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BlabyStarGazer

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About BlabyStarGazer

  • Rank
    Star Forming

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Interests
    Mainly observing but have tinkered about with imaging. Came to the conclusion that without spending a lot of money on a ccd camera and even more on moving to where the weather is more reliable, I am going to be happier just observing.

    I own several Canon DSLRs, one of which is 'modded' so I might take the odd pic from time to time but Mr Peach has nothing to worry about. One of my startrails pics made it into the 'HotShots' section of S@N mag, so I reckon that's my 15 minutes of fame done with.
  • Location
    Leicestershire, UK
  1. Hi - Just spotted your post above. A couple of things that spring to mind based on my own experience rather than reviews: 1. Skywatcher 200P (I have had three of them) - A wonderful instrument for both visual and photographic use... BUT ... not on an EQ5. The EQ5 will be at it's absolute limit for visual use, adding additional weight of (presumably a DSLR) for photography will be too much for it. HEQ5 would be the sensible choice to carry a 200P or PDS (the better option) - one other thing re the 200 ... it's bigger than you think! 2. You appear not to have considered an Apochromatic Refractor. Something like the Skywatcher ED80 DS Pro would be an excellent choice for both visual and astrophotography and one you are never likely to regret. Think of it as being the equivalent of adding a 600mm 'L' series lens to a Canon DSLR (apologies if you're a Nikon user) but at significantly lower cost. 3. These options are probably well in excess of your budget, but unlike the AZ Goto kit that you're looking at, will be 'keepers'. If you still want to buy AZ / AZ Goto kit, buy it second hand, that way when you realise it's limitations. you might get back most of what you spent on it. Oh yes and: Somerset's not SO boring ... I make a twice yearly pilgrimage down that way to get decent dark skies! Have fun with whatever you opt for!
  2. Hi - Don't know if it's just me (or my browser), but the AZ-GTi stripdown photos you posted over on CN aren't visible. Any chance you can repost them here or elsewhere? Also, I didn't quite understand the addition of a washer to the AZ clutch mech that's referred to above - was that part of the solution you provided? It's the AZ axis that I'm having problems with - on a brand new mount! Any help advice you can offer would be much appreciated. Skywatcher are not my favourite brand at the minute, I'm also having problems with a Star Discovery mount, but that repair is in hand.
  3. I have a similar concern - there seems to be little resistance to manual pressure on the Az axis, it's as if the 'clutch' needs tightening and I was considering an exploratory disassembly myself to see if there is any kind of adjustment available. It's a pity, because in many respects the Star Discovery is the perfect answer for grab'n'go use at outreach events, but with 'little hands' tending to grab hold of eyepieces, or inexperienced observers bumping into them, the ease with which the mount can be moved off target is a little irritating. I can't help but think it was a mistake not to have a manual clutch on both axes as with the AZ-GTi. Anyhow, I've just found another thread with some interesting detailed methods for adjusting the (two!) Az clutches. Not sure that I fully grasp the engineering involved, but it will certainly set me off in the right direction (no pun intended) and would appear to answer the 'slop' issue too.
  4. I meant exactly like that - as you have illustrated admirably, the Solarquest has something of the AZ-GTi in it's genes! Makes an excellent platform for mounting a camera with a solar-filtered lens. Ideal for transits and eclipses.
  5. Would be really useful if you can. Would be nice to be able to track the Sun at night, especially as I am at work in the day.
  6. Apologies if I've missed seeing the answer to this if it has already been mentioned, but rather than break my own Solarquest ... has anyone switched one 'on' to see what happens if the Sun is below the horizon ... a long way below the horizon ... as in, at night?
  7. Just to add my own experience to the thread - I too was sceptical of the Ad claims for the Solarquest, but as others have found, it does exactly what it says on the tin and does it very, very well. Someone has mentioned giving the AZ-GTi the same capability: I can't see that ever happening because the photo-sensor unit of the SQ is housed where the clutch mech is located on the GTi. In terms of payload - my understanding was that the AZ-GTi was 5Kg and the SQ 4Kg, but I could be wrong - the wife often says that I am. It'll certainly take an ED80 DS Pro, Lunt Wedge and Baader Hyperion with no effort. One other thing that nobody has mentioned (afaik): in the centre of the dovetail clamp on the SQ, there is a thin metallic circular cover, beneath which are four countersunk screws. If you remove and discard the cover (you'll never get it to go back) and undo the four screws, you can rotate the clamp 90 degrees, refit the screws and use a dovetail/'L' right-angle camera bracket to take your camera/lens/solar-filter setup... just sayin'
