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Posts posted by Uranium235

  1. Ah haaaa! Found it!! Thanks guys, I guess while fumbling around in the dark I overlooked that. Just unscrewed it all and now have the D60 on the focuser without the barlow :eek: aces!

    Also took apart the barlow to get the other T-adapter...lol... I didnt know it came apart like that :D

    Also spent some time this morning to better align the finder scope, so I should get results next time.

    Thanks again guys, that has saved me a few quid. :)


  2. At last!!

    Last night provided me with my first light experience, however imaging proved to be a little more elusive as I ran into one or two problems.

    Firstly, the setup of the cg5 GT mount. I got it polar alignend (by viewing polaris through the polar axis, then did the startup and 2 star alignment procedure. It slewed to my first target (M45) reasonably well. However, targets after that seemed way off. I tried M42 & M31 but it seemed to miss the target, not by loads - but enough for it not to be in my FOV. So tracking of those targets wasnt on the cards for that session. Next time i will add more callibration stars and spend a bit more time on better polar alignment - It was a bit of a rushed first session (only 3 hours inc setup time) but by 2.30am it was getting a bit nippy out there for me and frost seemed to be collecting on the tube :eek:

    The major issue was with the framing of M45. With the 20mm EP I could get the whole of M45 centered nicely (my first "wow" moment!) in the FOV no problem. But when using the D60 & the T-threaded 2x barlow you get with the scope, I found that I could only fit about a 1/4 of it the available FOV provided by the viewfinder.... hmmmm :)

    Would this help?

    Adaptors - Max DSLR Camera Adaptor

    My hunch is that if I use that adapter (and not the barlow), I would be able to fit it all in as I will only be using the scopes original focal length of 750mm.

    Oh, one more thing..... do finder scopes dew up? Because after a while, nothing seemed to be clear through it - the scope was fine but the finder was next to useless (even though I was sure it was properly aligned)..... hmmm and so beings the "dew war"... :D

    I would post the pic I took here, but it would be a little too much "can you tell what it is yet?" to look at...lol... it took me a while to figure out what part of M45 it was (being it was upside down & back to front!). However, I do like the diffraction spikes you get with this scope.... very pretty :)

    Hopefully tonight I will get the chance to iron out a couple of the above problems. Thanks in advance for any advice! :D

  3. Depends on where you are I guess. The Birmingham area is down for clear skies from Sun to Mon night. Tonight, it says there will be broken cloud about midnight. Heh :eek: I guess being in the middle of the country has its benifits (sometimes!). I'll put my gear on standby for this eve, just in case :D

    But knowing our luck, the BBC will get it hopelessly wrong again :) a la Michael Fish

    Glad the snow has gone now, cos going to work was like walking through a slush puppie, and it was even less fun when it got into your shoes. 10/10 for the trains though, wasnt late for work once this week.

    Update: I think tonight (00:00 - 06:00) is nailed-on now in terms of clear sky.... im gonna need some strong coffee for this as i havent got the staying power that i used to...lol.

  4. Yea, use the cheshire (I have the ascension one, £17). I had to collimate my 150p out of the box having never done it before, but found it a breeze... done in 5min (though I only needed to adjust the secondary mirror).

    The only thing you will need to be mindful of is the size of the hole you will be looking through, it was so small it took my eye a couple of min to decide what to focus on.

  5. I've used my DSLR (Canon 20Da) in -21C conditions and it continued to work fine - although having to take my gloves off to change settings and batteries wasn't fun. Just be careful with the transition from cold to warm which can cause moisture build up inside.

    Ahhh good, then the cam has got more stamina than I have then...lol.. id give up at -15! :)

    Also thanks for the info in regard to the cable I should use, though I cant imagine the higher IP rated stuff being cheap. I shouldnt need much though... about 12 meters to be sure (better too much than too little!).

    The sky has been a bit grey the past few days (and for the next week probably) so im still waiting for first light. In the meantime I passed some time by making a handy dewshield from laminate flooring underlay and a few staples... cheap & cheerful :)

  6. I like the idea of using hosepipe as a conduit, thanks for that :)

    Its unlikely I will be digging anything yet because Im expecting to move in about 2 or 3 months. Luckily the location will be semi-rural (Worcestershire) so a dark sky site should never be too far away :) Once im settled I will make the installation a more permanent affair.

    Bahhh... the clouds have rolled in for the night, looks like first light will have to wait a little longer.

  7. Ive run into my first technical hitch :)

    The balance is fine, the secondary mirror had to be adjusted a little (collimation is soooo easy) and ive tested the D60 to see if i can achieve focus ok - which i can :)

    But.... with the T-Ring in place and mounted on the scope the camera is reporting "No lens attached".... is there a way to fool the D60 into not doing this?

    Thanks in advance for the assist!

  8. Ahhh, so I have at least some headroom - I doubt it will reach -15 here. If im having mains power in the shed I could use the little fan heater to raise the ambient temp inside. Theres not much insulation, but it should be warm enough.

    Im just setting the mount up now.... god.. Ive soon discovered that the CG5 isnt exactly portable, it weighs a damn ton!!! Reassuring though this is, its not going to qualify as a "grab n go" setup :) the power cable seems nice n' long too, just what I needed!

    Next up is to check the collimation of the tube, hopefully it will be good to go out of the box.

    If the weather eases off a bit I could go for first light tonight, but its pretty windy @ the mo and there has been more snow this morn....hmphh typical of this to happen!

    Might be (or should i say will be!) back with more questions if I get stumped!!

