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Everything posted by Traveller

  1. 1100D is very good for beginner DSLR AP work. Lightweight, and very easily modified.
  2. Thanks Julian, I am also leaning towards a new AZEQ6 at the moment.
  3. Just seeking some user experience if you had an EQ6 with belt mod and then upgraded to an AZEQ6. Was the upgrade worth it? I am heading to the UK from Australia shortly and am considering buying a belt mod kit for my EQ6 while I am there. The other option is for me to get an AZEQ6 back in Australia. What were the experiences from users of both (I have read a bit about the AZEQ6 and seen them in action so aware of their capabilities). Any manufacturers of belt mod kits members can recommend? Thanks Bo
  4. Thanks Lars and Mike, I just checked and it appears DSS supports XE-1, I will give it a go now. Bo
  5. Hello all, I am keen to experiment shooting raw with my Fuji XE-1, but have a few questions for the more experienced users on SGL. 1. Can Deep Sky Stacker handle Fuji's RAF raw file format? Or do I need to convert RAF to TIFF or FIT first before DSS? 2. Which programs do you use or recommend? I have the bundled program called SilkyPix. 3. What settings do you use when converting RAF to TIFF/FIT? Do you change the settings when using the camera at prime focus for DSO v when you use camera lenses for widefield? Thank you in advance! Bo
  6. Well done on your first camera mod. To answer your question, yes, you will need a UV/IR filter to combat star bloat when using a refractor. (I was told it is not needed on reflectors). I have a modded 1100D and use that with my ED80 and have a EOS Clip in Uv/IR filter.
  7. Have you read through this thread? http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/248434-please-help-with-phd2/ Have a look through the video I posted, it will be very informative. Tearing out your hair is all part of the learning curve. Bo
  8. Also have a listen to this online video on getting the most of your PHD2.
  9. Click on the brain icon (advanced setup). Go through the tabs and make sure you have entered the key data on scope FL, guide camera etc. Under the Mount tab, play around with the calibration steps, there is an automatic calculator with your pre-entered scope FL and guide camera to make sure it has the right calibration steps. Failing all that (assuming PA is roughly there), increase the calibration steps to 2500 ms. Let me know how it goes. Bo
  10. The 450 is a very capable camera and easily modified (but not as easy to mod as the 1100d). It's a nice DIY project as you can pick up second hand eos bodies cheaply. I highly recommend Backyard eos to save your neck and knees plus it can automate a number of processes. I also purchased a Fuji mirror less recently and am very impressed with its TransX sensor.
  11. No, no, not tomatoes, po-tay-toes....
  12. That's a nice graph. Personally, I tend to tone down the RA Aggressiveness down to 70-75. I found that tend to smooth out the bumps a bit. It's just a personal thing. Bo
  13. I have a self modded DSLR (Canon 1100D) and a OSC (QHY 8). I only used QHY 8 on limited occasions due to my limited time under the stars and my unfamiliarity with Maxim DL (for QHY). I have Backyard EOS which is very easy to use. The only gripe I have about DSLR is the conversion time required for the camera to process the image and then ready itself for the next shot (and if you want a time gap in between each shot to cool the CMOS sensor, then it can be a long night with minimal data collection time). Now I have a pier set up, I plan to use the QHY a bit more and learn about it in greater detail. It has very fast download time and a cooled sensor means very minimal time lag between each shot. Hope that helps. Bo
  14. This is a project which I planned for a few months but never go around doing it. With winter setting in (in Australia, and the famous clouds and rain that's associated with Melbourne!), I finally pulled my fingers out and go it done. It's a relatively lightweight pier. Here are the dimensions Hole: 450 x 450 x 600 mm (12 x 20 kgs of pre mix concrete). Pier: 150 mm SHS (6 mm steel, reinforced with 10 mm gussets), 250 mm square bottom plate and 250 mm round top plate, bolted through a 40 mm thick 400 mm square concrete paver and set into the footing as the concrete was drying. The key in this design is the adapter plate, which I had it milled out of a 150 mm round section of aluminium 25 mm thick. The adapter is anodised and spray painted (the dye bath I made didn't work). To assemble, I first had to bolt the adapter to the top plate of the pier (M12 bolts). I also took the bottom plate of the EQ mount extension pillar and bolted it to the centre of the adapter (after making sure the extension pillar connection holes are positioned so as to line up with polar axis is). Next I connected the extension pillar to the mount itself. Finally, I lowered the mount with extension pillar over the pillar bottom plate and connected the lot together. I hope this project can give others similar ideas. Cheers Bo
  15. A quick dozen photos 1/2 to 1/4 sec exposure at ISO 4000. The camera was a Fuji XE-1 and lens was Nikon 85mm f1.8 stepped down to f4. Taken on evening of 21 June in Melbourne Australia (my backyard). Crescent phase of Venus can be seen at 200% and two moons of Jupiter can be seen at 300%. Cheers Bo
  16. 10 mins seem a long single exposure, esp at 1600 ISO. I tend to shot 5 min at 800 ISO. More data will help. Have you thought about getting a cooler box? That will reduce noise and allow fr longer exposures. Bo
  17. 35x30 secs at 800 ISO should get you plenty of data for a bright DSO like carinae. What was the seeing condition like? Any light pollution? Is your camera modified?
