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lenscap

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About lenscap

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    Star Forming

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    Birmingham
  1. Hi nejat & welcome to SGL, You can download the TAL manual from here; https://www.manualslib.com/manual/826110/Npz-Tal-1.html?page=6#manual
  2. Thanks Stu, I was surprised that, for doubles within it's grasp, the 3 inch Newt produced more stable, more pleasing views than the 200p. Perhaps the smaller aperture cannot resolve some of the small-scale turbulence that may become visible as wobbly stars in an 8 inch scope. I suppose this is what is meant by "cutting through the seeing"
  3. My first scope, which was a gift, was a Celestron 76mm F/9 Reflector. You can see identical-looking scopes under a dozen brand names. They come on a wobbly fork mount atop a lightweight, bouncy tripod. I wouldn't recommend this setup. The main challenge at higher powers is keeping a target in view long enough for the vibrations to stop. The kit did it's job in my case though. Once I'd observed the Moon, the Pleiades & Jupiter I was hooked on the hobby ! I soon acquired a 200p F/5 and I haven't looked through the Celestron since. But I wondered how the little Newt might perform on a better mount. I retrieved it from the loft , made a pair of tube rings & mounting plate from some scrap timber and bolted the scope to my EQ3-2 diy GoTo. With just a 3 inch aperture and city light pollution, double stars were the obvious targets. ( 21st May, from 11pm BST ) Zeta2 Corona Borealis, 6.5", a pair of white stars, like headlights in the distance, split at x70 but better at x140 (10mm Plossl & SW 2x deluxe Barlow.) Nu1 CoBo, 355", a wide, matching 5th Mag orange pair of cat's eyes in a 32mm Plossl (x22) with an unrelated third yellowish 7th Mag neighbour, forming a sharp triangle. Sigma CoBo, 7.2", a 5th & 6th Mag yellow pair split at x70 Xi Bootis, 5.3", yellow primary with faint white secondary to the NW, good at x140 Pi1 Boo, 5.5", a blue/yellow dumbbell at x70, clear split at x140 Izar(Epsilon Boo), 2.9", with the magnitude difference this was more of a challenge for the little scope but the secondary was visible as a lump on the first diffraction ring to the N of the primary at x140. The secondary looks grey to my eye in the 200p but here any colour was lost in the primary's orange glare. STF 1639 (Coma), 1.9, couldn't split this one, too tight for this scope I think. And to finish what else but the Double Double (Epsilon Lyr), 2.2", always fascinating & clearly split at x140 with a satisfying black line between each pair. The little F/9 reflector produced smaller, tighter stars which seemed more stable in poor seeing compared to the 200p, with fainter diffraction spikes. Great fun ! So once you seperate the OTA from the awful accessories that it comes with & put it on a steady mount the 76mm Newt is a handy little grab & go scope. I'm glad I rescued it from the spiders.
  4. The second pair of bolts are vertical. One is above the 10 degree & the other above the 60 degree marks on the DEC scale in your photo.
  5. Hi. Are you overtightening the DEC clutch? It just needs to pinched just enough to engage the drive. Overtightening can make the slow-mo stiff. Try this first. Not exactly. Those two bolts & the two below them are clamps. The small grub screw is the adjustment. To loosen the worm, slightly loosen the 4 clamp bolts then turn the grub screw no more than 1/4 turn clockwise & retighten the clamps. Repeat till it turns freely. When properly adjusted you should be able to turn the DEC worm shaft with finger & thumb without the slow-mo knob.
  6. In the couple of years that I've had my 200p (which is on an old, originally manual, EQ3-2 ) I've searched for galaxies from time to time , without success. (apart from the core of M31). Maybe my Bortle 8 skies are just too bright, but a recent thread about hunting galaxies in light-polluted skies has prompted me to have another try. My usual observing spot, the patio, would be brightly moonlit - no good. So I set up on the lawn where I would be shaded from the Moon by a big Sycamore, now in full leaf. I regularly curse this tree when my targets slip behind it, but tonight it would help with dark adaptation & prevent reflections. Went outside at 11pm (not yet astro-dark) and did a very rough polar alignment, just putting the mount more or less level with the North leg pointed in the direction