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About kz1bob

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    Blunsdon, Wiltshire, UK
  1. Thank you all for your comments, they were very helpful. Made my trip to Tring Astro to have a chat and I must say, Neil was amazingly helpful. He was very patient with my naïve questions and fully answered them. I posed my question re: the 80mm APO v the 102mm doublet. He gave me a quick lesson on the pros and cons of each and asked for more detail about what I was looking to do. He then said, not sure if you would be interested, but I just took in as part exchange an Altair Astro Wave 102mm APO! Result! This was my 'dream' scope but just beyond my price range, however his second hand one was priced perfectly! I got it home and set it up on the mount. The build quality of this scope is brilliant. It is rock solid in the mount and there is no flex when adjusting the guide scope. Sadly, normal weather has returned to the UK and it is currently raining, so haven't had a chance to point it at anything yet. If you like to actually look and feel astro equipment and are reasonably close (my drive was about 1.5 hours each way), I cannot recommend enough the folks at Tring Astro.
  2. I had a Bresser AR102s/600. It was fine for looking at things but all my photo attempts were very poor (accepting my skill level as part of the challenge). CA was a big issue and even looking at the sun and moon the images were not very well defined. I used a semi-APO filter but didn't see a lot of difference to be honest. Like you, I do a lot of reading (I have the 'bible' so often recommended here) but find I am almost in information overload trying to keep everything straight in my head. I do live in a fairly light polluted area but can 'see' the Orion Nebulae though not in great detail. I am hoping that better glass, reducing CA, and proper filtering to help with the light pollution will make for more rewarding outings. I am leaning towards the 80mm as it is smaller and lighter and from the things I have seen from other people, it is more than capable of producing results I would like to achieve. Also, being an APO triplet, should be better when dealing with CA. Thanks for your input. I have a day trip planned to go speak to an actual astronomy shop this weekend so hopefully I will have a well informed purchase.
  3. Hi All, I am looking to upgrade my refractor. The final candidates have come down to The Altair-Astro Starwave 102ED or the Wave Series 80mm Triplet. Both have FPL-53 glass, the 102 is a doublet and the 80 is a triplet. My question and discussion point is whether the 102mm doublet with its greater light collecting ability would be more desirable than the 80mm with its triplet APO configuration. My intent is to get better at AP but I do like just looking sometimes. Price-wise they are about £100 apart so not a lot in it. Any finer points from the veterans in the group would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance for all feedback.
  4. Thanks for the feedback Vlaiv. The 3/4 port things are push in connectors for connecting everything up. I could just as easily wire directly to each component. I will work up all the power requirements for each component. This was really helpful.
  5. Hi All, I am thinking about a project to build a power tank. Here is my schematic. I can get most of the components off Amazon and the rest from eBay (when finished I will post my shopping list). The cost, including battery and waterproof case, comes in around £90. My question, for those of you smarter than me, would this be 'safe' to use to power an AZ EQ-5 GT mount and the rest of my gear (GPCAM, Hypercam 178M, dew control system (future addition))? Or, do I need to build in more safety (fuse box for each component)? The wiring will be 12 gauge, the push in connectors are rated to 24a, and the battery is a sealed Yuasa (though I will be speaking with the battery people to ensure I am using the proper one). Appreciate any advice/comments.
  6. Hi All, I am looking to upgrade my mount (EQ-3 Pro SynScan) and the original top candidates were the HEQ-5 or the NEQ-6. I can find several discussions on the pros and cons of each of these mounts but haven't seen much on the pros/cons of AZ GoTo mounts. Looking at the AZ-EQ5-GT, slightly less than an NEQ-6 price-wise, and the weight capacity is similar to the HEQ-5. Are there any advantages/disadvantages to an AZ mount over an EQ? I am looking primarily for DS photography. Thanks for any advice and opinions.