  18. The red dot finder is sub standard on an 8SE I replaced it with a 8x50 finder. I also upgraded the visual back to allow for 2" EPs. Bottom line: while the OTA is light, by the time you upgrade and add accessories, add another 2kgs on top.
  19. HEQ-5 is a a reasonably portable mount. I have an EQ-6 pro which is slightly heavier but has better payload capacity. My next mount is AZEQ-6 same capacity as my EQ-6 but has built in encoders and belt drive.
  20. A C8 is a great general purpose visual scope and quiet portable. It is not recommended for astrophoto work unless you get the f6.3 reducer. This will do two things: 1. Reduce coma around the edges of the field (spherical aberration), and 2. Reduces exposure time by changing f ration from 10 to 6.3. Of course you can get scopes like electron edge HD, which has all round flat field but you have to dig a bit deeper into your pocket (plus you are still left with an f10 scope).
  21. CLS filters are worth the money in light polluted areas. For heavily light polluted areas, I use a Baader UHC-s filter, but that filter really block out the reflection nebula. My image of Trifid is almost devoid of the blue reflection nebular because of the Baader filter. You can get away from CLS filter by using 30 sec exposures or less, but you won't pick up much detail of DSOs.
  22. Focal length is another factor, or rather, the forgiveness of an ED80 with FL of 600mm compared with 900mm with an 100 f9. Shorty FL will allow a certain degree of tracking error etc, which is more pronounced at longer FLs. I can easily get away with a 50mm mini guidescope with my ED80 but on longer FL, I will need a longer FL guidescope or an OAG. Bo
  23. Hi Luna, I have a 8SE. It is a very good visual scope and the mount go to is very easy to use. However, as others said, the mount is suitable for only lunar and planetary imaging and not suited for ap work. The long focal length also makes the scope very sensitive to any errors. I actually sold my SE mount and now use my eq6 with the ota. Focusing is an issue with the round knob, as you cannot be 100% sure where the focusing point is (unlike a r&p focuser). If you do want to go down the ap path, I suggest a proven preformer like an ed 80 or a 8" f5 (f4 is ok, but tricky to collimate) and a heq5 as a minimum for the mount. Good luck, Bo
  24. Thanks again everyone, I had a quick search of past threads on Kielder observatory and managed to get a few more hints. BTW, anyone know of any astro related places I should visit down towards Stoke on Trent? I will be flying to London from Melbourne, spend a few days there (Greenwich and Natural History Museum already on the agenda). Then I will take a train to Newcastle where I will pick up a hire car to get around Newcastle/Kielder. I will then drive to Stoke on Trent via the Lakes District before dropping the car off at Stoke on Trent and take another train back to London (and onto Denmark and Belgium). Great forum and nice people at SGL... Bo
  25. Thanks everyone for your tips, especially Iain. I will look into the booking situations ASAP. At this stage, my plan is to stay there over the Sept 12/13 weekend. Bo
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