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Everything posted by simon84

  1. Thats it, I'm out. I've managed to sell all of my astro equipment and now I can turn my attention to my back problems and concentrate on getting back to full mobility and tearing my hospitals director a new one. Fifty two weeks and I'm still waiting for a surgery date. Just wanted to say thanks to everyone I've met on here and in the flesh, its been a short lived astro career spanning a mere 16 months but I've seen alot in that time and learnt so so much from the good folk here at SGL, but it gets to the point that when you cant even screw an Astrotrac on to the top of a tripod without being in absolute agony you know its time to pack it in for a while. I may come back to it one day but maybe with something more sensible than a 12" Newt and a 5" APO frac on an EQ6...... I may hang around here aswell but my time at SGL will be alot less than it used to be, 5 posts a day average since I joined is a fair bit but I need to now try and keep my back from packing up and sitting online all day dosnt help. The morphine helps but I then have to spell check my posts...lol. I know it seems a bit dramatic writing this but I'd rather let you know whats going on than just dissappear. Cheers, Simon.
  2. Cheers Sy, its been enhanced in CS5 but it does look lovely. I like getting my images so that I like them, I know there are some folk out there that dont like using fuller colours but for me it looks great, that and blue is my fave colour.....the only thing that worried me was lack of a foreground object but its worked ok. I guess I could use it as a backdrop for another image...... I might find a busy area of sky for aircraft, I'm not far from the Stanstead airport flight path and set up for a shot collecting aircraft lights. I'll probably do better at that than I would for Geminids....
  3. Thanks for all the nice comments. I am pleased with the way the startrails turned out. Would have preferred a few more Geminids in there but thats life. I agree Kev it is a shame about the amount of work put on the camera for these images. Worth it though.
  4. Although I only managed to capture two Geminids this year I still thought I would put a composite of both of them together. So here is my image, the 1st Geminid can be seen to the bottom right and the second and much brighter one is at the bottom middle. The second one was 4 subs away from being clouded out. They are 20 second subs at ISO 1600 f2.8 on my Canon EOS 1000D with the Canon EF 20mm USM lens. I was using the CLS CCD clip filter. There are 205 subs in this composite. Put together using Startrails and then processed in CS5. I left the aircraft trails in aswell as there were not enough Geminids in there. Hope you like.
  5. Thanks for the kind comments chaps. I still cant get over how huge it was.
  6. Took these images last night at about 11:30pm after returning from collecting my father in law from his car crash, he's ok but the car has fallen victim to an idiot who didnt know how to drive in adverse weather conditions. When I got out of the car I had a quick look up and saw the halo so thought I'd have a go at imaging it. Canon EOS 1000D tripod mounted with the Canon EF 20mm USM, 7 frames at 4 seconds, ISO 800 with lens stepped down to f4. Stitched in ICE and processed in CS5. The final image is 53 degrees across and vertically is 110 degrees. Tried to get it without burning the moon out but the halo wouldnt play ball.
  7. I guess if they are decendents of the dogs used in the Russian Space program way back then he has a fair shout for selling them on AB+S
  8. I've only got the one but it should be good for a few shots, the camera is wrapped up in neoprene so may keep the battery warmer. I've been meaning to swap over to 12v power for a while now but as I dont get out much at the moment I keep forgetting. I got a couple last year so I'm hoping to add to a small collection aswell. Cheers Dave, I hadn't noticed that, thanks for pointing it out. I thought tonight at 11pm was the peak. Ahwell, fingers crossed we'll get a few. I might set up two cameras but I've only one dew band so we'll see how that goes.
  9. Fingers crossed, forgot its Tuesday already......time does get away from you at this time of year. I'm going to go with the 20mm lens again and 30 second exposures and leave it running all night if I can. Still waiting to get a 12v power lead for the cameras so am still running on batteries so not sure how long I will get. Its looking good all night here now. I hope yours goes well aswell.
  10. Thanks Russ. Hopefully I can get out some more this week, Tuesday is looking good here for the Gemenids. Might try a star trails shot with some added meteorites, might look like a game of "pick up sticks" if there are enough.
  11. Thanks John. Its the first image I've produced in ages, I was just about to head off to bed when I let the dog out in the garden and looked up. Three minutes later I was framing the shot and setting the focus......
  12. Thankyou, that means alot as your startrail shots are some of the best I've ever seen. When we looked at the first sub the tree made all of us here almost step back, I had a smile from ear to ear. I really didnt expect a pink tree. I'm looking forward to playing with the raw files though. I'm hoping setting the white and black points properly and cleaning out those hot pixels will make for a nicer finish. Building the new Photoshop PC today so hopefully it wont be long.
