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  1. The main purpose form a guiding camera is to extend you exposures time (reduce the shorter speed), as you are limited to around 1 to 2 min unguided exposure time, depending on how good you mount tracks. Read the following to give you a good understanding on what guiding is and how it is performed. http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/188777-phd-guiding-basic-use-and-troubleshooting/ and the following is a link that I have bookmarked a while back, to get me started for AP when I'm ready. it will give you a good idea on what to expect from a ccd: http://starizona.com/acb/ccd/ccd.aspx
  2. Just few quick thoughts: I have never done this before, but why not buy the needed male plug for the mount and use a descent cable wired directly to the battery through an on/off switch. Therefore, you don't need to worry about the quality of the cigarette lighter plug\outlet but you have the dangling cable that have to be stored in the battery box.An AC battery charger is an option, to give you the luxury of charging the battery indoors via an AC source, but they are a little bit pricey. Therefore, if you don't want to buy it, you would need a jumper cable (which you may already have) and a voltmeter (or a multimeter) to know when the battery is fully charged (~12.6 volts), or even an indicator of how much is left (to know when to charge again).In the future you could buy your self a power inverter, if you really need it for other devices, and install it within the box. Their are two main types of power inverters, one would produce a sine wave, and the other one would give you a modified sine wave. The later one is cheaper due to its less complex design, but do not suites all devices. And regarding efficiency, the process of converting DC to AC would consume power by it self, if the expansive inverter (for a pure sine wave) is used, it would usually consume ~20% more power, and if the cheaper one was used the wasted power is more. (e.g. if a plugged in device needs 100 watts then the real drained power is 120 watts or more)And good luck ANY
  3. Hi Zeffer, I'm in the same situation, where I only have the 40mm 50* that came with my Edge 8". So, after a lot of consideration and consultation I have placed an order on the ES82 11mm and 18mm (the 18mm is a 2"), and expecting to get them next week. I'm also intending to get a 2x Barlow, and if I have the extra cash next year or later I would get the 30mm. 11mm=> 1.1 exit pupils, 185x 18mm=> 1.8 exit pupils, 112x 40mm=> 4 exit pupils, 51x
  4. Check the following link for the coathanger (Brocchi's cluster). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brocchi%27s_Cluster Till this day M11 (Wild Duck cluster) is my favourite, as it is stated "The Wild Duck Cluster is one of the richest and most compact of the known open clusters, containing about 2900 stars." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_Duck_Cluster)
  5. Bryan It shows in the manual that l could thread my eyepiece directly into the 1.25" visual back with out the diagonal if desired, and I was able to do that and get it in focus with the 40mm eyepiece it came with. However, it is a really a neck breaker the closer the target to zenith, but still it is a chose that I might consider from time to time for planetary observation, as I find no difference when viewing stars and clusters. A read on a number of threads that there is no obvious differences in the optical quietly between most of the brands, and the major factor is the mechanical build and which is the best to securely hold the huge 2" eyepieces. For that the WO as many of you have recommended do excel, and it going to be my first choose. Unless I find a cheaper second hand diagonal from Meade or ES. Thanks all for your advice, most appreciated.
  6. Thanks all for the reply, I was checking WO website and two statement caught my eyes. http://www.williamoptics.com/diagonalPrism/2Carbon-Fiber-Diagonal-Dura-Bright_features.php The first is that they are polished to have a 1/12th wave accuracy, and they end the statement with a (*) as if there would be some kind of a note at the end of the page but there is it. The second is that it shows that they have a patented design that would save you the effort from ever needing to collimate the diagonal. How accurate are these claims? especially on there online shop they don't have these claims and it shows only that they have a 1/10 lambda surface.
  7. Hi, I got my EdgeHD 8" a month ago, and a couple of nights ago I had a really great session (observing from my balcony in a red zone), I was able to see some amazing globular clusters. Anyhow, I am interested in upgrading my diagonal to a 2”, in order to buy my first set of eyepieces, (I am considering the ES 82* eyepieces). For the last few weeks, I was trying to settle on a specific brand but still not sure. I have read the report written by William Paolini and it is a good and an informative article. The prism diagonal is way over my budget, as I'm only considering diagonal in the range of $100-150 (if new). The three brands that I am currently looking at are the Meade 5000, Sky watcher and the William optics. There are other few brands that I am not sure about, like the Antares, Olivon, ES, TPO, Astro-Tech and GSO. Please note that I'm going to buy 2” visual back, therefore, I'm not limited to diagonals with SCT female thread, as I like the Idea of threading the eyepiece directly into the visual back (if I need to overcome the scattering or the 1% light loss). So, my question is how would you rank these brands, or are they all similar (as all have the same specifications). Although, I have heard that some are supplied by a the same manufactured, so would that mean that they have similar quality standards. Also, some diagonal like the TPO and GSO have the Quartz Dielectric, would that mean that they perform better than the others or they are more durable.
  8. Was it the Macintosh LC , they used the Motorola 68020 and actually they run between 16-33 MHz 4 MB of RAM and less than .5 GB of Hard disk, that was the first PC I worked on and the first PC a messed it up and first ever PC i have fixed. It was my farther's, as he was cool about me messing it up, I know from inside that he was furious with me haven broke it before I fixed it. Still have it to this day, in working condition but with no apps.
