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festoon

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About festoon

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    Cambridge, UK

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  1. festoon

    Good Grab n Go mount for Celestron C5.

    As highlighted in my post earlier this week, I think my C5 goes well on the AZGTi. Only had them together on a couple of nights but so far, very positive!! I'm not sure how it would perform manually panning....
  2. festoon

    Portable EAA Setup

    Thanks @Howie_Oz my sensor is is a revolution R2, so I believe only 1/3 inch in size. So hopefully vignetting will be small.
  3. festoon

    Portable EAA Setup

    Thanks Davy @shirva :) I will look into buying one of those to power the camera
  4. festoon

    Portable EAA Setup

    Thank you @shirva, @RobertI, and @Howie_Oz I think its the first time in ages that I've had a real wow moment with astronomy. I was so excited I had to go and get my phone to take some photos. Its been a great first journey into video astronomy, I've learnt something new, and met/chatted with some top people along the way I've literally 5 minutes ago just puchased a Meade f/3.3 focal reducer from @ngwillym (thank you Neil for responding to my wanted ad)....really looking forwards to getting that on the back and continuing my journey. Fingers crossed the aberations at f/3.3 will not kill the image Once I'm happy with this, next step will be a filter slide...something like https://www.365astronomy.com/TS-Optics-Filter-Quick-Changer-incl.-1x-1.25-Filter-Drawer-Low-Profile.html
  5. festoon

    Portable EAA Setup

    Thanks @Lockie. Absolutely love the C5 Best wishes to you!
  6. festoon

    Portable EAA Setup

    Just wanted to report on the great experience I have just had over the past week with my new set up. I am really new to video astronomy, and had not even thought about it until I saw the various threads on the Unistellar eVscope. Also this is my first write up of any of my equipment I've previously had some good nights with my C8 on HEQ5 imaging planets using a QHY5L-II camera, but I found the faff of having to set up, making sure the laptop is charged, cold fingers, laptop battery running out. Sometimes by the time I had got through the whole set up, ready to go it took so long that the corrector plate had dewed over, or clouds had started to roll in. In my back garden, using the C8 I have struggled to see any detail on galaxies and to be honest even struggled to see anything at all apart from a very faint occasional galaxy smudge. Good examples of this have been a long quest to get a good view of M81 and M82. The aim of this set up was to put together a set up that I can have fully assembled, ready to go and to try and bring out detail that I just cant visually on deep sky objects from my back garden. My first purchase was the revolution imager. This came up on astrobuysell a few weeks ago, and I'd read about it in discussions on CN as a way of getting into EAA for people of little experience of video astronomy. When I saw it up for sale I took the plunge. It came with the monitor, a x0.5 reducer, wifi add on, usb capture, and 25 foot extension cable (thank you Tim for sending it in such great packaging, and for all the help and information you gave me before buying). The plan in my head was that my conservatory would become my observatory. In the conservatory I can power the set up, have the live monitor on the dining table, and then using the extension cable have my set up in my usual observing location. In this set up the R2 can be powered by mains using the supplied AC-12V DC adaptor Next I bought a second hand C5 from @Lockie. This was chosen primarily because of its weight and OTA length, but also giving a reasonable 5" aperture. I realise that at F/10 it is not suitable for EAA, but so far have worked at f/5 using the x0.5 reducer. The OTA was in great condition, and when I got it home I could not believe how lightweight it felt. Finally I bought a AZ GTI mount from @FLO. My plan was to couple it to a tripod from my AZ-EQ5. This is the 'old' AZEQ5 tripod type with the short legs and pier. I've never found this as stable as a standard HEQ5 tripod and spreader, but it is slightly lighter, and I thought would be a good match for the AZ GTI if I did not extend the legs (as I would not be viewing). When the AZ-GTI arrived I realised I forgot to buy the Berlebach 3/8" Photo Adapter...so again ordered this from @FLO and it arrived the next day! Putting everything together, the whole thing I think is sub 10kg, and very easy to carry from the conservatory into the garden. For powering the mount I'm using a Tracer 12V LiPo 8Ah which I've "integrated" into the tripod My first light was Friday night (18/5/18). It was a clear evening but to be honest this was not such a sucessful evening as after doing a north level 2 star alignment with the AZGTI, when I slewed to an object, sometimes I could find it, sometimes the OTA was pointing no where near where it was meant to be. However I did get a chance to to get use to the menus and settings of the R2 imager, and had some nice views of various globular clusters (when I could find them). After a couple of hours I found the corrector plate had dew'd over so brought the equipment indoors. Looking at the mount I could see that the mount and Berlebach adaptor was not tightly coupled to the mount, so that when I move the mount in AZ the OTA was not moving correctly. After removing the adaptor and mount from the tripod, I tightened the Berlebach adaptor up to the mount. And upon final assembly of it all, it looked all OK. Next evening Saturday (19/05/18) was also clear and I set up at dusk and did a quick north level 2 star align on Polaris and Arcturus. Using the goto I went straight for the globular clusters M92 and M13. It was still bright twilight, but I got a beautiful view and well within the FOV first time. After viewing a few more globular clusters, I went onto galaxies. Great views of both M81 and M82. Then onto some galaxies that I've never even got got a sign of visually M51, M63, M94, NCG4565. They all appeared first time in the FOV and tracking was working well to get for me great pictures. I was so impressed I snapped some pictures of what was on the monitor using my iphone. I know to some these will not be impressive, but I was so wowed to see these galaxies in such detail for the first time. These were with fixed exposure 128 FLD, DNR=6, ACG max=36, and after several minutes on screen. I know there are some star trails - but I expect if I used DNR=0 and used sharpcap to stack it would be significantly better. Last night I connected up the USB frame grabber for the first time to the laptop and connected it to the R2. The PC recognised the USB driver straight away and sharpcap was easy to install, and recognised the camera. It was a cloudy night so I had nothing to look at, but just wanted a play on using the software. My only dissapointment was to find that I had a flicker on the image, almost horizontal lines that moved down in groups of 3 or 4. After a bit of googling I looked for the cause, and it was the fact that I had my laptop connected to the charger. As soon as I removed the mains power from the laptop and went onto battery the flicker went away. I then tried putting the laptop back onto the charger and it appeared again. I found I could also remove the effect if I stopped powering the R2 using the mains-DC plug and used a DC 12V battery instead. So it appears it is some sort of interference when both the R2 and laptop are powered by mains. This is a slight inconvenience as I will have to remember to take out the power cord to the laptop whenever I start stacking frames. Does anyone have any suggestions to have both the laptop and R2 powered by mains and for this problem not to occur? My next plans are to get a f/3.3 reducer and a single filter slide..... All in all, I am very much looking forwards to using the kit again. I have seen some galaxies that I never ever thought I would see from my back garden - with a 5" telescope, tiny goto mount, that I can carry easily, that takes 10 minutes to set up, even when its not completely dark outside! Bring on the holidays when the kids can stay up later and we can hopefully all enjoy seeing some new things in the sky
  7. festoon

