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Everything posted by MattJenko

  1. I am just a beginner, but my first view of M13 through a society C11 was something else. And then the briefest glimpse with my little own reflector at a later date was equally as important, for very different reasons.
  2. Shame powerline type tech didn't take off look like I thought it would, growth of Wifi I guess. I have some lying around somewhere, although a different brand. Its a good call.
  3. Welcome. There are a few of us with the same scope as you, so plenty of good advice around I have already found. Enjoy!
  4. I had to stump up for a new battery for my old backlit keyboard style MacBook Pro last year. Its just too nice a piece of equipment to do away with! If I can use it for capture purposes I would be happy to, but I was under the impression that Windows and possibly Linux was the only real option for starting out in AP?
  5. Thanks for all the feedback. Dave - your workstation is a monster! Sounds like a second hand laptop is easily going to fit the bill. I will do some experiments with wifi speeds writing to a NAS device as this means I can simply mount the storage on the laptop remotely and write directly to the NAS disks so I can access it from the workstation without needing to do anything (admittedly not lots of hassle, but hassle all the same). I tend to use a NAS for my documents anyway as it is backed up/mirrored etc and makes it easier to work centrally with my various other devices as well. And ebuyer is indeed a great site. That and dabs are my component go-to sites, or were, as its been a while since i bought anything.
  6. I currently have a MacBook, so not planning on using that to do the capture side, so am looking at a second hand portable capture unit. I have a fairly beefy home made Windows 7 workstation which can do the heavy lifting after the fact on the many rainy evenings. I've always loved Toughbooks from afar, although never owned one. My plan is to do the control/capture with an as-yet-unpurchased laptop and then do the post processing on the workstation separately, so good to know an old spec Toughbook can do the business at the scope itself rather than a more serious laptop for the whole shooting match like your Optiplex Dave. It also has the advantage of being rugged by its very nature. Sounds like any capture system needs to save to its own disks as everything else is not fast enough? Guessing a NAS over wifi is not going to cut it either?
  7. What computer spec are you guys and girls using for imaging and what is the minimum you would recommend for your setup?
  8. This is absolutely marvellous. Well done. I thought this was completely beyond normal people without expensive kit, I should have known better than to doubt.
  9. I did have a small eureka moment last night, mostly based on the advice from ronin about using both eyes !! It did make a difference, and while I managed better results, it still was not a frustration free exercise. I will give it another go and then seriously consider the Rigel as you mention.
  10. Excellent effort, thanks! Thinking about possible additional features, I echo Lawrence's suggestion above about midday to midday and also, the ability to have multiple locations or to customize which of the many indicators to display/sort.
  11. Hi Gary. As a fellow newcomer to the forum and the skies themselves, I am sure you are going to love both. Cheers, Matt
  12. Thanks - I have done a bit more research about it now, and looks like your recommendations are solid and I will give the Rigel a go. Cheers.
  13. http://www.celestron.com/c3/images/files/downloads/1219957574_astromasterinst.pdf This is the official Celestron 130EQ manual which has a section on how to collimate for information purposes. The 'specialist tool' mentioned for adjusting the secondary mirror screws is nothing more than a 3mm allen key from what I can make out...
  14. Awesome - thanks Steve. Found them. Seems I have liked more than I remember doing! Nice to see there are always new things to learn...
  15. I have the AstroMaster 130EQ. Its serving me well, except for one small thing which is a large annoyance. The StarFinder. I am pretty determined to remove it and replace with something else, but what to go for? There are options and there is also the consideration of getting something for uses on future scopes too. Has anyone else had enough of the opaque, seemingly non-alignable, perma plastic frustration feature on their 130EQs?
  16. I have been liking posts that have useful info for me in, a bit like tagging or bookmarking them. If its not possible, I'll just carry on following threads as a whole and finding the posts I wanted to bookmark. I can see that each post has its own url, so I could actually physically bookmark them in my browser, but that means I can't access them from various machines unless I use some other internet based bookmarking app. Quite frankly I have been amazed at the quality and quantity of the information available here, and have been trying to absorb as much as I can, but there is simply too much to remember in one pass , hence the attempt to try and generate a catalogue of great posts. I am sure some people have similar processes and have a great collection of posts/articles etc.
  17. The answer to this is almost certainly embarrassingly staring me in the face, but how do I get to a list of all the posts I have liked on this forum? Its not quite the same list as threads I am following, and I can't seem to find a page showing the posts I like! Thanks
  18. Great starmap links - another thanks from me
  19. Thanks for replies. So an occasional 48 hour outside setup is fine, malignant human theivery aside. I was more considering leaving something setup on a camping trip type than a perma setup at home. I'm not quite that lazy yet.
  20. What's the worst that could happen to a tripo/mount/scope left outside with a protective cover over it?
  21. MattJenko

    Doesn't time fly...

