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Everything posted by Petrol

  1. Thanks Andy, that helps a lot. It’s attached to a ST80 with the diagonal. I have also had a PM from Mike and you have both made the same suggestions – I need to focus at zoom level 3 (not done that and the star was probably too big) I used an exposure of 250ms – as per the instructions. What I need to do is adjust the exposure to achieve a bri of 10-15 before I move on to guiding. Think I should be OK now Cheers Pete
  2. I have bought one and am struggling when it gets to the Auto Cal / autoguiding sequence Then it says.. star not found As a newbie... I need some guidance! It tells you when the star is lost! My Kit 200P on EQ5 upgraded to goto ST 80 Guide with Synguider. Help!
  3. Hi Steve, I thought I would do exactly the same as you - try to push the combination of 200P and upgraded EQ5 to take some pics. There’s a bit more to it than I first thought. I’m a newbie so please, if the more experienced members could correct me if I’m wrong, I would appreciate it. Try to understand what you are attempting to achieve – long exposures of a very difficult to focus object. Add to that you have a monumental telephoto lens on the camera (the scope) and it starts to get difficult. Basically it’s an “engineering nightmare” to do. That’s only the beginning though, the object is moving very slowly across the sky. From what I can gather, the most you are going to get out of an EQ5 is about 2 mins max. An EQ6 PRO might offer slightly better exposure times (Though it will handle a lot more weight – more on that later) I have also been told that GOTO mounts costing even more will struggle with long exposures. The answer is guidance. I have just bought a Skywatcher Startravel 80 as a guidescope Startravel - Skywatcher Startravel 80 (EQ1) And a Skywatcher Synguider Autoguider Guide cameras - Skywatcher Synguider Autoguider The guidescope looks at a nearby star and the Synguider corrects any errors that the mount has made. Whilst this is a cheap and cheerful solution, and I am sure, by no means the best, it’s all I can afford. Remember though that another scope / camera is more weight on the EQ5 – it can only handle so much. A PRO mount handles miles more Another downside is that my setup time will increase, as will my imaging setup time – the Synguider Autoguider will also have to be set up. Hope that helped a bit and look forwards to more experienced members input. Some of my pics should give you a benchmark to work to. All 1 frame and no processing. They are all easy targets My cam is a Nikon D70S not modified Pleiades M31 Vega
  4. I bought a skywatcher 200 reflector on an EQ5 mount, then did the GOTO upgrade. As already mentioned it's easy to get the gears meshed incorrectly (like I did) but it's easily resolved. If you decide to install the GOTO and are struggling then drop me a PM. I am also a newbie and find the jargon very difficult to understand - it takes me a while to fathom things out. I have taken some pictures with my Nikon D70s and are very pleased with them. Many would laugh at my results but taking pictures often shows a lot more detail than can be seen visually though a scope. The problem I now have is that despite having the GOTO some of the pictures have trails. What you really need for taking pictures is a guidance system. This involves another small telescope and a camera mounted on top of the main scope. This guidance scope / camera corrects any errors. I hope that helps you a bit Pete
  5. Would an IKI 80mm F7 Achro guidescope be OK with this?
  6. I thought the same He seems to have clinched a niche market – B&B FTW! Mucho respect
  7. Has anyone tried this piece of kit? It sounds ideal for what I am looking for Pete
  8. Once again thanks, Looking into netbooks and autoguiders at the moment That’s somewhat reassuring. Think I am getting the idea now. Like I said before, I’m finding it pretty complicated, especially with all the jargon. This is what I have Skywatcher 200 Newt EQ5 with GOTO upgrade Nikon D70S This might be worth a mention - I had a problem with one of the motors on the GOTO and FLO have sent a full replacement kit (I have to say they are 100% top notch on customer service) I won’t have any hesitation in buying from those guys again! With the new motor fitted, I did my best with alignment and took an 8 minute exposure pic. The whole setup looks a lot better to me. I am also watching the thread about the Synguider with very much interest As always, thank you for your help Pete
  9. Thanks for all your answers- it’s really appreciated. I was interested to know how long an exposure was achievable without guidance, or time consuming drift alignment with a quality mount. The reason I asked is I have a 200P on an EQ5 Mount with a GOTO upgrade. I am using a Nikon D70s and am getting about 90s tops. I am trying to decide whether to save up for an HEQ5/6 PRO. I know it’s a miles better mount than what I have but it comes at a price. My other option is to fit some sort of autoguider on my existing mount. It’s really difficult trying to decide the best course of action when you know so little and are on a very limited budget. I (wrongly) assumed that an HEQ5 PRO would give much more accuracy than what I have at the moment. Fitting an autoguider also has its problems for me – I don’t have a laptop, nor do I have the budget to buy one. It would mean running cables from my office desktop to my back yard. I guess you can see where this is going now – big setup time. I have so many questions it would take me forever to type them all out! Maybe my best bet, for now, is to look for something like a Skywatcher Startravel 80 to use as a guide scope. I appreciate there are products like the Skywatcher Synguider that don’t need a PC, but I can only assume these have limited functionality. Thank you for your help Pete