  8. Hi Dave, Welcome to SGL (and to the 200P owners' club!) - you've made a great choice of 'scope and I'm sure that like me, you'll find yourself upgrading all manner of bits'n'pieces but that tube will remain a constant source of pleasure - when the sky co-operatres that is! Plenty of help and advice around on here and no doubt you've also found your local astro group or society in Nottingham. Have fun and enjoy the hobby but as others have mentioned, your wallet will be permanently empty from here on in ..
  9. Hi ... Sorry to hear that your reason for seeking out the group is not the happiest. I believe that the "Antares right angle something" may well be an Antares Right Angle Finderscope ... there are several different models and this link may help to identify which one you have (checkout the alternatives at the bottom of the page) http://www.rothervalleyoptics.co.uk/antares-8-x-50-right-angled-erect-image-finderscope.html The UK Astro Buy Sell website (Google it) is a good place to sell once you know what it is you're selling and you can look at old ads and see what sort of price they have sold for in the past. Hope this helps a little - also try seeking out a local astro group or society. If all else fails, you might like to take up the hobby ... ?
  10. Hello from the middle of England, Welcome to SGL and to the incredibly absorbing hobby of astronomy. Absorbing of cash that is and even more so if you're heading down the a/photography path! Don't try to run before you walk - that's a sure way to waste your hard earned cash! You'll find a lot of help, opinions and experience in the forums here, so make use of them before splashing out. Above all - have fun !
  11. Hello! Welcome to the hobby and to the SGL. Have you found your local Astronomy Club or Society? They will provide a great deal of advice and 'hands on' opportunities to try out both your and their, 'scopes. You might also find a book called "Turn Left At Orion" of great use and you might also want to download a free piece of software for the PC/Laptop/Mac called "Stellarium" (www.stellarium.org). They'll keep you busy during the summer months! Have fun...
  12. Hi Dave, Welcome back to Astronomy and to the SGL. I wish that I'd found this site a little earlier than I did, too - it would've reduced the frustration considerably when I first started up, and probably the amount of money spent too! Have fun ...
  13. Thanks for the comments. I should've added the exposure details: ISO 800 1/400th sec and of course the Baader SC filter produces a rather startling lime green image with a colour camera, although the contrast is substantially enhanced. The colour temperature and light curve were therefore changed in PS to try and make the image look more like a sphere than a flat disc as well as rendering it in a more acceptable colour. The image is also totally uncropped.
  14. My first attempt at photographing a Transit and I decided to try for the 2nd and 3rd Contacts, but of course as those in the UK will know, the final phase of the Mercury Transit was clouded out. So, here's my attempt to capture "2nd Contact" using a Canon 600D (unmodded) at eyepiece projection with a Baader Hyperion 17mm, Baader Solar Continuum filter, Lunt Herschel Wedge and a Skywatcher ED80 DS Pro on a HEQ5:
  15. Hi and welcome to SGL - you've had some sound advice already "+1" on the two books and also Stellarium. With a refractor you're not restricted to using to using Baader safety film for Solar observing - you might want to consider a Herschel Wedge as an option if that aspect of the hobby will be of interest now that the summer is approaching. If so, have a look at the Lunt 1.25 inch which will suit your 'scope and is also about the cheapest. The issue with having to adjust both axes is a result of not having the mount level and/or correctly aligned - if you don't have a polarscope fitted to the mount, good alignment is unlikely to be achieved. If you do, you might want to make use of an app called "Polar Finder" which will help considerably. As far as photography is concerned, definitely don't try to run before you can walk! A smartphone mount for eyepiece projection is a good inexpensive way to start. The one thing that I've not seen anyone mention though: find your local Astro club/society and chat to folk there, we all share the same sky! Above all else, enjoy yourself ..
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