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Everything posted by Uranium235

  1. lol yeah... I second that! You might be lucky between 6-9pm tomorrow. Its a good thing I get chucked out of the office early on Fridays that will give me time to set the mount up before it gets dark.
  2. Shame is, im not using Photoshop (dont have it), maybe I should take a look at it then. Just been taking a look at the Deepskystacker RAW settings, theres not much to choose from so I will try Tungsten again @ the next session. It might work well on M45 as its mostly blue, but whether it will wreck M42 or 31 I just dont know (yet) EDIT: Just had a brainwave.... how about a even mix of both white balance settings when stacking? It might produce interesting results.
  3. Just a thought really.... Is it worth changing the white balance to "Tungsten" on the DSLR or leaving it at auto? Im guessing that the Tungsten setting might lead to false colour, but from what ive seen it seems to do a good job on suppressing orange skyglow (albeit at a wide angle). It would be good to know whether its worth bothering with as I cant afford to waste the very few & precious cloud free nights we're getting at the moment Oh btw, we should be up for a break in the could tomorrow night (Friday, Midlands area), but dont expect it to last long! An example of two 30s subs of M45. One on auto, the other with the white balance set to Tungsten. No filters, just prime focus.
  4. Heres what i did with my cg5 last night 1: rough polar align the mount (making sure its level) 2: power on, do 2 star align 3: use the handsets polar align function 4: power off/on 5: 2 star align (2 stars west of meridian) 6: add 3 calibration stars from the east side of the meridian. Should be pretty much bang on in then terms of goto accuracy and tracking for short exposures. hope that helps
  5. I will have another go tonight weather permitting, but gotta pop over to asda first for more usb extentions Though this time I will try for something higher in the sky to get a darker image, probably M31, 45, M81/82 as M42 only just manages to creep over the roof of my house. You have to make the most of clear skies, full moon or not
  6. This weekend ive been getting into phd guiding, and its pretty damn good But its taught me just how a sub can be ruined by walking around (you can see its effect in the phd graph window), the ground was frozen solid so maybe that contributed to vibrations. Last night I started off at 30 sec, moving on to 100sec, then 240sec - pushing it further each time to see how far it can go. I made it up to 4min subs before being interruptred by snow. It was good to see that phd was doing a good job of tracking M42. It was even possible to see M42 from the QHY5 so therer were no probs in finding a guidestar. Anyway, after about 90 min of clouds I called it a night and to just run with what ive got. Overall.... QHY5 gets the thumbs-up from me Tips for next time: 1) Better to have USB control of the D60 from a nice comfy chair rather than having to stand still for ages (hurty legs). 2) Point the focuser + attached D60 and 2"barlow parallel with the counterweight and underneath the OTA (hard to describe...lol), but Ive found this helps massively with the balance. 3) On the CG5 GT.... 2 star align, polar align, 2 star align + 3 calib stars. Anyways, here is what I got from DSS when I put them all together. There was a lot of glow from the full moon which washed it out a fair bit, but overall im pleased with what I got so far. It even managed to split the trapezium. a) 5x120s, 10dark, 6 bias 5x120s, 1x160s, 1x280s, 10 dark, 10 bias
  7. I might be able to try natural flats at the weekend, but at the moment its already dark by the time I get home. Maybe saturday eve will be a good time as its supposed to be clear @ dusk according to the forecast. Will post the results as I get them. Happy hunting for the weekend!
  8. Yeah the D60 is 12bit, but im discovering its limitations (only M mode works in which metering is disabled). So its truly going to be a manual experience - worth making notes on. The test shots I posted were done indoors with no particular focus, so I wont know how it will turn out until tomorrow or the weekend when I try it for real at the next session - after ive done the light, dark and bias subs. The mark you see is probably because the light source was too bright and it was a reflection from the primary, I have the option to dim the lappy screen to make it less aggressive (it has quite a strong backlight).
  9. Heres a pic of the histogram, the spike for the 1s exposure is about 1/3rd of the way up - the darkening corners kinda match what happens with my light subs. Maybe 1/1.3 might be closer to the target.
  10. Ive had another quick go. I put a sheet of A4 in front of the screen to diffuse the light and set the camera to: ISO 800, Exposures of 1, 1.3 and 2 seconds - let me know if im getting the result I should be, thanks!
  11. Firstly, thanks to psycobilly for the help with the A mode problem im having with my D60. It seems there is no way to disable the "no lens attached" message in A mode (like you can with the D200). So it seems im stuck with Manual mode for taking flats, which is a bit of a shame. So, the question I have is: What would be the average shutter speed needed if i were using a laptop screen as the lightsource? Ive tried 1/160, but that wast quite right..... just wondering if there was an average for doing it that way so it will save me a lot of messing about with every other shutter speed....hmmm needs investigation as it might be useful for others with the same limitations. Thanks in advance
  12. Yeah, I managed to find a 2" extension in the bag last night. I hadnt used it since I first had the scope as I was just doing prime focus, I popped it in and it made things a lot easier. But, Ive ended up with a new problem - the length of the ext tube, 2" Barlow and D60 really upsets the balance of my mount. So i ended up messing with the tube rings and counterweight for a while. Getting more light to the camera chip was the reason i got the 2", and the 1.25" i already had didnt have any filter thread - so I decided to go down the 2" route. Another small problem to crop up with the barlow was tracking. Without autoguiding a 2 min sub looked like a damn mess, though im expecting the QHY5 to put that issue to bed soon. Heres a pic of the barlow anyways. monster monster....
