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Everything posted by Uranium235

  1. Another vote for the 1000d, especially if you Baader modify it. Live view is also a winner, I cant remember the last time I acutally used an eyepiece! Everything is done over USB and focusing is a breeze (also very accurate). The camera control software you get with it will do everything you need to get the shots with minimum effort - even the battery seems to last a lifetime (twice as long as my Nikon used to). There are numerous extras you can buy too (clip filters, external PSUs etc). BUT, if youre not bothered about using the camera for ordinary photography you could spend a bit more and get a dedicated, cooled CCD (Atik 16ic) instead. Then youre able to image at slower f-ratios because of the better quantum efficiency (sensitivity) of the chip. But then of couse you will have the extra expense of filters etc, which means you will end up spending at least £500. The other upside to CCDs (monochrome) with the appropriate filters is that light pollution has no effect on them. The major downside is the tiny size of the chip, which means you have to be super accurate with your mount calibration. Horses for courses I guess, depends on what targets youre looking for Just for info, here are the QE's for most Canon cameras (higher = more sensitive) DSLR QE +-error 10D 23.9% 1.4% 350D 26.9% 0.5% 20D 30.0% 0.2% 5D 23.2% 0.2% 5DmII 32.3% 0.1% 1DsmIII 29.7% 0.6% 40D 30.3% 0.3% 450D 30.4% 0.2% 1000D 32.2% 0.8% 500D 36.4% 0.4% 50D 36.1% 1.0% 7D 35.6% 1.7% Nikon D3 40.2% 0.9% A lot to take into consideration, yes. But its worth reading up and asking questions before you buy. In an ideal world you will have both systems
  2. I must need my head examining imaging this close to the solstice! Its not getting properly dark until nearly midnight now. Anyway, Ive added another 10x600s subs to my existing data and dropped the 2x1200s subs (as they were rather noisy and LP'd). I was expecting a little more for the 3 1/2 hours worth of subs - but imaging at f7.5 is always going to be a tedious experience. Ive also improved my stock of darks and bias frames by putting the 1000d in the fridge, which helped in beating down the noise a bit. But ive fiddled with the curves as much as I dare without wrecking it. Finally got tome nice colour in the image too. Im not sure whether to add more 900s subs tonight or just sack it and move on to M16. I guess I could do a few 900s subs while im waiting for M16 to cross the meridian - what would you do? More of the same, or just move on? M101: 5x300s 15x600s 4x900s darks, 50x bias, 20x flat
  3. Ahhhh you got M31 already, nice! Ive got to wait about another month before I can see it properly from my location Is your 500d modded yet?
  4. Thanks Peter, I will give HDR a blast when i have something like 25-30 subs that might take a while though given the lack of darkness. Well... I grouped and stacked the subs for ic1396 and the 6x600s didnt show as much Ha as the 6x900s, not that im expecting too much as my camera is unmodded. Until I get a focal reducer, it might be better to stick with 900s. Unfortunately I wont be adding anymore subs until at least the weekend as its forecasted for cloud all week . Anyways, thanks for the encouraging comments guys!
  5. Hmmmm, thats something to consider for next time. Are you sure 600sec is enough for an f7.5 frac? When they were registered, the 15min subs scored a much higher score & star count than the 10min. Ok I will go back to DSS and have a go at stacking them seperately.... this may take some time (I assume you were talking about ic1396?)
  6. Thanks guys Im starting to get the hang of adding stuff from more than one session. Before I used to try and get the whole shoot done in one night, but with the shorter nights its just not possible. I just have to remember *not* to change the orientation of the cam or the end result has missing edges where the sub has been rotated to fit. M16 will be a tempting next target, so i just need another clear night within the next week or so to get it done before taking a little break as by the end of the month it will be too light to do anything useful. Anyways, i can always catch up with ic1396 in August - as the MW should be nice & high in the sky then hmmmm I guess the milky way aint such a bad thing to look at.
  7. Finally.... Ive slayed the dreaded backlash monster to break the 20min barrier for the first time. And I found setting PHD dec guide mode to anything but "auto" helps quite a lot (west=south, east=north), the graph was so good you could eat it on toast. M101 Was collected over the two previous nights, however the seeing conditions werent exactly great last night so some of the gain from going the extra 5min has been lost. On IC1396, there seemed to be a suspect star count of 44,373 stars from the 20min sub I did last night - is that right? Could noise ever be picked up as a star by DSS? IC1396 Light: 6x600s, 6x900s, 1x1200s Darks, Flats, Bias M101 Light: 5x300s, 3x600s, 3x900s, 2x1200s Darks, Flats, Bias 80ED Pro + 1000d Thanks for looking!
