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About noah4x4

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  1. I got so fed up with the mud I laid artificial grass and created a rectangular wooden jig for my tripod feet. Works great.
  2. Sorry about the delayed reply. I tend to use Passmark benchmarks. I too was under the assumption from reading historic posts in SGL and CN that you don't need much horsepower for "imaging". But that myth developed because it is not that long ago folk were using low resolution, large pixel CCDs. Today, most new astro cameras are CMOS and available sensor producion is being driven by sensor demand in the far larger terrestrial camera market where we are now seeing larger sensor high resolution entry level cameras (even in mobile phones). The ZWO ASI1600 and Atik Horizon OSCs recently ceased producton as sensor production dried up. Quite modest astro workhorses like the ASI294mc are 10+ Megapixel. Much then depends on frame rate or rate of capture. Double digit megapixel cameras churn out 48Mb + individual frames. Consider how long it takes to send a A4 page of coloured text to your printer (as that is a circa a 48Mb file). OK, that's more processing than mere saving image data, but you get the idea. I happen to use Hyperstar, so I might be generating one 48Mb frame every two seconds at f/2. If doing Lunar or Planetary frames rate soar. Of course, if you merely capture images on a lesser machine and then post-process later on a faster machine you will have a bit of headroom. However, a recent i5 and 8Gb should be good for your purpose. But try live stacking (EAA style) and you might discover the computing power required is more significant. My 8th generation i5 crawled when attempting live stacking from my 16 Megapixel Atik Horizon. I had to leap to 8i7 and 16Gb RAM to enjoy (near) real time live stacking.
  3. An AMD E-450 processor has a CPU benchmark of merely 417. That is incredibly slow by current standards. I have a 16Mp and a 11Mp camera and they both stuttered with an Intel i5 and 8Gb RAM. I didn't enjoy 'near live' performance until I upgraded to an 8th generation i7 with 16Gb RAM having CPU benchmark near 6,000. More recent processors are 10,000+. Much depends on what you want to do. If prepared to download and post process high resolution frames over many hours you can succeed with minimal computing power. However, I think you are too underpowered for anything close to 'near live' processing activities, given that even 11Mp exceeds 4K UHD resolution.
  4. I often use 2 second exposures on Hyperstar at f/2, so I am not surprised at your 3.2 seconds. Remember at f/2 you are capturing photons 25x faster than at f/10. Hence a 2 second exposure is the equivalent of almost a minute at f/10. I do use live stacking, so 100 frames x 2 seconds will capture a huge amount of data.
  5. There is an easy way in Sharpcap that is so good I can get close to the right gain/exposure without even looking at my DSO object. 1. First focus on any star. Then Goto your target. 2. Next open Smart Histogram in logarithmic mode. 3. Adjust gain until the two upper green bars in Smart Histogram are at their maximum length and square ends are aligned left. 4. Adjust exposure until the steep slope at the left edge of the histogram is a fraction to the right of the left end of the green bars. Now look at your target. You will be within a notch of perfect gain and exposure. Tweak that (and focus) from there. You might need to perform a Sensor Analysis before step (2), but this has already been done in Sharpcap for most popular ZWO cameras. Few people seem to embrace Smart Histogram, yet I find it brilliant. I still don't know my gain from my ISO, but with Smart Histogram it's sorted for me.
  6. I have just had my Celestron 8" SCT serviced by high end carbon fibre OTA manufacturer Orion Optics UK (OOUK) located near Stoke on Trent, which cleaned my mirrors in mild acid, realigned all optics including corrector plate and re-centered secondary mirror, replaced my Phillips screws with Allen bolts, re-collimated and returned my OTA in a better than new condition. I am now convinced that my mass produced and assembled Corrector Plate and secondary mirror had never previously been perfect. The difference this adjustment has made is astoninishing. I used to blame 'poor seeing' for lack of detail in planets. Now I am getting the performance I desire. I had earlier spent £500 on a Hotech Laser Collimator which after using it for collimation led me to question the alignment of my optics but I didn't think there was an easy DIY solution. Cost of the OOUK service was £120, well worth the investment. The scale of charges for different OTAs is listed on their website. The adage, if it ain't broke don't fix it is sensible, but if convinced your optical performance isn't great, this service is worth considering, if your scope is out of warranty.
