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London_David

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About London_David

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  1. That sounds very good with the Compute Stick. Do you need to tweak anything? I was skeptical with the 2Gb Atom and was tempted to go for something like this (Bben Z8300 4GB, 64GB Mini Desktop Computer or the MINIX Z83-4 with similar specs) a bit larger but I wondered if they'd be more reliable, since there seemed to be some issues with the compute stick. I read AstroJedi's post that said he needed to turn off some of the software that is pre-installed. Did you have any issues there, or with the USB 3 and ASI camera, or with the WiFi/USB 3 connection? I read there were issues there too. The other question I had was -- do you use a touchscreen to remote desktop in? I was planning to do that but wondered if SharpCap and other software might not have interfaces that were not that useable on a touch screen.
  2. Thanks again for all the help. @Martin Meredith - Bahtinov mask arrived this morning! And after playing with focus last night I think I'll go for the parfocal Baader filters, rather than introduce extra complications. I'll work through those extra tweaks! Thanks for all your help. I'll post the first galaxy pic I get back here. @Robrj and @HiloDon -- thanks for the camera notes. Also thanks to @Astrojedi who hasn't posted in this thread but has posted lots of useful interesting stuff, including a lot with the ASI Rob suggested which convinced me that it was the best match to take a chance on for mono DSO observing. Plus, if the DSO's prove too difficult to see where I am, the camera should be good for lunar, and in the future I figure it will be a decent guidecam if I decide to upgrade to some as yet unannounced zero noise super sensitive camera. @shirva to keep things light for portable power, I'm looking at one of these (https://www.firstlightoptics.com/batteries-powerpacks/tracer-12v-10ah-lithium-polymer-battery-pack.html) or (https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00YP823NA/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A3KPCAN4ISC0PS) or (http://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p5991_TS-Optics-10000-mAh-ultra-flat-Powerbank-for-CCD--mounts--mobile-phone-----.html) for the EQ3 rather than a lead-acid battery. Also -- it should power any other accessories (i.e. computer and camera). I need to figure out the power consumption of the mount first for judging how long they'll run for per Ah. So I tried out the new equipment on the last two nights which have been clear and... I can't see Polaris so I've had some trouble aligning, I'm working on some daytime alignment methods, I just haven't figured them out yet with the Synscan GoTo operation. But it was getting late. I saw Jupiter coming across so, I manually pointed at Jupiter looked visually. It looked like a good sized disc in the 24mm eyepiece, though it was very bright and I couldn't see much detail, which also made the 4 moons harder to see, but it was quite satisfying relative to the 10x50 binoculars I have. I switched out the eyepiece to the ASI -- but before it was set up working properly on the computer, heavy haze set in and all I got in the end was a very fuzzy out of focus smudge... There will be other clear nights though. Other than alignment, setting up and breaking down has been fast and easy. The Synscan interfaces with my Mac and PC with no trouble, though the ASI seems to have some teething issues runing to Firecapture through Parallels (I'm sure that a computer setting). I'm also tempted to switch to an Intel Compute Stick like AstroJedi for a super compact setup, though I'm surprised the Atom chip is powerful enough to stack efficiently. Either way, I'm going to get everything running smoothly before adding a new computer... AstroLive USB seems to work smoothly enough on OS X, though I've obviously not tried it much over and above checking to see if frames were coming in and stacking. I also had a copy of Starry Night Pro which interfaces with the Synscan nicely on both Mac and PC. It's quite fun to use that to explore objects and point the telescope. As it is the set up is very (for an equatorial mount) light and easily portable. The mount breaks down to a very compact size and you could easily cary it in a small tote bag or backpack (minus the legs, which are also light). Everything else fits in a small shoebox. The OTA I'm hopeful will fit into a padded Manfrotto tripod carry case I have, but I haven't tested that yet. This should be a great portable rig which is quick to move and set up. Once I figure this Polar alignment out... Overall -- on first impressions -- I'm very pleased with everything, and looking forward to tracking down some interesting things!
