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Everything posted by MattJenko

  1. As a previous owner of an ED80, I regret letting mine go. I learnt a huge amount using it, and it would still find a place in my scope collection, despite costing less than a reducer for some of my other scopes... Your Evo ED80 is certainly not something you need to upgrade first from the list of equipment you currently have. I would look at a mono cooled CMOS camera as the first step up upgrade. I still use my HEQ5 as well, over 5 years later...
  2. bit late to the party, but I always got some spikes from my ED80 on brighter stars which I attributed to the how the lens cell was held in place as there are very slight intrusions into the light cone. I never minded them.
  3. Not the same scope by any stretch of the imagination (TS60ED reduced to 260 FL), but the exact same 3nm Chroma Ha and ASI1600Cool - older one, not the Pro. Could be argued there are some blurry halos around my stars but at this resolution its hard to tell. I would tend to attribute to the camera given my experience with it as opposed to the filter as I have used it with an Atik 414ex and a 460ex and not a hint of halo with those.
  4. Tis indeed the second one from iTelescope. They get things nice and oriented. I actually prefer the data from my RC6 though, despite the gradient I can see after posting. Just goes to show how much the $$$ racks up to get those last few % improvements and how well you can get things working with a scope that costs less than a single filter in the iTelescope setup.
  5. Been meaning to do this for a while. Not exactly a like for like, given the home scope was just over 6 hours and the iTelescope scope had just under 3 with a bit of a few missing Green subs (half the number of B,R). Home scope: Altair Astro RC6, HEQ5, Atik 460ex. 0.69 arc-sec/pixel iTelescope 21 : Planewave 17CDK, Planewave Ascension 200HR, FLI PL6063E, 0.96 arc-sec/pixel Which is which?
  6. I think you are probably right. Means I can get exactly right equipment combo per application as opposed to a do it all single rig which might need to compromise somewhere
  7. Has anyone seen one of these up close or even in action? Rotarion Tempted to utilize something like this for a combined spectrograph/imaging setup as opposed to a multi scope operation.
  8. I have the RC6 and run at native F9 and I use an Atik 414ex (equivalent to your 314L and an Atik 460ex. Great little setup for me.
  9. Been a long time since I had the opportunity to spend a bit of time gathering data. Native F9 with the little RC6 on my HEQ5 with an Atik 460ex for an LRGB image of around 12 hours total. 2x2 binned RGB. Multiple sessions and a lot of discarded subs due to rustiness and those pesky high clouds blowing over, but more than happy with end result. Nice to be back processing my own data.
  10. I bought a second hand ST80 in my early days of astronomy and it still gets regular usage as a guide scope as I have moved to focus more on astrophotography. Not many bargains in astronomy, but this scope is one of them because it is so flexible.
  11. For those rebels who actually look through their refractors, and to those who have an aversion to clutter, I suggest you look away now. A kind of dual imaging setup, one which is based on flexibility than both scopes imaging at once. Each one can guide the other, giving me options in one setup.
  12. Isolation of the flooring itself if possible sounds like a good idea, but simply building pier on the existing base is how I am going to proceed - thanks.
  13. I would scour the classifieds for the older generation ccd cameras and filters (assuming you want to go mono). This will get you started at that budget. Cameras like the Atik 314L for example AstroBuy Sell: Atik 314L colour
  14. Something I found in my experience in this hobby is that it is worth finding a configuration that works and sticking with it. This comes from having a setup and tweaking over and over again over the course of session after session to fine tune how it works and behaves. Having a scope which requires basically disassembly to convert between use cases breaks this and sets you back to square one each time and is the classic case of jack of all trades, master of none. I don't doubt the Edge 8 is awesome in whatever configuration it is capable of, but that will come from being in that configuration for an extended period of time, making the flexibility of that scope a little of a double edged sword. If I was to buy one of these scopes, it would be for a particular purpose, not because it could in theory do many things.
  15. OAGs are more fiddly to get working, sometimes require adjustments to the imaging train to get guide stars and overall I have found to be more than awkward to use. For the multiple scope use case you mention, I use the same ST80 guidescope and guidecam and put it on a whole variety of other scopes and it just works. There are loads of stars to choose from, I can choose whatever framerate I need and never have to rotate things just to make it work. Astroimaging is hard, and the simpler things are, the more likely it is to result in usable images, and starting out, its all about minimising things that can go wrong. I am not saying OAGs can't work with small refractors, but they are not required, there is no mirror shift to worry about which is the main reason OAGs are used and you can get good guiding with a less complex setup. Be nice to yourself and get things working to the point where you don't have to worry about them.