of Polaris. Onstep offered me a choice of 10 alignment stars. I could only see 2 of them between the trees, but 2 is enough. I aligned on Arcturus & Izar, opened Skysafari 6 and did a Goto to Dubhe in UMajor, centered & synched. Here goes; click on M81/Goto. There were no dim fuzzies visible in the Finder but the star pattern matched Skysafari, so I'm in the right place. Looked in the 32mm Plossl (x31). There's a small faint fuzzy blob near the centre of the field! It's definitely not a star! Checked & double-checked the eyepiece star-field against Skysafari. It's M81 ! I increased the power. A 10mm Plossl (x100) seemed to hit the sweet spot. It darkened the sky. I could see a brighter core surrounded by a fainter " halo ". It wasn't circular, more oblong. This must be the elliptical part of the galaxy. I couldn't see the spiral arms. Higher powers made the image too faint & shapeless. So I've bagged M81, a Galaxy, 12 million LY away, in unsuitable conditions from a Bortle 8 site. A Result ! Can't wait for a moonless night to try and spot the spiral arms of M81 & maybe glimpse it's companion M82.
  7. Anthony, I believe that you have Bortle 8 skies. It may not be possible to see galaxies from your location with your kit. (Apart from part of the central core of M31) There are many open clusters, globular clusters, hundreds of double & multiple stars, and some nebulae that you can observe. For galaxies you may have to visit a darker site, once you have built some observing experience. Don't give up!
  8. This image would be considered auspicious in China, "The Land of the Red Dragon."
  9. OK so when you press W it is the RA motor which is moving the scope to the W (but still pointing N) which seems correct. And, if I understand you correctly, when you press S it is the DEC motor which rotates the scope away from the NCP so both motors seem to be working. After polar aligning & putting the scope in the Home position have you attempted a 2 or 3 star alignment and if so does the scope slew correctly to the alignment stars?
  10. I don't understand this. If you start with the scope in the Home position, (weights down, scope pointed at the NCP), and only the DEC motor moves the scope will end up pointing anywhere but North?
  11. Yes, absolutely. I looked at M31 several times before I saw it because what was seeable was much smaller & dimmer than I expected. Lots of open clusters , a dozen globulars, half a dozen planetary nebulae plus M42 of course. The only galaxy I have seen from home is the central core of M31 but I'm still trying for M82. If your skies are better than Bortle 8 you may have better luck.
  12. Although I don't have direct glare from streetlights etc I suffer from Bortle 8 city skyglow. M3 is virtually invisible in my 9X50 Finder. To spot it, once I am sure I am pointed at the right place & have dark adapted eyes, I have to scan the Finder FOV by averted vision. At some point I will get the impression that there is something there. I centre this directly-invisible "something" & a small, dim smudge, M3, is visible in a low-power eyepiece. Increasing the magnification makes it more interesting, but not spectacular. I have never managed to see M81/82 from my backyard in my 200p , never mind in the Finder. Keep trying.
  13. You can of course guide your EQ3-2 through the ST-4 port on the Enhanced Dual-Axis Drive Kit with a suitable interface as explained by Cornelius Varley, but you cannot control the mount directly through ASCOM.
  14. There is no Ascom driver for the EQ3-2 enhanced dual-axis kit because it has a "dumb" controller which has no communications facility. If you are into DIY you could build an Onstep or AstroEQ controller, with new stepper motors,which would give your mount a full GoTo capability for about a third of the cost of the EQ3-2 GoTo upgrade kit. https://groups.io/g/onstep/wiki/home https://www.astroeq.co.uk/tutorials.php (While it is possible to use the existing motors the maximum slewing speed would be painfully slow.)
  15. Hi Ash, I made a similar p-mount using mostly oak. All my pivots were M6 bolts sitting in threaded holes tapped in the oak using a modified M6 bolt as the tap. This gives a tighter fit than metal nuts. The tapped thread acts like a Nylock, so its easy to adjust the friction which then stays put without spring washers. My L-bracket that holds the bino is metal & I used a CD as a "bearing" to stop the metal scoring the oak. Again the pivot bolt fits a tapped wooden hole.
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