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Everything posted by eddie3000

  1. I already have a sigma ex apo 2x teleconverter (7 elements I think). I have read in a few old threads in other forums that it stands up pretty well to powermates. Is that true? Anybody with experience with them? I have used my sigma tc with quite good results, but I can't compare with a powermate for obvious reasons. That still doesn't mean Santa can't get me a powermate or a telextender, or a bresser SA barlow (though the "barlow" in the name does put me off a bit).
  2. I don't have neither a powermate nor an ep projection adapter. I don't think Santa would get me everything this year (he would run out of options in the following years). So what would you get first? Would you get the ep adapter or a TV powermate 5x? There is also a fair difference in price. Cheers.
  3. So should I talk to Santa an ask him not to get a ep projection adapter and get a TVpowermate instead? I suppose the magnification between a tv 5x and a 4mm eyepiece are nothing similar. Using an online calculator, there seems to be a very big difference.
  4. So you use a powermate instead of an eyepiece? But does that offer as much magnification as a 9mm or 4mm ep? Now you mentioned it, if I were to get one of those instead (or as well, hehe!), is a TV powermate really worth the price difference? How good are barlows compared to them? And is a 2'' one going to give me better photos than a 1'25'' one? (maybe less vignetting?)
  5. Hi there! I have been a good boy this year, and Santa Claus wants to buy me an eyepiece projection adapter for Christmas, and I think he likes this one: http://www.astroshop.eu/t-adaptors/teleskop-service-projection-adapter-2-with-t2-connection/p,4572 Santa knows I have some slightly bigger than usual 1'25'' eps that I want to use (like a skywatcher nirvana, it's a bit fat). Santa would very much appreciate your opinions about it, and also if somebody may know of any other adapter that may be better, cheaper or more desirable than this one. Santa is also worried about the stress on the focuser. The standard skywatcher 2" crayford focuser that came along with my SW MN190 only just gets along with the dslr alone. Any extra weight would definitely pose a problem. What extra support systems would you recommend Santa to get me? Maybe another focuser? Thank you on Santa's behalf.
  6. Thankyou very much for such a helpful reply. I'll take good note of the programs you recommend. 325 pounds isn't too much. If I give up trying to do it myself I will seriously consider purchasing them.
  7. Hello Perfrej and thanks for your answer. Your software solutions seem great, but costly. If I spent the ammount you probably have invested my wife would probably do something terribly nasty to me. I was thinking in something cheaper, and maybe not as professional for the moment. I am not sure what I am going to do, but I am definitely going to do something. It is probably going to take me a lot of time to get it working. It probably won't be as robust as the solutions you have suggested, but hopefully it will keep me entertained for some time. So that you and others can give me your opinions here is what I had in mind. I have done scripting with linux, and I am going to learn scripting for windows (or batch files). I have also started (this morning) to learn c++ in case it comes in handy. I have two nikon dslrs (one with cmos, the other with ccd, but that at the moment is a different problem) and a program that totally controls them through usb, and also allows for it's own type of scripts and full automation. It does not feature specific astrophotography features, but it can do the job fairly well. Using a script I can get the computer to run this program and, hopefully, also DSS with the same script to start stacking. The part I have not solved yet is the mount control, I have an HEQ5, and I have seen there are free solutions out there, but I have not yet figured how to take full control of them. I have downloaded ascom and guidemaster, but still haven't used them (due to lack of time haha). How to get to control the mount to select different targets on different days is still a mistery to me. I was planning in remote control using a remote desktop application. I've used a few, but the easiest I think might be teamviewer (which is free for private use). It requires a fairly fast internet connection to work well, but I have used it succesfully with great results using a cell phone internet connection. As I am a linux user, I would run all these windows programs in virtual environment (virtualbox) with their own scripts. Due to the fact that all these programs run under windows, it might be best to install windows in the first place. Maybe ascom drivers won't work easily in a virtual environment. Mmm... I dunno. I have read about people needing rain detectors to close the observatory and such, but I live in Spain. It doesn't rain much, and even when the weather bloke says it's going to rain, it sometimes doesn't. So I guess I can live without a rain detector, and rely on the weather reports to program the photographic sessions. About the dslrs, yes, they are not ideal. But it's what I have. I was planning in striping the nikon d80, that uses a ccd, and cooling it. The d80 has never been good for astronomy, but I have seen the noise levels drop astonishingly with temperature (I put it in the freezer without the battery, and later took it out and used it; I saw how the noise levels increased a lot as the camera warmed up). I have already experimented with a bunch of peltier cells I got from ebay, and I reckon I can bring the temp down to well below zero. Because it's my "old" camera, that's the one I'll be stripping. But that's another project, and quite a bit off topic really. There are many threads about this. I am still starting the planning. Maybe what I'm trying to do is a waste of time and I would be better off buying a ready to use software solution.
