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Everything posted by Uranium235

  1. Right, now ive finished the great strimmer massacre on the lawn maybe I can get round to posting what I got up to last night. It was a perfect night for AP, not a could in the sky with the only limiting factor being my endurance (2am), believe me... its not comfy sitting on a upturned bucket! I got about 40 min each in 2min subs on the M13 globular cluster, M99 pin-wheel and M104 sombrero (I love that one, shame I cant get closer without barlowing up and all the trouble it brings). Also did 12 darks (1min), flats and bias. Not much sign of the PHD problems that have been hassling me over the past few nights, probably because my chosen targets were lower in the sky at the time, no doubt it will return to haunt me at some point.
  2. Right, sit rep.... Last night I went ahead and created an imbalance in DEC (made it nose heavy by sliding the OTA forward a bit), then fired it up.... slewed to M101 and got exactly the same problem again! After almost pulling my hair out and on the verge of packing it in for the night I decided to slew round to M3 as a last-ditch try.... and hey presto! No problems at all! It seems pretty hard to create an imbalance in DEC (using gravity) when your OTA is almost pointing vertical, is there any way I can get around that problem? To prove that lower objects worked better, I decided to slew round to M104 (Sombrero Galaxy) and again - no guide problems. Its only in that M51/M101 ursa major area that i seem to be getting all the trouble. Heres what i managed to get anyway, given the problems I only managed 30 min on M3 and only 4 subs of M104... heh... always the way - things dont seem to start working until its time to pack away!
  3. lol... i was about to ask the same thing! Hmmm.... bungee ey? Any chance of a pic to show us what goes where?
  4. Cool, thanks guys. Balance is something I can work on before it gets dark, will give it another shot after dins as its going to be another lovely clear night
  5. Hiya, Just looking for some help in getting to the bottom of a problem im having with PHD. When guiding, the RA axis is always perfect - but the DEC often goes into a sawtooth waveform (drift, drift, drift.... massive overcorrection). I will attach a pic to demonstrate it, its not the real thing, but a mock-up i drew of what it looks like. Is this down to balance or polar alignment?... Its probably a mixture of both, but last night i took care with both - and still the same result. In the end i just went into the advanced options and changed the Dec pulse time to 2000ms, only that seemed to calm it down a bit... but that cant be the answer. Just for info, my polar alignment method for the CG5-GT is: 1: Rough align with polaris through polar axis 2: After setting up the GoTo (2 stars), use the polar align feature in the handset - using the last alignment star (usually procyon). 3: switch off/on the mount and do another GoTo config (5 stars) Do I have to switch off/on the mount and re-configure it after using the polar align function? Thats what ive assumed becuase it was never mentioned in the manual, it might be that i could just go back to the hand set and run through the Goto setup again..... but I tried that and it wouldnt let me replace any of my alignment stars (just said "alignment cancelled"). It could be that I need to de-activate sync (as that is used when polar aligning). Also, is the a "best spot" in the sky for choosing a polar alignment star with a CG5? (like near or away from the meridian?) Thanks in advance for any enlightenment!
  6. Sorry to hear that m8, hope you get it sorted soon. Looks like we both wont be using them for a little while yet - my 1000d has up to a 10 day wait on it bah!
  7. Got mine now, its a little different to the Nikon fit but ive measured it and its exactly the same profile as a T-Ring combo, so focus will be ok. Now im just waiting for Jessops to cough up the 1000d and I will be ready to rock. Clear sky alert for this evening too Find a sheltered spot in the garden tho, theres a light breeze.
  8. Its ok, I can easily achieve focus with the maxDSLR already. In fact, I gained focuser travel using this adapter because its a lower profile than a T-Ring combination. I needed this adapter becuase there was no way of using a 2" filter at prime focus using the bits I got with the scope (no filter threads). The Canon one shouldnt be any different to the Nikon so I can expect the same results. Will let you know how I get on with it thanks!
  9. Cool, will take a look there as well. Its a case of "have to" at the mo becuase Ive ordered the 1000d, should be here in a few days
  10. Thats a shame man, sorry to hear about the supplier hassles. Hope you find a replacement soon
  11. Hmmmm... has FLO stopped selling the MaxDSLR adapter? I already have the Nikon fit one (and very good it is too), but if I decide to get a Canon 1000d then I will need to buy another adapter - and I havent seen them anywhere else (yet!). I could just go back to using t-rings again, but that would put the stoppers on me using a filter @ prime focus Ohh... and a little "side moan".... When will the weather clear up??!! Weve had 3 weeks of rain and its getting a bit boring now...lol Typical April showers.
  12. Heh... no more dark skies at the moment just endless cloud & rain! But it was definitely worth the move. One day I hope to get a powertank and go a few miles down the road (probably Wyre Forest area) where it should be uber-dark, its just a case of getting the wheels (i dont drive). I really had to fiddle with DSS to get the colour though, becuase for some time the end product to all my pics was always coming out very "grey". That was until i turned off all RGB channel calibration and used the saturation slider a bit (+25%), the colour just jumped out!... was it a lucky shot or is that what the saturation shift slider is for? Anyways, I saved the setting for future use. Oh btw.... Stellarium... its sooo useful when setting up calibration stars! Wish id tried it earlier!