    Which cam

    I've just bought the AZ GTI for EAA with my C5 and revolution imager R2. Only had one night out but I would say it was good enough for my needs. 95% of the time when I goto a new object it was in the field of view (the only DSS object I could not find on the night was M101 and everything else appeared straight away after doing a north level align to 2 stars), and tracking was stable enough to integrate frames for several minutes without any issues. I did put it on a AZEQ5 tripod for added stability. Based on a first light I would say good, but I would like to try it again a few more times before I say definately reccomend it to others.
  8. festoon

    NB filters reduce skyglow!

    Nice one!!! So there still is a better sky with a visual LP filter...I always wondered if they were having any effect at all!! Thank you for the additional measurements
  9. festoon

    NB filters reduce skyglow!

    Great stuff - look forward to you findings Thank you!!
  10. festoon

    NB filters reduce skyglow!

    Thank you I think this may be fairly similar as both are broad band LP filters....I expect the effect will be no where near as good as even the OIII
  11. festoon

    NB filters reduce skyglow!

    Thank you for posting, really helpful information for those who have not got a sky quality meter. If you have one - it would be great to see the effect of a skyglow filter like the Baader Neodymium
  12. festoon

    Meade F/3.3 reducer

    Thanks Merlin - you are probably right...I was going by a post on cloudynights (eg dwight j post https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/521873-does-anyone-still-manufacture-f33-focal-reducers/) I suspect the NextGen reducers to be hard to come by second hand
  13. festoon

    Meade F/3.3 reducer

    If anyone has a Meade F/3.3 reducer "made in Japan" I'm looking to buy one. Would alternatively consider a NextGen MAXfield NGM 0.33X Telecompressor Lens or MFR-5 x0.33 reducer
  14. Hi Gav, I had a similar effect to this on my AZEQ5 in AZ mode using the wifi dongle a couple of weeks ago. I found once I moved the FOV the object it no longer tracked well. The problem showed when using the Synscan app, after using GOTO then moving the object to re-centre. However if I then clicked point and track the tracking changes from sidereal to point and track and the effect seemed to be fixed. If this works please let me know, as I'm considering buying an AZGTi for a portable EAA set up....I only need a few seconds integration time for near live images, but I was hoping the AZGTI would be good enough for the job.
  15. Previously I've used a earthwin power filterslider which is really useful for visual...it has the capability of holding two filters and you can slide them in and out very easily. And it has the ability to barlow or reduce your view by sliding these elements in and out also. When at dark sky sites I used my DGM NPB nebula filter as filter 1 and a OIII filter as filter 2. And when looking at planets I had a red filter as filter 1 and a Baader Neodymium as filter 2
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