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Everything posted by Uranium235

  1. To be fair to the neighbours, they did switch if off when I asked them nicely - they seem to have it switched rather than on a PIR sensor. Right... Flats, ive had a go at making a few using the lappy screen & notepad. I had to guess the exposure time since the D60 has no AV mode - if any other mode than "M" is selected, it just says "no lens attached". Anyways, I set it for 1/160 and took 10. Threw it all into DSS, poked it about a bit and this is what I got. A bit better, but im still not satisfied. Come Friday night, im gonna set up again for clear skies and nail that sucker good
  2. Update for w/e 24/01: Just checked out BBC and it says we might be in for some clear sky on Friday night. w00t! I did manage to set up last night but by the time everything was calibrated (7pm) the clouds had rolled in but..... I thought "what the hell" and just slewed it to Mars - to my astonishment i could actually see Mars THROUGH the clouds (which my eyes couldn't), it even worked on Betelguese and other bright objects I never thought the scope would be able to penetrate clouds like that! Anyways, were all gonna get soaked the next couple of days, so just stay in with a cuppa/beer/hot choccy/vodka/chablis (delete as appropriate...lol). Hey luke.... I saw your shot of Jupiter with just your camera... thats pretty good going man! I'd struggle to find it without my Goto
  3. Thanks guys! lol.... i didnt realise i got the running man too Its good news to hear the laptop trick works, a good idea to just point the scope at the ceiling too. But the laptop looks like the more convenient route because i can keep all of the shots grouped on the memory card (so i know whats what when processing), plus i dont have to lug the scope indoors to take the flats. Cool... so I will try that next time, whenever that may be!! (loads more snow to come this week... bah!) Oh, how long should the exposure be for a flat?
  4. Ahhh... flats yeah. Ive thought about that but it seems like a tricky thing to do, trying to get a uniform light source. I thought about "cheating" with a laptop screen (showing a white pic fullscreen) and a piece of A4 to diffuse the light.... would that work?
  5. Hiya, Last night I managed to get my first few shots of M42 and M45. However, they kinda suck when compared to others ive seen with exactly the same scope . Despite loads of messing around in DSS, I could not get the colours to come through as they should. Is there something ive missed in deepskystacker? Maybe my focus isnt as good as it should have been on M42 (focusing is hard with just a viewfinder on the D60), and the bottom right corner of the M45 shot got RUINED by my neighbours security light going on and off But, the one good outcome is that im getting better at aligning the mount and tracking objects... practice makes perfect! M42 = 26x30sec ISO 1600, 10 dark, 10 bias M45 = 12x30sec ISO 1600, 10 dark, 10 bias Thanks in advance for any help
  6. Can confirm that here for this eve too Dazraz, we should have clear skies from 6 to about 10pm in the Midlands... heh.. hope the show the missus tonite too as its not too late in the eve, im gonna try & get her into this Just need to lower the mount a little for her though, because last night I was on tippy toes - and im 6' 2" !!
  7. 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 aces! Also took apart the barlow to get the other T-adapter...lol... I didnt know it came apart like that 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.
  8. 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 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"... 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!
  9. clear skies have arrived!! im off out for first light.. yayyy!
  10. Not a good idea thesedays...either in jest or idle curiosity. Thats a one way ticket to gitmo bay.
  11. 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 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 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.
  12. weather update: Looking clear for sun/mon night (fingers crossed!)
  13. 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.
  14. Aye, can confirm that for Saturday or Sunday eve (partly cloudy).... but dont hold your breath. If there is a break in the cloud, I can expect most of us being involved in a mad dash to the garden heh...you wont see me for dust! Just keep an eye on the BBC weather page.
  15. Grim.... I havent even seen the sun for a week now, let alone any other stars! At this rate its going to be Feb before we get any clear skies.
  16. 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
  17. 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.
  18. Ahhhh... figured it out!! I forgot to put the cam into Manual mode... duhhh!
  19. 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!
  20. 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!!
  21. Right... off to fetch it all now. 7am on icy rural roads...... yikes. Better take some carpet and a shovel! Oh, and a flask of coffee
  22. 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!
  23. 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 M42..... Im on your case!! (assuming its clear skies!)
  24. 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
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