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About D33P

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  1. I also did this mod a month or two back. Expensive for what it is, but obviously this is not a mass-market item. It is rock solid, well engineered, and beautifully machined. Very pleased with it.
  2. I'm currently using an 8" tablet for imaging (mount control, guiding, image capture) and never found the size to be too restrictive. I've never used it for processing or live stacking, it simply hasn't got the oomph for that. Mostly I setup and then use RDP or VNC from the comfort of indoors. I've just upgraded my laptop (13.3" i5 Samsung) to a Dell XPS 15. So the Sammy is going to replace the tablet for scope duties and I'm looking forward to live stacking outside, kinda like a slow EAA setup. The Sammy is only an inch larger than the machine your thinking of and the same res. It's certainly going to be more than enough for me scope-side! Obviously your mileage may vary, but I think 12.5" is plenty for outdoor duties.
  3. Brilliant! Thanks for the link. There's quite a few courses I'd like to get stuck into. Do they often repeat them? I don't have the time (or brain power) to take on more than one or two at a time.
  4. To bring out the clouds I used a 'formica laminate' filter. In less densely populated or richer regions a marble/granite filter might be more useful, although this can usually only be seen by those with high end equipment. The object in the top left is actually the Sweetbowl Cluster. The ashtray nebula is only visible in the garage region.
  5. The core is blown out and the bubbles could be tighter. But still very tasty
  6. Very nice! What scope are you using, and how many subs? I've just started playing with startools. You've got much more detail and 'crispness' than my effort.
  7. Aw man, really sorry to hear that. That must have been devastating. I fly RC gliders and its inevitable that occasionally the planet gets in the way, buts its still a sad moment. It's the last thing you expect to happen to your scope! I love the new thread idea, I could pick up some essential tips
  8. All of those brought a little chuckle to my face, except one. I hope there was no damage to your setup after taking a wind induced topple... Ouch!!
  9. Nice to know I'm not alone I'm still very much in the n00b category, but it seems calamities like this can happen at all levels. I wonder if the guys working at the big scientific installations have nights like this? If so it would be funny to read some of their tales of woe.
  10. Hi all, Finished work late last night, and as it was clear wanted to get at least a couple of hours worth of subs on Andromeda. Got home and put the scope in the garden to cool whilst I had a shower and some dinner. Polar aligned, got stellarium aligned/sync'd, calibrated PHD, fired up Byeos, focused, moved to target, short exposure just to check. All ok, start capturing and go back inside to the warmth. Job done! A couple of hours later just before bed, grab everything inside and retire for the night. This morning, checked the results. Fail 1: Spec of dust (several light years in diameter) on the LP filter Fail 2: 3 subs with plane trails Fail 3: Dew heater not cranked high enough. Less and less detail in subs as the evening progressed Fail 4: PHD had crashed an hour in (nice star trails thought) So, an evenings worth of imaging wasted. At least I remembered to take the lens cap off the scope!! Just remember, when it all goes pear shaped. The world is not against you, it's against all of us! Clear skies (clean lenses, trail free images, crash free imaging runs) to you all
  11. Hi guys, thanks for your replies. There were only 6x 8min exposures at ISO1600, captured on a stock 450d. Stacked in DSS and processed in PS then tweaked a litte in LR. From what you have said I think my problems might lie with my post processing (processing astro is a lot different from daytime!). Although there is a little bit of graininess in the subs. Another image taken of the Orion Nebula (attached) on the same night (16x8min) suffers from the same problems even though it contains 3 time the data. I have tried to use the demo of Startools but it is so slow on my ageing laptop that I gave up. New lappy should be arriving tomorrow though! I have uploaded the data to dropbox. Maybe if you have the time, you could take a look at the subs and tell me if the problems are my capturing or my processing (or both). https://www.dropbox.com/sh/s5n93yqogs9hmtq/AACdbORcD8yh-m7_CaDQffTxa?dl=0 Thanks again everyone
  12. Hi everyone, Can any of you fine peeps point me in the right direction? I had a bash at the flame neb last night. I'm quite pleased with the result considering my gear is low end, and definitely not suited for AP. Whats the reason for the massive stars? ...glare? bad data? poor processing? other? Also is there any way to get a less grainy finished image. The more I stretch it to pull out detail, the worse it gets. Any tips from the masters? Wishing you all clear skies Thanks
  13. They are hugely overpriced in my opinion. BUT, they are brilliant. I use one attached to an SCT thread so that I can easily adjust the angle of my diagonal, and use one to hold eyepieces to the diagonal. Holds everything firmly and no more fiddling with those fiddly little fiddle screws, in the dark, in the cold, with gloves on! Pricey, but wouldn't want to be without them.
  14. I know where you're coming from regarding costs and effort. I used to work in sheet metal, and if you can use a thinner gauge and get away with it there's fortunes to be saved on bigger production runs. Especially when using non ferrous. These days I'm a 'maintenance engineer' (not really an engineer, more of a mechanical/electrical handy man). My tendency to go overkill comes from not wanting to go back to the same problem again and again. It never ceases to amaze me what the animals (operators) on the shop floor manage to bend or break. It seems they are always finding new and inventive ways to destroy the indestructible! Your idea of 40mm bolts got me thinking though. Maybe we're all going about this the wrong way. 1x M100 bolt driven down to bedrock should do the trick. Plonk mount of choice on top. Job done I'll take pics as I go along and post once its complete. Thanks again to everybody who has posted, you guys are awesome!
  15. Jim, You're spot on about over thinking it. Thinking objectively, I'm building something that could probably safely support several tonnes! But in reality it's unlikely to ever see any more that 50kg. I have always subscribed to the idea that bigger is (usually) better. If M6 fixings will do the job, use M8. If 4mm cable will take the load, use 6mm etc.. Pier is made of 175mm steel tube with a 10mm wall, welded to a 1/2" steel plate, and a brake disc welded to the top. So suitably over engineered. I'm still undecided about using rebar. I can certainly see the structural advantages, but never considered the potential problems of it rusting. I might be able to get some stainless studding for free, if I can I'll use that. Again overkill, but best of both worlds I suppose. I plan on drilling and fixing with 20mm anchor bolts, but chemi-bolts might be a better idea to reduce stress on the concrete. Gina, Great idea using a wetter mix to self level the top. I'll definitely be doing that.
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