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Everything posted by Uranium235

  1. Even if it still does work, you may still need a replacement rather than removal to protect from dust. Dont know if youve seen this page before, replacement is a must if youre going to do any imaging with a fraccy. Astronomiser - Automated Astronomy and AstroImaging Solutions
  2. Well pointed out... Its also toxic as well as corrosive, so it needs a good clean.
  3. Thats a capacitor, and judging by the gunk all over your pcb it must have popped for some unexplained reason. If you knew what size capacitor it was then you could have a go at changing it yourself, but see what ovl say first.
  4. mmmmmm.... mak newt Another bonus on that one is that it wont attract so much dust to the primary mirror (unlike a standard newt which is a dust magnet). But once you add a guidescope along with all the other gubbins its going to be rather bulky and not exactly grab & go. Personally, I think you should have both (an 80mm APO and a newt)... but which one first?? Ahhh.... Its a tough choice, but I think the 80ED wins hands-down in terms of clarity and ease/speed of use. The 150p/200p are quite popular (now with better focuser), maybe you could bung a APO fraccy on top and get the best of both? In any case, you will need to set aside at least another £500 if you intend to start imaging seriously (dslr, guidecam etc...).
  5. Thanks guys, in the end I took a look at the Maplin PTFE (teflon) grease and it was rated down to -20 (not that its ever going to get that cold!). It was a little thinner than I expected though (came as a spray type), but after application it seemed to stick ok. I saw that superlube stuff at RS components, but decided with maplin as I could get the job done on the same day (while I still have time). Astroboys CG5 strip-down guide was excellent, I followed it to the letter and the whole DEC arrangement seems to move a lot more freely now with the clutch disenganged (including under gravity). The only downside..... I got a bit of it in my eye, doesnt half sting a bit!
  6. Hiya, Just looking for info on the most suitable grease to get for the cg5 gt. Im going to have a proper go at stripping down the dec axis as ive noticed it still cant rotate 360deg without resistence in parts. It might explain why I have so much hassle when guiding East of the meridian. Ive been looking at the maplin website and as there is a store in town, it would only take me 20min to nip down and get some. There are a few choices though, but one thing is for sure - it must be able to cope with the cold. Choices are as follows: 1) White lithium grease (min temp -10) 2) Maplin silicone grease with PTFE (min temp not stated) 3) Multi-purpose silicone grease (min temp -5) Personally, I think it should be the PTFE stuff. But since its min temp is not stated I thought it might be best to check with you guys first. Thanks in advance for the info!
  7. Thanks Peter, Im aware of the lack of FOV, thats the trade off between DSLRs and CCDs I guess. An 0.5 focal reducer would help there, but the CCD is a tool that I could probably see myself using on smaller targets. Big stuff like M31/42/45 will always be DSLR as there is no chance on earth that id be able to afford a CCD of similar size. I could stretch to an Atik 320E, but that depends on how generous santa is this year If not, it would probably be the Titan as its has the lowest readout noise (5e) of any similarly priced camera (or I might be lucky & grab a 2nd hand bargain). Ive yet to see any results from the titan yet despite having a mooch on google.
  8. Thanks Olly, thats exactly what I needed to know At what focal ratio did you get it? If its taken you only 5 min to get more than what took me 110 min - then somethings up. Either my scope (f7.5) or my imaging device is way too insensitive/slow. Did you get that in RGB as well? I quite like some of the monochrome Ha work thats been posted recently, I think the absence of colour is no big deal when you see amount of detail on offer. I did pause last night when I saw a DSI Pro II mono cam for £200 2nd hand, but Ive heard they can get a bit hot & noisy so I might hold out for an Atik (maybe this years xmas prezzie). Which reminds me, has anyone posted anything taken with the new Atik Titan yet? Maybe its a bit soon. Heh, baby slept nearly all night last night - he seems to have quickly developed a liking for our bed and not his!
  9. Youre right so far Steve he seems to sleep a lot more in the daytime. Taking the kit out last night though was officially sanctioned..lol. No doubt I will probably pass out on the sofa later on as we managed only 4 hours sleep between us. But there was a nice moment earlier on where he sparked out for an hour laying on my chest. Ive got the week off and Im already on the case with the basics, went out and brought a load of stuff this morn as well as looking after the garden (if her plants die, I die...lol). The only thing Im not going to be able to do is prepare her traditional Chinese confinement food - good thing her sis is here to help with that!
  10. Thanks guys, I will get more data on it when I get the chance (whenever that may be!), maybe in a week or 2. But the nights are closing in now, so every passing day brings more darkness (yay!). When I got in last night 2am baby & mum were still up, we're just trying to find the best way of getting him off to sleep at he mo. But since he's only 2 days old, it will probably take a while before things quieten down. Wish I could fast forward a few years tho...lol, one things for sure - he wont have any excuses to be bored! I was just thinking... would I get this object quicker with a CCD? Maybe it should be another thread to discuss DSLR v CCD in terms of speed.
  11. Hiya, Last night, despite the moon and some high cloud making for poor(ish) seeing I managed to grab a few subs of Caldwell 4 (NGC7023). Its the first Caldwell object ive acually got a pic of, Its not great but come the new moon I will add a few more subs. Stretched it to death as well to try and get some more of that nebulosity, hence the noise. Might have to take a break for a while now as ive just become a dad for the first time. Soooo tired! NGC7023 10x300s, 6x600s darks, flats & bias ED80 DS pro + unmodded 1000d Thanks for looking
  12. A big, sturdy cardboard box with handles does the job for me. All my cables, PSUs, EPs and other bit are in there (space for the laptop too). It also serves as the table for the laptop. After a bit you will devise a routine, mine is now down to 5 trips. 1, Power 2, mount + cg5 3, weights 4, scope(s) + dslr (permanently attached) 5, astro box and foldaway chair Optional 6, Cuppa (or beer)
  13. Just a quick tip on storing your cg5 gt... If like me, you store your mount with the head still attached (without weights or OTA) for speed of use. Make sure there is a bit of oil or grease between the tripod and mount head. A good reason for this is that it stops your AZ axis from stiffening up, which can lead to baaad things happening (I managed to shear the AZ peg by forcing a stiff mount head while polar aligning).
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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?
  17. 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!
  18. 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?)
  19. 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.
  20. 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!
  21. 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
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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
  25. 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
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