    Busy night. Installed the Atik software on the society laptop and managed to take some grainy pictures. The installer has an ordering problem in that the apps fail to install correctly as the drivers don't install before them, and the driver install that happens after doesn't work or doesn't install the right version. Using the 'update driver' feature from Device Manager and choosing the unzipped folder directly installed everything fine. A little later, after dark, I managed to get into the dome and get the C11 pointing at M13 using a low power eyepiece. I then swapped in the Atik and tried a few 1 second shots to try and get focus. After quite a bit of FF (focus fiddling), I started seeing some star formations, much more magnified than expected! I also saw a truncation, but the realised the dome wasn't in the right place either and was cutting a bit off. All in all, it proved that it works and I will have a more formal go at a later date as I had to leave at that point. Also, I got a chance to see through a refractor, a Williams Optic FLT110. It didn't have a finderscope, so it was plonked on an NEQ6 on an outdoor pier and roughly polar aligned, kindly done by one of the other members. The planets looked great, as did the doubles we managed to snag, however I was underwhelmed by the visual aspect on the DSOs we looked at. I realise now by experience that there is no one wonder scope, and that these scopes might make fine imaging scopes for DSOs, but last night, it was nowhere near as visually impressive as the C11. Also, a very old 4'' Tal was dug out of storage and set up as well, with some members going on long nostalgic trips meadering about Hercules. Couple of ISS passes and all in all a great, albeit cut short night at the observatory as I had to get home. When I got back, I set up my Astromaster with my new Hyperion and set about double hunting and to find M13 to compare against the much more expensive refractor from earlier. Directly overhead is more trouble than one might imagine it seems. Albireo looked great as always and I am loving the new eyepiece. I am slowly getting to grips with my scope and the new eyepiece has come at a good time, as I really appreciate it now, as I probably would not have as much a few weeks ago. M13 was a big smudge when found, but at least I found it. Will do a more formal learning viewing of the heavens from 'Turn Left at Orion' on the next available night from my garden. Happy days, aren't clear nights nice. ps, i really really don't get on with the 130EQ starpointer. might invest in a laser pen or even more extravagently, a finderscope.
  22. Always nice to see fellow new people. Welcome.
  23. Eyepiece arrived in the post yesterday. Baader Hyperion Mk III Clickstop Zoom. Quite a mouthful. Quite an eyepiece as well. All very well wrapped and in great condition (thanks Jim). Managed a late evening view of the moon between the clouds and was mightily impressed. Very happy with it and I now have a decent range of eyepiece strength all to myself for my scope. Happy days. As Rune commented on another post, the equivalent barlow is worth looking into methinks. Finished 'Handbook of Astronomical Image Processing' this week as well. It's one hell of a book, and gloriously heavy duty. Just the kind of low level detail I was after. I will hand it back to the society today at the social meeting, which looks like a clear sky evening as well as a bonus. Will take the Atik 16c software to install on the society laptop and see if we can get it working properly tonight. Also, as my entry into photography, it is clear that I really need my own scope to do this, rather than rely on the society ones. I am coming up to a milestone birthday, so am going to pool resources and get a decent future-proofish mount and a nice AP ready scope. I will keep my Astromaster for casual viewing and learning the skies with my new Hyperion EP. 'Turn Left at Orion' arrived this week as well to help with my sky learning, so its all coming together nicely. The kit I am looking at is an HEQ5 Syntrek (no goto) and a Skywatcher Evostar 80ED. This looks like a decent starter AP kit as well as something I will use as long as it holds together. It has the benefit of lots of users on this forum and around the interweb for support and the mount can be controlled by a humble PC, which is exactly the plan, hence the lack of Goto. This saves me some £££ and forces me to know my way around the heavens a little more. The society has a nice looking Williams Optic triplet refractor I will haven't looked through, so will try and get it setup (with help!) on their NEQ6 tonight to get a feel for how it all works. Still excited about all this and still confused. So much to learn. Excellent.
  24. MattJenko

    New Eyepiece

    Thanks Rune. It arrived today and there was a brief moment this evening when the clouds parted and the moon was visible and I was straight out there. I have to say it looked brilliant. I wear glasses so to see such a great image with great eye relief has calmed any concern I may have had about picking this up second hand. I am extremely happy with it. I take your point on the barlow, if it is anywhere near as worth it as this EP, then I can't see myself avoiding it!
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