  13. I got the 34mm for £149 from Ace Cameras over in Somerset. I've not tried it on my f5 12" Newt but my good friend AndyUK has borrowed it, so its back over in Somerset again, he has used it on his MN190 and now he dosnt want to give me it back
  14. Took this the other night during the snow spell. The tree was lovely and frosty with a streetlight just underneath it and to the right. Orion was up nice and high so gave it a go. 27 x 60 second subs ISO 800 on my Canon 1000D with the Canon EF 20mm USM lens. Also had the CLS CCD clip filter in there to deal with any glow which is quite substantial. Stacked using the jpegs in Startrails and no post processing in CS5, I've still got the 27 raw files to play with and once the new PC is built I will be doing just that to get it processed nicely.
  15. Obviously I meant that it was a bit bizarre for ones camera to be tingling, a very strange occurance indeed. Just to add I also experienced this a while back with my camera attached to my laptop which was powered on the mains but only on the NEQ6, when using it on my Manfrotto tripod which has rubber feet I get nothing. When its cold and everything starts getting wet and frosty you are then completing circuits in other ways. Just a thought.
  16. Keep an eye out on astroboot as I managed to pick up a dual channel controller and two bands for the grand total of £25. I also second the Kendrick camera body sock from Altair Astro, £26 for peace of mind is much better than taking a chance with the camera thawing out indoors. I use 4" dew straps for my lenses and so far its done the job very well indeed. When things have got really bad I leave all the kit locked up in the shed and let it all warm up naturally. Pop the cover on the Newt but crack it open. Any water marks on the mirror shouldnt effect the perfomance too much but if left to dry naturally more or less totally dissapear anyway. Dont worry too much about the camera though, its only a Nikon
  17. Depends on what sort of light polution you have, all the street lights near me are sodium ones so the CLS CCD works amazingly well. You need to check to see what your LP is like first before buying the more expensive specialist ones. A quick call to the local council with your location will normally get an accurate answer. If your using general purpose ones like the Skywatcher one then its not too much of a worry. You can get sodium, mercury, metal halide lighting etc etc. I think the CLS CCD is particuarly good at dealing with sodium and mercury as they are the more common types. If you have a look on the Astronomik site they have the wavelength charts available for you to look at.
  18. Hi David, The IR cut filter that Canon put in there cameras is too aggressive and cuts out too much, the CLS CCD's IR cut is designed with astro imaging in mind and is therefor not as harsh as the Canon one.
  19. The filters you have will be too small to use with a dslr, they will cause vignetting with an APS-C sensor, if you have a 1.25" nosepiece attached to the camera and reducer pop one on and have a try, you'll see what I mean on your first image. If you've got a 2" nosepiece you can use a 2" filter screwed into the end of the nosepiece or use the astronomik clip filters that go into the camera body itself. I prefer the astronomik clip in filters myself as they can be used for scope imaging or with an approrpiate lens. I'm not too hot on narrowband but I dont think OIII works well with a dslr, Ha I think is ok with a modded dslr.
  20. With most motorised focusers they lock the focuser off when they are not in operation so therefore make using the focuser manually impossible. They also usually require one of the knobs, either side, to be completely removed so that the stepper motor can be attached to the focuser shaft. I've used several now, SW, Lakeside and currently the Moonlite one and they all pretty much operate in the same way. The SW motorised unit is only really suitable for visual use as its not very accurate and can easily travel past focus, the Lakeside one is one of the best I have ever used and using the digital readout, you can return to a pre-determined position for whatever EP or camera you happen to be using at the time and know for certain that you will be in focus. I've only had the Moonlite for a short time and with a small mod it will be suitable for imaging purposes but again it can very easily go past the point you want, its does however have a fine control for setting the speed and length of the steps for when you single press the in or out buttons. Hope thats of some help.
  21. Cheers Dave, I read through the reports and saw the images from Tenerife and I'm pretty certain they didnt guide, the equipment list on the report looked really thorough and it didnt mention any guiders. Gain really has done some incredible things with the Astrotrac and is certainley one of the reasons I'm so very keen to get out there with mine. I wouldn't mind a cup of tea and a chance to pick his brain if I ever got the chance. Thanks for mentioning his website though Dave, I hadn't seen it for a while. Its great to see what can be done.
  22. This is the image I was referring to above, http://cosmicbug.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/m42-lee-taylor-astrotrac-a.jpg 220s subs at 800mm, he dosnt mention using the AG version for that image but if it is unguided it really is much better than I first believed. I've also found this image which is the Tak setup with the astrotrac so should give you an idea of what you would need to do to mount a scope with the astrotrac. http://cosmicbug.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/tak-fs-152-tt320-glee1.jpg
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