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mbalkham

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Everything posted by mbalkham

  1. So using some basic (potentially flawed!) maths (with dims to be measured when I'm back in front of the tube!) Tube length 1050mm less distance from end to primary (say 50mm) less distance from end to secondary (say 75mm) plus distance from secondary to base of focuser (say 150mm) equals 1075mm Focal Length =1200mm less number above = 125mm from tube to focal point? Less backfocus (55mm) should = where I need sensor? = 70mm from tube?
  2. New CT10 scope has finally arrived in NZ and I've attached my Baader Diamond Steeltrack 2" Newt focuser waited for a clear night and headed out. Hopefully the 3 month wait would be worth it! Nope can't achieve focus. I can't get the camera (Canon 6d with Baader protective T ring & MkIII MPCC Coma Corrector) close enough to achieve focus. I've pushed the primary as far forwards as it will go and still seams to be a good few mm off. Does anyone know the focus distance for this scope? I have asked Orion Optics but not yet managed to get that number from them. The standard focuser they ship it with is 65mm-105mm and my steeltrack is 62-102mm so I would imagine it should work. Also I cant attach the Orion Awesome Autoguider (80mm short tube refractor) as the tube rings wont attach to the plate. So looks like I need some new tube rings that will fix via M6 bolts. Lastly I also need some extra counterbalance weights as I'm pushing the NEQ6 out onto the extension bar. Not a biggie just another thing I hadn't given proper thought to! Any ideas on backfocus solutions? I don't want to spend that much money on an OTA and have to start chopping up the tube/moving the primary. And shipping back to OO in the UK would be a real pain.
  3. Nice job. Must weigh a ton! Hadn't thought about a solar charger. Also want an ammeter on mine so that's the next mod.
  4. Prob should have filled the screw heads but it'll be dark while I'm using it!
  5. Prob too low for a seat as only 450mm high. Quick spray of paint and castors added. Also mounted dark switch to kill the leds!
  6. The better half suggested coasters to wheel it around. Recon its the best part of 12kg (might weigh it tomorrow). It has a handle inside made from an old broom.
  7. Fuse added. I was hoping to add a panel a fuse per outlet but the shop was out of parts so just added a single in line blade for now. Thinking maybe a coat of paint for a covering and bit more water resistance.
  8. Thanks all. Feet and fuses def the next step! Alkaid total cost prob ~$750NZD but i didn't really shop around for the components (just went to the auto store and bought them) and the biggest costs were the 12V 40AH battery $289 and 9 stage 7A charger $239. I also bought everything including a crimping tool, spade connectors, all the cable, switches and reel of solder much of which many people might already have lying around.
  9. Now what about a finish. Paint, carpet, leave as timber, something else?! Also thinking feet might keep it off the ground and keep it drier?
  10. Here it is so far. Just added a 'dark site' switch to kill the LEDs. But yet to add that switch to the front panel. Also need a general cable tidy and might box them in yet. Might have gone a little OTT on screws! Just need a clear night to try it in anger! I'd welcome any thoughts/ideas for improvement.
  11. Having a crack at my first astro DIY project and thought I'd share. I'm currently working on a battery pack upgrade. Going with a 40Ah deep cycle gel battery and 2x cigarette sockets and 2x USB ports plus voltage meter. If anyone wants the sketch-up files I'm happy to send them on. Progress photos to follow!
  12. Cheers Olly. Is there general consensus that my next investment should be in ccd and filters rather than better ota/ota upgrades then? Biggest bang for my buck? Assume I'll also need some additional storage for the nextbook plus possibly more power to stay mobile (as my current power supply struggles after a few hours in the cold without camera and cooling draining it more!).
  13. Thanks both. Not really contemplating longer and keen for faster. Was looking at faster newts perhaps f3.5-f4 as they will still work with my baader mk3 coma corrector. But then will there be enough of a difference to justify the investment?! Then was thinking about 200 to 250 or 300mm. Maybe i should look again at refractors. So much choice!
  14. So current thinking is OTA upgrade and stick with the unmodded 6D and the NEQ6. So another Newtonian (perhaps larger dia.?) or something else (SCT, Ritchey-Chretien, etc.) Budget prob up to $1,500 (NZD) ish (don't tell the wife!).
  15. Thanks Andy. Now also wondering if a faster or larger ota might be the next move rather than a new camera. Still non the wiser!
  16. Anyone know if you can move crosshairs after double clicking to improve star selection? Mouse isn't very accurate and tends to jump around centre of the star. Also is there a way to zoom (digitally) on the main screen. Zoom out would help initially then zoom in to do the star selection. Also on the version I'm running the green and red symbols are both white! None of above points prevent me from achieving good results but might improve this further.
  17. Just taken delivery of my QHY PoleMaster (guaranteed cloudy nights for a month!). Does anyone know if the drivers run ok on a Windows 10 Tablet (maybe should have asked that before ordering!)
  18. Not a new question I know (I've read a few topics on this as you can imagine) but I'd really appreciate the thoughts of others tailored to my situation! I am shooting with a unmodded Canon 6D from my skywatcher 200p mounted to a NEQ6 and guiding with an Orion Awesome Autoguider. Almost entirely shooting deep space nebula targets from my yard in Wellington NZ and occasionally from a dark site about 40minutes drive away (my set-up is pretty mobile working from a Nextbook). I'm a pretty enthusiastic but only an occasional hobbyist maybe shooting a dozen times a year. My work is here on my flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mattbalkham/) if you want/need to gauge my level of ability and assess if I am getting the most out of my current set-up. The main question I am asking myself is would I benefit from moving from the 6D (which I also use for normal photography inc. a few weddings etc. and therefore cannot modify) to; 1) a modified DSLR (presumably a 'lesser' DSLR but maybe more tailored to Astro work); or 2) should I take the plunge into CCD (and if so colour/mono, etc. etc. etc.!)? Depending on the answer to above, how much is it sensible to budget for this next step? Thanks in advance Matt
  19. Quick question, by default does Alignmaster sync EQASCOM? Just read a comment about needing to clear existing model and using 'dialog mode' which I've not been knowingly doing! Not sure I understand the instructions on EQMOD site (http://eq-mod.sourceforge.net/faqs/alignmaster.html) Actually I've not been doing any EQMOD Alignment to date so kinda assumed Alignmaster must update ASCOM on my behalf (or I've got lucky!). I have had some GOTO issues which I worked around using C2C to sync on a bright star near my target before slewing back to the target. Assume if ASCOM is off that tracking will also be off (but that might be corrected by PH2?) Thanks in advance!
  20. Thanks for the comments. Think I might have overdone the toning down of stars (new version below). I'm in central Wellington but driving to darker skies when I can. Rig fully mobile now thanks to a new windows 10 tablet.
  21. Got my head around setting up on the other side of the planet (without a pole star!), found a (very) dark bit of sky and had a crack at a new target. Here's the result. CC welcomed as always.
  22. Thanks Daniel. Assuming it is spacing am I right in thinking that means I need more distance between sensor and corrector? If so what's the best way to achieve this?
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