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Spaced Out

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About Spaced Out

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    Star Forming

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    Northumberland, UK
  1. Spaced Out

    Modded DSLR?

    Yes a DSLR with an astro mod is definitely good ! It will help you pick up more of that red nebulosity. I already had a Canon 6D and 7D when I started astophotography. I had a limited budget and was keen to get a modded DSLR ASAP thinking that would transform my images. However, in the end I followed some excellent advice from here and invested in some basic autoguiding instead. I went from 1 minute exposures to 10+ minute exposures and learned the ropes with my existing DSLRs, the modded camera came later down the line. I think the autoguiding gave me a bigger increase in the quality of my images than a modded camera could have done at that time. I’m not saying don’t get a modded camera, just that if you are going to use a telescope for astrophotography and already own a DSLR it might be worth considering investing in autoguiding first. Here is the thread that helped me.... Here’s a couple of images taken before I got a modded DSLR No autoguiding - 30 sec exposures Autoguiding with 10 minute exposures
  2. OK update....... I've taken the plunge and ordered a 16cm diameter spiral duct pipe at 1.5m length. I'm going to bung 2 brake disks on top (the bottom one slotted into the tube with some long threads into the concrete) and connect them with 4x M16 threads. I'm hoping this will be sturdy enough for my current gear and a future EQ6 purchase at some point. Whatever happens it should at least be better than dragging the tripod and mount outside everytime I want to use the telescope .
  3. Hi Jon Welcome to SGL ! Sounds like you have done your research and have a fairly good idea of what you are doing. When I first got my telescope, it took me ages just to get the thing polar aligned, I didn’t really know what I was doing and I still don’t a lot of the time ! I can’t offer you much useful advice other than to say it sounds like you are along the right lines. For me as a learner the hardest parts were polar alignment and collimation, but after a bit of practice those things fell into place. Enjoy the new telescope !
  4. Yeah, you've got me thinkng about using a smaller 15cm/6inch tube now ! Only problem I have is that disks on the top would still be 24cm wide. Plenty of people seem to have used the thinner tube with 2 wider brake discs on top tho and I've not seen anyone reporting problems with that approach. I'm left wondering if it really needs to be 25cm/10inch to be solid enough for my use, or if 15cm/6 inch would be ample ? You seem to get on fine with yours.
  5. Thanks, and is that solid and generally vibration free for the NEQ6 and a large telescope ?
  6. Thanks, I'm getting a spiral air con duct pipe, seems to be a known approach to building a concrete pier and it's dead cheap. A very tight budget and the need for a solid imaging platform have led me down concrete pier/brake disk route.
  7. Thanks for replying. Yeah I maybe 25cm diameter is overkill for my needs ? I'm looking for a good solid base for imaging, might upgrade to an EQ6 mount and slightly larger telescope at some point, maybe the pier doesn't need to be this wide ? Lots of folk seem to use 15cm diameter pipes with 2 disk brakes. My plan is a budget concrete pier using disk brakes, I've already got the disks (£9 off ebay ! bargain) and they are 24cm wide but the centres would slot neatly into a 15cm tube if I chose that route.
  8. Thanks Adam, I've read that wider is more solid and less prone to vibration ?.... so I figured I would go as wide as possible without causing obstruction. Searching online for DIY concrete piers there are a lot of 15cm pipes with 2 wider disk brakes on top but also a lot of 25-30cm diameter piers too, some with just a single disk/plate on top of about the same diameter. I could only do the 15cm pipe by bolting together 2 disks and slotting one into the top. With a 25cm pipe I could just bolt one disk straight into the top. I was just thinking wider with wide bolts and a single disk brake is simpler and it would be more sturdy than skinny with 2 disks bolted together on top........ or am I over-thinking it ? Maybe 15cm would be just fine for my needs ? However, the brakes disks I have are 24cm wide anyway so there is a potential obstruction already at 24cm wide ! Is your pier 150cm diameter ? Is it rock solid for your NEQ6 and a decent sized telescope ? I'm very happy to be guided by folk like yourself with good experience.
  9. OK, so after lots of reading online and a bit of head scratching I have decided to go with building a pier with a 10inch/25cm diameter. My only slight concern is potential for ‘pier strike’. Just wondering if others with this diameter pier have had any issues with the telescope hitting it ? Just thought I’d better ask before I hit the buy button for a 10inch/25cm tube and fill it with concrete ! I currently use a HEQ5 pro with a Skywatcher 200PDS.
