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About Gerrymac

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    Vauxhall, Central London
  1. Just saw the damndest thing! A bright orange fireball over Central London about 11:35pm (about 15 minutes ago). Something burning up on reentry perhaps? It was moving along at about five times the speed of the ISS and with the same eerie silence, and eventually petered out towards the north east. I got a couple of photos, but even on maximum ISO, the camera exposure was way too long and so it's badly blurred and very noisy.
  2. Hi, Yes, everything goes just fine all the way through camera selection and calibration (although it sometimes complains that one of my backlash parameters), and then as soon as I press "guide" - the tracking stops dead on the mount and of course the star then slips oiff the screen wquickly after.
  3. I have a rather specific question which I hope that Celestron Nexremote autoguiding experts can help me with. I'm just getting started and I have a Skywatcher 80ED guiding a Celestron C11 on a CGE mount. The autoguide camera is a Neximage, guiding a Canon EOS1D. I have connected the PC to my handcontroller using the programming cable's RJ11 socket and at the PC end I have a serial to USB conversion cable from Maplin. I have used both PHD and Guidemaster but each time I get perfectly set up and click on "begin guiding" the CGE mount promptly stops tracking and the star is seen to move off the d
  4. I think there's maybe a little misunderstanding in some of the notes above. Yes, I too find that mine works perfectly in the cold. Simply wrap an eyepiece heater around it and that will (a) keep the battery warmer and ( heat the lasing head of the pointer. Even if i have not heated the finder, it will generally start as a weak red spot but in a few moments comes to life as a nice clear green line. The beam is completely invisible off axis unless its raining, snowing or foggy. I think we can agree that these are not the conditions in which any of us ever remove the cover of our telescopes. In a
  5. I think they're perfectly OK. I have the Celestron laser and it works nicely. That said, a Telrad and /or a finder complement it too. The chances of an aeroplane flying through the beam are very low and in any case we 'laser finding' astronomers are pretty responsible as a group and dont go waving the things around gratuitously like gormless teenagers. I find that I need to heat it with an eyepiece heater and that even then it can sometimes get going slowly. Recommended.
  6. This whole subject of battery power for telescopes and accessories is a thorny one. I get the feeling that pretty well everyone who starts out as a newbie gets caught out - I certainly did. In many ways it's a rite of passage. Buying a good mount is seen as the occasion to buy one of the 17AH clones from the likes of Celestron of Skywatcher. These things are wholly unsuited to the slow pull of current over very many hours, and the presence of those ludicouus 'car starter' 250Amp thick cables and clamps is the giveaway. I have been caught out twice by accidentally draining the battery and then
  7. I want to start some guided astrophotography with my CGE1100 and I have a Canon DSLR with 2" adapters. Is there a 2" guider out there which will securely lock to my 2" diagonal (so I can be sure the DSLR won't go for a tumble) and if so which one is the best in your experience. Are there any features I should look out for or beware of? I already have the little 12.5mm 1.25" illuminated guiding eyepiece. Gerrymac
  8. I also used the maplin PSUs, and there's no doubt that they are very good, but even with an RCB in line, it's not safe to have them outside and exposed to the risk of a rainshower. The RCB, assuming it's recently tested and working will cut the power if there's earth leakage, but even so, this is not the safe and approved way to provide external power, especially when there's 240V around. I think that this should be done with batteries or a properly designed external power supply. If the DC cable run is not too long, the cable is of suitable guage, and because the Maplin PSU's output 13.8V, th
  9. Thanks John and Gary. I have to confess that I was a bit worried about the disparity in focal lengths when it came to accurate guidance for an f=2800mm SCT. I wondered whether another very light SCT might be the answer? However I have decided to go with a refractor; I'm in the happy position of not being terribly price sensitive, so i can afford to make a 'learning' mistake - but not to make a habit of it. Cheers
  10. Here's the twist... I have a good C11 on a CGE mount, and now I want to autoguide. I was told that many SCT users who buy a cheap refractor (like the ST80) for autoguiding often end up migrating to the refractor for imaging and try to guide with the SCT. So, rather than waste £100 on a poor guidescope, can you suggest a good guidescope that will be a worthy visual scope and yet allow me to image with it until I upgrade later? Perhaps one of the WO scopes? I have about £250 to spend and perhaps just a little more if there's an obvious scope at the next price point. It will need to be mounted on
  11. It's just turned 3am GMT and I've just covered the beast with it's Telegizmo eiderdown and brought in all the unpluggables. The C11 gave a good account of itself on lunar detail, but Mars is a boiling wobbling mess and some nightclub around Vauxhall is adding to the skyglow here in Central London with some rotating upward pointing spotbeam carousel (where's my catapult?) The elements were against me too because the scope has been drowning in dew most of the night. I fell to thinking that my Celestron C11 dewshield is a pretty poor piece of vinyl- it's not perfectly cylindrical, and so I strong
  12. As always, thanks for the informed replies. I'm very keen to use the optical sensor because its job is supposed to be to detect the temperature differential and thus cut down on current drain when power simply isn't needed. Reduced power consumption means I'm less likely to fall victim to my 17Ah Powertank going low. I think that the 11" dewstrap for the C11 is the single biggest draw on current when I'm out in the cold, and when the Kendrick senses a voltage drop across the battery, it shuts down all dew heating. Powertanks are a curse - I'm on my second, but that's a whole different sorry st
  13. I have a Digifire 10 which will be keeping my C11 collector and an eyepiece warm this winter. The Digifire 10 comes with what they call an "optical sensor", but nowehere in the instructions does it say where to connect the sensor. As it's attached to some velcro it would seem to want to be attached to the collector herater strap - but that seems a bit crazy because what will that measure? If it measures that the collector is too cold and so switches on the heater, it will instantly warm up and turn the heater off again? I Googled this but could see nothing that amounts to an idiots' guide. Any
  14. Michael, Thanks. The thought never came into my head, although i can see the perfect sense of it. I will search around for a CGE bar. There were none on the first light optics page you listed, but my eye was most certainly caught by the ADM counterweight bar and weights advertised on the same page. Do you think that these are suitable, or are they aimed at Alt-Az users?
  15. Thanks, that's what I'll do. The barbell weights are crude and they don't have any locking ability, so I'm not keen on them other than as a stop-gap. I've just been politely told by David Hinds Ltd that "CGE counterweights are no longer available". Looks like I'll have to get some 'bling' stainless steel one fabricated. I'll post what I find out, but I do suspect it will leave me a few quid lighter than is decent.
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