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About philhilo

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    West Midlands, UK
  1. Good job and lovely shots. Alas I think I was too late at 4am, had the clear skies but too bright despite my wanderings around the garden and peering through doors and windows to get the angle. Will defo try again Thursday/Fri am.
  2. Very interested in this thread as I have a 200PDS with all of the above issues - has to be said this isn't a £1000 or multiple ££££ OTA, more like £200, so giving it a hard time seems a little unfair. However, I have all of the above issues, D shapes, ugly spikes etc. Am considering if it is worth spending ~ £400 on upgrading it, flocking, focuser, dew/light shield, clip cover, cheshire collimater (I have a laser but it rocks about in the aperture which makes it useless). Other option would be a better OTA, but I don't see any options that give me the reach or speed (live in Bortle 8 so need speed if images are going to be done in less than a week of good weather!) at less than a snip under £2k?
  3. Evening all. I have a WO66 as a widefield OTA and a SW 200PDS (f4.5) on an HEQ5 Pro (groan). The mount copes as long as there is no wind, but an EQ6 R Pro will arrive at some point along with a mono astrocam. Imaging with a modded DSLR. Currently producing images that please me (not good). I want to improve my long fl images (I like galaxies). As far as I can see any new OTA at a similar 908mm and as fast (I am in Bortle 8 so I need lots of light to produce images) is going to be £1500 or more - refractors are going to be mega bucks to get the speed and fl, something like an SCT would be my best bet, a Celestron Edge HD for instance, for the future. Am I correct or have I missed some unknown OTAs? Bearing this in mind I am thinking of improving the 200PDS. I have figured out the light leaks (currently tinfoil, but upgrading to light proof material), it will be flocked and any shiny bits painted, a dew/light shield (not for windy nights!), I am going to get a Cheshire collimator as my laser collimator rocks around hopelessly in the OTA. Then comes the expensive bit, a Moonlight or some other focuser - this allegedly gets rid of the ugly offcentre diffraction spikes and solves focus slippage - which I don't appear to suffer from. All this lot is going to come in at around £400 and some hours of messing around. Will this be lost money when I do finally upgrade i.e I wont be able to sell it for any more, or is there some alternative OTA that will be noticeably better at £500 - 1000? Answers on a postcard to....OK, on the forum, and I have attached one of my better results (I have quite a few data sets I don't seem to be able to get anything decent out of but that's another story), M63, 7hrs of 120sec subs.
  4. Tad warm tonight, Canon running at 41c. Erm, now not running. 20 minute break and its alive again. Cooled astro cam might be coming sooner than planned! Back to 24c. Something odd was happening, shutter was staying open between images, it gets confused I think.
  5. Amazed you got any red at all with an unmodded camera and the D2. It is designed for use with a modded camera. I have used it with both and there is nothing left of the red in the unmodded camera. It's back a long way even in the modded dslr. Interesting you get reflections as I was planning on getting the 135mm to complete my travel rig. I have an Asiair but it is powering it that's an Bottom for travel, and I figure using the 14, 50, or 135 isnt going to need tracking so best keep it simple, and I am not sure the sw sa is ever going to track or guide well enough for long exposures.
  6. Forecast is cloud and I am tired with a few definite good nights coming up so I took a chance at Mercury and was very happy to get a clear view through the bins. Now to draw up a plan for tomorrow night - play with new flat panel to see if I can improve some previous sets, figure out why my meridian flip isn't working, image something and finish up with having a go at comet Swan. Now to plan.
  7. I am trying to get the hang of the collimation tool in APT - obviously this uses the camera in situ utilising the live view mode and an out of focus star. Had a play the other evening but done more research since. Similar view with PA and all the kit. This I think is why guiding around the zenith is poor with the 200PDS. Lots of flexure going on. Out of interest I can hear the mirror (or something heavy) shift when I move the OTA, do you get anything like this? I do use a laser collimator but it doesn't sit flush on the focuser and rocks about so is pretty poor.
  8. Blowing 30's here, mighty chilly, and not looking to clear until midnight. With a DSLR I was only going to do some glitch fixing so maybe tomorrow when it calms down a bit.
  9. Guiding on the SW SA with a SWED72, very nice. I didn't think that would work, but now I can see it does. Had 1st try but couldn't get an image from the qhy guidescope/ZWO120mm combination. Really need another guidecam as taking it off the other rig tends to result in grief.
  10. Thanks to Vlaiv for those explantaions. Will read them again after some cloudy nights (my wife is beginning to think I have given up sleeping). Off topic, but its my thread, a guy contacted me about meridian flips - please contact me again, sorry, I started a reply but now I cant find your message despite hunting through many different messaging apps (not helped by another long late night, one more to go then zzzzzzz).
  11. Awesome, thank you almcl. Once the clouds come back and I catch up on my sleep (although I hope I finally have automated meridian flips sorted so can get some zzzzz) I will get back on Startools. I did use Gimp for very quick stretches and dark backgrounds, but using the preferred settings in DSS for Startools made them impossible to process in Gimp. Inspired, cheers.
  12. Not sure if DSS gives me the option on selecting the value of sigma (good job I have a qualification in Lean 6 Sigma, a quality and efficiency tool so I have some idea around this even after 2 nights of 2am...….and another 2 to go 8-) ). Will check it out.
  13. Aha, somebody who has won prizes and uses Startools. That's a good thing to know. Currently everything ends up looking like abstract art, in a fog, with pepper ground over the top.
  14. Very useful granular info - 16 dithered frames for the sigma kappa clipping. 200 should be sufficient be ok then.
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