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Everything posted by oldannie

  1. Yup - definitely need a list and looking at the weather forecast I've got plenty of time to sort something out! Annie
  2. Thanks John and Chris. Yes I was surprised at the list of stars I was confronted with - I could see bright stars in the sky that didn't seem to be on the list and the first two I selected were behind a nearby wood. Hopefully I'll be better prepared next time - if the weather ever clears!. I'll probably stick to a two star alignment as that worked fine on the first two occasions. Thanks guys Annie
  3. Thanks for that John - if I'm imaging and choose a star adjacent to my target I assume it's okay to just do a one star alignment? Annie
  4. It would be just the thing to be able to put in the star you want wouldn't it! Will try several 'runs' Thanks 'Tinker' Annie
  5. Don't think I explained myself very well Chris - there were stars I recognized on the appropriate side of the meridian which didn't seem to be on the synscan list. However I think your idea of keeping a shortlist of appropriate stars in a notebook is really good - am going to do just that. Thanks Chris Annie
  6. First two times I set up mount and camera for imaging I did a two star alignment and knew the first two stars suggested so had no problems. On the third occasion I didn't recognize any of the stars suggested and the first two were not appropriate as they were behind trees. Can I choose my own stars as there were bright stars visible which I recognized? Cheers Annie
  7. Astronomy is a new joint interest for hubby and I, though I'm also interested in astrophotography. In addition to other stuff we bought a Dobsonian scope. In theory it easy to use but nothing is that straight forward in this hobby. We have had a lot of enjoyment from reading about the night sky and then using our eyes and binoculars to find our way round. That approach has been instantly rewarding. Setting up most scopes can be frustrating if you're a beginner so I can only echo what others have said, don't rush into a scope it might not meet your expectations, at least initially. Our binoculars have exceeded our expectations! Good luck whatever you decide. Annie
  8. I had the same experience on my HEQ5 pro synscan and had to use the Set up mode>handset setting>polarscope LED. Mine was also set at 100% but worked much better just dimmed to around 70%. Good luck Annie
  9. Thanks guys - hopefully by the end of today I will have found my way round the menus! Annie
  10. Hi John - at the time I thought I was aligning the Goto. Hubbie came out to check and niether of us could detect any movement. Am going to play around with the mount indoors today so will try and change the speed. Thanks for you help. Annie
  11. Hello D4N - at the risk of sounding incredibly dim I don't know! I set the date and time on the date circles and then polar aligned manually, then switched on the power and set up the synscan, home lat/long, date, time etc. and at the end of that process it asked if I wanted to carry out star alignment - I chose two star alignment etc. It would explain why I couldn't get the directional keys to work if that process was the two star alignment process I was doing rather than aligning the Goto. Does that make sense? Thanks very much for your response - I guess eventually it will all start to make sense to me! Annie
  12. Polar aligned last night, set up the synscan and chose two star alignment, Vega as the first star. Mount slewed to the right star which I could see in the red dot finder attached to hot shoe of camera but not in the fov. I assumed I would just tinker with the directional keys but met an unexpected problem! Couldn't get the directional keys to have any effect - not expecting that! The manual says the keys are locked out whilst the mount is slewing but I'm certain slewing had stopped by the time I tried to use them and assume the beep made by the mount told me that. Tried the same process with the second alignment star, Alderbaran and again the mount slewed to the correct star, saw it with the red dot finder but couldn't get the directional keys to maneuver it into my fov though the handset told me alignment was successful. Am I missing something obvious (again!) Annie
  13. Right - that sounds promising. Cheers Annie
  14. Would it be worth thinking about a wider angle lens (ie. 24-120mm/17-35mm) or would they have insufficient focal length to make it a worthwhile exercise? In the meantime will have a look at Astrotortilla. Annie
  15. Thanks for the responses. I guessed that's what I should do John - I'm intending to use my 300mm prime lens. If all else fails guess I'll be looking to buy a telescope! Annie
