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Everything posted by Uranium235

  1. 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
  2. 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!).
  3. 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:
  4. 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...
  5. 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!
  6. 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.
  7. 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!
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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!
  12. Lol... just count yourself lucky that your neighbour doesnt light a massive bonfire just as youve started your session, that happend to me once and I was livid! ...lol.. Just keep an eye on the forecast for now, things sometimes change in your favour and you get an unexpected night of perfectly clear skies. Patience my friend
  13. I usually end up watching BBCi on the lappy while imaging - HIGNFY, QI, Top Gear... whatever is funny. Not too loud though because I dont want to annoy the neighbours late at night Music.... hmmm, if I were to do that I would probably stick winamp on random and have kings of leon next to samuel barber next to Stevie Wonder and William Orbit, or something equally eclectic. I could sit there and play, but dragging a piano down the garden isnt an option... besides, my fingers would be too cold to play! There are a few strange noises around at night though.... and a fair few rats - jeez ive seen a few whoppers down there in the dead of night. But I can definitely recommend Pink Floyd... dark side of the moon... fantastic and trippy (esp "Time"). I usually find this track quite inspiring, some may have heard it already.... very astro Cosmos - Part 1 Feel free to download & enjoy.
  14. Thanks blinky! Ahhh, so there is no shortcut around darks then.... well it was worth a try I would go for 6 minutes or so (10min would be madness), but LP starts to take over after about 5 min and my tracking isnt always that perfect. But I'll give it a go next time theres a clear sky and hope PHD can hold it together for that long (whenever that may be!).
  15. Ohhh yes, very important indeed! I had a wee idea in regard to darks.... on inspection, Ive noticed that nearly all of the darks look the same (well... dark!), maybe a few hot/cold pixels here & there but no ampglow. So.... what stopping me from taking 10 good darks, and then just duplicating them to get 20? Its the same data, and just as dark as the others so I cant see why that wont work as a shortcut. It might be even possible to generate 20 from 5... though I wouldnt want to do the same from just 1.
  16. okey doke Will wait until I actually get the scope first tho before looking into field flatteners. Awww... im so looking forward to getting my now sweaty hands on that thing. Hooray! no more collimation!
  17. Thanks Olly, thats cleared that one up then I see, so imaging at prime focus with the 80 isnt so affeted by the mount load... cool. So is the skywatcher FF any good? And if i did get one, would it have a filter thread? Ive never used one, so ive no idea how it fits in the optical train (yet). As far a wind goes, Im pretty fortunate that where i put the scope is sheltered on the E,W and North sides - with a clear view to the south nearly all the way down to the horizon (terraced garden, sloping down).I have it halfway down on the patio, as any closer to the house then I wouldnt be able to see polaris. On a side note, Im going to buy a masonary drill bit tomorrow to drill 3 shallow holes in the slabs to mark where the mount legs should go - that will save me loads of time with moving the mount around while polar aligning - and will avoid the situation of me accidentally kicking the mount leg and knocking out the alignment...lol... done that a few times!
  18. I think i know what you mean, that sounds like an off-axis guider. Its a good idea but finding a cheap one would not be easy because I would need either the Orion (which would only work on the refractor) or the TS OAG which would work on both scopes - but that ones a lot more... twice the price in fact It might be cheaper to just get another dovetail bar so i can mix & match between scopes according to whatever the target is for that session.
  19. Ahhh thanks! That pic shows me it can be done then. Im already using the second counterweight since using the piggybacked guidescope, but theyre both right at the top of the bar at the moment, so theres room to move. Im just hoping that at 10.5kg, the guiding will be ok - at least I should get tons of good guide stars from the newt Ive thought about a side by side setup, maybe thats one for the future though becuase it would add another £130 to the bill (unless i can get one 2nd hand).
  20. Hiya, For a while now ive been tempted to go over to the dark side in terms of owning an APO. But, one thing needs to be cleared up before I can say "go for it" in terms of actually buying it.The plan is to replace the ST80 with an Equinox 80 or ED80, which will probably add another 1.5kg to the load.The CG5 GT is max rated at 35lb (15.8kg) and the overall setup should be about: 150P = 4.9kg Equinox = 3kg 1000d = 0.45kg Misc (tube rings, bars + guide cam) = 1kg Total = 10.57kg (67% of max load) Thats about bang-on 2/3 of the load capacity. Now ive read some posts that the max for any mount (for good guiding) is 1/2 of total - some others say 2/3. Im not really up for buying a new mount, and Id like the chance to use the newt and equinox together (newt guides, equinox images). I know i could just have the ST80 and the Equinox on the mount no problem, but that seems like a bit of a waste of a perfectly good newt to me. Is 10.5kg too much for good guiding? Thanks muchly in advance for any advice.
  21. did you take enough darks? At first, I used to be a bit of a cheapskate and take 15x30sec dark for every 20 light frames (of any length). Its only now that I have the "set up and walk away" method of doing darks that the 1000d offers that im getting better results. Basically, after all my light frames are done (eg: 30x3min) I take the OTA with the cam still attached into the basement and set it up to do the same amount in darks (same ISO, same sub length) while i go to bed. It switches itself off after a while so no need to worry about burning loads of leccy. Get up in the morn, stack it.... jobs a good un
  22. To get the colour into the finished result, the RAW settings are with both white balance boxes unchecked and black point set to zero. When stacking I use RGB background calibration (not per channel), and I usually choose not to align the RGB channels in the final image. When the final image is processed mine too are B&W - but first do your curves as normal - then flick over to the saturation tab. Setting that to about 30% is enough to bring the colour back, if its a bit too red just shift the red channel slightly in RGB/K Levels. Its best to just test the settings on a zoomed-in selection first, just to save you the time of applying the adjustment to the whole picture. You will know its worked because all of a sudden you will see the orange, blue or white star colours. Heres an example of M44 that I used that method on.
  23. lol.... Just found this while mooching on Ebay Might need a few of these!
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