  8. Yes, the world is strange enough. I do enjoy doing things myself because I learn, and it makes me feel good too (like many other hobbyists). I also enjoy staying up all night long observing or just waiting for my equipment to gather enough light to get a nice picture. Unfortunately, I can't do it now. But what if I could get my gear to do what I enjoy without me actually being there? Now that sounds like fun. I remember all my colleagues at work making fun of me when they heard I was about to become a father. "Haha, say bye bye to all your hobbies" "Your life no longer belongs to you" and things like that. It'd be nice to see their faces when I turn up nearly every day with a new photo and say "I stayed up all night last night, look at the picture I took, and gosh, I'm as fresh as a cucumber!". Yes, it sounds a bit childish, but I still consider myself to be a child with expensive toys. And even though I'm a bit off topic, I still remember when I made my cnc router. It took some time (and money) to make, but it was awesome to be watching the tv in the lounge while the machine was working for hours on insanely complex carvings in the garage, carvings I would never be capable of doing by hand. I suddenly started to give my family and friends all sorts of carved wooden decorations or utensils "made by me". I kept the cnc a secret for some time and told them how many nights I had stayed up carving their present with love.
  9. Yes, Ronin, your are right about the lack time. THis is a time consuming project. I do have a bit of time every now and then, and I don't mind if it takes me a year or two to set it up. About hiring remote equipment, well, I find doing it myself is part of the fun. Frejvall's page looks very interesing. I am going to read through it. Also, except for the observatory (a shed with an opening roof), I have a scope, goto motorized mount, DSLRs, computers (new and old), tons of cables, and lots of bits and pieces. I am confident that I can do it, even though I am no expert in electronics nor programming, I have a little experience in both. It's just a matter of putting it all together. I already have software that controls my DSLRs, fully configurable and automatable for months, even years. It provides total control over image acquisition. There are many projects for connecting mounts to computers. I have done quite a bit of scripting so my computers can run tedious jobs automatically, so this project looks feasible. I do not have time to write a complete software solution, nor do I know how, but I do think there must be enough software out there to put together and get the job done. I might quit after some time, who knows? But I am at least going to try.
  10. I wasn't sure this is the correct place to post this. Whether it's an observing technique or a setup is another matter of discussion. Anyhow... It's been quite some time since I have done any observing or astrophotography due to lack of time. My two baby daughters require all my atention while I am not at work. I need the little time left for sleeping. I want to setup a totally automated system that starts up automatically at night and takes photos of whatever I tell it, and automatically saves the images on a PC, and even stack 'em for me as well. The biggest problem here is not the hardware, I think the computer programming is probably the toughest task. Building an observatory is a bit of a challenge too. Has anybody done this? Where can I start? Is there any software available that already does this? Thanks.
  11. Has anybody mentioned putting ice cubes (or ice packs) in the water reservoir? Or even adding an extra reservoir with chilled water and a second pump conected to the first with a temperature controller to keep the temperature in the firsdt reservoir constant to keep noise levels constant? I like this project very much. I might have a go myself. Very good work indeed! Congratulations.