  3. Thanks to everyone for the help, it was all very useful. I have purchased a 150pds with the EQ3Pro GoTo mount. After a bit more digging (thank you for the suggestion @Robrj ) I've also purchased an ASI290 mono and filter wheel. Astrojedi's results convinced me... I'm very interested to see what results I get. There has been a surprising amount of skepticism in person about short subs and using cameras like the Lodestar for galaxies... And heaven forbid a CMOS! camera for anything other than planetary imaging. I was tempted by the zwo electronic filter wheel but I decided I'd get setup first and make sure the 290 can do what I want before spending more. Also if the whole thing is a wash out and I can't image or see anything... then the 290 will be pretty decent for the moon anyway which is my second interest after galaxy's. What else... Filters. I was going to buy the Baader CCD LRGB set but the guy in the store said the ZWOs would be good enough and less than half the price. I appreciate that he was trying to save me money but... My priority is the the Baader 7nm Hii filter and that won't be parfocal with the ZWO. What gave me pause was that I could buy an auto focuser for less than the additional cost of the Baader CCD filters over the ZWO. And actually... just how par-focal are filters even from the same set, moving any glass in an optical system tends to make you want to double check focus. Are the Baader or ZWO just as good on my setup? Will it have a noticeable effect on exposure time or image quality? And can anyone recommend an auto focuser for the 150pds? I assume, also, that the 7nm is recommended over the 35nm? Is there a reason to get the 35nm? How much will the 7nm extend my Are there other things I should be getting (someone mentioned bobs knobs in a post, flocking too)? Should I bother with a light pollution filter, if I'm going rgb hii and mainly mono plus hii. I assume it would help with the mono but I also assume it will mess with the IR signal. Are there any other bits and bobs I should now about that make things easier/better...? @martin -- In an earlier post you said that there might be some tweaks to a Newtonian you could recommend… what would you suggest!? Looking forward to first light! Thanks!
  4. I had a chance to go to a shop and see the equipment today in person, which made things a lot clearer and simpler. The following will probably be no surprise to many! The EQ3Pro is actually quite small and compact and I should have no issue with it in terms of space. It also essentially flat packs when you take it apart which makes it relatively easy to move around. The Celesteon AVX is a nice looking mount in person, though actually quite large, similar in size to the HEQ5. Ironically, the small StarWatcher Discovery mount I previously looked at is actually larger and more awkward than I expected because of the plastic arm shape. It's also not very attractive looking. In addition the 150PDS ota is smaller than I imagined too. All of which pretty convincingly puts me at onto an EQ3Pro (£399) with a: -- Skywatcher 150PDS f5 (£219, £618 total), or -- TS Optics 6" f4 Carbon Fiber (€849[~£745], £1144 total) I did look at the 80ED which is very compact. I could definitely just leave it out -- so zero set up time for visual which would be fun. It's a possibility, but I'm not sure I'll get out of it what I want. That said, if I upgrade later it would make a nice companion to an 8". I'm still unsure about the camera -- the I spoke to was very unconvinced about the Lodestar for imaging and short subs for DSO... but I'll trust the maths (and posts, descriptions and pictures here). I'll probably go for an ASI174 or Lodestar X2 mono. @Robrj -- The reason I previously dismissed the Ultrastar mono was @HiloDon saying he'd only recommend it for dark skies and fast optics -- and London definitely doesn't have dark skies...! As I said, I'm still unsure about the camera. I'll take another look.
