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About GaryCH

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    Attempting astronomy and astrophotography on a tight budget!
  • Location
    Hampshire, England.
  1. I think others are better placed to advise on good/cheap webcams, but, this is the one I have that can be used with the adapter to fit in the scope. http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.view&alt=web&id=141658868523
  2. I used a similar clamp for my old camera taking pictures through the eyepiece and always found it difficult. I also had a quickcam pro webcam for about a year before I used it for imaging and I wish I'd done it sooner! The sensor is small so you get a smaller field of view (zoomed in more) which made it possible to image planets fairly easily. http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.view&alt=web&id=111466713763 Could your eyepiece or focuser locking screw be loose causing you view of the moon to change as something slips causing focus to change? Not really sure why that would happen. What scope do you have? Gary
  3. Sorry Matt, I missed your post! I did just have the standard dslr bits that came with the ed80 kit to connect my camera and I hoped the filter would fit in there somewhere but it only fits into the diagonal, or the eyepiece. It's not a problem now though (I hope!) as I've just ordered the fr/ff and the flo adapter and t ring ) Can't wait for it to arrive - shame the weather looks bad for a while though! Gary.
  4. There is s yahoo group I stumbled upon once, dedicated to avx users and there were a few write ups of strip downs and tuning etc. might be worth a look... https://ca.groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/celestronVX/info
  5. Very nice! I just bought myself a baader uhc-s filter but I haven't had the chance to use it yet as I can't figure out a way to fit it into my current setup without the reducer/flattener (which I am saving for right now!) I hoped it would work somehow but no luck
  6. Well, I can't boast such quality dso images yet, partly due to the fact that I'm not guiding properly still and I need to purchase a half decent LP filter but, I did borrow a basic 3x Barlow from a friend to test out planetary imaging on jupiter with results I was quite surprised by. This is my first attempt using my quickcam pro 4000 and the 3x Barlow shot at 5 fps (totalling approximately 500 frames) using registax to stack and a very quick adjustment of the wavelets (I don't really know how to get the best out of wavelets settings by a long shot!) I might have a go at processing it again in registax and then use lightroom or photoshop at some point on a cloudy night to see if I can improve the results though.
  7. Hi all, I've been looking into buying a half decent 3x Barlow lens after borrowing a friends and surprising myself with a respectable image of jupiter. My budget is around the £50 mark and I've discovered the OVL 3x (4 element) for £57. The description is fairly short (perhaps understandably) and I can't find any reviews on it. Does anyone here know anything about it at all? I'd hate to blow that cash if it is no better than appropriately priced 'budget' Barlows. Thanks in advance Gary. http://www.bristolcameras.co.uk/mobile_product_info.php?products_id=ovl-3x-4-element-premium-barlow-lens
  8. That's good to know, thanks Dave. I have had a bit of joy guiding now - my first attempt was very erratic because I forgot to change the speed and it was all over the place but I was pleased to track a star in PhD none the less! My second attempt I adjusted to sidereal and the graph was much better but during my attempt at a ten minute exposure the scope ended up near a street light as Pleiades was so low in the sky and completely washed the image out! I think my main problem is my combination of a quickcam pro 4000 with the 800mm guide scope which gives me a very small fov - the pixel scale is 1.44 ish - and even when I was looking at Pleiades, I still struggled to find a star. When I tried to slew to other targets I couldn't find any stars again even though I could see them in my finder scope. I think this is a fov and sensitivity of the web cam problem, it just doesn't seem to be able to pick up anything other than very bright stars. I mount my guide scope on top of the imaging scope with a homemade bracket. I'm very happy with the solidity and lack of flexure but, I have no adjustment on it. My next project (now I know that it does work to a point) is to add some adjustment to the bracket so I can centre the guide scope properly and perhaps offset it to find a bright guide star that would otherwise not be in the fov. Thanks for all the advice on the matter, I'm up and running but, I still have work to do! I managed to track a random area of the sky for ten minutes yesterday with no trailing so I must be on the right track!! Gary.
  9. Ok thanks, I'll have a play around with the settings to see if I can improve it without making it worse! I guess I'll just note what it's set at already before I begin! Gary. [emoji2]
  10. Hi all, I just bought a second hand celestron avx mount and think it might be a good idea to check the tension in the gears and generally check its all in good working order. Has anyone done this to this mount who could give me an idea of what to look for, and what to do? I also see there are settings in the menu to adjust the backlash etc. and I'm not sure quite how to set this properly to ensure its running as smoothly as possible as I want to start guiding through PhD and I want to get the basics right with my equipment before I try to diagnose any problems with the software. Any advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks, Gary.
  11. I used the dark library in phd2, it took the darks and saved them when I first connected my webcam. Hopefully that works ok. I have no problem focussing on terrestrial object but I've only managed to test it to a range of approximately 1/2 mile (at least) and that left me with the majority of the focuser still to use but I will certainly confirm that when the moon next appears to see if that's enough try to get out at dusk, as you suggest. Many thanks Astro, Gary.
  12. Thanks Ian, and btw thanks for your original post in this thread. I've read through it a few times and I'm quite certain that I'll be referring back to it to fine tune the settings once I'm up and running! I take all your points onboard, especially the last one referring to exposure times and drivers for the web cam as i think the guide scope should have had something in the image as I tested the alignment during the day and it looked pretty good. I'll look into it as it's still cloudy so I'm ready when the skies clear and let you know! Thanks again, Gary.
  13. Thanks for your input, it certainly gives me another line of investigation. I might just have to bide my time and wait until I can afford a more suitable guide scope, or somehow convert my finder scope (I think is 50mm) to be able to take, and focus with, my webcam and/or buy a better guide cam. I'm completely new to guiding so even the basics still seem quite daunting to me! Gary.
  14. I know it's a rather long FL compared to most guide scopes, I was hoping I would get away with it to save me spending any more money as I've just splashed out nearly a grand on my avx mount and sw ed80 apo and i'm desperate to get longer than 60 second exposures! I have both PhD and PhD2 but I was trying phd2 as it asked for the basic details of the guide scope and cam setup and automatically set some rough default values to suit. The pixel scale is about 1.44 ish and my imaging scope is about 1.9. Could the pixel scale be too small for guiding perhaps? I would've thought I'd be able to see a star (or planet) at least, regardless of whether it guided properly or not! Perhaps one day soon the clouds will kindly move on so I can have a proper crack at it! Gary.
  15. Hi all Does anyone have a problem with an image in PhD that is so grainy that you can't see anything, let alone a star? I have tested the setup in the day time to ensure it all functions but at night I can't see anything, not even Jupiter! Granted, I haven't had much time to play with it as it's been cloudy for the last two weeks (that'll be my fault for buying a new mount and scope!) but I don't seem to have any joy playing with the gain and exposure etc. I use a Logitech quickcam pro 4000 and my guide scope is an 800mm ds2090 (it's my old scope and only choice atm!) has anyone had any experience with this web cam, or similar issues? Unfortunately I don't have a screen shot but it looks like the image you used to get on old TVs when they had no signal and if I adjust the exposure, or brightness it just goes completely black with no stars! Thanks in advance for any tips! Gary.
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