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About Z3roCool

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    Star Forming

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    South Derbyshire - UK
  1. Hi there, my NEQ6 decided to bend the altitude bolts the other month. Decided to buy the upgraded bolts but still felt that at 52 degrees the bolt was just not allowing easy Polar Alignment due to the angle the bolt and the mount head bar are at when at high altitudes. At my Dad's place it was not to bad as a lot further South and bolt and bar are at a greater angle allowing better leverage for adjustment . Since starting Narrow Band imaging it has allowed me to get at home which is further North and then the problems started. Looked into a wedge but the cost was silly! Very nice bit of engineering but too much I felt at just under half the price of the mount again. Found some details about the Rail Kit that helps with the issue I had. Martin Pyott has a great You Tube video online showing the process of replacing this, a fairly simple job but I am not at all mechanically minded so the video really helped! The kit itself is fairly expensive for what it is (A small piece of metal with a cylinder on it that slides back and forth). The fact that I had no way of getting similar made up meant the price to me was acceptable so I purchased from Dark Frame Optics. The swap out took me about an hour altogether and went really well. The precise adjustment now of the rear altitude bolt can be done with one finger, even under heavy load. This has brought my mount back to life and fixed an issue I feel is the major downfall and engineering fail of SkyWatcher for this mount at high altitudes. I highly recommend this if you are having issues with bendy bolts etc... Below are a few images from the fitting. 1. Removal of the Caps was fairly easy. Heat up with hairdryer and slip a very thin knife (Or Similar) Then get credit card under and work around. Pops of pretty easy. Marking up the 0 and 90 degree marks also so restoring the caps in correct position. The kit does supply replacement caps in case you do destroy the originals when removing. 2. Removal of main mount from base. There are a couple of washers that need to go back in the correct place. 3. 4. Damage from rear altitude bolt. Used to take real care when adjusting but this mount is real soft! 5. Grub screws. These need releasing before removing the mount head. They tighten up to stop any lateral slack in the joint when put back together. 6. View inside base with both the altitude bolts installed. 7. Rail Kit installed. It sits at the bottom of the base and the rear altitude bolt sits in a recess in the rear of the cylinder. The cylinder slides up and down the rail as you adjust the bolts. 8. Rear Altitude Bolt installed. The mount head then goes back on making sure the arm part goes above the cylinder so when you adjust the cylinder takes the hit from the bolt. It really does make adjustment so much easier. Polar Alignment is now a dream to do. I was getting Excellent PA with SharpCap but very quickly got drift due to the mount damage I believe. PA now sticks and can go unguided for 5+ minutes easy. Thought I would make a post on this as seen a few members have fitted but not that much information on. Cheers, Tom.
  2. Was wondering the same? No updates in a long while I know it takes a lot to run them and vote etc...I am sure we could maybe get a voting system going so members could vote on the entries themselves?
  3. Hi there, thanks. Focussing in Narrowband is a little hard. I usd to find using FWHM whn using my DSLR really worked well. The 1600 seems a lot harder with the camera lens. I use APT and the focussing aid. Sometimes it works really well and get dial down to a low figure and looks great but other times it fluctuates and have to guess the best. I use the 1.25" LRGB and NB filters and they are all slightly different focus points so have to re-focus between filters, I have found a focusser by Astromechanics which works with ASCOM and allows you to Auto Focus with APT (I ask the company to confirm). I have heard good things about how it focusses also. You can also control the aperture of the lens. Tommy.
  4. Yeah, I do like it more and more when I look at it
  5. Never tried a Starless image...I know not everyones taste but first one I was pretty happy with. Run with StarNet++
  6. Thanks for your kind comment
  7. Hi there, another attempt at my Heart Nebula data in Narrowband. Think I need a lot more data in OIII & SII as seem very week (In know it gets swamped by Ha but almost no data in an hour and a half of subs). Anyway. this is taken with my an ASI 1600 MM Pro and Canon 400mm camera lens. Ha - 1.5 hours OIII - 1 Hour SII - 1 Hour Any feedback much welcomed Thanks for looking.
  8. First go at Narrowband and first go from my backgarden in Bortle 6. Tried processing in Photoshop, will hopefully get PixInsight soon (Loved it when I trialed it!). A lot wrong with this but as a first effort I am fairly happy Equipment - ASI 1600 MM Pro, Canon 400mm Lens Ha - 30 x 5min OIII - 36 x 5min SII - 36 x 5min Need to try and work out how to process the large stars (Mu and Eta) but think the effect is due to the ASI 1600, sure I can work them better though. Cheers, Tommy.
  9. There are a lot of people I know who have not got cars and they have signed up for the NHS help and will be delivering pharmacy items to people who cannot get out. Guess it is for buying bikes and servicing?
  10. Hi there, just wondered if a plan I have is worth doing? I currently have a 1600MM Pro that I use with my 400mm camera lens. I live in Bortle 6 sky and RGB is terrible (and have read bad things using 2 filters - RGB with LP) NB is brilliant but would like to try and get some more natural images. My thought was to get a 294MC camera to shoot colour with an LP filter in an adapter then shoot a load of Ha to add to image as a detail layer. Maybe even bin the colour 2x2. The camera is similar FOV so should work okay. Does that make sense or am I being daft? Just wanted to Sanity check the idea. Tom.
  11. Setup and hoping to get a 100mm Widefield shot of Heart and Soul with the C/2017 Panstarrs Comet.
  12. I think I will be looking to get my first scope at some point! Just need to save up and then get by the other half I love the Canon lens nicknames!
  13. Thanks Alan, that makes good sense! Had not thought about stopping the lens down a bit. Will give that a go next time I am out. My 400mm L is not too bad but the 70-200 2.8 L (Image above) is awful. Thanks for the detailed feedback Tommy.
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