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About BigRD

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    Stirling, Scotland
  1. Upgrading EQ5 with 'go-to'

    I have the CG5 (EQ5 clone) with the stepper motor belt drive AstroEQ mod. It's good, and as other above have said it can be frustrating at times. If I had the choice I'd jump at an HEQ5 There's one with the Rowan belt mod on eBay at the moment £380 buy-it-now.
  2. Thanks Pete, I have to admit I missed this one visually think I was too busy setting my seat up to keep warm! Now I'm keen for more :-)
  3. I made my own dew strap which I tested in anger for the first time last night. It fits around the petal but doesn't protrude past the edge it worked fine last night it's just enough to keep that big lump of glass clear
  4. Thanks Ian. i know what you mean about the clouds if only they'd drifted a past Orion a little more. Below the frame is rooftops and a halogen security light hence the framing I picked. I've only just got the lens - early Santa On my Nikon the lens gives electronic exposure and focus feedback through the viewfinder. I use the live view zoom to zoom in on a bright star and take test images then frame up. I found that at F2.8 the stars aren't as sharp as I'd want and stopped down to f4. F2.8 is great for day light shots. F2.8 may be fine for Milky Way images. Oh and the colours really stand out, it's a big improvement on my kit lens. Manual focus isn't so bad and like you it takes me back :-)
  5. My first attempt at imaging a meteor and quite chuffed with the result. Broken cloud up until around 0030 then total cloud cover. Visually I spotted 9. Out of 110 frames this is the only meteor I captured and pity about those damn clouds covering Orion! Nikon D5100, Samgyang 14mm on a Star Adventurer, 40secs at f4, ISO800
  6. Thanks for drawing this up AstroMadd, with the exception of the pot I'm sure I have enough odds 'n ends to put this together just for the fun of it. Though probably still cheaper to buy from China
  7. Haha I do enjoy Clive's videos. Possibly not the best quality resistive pad, I wondered if cutting the fingers off and using as a heated woolly sleeve over the guide scope Mine has an extending shield so unlikely to damage anything and as Clive says it's worth for the cable and plugs alone.
  8. I just came across another low cost alternative to the parallel resistor dew heaters or at least the basis for making some very easily :-) Bigclivedotcom worth for the parts alone. Roy
  9. Your bands look great, you've put my duct tape and insulation ones to shame. I've just put together a couple using the parallel resistor method. Initially one for my guide scope (135mm Carl Ziess lens) to wrap around the built in shield then I made another to fit around my camera Tamron lens hood at 67mm diameter. The controller is made up of 2 x switched PWM controllers from Amazon They're only £1.89 each so was worth it to try out. I tested in anger last night and all went very well 3 hours of imaging in -5C my 130PDS was white with frost but my guide scope was clear. Chuffed :-) Band 1 = 16 x 330ohm @ 12Vdc, 0.58A max = 6.9W band 2 = 20 x 330ohm @ 12Vdc, 0.72A max = 8.7W
  10. Thanks all. I've decided to send it back. There's obviously a problem across the whole field and apertures down to f/7.1 something internally is misaligned. Faults aside the colours at f/2.8 look great with this lens. Shame.
  11. Hi all, I've just bought a Samyang 14mm f/2.4 for my Nikon D5100 and am not happy with the results. I've already sent one back and now the replacement appears to be just as bad. As you can see in the sample there is quite a difference in quality. The images were taken at a fairly dark area, ISO400 for 30secs on a Star Adventurer. The crop is from the centre of the lens. Image quality only started to improve after stopping down to f/7.1. If the aberrations are this bad at wide open it would effectively be a useless lens. My kit 18-55 zoom gives far sharper stars across the aperture range. Am I expecting too much from the Samyang or should this one be winging its way back too? I appreciate any advice cheers
  12. Post now complete Bought tripod from Paul as kindly offered. Thanks Paul
  13. Auto guiding with a web cam

    I tried with the MS HD webcam. It was extremely frustrating! Sometimes I'd be able to find a star to guide with but found the camera sensor is just not sensitive enough and quite noisy, I wasted many nights trying. I would have been better taking shorter length exposures instead. I did manage to image Jupiter and the moon with it. In the end I bought a Altair Astro GPCAM2 IMX224 what a difference a decent, sensitive, low light sensor makes. Finding a star to guide with is just not an issue any longer plus I've used the camera for planetary and some deep sky with impressive result. I also use it in conjunction with Sharpcap's polar align tool to achieve excellent polar alignment every time.
  14. Thanks for posting. Hopefully I'll get a chance to go.
  15. Thanks Paul