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About BigRD

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    Stirling, Scotland
  1. Hi Davy, it's suprising how easily you can lose an hour staring at the sky. Astrophotography can assist in losing many more :-) Roy
  2. Hi Scott, I'm not too far away in Stirling. Blighted by the same street light issue! I've new to this hobby too...bitten hard :-) Roy
  3. Thanks Peter it was my first time :-) Check the model once you're back in France in the meantime here's my approach. I followed the route others had taken to get the camera's Bulb function working for DSLR Shutter (free) and Backyard Nikon. The D5100 needs a serial cable to control the shutter and can also be simulateously connected via USB for other functions. Other Nikon cameras work with just the USB. Check Backyard Nikon Compatibility to see if your camera needs a serial cable first. There's a couple of threads in the their forum for 2 versions of the cable. I'm competent with a soldering iron so the Nikon cable was fairly straighforward for me. There's a couple of ways you can tackle it but both require a manual remote shutter release cable to start with. You only really need the plug that's inserted in the camera along with the cable and discard the pushbutton. This cost me £6 from Amazon SHOOT MC-DC2 Remote I also bought this FT232RL TTL to USB . Before I butchered the cable I tried it out on the camera first and noticed that as long as the cable was plugged in Bulb was available for longer than 30 secs and can be controlled manually by my wireless remote and no lense attached. The Pleaides picture was taken using this method at 60 sec exposure length. I kept the housing to fit the TTL to USB converter. You'll also need a USB cable USB A to mini USB a 4.7kOhm 1/8 watt resistor, 2 x Germanium 1N34 or 1N60 diodes (must be Germanium and I found them on eBay 5 for £1) and a PNP Epitaxial transistor - I used a BC556. Components cost approx £1.50. There's a post on Cloudy Nights forum with instructions - not sure if cross forum posting is allowed so I'll leave it to you to search but you'll find a link to in the Backyard Nikon forum on RTS cables. It all fitted neatly inside the remote pushbutton case. I've used a 10M Active USB Repeater Cable with a USB hub at the mount end. All working well so far I'm going to add another USB Repeater cable so the photo data is not transfered on the same USB cable as the controls, guide camera etc. The other route is to buy a ready made USB Relay Controller (have seen these on ebay too) and fit in between the butchered remote cable and a USB cable - I think this needs a USB type B. Hope this helps Clear skies Roy
  4. Good to see this thread bumped up. I bought a EQ3-2 (actually a SkyScan 2001) late last year complete with a small 90mm Mak scope. After a bit of work and a steep learning curve I've taken on modding the mount for imaging. Some say it's not up to it, well I've managed to take my first photos of M42 and M45 and I'm chuffed with the results. I'm using a Skywatcher 130PDS with Nikon D5100 DSLR. I've DIY fitted 2 stepper motors controlled with EQMod via the fantastic self assembled AstroEQ interface. I've just finished making a side-by-side bracket and fitted a Skywatcher ST80 for guiding. All I need now is clear skies to setup and test. I've also added a DIY polar scope illuminator and DIY shutter control cable for the Nikon. I'm probably at the limit of the mount's capabilities but it's been fun to push it. I've dismantled the DEC and part of the RA, cleaned, lubricated with lithium grease, reassembled and setup. I've improved on the slack and backlash which was very evident when I bought it. I may consider filling the legs to aid stability however it's fine for now....I just want to get out and use it!!
  5. What's the aperture size? 50mm, should've read the title properly 😀
  6. Hi, I'm also a beginner...At 51 😀
  7. Hi all, After lurking about these forums for a couple of months I thought it was about time I said hello. Hello from Stirling I've always felt that one day I'd take a greater interest in astronomy. Spurned on by my son starting Astro Physics at Uni that time has now come. With limited funds to start with last Sept I treated myself to a second hand Skyscan 2001 (EQ3-2) mount with a Skywatcher C90 Mak. I felt it was missing something so Santa treated me to a Skywatcher 130PDS - ideal for hooking up my DSLR. I was blown away by the number of objects that I could see and the clarity. I could actually see M42 and Pleiades! I never thought it possible to take photos like those posted in these forums something I'd like to pursue. A single 2 sec exposure of M42 brought so much more detail than I thought. My next step is to motorise my mount. I came across the excellent EQMod project and the excellent AstroEQ project by Tom Carpenter. Most parts have now been bought so next step is to put it all together. Polar alignment at 56 degrees = sore knees and a crick in my neck! Roy