  8. Would this work on an ED80? Or would it just make a good scope bad? Being as its summer now there isnt much useable darkness, so it might be better to speed up the system with a reducer. Ive seen the SW 0.85 ones, but theyre £150. The Antares are more manageable at £90. And do either of these have a filter thread? I did take a brief look at the WO II and III reducers, but after finding more than a few negative comments (no filter thread on the II and the III is just pants) I decided to steer clear. Thanks in advance for any assistance
  9. Hiya, Just made this useful (but obvious) discovery, so I thought it might be useful for others who hadnt considered it before when trying to focus your guide cam through PHD. I didnt even know it was a part of Vista until I looked on the off chance. I will try this out tonight to help focus the ST80 (since PHD has no zoom function), that should get me some good pointy stars to guide by. It goes up to 16x but I dont think I will need any more than 5x, anything past that gets a bit blocky.
  10. Thanks Mick Im planning to hit the 20min barrier tonight in terms of subs, and grab an hours worth before bedtime. Its not getting properly dark til about 11 now (boooo!) so ive got to make the most of the time available. Ive already got the cam doing the 1200s darks down in the cellar where its nice & cool. Might be an idea to pop it in the fridge for 10 min before finishing my stock of 300s darks. Im determined to have a stock of 5,10,15 and 20 mins (1 hour of each) which should keep me going for some time to come. Lol.. was sat there drinking Tizer & ice cream last night, the perfect way to cool down (when you have no beer) Will probably be warmer this eve too, hope that doesnt upset the cam too much.
  11. cheers peter I think the changes i made in regard to the weight of the entire setup (now only 4kg) and spot of oil made a big, big difference in PHD with DEC staying flat as a pancake all night long. Got interruped at 2.30am by a police chopper with all spotlights blazing, probably looking for yoofs in the graveyard... tsk... they have no consideration for peeps having a quiet nights AP
  12. Last night was a good night, perfectly clear, lots of stars. Even though the moon was up I was still able to grab a few good subs. Firstly, I added a few more subs to the M82 collection, then swung round to something i spotted on stellarium (ic1396) Its a massive target, something like 2.5 deg - but being as my 1000d isnt modded for H-alpha I was surprised to see that i was starting pick it up (just about) despite the moon, light pollution, and only using 70min worth of subs. When I ran it through DSS I almost fell off my chair! This is by far the highest star count ive had (over 10,000). Id like to go back to it at some point (maybe tonight) to add more 15min subs, though its unlikely because it didnt clear the houses until about 00:30... shame i have work tomorrow Anyway here ya go: IC1396 Light: 4x600sec, 2x900sec Darks, bias & flats
  13. heh.. i know how you feel, I caught my first glimpse of Saturn last night too - and a couple of moons well chuffed It was a night where id decided to go unpowered and just "point at stuff" because the seeing wasnt good enough for guiding (and glad i did). Tonights a different story though, even though the moon is a little strong - its beautifully clear. Working on IC1396 @ the mo, not sure how much nebulosity im going to get with an unmodded cam, worth a try anyways
  14. Im still waiting to get my 20min subs, too much cloud at the moment Though I have decided to go lightweight, ditch the 150p Newt and use the 2 fraccys (ED80 and the ST80). At least that way there will be less of a chance of things going wrong with the guiding (the newt + ED80 was a bit too much I think). Also noticed something on my mount (CG5 GT), the clutch lever (when engaged) always scrapes on the bottom of the DEC motor housing when in certain positions... which probably explains why it guides like a oil tanker on some parts of the sky. Anyways, once i have the subs (hopefully tomorrow or fri) I will add them to the stack and post it (thats if the moon doesnt spoil things!).
  15. Peter... youre a STAR! Did as you said, and used 40 bias frames and the noise vanished! I added another 10x5min subs to what I got on saturday night so the total exposure time on M81/82 is now 2h25min - plus a little bonus of M44 I will probably do as you did and keep a stock of bias & darks & flats to save the hassle (I rarely change the cam focus or orientation). Ive taken a look @ your darks, heh heh I guess theres no point in me "borrowing" them as you took them with a different scope to mine. If the weather holds out this eve I might throw in some 20min subs to try and get more detail out of M81 - heres what ive got so far:
  16. Thanks, will try that now. Its a clear night again so im gonna set up and give it another bash.... 40 bias & 30 sec between subs (i was using 5sec).. got it! Will report any findings later...
