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Everything posted by Uranium235

  1. Ah-ha! Found a solution after a quick look @ google. The Nikon Mall EP-5 Power Supply Connecter Its like a false battery that connects to an EH-5 power supply, not sure how much it would all come to tho - and i cant find a UK dealer (yet).
  2. Youre giving me ideas man.... lol Its one thing to rig a remote control battery, but a its much bigger project to find a way of powering the cam by way of a DC supply. It probably can be done in the same manner, but its not something I would want to screw up There wont be much spare room in the battery compartment for cables either, not unless I can salvage a few ribbon cables from somewhere.
  3. I like the look of that battery grip but maybe a cheaper solution would be to buy some cheap 3rd party batteries for the D60, Ive seen energiser ones that are nearly half the price of the official Nikon battery, so If I get 2 of those - a total of 3 batteries should be more than enough to get through the most demanding of shoots as I will always have one on charge. Nikon EN-EL9 replacement ENERGIZER EN-EL9 7.4v 1000mAh Nikon D40 for 35.99atJacobs Digital Photography & Video Thanks for the suggestions guys Heh heh its a bit mad how the human mind can be so inventive when the need arises! Its that sort of sprit that got us humans to the moon... shame nobody had the guts to do it again.
  4. Ok, ive been doing a bit of "inventing" and ive come up with a solution of a remote control for the ML L3 remote control (..lol). Ive taken the "stones, knives and bearskins" approach and just used what I had to hand which consisted of: 1) Masking tape 2) Double sided tape 3) A file 4) Baking foil 5) An adjustable spanner 6) A curtain pole 7) A few odd bits of cable Its a simple case of rigging the battery so the electrical circuit is only completed when the wires are crossed. The adjustable spanner is the only thing i could find that would apply constant pressure similar to that of a human hand (a small g-clamp would have worked) to the remotes button. Then I just taped the spanner to a pole which can go in the ground within sensor distance of the D60. Ive tested it with a 5m speaker cable and it works just fine Yep, It looks rough - but as long as it works im not bothered
  5. Hiya, Im thinking of having another session in the garden tonight as it should be clear from 9pm-3am (depends how much snow is left out there). The trouble is, the cramped conditions in the shed and hours out in the cold over the past couple of weeks has played hell with my back (not as young as i used to be!), therefore im having to take it easy. So ive had the idea of using a combo of PHD & Nikon Camera Control Pro. Basically, the idea is to first get it tracking smoothly enough, then use NCCP (in time lapse mode) to take a user-defined number of exposures. Once its set up and snapping, In theory I should then be able to go in for a comfy chair, a cuppa and a spot of QI. The limitation of NCCP is that the maximum exposure time available for time lapse mode is 30sec, the "bulb" setting requires the manual use of the remote shutter release. Has anyone else tried this before? Its possible for me to set up NCCP to automatically do 2hours worth in 30s subs (240x30)... but ... but will 240x30s be as good as 120x60s, or 60x120s? Im using DSS to stack btw. Hmmm... I have a feeling im going to need to throw in some longer subs at some point tho - so im having the idea of "modding" the Nikon ML L3 remote so it can be used at any distance. Basically by means of opening one and using its guts to make a wired microswitch remote, or maybe even radio operated (if I can be arsed to get myself over to maplins). The benifit of this is that I wont have to tippy-toe up to the scope to get close enough to use the remote... but thats a whole other project
  6. Yep, can agree with this and FLO. Opticstar are ok too. But as always, call for advice and stock levels before you buy - then you can be sure youre getting the right tool for the job.
  7. I made mine by printing it onto 100gsm card, making the bars/slots wider to aid cutting & strength (with a scalpel). Then make a collar for it so it fits tightly over the end of your scope.... simples!
  8. I thought this might be of some use. Im going to be having a go at eyepiece projection soon so Ive put together a little spreadsheet that calculates all of the magnification factors, focal lengths and ratios for eyepieces (25-8mm) and extention tubes (in steps of 15mm). Have also included the lengths when barlowed up to 2x and 4x.... though its highly unlikely that I would ever take it to a 32,625mm focal length....lol! - that would be for an 8mm EP, 95mm EP > CCD distance, Barlow 4x on a 750mm/150mm newt. All you have to do it load it into Excel, input your values into only the red fields (your scope focal length, apeture and EP sizes), there is enough room for 6 EPs on the spreadsheet, and it will be handy for printing to A4 cards for quick reference (thats my plan for it anyways). Unzip and open, printing is set up for landscape. Let me know if my maths are out so I can make modifications (and apologies!), im pretty sure its right tho Eyepiece projection calculator.zip
  9. Thanks man will try that. Hopefully I can now use more of the data I collect. I think you made a reference to PS (actions), im going to take another look at it later but from what I remember its not exactly friendly for the beginner...lol. Will post any improvements I make, cheers!