  9. Hi, Some people have reported here in the forum that they are using very low spec devices (intel atom with 1 GB of RAM) running Windows 8.1 for the same purpose. Having said that, it is always better to get more RAM, as when the RAM is full some space from the storage unite would be borrowed to act as the RAM but with lower accessing speed when compared to the RAM, which would result in the system halting for few second from time to time in the middle of a certain process. Therefore, the question is how much RAM is good for a user on a particular device. You could simply test that by simply running all the required apps on the same OS and a similar device and go to the "Task Manager" (based on windows 8.1 and similar) from the taps on top go to "Performance" on the left side click on "Memory", and see how much of RAM space you are currently using and how much is free. For more detailed stats click on the "Open Resource Monitor -> Memory", on the left lower end of the Task Manger window, and this would show how much each active application/process is currently consuming. Always put in mind that used memory for a single app would increase and decrease based on what you are doing (for example when applying a filter in PS), so it is always good to add few GBs of RAM extra so that the device would run smooth. Note: I said a similar device because usually laptops and PCs manufacturers add their own application that would be running in the background and that would cause less free RAM space (but not two much, and not an issue when having a 4GB RAM). Also, know that antivirus apps run in the background and usually consumes a lot of resources so it is always good idea to find a light but effective antivirus. If thinking about upgrading to Windows 10 in the future the published recommended system requirement is very similar to 8.1 Last but not least, always check the (Minimum) and (Recommended) system requirement, for the needed apps to give you simple idea of it is required, and if software developer don't mention it that would usually means that the system requirement are not that critical. Swag72, I really would recommend you to change your OS from Vista , as it is the worst OS Microsoft have ever had. If your device drivers are supported change to either XP or 7, both would perform way more better on any device, on less it is an OS that you personally prefer.
  10. I do agree with you Cath, you have a really good point this is way IMO it is always good to delay the purchase of such devices to the last minute as their is something new out their every day. But most Astronomy related programs are not that demanding (with few exemptions) and any 3 or 4 year old device would be enough for it. Peter I'm really interested in knowing if you have tried running Stellarium 0.13 on the HP stream 7, would it handle it well? as I think Intel Atom only support OpenGL ES (a small version of OpenGL).
  11. Any device have limitation, and a time spam. PC are no exception, when thinking about buying a device I would always suggest to start your search based on the manufacture that you really trust and like. I could give you to PC all made in china one is a Mac and the other is an Acer, and you would find the Mac do sell for way more than the other. The reason for that is the components and specs that are not put into the sheet in front of the consumer or they don't under stand them, as most buyers may only understand, how fast, how much storage and screen size. And if they have a little bit of knowledge on PC they might dig into what type and brand the CPU is, what graphic card it has and what is the RAM size. And there are those components where it is really hard to know how good they are until tested, like the quality of the battery, screen, keyboard, storage unite, and usually these are the things that affects the price a lot from one brand to another. I'm not hear to ask you to go and pay as much as you could and get the best device, but you need to know your budget and what devices you already have. When you put your eyes on one divece always investigate its limitation before learning what it could do. See if those limitation would bother you or not, would be paying more and getting over these limitation would benefit you more. You told me that you already have a laptop, so if and only if that laptop is a little bit old. I would really advise you to wait until it would crash and buy your self a really decent light weighted 2-in-1 laptop, such as the MacBook Air (but needs to install windows), Microsoft surface or Lenovo (Yogo/Flex/X1 Carbon). If waiting is an issue and you would really fancy buying a tablet soon I think your best choose is to go with either HP Stream 7 (5701), based on Psychobilly recommendation (check his thread a lot of info and feedback their) the price is real bargain, but if you feel that 1 GB of RAM is not going to work with you could go with the Lenovo MiiX 3 that usually have a 2GB of RAM.
  12. thumbs up for a windows device more flexible and have better support and compatibility. but most importantly, what is your budget? are you willing to go as high as 500 pounds?
  13. You could instal stellarium 13 MESA version (as most people download the standard version), this would solve the problem where most of the old PCs' problem is that they don't support OpenGL 2.1. So, as long as you have more than 256 MB of Ram and a graphic card that support 3D, you would be able to run it. However, it my lag when running the application if you have a low performing PC.
  14. It should be 51°43'12.0"N (latitude) and 3°21'36.0"W (longitude) For the latitude: 51°=floor[51.72] 43'=floor[60*(51.72-51)] 12"=floor[3600*(51.72-51-43/60)] and in a similar way you could calculate the longitude. If you have a (-) sign in the latitude it would mean South and in longitude it would mean West, else it is North and East (respectively). I more convenient way to directly get the calculation you could just write coordinates in decimal format in google maps (on your phone or browser) and it will give you the result in degree minutes seconds format.
  15. if you intend to use a DC/AC converter plugged in you cigarette car outlet, then why not just buy a suitable car adapter for your equipment, and a cigarette lighter socket splitter (with USB ports if required). But have in mind that some cars sockets are fused between 10 and 13 amps , i.e. at 12v it can only holds between (120-160 watts).
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