  17. Hi peter, I looked at the darks (with the canon software, not DSS cos the all look reddish there), there are a few hot pixels and when you zoom in you can see loads of red & white dots (I guess thats normal). I used 10 bias frames for the 90 minutes worth of subs. Is that too few? How many should I be aiming for? Thanks!
  18. Hiya, Last night I did my first test with the 80ED DS PRO, guided by the 6" Newt. It all worked well apart from one thing - beacuse the 80ED is f7.5 i upped the sub time from 2.5min to 5min to compensate (and get the same luminosity as i would with the f5 newt). The test target was M81/M82. However, LP didnt seem to be the big problem when going up to 9min... it was noise.. and lots of it. its kinda wierd noise too.... looks like a "texture". Yes, i did make the exact number and length of darks to match, with flats and bias, but the 3x9.5 min subs were a shocker when i stacked them with the rest. Is there a useable time limt to an ISO800 exposure with the 1000d? It seemed to be about 6minutes before any noticeble amount of noise/ampglow showed. I know there are a fair few people who have used the same setup so it would be nice to get some sort of general agreement on what is the most useable sub time @ f7.5 ISO800.
  19. Had a bit of a scare last night... I was trying to get a good guide star last night for M51 by twiddling the rear set of bolts on my ADM rings, when I noticed the ST80 starting to slip... good thing i spotted that, the who lot could have ended up on a concrete patio. It didnt help that M51 was virtually overhead, so the force of gravity helped it on its way once one of the rear bolts was loosened. Now... an ST80 is one thing, but seeing that happen to a new APO & camera would be a horror show. So are there any suggestions as to how to completely secure the weight of the scope and a camera? Ive thought of putting rubber tips on the forward bolts to make them more grippy, and maybe a safety tether so if the worst did ever happen - it wouldnt slip far enough to break anything. Paranoid? In this instance... yes!
  20. Aye, just bang your location into MultiMap... that will give you your location - probably something close to 52 N / 2 W... To be exact its: Lat:52:28:59N Lon:1:53:37W But thats for the city centre, Bhams a big place so you might want to refine it by sticking in your postcode.
  21. Cheers for that Nadeem, its seems that FPL-53 is definitely better (read the follow on links too) - easier to fabricate, but more breakable - with the only thing being better than that is Flourite. Having said that, good glass is nothing without a good mating element. The extras might swing it for me though as its difficult to say no to a free Diag and EP. The place where I saw it even throws in a free £50 2" Barlow - which i could quite easily sell off if its no better than my Revelation. Thanks for the info! Rob
  22. Thanks! But Is it worth it for the better focuser? I found on my 150P, the crayford doesnt like heavy loads (I usually end up having to push the drawtube in when focusing) and the focus lock when tightened, more often than not will knock the foucus back out a wee bit. Tough decision..... Bang for buck vs Build quality & extras The cheapest Ive seen the Orion for is £365, and very few people stock them in the UK from what I can find on google. By contrast, I can easily pick up a SW for £435 with freebies that can probably be sold off for about £50... so theres only a 20 quid difference between the two in the end. Hmmmm.... tempting. But... if either of the two came up for grabs 2nd hand, I wouldnt be bothered which one it was Addition: Ive just noticed too that the design of the Orion hasnt been updated for a number of years, while the SW has been updated/improved.
  23. Hiya, Since being sniped on ebay over an Equinox 80 (boooo), Ive put in a wanted ad for a Skywatcher ED80, but since then ive noticed a couple of others that might do the same job. The primary goal is DSO imaging. Firstly theres the Orion ED80, mechanically inferior to the SW with no carry case and no freebies (and therefore cheaper)... but are the optics on a par with the SW? Secondly, theres the WO Megrez 72. Beautifully built, but it feels like a step backwards in terms of FL... maybe a bit too wide field. No question on the optics tho, will be spot-on. As a third way, I looked at the WO Zenithstar 80.... but I can probably rule that one out as its using FPL-51 glass. As it stands, im still leaning towards the SW ED80.... unless someone else can persuade me otherwise Thanks for any advice!
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