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George Gearless

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About George Gearless

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    Star Forming

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  1. Was worried that those links were some realy nerdy [removed word] that would go over my head. But they were actualy quite informative and interesting. In fact, that whole site looks worth perusing a bit more. So thanks for that, Uranium.
  2. Once I've figured out what cable to get for my Canon DSLR, I'll definately be trying it out in combination with my SM. But I have yet to give my newly aquired 385MC a propper run. So, first things first. Guess I'll be taking my darks the old fashioned way :).
  3. You're off to a good start. I sympathize with your apprehension towards learning various post production tools on a computer. To get the full benefit of your labours behind the camera/telescope, you will unfortuantely have to spend a great deal of time in front of your computer. But you can get a long way by just running your pics through the 'default' settings of a stacking program. Such as Deep Sky Stacker. Just by doing that, you get very presentable results. I think I spent all of 7 mins on my first stack of 10 pictures and was delighted with the result. Even with that minor effort, it made a huge difference.
  4. I was afraid the reply would be something like "yes, ofcourse a rolling shutter is a shutter. D'uh"! So now I feel less daft for asking since it wasn't so obvious afterall . Thanks, Adam.
  5. Ok. I know this might seem like a daft question. But I am genuinly in doubt. I have this camera: ZWO ASI 385MC USB 3.0 Colour Camera. It says it has a "rolling shutter". I'm not sure what that is. In my mind I am picturing a spinning cylinder with a hole in it that blocks the light from getting to the sensor. Except when the hole is aligned with the sensor and the aperture, then it lets light through. Anyway, the reason I'm asking is that when I set my Stellarmate up for "automatic darks" it asks if my camera has a shutter. And I am unsure if a 'rolling shutter' qualifies as such. Anyone?
  6. Exactly why I piled pretty much everything I had on the mount. If it could handle this with usable results, then I wouldn't have problems with the 80. And as reported, I think it performed rather well. I'm quite happy with my little experiment. Even if the error reporting may turn out to be flawed.
  7. I have been pretty dilligent in checking all the boxes and 'dotting the I's'. Without remembering specifically, I'd say that I did enter it correctly. But I'll check again next time I get the chance to set up on a clear night.
  8. Some good info there Vlaiv. Thanks. Unfortunately I did not have time to take actual photos, so I cannot comment on the shapes of the images. I was simply playing around with the guiding setup for the first time to see how I fared. I struggled for a long time to get the focus right. I am still having problems with the Stellarmate App, so I had to run inside to my desktop computer with WiFi to check the picture, then run back out to make adjustments, then back inside to check, and so on. The point of the exercise was primarily to check out the guiding function and to see if my mount could handle the weight. Keep in mind that I will be using my Mak 180mm primarily for lunar and planetary observations/photographs. In that situation I will not be needing guiding. For DS I will be using my trusty EvoStar 80ED. The experiment was purely to stress/weight test the mount with guidance. After one hour of tracking, I could not detect any movement of the star that my main was pointed at. Combined with the apparently excellent small margin of error in the tracking graph, I feel confident that I will be attempting long exposure photographs in the very near future. And that will be the true test.
  9. Since I don't know the difference between the internal guider and PHD2, I'm guessing I'm using the internal guider :). I pretty much went with whatever default settings Ekos offered. The graph explicitly said "arcseconds" on the Y-axis and time on the X-axis. There is also a circular graphic representation of the error (kind of like a bulls-eye where it marks little dots at each measurement). But that is hard to read accurately. Although it gives a good visual representation to check if everything is working fine. Yes, I am quite sure that I selected the right scope and camera in the guiding tab. Just for fun, I tried changing the camera's in the menu, and it warned me that I was now trying to guide with my main scope.
  10. @vlaiv, @wimvb All my equipment is very much stock. Expecting anything better than a 'stock result' is propably being hopefull. I did enter the the guidescope and camera info into Stellarmate. But considering I am using a Orion miniscope (9x50) as guide, and a ZWO 120 Mono camera, I think it is more likely that my system is unable to properly determine the error. I'm a complete newbie at using a guidescope. And using Stellarmate overall, for that matter. So I was just trying to figure out what kind of error margin I should expect. I simply had no frame of reference. While there is still a long way to go, your replies leads me to believe that I am at least on the right track. Thanks both of you.
  11. So I've finaly managed to succesfully set up my mount with Stellarmate and all the 'fixings' that I've bought over the summer. I've made a lot of beginners mistakes, but I think I'm finaly ready. I successfully guided my mount for the first time yesterday and was extremely delighted that it worked so well. Especialy since I'm realy pushing the weightlimits of my mounts capabilities. It's a EQM-35 Pro and the datasheet says that it can handle 10kg of additional load. Needless to say, I was a bit worried when I piled on my 180mm Maksutov (7kg tubeweight), Orion mini guiderscope, two ZWO cameras, extension tube and heat bands. But it seemed to handle it allright. Or did it? In the Ekos guiding program, there is a graph representation of how much your scope 'wobbles' off the targeted star. I stared at it for about 10 to 15 mins to see if there were any major fluctuations. But it remained relatively steady. As far as I could tell, it never exeeded 0.5 of an arcsecond. Is that a reasonable level of accuracy for AP? I should mention that my polar alignment was very rough and very dirty. It was somewhat on purpose, because I wished to 'stress-test' the guiding utility and see how well it compensated for a sloppy setup.
  12. If this is how you start, then I dread (for my own sake) how you finish. They're all great pictures. But I have a personal afinity for the Andromeda galaxy. Great shot.
  13. One thing you'll propably find out soon, is that the mount will be more important than which scope you get. At least when we're talking entry level. In my oppinion you'll find your viewing experience a lot better with a shitty scope on a good mount, than vice versa. So £150 is propably ambitious in that regard. Because mounts aren't cheap. I whole heartedly concur with Happy-Kats recommendation of the AZ- GTI mount with the 127mm Maksutov telescope. The mount is a Go-To mount that automatically directs the scope to the star/planet/NGC object you want to view. You direct it by using an App on your phone. I cannot overstate its usefulness as a beginner. I have learned more about the night sky using the AZ-GTI than I have reading about it on the internet or in books. There are a multitude of Go-To mounts out there. The reason I recommend this one in particular, is because it is usualy sold as a package deal with the Maksutov 127mm. It's a popular item, and hence the price is accordingly low. Alas, not £150 I'm afraid :(. The Maksutov is not ideal for deep sky objects (Nebulae, galaxies and clusters). Planets and the moon is where this telescope type truly shines. But you CAN take some inspiring deepsky photos even with an outdated DSLR and your Maksutov 127mm. I did. And I was so enthused and delighted with my meager (but recognizable) result, that I have since invested many many hundreds of Euros in a new mount and several telescopes and cameras. Tread lighty my friend :). It is so addictive. Good luck, and let us know how you get along.
  14. Could it be that you simply forgot to tighten the clutch properly? (Speaking from experience). Edit: Oh never mind. I see now that you said the controler freezes. Propably a different issue then.
  15. Excellent news. Thanks Wim. I have been neglecting my studies into the Stellarmate. I had some problems getting the app to work when I got it, but I finally got it solved with the help of Stellarmates excellent support. And once I got it working, I couldn't realy test the darned thing because of the summertime light nights. Now we're approaching the star-hunting season and I'm behind on my homework.
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