  7. Hi All, Thank you for your comments and assistance. Still fairly new to this. I am using my DSLR now for AP (will upgrade to a CCD/CMOS once I am more confident in what I am doing), however this latest came about when trying to get my new guide camera (Altair GPCAM 0130C) to actually 'see' anything. We have had a very bright moon the past few days so have managed to get it to show and focus on the moon, however, point it at something resembling a star and just get a black screen. I have read their forum and the recommendation is to keep playing with the software (adjusting gain and exposure time) and focusing until I get my "eureka moment". I had aligned the guide scope with my main tube during the day focusing on the door to a farm house about 3 miles away. The software (using Altair and SharpCap) worked fine during the day so was hoping I was at good starting point for when it got dark. Still haven't managed to see any stars with the guide cam. The issue with the main focus came up when I had the guide scope focused on the moon, and the main scope focused. I then added the filter wheel and couldn't focus in. I removed the extension tube and was able to just about focus on the moon with the focuser dialled all the way in. I am getting there slowly, just hope I get my eureka moment soon :-) Thanks for all your advice and help. It is greatly appreciated.
  8. Hi All, New challenge I am running into. When I add a filter wheel on my Bresser AR102s I run out of travel when trying to focus in. I have removed all the extensions and still can't focus in. Am I out of luck or is there something I can do? I am reading up on Focal Extenders am I heading down the right path? Thanks for your help.
  9. Hi All, I am having some troubles with my new guide camera. I have a Starwave 50mm Guide Scope and an Altair GPCAM AR0130C camera. When I attach the camera to my main telescope (Bresser AR102S) I can see images on my laptop (in the preview window). However, when I attach the camera to the guide scope, all it get is a completely black preview screen. I suspected it might be a back focus issue, but I have tried with and without the extensions that came with the guide scope but all I get is the black screen. Any ideas what I need to do to get myself sorted? Thanks in advance for any help and advice. James
  10. Hi Skipper Billy - thank you for your reply. I probably did leave the viewfinder uncovered (I do know to block it out, but as I recall the day, I bet I forgot). I will process the images without the darks and see how they come out.
  11. Hi All, New to imaging and did my first session of taking subs and darks using my DSLR (10 yo Olympus E-500). I have attached the MasterDark from DSS and to me, it looks pretty rubbish. I am guessing that darks should mostly be black with a few 'specks' here and there. Mine looks like a snow storm with a very bad hotspot in the upper right corner. A few questions come to mind. 1. Should darks look like that? 2. If not, will continuing to use this camera just be a frustrating effort as it will probably never produce good images no matter how talented I may become? 3. And finally, if I should abandon the camera, would appreciate any thoughts and observations regarding getting a DSLR or a CMOS/CCD camera. I would ideally like to keep the budget under £300 and I have seen plenty of examples of both type cameras that get good reviews and recommendations. I want to mainly do DS but won't shy away from moon (my profile pic was taken with the E-500) and planetary if the mood strikes me. I have read the 'bible' (Make Every Photon Count) and reference it often. Any advice or experiences anyone is happy to relay will greatly help my education. Thanks in advance. James MasterDark_ISO800_60s.tif
  12. Good morning everyone, This is my first 'official' picture of the moon. I took 14 images, but this is the one I brought into Photoshop to adjust the levels to produce this image. Took it last night around 11pm on my Bresser AR-102S with an Olympus E-500, Manual mode, 1/4000 exposure time, ISO 800. While I am the first to admit, I have no idea what I am doing, but I am having fun figuring it out and was fairly pleased with this result. Any comments, recommendations, advice greatly appreciated.
  13. Hi All, This device came with my EQ-3Pro Synscan mount and I have absolutely no idea what it is for. Can anyone enlighten me?
  14. Hi All, I need to get a new 2x Barlow lens and looking online prices vary from a few quid to several hundred quid. While I am happy to go on a research tour of the internet, I thought I would get more mileage out of this group. :-) My telescope is a Bresser AR-102S/600, is there anything in particular in a Barlow that I should be looking for? I am just getting into AP, but do like to just look at things every now and again. Thanks in advance for any advice. James
  15. For autoguiding, I had a very seasoned AP friend of mine recommend the following: http://uk.telescope.com/Astrophotography/Autoguiding-Solutions/Orion-Magnificent-Mini-AutoGuider-Package/pc/-1/c/1309/sc/1405/p/110004.uts As it is an online shop, it may not be practical for you. Good luck.
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