  10. Just a couple of quick questions on long exposure subs. The other night I was experimenting with a few crazy sub lenghts on M42 to see how far QHY5/PHD would go before cracking up. Using the 2" Barlow & Skywatcher LPF, I took a series of 10 minute subs @ ISO 800, one of which I will attach below. In the end it felt like time wasted with 10 min @ ISO800... its tracked reasonably well, but god those stars are a bit bloated. Anyway, I took a series of 4 and 2 min subs (also @ ISO800) to mix it up a bit - but when I put them through DSS, it didnt stack them - it only seemed to stack the long exposure pics (it registered 16 but only stacked 6). Its not the first time thats happened. So my first question is: Is there a way to reduce bloating on the stars? I was thinking of setting a limit of no more than 4 or 5 min for any light sub... maybe 10min was a bit too OTT. The only catch is the filter, yes its cheap but I cant operate above 2min without it here due to LP, trouble is that is seems to block a bit too much and the stars lose their nice diffraction spikes - forcing me to go for longer exposures. My second query is about making DSS stack everything i give it when using a mix of long & short exposures - Ive set it to use 100% of subs / Mosaic mode, but that still doesnt work. Am I missing something, or should I try other software? Here is one of the 10min subs (unprocessed, coverted from RAW to JPG), not sure what the patches are in the corners... maybe I should make a longer dew shield to block unwanted lights.
  11. Looks a ton better than what I managed that same night.... nice one Hmmm.... 3min subs? I think I will try that too. Which scope did you use?
  12. I made it until about 10.30 until the cold got me...lol was pretty chilly out there. Managed to get a few good 5min subs in tho
  13. I suggest everyone gets out here asap its going to be clear all night Im out in the garden at the mo, things are tracking nicely.... and as a bonus - my neighbours security light has broken!!! Hohoho! A good night all round Just getting my first ever few subs of M31 now before it drops behind the trees. Happy hunting!
  14. Cool, thanks just as I suspected. I did build a bahtinov mask, but I havent tested it yet. Not sure if it will work though as Ive only cut it from light card with a scalpel (a long job indeed) so its a bit wobbly
  15. Ive been having a think today about how to capture galaxies such as M81/M82, objects too feint for the eye but well within the range of a DSLR. The problem is, how do you make sure its going to be in focus when you take the sub? When looking through the viewfinder at objects mag 8+, I see nothing. I dont have the benifit of live view so I find myself squinting through the viewfinder desperately trying to focus very feint objects (not much fun for the neck & back as im quite a tall bloke). Its easy to get M31, 42 & 45 as they are already so bright, but the feinter stuff.... thats proving a litte more tricky. Will focusing on the nearest, bright star, then slewing back to the target be good enough? Whats the best tactic for achieving correct focus on feint objects? I wish someone would invent a low light cam that you can attach to a viewfinder to bypass all this annoyance and enable me to do it from a comfy chair damn... wish id brought a cannon now.
  16. just had a quick go at re-processing it, but ive had to throw the 5min subs because of the cloud.
  17. unfortunately, I didnt have time for flats last night. If you were to see the RAW images, they are well washed out because of LP (I wasnt using any filter). But I know where I went wrong now. So next time I will be able to pass the 5min barrier. The things was, I couldnt find a way to use the 2" LPF without the barlow as I needed a 2" filter thread. Ive got lots of 1.25", but only one 2" - which was part of the 2" barlow. Imaging M45 with a barlow is a no-go, so while in bed last night I unscrewed the filter, then the black lens part - leaving just the barrel. To my surprise the filter screwed straight into the barrel - problem solved. So next time I should get better results. Wish id have thought of it earlier though... but time was of the essence. Setting up & dodging clouds didnt leave much time for taking pics! This is the raw image of a 290s sub, with no filter... its a bit of a shocker. Seeing conditions were not exactly great too, as there was a bit of high cloud drifting through the shot - which probably accounts for the large white patch in the final image.
  18. I had a short 3 hour window in which to set up and get a few subs of this tonight. For a while I was clueless as to why PHD wasnt making enough corrections in DEC (it would lose traking after about 30 seconds), at first i thought it was my polar alignment, but after 3 re-alignments - i figured that wasnt it. So I poked about in the advanced tab and bing! No probs after that. Wish I had taken more (and longer) subs as I was starting to get a hint of nebulosity when I put it through DSS. But given the probs experienced earlier, I didnt want to push my luck. Also found the need for a coma corrector now as it shows towards the edges. Worth keeping (until I manage something better...lol) 5x2min, 3x3min, 3x5min 10 dark 10 bias
  19. It certainly is!! I got one a couple of weeks ago and it was worth every penny QHY5 makes guiding so easy that it should be illegal....lol.
  20. Thanks, will try that with the next bunch of subs. White balance boxes unchecked and ready to rock
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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
  25. 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
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