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Everything posted by philhilo

  1. Yes that's what I am doing with the Air. I think a plan will be to try and set it up via APT and see if it works that way. If it doesnt work then its a problem with the AZGTi controller socket. COuld also try plugging in a hand controller (I have several). Cheers.
  2. Evening All, Had my AZGTi running with an ASIair v1 for a couple of years and got great results as a travel rig (my EQ6 R PRO runs on APT) . Super compact, connected via Lynx Astro USB to EQ Direct (EQMOD) cable, full on GoTo mount + Samy 135 all in an airline carry on bag, couldn't be happier. 6 months or so ago the ASIair stopped finding the mount. Bought a new cable, no joy. Noticed the ASIair power light was flickering and so switched the ASIair software into a new Raspberry Pi - software works but still no connection to the mount. AZGTi still reacts to SynScan-Pro. Any clues as to where to look next? Phil
  3. No answers? I will start the ball rolling seeing as i have an AZGTi and have figured what you are asking. It seems like you have got it figured, it isn't going to be easy to get in position to observe with the mount in EQ mode - but that is basically an astrophoto mode to prevent the object rotating as it appears in the image as it is is tracked by the mount. The AZ mode keeps the eyepiece in the same orientation but allows the object as it is seen through the eyepiece to rotate slowly over time - not a problem for observing. You generally do one or the other - I haven't looked through my telescope for years, and since modding it for astrophoto I doubt I could get an eyepiece to focus! Hope that answers your question. Phil
  4. Logically a longer dovetail would need to be stiffer, but I would imagine there is not going to be much flex in the part held in the saddle. The parts outside of the saddle need to be super stiff. The 200PDS is nowhere near the size of your 300P, however its still coming in, fully kitted at over 13Kg. I have seen people adding stiffening (dual ring structure) around the imaging train as there must be some droop going on but that is a different issue. Logic suggests a super stiff long dovetail should prevent twisting in the OTA and be stiff enough to avoid twisting itself, however this all adds mass to the rig which may cause other problems. But there again adding a top bar may stop twisting.......
  5. What is the optimum mounting ring spacing for an OTA? Yes this is a bit of a how long is a piece of string question, however specifically I have a SW 200PDS - big thin metal tube with heavy mirror at one end and a heavy imaging train hanging off the side at the other - and I am changing from the supplied vixen dovetail to a losmandy as allegedly the latter is better, and I can put the former on the top to mount the power/data box/provide a handle/improve stiffness. However the dovetail I was recommended has shorter hole spacing - by 50mm or more. That got me thinking what is the optimal spacing? I did some research but no joy (looking at the mechanics the tube rings mounting points are probably the weak point in terms of stiffness). Cheers, Phil
  6. Trying (very) to connect APT to my new Moonlite auto focuser via the Pegasus UPB2. The UPB2 happily controls the focuser, however I don't seem to be able to get APT to control it. I have the Pegasus Focuser driver installed and the Pegasus Unity Platform installed. APT claims to be connected but when I ask it to move the focuser nothing happens. I get a Pegasus box asking for me to discover the device but it cant find anything. Any clues, anyone done this? Phil
  7. I have it tucked away but it won't even stay in the cable cover it is so stiff when cold, has to be taped in. It certainly helped when I moved to a silicone cable before.
  8. Thats my thought as not seen any alternatives. Don't want to butcher my HiTec Astro 4 way dew and power box, but that lovely red silicone cable is the way forward. Plastic at -2c was so stiff.
  9. I bit the bullet and got a Pegasus UPB 2 but am dismayed with the power cable (especially when paying £519). XT60 connector to cigarette lighter or 5.1mm jack, but the cable is horrible stiff plastic, and in low temps like last night became more of a stick! I previously used a Hi-tec astro box with a lovely silicone cable. I am certain this imapcts guiding so has anyone sourced or DIY'd a silicone upgrade? Cheers, Phil
  10. Sorted. Looks like you have to go direct to MoonLite now as they don't supply dealers atm due to supply chain issues.
  11. I bought a MoonLite focuser for my 200mm Newt about 18 months ago. I had looked around at motor focus options without much success apart from MoonLite's own. Now it seems as if that may not be available anymore. Has anyone put an off brand motor focuser on a Moonlite CR2 (the Newtonian version)? Thanks in advance for any help. Phil
  12. I want to put an autofocuser on my CR2 Moonlite focuser (on a 200mm Newt). Options seem to be very limited due to the lack of adapter plates to mount the EAF on this focuser. The Moonlite EAF is one very expensive option. I am also looking at Deep Sky Dad. Any other Moonlite/Newt owners had any success? Phil
  13. Another vote for the flo flocking. The difference was dramatic. Alas I upgraded from a dslr to an astro cam at the same time so never saw the difference in images. Also Telegizmos covers, excellent. Yes the kit will suffer long term but it gets used 10x more. 15 minutes to get up and imaging as opposed to hour or more and lots of cable issues etc. Not much point in having it if it doesn't get used.
