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Everything posted by oldannie

  1. Thanks guys - hopefully by the end of today I will have found my way round the menus! Annie
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. Right - that sounds promising. Cheers Annie
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. I know enough about this new hobby of ours to know that there's no such thing as a simple question! but it's great that so many people on this site are willing to respond and I really appreciate all the comments. We've decided to go for a Revelation 8" Dob to get us started and probably a 2x Barlow, 4.5mm eyepiece and maybe a filter for DSO's plus either a red dot finder or Telrad - that should keep us happy for a while! Thanks again for all the help, much appreciated! Annie
  18. A really interesting thread - thanks everyone, learnt a lot. Annie
  19. Thanks - John suggests Orion would provide better optical quality yet Chris excluded Orion - presumably for something other than quality? Availablity is not a huge issue for us though we don't want to wait months and months. We live in a rural elevated situation, not much light pollution, nearest neighbour quarter of a mile away. We did think about a 10" Dob particularly as we will do our observing from our 'backyard', have a dry cool outhouse attached to our house in which to keep a Dob and will only have to move it around 30 feet. Perhaps we're being overly cautious in thinking about an 8"! It's really difficult to decide, particularly as there's no-one locally who owns a 10" and retail outlets are many miles away. Annie
  20. After weeks of research and indecisiveness we've decided to buy an 8" Dob, (probably without GoTo) as our first scope for observation. Several companies make these Dobs - are they all of similar quality so does it matter which one we go for? We don't have a tight budget so it's more a matter of quality rather than cost. Cheers Annie
  21. Thanks - as usual food for thought and much appreciated. Have looked at the Meade and will look at the Celestron C8 - hadn't though of that one - though not sure sharing a mount is the best idea for us!!
  22. I'm just in the process of setting up my new HEQ5 Pro Synscan and as a naive beginner am intending to use my DSLR and various lenses before thinking about a telescope. My husband - Joe - is keen on observing (but not imaging) and has been finding his way around the sky with binoculars and is now thinking about a telescope. We were initially thinking about a Dob purely to use for observing but wonder if there are other options that would not preclude its use for imaging at a later stage. The prime intention however would be to use it for observing as I will most likely buy a scope later specifically for imaging. Would a Cat be in any way a realistic option? Joe's budget would be up to £2000 (or thereabouts!) Like the post before am sorry to be asking another 'which telescope' question but it's not easy, Dobs, Cats, Fracs etc. etc....there are so many to choose from and we don't have much in the way of local clubs etc. I've had some really great advice from this site already which helped me decide on the HEQ5 so hoping for even more help! All the best Annie
  23. If considering a telescope and attaching a DSLR it is also worth thinking about the DSLR you will be attaching - a full frame camera will have quite an impact on which scope you can use though I only know this because of some of the advice I've had on this site in response to some of my posts. Annie
  24. Thanks for all the info. I may just concentrate on trying to take good Lights and how to stack them and worry about flats and bias frames later. I do take the point that life's too short! As usual have learnt a lot from this post. Cheers Annie
  25. Thanks Jack - but am afraid I still have a couple of uncertainties! Reading Steve Richards, Making Every photon Count' it's suggested that flats should be taken at exactly the same orientation of the camera and the same focus position as the lights which implies they should be taken immediately after the Lights - or does it! The notion of taking them during the day when convenient is appealing. Have also read that as DSLRs are not temperature stabilized the use of darks is questionable? perhaps I just need to concentrate on flats and bias! Annie
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