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Everything posted by orley

  1. Hey, Depends what you want. If you want something all singing and dancing I'll echo JImbo's post above, and why not go for something sweet like that? That said, there really is no need for a high spec laptop. I've been using an old beat up HP core 2 duo, with 3GB RAM, Windows XP, for years now for webcam, CCD and DSLR astrophotography. Works fine. Can pick up laptops like this very cheaply. If, as you say, you'll be processing on the desktop, what's the need for all the performance? A high performance processor, retina display, SSD etc, are all nice, but not essential. I'll certainly echo the backlit keyboard, it's one thing my laptop doesn't have. The bigger the screen the better, and a good battery life is useful too. I'm sure I'm not alone in saying I've tripped over the damn thing umpteen times in the dark, or come close to knocking it off a table. I learned to save my expensive kit for indoors! At the end of the day, it's all subjective and comes down to what you'll be happy with. It's like cars...it's great to get a high spec model, but ultimately a low spec model more than often does the job just as well. Orley.
  2. Thanks. I did have on camera enabled and thecmount would guide, just not as accurately or consistently as with pulse. I have yet to get to the bottom of it...
  3. Yes this is my experience. Guides great via pulse guiding, but the graph is all over the place when using ST4...no idea why...
  4. And for me too Although with my setup I had more success with guiding via ASCOM and serial connection to the laptop than with the ST4 port from the guide camera. Am sure that method works fine and it's me who has something wrong with my setup.
  5. This is what you want. Works like a dream. http://www.peak2valleyinstruments.co.uk/page_3175728.html
  6. Lol, where there's a comment there's a diagram http://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Orbit3.gif
  7. Have had both 100ED and Skymax 127. 100ED clear winner for me.
  8. Chris, I have to say I find your positivity and enthusiasm a delight I went for the AVX because 1) like you mentioned I felt the HEQ5 had been around for a while and I wondered what the newer kit was like, 2) I enjoyed using my CG-5 and the AVX seemed a natural progression and 3) I reasoned that if I didn't get on with it I could no doubt offload it again fairly easily and quickly. The fear of making a mistake used to hold me back somewhat, these days mistakes are merely something to learn from and I just go for it. Good luck in whichever route you decide to go and hope you get a lot of pleasure out of your new kit
  9. At the budget you state how about an APM 107-700 triplet? F6.5, but excellent optics. http://www.peak2valleyinstruments.co.uk/page_2953286.html
  10. Forgot to add no issues with dec binding. My PHD graph last week was a thing of beauty - as flat as I've ever seen it
  11. Re the polarscope, have never used one so don't miss it. What I did was to extend the tripod legs to max, then drill a hole in the patio where each leg end resides. All I do is plonk the tripod down in the same place each time and PA needs only a tweak (using PHD2). I initially drift aligned to get a good PA. Looks great in the flesh! Happy with mine so far, but I don't know how it compares with the Ioptron
  12. I can only comment on the AVX. Had one for about 4 months now, like it overall although it's not without its quirks. A 2-star alignment takes no more than 5 mins, but to get the best out of the goto I usually do a 4 star calibration too, which takes another 5 mins or so. Handset remembers time, date and location, which is a time saver. At first the goto always left objects in the eyepiece a bit off centre, but now is fine (and I'm not entirely sure why, but hey ho). Solar system alignment is good. Synched on the moon and it tracked it beautifully for about half an hour. Handles my 100ED plus camera/finder guider absolutely fine. Have had 15min exposures with no trailing. It does look nice! Two big knobs for securing the dovetail and two big knobs for adjusting the head position. Quirks...I found the handset polar alignment facility to be inaccurate, but perhaps that's just me. Every now and then my initial alignment seems well off, but if I switch off and on again (lol) everything is fine. I realise that both of these are probably software issues rather than mechanical. I do wish the mount had a USB connection instead of the serial connection via the handset. Overall I really like it and have no intention of replacing it anytime soon.
  13. My Pro 100 came with a 2" 28mm eyepiece which isn't too shabby. £40 or so buys you a nice 12mm BST which will nicely complement the scope.
  14. As ever it depends on your subjective perspective. I'll be getting the train from Manchester, then hopping on the Tube, about 3 hours or so each way. I don't mind, but...
  15. The Astronomik CLS works well. Well...it reduces the pink in my images, but I still get a lot of washout. Depends on the severity of your light pollution I guess!
  16. Been running mine for a few months without any issues with non-Celestron kit. Sorry you've had such bad luck
  17. Hi, Just tried it. The interface is slightly different but the AZ4 head will lock tightly to the AVX tripod. I had to remove the tripod's alignment peg first (try not to lose it!). Once on, the AZ4 head is solid. Works fine
  18. Now had did I manage to do that? My post within someone else's quote. Meant to say the best rule is to keep adding the weight until you run into problems. As long as your sensible you're not going to break anything
  19. Same here, although I use Nebulosity. No need for EQmod. Payload is reputedly around 13.5kg, so roughly 7-8kg for AP.
  20. Sorry to hear about your scope. It's not nice when it happens. Take a look at this: http://www.peak2valleyinstruments.co.uk/page_3175728.html I had a play with a prototype, was as rock solid as they come. The dovetail snaps in and locks in place with absolutely no chance of slippage. Made in the UK too.
  21. Apologies, I realise my instructions were not that clear. Screw the reducer on to the drawtude thread as far as possible. Loosen it off slightly and attach the camera. Rotate the assembly until the camera is at the correct angle. Finally rotate the ring counterclockwise until it is tight against the reducer.
  22. You can adjust the angle of the camera quite easily. The drawtube has a ring which is used to lock the rotational position of the 2" clamp. It sits between the clamp and the end of the thread on the drawtube. Simply rotate the camera to the desired position then rotate the ring counter clockwise until it is tight up against the reducer.
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