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Posts posted by ginandtonic

  1. On 20/05/2019 at 07:27, noah4x4 said:

    CPWI is your best solution, and being realistic, all you need today. Stellarium or Cartes Du Ceil do have more sophisticated databases, but (no disrespect), you are not going to see the vast majority of the extra objects they include through your limited scope.

    My advice is don't waste money investing in accessories for it unless they can later be migrated to a higher quality GEM. Astrophotography on an Alt-Az is challenging; and a wedge can be frustrating; and the only other Alt-Az solution is Hyperstar. But I suspect your scope is not Fastar/Hyperstar compatible. It's a good beginners scope and will offer a lot of initial fun. But if smitten by astronomy, you will soon wish to upgrade. 

    I have just discovered that you can run/use CPWI simultaneously with CDC or Stellarium or StarryNight, CPWI acts as the equivalent of a software HC.

    The telescope position gets updated in both programs in real time, all you need to do ( in CDC for example ) is to choose the CPWI ascom driver in telescope configuration.

    So you can align with CPWI/starsense for example, and then use CDC or Stellarium to click (select object) and then slew (or sync)

    So we have the best of both worlds...

    Image below: Stellarium and CPWI running in tandem on XPS 13 laptop and Samsung tablet as second monitor with twomonUSB Android app. AVX mount connected wirelessly with Skyportal WiFi module: 


  2. On 05/05/2019 at 21:35, Highburymark said:

    Congratulations on your new travel package. My Equinox 80 is coming with me to Morocco next month. I've had excellent planetary views at 170x with this scope - so it's a great all rounder. 

    Great picture from 2 nights ago on the beach 20 mins north of Essaouira (Moulay Bouzerktoun) - 30 seconds exposure, no processing at all... The dark sky in Morocco is really nice for astronomy.....

    moulay at night.jpg

    • Like 11

  3. The advantage of the Celestron focuser over the Pegasus is that it connects directly to the shaft and does not pull the focus shaft to the side like with other systems.

    I am using the adapted Skywtacher focuser (see pic below) but will likely change to the Celestron focuser when available in Europe.



    • Like 1

  4. 1 hour ago, sonnymoon said:

    I'm always on the look out for a new holiday house to drive to in the South of France or possibly Spain to indulge myself in some astrophotography. I have found a small Gite in Provence which I go back to which ticks most of the boxes; dark clear and open skies, good view south, good weather, friendly owner and accessible mains power, but am looking for alternatives.

    In my experience it's surprisingly hard to find suitable places. I'm not sure if giving recommendations are within the rules of SGL(?), but I imagine that there could be a lot of useful info that members have. I did visit Olly Penrice's place last year and very impressive it was too. Surely there must be more like that out there....?


    I've lived in the UK (mainly London), Southern France, Southern Spain, Canary Islands and Morocco.

    Although I'm sure there are good dark places in all the above locations of you look hard enough, my two favourites have been Provence, (east of Avignon, for example:  https://www.sunstarfrance.com,  as you pointed out there are many other good spots in this area) and Morocco, for really dark skies...(atlas - Essaouira area).

    Southern Spain (andalucia) is generally very light polluted, difficult to find a really dark zone.


    • Thanks 1

  5. I am a little financially challenged at the moment (skint).

    Thank you Nosky3 for the "Ford Fiesta brake disk as an AVX pier adapter" idea ..!! With my narrow balcony I had to improvise...not much room for a tripod...


    Testing my pier setup in southern Spain (Tarifa). Yes, it's Bortle 7-8, I can only see 3 or 4 stars ?.

    Also I can only look due East because of obstacles...  Thank you Starsense User Auto Align and polar align!

    Can't wait for the Xmas hols, and drive south to Morocco, me mate has a beach house 30kms north of Essaouira, Bortle 1-2 on the roof terrace! ?