  5. Hi Shirva, ED80... Well, that is a thought that would solve all the size problems but also… it’s what started them! It was meeting someone at an astronomy society last month with an ed80, StarAdventurer block and DSLR that got me looking to buy a telescope in the first place, hahaha! As it happens the next observing meet up of the society I'm a member of is next week -- I've kind of been on here researching in the meantime trying to educate myself to be able to ask decent questions. Last month I was really clueless and could only ask the most basic questions. I couldn't even tell you what equipment anyone had -- it all looked much the same!!! So 80ED refractor — I didn't think that size of refractor was going to show me the stuff I'm interested in and so decide against it. Please explain that I'm wrong since a smaller scope would make things easier… I’m most excited about exploring what's out there in terms of the science. I don't want to compete in astro photographer of the year but as I posted to Martin above, I’m more interested in trying to image interesting things - even if it’s a just tiny smudge of the edge of a galaxy. I want to discover things rather than make things look nice with a camera. Would I be able to do that with an 80mm refractor? If I could, to get it fast for EAA I think I’d be looking at something like: William Optics Star 71 II at f4.9 71/350mm which is £1274 AltairAstro Lightwave 72/432 f6 £399 Altair Astro Starwave 70/350mm f5 £999 Starwave 72EDR 72/432mm f6 £399 Skywatcher Esprit 80/400mm f5 £995 4kg TSOptics 71/347mm f4.9 €1199 2kg TSOptics 72/400mm f5.5 €675 2kg TSOptics 80/480 f6 and (379 f4.74 in reducer set up) £689 Knowing nothing of the quality of the optics (other than, you get what you pay for), on bang for buck the TS Optics or the Skywatcher look best to me there. I'm thinking 70mm unless I start thinking about reducers - as the 80 f4.74 TS comes coma corrected set up like that if you want, which is good. That would make sense for eaa. Definitely interested in any ideas about getting the f ratio down. Also with the refractor I probably could keep the thing mostly set up on a smaller tripod, reducing set up time to next to zero -- certainly for visual. However, my knowledge of refractor telescope quality is minimal and have no experience in comparing the effect of aperture between scopes. I know the resolution maths in arc seconds, but what that actually means... I'm not so sure. Just how much do you loose as you drop in aperture? Am I right in thinking (as with any lens), any given f stop (say f5) should expose as f5 and the FOV at 400 focal length will not too dissimilar (though a bit wider) to the newtonian 130… and so the image should come in at the same speed but less resolution.So… for any given camera it would essentially be like binning 2x2 since the resolution would drop on the smaller aperture, restricting to bigger less detailed objects. Maybe I’m not going to be able to explore that detail anyway due to light pollution and situation. Less resolution may be okay... I just don't know. What do you think? My impression that more photons are better, even with light pollution and not so great seeing. But I'd be very happy to be wrong! I've always assumed refractors were best for making beautiful wide pictures rather than exploring narrowband detail. Anyway... here's what I'm thinking a refractor set up would look like: TSOptics Ota f5.5 2kg, £589 IOptron Cube Pro mount £355 ZWO ASI 174 Camera 1kg £647 Which actually takes me back down to exactly my original guess at a budget and is physically much smaller... but can it do the job? Also with a sub 5kg payload I have other mounts that I could play with for visual, which would be cool. Going back to the EQ3 Pro... that was my original first choice too. But with the 130pds... I'm not going to lie -- I have a romantic notion of what a telescope looks like from pictures when I was young -- and it's a Newtonian on an equatorial mount. If I was going to go as big as the EQ3 I'd want to get the 130. You are right though -- I think I really need to see a couple of these in person to get a sense of size and weight. The counterweight on the equatorial scares me in terms of additional weight and space. Though I suppose easy to store. I did talk to someone a couple of weeks ago an astronomy shop selling cameras who tried to talk to me about astro imaging — and I’m sure he knew what he was talking about to a point — but he was quite dismissive when I was asking about short subs and said a bunch of stuff about CCDs and CMOS that I knew to be untrue… so I figured there might be better knowledge on line!!! Which definitely seems to be true! Thanks again, David
