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pete_81

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About pete_81

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  1. So, with a 1200mm focal length scope, high magnification is relatively easy but not recommended with the atmospheric conditions, lower exit pupil, etc etc... When I look at calculating TFOV's from eyepieces, I can use a 52º_30mm, or 68º_24 and get the same TFOV. Obviously there's a 20% difference in magnification (40x or 50x) but what are general reasons for the purchase of either EP? The 52 is likely cheaper, but is the 68 more 'useful' with same TFOV but higher mag? Is a 52 easier to use in that the observer doesn't need to move head around EP to see full image, so lower magnification is more preferential to see the full field in one go? Wider FOV is nice to get the 'immersive' experience but equally at the expense that isn't a necessity? For instance, the Pleades occupy 1º51', which will be fully visible in the following EPs with the 1200mm FL 52º 40mm (30x), 68º 34mm (35x), 82º 30mm (40x) The higher magnifications are better for splitting double stars, etc, but what factors/reasons do folks have for different EPs? I do like the wide field but budget wise and coming up to winter observing (and Christmas), looking at a larger TFOV EP. Those observant may also note my scope is f/4.8. Explore Scientific are likely my choice (hence the list of EPs above too). What's the ES70 like - they never seem to be recommended to the 68, and the 52 seem to have very good reviews throughout also...
  2. Notes to self RE Nikon with KStars/Ekos/Indi: https://indilib.org/forum/ccds-dslrs/334-nikon-bulb-mode-with-kstars-ekos.html https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/332377-connect-nikon-to-ekos https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/356248-first-ap-rig/
  3. Thanks @MarkAR, I had struggled with this before as there appears to be a directory reset which meant that I had no drop-down for camera/guiders available, even when connecting everything up. Eventually discovered "https://indilib.org/forum/general/4527-kstars-not-finding-indi-folder-in-osx.html" which solved the issue. I'll need to do some more on connecting the Nikon unless anyone wants to share here! Not tried direct mount/USB as yet due to cloudy nights but will attempt this soon! Hoping my old printer cable is the reason I'd not had success with this thus far... Regarding alignment of the mount (rather than polar) - I'd half hoped to stop using the controller and use wifi - is this possible (USB direct to mount from macbook, and wifi-dongle to do any alignment/slewing/simple-go-to, independent of kstars)? I think I'd like to have control of the mount without needing the macbook (phone control via wifi), but also if the macbook is connected that I can move using phone (or controller if this won't work, although I can't see why it wouldn't). How have you yours setup? I assume that KStars will continue to track position movement of the scope with the mount-on-board encoders? Can KStars work with the AZEQ6 in altaz mode to slew mount around also? Thanks in advance! Pete
  4. Hi Derek, Sent a pm to your work email but not heard back from you, are these still going (well, the 82º)?
  5. Thanks for that Mark, looks like what I'd expected - we mac users can do all at once! Regarding alignment, how do you solve this then? Using the hand controller? Where did you set USB baud rate? I'm assuming setting wise (to get started) is to use: MODE set to REMOTE - how to select the Port, or is this set once stuff is connected (don't have scope access just now)? Internal guiding (rather than PHD2) Skywatcher=>Synscan Mount IndiHub Off Anything else or should that at least get things started? Is there a good place to start with KStars? Where does INDI come in or is that the under-the-hood stuff? What mount do you select
  6. Hi guys, With new mount and upgraded scope features, now looking to venture into imaging. Before I start, I'm not looking to get feedback on polar alignment, mono guidecam, better imaging cameras, etc; this is more a 'dummies guide' setup discussion! I'm not expecting to get great images at this stage, just more the options available, getting over some issues, so that I can jump outside on a clear night with an ideal, foolproof(!), setup for either imaging or visual as time would permit and what may work best for me. As you may guess from the topic name, I'm a mac user (Macbook Pro) and would rather keep to this if possible (whilst I do have Windows (and Ubuntu) via parallels, I'd rather not use these). I've got a setup which has worked well for visual, and obviously want to have a couple of 'staple' setups that I can use depending on expectations of night observing or imaging. So far, the best one for me has been the Skywatcher Wifi Synscan controller, which has worked a treat with my Android phone - I use the Synscan app to complete alignment and GOTO stars/planets/DSO etc, or Stellarium_plus after completing alignment. This removes the need for the Synscan Handset and any USB cables to the mount altogether. But I don't know if this will work for guiding. That then brings me to my issue on mac - connecting USB(A) between Macbook and Handset, I've attempted to control the mount through Stellarium. Trying each of the available connections (/dev/tty.usbsetial-1420, /dev/cu.usbsetial-1420, and just for sake of it, the /dev/tty.Bluetooth-Incoming-Port and /dev/cu.Bluetooth-Incoming-Port) in the dropdown menu under DeviceSettings/SerialPort, I cannot get the mount to connect (well, more like selecting the telescope and clicking the "Start" on the TelescopeControl just results in the spinning icon and I have to Force-Quit Stellarium and start again with the same result each time. Annoyingly (for fellow mac users!), Parallels/Windows/Stellarium connects and controls the mount fine! As the mount is the newer "pro" type, I also have a USB connection directly under the hand-controller RJ45 and AutoGuider ST4 sockets, but using this still results in the same issue. Another issue I have seen is that when I unplug the USB from the computer when connected to the handset, the date on the controller jumps significantly - for example, last night at ~23:30, I was transported through the local wormhole galaxy to Jan 2048 according to Synscan! Obviously unplugging isn't going to happen during a genuine session, but just wondering if this is a possible issue somewhere?! Any other mac users connecting USB directly to the SW 'Pro' mounts? Software wise, would folks generally suggest steering away from Stellarium towards KStars or SkySafari(Plus) for controlling the mount? Can the Wifi dongle be used for controlling mount from computer (any OS) or do I need to go USB either to handset or directly to mount? Is there an issue in using Mac USB to the telescope compared to 'straight' Windows (i.e. PC/laptop with Windows instead of virtual)? Anyway, back to topic... I've a Nikon DSLR to use for primary camera at this stage, which would be triggered independently from guiding software. PHD2 is my hopeful choice of guiding software (is EKOS with KStars similar?), with T7C guide-camera on 240mm f/4 guidescope, and at this stage, I can confirm PHD2 at least connects to the camera on OS-X. There is an ST4 port on the camera, but having read several topics, I think I want to pulse-guide directly - is this correct or is ST4 best for this setup? This sorta comes back to software and connections - my understanding is one of the following cable setups for guiding (as a minimum) : Guiding-camera => USB(A) => Macbook => PHD2 => USB(A) => SynscanHandset => AZEQ6 Guiding-camera => USB(A) => Macbook => PHD2 => USB(A) => AZEQ6 Guiding-camera => USB(A) => Macbook => PHD2 => Wifi => SynscaWifi Adapter on AZEQ6 [using ST4: ST4_on_AZEQ6 => Guiding-camera => USB(A) => Macbook => PHD2] (no additional connections needed if ST4 is used) Additionally, I'd like to use an observatory package, say Stellarium/KStars/SkySafari, to select objects and drive the mount, then use guiding software to keep good 'tracking'. Where in this train does EQMac fit in, or when is it used? What about the 2019 addition to EQMod (ASCOM Alpaca)? Can this be used or is it already in other packages?! For Windows users, how does EQMod fit in (if I go down route of getting Windows laptop for controlling things, is the setup similar to above? There may be bits in the above that repeat, and for that, I'm sorry, just want to get across the message that I'm new to the guiding but haven't quite settled down into the software/hardware I'm expecting to use for 'goto' and 'guiding' TLDR: For a mac user, what setup and software are folks using for guiding and observatory softwares for the newer USB-on-mount 'AZEQ6/EQ6-R Pro' mounts from SW?
  7. Hi Stu, I've upgraded from an EQ3 to EQ6 and had Sunday night for the first trip out since it arrived a month ago! So nice to have great skies and a mount that doesn't let the scope wobble when one even approaches it! Jupiter, Saturn & moon were my chosen targets and I just sat in awe! Last night was similar and I'm sure many enjoyed 2 nights of clear(er) skies! The EQ6 from FLO box does warn about the sun, but clouds too! Anyone else noticed this sticker?! Happy observing!
  8. Thanks @fifeskies, Unfortunately, I've tried the sliding idea (without removing the scope though) but with the few mm of 'engaged' thread, the adjustable side of the puck twists over once slightly loosened so that sliding the ADM out is quite tricky, any twist to the scope makes it virtually impossible, and it's been easier to just unscrew the star screws, and as they've come out (pretty sure no more than 5mm), the springs drop out and I accept I'll pick them up once getting the scope safely inside. How much thread though do you think you have 'engaged' once tight - that is more my concern that there really isn't a lot of thread holding the full weight of the scope, and possibly more an issue when in AltAz mode which is how I'll likely be using the scope for the immediate future. I just felt it odd that the Losmandy plates seem to be a standard size, as one would expect, with big names such as William Optics, ADM, Primaluce, but the SW puck needs opened to what feels the thread limit - did SW not think that the 'wings'(?) on Losmandy's are all the same (~74mm with taper to ~69mm) so make a puck that won't need to be opened too much?? I guess my concern is that there is so much force on the few mm at the end of travel of the puck - the screws really are on their limits of thread, even when engaged with the ADM which surprised me the first time the scope went onto the mount! Do you feel this is the case?