  13. Yeah, that was the Nikon D60. Its ok, except it has no AV mode (so taking flats is a real pain in the neck). I havent had chance to use the QHY5 yet - that will be on Friday as we're due for uber-clear skies again but.... its gonna be ccccccold.
  14. Hiya, Ive just managed to get in a quick session with my new Revelation 2" barlow and skywatcher LPF. I succeded in getting a few snaps of the moon, but Ive noticed i have to do a lot of jigging around with the barlow to get focus. I have to pull it out about halfway to get the correct focus (the barlow is quite long), this is no problem if im just working on one target for a while, but when i change between the D60, EPs and another 2x barlow or other targets - im having to adjust the 2" barlow again to get focus back..... a pain indeed. Is it normal to have to faf about in this way? Anyways, here is what I got: First is the 4x barlow (2" x2 + 1.25" x2) it was tough to focus, I was either one side or the other, not bang on. Second is just with the 2" barlow, third is 2" barlow + 2" Skywather LPF. The filter made a little difference and also made the moon more comfortable to look at (all i could see later was a white blob, almost blinded!...lol). Thats all I could get before the clouds rolled in.
  15. Good.... I wasnt going crazy then it was one of those "did I just see that?" moments.
  16. This is something that happened in my last session (6 days & counting now!.. getting withdrawal symptoms). I only recently got my scope, so each new thing I see and image is quite exciting... and there is a lot of stuff to see so it will keep me occupied for years to come The stars never go out of fashion (or in for that case...lol), unlike music production - a very fickle industry indeed.... Anyways.... back to the point. While viewing M45 through the eyepiece, Im sure I saw something pass throught the FOV at least 2 times. Fast moving objects, that im sure were meteorites but later I thought they might have been satellites since they werent very bright. How common is it to see meteorites in this way? Im just thinking from an imaging point of view, as things like this might look nice if included in a final image... or prove to be an annoyance by ruining it:) But I was rewarded with a real beauty later on in the session, a very bright meteorite streaking down towards the western horizon, splitting into 2 before vanishing. Shame I couldnt get a pic cos the cam was tied up with imaging at the time - anyways, its impossible to predict stuff like that
  17. oh btw, if im going to start using filters etc.... is it worth it to get everything in 2"? Surely its better than 1.25" in terms of imaging
  18. Something like this? Lumicon 4.5in Length drop-in Extension Tube 1.25inTelescope Accessories | Rother Valley Optics Okey doke, will order it over the next few days once im satisfied I have everything I need. I dont want to be in the position where Im all set to go and the show gets stopped by one missing part. Will probably have more questions on how to align the 150P and the ST80, its not like I will just have a couple of bolts to mess with like when you align a finderscope... it will be a lot more fiddly I think (practical and cheap solutions are welcome!).
  19. Ahhhhh... Just seen a proper pic of the QHY5, compete with its built in ST4 port... so no need for the Shoestring stuff then I can use some of the saved cash to get a nice Baader filter (im going to need it to cut out some of the local LP) and the extention tube mentioned earlier. God.... how am I gonna explain all this new kit to the gf?? Questions will be asked, but Im sure I will find some way of justifying it....lol. Suppose i'd better take her out too, to make up for the time ive spent messing about in the back garden
  20. Thanks for that It looks like I will be going down the autoguiding route then. But for the QHY5 setup I will be spending closer to £330, still within my budget limit - but only just (350). So to summarise I will need (correct me if Ive missed anything please!): ST-80 (£85) QHY5 camera (£159) Shoestring GPUSB Autoguide kit (£75) - do I need this??? Or does the QHY5 connect to the mount as well as the lappy? Dovetail bar (£10) Extra nuts & bolts for piggybacking the ST80 (hopefully free if I ask nicely) Clear Skies (Priceless...lol) Total= £329 Hopfully there will be no weight issues as I would be only be up up about 50% of the mounts load capacity.
  21. Im still no wiser as to what equipment I should buy... never mind. I will find out through trial & error
  22. In 20 years i might be dead, then it would be no use to me at all
  23. Where do you get the bolts from? is there some certain spec/size im looking for? No prob with the drilling bit... but im sure there are skywatcher specific dovetail bars that may avoid the need for that... something like this: Dovetail bars - Skywatcher Dovetail Mounting Plates
  24. Courtesy of the taxman, ive paid zero tax this month and got a wee rebate, £250 of which I would like to spend on some astro stuff. Im into imaging, so anything connected with that is what im after. Ive been thinking of the following: Baader Hyperion Clickstop 8-24mm Baader Neodynium filter Hyperion Nikon adapter (to connect the Clickstop to my T-Ring/D60 combo) Or spend a little more and get: Skywatcher ST80 + dovetail bar (to piggyback on my 150P) Opticstar AG-131C Coolair Autoguide kit Which package would deliver the most noticeable improvement? I know the clickstop would give me some great control over magnificaion, focusing and framing of objects. The autoguiding setup would allow for much longer exposures, but I would be limited to the magnification I have now - which is 1500mm F10, thats the D60 & 2x Barlow combination. Daft question, ifI wanted to mount the ST80 piggybacked on the 150P - what else do I need apart from the tube rings and dovetail plate? Exactly how would I piggyback one on the other? There are two threaded holes on the top of my 150P tube rings (one taken up with camera piggback thread). Im guessing there will be some sort of bolts I need would they come with the ST80? Or will I need to buy a few other bits n bobs? Id love to have both packages, but only in an ideal world
  25. Just checked again, its still clear here for Fri eve cos there should be a clearing in the cloud slap-bang over the west midlands area Maybe good enough for 3 hours viewing, but no more than that I think. There wont be any details of the times until tomorrow as at the moment its just a forecast for daytime/evening conditions.
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