  6. Hi Martin, To answer you Quattro question: I need to carry it quite far — narrow stairs plus to and from a car. So “quite a pain” isn’t going to work for me… hahaha. Camera wise I'm definitely going mono. I'm quite excited about exploring what I can see in different bands. I think I mentioned before, there was a post you put up of a galaxy and then you overlayed the Ha image that showed up the star forming regions. That kind of thing is much more exciting to me than polishing up long exposures to look beautiful. Similarly, there is another post somewhere showing a relativistic jet from an active galactic nucleus which was a smudge on a b+w image. Again, that is the kind of thing I'm interested in trying to find, not make Hubble. I'm not expecting to see _that_ much with where I am, but I'm hopeful that I'll there will be some interesting stuff I can pick up with a camera. But if the Skywatcher mount is not really good enough on the 150pds for even under 30 subs, I see the following options: Less OTA... 130PDS + StarDiscovery is relatively cheap at less than £500 for both (ota+1kg takes you to ~5/6kg payload limit). Going cheap certainly appeals if I'm not getting exactly what I want right now. More mount... Jumping substantially to the very nice iOptron AZ Pro at £1299 with a 15kg payload capacity on the compact 6kg mount. This at least should do me if I get a Quattro or similar fasts 8" in the next 18 - 24 months. Plus I could double mount another scope on it when I have space. This is my main thought. A non GoTo Vixen mount -- the Porta 2 rated for 6.8kg. Add on a Train-n-Track which I imagine takes a bit of learning to use. It may be odd but it's a neat small solution (5.7kg inc tripod for £615). This is weirdly tempting because it’s so small -- and weird. A motorised Vixen AZ Polaris T style mount, tiny and pretty (8.2kg payload, £619+589+299). But expensive and with some unknowns on the motor GoTo controls. Not so sure about this right now. With EQ mounts, without seeing them in person I fear they all may be large - especially with the counterweight arm. That said, the EQ3 Pro is rated for 5kg imaging and 7kg for visual. The Celestron AVX looks really nice (£599), but again, probably too big…. but it’s half the price of the iOptron! Hahaha. More OTA... Spend more money on the OTA on a ZWO CF 153 (£650) or TS Optics 153 CF. I know nothing of their quality but it would get me to f/4 and 3.8kg. Plus 1 for the camera, totalling ~5. But if what your saying is right, that still might not be stable enough, even with short frames. So the question that requires some experience to answer --specifically for EAA with short subs is it better to: Loose aperture, go to a 130mm and be a bit more stable on the Star discovery, Chance a 150mm on a Star Discovery, Vixen, or EQ3 Pro at the limits because it matters less for short subs, or Spend disproportionately on the mount now and get something really nice which should see me through a few OTA set ups -- and even though it's not equatorial, should be fine? Thanks again, David
  7. Hi, Thanks again to everyone who’s commented -- everyone has been really helpful. I've just got back from holiday and following HiloDon's suggestion I went back and checked the space I have --and I have miscalculated. I do have space for a 6" evolution, indeed, I have just enough space for an 8" Quattro... I really thought hard about he SCT... The f2 speed is really tempting — but having to switch out the secondary mirror for visual is less appealing, because I would like to sometimes just do visual. However, I’m also really interested in multi-spectral and as I understand it the filter wheel would take up too much space and the drawer solution is sub-optimal… Plus… I've had access to, my Dad’s 8" SCT for a few years and I'd like to try something a little different. Perhaps those are not the most scientific reasons but... My intended final set up is: Skywatcher Explorer 150pds on a StarDiscovery AZ GoTo The 8" Quattro is actually what I really want... but back of envelope calculations suggest it weighs in at about 25Kg, with each component (ota, mount, tripod) weighing about 8kg. Disappointing as it is, I can fit the OTA — but with the bigger mount it’s is too big and heavy for my current location. Not having seen the equipment in person, or tried to lift it / set it up, does this seem correct? It’s not exactly going to be too Martin -- I believe this must be similar to what you have? And I assume this is quite a hefty setup. The Skywatcher Explorer 150pds on a StarDiscovery AZ GoTo is so much lighter. I'm thinking I go cheap and play with the 150pds in my small apartment for a year or two then upgrade to something bigger when I move house and have more space. I do have reservations about the mount, but willing to take a chance. The 150pds OTA is 4.9Kg but then I’m adding maybe 1Kg for the camera and filter wheel. The SkyWatcher load is described as 5kg, however, the Orion StarSeeker which seems to be exactly the same is rated for 6Kg. Either way I know I’m pushing the mount. But I don’t want to have to move up. I basically can’t — the EQ5 is too getting big again. Am I crazy? Again, my aim is not to shoot more than 30 second subs, mainly keep them under 10. Plus, I mainly want to see objects and investigate, rather than make pretty pictures. Should I just drop down again to the 130PDS and then weight is not an issue? Would it make a noticeable difference to EAA speed? I have no idea how much that at 33% smaller aperture will effect EAA viewing. Is there somewhere