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About GeoffB

  • Rank
    Star Forming

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  • Gender
  • Interests
    Photography, and now astrography but only a bigginer.
  • Location
    Hastings UK
  1. Having just checked out the FLO website a LiFePo battery which is 7ah cost about 3x the cost of the Halfords jump start but if it has the longevity being espoused here and a real life cycle equivalent of 1.5x the ah of a conventional lead acid cell and a fraction of the weight might make it a brilliant option plus it comes not only with a charger unit but also a plug for the cigarette adapter for your mount. Now to pray the wife does not look at my credit card bill lol. https://www.firstlightoptics.com/batteries-powerpacks/tracer-12v-7ah-lifepo4-battery-pack.html
  2. Thanks for your suggestion Ronin as I must admit having looked at the SW option I still would most probably try to mod the halfords one with a better battery. If I did not go for a lifepro option which would mean the pennies saved would go in my mount savings pot as I am busy saving up for a decent mount. My kids looked upon the halfords powerpack as their big power bank lol it kept their phones alive for weeks on holiday etc.
  3. I have a Halfords battery set up which just went down and unable to bring it back up it did appear to have a variable out put because of its types of out lets but perhaps the kids killed it during the summer keeping all their gadgets alive iphones laptops etc. 2 x 12v lighter plugs 1x usb plug then the jump start leads. It lasted the year but was bought for only £25 in last years sale. Thanks for the comments here as I can now plan my christmas present list to myself lol.
  4. Spacehead, I know where your coming from and can say I need to learn how to improve my skills to match my budget and kit. I get disappointed by my results and then look at what I managed last year and look at the improvements I have made and how by spending a little the rapid gains can be made. For example £20 on a cheap intervalmeter meant I could get better stacks and therefore better pictures. I admit I need to save for abetter mount but I aint got those bucks available at present and it will take a year to save for that. But working with what I have has made me a better photographer and appreciate what I have in my arsenal at present. I hope I can improve my basic astronomy skills to further enhance my kit as better Polar Alignment means greater tracking precision and therefore improved framing of my subject. This is one area I know I need to improve and no matter how much I can or can not spend on better kit will not solve my short comings in this area.
  5. I also have the st120 and find it an exceptional piece of kit for fast set up my other scope being a behemoth of a newtonian 200pds and a 4inch nexstar but thevviews I have got in the last month with my startravel 120 have been excelent prior to this scope I had the cheap backpack celestron 70mm as my car boot resident on a very lightweight photographic tripod. I agree the moon is such a wonderful subject and there are times I have all three of my scopes trained on it as it is so easy to be drawn into its beauty.
  6. Having looked online if you donthave a terrestrial DSlr there are some good deals with the Canon 1200 D I believe for £300 that major store that sells all things electrical has a bundle with 2 lenses suitable for both day and night shots.
  7. A lovely set of pictures Andre the D810a obviously helped but I think you did the hard work. Its great seeing the milky way in this way. The mapping of your pictures really put things in context. I might have to mount one of my aged nikons on a poĺar aligned mount for shooting with my 18mm or 50mm lenses.
  8. Great shot I now needto save up for a Nikon D810a and a trip to the far north with clear skies.
  9. If you're in with deep pockets th Nikon D810a is an option the test pictures on the Nikon litterature appear good and the boast a 900 second sub time and multiple exposures. The sales lit states it is also easily a dual purpose camera but one of its draw backs is its 36megapixel count meaning it eats up memory cards like they were floppy disk drives.
  10. That is looking really good, I wish we had good skies over the last week or so.
  11. I presume you have a chain of decent Auto stores in Denmark check out one of them or go online here http://www.halfords.com/workshop-tools/garage-equipment/jump-leads/phaze-4-in-1-jump-starter. I hope this helps sorry but I forgot to post the link.
  12. Halfords currently have a phaze 4 in1 jumpstart kit with a 17ah battery for £39 it has 2x cigarette lighters and a usb charging point. It is a lot cheaper than the skywatcher or celestron equivalent but appears to be of a similar spec in the battery dept as it is a sealed lead acid unit needing to be charged every 6 weeks or so. If you want deep cycle batteries you can find them on the net and creat a heath robinsonset up by fixing a couple of lighter points to them or gutting an old celestron powerpack and replacing the battery. If you are mechanically minded you could do that with the halfords one but as I am not that adept I will stick with my cheap halfords unit which runs my scope and dew heater.
  13. To check polarity buy your self a cheap electrical tester from one of the DiY chains they are only about £20 and a lot cheaper than stepper motors. However I think there must be an international standard otherwise celestron and meade would not be able to determine the polarity and their leads would not be fit for purpose.
  14. For £39 Halfords have a 17ah pack with 2x cigarette plugs and a usb port. It is a lot cheaper than a tracer granted ti has a SLA batteryso is heavierand lime any sla battery pack comes with a frequently recharge notice, but is just over half the price of the celestron 7ah pack, and definately well below the cost of their 17ah equivalent ok you might need to put a bit of red cellophane over the included white led lights but if you use a laptop camera and motorised mount this could aid your power needs possibly by adding an inverter.
  15. Hi, I would echo ronin if you mount is similar to that of my 4se you have the ability to convert to EQ mounting the one problem I believe you may have is field rotation but this is reduced as your using an EQ mount as opposed to a Alt Az goto, (I dont mind being corrected by another more knowledgable member). Polar alignment is relatively easy and not as scary as it sounds there are even a few videos showing you how to do it on youtube woth a 4se nexstar mount. Getting this right will let you take longer shots and stacking them registax is a free piece of Software for photo editing and lots of people use it, yet again I believe youtube has some good tutorial videos, As somebody said imaging took off in the Amature world as the internet began to flourish and astronomers are always learning from each other. In maine I should think you are not alone so if you can try and find an astroclub you might get a lot of support and mentoring face 2 face which obviously can be beter to many as help being at hand rather than remotely from the wider community even though it issupportive is not there when your pulling your hair out. A focal reducer will also be a help as it will give you wider fields of view and let more light into your camera, thus allowing shorter exposures to gather the same amount of light. I would continue learning with your present set up as it is the cheapest option I currently am trying to live with in a budget of sub $1000 so have bought a skywatcher 200pds via amazon warehouse and a second hand mount bought a second hand nexstar 4se and utilised my older photographic kit I already have so far I am below budget. My 200pds on a motorised mount is my imaging set up. Rather like you I am new to the game but I will agree an intervalometer is essential as it really helps with remotely taking the pictures along with locking you mirror in the up position to stop getting vibrations in your pictures. If you set your camera on shutter delay by a few seconds this has the same effect as remotely operating your camera. I hope this helps a little I still am on the learning curve but every session you learn more about your kit and the mystical art of photographing the night sky. Geoff I hope this helps
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