  12. Ultra high quality astrophotography capable point and shoot iphones. I hate iphones!
  13. Hi there astromaniacs! In my case I'm thinking off stripping in my old nikon d80. Has anybody succesfully dissasembled a dslr and redesigned for astrophotography including a cooling system? That includes removing the ccd from the board and putting it back together with a cooler (I was thinking of some sort of liquid cooler) I have read many people on the forum using cooling boxes for dslrs with peltier coolers, but that's not what I had in mind.
  14. Well, the title's pretty clear. Anybody around Zaragoza interested in going out to do some skywatching, astrophotography an so on?
  15. My very first go at eye piece projection without an adapter by holding my nikon dslr without a lens in front of the ep by hand. I had to set the iso pretty high to try to avoid shaky hands, the focal plane wasn't flat on, etc... I took quite a few snaps 'til I came up with this fairly decent shot. The ep was a 9mm planetary and the ot a SW mn190.
  16. Thank you Martin for your experience. My mn190 has the new focuser, I don't know how it stands up to the previous one regarding sturdiness. I'll take a look at how my t-mount and 2inch adapter fit together with the focuser tube. The 2 inch adapter I use is the one that came along with the telescope. Nevertheless, I will collimate the scope anyway because I've had it for about a year now and it hasn't been touched. I'll check all that has been said here. I'm afraid I won't have time until maybe next week. This is my first time doing this fairly delicate operation, so I think I should find the time and do it calmly. I will get a collimator to help me in the process. Thank you all for you time and advice. My beautiful images of m31 are now a step closer to reality.
  17. Ok! I'll do the collimation. Never done it before, but read a lot about it. I'll have to overcome my fears. Putting the dslr as you suggest makes sense as long as the object is fairly near the horizon, but how do I look through the view finder in order to focus? The mount, telescope and the dslr together are taller than me. I s'pose I'll have to take a small ladder or a stool. There are many different issues in here as Olly pointed out. I guess I'll have to address them one at a time. Given all the spare time I have (sarcastic hahaha:D) I'll practice doing the collimation process some time soon, and when I get that right, I'll see what else is going wrong. One more thing, I have read that collimation is best done in the dark. Is it too tricky to do it during the day? Thanks for your help folks.
  18. I don't have a photo of my setup from the other day. This is a photo I posted on another thread. The dslr would be mounted straight on the focuser you can see on the right, and it would be pointing at M31 instead of the moon, which would be slightly more towards the right hand side of the photo. As you can see from the tube rings, the mount is at the right. It has just occurred to me that the problem could be a misaligned secondary mirror. Is that possible? Being a newbie I have never aligned or collimated my ota yet. Olly! Wow! 11 hours! My mount can only really keep up with 10-15sec exposures without any wind!
  19. Thanks. I guess many people are out on holiday now, so maybe not too many people around. I probably haven't posted in the right forum, and I'm sorry the title is misleading too. I'll do better in the future.
  20. Sorry to insist, but does anybody know whether this is a non-flat field issue or what?
  21. Here is a pic of what I get, hopefully it'll help with the veredict. So you reckon I need a field flattener? It isn't the flexing of the focuser? %20%20Uploaded%20with%20ImageShack.us"]http://stargazerslounge.com/%20%20Uploaded%20with%20ImageShack.us Uploaded with ImageShack.us
  22. I thought that mak-newt scopes had a flat field already. Or maybe it doesn't provide enough flattening and needs more? I really don't know, but still think the problem might be the focuser because the out of focus area seems to be in line with gravity. If the camera is set up vertically, as in like a portrait steup, the out of focus appears on top and on the bottom of the frame, but not on the sides. If i put the camera as in a landscape position, the out of focus is less evident ('cause it's cropped out), but it's still there. I'll try and post some pics later this evening.
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