way I could get a sense of comparison? The Camera... I'm edging towards a Lodestar X2 with an SX filter wheel. But this is a struggle for me. I want a bigger sensor and more resolution... But I would prefer to use the Starlight Live software. This also may be nonsense but my gut says that the CCD Lodestar is less suited to short subs than the CMOS ASI cameras. I have tried loading up other software options and Starlight Live seems the most polished and stable. Perhaps it’s the demo mode, but I was very disappointed that AstroLive would barely load in Camera Simulation mode. It kept crashing on me (also, I’m on a macOS Seirra, though I’m happy to use parallels). And it seems to have been discontinued. All of which makes me a bit nervous. Can anyone tell me of a good or bad live experience with AstroLive and a ZWO camera? Have I just had bad luck with AstroLive not running in simulation mode on a Mac? What can Starlight Live do that AstroLive can’t. I assume Starlight Live can't be made to support ZWO cameras with additional drivers? And @shirva what have you seen of the Altair Astro cameras... Having just seen the Altair Astro Hypercam 174 Mono (https://www.altairastro.com/Altair-Hypercam-IMX174-USB3.0-Mono-Guide-Imaging-Camera.html) that is marketed as and EAA camera, and uses the same chip as the ZWO… though I don’t know what filter wheel would work with it. If you’re thinking this will be your next purchase… Have you used the software? Is it as good as Starlight Live? Thanks again, David
  8. @Martin Meredith Thanks! All very useful. I've been doing some more looking into the things you mention. Quickly on colimation -- if it is just 5 minutes as part of the setup I'm not worried. I'm used to that kind of thing setting up projectors. Now -- both Dom and yourself mentioned the ZWO cameras and the more I've read the more that they seem to be well to be suited for me. However, what do people use for near live viewing. Is it AstroLive? Their website doesn't seem to be working. How is that software? From the YouTube videos it seems fine... I assume from your original post here that the Starlight Live is the best and easiest to use software.... Or are AstroLive, Starlight Live and the Atik Infnity software all quite similar these days? The ZWO hardware however... I'm still a little confused. I know full well not to compare cameras on just specs... but going just on specs... the best seem to be: -- ASI178 -- 6.4MP, 2.4µm, 1.4-2.2e, QE: 80-85% £375 mono -- ASI290 -- 2.1MP, 2.9µm, 1.0-3.2e, QE:? £399 mono -- ASI174 -- 2.3MP, 5.86, 3.8µm, QE: 74-80% 3.5-6 $899 mono $599 colour And ZWO dso recommendation: -- ASI1600 -- 16MP, 3.8µm, 1.2-3.6e, QE:?, $999 mono, $699 colour. (Does anybody know why the mono is more expensive?) This is based on the following assumptions: -- Priority is for highest QE and lowest read noise. -- From the calculations in your post on on S/N I can use pretty short exposures (under 30s, maybe even down to 1 or 2) and not worry too much if seeing is not great. Which I figure means I don't need a cooled camera. -- Minimum 2 megapixels is a good image size for me, I'm used to processing video at 2k. Also: --Using the seeing/pixel scale calculator, I'm tending towards oversampling rather than under sampling and when there is particularly good seeing plan to use a Barlow and shoot smaller objects. -- On the 600mm@f4 the ASI 178 due to the pixel scale it has the best match in terms of sampling overall, with the 290 just behind. -- 750mm@F5 is far more forgiving but the best to worst in matching is still 178 ,290, 174. Am I following the correct logic? Because that looks to me that the cheapest camera the ASI178 is the best one for short sub DSO on a fast Newtonian. That's not what ZWO recommend. Surely I'm doing something stupid here? But the 178 does have the bonus that it's a decent camera for shooting the sun and moon too...! The two wild cards: -- The Atik Infinity also seem to have a good sensor size and pixel scale match for the 750mm focal length f5 but but less so on the 600mm f4 where it tends to undersample. -- Starlight Xpress Lodestar or Ultrastar has a better software experience that outweighs lower specs and greater suitability towards the faster optics of the hyperstar. On the 8" f4 you use, Martin, according to the pixel scale CCD suitability calculator, good and exceptional seeing will cause significant undersampling on the lodestar and ultrastar. Do you find that to be an issue, or do you use a Barlow/something else? In conclusion, unless I'm missing something, my choices are: -- ASI178 if I'm keeping budget down -- ASI1600 if I'm feeling flush -- Lodestar/Ultrastar for software experience and ease of use -- Atik Infinity to get a bigger sensor while keeping good software experience One more thing... the A7S sensor is a much better performer at short exposure than any of these sensors. Is anyone doing short exposure stacking with the A7s? I've seen 30s stacks but I couldn't find anything less than that... Or is an equivalent sensor to be found anywhere in an Astro camera? And thanks again to everyone who is being so helpful here!