  14. A bit late to the party but I would totally say don't worry about the light pollution! I live in a bortle 8, surrounded by an international airport, a major car manufacturing plant and a city of 1 million people and I produce images that blow my mind. I image for long periods, 8-12 hours, mostly image in narrowband which excludes bulk of the light pollution and most importantly have organised my kit so it requires the least effort possible to get imaging - that is the biggest barrier. Also check out Cuiv the Lazy Geek on Youtube, he images from a tower block in central Tokyo and wins awards (and has imaged from the base of the tallest brightest tower in Tokyo)! Attached is my image of the Pacman nebula shot from my back garden. Pacman final 1.tiff
  15. You have imaged the core of the Andromeda galaxy - 2.5million light years away, awesome! There really isn't much more detail to be had out of the core, especially in only a few minutes of subs (at my f4.5 and light pollution of bortle 8+ I image most targets for 8-12 hours!). That's just about what I got out of my kit to start, similar long focal length. I moved to different things because the target just wasn't suitable for my focal length. I bought a 388mm fl refractor for imaging Andromeda (another journey of pain and suffering, lol). Your goto is working, that's a good start. I would try a few other targets, M51 whirlpool galaxy, dumbell nebula - just a single sub seeing those got me excited, so it wasn't all just grind. Planetary is a whole new ball game, your rig is more suited to that, but a totally totally different process. Hope we see some more of your shots and good luck!
  16. 2 months without a decent image - dont stress! As my son said, 'why do you do such hard things Dad?' Astrophotography is a hard game, period. You have picked an epically hard set up to start but you will get great images. I started with, and still use a telescope imaging at 911mm, without any GOTO, so manual finding targets, and no tracking. Now 3 years later, it is all fully automated, I decide what I want to image, check focus, then press a button and go to bed, get up in the morning with a neatly parked telescope and hard drive full of data, lovely. But every step took months of hair pulling, research, and fail,fail, and fail again. Sounds like you are ticking the trying box. Your local club will be a huge asset but as others have said, 1st step focus, then select a good target (moon is a nice obvious start). Every time you get an image of something you cant see revel in it, don't expect Hubble quality, just be amazed at what you can image from your back garden in the UK. If you don't understand what the issues are with your image put it up here and others will be able to advise. Welcome to the club!
  17. Thanks everyone for the feedback on this, life all got a bit hectic and I had to step away for a while. My mount has gone off for a tune and belt mod so hopefully it will come back much improved (the guiding went right off in April, don't know why, but the summer hiatus seemed like a good moment for modding etc). I may well get an EQ6R Pro if they ever arrive in the country again!
  18. Was a great talk, confirmed a lot of things I thought about ST. Thanks to Ivo for getting up in the wee small hours and all the folks who organised it. Cheers.
  19. I do dither, but I started to get this tartan pattern appear after stacking that would be visible in the stretched image. Consultation with the learned folks of Stargazer Lounge showed i had a steady rotation in my images. When DSS stacked these the pattern appeared, bilinear interpolation I think. It was suggested I try different stackers and sure enough the pattern vanished. Thus I was trying to understand why I wasn't getting a consistent pa and needed to get one despite the decent guiding. Long story but fixing problems in astrophoto usually is!
  20. The guiding isn't the issue, its the field rotation thats a pain! First up I have to crop more than I would like around the edges, and secondly DSS produces tartan images if you feed it steadily rotating data. This means buying something expensive like APP or learning something new like ASTAP. However better guiding is never a bad thing, especially with a heavily laden mount.
  21. OK it looks like I need to check the level as a starter. The rig isn't on a pier but it has been in position for at least 6 months (maybe 12) sat on gravel. Cheaper than a new saddle and dovetail! I got the Polemaster so can double check and it's kit that can be moved on if I needs be (Sharpcap does a good job for £10 a year and lots of other stuff so keen to keep it). Thank you folks.
  22. I have a SW 200PDS newt on an HEQ5 Pro. The guiding is using the SW9x50 finder. I polar align using Sharpcap (rotate through 90 degrees) and can get it down to under 10 arcseconds. Alas when I swing the rig through 90 degrees the other way it tends to be a minute or more out. Back again to the centre and it not as accurate, and back the original way and it is again not as accurate as when it started. This suggests that the mount isnt properly aligned and I get rotation in my images which again suggests a lack of alignment. The OTA feels solid on the mount and there is no slack in the mount itself. The finder/guider doesn't move. Is this problem caused by the OTA 'sagging' as it is rotated from upright to being on its side relative to the dovetail? Would the problem be resolved by a bigger Losmandy style dovetail and a matching replacement saddle for the mount? Or would I be better off getting a Polemaster (especially as one has come up in the used section!) or would I still have a problem? Guiding is fine. Or is there another reason behind the unrepeatable PA and rotation?
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