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About Breakintheclouds

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  1. I run an extension lead out from the kitchen to the observatory, and take it back in when I'm finished. My main regret about my observatory setup is not running out a proper, permanent mains supply to it. It's not a massive deal, but it also means I don't have the option to leave a webcam running or anything like that Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 4
  2. Luke: It wan't flash - it was a dim torch shining on us to make us visible in the foreground (we were too dark when I tried it otherwise)! Michael: Kruger National Park. Highly recommended!
  3. I recently visited South Africa, and took the opportunity to lie my SLR on its back and grab a couple of 30s exposures of the darkest, clearest skies I've ever seen - the Cygnus Rift was visible instantly to the naked eye, even without dark adapting. Not the best photos ever, and they've only had minimal processing, but I'm pretty pleased with them.
  4. Ah, I look forward to the first views of the autumn sky. Working in education AND being interested in astronomy, autumn always feels like the true start of a new year to me.
  5. Here's the image I took of the nova just now. This is 13 x 30s exposures
  6. My first proper Arduino project was also for astronomy, when I built a device to trigger sequences of long-exposure photos on my camera by controlling an infra-red LED remote control. That was great fun.
  7. I was imagining the three strands interwoven, with whatever pattern of three sets you'll end up controlling with your Arduino. But don't get me wrong: as an Arduino tinkerer myself I well understand why you'd want to develop a more fun solution! Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 4 Beta
  8. To be honest, you really don't need a computer for what you're planning. Why not just three sets of LEDs, each connected to power with a separate switch, so you can turn on one, two or three sets at once? Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 4 Beta
  9. Bother, that complicates things a bit - I was lucky as my protruding ring is screwed on and so I know it is in the right plane. Any chance you have a length of nicely machined tubing lying around that's slightly wider than your corrector? I know I've got various extension tubes and so on. If you have something like this, that's slightly wider than your corrector and, say, 2-3 cm long, you could perhaps sandwich this between your parfocalising ring and the fat ring attached to your camera and ensure the parfocal ring is perpendicular that way? Or, if you've got a micrometer, you could check you
  10. Michael, Yes, That's very close to what I have. Does that protruding ring butt up right against the end of your focuser? If so, you've got your camera perpendicular to the focuser and you then know with considerable certainty that your problem lies elsewhere - most likely the focuser is not itself sat quite on the optical axis
  11. I recently went through a similar issue as you - I had eggy stars which, after checking my guiding and so on, I decided were most likely caused by the camera sensor not being completely perpendicular to the optical axis of the scope. The thing that leaped out at me as a probable problem was the two thumbscrews that hold the camera into my Skywatcher Quattro focuser tube. My camera/Baader coma corrector could not achieve focus if I pushed it all the way into the tube, and with it only part-way in, the fact the thumbscrews were both on one side of the focuser tube meant they almost certainly ha
  12. Some people are a bit negative about the zoom, saying it's not as sharp as the single focus, so I was nervous. But I tried one at a star party and thought it was superb. If there was any reduction in quality compared to fixed length models, which logically there will be as there is more glass, then it's very subtle I think Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 4 Beta
  13. I recently bought a QHY5-ii for autoguiding too. Shortly after setting it up I had a lot of guiding issues, in both RA and dec, but these largely turned out to be because I'd got the mount balance too good. Getting the weight slightly (but not too much) off centre on both axes has sorted everything out and now I'm getting excellent guiding.
  14. Following advice from this board, I've used zip ties to hold the cables onto the dovetail and that seems to work quite well
  15. Oh thank goodness I wasn't the only one who spotted all those things! "The ISS," I thought, "through that stationary telescope? I don't think so" Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 4 Beta
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