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Everything posted by ACross

  1. Happy to report that 18 months on and the rollers are continuing to work very well. They are a lot quieter than the nylon bushes too and I recommend having a go at it before your dome is assembled in its new home - it’s a long way up to the top of the dome.
  2. That is useful to note Tomato, on the size of van needed. One further small point to note from my own experience: the fully assembled dome top is fairly heavy (and difficult to move on your own). Try to keep it flat on its base lip whilst in the van and not propped on an edge. Mine was transported only 3 miles but propped up and the outer edge became fractured, despite the layers of blankets under it. Post some photos if you get chance to take some. Good luck!
  3. It will depending on how dismantled it is (and how much you want to dismantle on site). I only had to split the base in half to get it all onto an open, flat trailer and would have managed with a long wheel-base transit with the dome in to pieces. If you split the base and the dome into four I am sure you could get it all into a transit. As Tomatobro says above, take plenty of coverings - raid the airing cupboard.
  4. Yes, the pier is still available but due to its weight you should be able to collect from Suffolk. Edit: If you were wanting this before Christmas, I am around today but not available after that until 30th Dec.
  5. You are absolutely right. A few weeks ago I was getting so despondent, the whole lot nearly went onto AstroBuySell and my wife was starting to question my sanity. Then, while imaging this at the weekend, everything fell into place and it was thrilling to see it come together at the processing phase; very satisfying and reminded me why I get into astronomy in the first place. Thank you to everyone for their help and comments. Wishing you all clear, calm, dark nights and a Merry Christmas.
  6. Aha, success! With the very helpful advice on here I took the whole lot apart and started again. Starting with the scope collimation, re-positioning the coma corrector, cleaning sensor, cover, filters and corrector. After re-assembly and a lot of cloudy nights, I finally managed to get a good go at this last night and the results are so much better. I have almost eliminated false dark marks and those that remained were removed by the flats. This is my first attempt at processing with Pixinsight and although it is not perfect, I am very pleased with it.
  7. Hi David. Well I had a good look at the whole imaging train and also found a M42 male to male connector in the box of the filter wheel. This means that I can now fit MPCC directly to the filter wheel, the M42 connector and then the camera, giving me 54.5mm from the MPCC flange to the sensor. Excited to try this out if only the weather would clear!! Thanks for your help with this aspect, it has been a troubling point for some time.
  8. Well I have just had a good look into the sensor chamber with a strong light and a magnifying glass. There were dust motes on the outer surface of the glass and after blowing these away I could see a tiny speck on the sensor and another on the inside of the glass. Nothing for it but to open the chamber. Inside there are four desiccant tablets and it could be that the small specks came from those. After some careful use of the air pump (the tablets are very light) and reassembly it looks like I have eliminated most of the marks; certainly the prominent ones at least although there is a small on
  9. I have a steel pier for sale. This was purchased along with a pulsar dome and believe it is an older Pulsar model. The pier sat in a yard, exposed to the elements for a few years before I purchased it so there is some surface rust and flaking paint but will clean up nicely. £250 and buyer will need to collect from Suffolk.
  10. Thank you Gavin, that is actually very encouraging; this is my first foray into "proper" LRGB imaging, first use of SGPro, first use of Pixinsight and one of the first uses of my re-configured observatory too. If we are both getting similar results that shows me my processing and basic understanding is good and that the problem lies somewhere physically in the system. I have not yet had chance to take a detailed look at the camera but having done some elimination work I am certain that it is an issue with the camera, either on the surface of the glass or inside the sensor chamber - this
  11. Thanks @Demonperformer Yes, have setpoint cooling and normally keep this at -15. Do you update the masters at all? I guess over time there may be changes in the sensor such as dead pixels?
  12. @tomato Good point about the usb speed, I am not sure if I checked this and will have a look at the settings. The capture was done in SGPro and I think that the speed is setup in the equipment profile and this was used for both light and flat capture; worth checking again though.
