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About PEMS

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  1. As was said by Peter use Polaris. For visual that will be adaquate and the Synscan should be able to account for the difference. Do you have a polar scope with the mount. If so then the next task is working out how to perform the polar alignment better with that and Polaris. Polaris is something like 1 degree off of True North. I have seen values of 0.8 degree and 1.2 degrees. Not sure which one it actually is but 1 degree is in the middle.
  2. The 72ED is the scope of the two for imaging. If used for viewing you will need a diagonal and a few eyepieces, you will find 3 will be adaquate to get started. Which ones you purchase is a case of budget mainly. The Skywatcher focuser does have a lot of travel, so can cause a few problems. If you buy a 2" diagonal then it may be impossible to get enough inward travel. A 2" diagonal looks good on it so if you decide on one research the mechanical size of it for the optical path involved. There are low profile diagonals but not sure how low profile they are. For imaging you do not need the diagonal, you attach straight through with a T-ring for the DSLR or whatever attachment is required for an AP camera. Hold off of buying a guide scope. You cannot fully guide with the mount as it does not have a declination motor so there is no way you can control that aspect. Which means is it worth purchasing a guide scope and camera. I would not, however your decision. It seems to be a case that having a guide port makes you think you can guide fully whereas you cannot. So a guide port does not mean you can guide, at least fully. The focuser on the skywatcher 72ED does not feel very solid. You may need to take it apart to understand how it fully operates. Mine I found I just could not adjust correctly until I had taken it apart to see what exactly was happening and then understand it more. Slightly extreme maybe, but it worked, asI now know what is going on. The scope is flexible in that you can add diagonal and eyepiece and view, remove diagonal and add attachments and DSLR and image, you can also add a solar filter or herschel wedge and solar view.
  3. The Desktop/laptop version is separate to the mobile version. The mobile version I bought has rarely been used. Honestly would say less then 5 times in 2 or 3 years, just found it to be poor in comparison. Skysafari is in my experience infinitely better. You will likely find you only need the Plus version of Skysafari. If telescope/mount control is a factor now or in the future then I would again go for Skysafari. They seem to be the one that most manufacturers have talked and developed with.
  4. Possibly a few things to check: Is the location correct, the scopes used to want Longitude then Latitude whereas we talk of Latitude and Longitude. So make sure that 51.5 (51 30) is actually the Latitude and not the Longitude. Longitude would be about -0.5 (-000 30) at an estimate, check the leading zero's as you could end up at 30 degrees West not half a degree West. Date and time is not remembered, you enter it each time and Date is US format, not UK format. If you get it wrong they do not inform you of any error. In location check the timezone, they can default to Western Pacific Timezone which is UTC -8 They will need setting up at the start and Level and North (as it is often termed) is a reasonable choice. Would have expected the manual to have given a requirement but I guess back then they didn't bother as much. From reading others posts I also suggest that you do a reset as that seems useful, even required, to clean out data in the memory that appears to hang around.
  5. Works fine with the 1.25" fitting. Used one for the transit all day. The travel problem is when you fit a 2" diagonal and eyepiece, there is just enough inward travel if you are lucky. I had the adaptor skimmed a bit at a machine shop to gain 2.5mm. However as the 1.25" wedge fitting is smaller it works, the diagonal does not gobble up the path length. Will agree that a bit more travel on the focuser would be nice Having to get 2.5mm removed was a bit extreme I felt and will not I expect suit all eyepieces. If you intend to use a 2" diagonal then expect possible troubles or concerns, or search for a more suitable, as in shorter, diagonal.
  6. They are an improvement but in their basic form still "white". For a step up you need the continium filter. And they add to the cost. Have used an ED80 with a Herschel Wedge and will say very good experience. They are a solid lump so no concernes about damage to the film filters. Have read of the Lacetera being at the Brewster angle, not sure what extra that adds. Bought the TS wedge for the transit and after some confusion it is fine. It comes with a continium filter AND they have an ND3 filter stacked with the continium. Slight problem is no real mention of the ND3 so I bought a seperate ND3 then found 2 days before the transit that I did not require it. Works well as it comes and I suppose I can now swap the TS combination for a simple and single ND3, so have White, not Green. I also purchased a UV/IR cut, bit additional safety but never fitted it on the day. Suppose the answer would be you do not "need" one, but they are a very nice addition to the equipment armoury. You will use it and I would expect use it more.
  7. Scope sounds a good choice and you have a reason for the moon filter. You have at least put some thought into it. I would agree that the eyepiece kit is probably not that great a decision. My opinion is that 2 well thought out individual eyepieces are better. So if not ordered I would suggest you hold off of that at this time. Would suggest as a tip that you add your town or county to your information. In general knowing approximately where a person is helps. Runs into the state that if close by to myself you are welcome to try an eyepiece or two. Very likely many miles away but never know for sure. Take time to set up finder and scope, they do not just fit right and need setting. Other bits are learn the basic constellations and therefore the main stars. A suggestion of try Almaak in Andromeda means you have to have some idea of Andromeda at least. Start on easy targets, again needs a little thought applied. Oddly M31 the Andromeda Galaxy may not be easy owing to its size. You need quite low magnification to get it all in a single view. But everyone tries for it. Hope the eyes make a full and improved recovery.