  9. Sound advice there, thanks! :)

    Ive already checked the distribuiton box and it seems ok, if anything gets tripped its just going to be the one switch. Its about 8 metres to the shed so I dont think distance will be a problem.

    If ever in doubt, before poking anything electrical... keep one hand in your pocket (it will save your life). That message was constantly hammered home while doing my 224.

    Lol... wish i had the option to dig a trench but the ground is more than a little solid (and buried) at the moment! The garden also faces due north - which is handy for polar alignment as ive always got a good view of Polaris, but not so great as it means the snow will take quite a while to shift (and theres more on the way).

    Hmmm, I do know one way i can warm the lappy up.... just play Fallout 3 or Modern Warfare 2 in windowed mode while imaging... the gfx card (HD4530) kicks out so much heat it will probably keep the shed warm by itself :)

    Its just a case of whether the DSLR can take it (is the CCD affected by cold?), I know the temp will slay the battery quite quickly so id better buy a spare i can leave on charge.

    Thanks again for the advice!

  10. Okey doke :) will check the test switch and keep it to just the main cable on the floor, its a 10 metre extention so most electrical connections will be inside the shed, Though im not sure how long the CG5 power cable is yet.

    I need it to be at least 3 metres becuase the Maplins cigarette lighter mains adapter I have doesnt give much in the way of cable length (about 0.5 metres). The adapter has massive warnings on that it shouldnt be used outdoors, so its something ive got to keep super dry.

    If the CG5 cable isnt long enough then its going to be another trip to maplins @ merry hell (groan) :)

    Thanks for the assist guys :mad:

    M42..... Im on your case!! (assuming its clear skies!) :mad:

  11. Hiya,

    I will be getting my first scope and mount tomorrow (150p + CG5 GT)... Yay!! I will probably spend the daylight hours checking collimation and aligning things up.

    And in preparation, Ive made space in the shed for a chair and a table for the laptop - I need to be in the shed to avoid the attentions of the neighbours PIR security light sensor :) (Ive had so many shots ruined by that damn thing!).

    The plan is to run a mains extention into the shed from a powerbreaker socket in the kitchen. Im just a little concerned with the amount of snow on the ground and the kind of temperatures I will be working in if i decide to have a go this weekend (probably -10).

    Would it be a good idea to get a plastic box (with lid) that i can dump all of the electrical connections in (eg: adapters, 4 gang socket) to protect them from any possible contact with snow, water or dew?

    Also there are the safe operating temperatures of the equipment. My cameras (D60) minumum operating temp is 0 - so how would it cope with -10? (then there is the laptop too) If theres any chance that that damage could result, then it might be better to wait til its warmed up a bit.

    Is there a temperature that would be considered "too cold" for safe/useful operation?

    Many thanks in advance :)

  12. Im sold on the Baader now, but will have to wait till I get paid again methinks :) It will serve well as a "catch all" EP for me. But the only thing that concerns me is the sheer size & weight of the thing... kinda like a hand grenade (except you wouldnt dare throw it...lol).

    I would imagine that, plus a DSLR would upset the balance quite a bit or put strain on the motor drives :hello2: hmmm... there must be a practical solution that avoids the need to re-balance every time you want to add or remove any heavy components.

  13. Maybe you should seriously consider the Baader Hyperion 8-24mm Clickstop (as mentioned earlier), it has the added bonus of allowing you to attatch a DSLR (with the addition of an adapter) for eyepiece projection so it might prove useful in the future. The EP and cam adapter will set you back about 200 quid.

    There is the Celestron 8-24mm (which I was thinking of getting), but Ive seen no review for that one yet so im a little cautious. Btw, you can attach a cam to this zoom EP too.


    Done some digging and found this:



    Hope that proves useful.

  14. Got one astro related pressie from someone very special to me - Carl Sagan's Cosmos series on DVD. :)

    Ohhh no way! I used to watch that when I was a kid, it left quite an impression on me. Carl Sagan had such a poetic way of putting things, enjoy that :)

    As for me, I got the Stargazers Handbook - pretty useful so far cos it contains star charts, pics and info on quite a number of DSOs. Something to whet the appetite while me scope is in the post :hello2:

  15. Thanks for the quick response guys :hello2:

    Its cool, Im ok with waiting till the 4th (its definitely worth it) - is it overnight delivery? Just so I know when to listen out for the knock at the door.

    I wasnt as lucky as you guys cos having Xmas off wasnt really an option where I used to work, always suckered into doing the Xmas shift :) apart from this year cos I was made redundant a few months ago. However, I was lucky enough to find a new job just before xmas (what a relief!!).

    I dont start until the 11th, so I might have time to squeeze in a session or two if the weather is kind.

    Btw: The setup i chose was the Skywatcher 150P OTA + CG5 GT mount + a few other bits. At £499 for the mount its impossible to say no! I decided to mix & match with the OTA because the focuser is much better on the 150P (crayford 2" w/ built in T-adapter) than the one on the C6-N (plain r+p). With this setup, I should have headroom in terms of weight just in case I want to add to an ST80 guidescope later on.

    Phew! Ive only just realised (from reading other posts) that VAT goes back up to 17.5% on Jan 1st (lucky escape!), so its best to order NOW before its too late. From now on I will be recommending FLO to any of my friends who wish to get into astro stuff. :)

  16. Hi guys,

    Ive just ordered my first AP rig from FLO via the net, I tried to call but the office is closed until the 4th Jan. Do you think they have some sort of back-room skeleton staff to take care of any orders in the meantime? Or is everyone off?

    If thats the case then it will probably be at least a week before I see anything..... patience is a virtue and the stars arent about to run away so i'd better chill...lol. Easier said than done! :hello2:

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