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Uranium235

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Everything posted by Uranium235

  1. I got the scope rings today sorted! Had to hacksaw down a couple of bolts tho but its all fitted now and it looks great. I did have a reminder of why its wise to have a good guide star because PHD was sooo much better last night. It could have been better, but its better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick I had a fiddle with the positive DEC anti-backlash on the mount (set it to 14), that improved things a bit more.
  2. Yeah, i forgot to mention that I had the same idea as yourself with just going back into the menus and changing the alignment stars - but it wont let you for some odd reason. Thats why I power off and go from scratch again, and after your first alignment star is done most other stars that follow are already in (or just in) your EP, so no need to faff about with the finderscope. The whole thing should take no more than 20min tops. Oh, and like the man says above - get your own spirit level on the case
  3. Update: After more doses of bad DEC, ive decided to finally invest in some ADM guidescope rings, that should help a lot when picking the right guide star. At the moment my guidescope rings are fixed, and more often than not I end up picking a guidestar well outside the "bullseye" zone.... but no more of that from tomorrow
  4. For my CG5 I firstly do 2 star, then polar align. Tutn off/on & reset to markers. Then 2 star + 3 calib stars. (Capella, Procyon, Dubhe, Regulus & Phad) The goto works quite well after that, wish i could say the same for my DEC tracking tho.
  5. Ahhh just as I thought, It must be the power cable then. I was out last night and had no problems this time, probably because everything was taped up. Still had problems in DEC with PHD :mad: I was at the verge losing my temper with it - the OTA was cam heavy (as told to), still the same sawtooth in DEC. It only started working properly in the last 5 min of the sessions when id already decided to pack away. It seemed to work when I picked a better guide star nearer the centre of the screen, but its not like my scope and guidescope point at the same things (I cant adjust the guidescope) as its just bolted on top of the main OTA... hmmmm i think i need some proper guidescope rings at least then I will be able to pick better targets for guiding.
  6. Heh... better check my dec cable while setting up tonight then Im just wondering if the same thing can be caused by a dodgy power cable, I gave it a wobble at the jack end once and the handset did some very strange things. I think im going to take the step of using masking tape to stick the power cable to the mount legs to stop it flapping about so much. The more I think about the power cable, the more im sure thats the prob becuase sometimes the mount has reset itself while im polar aligning (and fumbling about looking for the alt/az knobs), must have caught the power cable i guess. Heh, looking forward to tonights session tho, I popped out to tesco earlier and got a folding chair with a drinks holder in the armrest no more sitting on buckets or breeze blocks for me!
  7. Thanks, ive a feeling it might be a cable, but I cant be sure as thats not the only wierd thing that it sometimes does - like continuing to slew past its target (slowly)until it tries to cause a mount collision (that happens while calibrating sometimes too). Ive only had it 4 months so it cant be that much wear & tear. I hope to god its not the handset, that would be not cheap to replace.
  8. Any idea what that means? Ive been getting it a few times recently
  9. Lets just say I had about £450 to improve my setup, what would give the biggest performance boost? My main targets are Messier objects and id just like to be able to get a lot closer, like ive seen in other posts (ie: a real nice, colour close up of M51). a) A new OTA - an APO EQ80 for clarity or SCT for focal length, ie: a C6? or A dedicated CCD imager (imaging source DFK 41AU02.AS Colour) Just window shopping of course
  10. Right, now ive finished the great strimmer massacre on the lawn maybe I can get round to posting what I got up to last night. It was a perfect night for AP, not a could in the sky with the only limiting factor being my endurance (2am), believe me... its not comfy sitting on a upturned bucket! I got about 40 min each in 2min subs on the M13 globular cluster, M99 pin-wheel and M104 sombrero (I love that one, shame I cant get closer without barlowing up and all the trouble it brings). Also did 12 darks (1min), flats and bias. Not much sign of the PHD problems that have been hassling me over the past few nights, probably because my chosen targets were lower in the sky at the time, no doubt it will return to haunt me at some point.
  11. Right, sit rep.... Last night I went ahead and created an imbalance in DEC (made it nose heavy by sliding the OTA forward a bit), then fired it up.... slewed to M101 and got exactly the same problem again! After almost pulling my hair out and on the verge of packing it in for the night I decided to slew round to M3 as a last-ditch try.... and hey presto! No problems at all! It seems pretty hard to create an imbalance in DEC (using gravity) when your OTA is almost pointing vertical, is there any way I can get around that problem? To prove that lower objects worked better, I decided to slew round to M104 (Sombrero Galaxy) and again - no guide problems. Its only in that M51/M101 ursa major area that i seem to be getting all the trouble. Heres what i managed to get anyway, given the problems I only managed 30 min on M3 and only 4 subs of M104... heh... always the way - things dont seem to start working until its time to pack away!
  12. lol... i was about to ask the same thing! Hmmm.... bungee ey? Any chance of a pic to show us what goes where?