  10. Assuming you have decent kit – HEQ5 / EQ6 with say an 8” Newt at prime focus. No guidance, just a simple set up with quality gear. Is this realistic to be able to take 4 –5 mins exposures without drift alignment? Thanks for looking Pete
  11. Its a Skywatcher EQ5 with a GOTO upgrade and is also fitted with a Polar Alignment scope. I have aligned the polar scope so it's concentric with the RA axis. I have also checked the polar transit. I am pretty sure it’s OK as I have verified it against the dials on the polar scope. I Spent most of tonight trying to get a decent alignment but whatever I do, I can't seem to track properly. One of the bearings is chattering quite a bit in the Dec axis motor and there is quite a lot of play in it. I am going to sort that out. TBH…I am struggling a bit It's clear tonight and was hoping to take some pics but I packed up early. Best Regards Pete
  12. Hi Bob, First of all I want to point out I am a newb... When I looked at M31 through my scope... it was just a smudge. I took a pic and it was more than that... I saw some detail... For me, pics are the way forwards
  13. Thanks.. I thought I was a bit closer but I really need some help on sorting this. Maybe I am trying too much too soon - with "budget" gear? Again thanks Best regards Pete
  14. Hi Olly I went to talk to an elderly gentleman for some advice last year. I am a newb but was slightly sceptical about his advice…. He suggested that imaging was not a good idea. He went on to say that it would mean loads of gear - PC’s and new technology….Grab and go was the best way. I read between the lines but when I realised that you can’t see that much without imaging… the rest is history. I just want to add…. I wish I was in your neck of the woods, it’s always cold and wet in NW UK. I would also love to have one of your astronomy hols Keep up the good work – It’s cloudy here as usual so think yourself lucky that you have clear skies Best regards Pete
  15. I have been struggling with alignment and today had a very brief opportunity to try again. I levelled the tripod, used a Polar finder followed by a 3 star alignment. I used the spotting scope so I couldn’t see the stars behind the X hair 120Secs (Is this the max I am going to manage with this setup?) Newt 200P prime focus with goto Nikon D70S Skywatcher 2” pollution filter Does this look OK? Oh and roll on clear skies, it’s been cloudy since I got my goto Cheers Pete
  16. That’s a massive help! The modded picture looks miles better and has inspired me- thanks Mike. I didn’t know about dark & flat frames. I have downloaded Deep Sky Stacker and it explains what’s required in the manual. Next time I will get better alignment, take some trial subs to get my maximum exposure without trails. Then it’s lots of subs and finally darks & flats. Wow – there’s a lot to learn but I love something to “get my teeth into” Oh and it’s RAW from now on. On the light pollution issue, I have bought a skywatcher 2” Thought I would go cheap and cheerful for starters and see how it goes. Guys, thanks for helping a newbie out Pete
  17. Finally upgraded my EQ5 to go to but only managed one pic before the clouds rolled in. I appreciate it’s very poor and it seems the alignment isn’t correct due to the trails but we all have to start somewhere The question is, if I were to take loads of exposures over maybe an hour and stack them, would I end up with something with a little bit more detail? Also, it looks like there’s a bit of light pollution going on there, would a filter help that? Skywatcher 200P Nikon D70s, unmodified at prime focus 800 iso 174 secs Auto WB Thanks for looking and any comments / advice are more than welcome Pete
  18. I did exactly the same and meshed the wrong gears If there were at least some instructions as to how to fit the motors, then it woild have saved all this hassle Thanks to SGL members mine is also sorted I would like to thank everyone who helped sort this out, without this forum I would have been well and truly lost Pete
  19. Manfrotto use them on their video heads. Pretty sure I have one on one of my Vinten heads as well.
  20. Guys, Thanks! Sorted I was hitting the goto button and it was pointing in completely the wrong direction It's now pointing in the general direction it should be. The manual is a bit poor - there were no instructions whatsoever on how to fit the motors Once again thank you
  21. Stagonset stuff is now here Westfield Fasteners Hope that helps Pete
  22. I am upgrading my EQ5 mount to goto. I had no problem fitting the motors despite the severe lack of instructions in the kit I even adjusted the worm drives for minimum backlash in an attempt to optimise everything. It was all going OK until I had to input the lat and long data on the handset. I am also struggling a bit with the time stuff I have found my position - 53.7838593, -2.4770586 N53° 47.0316', W002° 28.6235' What do I put into the hanset on the SynScan? One value seems to be in decimal... the other in mins and secs Thanks for looking, any help will be very much appriciated Pete
  23. Subscribed to this thread Goto for my EQ5 is in the post
  24. I have just spent a load of wonga on kit so expect a monsoon
  25. That must have been fantastic seeing the red dot – nice one My advice would be not to worry about the pics for now. I am trying to sort everything out in such a short space of time and my head hurts with it all. Maybe I am trying to run before I can walk although the very poor pic did put a massive smile on my face. I really need to do what you have done and get down to my local observatory for a chat with people in the know. You can read all you want but there’s nothing better than a chat I am also still working on a viewing venue. I did a 50 mile trip tonight I thought height was the answer (went up 300m) but I was wrong. Seems to me that distance from street lights is more important. I have also found this link that indicates light pollution in the UK http://avex.org.free.fr/cartes-pl/uk/UK-pl-relief-topo.html Pete
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