6? This should position the gear against the worm more snugly so that backlash is considerably reduced. With regards to the finder, I found that locking the ring screws down as much as possible reduced flexure to a minimum, mine were not entirely tightened which contributed to flexure and therefore contributed to incorrect guiding relative to the imaging scope.
  13. I've found DARV polar alignment to be especially effective for obtaining accurate polar alignment when using a camera. I've tried other methods of drift alignment but they never seemed to work that well for me. http://www.cloudynights.com/page/articles/cat/articles/darv-drift-alignment-by-robert-vice-r2760 Always worth a try!
  14. I shall have to give TeamViewer a go, I've heard nothing but good things about it. There is definitely an issue with using RDP, whether or not it's lack of processing power or just incompatibility is hard to tell. The laptop being used is a Dell D630 with a Core 2 Duo and 4gb of RAM so I wouldn't have thought there was a lack of processing power.
  15. Hi all, Just thought I'd stop by and inform you of some interesting observations I've made relating to dreadful guiding performance I've been experiencing lately. Before these issues occurred, PHD had been working wonderfully for me. Baffled by the sudden degradation in performance, I aimed to solve the issue as soon as possible as I was losing out on valuable imaging time. I went through a list of things that I may have changed to cause these issues, however nothing had been changed recently. I did, however, overlook one thing... the method to which I remotely connected to the laptop controlling the mount. Usually I would connect via VNC but I was finding it lags and became rather irritating after a while so I switched to remote desktop which I found to be much more responsive and I could use multiple displays of the local computer to control many windows at once. It worked great, however I discovered that remote desktop was the cause of the dreadful guiding performance. My PHD graphs were all over the place and stars were struggling to stay round above 3 minutes in exposures when RDP was being used. I've switched back and VNC and the issues have disappeared. I've tried switching back and to from VNC to RDP multiple times and I am able to repeat the issue. I suspect it may be something to do with the virtual display adapter being used with remote desktop messing with the imaging drivers and causing the guiding process to work improperly but I can't be entirely sure. It could also be an issue with the QHY5L-II drivers or PHD, or a combination of both. I haven't tried other software so it's difficult to say at this stage where the issue lies, but I just thought I'd make you all aware in case you have this combination of hardware and are experiencing similar issues. Anyway I hope this helps. I'd also like to wish everyone a merry christmas and happy new year.Clear skies! CheersMark.
  16. I am currently having a very bad experience with a seller that I bought an item off on ABS. I have not received the item after 9 days of payment. What should I do? Is there anyone I can contact on ABS regarding this?

    1. Show previous comments  3 more
    2. jabeoo1


      Sorry to hear this, these are the details from ABS:

      Report to:

      webmaster ((AT)) astrobuysell ((DOT)) com

      & http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

    3. Stargazer33


      I'm sorry to hear that Mark, I have bought a few things off UKAB&S and have always been lucky. Silly question time: have you tried contacting the seller?

    4. szymon


      I'd suggest contacting the police. They do investigate internet fraudsters. Ok, chances aren't great of getting a result, but better than none...

  17. Mark_C


    Thanks for the comments. I now have an Atik 314L+ in my hands and can't wait to give it a try! As per usual though, the weather takes a turn for the worse so looks like I won't be using it for a while. I'm temped to keep my DSLR, get it modified and then use it for wide field work, however.
  18. Mark_C