  16. Not sure this is the right forum to post this question - apologies if not! Have had my HEQ5 pro synscan for some time but lack of clear skies has meant that I haven't got further than polar aligning and setting up the synscan. The next clear sky am intending to do a two star alignment. However the manual assumes the use of a telescope and talks about using a finderscope and then aligning in the eyepiece. I don't have a scope as am intending to use my DSLR and lens so what do I align the two stars with? Hope this makes sense! Thanks Annie
  17. Hi - interestingly I have an HEQ5 mount with an illuminated polarscope which is so red I can't see anything through it so have to turn the power off and shine a torch through to polar align - hope you find one that's better! Annie
  18. Hello Jack - I'm a newbie also and have found the number of pathways that you can take to 'AP' quite confusing. I did get hold of two books however that have been extremely useful: Steve Richards 'Making Every Photon Count' and Jerry Lodriguss (CD-Rom) 'A Beginners Guide to DSLR Astrophotography. Lots of luck Annie
  19. glad you posted this question - we have an 8" Dob which we had out for the first time last night when it was very cold and within a short time it was streaming with water so we're looking for similar advice! Cheers Annie
  20. Thanks Louise, I do have a synscan manual which is not brilliantly clear and I have a decent power supply sorted and Tinker - it's not just tea I've been drinking more of since I took up this new hobby! Cheers Annie
  21. Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond. In trying to do an alignment involving setting circles I was simply trying to follow the manual and Astro Baby's 'Polar Alignment of HEQ5 Pro Synscan for Idiots so it's interesting to read Brown Dwarf's response which makes good sense. I have to say though that the more I've read the more confused I've become as everything seems to assume a basic level of understanding that I just don't possess. Anyway I'm delighted to say that a minor miracle has occurred - I've discovered someone who lives nearby who has an HEQ6 Pro! He's a long time amateur astronomer and astrophotographer who says he will be delighted to help - eureka!! I am however immensely grateful to everyone who has bothered to respond - I hope the next time I post it will be after I've had a go at imaging M31! Annie
  22. Hi Louise - no - I got the Synscan Goto and at this stage won't be hooking up to a computer. I decided to try and do a 'careful alignment' involving the setting scales and just got stuck trying to align two of the scales as the times/dates I needed to use were right at the back so couldn't get a clear view of them to align. As usual I think in trying to do this I probably over complicated matters so am just going to go ahead and polar align on the first clear night. Am just going to mount my DSLR and lens on the HEQ5 so assume I won't be using the GoTo function until I get a scope. I just need to work out how I use the handset for tracking and then have a go at M31 as I can readily find that and have some notion of what kind of subs I need to take. Cheers Annie
  23. Have I totally misunderstood something? I intend to use my new HEQ5 Pro Synscan to start imaging with my DSLR and lenses so have been trying to follow Steve Richards tutorial on 'careful alignment'and Astro Baby's 'Polar Aligning the HEQ5 for Idiots' (I'm obviously either not idiot enough or too much of an idiot!)and in the process downloaded Jason Dale's 'Polar Finder'. Have centred the reticule and am now trying to adjust the setting circles and have got to the part where I need to set the date and time for a known transit of Polaris for my location. My first question is: I've assumed that on Jason Dale's Polar Finder polaris is in transit when it's in the 12 o'clock position - is this right? If this is right my transit time and date is therefore 12 October, 14.16 UST. Secondly both tutorials seem to take the easy path and use a date and time that is really easy to align! The transit times for my location are not that easy to align on the scales - they're round the back of the scales making it difficult to achieve any real degree of accuracy. Have I misunderstood something - I'm not sure it should be so difficult. Would really appreciate some assistance before I reach for the whisky! Annie
  24. Hello Mary - I'm just beginning and before buying anything bought the book; 'Making Every Photon Count' first and also 'A Beginner's Guide to DSLR Astrophotography' on CD-Rom (Printable) by Jerry Lodriguss and found both excellent. Annie
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