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About almcl

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    Telford, Shropshire

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  1. I've certainly noticed the rocking you mention, Mark, but haven't had the courage to tighten the worm drives so far. Experiments have been slightly curtailed by cloud but also by a new (2nd hand refurbished) Laptop which has required a vast amount of installation of software. That and solid cloud cover, of course.
  2. I image with a Canon T5i, on a Skywatcher 200P, initially mounted on an EQ5 mount, unguided. I did move to guiding (using a cheap web cam and a finder scope to start with). There were limitations but some of the DSO images in my album here were taken with this minimal kit. Quite a few weren't that good, either, and have since added a coma corrector, light pollution filter, bigger guide scope, more sensitive guide camera, better motors and most recently a bigger mount, but for what's possible with a DSLR on long focus scope take a look at Scott Rosen's website here
  3. That's a 'yes' to all three, I am afraid, James. There's quite a bit of backlash, although PHD2 seems to have no trouble taking it out and, once a 3 star align has been completed, the gotos are usually pretty good and if no operator interference is required for framing tracking is usually (but not invarably) OK. I'll have a look at how the mount centres itself, thanks for the tip, but I think it's as mentioned on page 15 of the Synscan manual, although of course, when guiding, the Synscan handset is not connected (EQDIRECT cable from laptop to mount) and EQMOD may have different approach... .
  4. I had a thread about drift in RA a little while back but have had no opportunities since to put the several suggestions offered then to the test. Two nights ago the cloud rolled away for a while and although I haven’t completely solved the problem, I may be a bit closer to understanding a possible cause. I noticed that when slewing the AZEQ6, always finishing up with “up, right” as per manufacturer’s instructions, the tracking doesn’t always restart and the target star doesn’t stay centred on the cross hairs but sets off along the left/right axis. Not yet certain but it seems as if the RA motor either doesn’t restart after the slew or stays at slew speed. I am not yet sure if this only happens when using, or after using, the gamepad or with both pad and the EQMOD control buttons, but I wonder if anyone else has experienced anything like this? The other question is (assuming the theory above is correct) how to stop/prevent/correct it? I had some success the other night at arresting the unwanted star motion by briefly clicking the opposite direction button on the control, but feel there ought to be a better solution.
  5. Don't know if this will help, but instead of more and more sheets of paper, try reducing the exposure time. I find flats taken at about 1/100 second using just a home made light panel deal with the vignetting and the dust bunnies reasonably effectively. Worth a try, possibly?
  6. It might be, but it could also be the focuser tube intruding into the light path - I've had this on my SW 200P, although I can't remembrr which eyepiece was involved.
  7. Nice suggestions, thanks. Now, if the clouds will roll away before darkness gets too late...
  8. Sorry to say, with failing memory, I am not quite sure. I did stop using the (rechargeable) batteries in favour of this Maplin switchable power supply, but also switched to using an Astroeq to guide, replacing the brass cogs with belt drives. The worldwide plug was a complete disaster but once this was replaced with a proper 13 amp plug, it proved OK. In its 13.5 volt mode I am still using it with my relatively newly acquired AZ EQ6.
  9. I found this stuff great for repairing the damage caused by tramping on frosty grass when I got a similar reprimand last spring. I too am one of 'tripod-directly-on the-grass' brigade. It gets placed in different areas to avoid objects disappearing behind tress but this just creates a bigger damage area :-(
  10. Jim here's an image of the Sagittarius area of the Milky Way taken with my T5i, using the kit lens set to 18mm: There's another image in my album of the M42 area in Orion, taken with a 200mm Canon EF lens. That one was on EQ5 mount, tracking but unguided. In fact all the images in the album were taken with the T5 although it has been astro modified.
  11. As Olly says you get a very wide field. But definitely worth a try. Here's an annotated image I took last year with a 200mm lens on my Canon 700 last year. It used 11 lights of 120 secs each. This put the histogram at about 40%, using an Astronomic Light pollution filter. Hope to go back and get some more data if the clouds here ever go away!
  12. The 8mm ones definitely gave enough clearance, but the 10mm would probably be OK, too. If not, a few minutes with a file should sort any clearance problems. I did try some larger thumb wheel type ones (because they were sitting around spare in the bits jar) and these fouled the dust cap, but the small headed ones were fine.
  13. I used these ones: Ebay thumb screws May have had to file them down very slightly to get the dust cap to fit.
  14. A cluster or two may well be on the menu next time, but hadn't thought of doubles, so thanks for thst one.
  15. My 7 year old grandson came to stay on Saturday night. He's previously expressed interest in 'granddad's telescope' but until now opportunities to show him the night sky with it have been few. The weather forecast was not encouraging but come late afternoon the cloud seemed to be thinning so I thought it worth getting the Az EQ6 out and setting up. Miraculously, a little before sunset Venus was clearly visible through a large gap in the clouds, so we had a good look at that. "Oooh, it's like a small moon", I was told. We had to break then for tea but luckily, right after we finished eating, the sky was completely clear. So after a quick refresh of Venus we took in Mars, then the Pleiades, which were described as "Cool", "how many of the seven sisters can you see?" "there's a lot more than seven, there must be 30." was the verdict. We then had a look at Betelgeuse, more for the name than anything else. I then started to point out Orion's belt only to be interrupted with "Grandad, I've known Orion's belt since I was three!" So we moved down to the great nebula, more challenging, obviously, as it hadn't got to full dark, or anything near, but he could make out the trapezium and the nebulosity. Next day he was easily able to remember and describe all we had seen to his mum and dad, so hopefully the seed has been planted.