  13. Here are the first couple of pics ive managed to get from my new (darker sky) location. After a few initial annoyances (power problems to mount) I got 45min on both M42 & M51. It was immidiately obvious that the amount of light pollution was less, I was surprised I got so much more detail and colour on M51 than I did last time M51: 16x180s light, 4x180 dark, 10 bias, 10 flat M42: 20x120s light, 8x120s dark, 10 bias, 10 flat Shame it was a week night, otherwise I would have stayed out all night
  14. A 4X barlow on a 130 OTA is pushing it a bit (if you were using a 10mm EP), but there should be someone along soon who can do the maths for ya but as a rule of thumb, apeture rules. Try for a 150mm newt, get used to it and then if all goes well then buy the APO - that way you have options on which scope you want to use for imaging/guiding.... well, thats my plan anyway.. APOs are soooo damn expensive
  15. What I do to get 4x is to stack the standard 1.25" skywatcher barlow into the 2" Revelation ED barlow (cos that one has a filter thread). It works well enough but just be warned that it will lengthen your optical train quite a lot and therefore add considerable weight - anything up to 500g. Dont forget too that when youre barlowing up, you will also need to adjust your exposure times to suit
  16. Thanks guys but it seems the met office dropped another clanger. Nothing but a mass of cloud out there tonight! Hopefully it will clear up later in the week. Btw I added another 5 meters to the USB cable tonight to prevent cable drag. Hmmm must be almost 30 meters now! So in a Clarkson style voice... "its the longest USB cable..... in the world"....lol!
  17. Ive been offline for a couple of weeks cos Ive been moving to a new house (and all the chaos that goes with it!). Now ive had time to settle in to my new place in Kidderminster (worcestershire), I managed to get out the back for a quick peek during a clear spell. Not only are the stars brighter here (when compared to my old place), but there are (a lot) more of them! Its by no means a perfect place, but its a definite improvement. I should be able to get a few decent subs from the yard. So, come tomorrow night im gonna be out there with the scope. Only 2 obsticles (aready overcome), i needed both a 25 metre power cable AND a USB to match! Yikes... that was a little expensive (£50 on cables alone), but its been tested and it works.... im using the 25 meter usb extention now with a 3 dongle in a different room Heres to darker skies!
  18. Nice going Peter thats with the WO yeah?
  19. Thanks peter! dunno why i was so scared of flats in the first place...lol.. Its another good nite, im out having another bash @ M51 at tho mo (live from th3 shed...lol), gonna try for 90 min of data this time got good focus too... better make the most of it! I tried C5 first, did a 2 min sub but didnt get anything... dunno why its having probs with caldwell objects - it finds the messier ones well enough
  20. Managed to takes some flats using the pc monitor... wow.. it really does make a difference!
  21. Last night was very clear (if a little cold), Ive managed to improve my previous efforts on M81 & M82 with better framing and 45 min worth of subs. I was also working on M51 when I had an unexplained loss of power to the mount (i think the power cable is on its way out), so imaging of that object got cut a bit short. Lastly, i swung round to M3 for a quick 15min blast.... and that was my biggest surprise of the night, for such a short sub time, I got quite a lot
  22. Hmmm, any chance that it might be on the secondary then? It cant be the filter because its brand new, and it did exactly the same pattern with my old filter. So I should take a closer look at the camera you say? I can clean it again, but I dont think that will make any difference. Will give it a try anyways.
  23. Thanks You have a better atlas than ive got then! NGC3077 isnt listed in mine. We're due for clear skies tonight, so I think I will give it another go with better framing and a lot more subs. If i focus on just one target for the eve instead of splitting my attentions between 3, I might get better results (and if i can get a better guidestar).
  24. I managed to get out for a session last night and decided to have a go at M31 first. However, I didnt seem to get that much for the amount of time I spent on subs (22x120s). Is that because its just too low in the sky (35deg above horizon) or because of light pollution? I was scratching my head a bit cos ive seen much better pics of M31 with exactly the same setup. There also seems to be a couple of dark, round blotches on the M31 pic... and im not sure if its dirt on the primary or the secondary. Ive had a look and there doesnt seem to be anything major in there, although the primary could to with a wash I think (lots of little specks on it). Its defintely not the camera CCD thats clean as a whistle. For the last 20min of the session I had a go at M81/82, I wasnt too bothered about the framing but ive noticed another object and ive no idea what it is any ideas? And lastly, does anyone know how to remove the primary on the new 150P scopes?
  25. Looks like its going to be a good one this eve, not a cloud in the sky Also a heads up for the weekend, looks to be another good one too ... yayyyy! At last! Im also gonna try grab an M31 before Andromeda disappears a for a few months. Ahh... the best laid plans..... better get organised!
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