  13. Hi David Your comment is extremely helpful as this is something I have struggled with a lot. Yes it is the MPCC, purchased nearly four years ago for my first VX8 on the advice of Orion Optics but could not understand where to fit it. Unfortunately not long after I had an accident and replaced the scope and mount as part of an insurance claim. The second VX8 was purpose made (upgraded to 1/12 pv) and colimation seemed much better so stars were more round but still not ideal so I dug out the corrector again. I read about the 55mm spacing but it was not clear whether this was from the senso
  14. Hi Gavin. Rather sheepishly yes, took 20x darks for each filter and also took 50x bias for each filter too! Thought it might have been overkill but dont think it did any harm other than using up a chunk of my NAS drive space. Is it ok to have a master bias and dark and how often should it be updated? As regards flats, I had seen a Pixinsight tutorial which talked about a master or universal flat but was not entirely convinced; your comment is heeded, flats each time. Your comment on exposure of the flats is encouraing, I had read about ADU and didnt understand it but selected an e
  15. Thank you for your replies. After posting I realised I had missed some detail out so to fill in and answer a few questions posed. Firstly as to LRGB, I took 20x each for darks and lights and 50x each for bias. I knew this was overkill but the Pixinsight BatchPreprocessing script didn’t bat an eyelid and produces me a set of master calibration files (this was the first time I had used PI). I have a permanent setup so the scope was left in place while the darks were taken, immediately after the lights using the same SGP sequence but with the end caps on and lights (and pc monitor) off
  16. Hi All, I am posting what I suspect is a newbie mistake question but hoping that someone can assist with the issue of flats. Although I have been fumbling around the sky, taking snaps at leisure, recently I became serious. I have read up about the different calibration files (flats, darks, bias) and they seemed to make sense; different ways to capture the image defects and extract those from the image of the sky. After a few weeks (months) of further fumbling I went back to the very first target to receive my attention, M42 Orion Nebula. In short, I took 20x 30s exposures in LRGB a
  17. Hi from a fellow newbie. As David says in the first response, Autostakkert is part of your answer for planets and particularly the moon. I have the ASI174 and have achieved some lovely photos of the moon very quickly, with only 1000 frames of video pushed through this app. The author Emil Kraaikamp has prepared an in depth guide and also lists other tutorials on the webside autostakkert.com. For deep sky you will be looking to capture long exposures of 5 minutes or more and this could be tricky with an alt-azi mount. That said, some of the brightest such as Orion can be snapped with low
  18. ...and a warm shed for processing but with a slide off roof, just to look around at the beauty (or incoming cloud). Ok, getting carried away now.
  19. Your setup looks very impressive, clearly you have an engineering background. My own abilities are far behind but I had wondered about using a Raspberry Pi Zero & small environmental HAT to provide a compass heading and fixing this to the top of the dome. Then a second RPi used to control a repurposed 12v power drill, taking a heading feed from the mount and matching the dome heading to it. I suspect there are a whole bunch of potential issues with this simple version, not least of which the inaccuracy of the heading reading could cause the drive to be constantly changing direction.
  20. Well done Hugh, a great write-up and solution. This is my next project over the summer as I can’t bear the thud of the dome as it rotates. Last week I used the wooden beam technique to lift the entire dome and walls assembly without any concerns, so that a vinyl floor could be laid over my table base. It was fiddly to unroll the vinyl with limited space but worth it to add a layer of insulation and deaden the sound of anything dropping. Are you considering adding a rotator to your dome? I have been thinking of ways this could be done as the Pulsar module is very expensive.
  21. First use of my pole master allowed me to capture 300 second exp without star-trails. Now have the scope in an obs and don’t use it as often but would not be without it. One of the best “accessories” that I have bought.
  22. Just a quick note to follow on Williams excellent point about seals. I found a self adhesive seal in white here: http://sealsdirect.co.uk/shopping.asp?intDepartmentId=1#77 that can be purchased by the meter so that the entire rim is one piece, with only a single joint. I also ordered enough to go around the door and across the top of the door.
  23. Well done Hugh, very useful pics; I don’t think I am alone in watching how your efforts pan out before having a go myself.
  24. Well done Hugh, sounds like a satisfying days work.
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