  16. Hi Rob, To my eyes, its got better contrast, tighter stars and just has an overall crisper feel to the views. Its way more tunnel visioned given the different optical characteristics. The 250px is brighter with the huge aperture advantage, and I use it more than the Mewlon as its a Dob, and I have yet to get a simple AltAz for the Mewlon, but whether its imperfect collimation or something else with the 250px, I just think the views through the Mewlon do it for me. My first light report still holds true : Mewlon First Light
  17. Leave off axis guiding for another day. For an 80mm scope, use a finder guider or a little guide scope.
  18. All the secrets coming out. Must limit the visibility of this thread. 1: Celestron AstroMaster 130EQ. Purchased with my wife as we lived out in countryside and wanted to give astronomy a go after years of little interest. Rapidly hooked. Sold. 2: Skywatcher ED80. Bought as a move into imaging was inevitable. Eventually sold after years of loving use. Regret letting it go. Not that I want this model again, I just want this particular scope back! 3: ST80. What a scope. Arguably the most used scope in my whole collection. Has guided pretty much everything. 4: Skywatcher 250px. Sometimes you just have to see for yourself! 5: Altair Astro RC6. Awesome purchase as an ex display from AA at Kelling. Best astro bargain ever. 6: Altair Astro Starwave 60. Despite my best efforts, we sucked as a couple and this one moved on. 7: Altair Astro Wave 115. Bought off a lovely chap down Gatwick way. Now my main instrument. Not letting this go. 8: TS60ED. This scope makes me smile. Keeper. 9: Takahashi Mewlon 180. Bought just because someone was selling it and I wanted something classy. That it is. Imaging with it is "interesting", but the views, my god the views! TBC...
  19. Your Fuji sensor already has quite small pixels, at about 3.7 microns I believe. Assuming your 60mm APO is about 300mmFL, that is a resolution of <3"/pixel which works well and is almost certainly not the reason your stars are large. Larges stars can be caused by many reasons, like bad tracking, bad skies, bad optics. Depending on what colours are big with your stars, that would point to the root cause. If I had to guess, I am going to assert that if your stars are bloated with blue edges, then the issue is down to the APO not being able to keep the blue light focused with the other colours. This can be mitigated to a certain extent by moving to mono CMOS and filters which can be focused individually, but not eradicated as the blue subs will still have bigger stars that the others, but will be much better than the full colour Fuji which has to choose a single focus position for all colours. I had a 60mm "APO" once which was very much in this category, and I now have a different 60mm APO which is much more true to the name and manages this far better. Let us know which scope you have and we can confirm. If this is the case, then a new little scope would serve you way better than a new camera and fall within budget. Also, post an image so we can help you further.
  20. This looks to be similar to the Altair Astro 130 and the TS130 versions we get over in Europe. I have the AA115 version and it is excellent, so I would imagine the AT bigger brother version is also very good optically. The difference in the brands tends to be with the focusers etc. My AA115 has a monster 3" focuser which requires a bit of TLC here and there but otherwise does what I want of it.
  21. This outbuilding is in inland southern france, so mild winters and hot summers. I see the view that isolation (at least in terms of piers rather than pandemics) is not represented well here. I hoped as much and will do some basic experiments myself and assume that if the building is stable enough, which it is, then its base will do for my modest astronomical observations. The piers (thinking of 2) will need to be about 8-10 feet high, but thinking brick chimney style would work well for me. Thanks again, this forum never ceases to impress me.
  22. Thanks for all the input! I'll try out the tripod on base approach and see what happens. It is next to a country lane which has the occasional tractor going past, but nothing in the evenings. If all that means is to double check polar alignment periodically, hopefully I can just base pier on base.
  23. I understand how a concrete pier, sunk deep into the ground below any frost line and the column not being attached to the surrounding building would give the most stable platform for a telescope, but how important is this really? I have an outbuilding which is brick built with a concrete base and I have been pondering converting this to an observatory. I am thinking one or two breeze block columns sitting on the concrete base and a first floor ROR, but wondering how much I would be missing in terms of end result if I went the far more effort route and try and smash through the floor to sink in a more formal base. Cheers Matt
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