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About LaunchPhotog

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    New Jersey
  1. Thank you all for the quick replies! I really appreciate the input! If I were to use more wire or purchase wire that has a higher resistance, would this prevent my batteries from overheating?
  2. Hello! I have been looking through the forums sections of this site and found that nichrome wire is a very popular material for dew heaters. I was using my DSLR a several weeks back, and the dew was horrible and it encouraged me to build a nichrome heater. My first heater prototype consisted of 22" of wire with a resistance of 4.08 ohm per foot connected directly into a 12V power supply (consisting of 8 AA batteries in parallel). It was wrapped in duck tape. It worked for a while, but then the batteries began to overheat and I had to pull the heater out to let them cool. When I used the same prototype heater on 6V (4 AA batteries) it didn't have this same overheating issue, but it produced less heat then when it was on 12V. I'm not using a pulse width modulator, but would that solve this issue? I'm worried as the heater is only really around 8 ohm, it may be short circuiting with such little resistance. The wire can't be terribly long as this is just to heat a DSLR lens. Any input on a solution would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
  3. Thank you! I will try that out! I did install the ASCOM drivers, but the computer was receiving malfunctioning codes back from the adapter. The ST4 to USB adapter was connected between the AG port on VX and the USB on my computer, while the camera was directly connected by USB to my computer.
  4. Hello I recently just purchased an astrophotography telescope system consisting of the Celestron Advanced VX with the Omni 150XL OTA, an Orion 50mm guidescope, and a ZWO ST1034 Astronomy Color Camera. I also purchased a ZWO ST4 to USB adapter to connect the camera to PHD guiding. I can't seem to get it to work at all, the USB side is connected to my computer and the ST4 end is connected to the autoguide port on the mount. I try to go through the prompts to connect the adapter, and when I try to connect through PHD guiding and ASCOM, it says mount not connected on the ST4USB properties, and when I try to manually move the scope through the computer, it turns up a fatal error and will not run at all. I don't know why it is failing, I am wondering if I should exchange and go for the ASI camera for 270 with a built in autoguiding port. If anyone knows how to fix it, it would be greatly appreciated!
  5. I appreciate it, I will contact them. There is always the possibly of buying an extender to the scope.
  6. Ok, cool, I am seeing that I obviously need a strong mount to really do any meaningful astrophotography. I was talking to some people at my local astronomy club and I think I will be going with the Celestron Advanced VX 6 inch reflector, and going with a ZWO autoguider and Orion guidescope. Possibly also a polar finder, I don't know if that is necessary on the scope for an accurate polar alignment. I read somewhere that the telescope mount can help automate it so I don't know if it is needed. THank you for all the help!
  7. Yeah Peter, those links are to the UK for EQ3-2, I am worried they are going to cost a lot for shipping overseas, especially with the weight in the EQ mount.
  8. Wow, those are stunning photographs! I would love to produce images like that, I am considering the EQ5 and would be willing to buy a 2nd hand mount, but would I get improved accuracy with a motorized barn door tracker? I may be able to build something like that but I don't know if it is worth it.
  9. Thank you all for the responses! So from what I am seeing, it is not a good idea to get the Astromaster right now. But I do have the Canon DSLR with a 300mm lens, maybe I can just get a motor driven EQ mount and the lower focal length then some telescopes may allow longer exposures. The EQ3-2 seems pretty awesome, but with the motor drive it is quite a lot. This mount from Orion Telescopes is a bit cheaper and includes the motor drive, I just don't know how it compares to the EQ3-2. At 300mm, an exposure of 30 seconds to 1 minute would be nice, but I don't know if it is doable. And for satellite tracking, like the International Space Station, and even planetary imaging, would it be a good idea to modify a webcam for these or just use my DSLR? I have tried my DSLR with Jupiter and Barlows and it came out really small in the picture, but I don't know if I was doing something wrong. For satellite and planetary imaging I already have a reflector telescope on an Az-Alt mount so I think that may be better for those operations.
  10. Hello I am pretty new to astronomy, I have been doing visual observations for a while now, but I have been really becoming interested in shooting some long exposures of nebulae and galaxies, and some imagery of Earth orbiting satellites. I really don't want to spend that much at this point in my life, I am only 14 so going $1500 for Advanced VX with an auto guider unfortunately won't work out lol. I do have a DSLR and I do have a lot of experience with launch photography and DIY rigs, so I was wondering if I really needed an autoguider for maybe about 30 seconds or so on an exposure if I bump up the ISO to maybe 1600. And I know the CG3 is a really cheap mount, but if I was to buy one of the Astromaster telescopes and put a decent OTA on it, and I get the polar alignment perfect, is it doable? If I could modify the mount or motor drive itself that could also work, I have experience with Arduino systems. I really want to try to get a telescope soon because my family is going on a vacation to the Big Island of Hawaii for a week or so and the skies will be amazing, maybe even a few nights on Mauna Kea with no atmospheric distortion . I just really would appreciate any input on using the CG3 mount with maybe slight modifications and a new OTA, and maybe how long I can expose the images without the stars trailing off. I do know that a DSLR's sensor is too large for Earth orbiting satellites, so I was thinking maybe completely tearing apart a USB webcam and modifying it to work with the OTA as well. Thank you! Alex Polimeni www.alexpolimeniphotography.weebly.com
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