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Everything posted by JohnSadlerAstro

  1. Hi everyone My first attempt at processing with PixInsight, I have been quite relaxed with most of the processes there's probably still some room for improvement. M51, 4.5h of 120-180 sec subs @ ISO800. Eos 1000d, NEQ6 mount, autoguiding with asi120mm mini. I'm amazed by how many small galaxies are lurking in the background, there's a huge cluster underneath the bright star at the lower left. John
  2. That is absolutely incredible! I love the detail at all the brightness levels, from the really faint star clouds around the spiral arms right to the centre of the core....it looks like something from Hubble! With this as the L, i don't think a colour version can go particularly wrong, it will be interesting to see what extra detail colour can bring out. John
  3. Because I wasnt able to use the scope for several months, this happened rather badly to mine, there were lots of cobwebs so I ended up taking the back mirror cell off and pulling them all out. I'm not sure what the effects of spider droppings on the mirror could be though.... John
  4. I didn't sadly, while there was an dew shield for the 127 mac there was none to fit the 130pds. In the end I made one out of (you guessed it) cardboard and black paper. It has lasted for a couple of years already, and is showing no signs of falling apart. Just as good as the camping mats some owners use! John
  5. Hi, I don't have one of these myself (I bought the film and made a cardboard filter), but I have purchased an Astrozap dew shield which was listed for the 127mm Mak. Unfortunately it was around 1-2 cm too short, so I would advise you go for the 155-165 mm size which is recommended for a 130mm Newt. I think its the ring which holds the cross vanes in place which makes the Newt's diameter a lot larger than its actual mirror size. Hope this helps John
  6. I had exactly the same experience, the seeing was very varied but settled down occasionally to show really impressive granulation. The spots have shrunk to something really tiny, I couldn't find them visually but got them with the asi120. This is a 320x320 stack, 15% of 25k frames with 130PDS (650mm f). Im really pleased to have finally seen a sunspot, I was forgetting what they looked like, its been so long! John
  7. I find the collimation on my 130's secondary never seems to hold, as well. The number of times ive had to adjust it is really frustrating, especially as it always seems to end up a bit hit or miss as to whether I ever actually acheive anything like collimation! It's definitely worth pulling the primary down towards the back end of the tube though, the light spill is quite impressive if the mirrors all the way up. I use a couple of hats to keep the light out now. John
  8. Hi, First of all, thank you for all the advice and suggestions, I really appreciate it! I've been working through the suggestions: I made sure the drivers were the latest version, and updated the firmware. I also tried the ASCOM drivers, and set it to 8-bit. The issue almost went, I thought it was cured at first, but after leaving the camera running for around 5 mins it hung and would not restart, I had to make a couple of attempts to begin the looping again. The end result is: I decided to order a 120 mini as a guidecam replacement, I hope to continue to use the 120mc for lunar/planetary and possibly some livestacking. Thanks again for the advice, eliminating these causes helped me reach a decision I didnt want to make, but needed to! John
  9. Some really nice images above, this weather combined with the new moon is brilliant! My first image this year is more of a test to be honest, the guide-cam incompatibility was just too bad to do guiding. (replacement is ordered ) I decided to do a quick half hour unguided run, to get something out of the session, and to check that the tracking and DSLR are still in good order. I'm surprised by the lack of trailing, I didn't do drift alignment, just quickly used the polar scope. Stacked & Processed in APP, I converted to B&W because the background colour noise was too strong, and there wasn't much genuine colour signal in the galaxies due to the short integration. From looking at the stars, I suspect I need to do some collimation. It doesn't look anything bad, hopefully just the primary! 49*40sec @ ISO 1600, EOS 1000D. 130P-DS on NEQ6, unguided. Thanks for looking John
  10. What version of windows are you running? From consultation with a few other imagers it seems that recent versions of Win 10 have caused the problems with this camera to get worse... Unfortunately the behaviour has continued, so I may need to get a replacement that PHD can work with properly. Im eyeing up the ASI120MM Mini, its been recommended as the solution to the 120MC's woeful compatability trouble. Apparently dropped/split frames and corrections are a very common issue with the 120MC. That has certainly been my experience, even when the camera was "working". Its odd because for some people there seems to be no issue whatsoever. John
  11. Hi, I am attempting to get the setup ready for imaging tonight (first time in many months, so its a learning curve all over again!). Everything seems to be working well except the guidecam. I'm using an ASI120MC through a 50mm SW finderscope, its always been a little funny with PHD2, but today I'm having trouble even getting the image looping started. Once the looping begins, frames are very slow and irregular, and entirely stop if I take the cap off the finderscope. It isn't a connection speed or camera issue as far as I can tell, I just got over 26fps in SharpCap using the same image size etc. Drivers are all up to date (from the ZWO website). Is there anything that i can do to make PHD recognise the camera's photographic abilities and work properly with it? John
