Jump to content



  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Breakintheclouds

  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 your parfocal ring is equally distant to the fat ring all around? I've never adjusted a focuser, so I hope someone else can help with that, but I believe you need a micrometer for that anyway, so if you can get one you could first ensure your parfocal ring is sitting right with it.
  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 had to be pushing the camera off-axis. So the challenge then became to find a way of being 100% certain the camera was completely centred in the focuser tube, as from there I would either fix my problem or at least eliminate one explanation and move on to seeing whether the focuser itself was misaligned. After much faffing, and after buying a focuser extension tube that proved slightly too long for the job, I solved this recently by using the tiny ring that comes with the Baader coma corrector. This, when screwed in position, protrudes out from the camera/corrector assembly and provides a hard surface that I can press firmly against the end of the focuser tube before tightening the thumbscrews. This completely solved my oblong stars problem at a stroke. So similarly, I'd suggest you find some way of being 100% certain that the camera is mated into the focuser tube with no slop - it needs somehow to be pressed RIGHT against the end of the focuser all around. Once you've accomplished this, you either solve the problem or at least know that it probably lies in the focuser itself not being mounted completely perpendicular. Does your camera go all the way into the focuser so that, with all your thumbscrews loose, you know it's definitely sitting perpendicular? If not, is there anything to hand you can use -- rings, extension tubes -- so that you can accomplish this?
  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
  16. I'd say you can just about get started from 2300 BST at the moment, and it starts to get much better from midnight. But on the plus side, we should have our first spell of astronomical darkness for a while in southern England later this week!
  17. Is there any chance for you to borrow an EP from anybody nearby? John's point about distortion is a good one, but having said that, I've used a 38mm Skywatcher Panaview with an f/5 scope and loved the views. Yes, there was a bit of distortion round the edges, but the views were so good I just didn't care, especially as the EP was reasonably priced. If at all possible, it might be worth trying something of the sort to see how much the distortion bothers you.
  18. Wednesday's looking promising here. Fingers crossed.
  19. The high cloud was ridiculous last night. I took a couple of images and found the faintest stars were about Mag 16, when normally they'd be more like 19+. I gave up at that point.
  20. Once you've got the scope set up, a finder isn't necessarily useful. But you'll need it for finding your alignment stars when doing the set up Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 4 Beta
  21. Thanks for all the advice. I've taken a punt on the Revelation extension - your point about the long camera front not going all the way in is a good one, but I reckon that I'll still be okay as, by pushing the camera/flattener as far into the Revelation as possible and then tightening it up, I should still be able to accomplish what I'm after: to get the camera sat nice and perpendicular to the focuser tube. It'll just be levelled out by the "stop" in the extension tube rather than by going all the way in, if you see what I mean. Thank you!
  22. Yes, I'm using a flattener. So at the moment I have a single CCD/flattener unit, which basically looks like a CCD camera with a very long 2" wide nose. I'd like to be able to push this all the way into my focuser tube so that I can be sure it's sitting nice and perpendicular to the path of the light, rather than slightly protruding from the tube and potentially pushed slightly off-centre by the holding thumbscrews. I've tried screwing some of the various T extensions that I have lying around onto the end and eventually realised that non of them were going to help! A 35mm extension might be feasible - do you remember where you saw that?
  23. To help get my camera into the best possible position, I could do with a 2"-diamter focuser extention that is not very long. I reckon adding about 1.5-2 cm to the length of my focuser drawtube would be the optimum. The 5 cm extension tube that I already own is slightly too long, and I can't achieve focus with it. I've been searching online but am struggling to find an extension that's short enough. Has anybody spotted one please?
  24. There are a handful of tips on improving wifi coverage here that might also be useful? Some of these I didn't know (e.g., using 5.8 Ghz channels if you have them)
  25. If anybody else is after one, they can usually be found for very little money, in the UK, from eBay fancy dress costume sellers
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.