  13. Cool, thanks guys. Balance is something I can work on before it gets dark, will give it another shot after dins as its going to be another lovely clear night
  14. Hiya, Just looking for some help in getting to the bottom of a problem im having with PHD. When guiding, the RA axis is always perfect - but the DEC often goes into a sawtooth waveform (drift, drift, drift.... massive overcorrection). I will attach a pic to demonstrate it, its not the real thing, but a mock-up i drew of what it looks like. Is this down to balance or polar alignment?... Its probably a mixture of both, but last night i took care with both - and still the same result. In the end i just went into the advanced options and changed the Dec pulse time to 2000ms, only that seemed to calm it down a bit... but that cant be the answer. Just for info, my polar alignment method for the CG5-GT is: 1: Rough align with polaris through polar axis 2: After setting up the GoTo (2 stars), use the polar align feature in the handset - using the last alignment star (usually procyon). 3: switch off/on the mount and do another GoTo config (5 stars) Do I have to switch off/on the mount and re-configure it after using the polar align function? Thats what ive assumed becuase it was never mentioned in the manual, it might be that i could just go back to the hand set and run through the Goto setup again..... but I tried that and it wouldnt let me replace any of my alignment stars (just said "alignment cancelled"). It could be that I need to de-activate sync (as that is used when polar aligning). Also, is the a "best spot" in the sky for choosing a polar alignment star with a CG5? (like near or away from the meridian?) Thanks in advance for any enlightenment!
  15. Sorry to hear that m8, hope you get it sorted soon. Looks like we both wont be using them for a little while yet - my 1000d has up to a 10 day wait on it bah!
  16. Got mine now, its a little different to the Nikon fit but ive measured it and its exactly the same profile as a T-Ring combo, so focus will be ok. Now im just waiting for Jessops to cough up the 1000d and I will be ready to rock. Clear sky alert for this evening too Find a sheltered spot in the garden tho, theres a light breeze.
  17. Its ok, I can easily achieve focus with the maxDSLR already. In fact, I gained focuser travel using this adapter because its a lower profile than a T-Ring combination. I needed this adapter becuase there was no way of using a 2" filter at prime focus using the bits I got with the scope (no filter threads). The Canon one shouldnt be any different to the Nikon so I can expect the same results. Will let you know how I get on with it thanks!
  18. Cool, will take a look there as well. Its a case of "have to" at the mo becuase Ive ordered the 1000d, should be here in a few days
  19. Thats a shame man, sorry to hear about the supplier hassles. Hope you find a replacement soon
  20. Hmmmm... has FLO stopped selling the MaxDSLR adapter? I already have the Nikon fit one (and very good it is too), but if I decide to get a Canon 1000d then I will need to buy another adapter - and I havent seen them anywhere else (yet!). I could just go back to using t-rings again, but that would put the stoppers on me using a filter @ prime focus Ohh... and a little "side moan".... When will the weather clear up??!! Weve had 3 weeks of rain and its getting a bit boring now...lol Typical April showers.
  21. Heh... no more dark skies at the moment just endless cloud & rain! But it was definitely worth the move. One day I hope to get a powertank and go a few miles down the road (probably Wyre Forest area) where it should be uber-dark, its just a case of getting the wheels (i dont drive). I really had to fiddle with DSS to get the colour though, becuase for some time the end product to all my pics was always coming out very "grey". That was until i turned off all RGB channel calibration and used the saturation slider a bit (+25%), the colour just jumped out!... was it a lucky shot or is that what the saturation shift slider is for? Anyways, I saved the setting for future use. Oh btw.... Stellarium... its sooo useful when setting up calibration stars! Wish id tried it earlier!
  22. Here are the first couple of pics ive managed to get from my new (darker sky) location. After a few initial annoyances (power problems to mount) I got 45min on both M42 & M51. It was immidiately obvious that the amount of light pollution was less, I was surprised I got so much more detail and colour on M51 than I did last time M51: 16x180s light, 4x180 dark, 10 bias, 10 flat M42: 20x120s light, 8x120s dark, 10 bias, 10 flat Shame it was a week night, otherwise I would have stayed out all night
  23. A 4X barlow on a 130 OTA is pushing it a bit (if you were using a 10mm EP), but there should be someone along soon who can do the maths for ya but as a rule of thumb, apeture rules. Try for a 150mm newt, get used to it and then if all goes well then buy the APO - that way you have options on which scope you want to use for imaging/guiding.... well, thats my plan anyway.. APOs are soooo damn expensive
  24. What I do to get 4x is to stack the standard 1.25" skywatcher barlow into the 2" Revelation ED barlow (cos that one has a filter thread). It works well enough but just be warned that it will lengthen your optical train quite a lot and therefore add considerable weight - anything up to 500g. Dont forget too that when youre barlowing up, you will also need to adjust your exposure times to suit
  25. Thanks guys but it seems the met office dropped another clanger. Nothing but a mass of cloud out there tonight! Hopefully it will clear up later in the week. Btw I added another 5 meters to the USB cable tonight to prevent cable drag. Hmmm must be almost 30 meters now! So in a Clarkson style voice... "its the longest USB cable..... in the world"....lol!
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