  12. Im hoping to get the 130PDS out tonight on my NEQ6, its been at least 6 months since the setup was even assembled (university mostly to blame, but that's been called off now so i have no excuses ). Currently checking over everything, except for the USB hub it seems to be in good-ish shape so hopefully I can get some test images in! John
  13. Thats a shame. But its good that we know today rather than having really short notice. A big thank you to everyone who helped get it together, hopefully next year the weather will be a bit better. After saturdays rain we would need to go to mount everest to stay dry John
  14. Complete incompetence in setting up a tent! I'm probably going to arrive around 5ish, so it will be a race against darkness I fear. Is anyone going to bring a tractor to pull us out of the mud? John
  15. I'm wondering about bringing the NEQ6 and 130pds, although everyone's lights will probably dim when it slews! (perhaps thats a good thing, we are meant to keep lp to a minimum) John
  16. It's going to be my first time camping, so I'm not quite sure what to expect! I haven't got a tent yet, hoping to get something this weekend. Are there any types I should particularly avoid? (My student budget will need to take a slap in the face, I fear! ) John
  17. Hi, I've booked! I can only make the Friday night, due to uni schedule. Hopefully I can arrive by lunch time on the Friday though and stay on until after the hog roast on Saturday evening. Clear skies! John
  18. Wouldn't it be funny if budget astrophotographers from M31 are saying the same about the Milky Way right now..... John
  19. Hi Stu, its good to be back! I've looked at the 150 several times before, reviews seem to be a bit mixed about its performance at higher magnification. Otherwise though, it seems to fit the bill quite nicely as its well within the size and weight capability of the neq. Have you ever used one? What was it like for general viewing? Its very tempting, and just down the road from me.... but I really want to tread carefully and go for performance over looks, I have a chronic weakness for fracs which must be kept in check! John
  20. Hi, Well, first a bit of an apology, I haven't been active on here much recently, my 1000d is beginning to breathe its last so the imaging is on hold for a year or two until I can invest in a proper, good camera. Meanwhile, I'm doing visual observing and planetary imaging with my 130PDS and NEQ6. I've decided that I should be able afford a budget-ish (roughly <£300) second scope for visual and/or planetary imaging, so long as its the last astro purchase for a year or two. I really want to get a better view of the Mars 2020 opposition than I did last year with the 90mm frac. I live in b4.5 skies so I'm not averse to some deep sky observing capability too, although my 130PDS does a good job on widefield targets. I'm happy to use the 2nd hand market, although I'm aware that some scopes are more common on astrobuysell and SGL than others. What sort of scope would you folks recommend? I don't know if I should go with a dob or an OTA of some sort for my NEQ. I've owned both newts and a frac before, but I really don't have the experience with different scopes to work out whats best for me. There's also the possibility of a more portable setup, but with uni starting next month I'm not convinced Ill have the time to drive out to dark locations and stuff. (Unless I can find a really nice setup going cheap, that is! ) Clear skies! John
  21. Wow that is just fantastic! You've done a great job of the processing there. John
  22. Wow those are really nice echos! It would be so cool to map their directions, your "pings" seem to have far higher resolution than most. Its fascinating the way that they seem to split up on different frequencies. John
  23. Nice shot! That was some lightning, thankfully it wasn't loud, being really high up amongst clouds. We had (at Chippenham) around 3-4 flashes per second during the best 20 mins (not counting the flickering from each flash), the most I've ever seen. The sky seemed to be lit up by a set of failing LED strip lights, quite disorientating. John
  24. Hi, Wow, there really are some nice photos on this thread, definitely worth reading! These were a couple of quick shots from Monday "morning", Saturn with the NEQ6 and ASI120MC. 1. Saturn from a video of around 15k frames, with 2x (dreadful) barlow. Its a small image, really I could do with getting a decent quality 3x for this kind of stuff, still using the one that came with the explorer 130! 2. Again with the Barlow, this time a single 5 sec exposure to show Saturn's moons: (L) Dione, (R) Tethys, just under the planet is Rhea, and under that is Titan. I was able to see all four visually with the 6mm eyepiece, although it was a bit of a struggle. I purposely didnt look at the position of the moons beforehand, its so easy to imagine faint dots! Clear skies! John
  25. Hi, My 1st entry to a SGL competition, I hope this is sufficiently astronomy-ish . I took this one evening in Appledore, North Devon. This is the view across the river estuary looking north-northwest, about 90mins after sunset. The whole northern horizon was dominated by really bright and sharply defined noctilucents alongside Capella, and the colours and contrast in the sky were the best I've seen. The sunset afterglow is exaggerated by light pollution from Braunton and Chivenor, hidden behind the dunes on the other side of the river. Eos 1000d and 55-200mm lens, on EQ2, electronic shutter. Lens set to 55mm, at f/4.5 4 sec exposure, ISO400. Some light processing in Gimp and Star Tools. John
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