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Everything posted by Uranium235

  1. 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
  2. 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!
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. 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
  7. 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....
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Good.... I wasnt going crazy then it was one of those "did I just see that?" moments.
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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!).
  14. 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
  15. 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.
  16. Im still no wiser as to what equipment I should buy... never mind. I will find out through trial & error
  17. In 20 years i might be dead, then it would be no use to me at all
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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.
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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?
  24. 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?
  25. 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
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