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AstroPhil

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About AstroPhil

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    Nebula

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    Portsmouth
  1. Well, here's my attempt: before and after. This is an overlay of 30s and 1 minute subs on a background of 5min subs.
  2. Wow that is a beast!... I'm thinking about a 30mm eyepiece as well, and this is on the short list for sure (I have the 24mm in the same range and it's on of my most used). Enjoy it!
  3. I'm leaning that way as well, I do like the XW's. The only reason I got the Nagler was that is was discounted in FLO's "Mars sale" ?, plus, it has a bigger FOV, which is nice I suppose. I think it's my least used eyepiece at the moment though. So yes, choices, choices... No rush though!
  4. Good advice - lately I've had a number of occasions when the 3.5mm was a bit too much, and the 7mm maybe not enough, so if I do add another one to the collection it might be a 5mm XW (say) but I might check out the Tak LE as suggested by @Stardust1 - i haven't really seen those before, but they seem to be well liked....
  5. Thanks for the advice and weblink, @ollypenrice, @JemC, I'll have a go! I've taken 5minute and 1 minute subs so far - if the skies clear I'll try replacing the 1m subs with something shorter. I'm not using a cooled camera (SX Ultrastar), so short is good.
  6. Thanks to a fellow forum member, my collection of eyepieces is complete. ......but is it? There's still a gap in the ~5mm range, and the ~30mm range. Given my observing habits are extremely varied (everything from lunar/planetary to brighter DSO's and globulars), what would the collective recommend for filling them? Scopes are 200mm SCT, and 100mm Tak. I tend to avoid the really expensive eyepieces (the two Televue's are 2nd hand / sale).
  7. I had exactly the same question! It's something I have been working on for a while; I'm trying to avoid going down the multiple layers/exposures route and so far have been playing about with the HDR multiscale transform function in PixInsight - but it's a real challenge to keep the image from going 'flat' and retaining some detail. Attached is a before and after, using 7 layers, 2 iterations, and overdrive of 0.3 - 5mins of data (11 x5). Any thoughts welcome! P.
  8. I'd agree with the moisture comments as well: taking a cold laptop into a warm room is a likely cause. I'm having cold-related issues myself, right now! but more due to stiff cables rather than electronics (which are all inside in my setup).
  9. Hi @iPeace is the 10mm still available? If so, I'll gladly take it off your hands: I've been looking out for this to complete my collection for a while now (got the XW in 7, 14, and 20 at the moment). Cheers Phil
  10. No snow here: all melted. But the rig is outside cooling for looks to be a nippy night of imaging and observing!
  11. How about this? Looks new? https://www.firstlightoptics.com/william-optics/william-optics-zenithstar-126-apo-telescope.html I'd like a larger frac one day but my space is limited, so 4" suits me for the moment!
  12. This story resonates with me as well! Glad the OP got everything sorted in the end. I find USB can be especially finicky (and I'm sure I'm not the only one). It's a shame that firewire (or IEEE1394) went out of fashion, as it's far more robust for data transfer and has lower CPU overhead. My power solution was one of these: https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/desktop-power-supply/2243990/ And these, to smooth the supply and boost the 12v to around 13.8v for imaging, and to 15v for USB hub and mount power, with the advantage that when battery powered, they accept a range of voltage input: https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/isolated-dc-dc-converters/7702283/ & https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/isolated-dc-dc-converters/1666432/ . Heaters are supplied separately. Like @Jkulin I shudder as to what I have spent making all these connector boxes! It works flawlessly though, so a case of mission successful.
  13. Hello folks, Inspired by the many excellent threads here on the site (such as from the mighty @Gina) I was inspired to build my own weatherproof enclosure for an ASI120MM camera. The dome is a simple one I got from amazon (JMX 4" acrylic cctv dome for £6), the orange end caps are "plugs" for standard 110mm waste pipe (B&Q), and the small housing is a coupler for the same type of standard pipe. As that also includes internal rubber seals then this came in very handy. Silicone glue/sealant, and a number of O-rings, finished the weatherproofing. I also made a simple heater tape using an approximate 1m length of Ni-Cr wire (30AWG). This was made by winding around a water bottle and duck tape, to hold its form, and then goes inside the dome. It draws about 0.4A and 12.1V. Hopefully the pictures below tell the story! There's still room for upgrades in due course - I need some way of automating the heater based on temperature and/or a darkness sensor relay, and the camera is uncooled at the moment, but in due course I might well add a peltier module. At the moment the unit is out in the pouring rain on my top deck, with SharpCap reporting a camera temperature of 36C (with dewtape on).
  14. @choochoo_baloo yes it's guided. Took a while to get that working nicely, I admit. PixInsight is the software for calibrating and subtracting dark frames, flat frames, to get a nice clean image for stacking. It's not freeware though (DSS is a free alternative I used previously). But is does incorporate a host of tools to improve the image - like Photoshop - to the final image. This is my next learning curve I suspect. Thanks to an excellent tutorial blog at lightvortex astronomy I have the basics now, but this image is only with a very simple stretch using its HistogramTransformation tool: but I know there are myriad other tools that can then be used to tweak the image! (I never really got on with layers in Photoshop for instance).
  15. Happy to say my imaging skills are slowly improving (i'm more of a visual observer!). The below is 90 minutes integration using 5min subs, camera is an un-cooled starlight ultrastar (mono) through a Zenithstar71. Darks, flats all applied and processed in PixInsight. Any comments for improvement very welcome indeed! Clear skies all!
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