  9. Well, I've taken the plunge into this and purchased the SW AZ-EQ6 mount. Delivery took a little longer than hoped, and cloudy skies also proved an issue until Sunday night when I at last got the kit out. For the very first time, I have really REALLY appreciated my scope - Saturn and Jupiter no longer jump around in the eyepiece (even being a bit daft at 350x just for fun!) with the even just approaching the eyepiece, which was my experience previously. As mentioned at the start of this post, I think the original mount was equivalent to the EQ3, but clearly not cabable of the scope it had been sold with! So yes, expensive setup but SO PLEASED I took the plunge (although it's birthday, Christmas and any other occasions for the next few years all rolled into one!!!!!). Coming back to the Losmandy plate though @fifeskies, I was very surprised with the mounting puck, (got the full setup of mount, power supply & ADM Losmandy), which seems to be on the limit of adjustment for the 2 star-headed bolts (I reckon there's around 5mm of thread holding the mount in place when fully tightened and to remove the plate (leaving tube rings + ADM on scope), the screws are popping out of the threaded section of the puck - an easy fix to replace the M8x45 screws that are present, but wondering if you (or any other readers!) have found this issue with the SW pucks? Thanks to all with the advice offered previously, and to anyone else reading such posts, it again confirms that whilst Astronomy is expensive to start, buy big and buy once (until aperture fever kicks in!)!!!!
  10. Got it. This site is great for showing the view of an eyepiece with the specs you put in (or use dropdown). It helped me figure out the best angles and magnifications for what my interests are - have a look and see if it works for you. http://astronomy.tools/calculators/field_of_view/ Biggest point I would say though is don't fret about spectacles. Also have a look at the post I mention above when I was looking for my upgrades, there was a lot in there that may help. Obviously there may be stuff to confuse too, but I was in the same place this time last year! Best thing about this site is everyone wants to help everyone. Let us know how things go!
  11. Hi @omikron, Just browsed your post here, and thought I'd offer my choices too. Like you, I wear glasses (prescription is for seeing distant objects) but I've upgraded my plossls in my setup (f/4.8, 1200FL) to a few (68deg,24mm, 82deg,6.7mm and x2) Explore Scientific objectives, and whilst I can now use these while wearing glasses, the views are many times better without! You just have to adjust focus (slightly) for each observer. The total I spent on the lenses was around the €300, with the x2 throwing out of your budget, but cheaper than the televues which may be too good for my setup. I had also spent time looking at the Vixen SLV, but decided the FOV wasn't quite what I wanted, but they may be worth a mention? I also note Jonathan above says the same. The ES range appears to be great and was recommended to me whilst in a similar position. I was slightly concerned about the eye-relief (use with specs) myself, but don't regret going to ES. Hope this doesn't add more confusion to you
  12. I know I've watched astrobuysell (UK) and done well there. There's lots of reports using SGL, but realised one needs over 50 comment likes (I think it is) to gain access to this area. Have the 500mm tamron mirror myself (on apsc Nikon) and enjoy the odd photo, but at f/8, other than the moon and bright planets requires good tracking on EQ mount, obviously its not the common way of doing it but works ok
  13. @fifeskies, seeing the ct10 there, I've also been wondering about dovetail with the skywatcher - rather than getting new tube rings, I'd assume using the original tube rings on the SW dovetail works?
  14. Thanks folks for these replies. Did suspect the jump to EQ6 range would be necessary and whilst they're not out of budget, I don't want to end up with an EQ6 type for a pair of binos (too good a mount for my scope). I do like the idea of the AZ EQ6, and wondering what people think of these. From reviews on FLO, YouTube, etc, they're at the top of the game, and they also appear to be lighter than the NEQ6 whilst having similar capacity and better functionality. Next debate to have is the other makes, is there anything comparable from ioptron or others at same spec and price point? Not really seem much and expecting to hear only skywatcher but why not ask?!
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