  7. I think it's down to volumes of sensor production. Outside of long exposure AP and a few limited commercial uses nobody wants mono sensors, so production per unit is more expensive. The terrestrial camera market drives demand for mass production of colour sensors. With your set up, I would suggest an OSC camera such as a ZWO ASI294mc, use short stacked exposures (under 20 seconds) behind a 0.6.3x focal reducer. For EEV, you don't need a cooled camera, or autoguiding. Frankly, I don't notice any difference with my cooled camera if I forget to turn on the cooler. You might need cooling for long exposures, or if in Death Valley, but in Bristol, the benefits are limited. I suggest a ASI294mc as cheaper models such as an ASI224mc have a very narrow FOV. Think of this like eyepieces. The ASI224mc is great for planets, but you need a wider field of view for most DSOs.
  8. That suggests you don't suffer much light pollution Olly. If you lived in a dismal overly illuminated location like so many of us you might find Electronically (camera) Assisted Astronomy to be the only viable way to observe, then AP using live stacking is merely a step away.
  9. My post Olly reflects what I believe Hyperstar best fulfils and it isn't traditional deep sky astrophogography. It produces images incredibly fast at f/2 but its FOV is so massive you need Zoom on many objects, which inevitably impacts on image (and viewing) quality (ultimately pixelation). So I think we are on the same page. I'm not interested in the artistic aspects of AP so Hyperstar suits me. But it might not satisfy the OP and a solution between f/4 and f/6 is probably better for AP.
  10. OOD manufacture high end telescopes in the United Kingdom. But what I recently discovered is they will service and repair (if possible!) ANY make of telescope. It was a (double) 400 mile round road trip to Stoke as I didn't want to risk couriers without OEM packaging. Then, the service cost me £108 including VAT, but my 8" Evolution SCT now has incredible optics. It's never been this good in four years of ownership! They disassembled my scope and professionally cleaned and polished all mirrors and corrector plate. They reaffixed and aligned my Fastar assembly which had come loose, also adding a sorbithane Hyperstar gasket (which I acquired from Starizona) to prevent reoccurance. They recollimated my scope replacing the Phillips screws with easier to use Allen key bolts, and even trimmed my dust cover with felt as it was a tad loose. The latter going beyond the scheduled service agenda. Their website publishes servicing costs, and if anybody has a scope out of warranty and in need of a bit of TLC, this company are masters of their craft. The can recoat mirrors, knock out dents (within reason) and I am delighted with the result.
  11. Just came across this thread and I am a Hyperstar user. If your interest is observing and you are dissatisfied with looking at indistinct "grey faint fuzzies" through an eyepiece you will love Hyperstar. Images at f/2 will form in two to twenty seconds and if you live stack them you will enjoy great views and even capture credible images in under five minutes of total integration time. You don't need polar alignment, guiding or wedge/GEM. But you do need a high resolution, medium sensor, small pixel camera and 4K UHD resolution display for best results as you will require Zoom having removed your secondary mirror. You won't win Astrophotographer of the Year, but if your interest is seeing stuff "near live" rather than creating astro-art, then Hyperstar is for you. It's incredibly easy too. The FOV is so wide you can succeed with a crummy alignment as it's impossible to miss a target. Then it's down to Zoom and decent tracking or plate-solving, a feature of Sharpcap. It's perhaps not for astro-artists, but I love it.
  12. Yes, I found the problem with Bob's Knobs is that they don't hold collimation as well as original Phillips screws. You can never apply enough torque with them. I was forever having to adjust them and regretted adopting them. After a month of frustration I restored the Phillips screws where 1/8th turn (with enough torque) is desirable. I would only recommend Bob's Knobs if you are prepared to collimate every other session, and definitely not recommended for Hyperstar users that regularly handle their secondary mirror. Phillips screws are far more snug.
  13. Sorry, you were really unlucky. I first advertised the scope on 19th May. Then no enquiries for seven weeks, then two came on the same day. Michaelman lives 20 minutes away so collected in under two hours. To be honest, I didn't even spot you were different people when I got his PM.
  14. Sorry, too late. Michaelman has just collected and paid.
  15. Image of actual telescope below. Comes complete with a 25mm Celestron Plossl, but I will throw in a couple of other similar eyepieces (13mm and 17mm Plossl) Will sell for £250 (no offers) - buyer collects. Price new on Amazon now £519 (discounted from £599), so I am offering at half retail price given used (but used only a handful of times). Requires 8 x AA batteries, but these deplete fast and ideally it needs a proper Li-Po battery. I have a 8Ah x 12v (96 Wh) Tracer LiPo that I will sell with telescope for £25 (these retail new for £142 including VAT). Will not sell separately!
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