    Europe light pollution map:




    Morocco stars (not my picture)




    • Like 3

  6. 1 hour ago, Thalestris24 said:

    Yeah, you're probably right. Still, maybe there's someone here who has an uncooled asi178mc who might like to try the ToupSky?? Or perhaps the Altair Astro equivalent?
    I'm still trying to decide whether to get a cheaper uncooled 178mc or maybe an air-cooled hypercam or the zwo cooled one... Perhaps for short-ish exposures the uncooled one would do. Otoh, the cooled one is worth it for the extra... I'll have to have a long sleep over it!


    I've been trying to order stuff from Altair Astro for over a week...?.

    They seem to have gone AWOL. No answer to various emails or their website contact form...

  7. 29 minutes ago, GavStar said:

    Are you located in Europe? The reason I ask is that the YouTube link you give is to a USA L3 filmless Gen 3 night vision monocular that you won’t be able to legally get in Europe due to itar legislation.

    The photonis 4g night vision white phosphor tube (Gen 2 tech) is very nice (I have an intens version which has better specs than the echo +) but if you are based in Europe, I would suggest you also consider a harder digital Gen 3 fom 2100 monocular which is a similar price. Being Gen 3 it has significantly greater light amplification which from my experience (I also have a harder digital Gen 3 tube and have compared it with the photonis 4g side by side) gives more detailed visual views. There is more halo round the brightest stars with the harder and you do have to adjust the gain control more to reduce the scintillation to an acceptable level so it’s horses for courses. 

    And on resolution 81lp/mm is overkill imo. Around 70 gives as much detail as you can really see for astro. Other tube specs such as snr, ebi and luminance gain are more important imo if the resolution is around 70.

    Thanks Gavstar. Yes. I am in Europe. I saw your pics of the Barnard's loop, very impressive.

    Any other accessories (lenses, etc) you recommend from TNVC apart from the adaptor? Does the adaptor fit on the Harder digital gen 3 without modifications?

  8. 1 hour ago, Highburymark said:

    Yes you do. It's a bit of a pain as they've been out of stock for a few weeks, but I just heard yesterday that mine is now on its way from the States. I'm sure that within a year or two there will be other adapters on the market which will broaden the EP options for afocal night vision, but at the moment we're limited to the TNVC adapter and eyepieces compatible with TeleVue dioptrx. Will post some reports once I've been able to test the new monocular with my telescopes - will be a real challenge for the technology to see how it performs from a central London location - already I've had some nice views of the Cygnus nebulae by waving a Ha filter in front of the device at 1x magnification. 

    Right, Ok... I am thinking of getting the PVS-14 PHOTONIS 4G ECHO+ ~2000FOM WHITE PHOSPHOR AUTOGATED


    Is this the one that you have?

    There's no indication of the resolution in the description. It's just that I saw a video on youtube with amazing sharpness (supposedly 81 lp/mm).

    Although I'm not sure such resolution is necessary for astronomical use...


  9. On 09/10/2018 at 14:10, Highburymark said:

    At the end of this week I will be taking delivery of a new (Act in Black) PVS-14 night vision monocular with a Photonis 4G intens tube (FOM just under 2150, gain 11150, SNR 32). From my central London location - where I struggle to see all but the brightest few stars on clear nights - I hope to see nebulae, galaxies and  clusters. Frankly the prospect is surreal. 

    As others have posted on this forum, night vision technology is not cheap. But by shopping around, I was able to achieve a saving of over €1000 on the manufacturer's price - I bought through a German dealer (nighttec.net). I also got quotes on cheaper Photonis tubes. Basically, a PVS-14 monocular with white phosphor Photonis 4G tubes can be bought for around €4000 (with FOM around 1600, and a few small 'spots', which occur during the manufacturing process - but shouldn't prevent these tubes working very effectively for astronomy). Green phosphor tubes can be found slightly cheaper. I know these are still very expensive pieces of kit, but for the price of a top quality 5" apo, or a case of Ethos EPs, they offer a revolution in stargazing, particularly for people like me who live under appalling light pollution, and don't have a car. I've been enviously reading reports on SGL from dob owners with dark skies for years - now I won't feel so left out.....

    Sorry mate, one question: Do you still need to get the adapter from TeleVue TNVC (afocal astronomy adapter)  from the U.S.? Does it fit on the nighttec PVS-14?

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