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Graptharshammer

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About Graptharshammer

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    Nebula

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    Male
  • Location
    Utah
  1. Thanks! I was wondering what i could do about that vignetting, A series of flats would help you think? I had to make this black and white to pull any detail out, color looked horrible with the minimal amount of light i was able to capture with only 4 images I have been following the other thread with great interest, its captivayed me with what people are doing with non-traditional equipment . thank you so much for your help on here, it makes learning so much more enjoyable when you can get experienced opinions!
  2. I ended up conversing with Celestron for a couple of weeks about the mounts tracking issues and they think it is an problem with the gears getting hung up so I've sent my mount back for adjustment/repair under the 2 year warranty. They have been great through the whole process, patiently working with me on what I've done, what can be done, asking me to test this and that. I have to say that I've been greatly impressed with Celestron's customer service. I had horrible experiences with Meade back in the day with my classic 12" LX200 which soured me on them as a brand. When I decided to get back into astronomy I made the move to Celestron and will be a Celestron customer going forward because they have treated my so well with this issue. I did end up getting a William Optics GT-81 which I put on the Nexstar SE mount for some test shots and I have to say that it made a great difference in the quality of image I was getting. Being F4.72 with the reducer/adaptor that came with it has given me some confidence that I can be successful at this hobby some day! Despite still being limited to very short exposures, I was able to to get 4 good shots of Andromeda (out of about 30) which I stacked in DSS with primitive but pleasing results. I'm still going to keep trying with the Nexstar mount and 6SE when it gets back but the difference by switching to a fast refractor was amazing! I do have a 50mm guide scope and QHY5L-II cam that I'm going to mount on the Nexstar to see if guiding out some of these star trails is possible. I can't not meet a challenge! William Optics GT81 with .8 focal reducer, mounted on the Nexstar 6SE mount in EQ north mode then polar aligned. Canon T5 DSLR, 4 images of 20 seconds each at ISO 3200, stacked in DSS and processed in Photoshop afterward.
  3. Thank you Nigel, Chris Lock and Happy-Kat! Light bulb started to go on after reading your explanations. I'm fascinated by the idea of taking so many short exposures and coming up with something as awesome as the photos on this thread. Really amazing stuff people are doing with stacked images. I appreciate you taking a few minutes to educate the newbies like me on terms that might not be readily obvious in their meanings. You guys are great!
  4. Happy-kat, when you say to use my camera with a lens, do you just mean to piggyback the camera to the scope and use it separate of the SCT optical train entirely? I get removing the wedge, I hadn't thought of that, then just using the scope in alt/az mode like they are doing in the thread you pointed out to maybe rule out my trailing issue. I'll give that a shot as soon as the (bleeping) clouds move out of Utah
  5. New to astroimaging and have been following this post with much interest because of the Alt/Az component. I have a question though, much talk has been made about L subs, subs...What is a sub if you can spare a second to educate a Noob on some of the slang?
  6. You make an excellent point impactcrater about being environmentally conscious! I actually charge my setup with a 50 watt solar panel after each use so no matter where i find myself, the battery stays charged "off the grid" and never requires me to plug into house power. While I have only used my current lead acid battery for about a month, I have had previous deep cycle batteries last for many years with proper maintenance and they were recycled at the end of life. I think being green is a good way of life and being conscious of the life cycle of the things we use is important if for no other reason than that given in the old adage "waste not want not". Im not sure how or if Li-Po batteries are recycled but i know that lead acid are recycled with good success since the technology has been around for many years. Good comment!
  7. Unfortunately, the fastar is now only on the evolution series. I was hoping that mine would be as I see you can get down to F2 with that setup but alas it is not. I have to compensate with an f6.3 focal reducer/flattener. Pig, do you take shorter exposures and stack them as Ronin suggests? It seems a very logical alternative to what I pictured (pun intended) as "Long exposures" being 4-5 minutes in length.
  8. Ronin, you make some excellent suggestions! I did forget to mention that I have a focal reducer on it so I'm closer to F 6.3 on my scope. Ihave thought about getting a short refractor like the William Optics GT but you know, money. Its interesting though what you say about sub 60 second exposures, I've been working under the misapprehension that I had to expose for 5-10 minutes at a stretch which I base off of what others have done with this scope, I'll try those shorter exposures and work on my stacking to see if there are any improvements in the quality of my fledgling images. I also did not realize that the sensor needed to cool down, though I have been taking "dark frames" as I see it mentioned wherever people are talking about imaging. Thank you very much! The weather in Utah has gone cloudy and rainy, normally we enjoy brilliant clear skies and great views even from areas close to salt lake city (I'm north of SLC) but of course as soon as a guy wants to get his scope out and take a few looks at the heavens....I was a member of the Ogden astronomical society years ago but have let that lapse. I've thought about signing back up again to lean on that wealth of knowledge, looks like I'll be paying dues again! Thanks for you help Ronin!
  9. I'm a complete noob with imaging but am really methodical in approaching any hobby I pick up so I'm hoping that with a little practice I can someday take some amazing images for my own enjoyment. Currently I'm having no end of trouble with my scope setup and was hoping someone could shed some light on what MIGHT be going on here. I have a Nexstar 6se which uses spur gears I realize, but it's what I have. I'm using a celestron 6/8se wedge on a cpc 1100 tripod which makes for a rock solid platform for this modest scope. Movement calms down with this setup in under a second so I'm confident it's not the mount. The problem though, when I get my camera on the scope, get things focused as well as I can without a mask (i'm working on getting one 3d printed), I'm getting trails no matter what I do! I'm polar aligned, making very sure to use a high power eyepiece and really spend the time to line up my mount. Any image longer than about 20 seconds however exhibit trails! I've adjusted the backlash controls from 0 to 50 in 5 unit increments with no discernible results. I've used A/C power as well as a 12 volt 20amp/hr battery so I don't believe it to be power related. This setup, with the heavy tripod, the wedge, a decent computerized mount should allow me to image for a couple of minutes at least in my mind, but I cannot get it to work properly for even super short exposures! I'm wondering if this is something that can be adjusted with the mounts clutch or some other trick to get things working how they should. The images I've attached show an extreme amount of error in tracking and I'm beginning to wonder if my particular mount is just not going to work no matter what! The "trailing 3" image is of Albireo and you can see that the stars below this double are doubled themselves, meaning to me that the mount is skipping or jumping partway through the exposure (45 seconds in this case) Any help would be awesome.
  10. After looking around for several weeks at the various commercially available products such as the Celestron power tank, I decided to take some excellent advice from this site and build my own. I'm far happier with the results because it is just how I want it instead of having to settle for what Celestron or Orion offer. For about $70 you can have battery with greater capacity (this one is 20 amp/hr opposed to Celestrons 17) and more accurate readings on charge then the $130 I would have paid for a Celestron power tank. This one weighs about 13lbs and is housed in a very stout and water resistant ammo can from harbor freight. Wiring was super easy and my nexstar 6se runs for several nights on a charge. I wired a momentary switch to turn the volt meter on and off. Maybe look at that as an option.
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