  9. @HiloDon Hahahah. Okay. 6" SCT. And here I thought I'd settled on a Newtonian! This sent me off another research dive. Great to have the different angle on this. So the thing that made me dismiss an SCT originally was star smudging I'd seen in some photos. Your images are spectacular however. So it seems smudging is entirely fixable with a coma corrector or hyperstar. But that 6" is heavier than I was looking at. I know this is kind of crazy thing to be a deciding factor... but my storage space is will fit a 4kg tube but probably not a 7kg one. Does the mount come off, not just the tripod but? The bigger fixed mount would be an issue. I originally measured my space for a 5" sct which would fit. 6" I think may be too much. I'll double check the physical space again. F1.9 @ 6" would be pretty cool. But since I don't live alone, there are other considerations. So... I think it's down to the Skywatcher 150pds, or a carbon fiber TS or ZWO at f4. Thanks for the camera info too -- I'm starting to get a sense of things now! I came across a post of yours on Cloudy Nights mentioning that you thought the Ultrastar was best suited for very fast optics. That pushes me away from the SX cameras a little. Possibly towards the Atik Infinity or ZWO. Which sent me on a long dive into cmos territory. Which is my next post...
  10. @MacavityInteresting... though f5 to f4 would theoretically take 1/3 off exposure times. I wonder just how much I would notice that. Is it £500 worth? A budget reducer isn't a bad idea if I want to get quick and dirty to get a sense of something then maybe take it off for longer exposures. So, collimation -- I'm not too worried about that to be honest. I've done plenty of that kind of thing before with projectors, movie cameras and stuff. Not quite the same but fiddly, getting lines to match up and avoid interference patterns stuff. It's only going to annoy me if it is something that is going to slip in the middle of a session. Having read around I assume that's not going to happen with a decent scope (though that post I saw earlier did make me wonder). Size wise 200mm is just out of the question for me. 150 or even 130 is better. Which after all this points me in the direction of... -- Skywatcher Explorer 130pds 750mm f5 3.66kg £175 -- Skywatcher Explorer 150pds 750mm f5 4.93kg £219 -- Bresser NT150S/750 f5 5.5kg £235 -- TS 150 600mm f4 carbon fiber 4kg €849 -- GSO 150 600mm f4 5.75kg €399 -- ZWO 153 612mm f4 3.8kg carbon fiber €893 I'm assuming the TS scope has the same optics as the GSO. I've seen good reviews for the GSO 150 and the SW150pds. The130pds everyone likes so much there's even a dedicated thread here at sgl. Bresser I know nothing about, though the f8 version gets good write ups and it comes with a 26mm Plössl eyepiece. TS, GSO and ZWO are tube only, I'd probably buy some cheap eyepieces. For 1 stop, I'm not totally convinced it's worth £500+ for carbon fiber since the GSO would overload the 6kg mount I'm looking at. Though carbon fiber is cool, I also know nothing of the optics on either. So let's assume I'm going for a mono Ultrastar/lodestarx2 and a filterwheel set up... Anyone want to say which one they would buy?
  11. Martin mentioned the ZWO cameras -- does anyone know the zwo ASI1600mm performs with live stacking at short exposure. It it sort of equivalent to the Ultrastar? I've had a look around and I can't see anything. The images you see are spectacular, but all massively long exposures...