  8. A friend of mine has one of these and they had to make a small converter to go from a now normal circular power plug to the PP3 that the ETX uses. From what they have said it is easy but a little bit of a catch in the way the wiring goes. Think they bought the 2 bits reuired from Maplin, who no longer exist. So a bit of a problem I expect. Also they work well on 12v, they use a lithium 12v battery rested on the base under the tube. I will ask them the details. Where in Southern England are you?
  9. Useful post, I bought one of the TS solar wedges a couple of months back and never realised there is an ND3 in effect built in with the continium, so just bought a separate ND3 to use under the clouds Monday. Don't need the second ND3 now, bit unimpressed as everything indicated no ND3. Just separated the TS filter and yes there is an ND3, will say I did wonder why the continium appeared rather dark, now I know. Have to remove the ND3 I bought from the internals of the wedge as I would expect ND6 to be a little on the dim side. That was money I didn't need to spend. Also need to clean the TS filter now. Suppose like Neil I can have white or green.
  10. I have found that you learn the sky with either, there is no "One or the other". A lot will be a case of what do you want to do. If you want to go to an object and see them then move on after a while to another then the goto. If you want to scan around the sky a bit and see what you bump into then get a manual one. The goto would mean you have to have an idea of what you would want to go look at to occupy an evening of observing. In effect you have some homework of making a short list up. They are useful as you can just let the scope track the target for 10-20 minutes as you need do little once the object is found. A goto is not automatic. There is a fair bit that you need to do before it will do its bit of going to a selected object. Most is actually manual strangely. A scope like a dobsonian needs no real setup and if you ignore cool down - think everyone really does - you can be viewing in minutes or less. With a dobsonian you can sort of wander through a constellation and see what pops into view. Biggest decision will be Astrophotography or not. A dobsonian is not the scope for any real imaging. So decide that aspect initially. Or decide to have a visual dobsonian and a separate imaging rig. A 6" dobsinian is something for you to use while the imaging rig is collecting an hours worth of exposures. But the idea of "Learn or Goto" is somewhat invalid. Bet no-one has been at a star party where the owner of a goto has asked which star is which for them to set their scope up. Everyone I have met with a goto knows all the stars, where the targets are and whether to scope has gone to the right area of sky for the requested target - they know the sky.
  11. Check Lat and Long values. The mount does if I recall have the input as Long then Lat, whereas we talk of Lat and Long and very often input therefore the 2 values the wrong way round. The other is to check the Date, it is in US format of mm/dd/yy. However a recent date would mean a month greater the 12 which it should not accept. They do not say Error, they just sut there displaying the value that was entered but do nothing with it. So unless you see it the date may revert back to whatever the system defaults to. I guess that you have set a custom location and so have set the timezone to UTC 0, I think it is entered as 0. The mount may default to a US timezone. And if you have picked a location from the offered list then set a custom location. Means you cannot pick say Birmingham, and get Birmingham Alabama and not Birmingham UK.
  12. Maybe we should not automatically side with the person with the dome. They could want the neighbour to keep their lights down and then be out at the early hours of the morning rotating a noisy dome and disturbing people. Would expect that dome to produce significant noise when rotated from target to target. The "evil" neighbour may just have become fed up of it and complained to the council through having an inconsiderate astronomy observer living next to him. The astronomy guy has not bothered to ask or enquire about the need for planning permission. Did he talk it over with the neighbour or just go ahead regardless? There may be another side to the story.
  13. I believe the Tracers are LiFePO and they will start initially at 12 volts but drop rapidly to around 11.5v. Strange the lesser cost Li Ion batteries start a bit higher in voltage and if memory is right do not drop quite as much, they could run most of the time at around 11.8 volts. Flashing light on the mount is under voltage so tracking may be also be a little low, which is no good. Also it will give up at some time and part way through a session is not what you want. Yes they are 12 volts, but not for very long, probably 5 minutes of initial life when fully charged and maybe only when new. For that you would really need one that is rated at around 13 volts, maybe a bit more. Check out a motor cycle Lithium Battery as they are rated at 13.2v. They only come is small capacities. 4Ah or 5Ah being common before the cost escalates. LiFePO are good as they maintain charge longer, you do not have to charge them as often, you can leave them longer. But if you use one and then recharge and either use the equipment regularily or check the charge at intervals of 2 or 3 months they would seem to have little advantage.
  14. If you have the Pro version and it is for Eq then the scope should I think be mounted on the Right Hand Side. That allows for a counter weight bar to be added and that for Eq operation forces the scope on the right to operate correct. I would however then question the mount firmware version. So possibly the app is Eq, the motor or setup is Left Hand Side/Alt-Az. Question is does the Pro App need newer Firmware on the mount. Can App and Motor Firmware get out of step. The App on mine is updated automatically but never updated the mount firmware. When mine arrived I do recall a few options that you had to select and set. May be worth looking through those again as sometimes a new App version goes off to some default settings. Also which side when set up are you placing the scope on, was asked previously. What device are you running the App on? Assume that it is GPS for data and the other bits?
  15. As Peter says reads that you are entering the minutes bit as a decimal value and NN.63 so trying 63 minutes for example is invalid. That field can be no larger the 59. For completeness the minutes would be Minutes = (0.63*60) then you enter that as the minute value field. However on Google Brooksville has the decimal value below Something.5 so even if that is the problem values as per Google should enter. However up around the danger area and a different map may give a value just a bit too big. Google says: Long 82 28' West, and Latitude 28 31' North, minute values rounded a bit. There is no message displayed to say Invalid Value. The handset just sits there until you realise the problem and put it right.
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