    Hi all, Just thought I'd post my second serious attempt at at a DSO. The first I'd ever taken was of the M101 and was very pleased at how it turned out so I thought I'd give the M33 a go as I love its structure. This was taken with an unmodded Canon EOS 60D, there's quite a lot of noise and hot pixels in the image as I got lazy and didn't take flats/darks/bias, plus the heat didn't help, so potentially this image could look a lot better with calibration. I think a total of around 10 x 600 sec exposures were used and stacked in DSS. I've got an Atik 314L+ mono on the way so cannot wait to give NB imaging a try and hopefully less noise issues.
  19. It's definitely worth it, especially if you're wanting to image. After using Astrotortilla, I don't know how I managed without it. It's an incredible piece of software and removes the stress of finding very dim DSO's. Beforehand, like you, I would try and search for a DSO and often fail, in the end it got very frustrating and tried to find another solution. I was a little apprehensive about using Astrotortilla at first as it seemed quite complicated to set up but in all honesty it's not that bad after reading a few tutorials! I found I could never really rely on visual star alignments, it was always hit and miss.
  20. Thanks for all of your responses, they have been very helpful. I have managed to resolve the focus slipping issue by tweaking the tension plates that press against the focus tube, the focuser doesn't shift with the DSLR attached now which is good. One thing I have noticed is that the black micro focusing knob doesn't seem to work, in fact I don't think it ever has since I bought the OTA, could there be a reason for this? I spin it around but the tube does not move at all. I am still tempted to get a better focuser anyhow, I don't feel the stock one is of a decent quality at all.
  21. The mount is now back together and working perfectly! Virtually no play in any of the axes and sounds a little better with the TF2 lithium grease too. Before the disassembly/tweaks I could not achieve over 5 minute guided subs, now I can get 20 mins without issue. Something was obviously not right and it was difficult to determine where the issue lied. I am glad that I opened up the mount now, it was a great learning process, even if it was daunting. Doing so also means I can repeat the same steps if necessary as I know how the mount is put together. My PHD graphs are nowhere near as wild as they were before and am getting a guiding RMS error from between 0.18 - 0.25/ or 1.10-0.80", depending on the part of the sky being imaged, not too bad! Sorry for the delay in response. I have taken some photos and will try and get disassembly/reassembly instructions written as soon I have the time. I believe the way in which the mount is tweaked (worm gear removal/meshing, bearings etc) is very similar to the EQ6 so this aspect still applies from Astro Baby's tweaking tutorial. I totally agree with this. I would be happy to spend extra £ to avoid the cost cutting that certain aspects of these mounts have evidently suffered from. It's just the silly little things too and you wonder why on earth they carry shipping these mounts with parts that won't stand up to the task. It would be great if Skywatcher shipped their mounts with better bolts, larger knobs and sturdier levers. The AZ EQ6 GT does improve on many of the shortcomings of the EQ6 in this regard but there are still things that need improvement. A stronger and larger clutch release knob that doesn't snap off like kindling is a good example (there's an M6 bolt for that :lol) and larger saddle release knobs, the existing ones are just too small and fiddly, especially when it's cold. The maintenance aspect is something that should be addressed too, I almost ruined my mount due to misunderstanding how it is assembled and without any prior guides written on this I was going in blind. It was only until I had a few other people look at it that we could determine how it was put together.
  22. Hi all, I am currently using the standard Crayford focuser that ships with the Skywatcher Black Diamond ED120 and it has served its purpose well for visual use, however now that I am imaging I am starting to realise its limitations. I am experiencing terrible focus shift problems when moving the scope from one part of the sky to another, particularly when near the Zenith. I don't think it can handle the weight of the 0.85x reducer + Canon 60D very well. I was wondering what people recommend as a decent replacement? Something that can handle the weight and stay put without any shifting. I was also considering an electronic based focuser too but they appear to be very expensive. Mark.
  23. This looks a very nice camera. Wished I had held back on buying my QHY5L-II now though.
  24. Well after disassembling and reassembling my AZ EQ6 GT over the past few days, I can safely say it has made a huge difference. Beforehand I wasn't managing to go any higher than 5 min with guided subs, now I can do 20 mins without issue!

    1. tingting44


      that sounds sweet! did you get your AZ EQ6 2nd hand?

    2. Mark_C


      Yeah it's 2nd hand. :)

  25. Thanks, hopefully this time tomorrow it will all be reassembled and back in working order. Just need to find a replacement clutch lever now! It was certainly a heart stopping moment when the thread stripped, I can tell you that! This sounds like a good idea, in fact I'm tempted to rethread the Dec axis grub screws too, should hopefully prevent this from happening again!
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