  12. @Dave In Vermont Yes -- I think the Newtonian is the way to go -- but I can't do 200mm it's frustrating but it's just too big. 150 is really pushing the limit of what I have space for. Does anyone know anything about how good the TS Optics 6" f4 carbon fibre made in Germany is? Is it the same optics as their GSO one with a German installed cf tube?
  13. @Robrj Some of this is in my earlier original post so apologies if you read that... but basically I have a vague budget of £1500 for camera ota and mount. But that's flexible. If i need to spend more to get what I think interests me I'll do it. A quick back of envelope calculation I did looked to be about £2.5 for Martin kind of pointed me in the direction of. I'm fine with that number but... I'm wary of just buying everything without testing it out since it wouldn't be the first time I've bought more expensive camera gear than I really need. So the Dobsonian was/is a way out from all of that. Cheap, easy, grab and go and able to fit in the cupbaord. I do want a telescope and this is maybe good enough. I'd stick a cheap low light Mallincam or something on it and be done for a little over £500. If I don't image much other than the moon, for £500, I'd be okay with that and mainly use it for visual. But of course it's not what I really want. The refractors, were to me the obvious answer for imaging since that's what I see a lot of photos taken on. I had always had the impression that for astrophotography refractors were still the best unless you got into things like big truss RC scopes. Also... its basically a massive new lens for my camera and I know and love those so that makes sense. I have tripod mounts already that will work. I can put it in a backpack and use it for long exposure or just visual. They also appeal a lot because they're wide field for DSO and relatively small. That does still appeal. Size and light pollution are my biggest constraints. That said -- Thinking through the responses here, I'm pretty sure a Newtonian Imager is what will suit my interests most. You see, until a few weeks ago I had thought I would never get any dso viewing at my location, but then I saw some stuff by people apparently in a very similar location. So it is possible it turns out. However -- I'm still not quite sure if where I think I can set up will actually give me a good enough view up when I have close buildings. The fall back position on the Newtonian is... if the imaging doesn't work that well... I can still use the Newtonian as a more powerful visual telescope than any refractor in the price range. But... if it's just going to be mainly visual, a carbon fibre tube and the rest starts to seem excessive. So if I seem schizophrenic in that list it's because of the combination of those trains of thought... Does that make sense? The core thing I'm trying to grapple with on scope choice is: I have a poor viewing location and I'm inexperienced, so will spending extra for performance get results in worthwhile observation or is it going to be an exercise in frustration? I don't know if that can be tested without purchasing a lot of equipment though... This is why I'm edging towards a 150mm Newtonian. It's what I think I want, even if space is an issue.
  14. @stash_old Unfortunately storage space won't let me have a larger mount! Truth is I barely have space for a smaller mount... I'm going to have to do some packing or put stuff in storage, and even then... Also -- I was under the impression From Martin and a book I read that, while you are totally right I should have a better mount, under 30s exposures you can get away with (though I understand some might get dumped due to vibrations etc).
  15. @Martin Meredith Many thanks! That’s all very useful. I've just been going through the things you talk about and it looks like I started by looking at the wrong forum areas… The image you posted showing the star forming regions of the fireworks galaxy have sold me on multispectral mono imaging. I had no idea you could do that with live stacking! I still want to start easy though: observing under 10s sub frames. Is that realistic? Pretty much everything on EEA object of the month seems to be 30s + exposures. Not that I need to get object of the month, but I'd like to see something... I like the look of Telescope Service 150 f4 in carbon fibre at €850. This: (https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/237346-f4-or-f5/) puts me off anything less than f5. With an f-stop<5 Am I likely to have to do a tricky collimation regularly during a session? Also, I've read lost of good things about the Skywatchers. What are the TS scopes like? On the Lodestar/Ultrastar with filter wheel - I am guessing comes to just under 1kg. I have read some stuff about the focusing on some Crayford scopes slipping with weight. Have you had any issues like that? And finally... Would a vixen flip mirror work on this kind of set up or does that cause issues with focus? Lots more questions too as I figure things out! Thank you so much for the help! Thanks, David