  10. I started off using an intervalometer because I already had one with my DSLR so it was familiar ground. After a few months I tried the APT free software and really liked it, in particular I found the large live view/image review screen and the ability to dither really useful. As a result I don’t use an intervalometer anymore. However, I think the intervalometer was definitely a good way to keep things simple when I was just starting up and getting to grips with new things like polar alignment.
  11. That puts my mind at rest ! Thanks.
  12. Thanks that is interesting. I'm on a very tight budget so looking at the concrete pier as the cheapest (and perhaps sturdiest ?) option, also I hope to upgrade to an NEQ6 or similar at some point soonish and thought the brake disk option is a nice cheap way to accommodate that change.
  13. Thanks for your input David 1 - I've just done this, it measures 190mm from tripod centre to the tube so I am guessing this means a 250mm pier diameter will be OK then ? 2 - The pier will be outside, I have no room for an obs build around it unfortunately but will base myself in a nearby shed and run wires over to there. I’m lucky that I already have an excellent uninterrupted view to the horizon looking east (out to sea) but unfortunately the southern view has some nearby LED streetlights wrecking things and I was actually thinking of raising my garden fence by a few inches to shield the telescope from any stray light, so a low southern angle is a non starter 8(. I live on a bit of a hill and the garden gets quite windy but the pier location will be quite close to a fence and the house itself that should shield it from the prevailing westerly/north westerly winds. 3 – I’m still scratching my head a little with this, so when you fill the pipe how does the concrete not just push out of the bottom of the tube and spill out everywhere ? Or does that just not happen ? I thought doing it in 2 separate pours with the rebar in place to hold it together would be easier but that seems to go against general advice. My mate has a cement mixer and will be helping me too so I hope it will all go smoothly !
  14. Hi all Just in the process of planning a very simple concrete pier. I was thinking of basically bunging a single brake disc directly onto the top of a concrete tube (probably formed using some of that spiral air duct pipe) and connecting them with some thick threaded bars. I’ve done a bit of research and have established that I need to use thick threads/bolts between the disk and top of the concrete tube to maintain stability, and also keep the gap as small as possible between the disc and the concrete for the same reason. I will dig a reasonable base hole and re-enforce the concrete with rebar. Now I’m not a great DIY guy so I have three (probably dumb) questions.... 1 – I have read that the larger the diameter of the concrete pier the more stable it will be. I have a brake disk ready to use which is approximately 250mm diameter so was thinking of getting a 250mm diameter pipe to form the pier. However, I’ve noticed that a lot of people used thinner pipes than the pier tops/brake disks, is there a reason for this ? Might 250mm be too wide and risk collision between the telescope and pier ? I’m planning on using a skywatcher 200PDS on the pier to start with. 2 - I have read a little bit about the ideal pier height but remain a little confused ! Lower is more stable, higher gives better visibility (really ?). I like the idea of lower is more stable (it might also help block a streetlight out for me) but does higher really give better views ? I think I am settling for approximately 1m height. I intend to use this pier predominantly for imaging (currently with Newtonian reflectors) so would value any opinions on ideal height for this purpose. 2 – I’ve read that people recommend making a concrete pier in one pour but I am struggling to get my head around how you can pour concrete into a tube and not have it just run out of the bottom ? I was thinking of making a frame for the hole, putting the rebar in place and then pouring the base first, then pouring the tube later on. However, everyone seems to recommend one pour so how is that done ? Do you do the base first and then pour the tube a little later but before the base has fully gone off ? Thanks in advance for your advice.
  15. Spaced Out

    Milky Way

    I use a 6D for landscapey milky way/aurora shots etc... I started off with the Samyang 14mm F2.8 and enjoyed it but then I bought the Samyang 24mm F1.4 and I have to say it is better for doing Milky Way stuff. In fact the 24mm is now my default lens for most night sky shots and the 14mm has been relegated to mainly star trails where a wide WIDE angle is required. Don’t get me wrong, the Samyang 14mm is good (very good for the money) but it has serious warping issues which become quite noticeable where straight lines are involved (for example a big seascape horizon), yes you can correct that via processing but it gets tedious. By comparison I find the 24mm lacks such obvious warping and you can shoot it at F2 to get sharp stars = lower ISO/less noise than the 14mm. My standard go-to milky way settings for nice sharp stars on both lenses are as follows 14mm – 30 secs, F.4, ISO 5000 V 24mm – 20 secs, F2, ISO 3200 You can see examples I took with both lenses in some of these albums.... https://www.flickr.com/photos/132427272@N04/albums For me it has to be the Samyang 24mm f1.4 over the Samyang 14mm f2.8 for milky way stuff.

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