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Everything posted by hairymunky

  1. Couple of questions... Has anyone used or built either a eq-platform, or a wedge for their dob? I'm toying with the idea of building one (with the help of my joiner friend), but am unsure which would be the best to make. Im leaning towards the wedge idea (no field rotation?), so I can try some imaging with the scope. The only problems I can see with the wedge, is balance (centre of gravity), and the fact the scope might jump out of the base, which wouldn't be a good thing I've also read that the small stepper-motors from old floppy drives can be used for tracking/driving, but would these really have enough torque to drive the whole thing??? Any help/comments/advice welcome Graham
  2. Think I've been bitten by the imaging bug, unfortunately for me, I'll need to wait a while before I can acquire some kit, mainly a mount, as my (good) wife wants a holiday, and a new kitchen (nothing wrong with the one thats there...) so I'll be practicing my afocal imaging, and fixed tripod imaging for a wee while.
  3. Wow!!! Thanks CW, I never knew all that detail was in that one shot. How did you tweak the image? (if you don't mind me asking). I've got all these programs on my machine (ie CS3, registax, dss etc), and to be honest, don't really have the foggiest idea how to use them... Tried to stack the original 12 raw images last night in dss, but the final image looks more like some strange maze puzzle, rather than any of the images :? Back to the constructions instructions....
  4. Cheers guys. Was tricky trying to keep the camera looking "straight" down the focusser
  5. Had a go at M42 last week, with a 70-300mm zoom (at 300mm). Set the ISO to 1600, and exposure of 2 secs, as any more gave quite bad trails (should really invest in a driven mount at some point, hint hint mrs munky!!!) Also set the noise-reduction function on the canon, to reduce any noise. Took a few shots, and tried to stack them in registax, but it kept bailing with an "list out of bounds error" so I gave up (really need to sit down and figure out how to use that program) So after a few shots, and a few hours trying to stack, this is what I came up with (just one of the single shots I took) Now I need to learn about "post-processing" to try and get more detail out of the image
  6. Well, not had much chance to use my new canon 350 since I got it, but tonight, the sky was clear, and gave it a go... Used my 8" Lightbridge, with a 40mm EP, and held the camera up to the focuser, with a 35mm lens, strangely autofocus doesn't work, so manual focus, and here's the result... Quite chuffed for my first attempt
  7. Hi Dave Noticed that the other week coming home down the M77 Just as well I never drove up there tonight to try out my new D-SLR!!!!! Planning a wee jaunt out towards Muirkirk this weekend, out past Kames just to see what the skies are like...
  8. Thats the way I saw Mars through my 8" dob last night. Just a whitish/yellowy globe. I just put it down to being still quite low on the east. I was expecting something with a bit more detail, but.. will try again another night if its clear....
  9. Only bought a couple of small bits 'n' bobs so far, while I save up for a decent EQ mount, but got to take my hat off to Auntie FLO for such a wonderful service Bought a set of eyepeices from somewhere else last year (sorry Steve), and they didn't turn up for over a month, with no contact, no reply to my emails, no-one at the phone... if I did that at work it would be down the dole, no more astro stuff etc etc etc Cheers Steve
  10. Thanks guys. Will probably save up some more money and get a proper mount, rather than buy a small mount, then end up paying more later on for a bigger mount. So far I'm stuck between the celestron CG5-GT and the skywatcher HEQ5, my poor wife's going to have a canary when she sees the prices... [edit] I think the mount from BCF/Telescope house is without the drives, which you buy seperate for another £45 [edit]
  11. What would be a good mount choice for imaging with a dslr? At first it will just be the camera and stock lens, but later I hope to add maybe a small rich-field refractor as my skill progresses. Found this on FLO: http://tinyurl.com/29hete Or should I save a bit more money, and buy something a little bit bigger/sturdier ? Would also need to be quite portable, as I've a bit of light pollution at home, and I'd be going off to a dark site out on the moors. Any help greatly appreciated Graham
  12. Thanks guys. That little Mak looks just the chappie Birthday's in just over a week, so I'm leaving a little trail of hints everywhere
  13. would this be a good 2nd scope choice, to go with my 8" dob ? http://www.firstlightoptics.com/proddetail.php?prod=ev120eq5 Fancy trying my hand at some planetary imaging after having no joy with the dob. Trying to keep the image on the ccd, while gently trying to nudge the dob, just didn't seem to work very well With a birthday & crimbo round the corner, I've been window shopping and think this would be a good choice... Cheers G
  14. Having just found a dentist the other week who had space left, I think it would be going towards the work my chompers need Alas, no new astro equipment for me for a while... DOH!!!
  15. Probably a small rich-field scope, and keep some pennies for coffee (and milk, and sugar... )
  16. I've used QAstrocam for recording images from the SNC900. Had a bit of bother at first building the kernel modules for the webcam, but got there in the end. Registax works under Wine, and theres the Gimp for Photoshop http://3demi.net/astro/logiciels.html for more linux astro apps.
  17. Thanks Mick Will see how I get on, I bought "real" solder, and not the "diet" version If I get stuck....
  18. A steady hand, and another to keep the cat from sticking her nose in as Im trying to solder !!!! I've just realized I forgot to get the parts for the USB/parallel port thingy hmmmmph!!! Back to maplin....
  19. would a can of fresh air oops, I mean compressed air do the trick, as I have some kicking about that I use for cleaning computer bits and bobs, I'd be careful not to let any propellant out of the can..
  20. Just ordered all the bits from maplin, to mod my spc900nc to sc1. Has anyone done this themselves ? If so how easy to do...? The website "made" it look easy, so here's hoping. Although it shows everything put back in the original case, I bought a new plastic case to rehouse everything, and set the LX switch in. Its been a while since I did any soldering, so Im a bit rusty, and will probably end up with a couple of burnt fingertips
  21. I did have the book "How to make a telescope" by Jean Texerea, which covered everything from grinding the mirrors, testing them, and if I remember even making your own eyepieces. It also covered making your own mount, focuser, circuit diagrams for mtor drives etc. Unfortunatly my wife seems to have thought that as I have a telescope, the book was "surplus to requirements" and has since found its way into our blue recycling bin!!!! I also remember that Richard Berry (from the USA's Astronomy mag) wrote a book on how to build a telescope, although I don't know if it's still in print...
  22. Just had a new bathroom fitted recently, and there was a hell of a lot of plaser/building dust (builders from hell sort of stuff). Some of it has found its way onto the primary mirror of my Lightbridge, and althogh it doesnt "seem" to be causing any problems, should I "pop" it out and clean it, or just leave it. Dont want to scratch the primary, or do any other damage. Just thought Id ask before I plough on in and end up scoring the mirror or the like... cheers HM
  23. Cheers Just been looking at a Celestron Nexstar 5, which the wife thinks looks quite "cute" ?!?!
  24. Ive got a major hospital for a neighbour, complete with its own landing strip for the Arran sea-king, to the west there's a driving range (about 8 miles away) and I can see the light from it as if I were there playing golf!!! (Dont understand the need to play golf when it's dark.. or raining..?!?). To the south, my house gets in the way, but if I go to the back of the garden I can get some good views, and to the north, nothing but countryside, cows, sheep, stars... On a good night, the mag would be about 3.5 (ish), just as well I can drive for 15 minutes and have at least some decent dark skies
  25. The boss wife tells me its either a new scope or a digital SLR, I was thinking I'd be better getting the scope first (as well as the motor drives), then waiting off for a DSLR, and using the spc900 toucam that I've already got, to practice imaging. Just don't want to dive in and buy the first thing I see, and end up with something that's not really suited for the task (as I'm prone to doing )
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