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Stub Mandrel

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Stub Mandrel last won the day on October 13

Stub Mandrel had the most liked content!

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About Stub Mandrel

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    Staffordshire UK
  1. Knowing it's likely to cloud over later, I decided to follow @Charl's example and get some quality lunar shots. 250 shots later, with the 150PL set up and tracking the moon I decided to work through my budget EP collection. I am no expert so I was looking at these things: How clear/sharp the image was. How contrasty the view was. How comfy/easy to use the EP felt (I wear glasses) Any trace of colour on the moon. How the moon 'sat' in the view. The moon is nearly full (97%) incredibly bright (it cast a shadow as bright as light from the house!) It was an amazing thing when swapping over the EP holder I saw the moon focused in my hand! I din't use a filter as although the moon was very bright, I have seen traces of colour in it under these circumstances before. I tried three 25mm EPs. A stock Skywatcher Super 25mm, a cheap Opticstar 25mm plossl and an ultra-cheap 'Vite' (unbranded) 23mm aspheric. The Skywatcher was OK but I was surprised by how much more contrast the cheap Vite eyepiece had. Dark patches on the central area really stood out. Craters on the terminator ranged from jet black to sparkling white. The Opticstar wasn't quite as contrasty but gave more room for the moon to 'breath'. It was the shortest ep that age the feeling of the moon being on a background. All these EPs were 'sharp', I think the Vite gave the most '3D' view and was most comfortable to look through. Longer EPs were a Celestron 32mm plossl and a cheap unbranded 40mm plossl. The Celestron gave a strong hint of blue to some of the maria and excellent contrast, the dark patches near the centre of the disk were little chips of black and viewing was very relaxed. It gave a perfect 'silver disc on a velvet blanket' view, lovely to see but a bit too small to enjoy the details. The 40mm wasn't quite as contrasty and also gave nice 'overview' but eye placement seemed to be more fussy. Going shorter my circle-t 18mm ortho gave a 'wham' contrasty sharp image, probably eh best view, but spoilt because the moon almost exactly fitted the field of view. Although it may be the best eyepiece it was too narrow a view for a comfortable whole disc and too wide a view for details. Comparing two 10mm eps, the skywatcher standard and another Vite Aspheric, it was no contest. very similar filed of view but the cheapie was sharper, clearer and more contrasty than the skywatcher by a country mile. The seeing was causing noticeable rippling at this magnification (120x) but I could see lovely detail everywhere, such as the slumped sides of craters. That left the 5mm and 2.5mm Skywatcher UWA 'Planetary' eyepieces. The 5mm was great, contrasty and despite the ripples 240x didn't seem remotely excessive. I was watching a tiny, isolated mountain peak appear just past the terminator grow from a tiny star to a tiny triangle. Clearly this is the ep to use looking for fine details. It also worked well on the rest of the disc, showing details in crater rays etc. The 2.5mm was, predictably, a step too far at 480x. The seeing wobbles were major and I could see that no significant amount of extra detail was appearing. I did have a peep at mars, but low down and without my ADC it was badly colour smeared with the 5mm ep and now so small I could not make out any details. I'm sure my budget EPs are not the bet in the world, but I'm very happy with the 5mm SW, 32mm Celestron and 18mm circle t. I also think the Vite aspherics live up to the hype about them on Cloudy nights, they were easy to use and gave much better views than the standard Skywatcher equivalents. If you have a scope with the basic 10mm and 25mm eps and you are unsure about investing a lot of cash in new ones, invest £16 in a pair of these Vite ones as replacements! They have to be ideal for outreach - cheap enough it's no disaster if they are stolen, good enough you won't feel you are cheating people out of good views. The 'gasp' award is shared by the Celestron 32mm plossl, supplied as standard with my C90 Mak, the only ep that made me swear out loud, and the 18mm circle-t because when popped into focus on the terminator the sudden clarity literally made me step back from the eyepiece.
  2. Stub Mandrel

    What Have You Learned From Astro?

  3. Stub Mandrel

    Imaging with the 130pds

    You can use it with an EQ3, I did for quite along time, but in the end got an HEQ5. The HEQ5 is a step up, but the EQ3 is a lot better than it's given credit for.
  4. Stub Mandrel

    lastnights Stunning Moon +closer shots 20-10-18

    Great set of pics, Charl.
  5. Stub Mandrel

    PHD2 saying star wont move enought?

    It usually means you aren't actually controlling the mount for some reason. Its likely to be sending signals and they are not moving the mount. It can also be wrong calibration, make sure your pixel size and guidescope focal length have been put into the calculator. BUT... I think you need to choose 'on mount' rather than ASCOM if you are using ST4 guiding.
  6. Stub Mandrel

    Cassiopeia from the garden

    Nice composition, would have worked nicely in the 'inspirational skies' comp. Which 50mm lends did you use? My helios58mm and Sirius 28mm both show badly stretched stars in the corners. I'd like to get a better behaved lens without having to spend £££ - and one taht will focus in a modded camera.
  7. Stub Mandrel

    HDR astrophography

    If you expose so the brightest parts of the image are not burnt out stacking lots of images will greatly increase the dynamic range allowing you to extract that detail in the darker bits. I would say whole disc Lunar is where DSLR and even bridge cameras can excel.
  8. Stub Mandrel

    SkyWatcher EQ3-2 + PHD2

    I was able to improve the DEC backlash on my NEQ3-2, but it included regreasing it and adding thrust bearings... I give no attention to PHD2's PA calculation.
  9. Stub Mandrel

    A trio of planets

    Nice one!
  10. Stub Mandrel

    SharpCap Pro

    A bit late for you, but just for the record last night I used the Sharpcap Polar align and my ~5' 'good' alignment went to 14" 'excellent' in no more than two minutes. I can get 5-minute subs on the HEQ5 without guiding at focal lengths up to about 300mm - I know because my computer has shut down twice - once for an update and last night because I didn't plug the charger lead in properly - and both times I didn't actually lose any subs!
  11. I used these curve settings in DSS, actually I have made it too light. Here's a go in photoshop. I think you need more, slightly longer, subs to get the colour out. tehre's hardly anything other than blue in your data.
  12. Looks like your driver thinks it's the 120MC. Or worse, you've muddled up your MC and MM!
  13. Stub Mandrel

    ZWO Peltier Cooler

    Oh dear, hope it isn't flu after all the recent fuss!
  14. Stub Mandrel

    M31 Ha OSC

    All I've done with the Ha in this image is mix it VERY gently in with the red layer. Zoomed in there are a few small knots of Ha that show red - honest!
  15. Taken with my homebuilt ED 66 scope, modded & cooled Canon 450D. 80 minutes colour on 6 October, 110 minutes Ha on 20 October.

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