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About almcl

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    Telford, Shropshire

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  1. Hi Jim I use a Canon T5i attached to my 8" Skywatcher. Initially this was mounted on an EQ5 with added motor drives. Guiding was added, initially with a finder scope and a cheap webcam but eventually using a SW ST80 and QHY 5Lii guide camera. I think you will need an equatorial mount of some sort (although if you look at some of the images in the thread on the 'No EQ DSO challenge' you will see this is by no means essential). How big a mount you need depends on what scope/guiding camera arrangements you settle on. Planetary and DSO have different requirements and you may not be able to get one set of equipment to do both. I now use an Alt/AZ EQ6 when at home but keep the EQ5 which is a lot lighter for trips out to a dark sky site. The EQ5 struggled sometimes with all the kit mounted, but it did work and several of the images in my album were taken with this. If you can find a mount that will cope with your 10", you might get some awesome galaxy images.
  2. I used the SW enhanced hand controller (controller) to guide my EQ5 with a SW200P and ST80 guidescope on board. This was way beyond a sensible weight but it did work, just not always. I can't say for certain which, but several of the images in my album were produced with this rig. This was imaging at about 1"PP - so I think it's well worth a try.
  3. I had cataract surgery on one eye about four years ago, so now have one 'original' eye and one 'bionic' one. Being able to see distant objects clearly again was amazing. The difference in vision for stargazing is noticeable, too. The 'bionic' eye (with the replacement lens) sees things much brighter, the 'original' eye sees contrast much better. The focus points for both are quite different. Different surgeons perform the op differently and it is definitely not something I'd do again for fun, but it was over within an hour. There is a slightly increased risk of retinal tearing post surgery, and I did experience this, but this too was very quickly sorted by the NHS and full vision is back again, with a bonus of slightly reduced floaters.
  4. If you do go down the EQ5 route, it's possible to add stepper motor drives and use an Astroeq to make a very capable goto system, but as Brantuk says, the 200P is a bit too much for imaging on an EQ5.
  5. Not sure how it would work in the US, but here in UK I got the council to paint out a section of a street lamp by explaining how the light shining through the windows of my house was disturbing sleep. A digital image of the problem attached to an email got a response and action within 48 hours, which rather surprised me. Worth a try possibly?
  6. You have had some good advice already, but here's a slightly different view. What point and shoot camera(s) do you already have? Reason for the question is that I am a believer in seeing what's possible with what one already has. I took some images of the Orion nebula (M42) and Andromeda galaxy (M31) with a bridge camera mounted on a barn door tracker. They weren't Hubble quality for sure, but at very low/no cost they got me into imaging. The bridge camera would not be considered 'suitable' by anyone here (including me) but it was possible. You already have a better mount than my barn door tracker and a scope, so if you have a camera of any sort it may be possible to get started, but be warned: when the bug bites it can become expensive.
  7. Orthogonality error is how much the two axes are off being at a right angle, although I have never been able to get my head around the way PHD presents this info. The angle you mention in (1) is dependant on how your guide camera is inserted. Twist the camera in the ST80 a bit and see if it improves or gets worse. Shouldn't make a lot of difference to the guiding, although you will need to recalibrate. The white dots (3) are the return path (east or south movement). (4) Imperfect polar alignment, slight imperfections in the mount/drive train, backlash &c mean the star doesn't always return by the same path. Try running guiding assistant tovsee what advice it gives, if you can bear to waste ten minutes or more imaging time. (5) If you're happy with the results, round stars, crisp detail, then no don't be concerned.
  8. There's an upgraded handset available which gives x16 But to get really fast slews you probably need something like the Astroeq mod with stepper motors. I tried this on my EQ5 and the 800x is seriously fast. Plus you get GoTo as well.
  9. Well done, you have captured quite a number of galaxies there! The plate solve list is so long I stopped counting. If you are able to take some flats there might be even more waiting to be teased out.
  10. Well, depending on what interests you, the Virgo cluster of galaxies can be quite rewarding in wide field... They are quite well positioned at the moment.
  11. Many thanks, Stu. Must look a bit more closely at SkySafari! I did eventually find it in Pretty Deep Sky maps but have so much trouble navigating the files you definitely beat me hands down!
  12. Thanks, Helen. I'll give that a go (tomorrow possibly).
  13. The attached image shows a single sub from tonight of the area around 70UMa (bright star just right of centre) and M40 (a little below centre). However, there's a relatively bright star indicated by the green pointer which I can't identify. Nothing shows up in that position in Stellarium and my other star charts don't go that far down. Could someone identify it for me?
  14. Not sure I can express this simply although the explanation is simple but here goes. The use of a clock face to express the relative position of Polaris is merely a convenient scale, it has nothing to do with the rate of rotation about the pole and could as easily be calibrated in degrees. The use of a clock face with 60 divisions could be replaced by one with 120 (they might be a bit small in the average polarscope) or even one calibrated in mils, the sole function is to indicate a relative position.
  15. From the album My quest for DSOs

    I haven't done many open clusters, largely because through the eyepiece I find many of them rather underwhelming, but this image surprised me. 5 x 180 sec lights ISO 1600 30 flats 30 bias