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Posts posted by DaveL59

  1. today a few bits arrived. Flash adaptor and bits for the Sony SLT-A77ii I'm awaiting and a mini telescope masquerading as a finder



    TAL 8x50 finder from a TAL2 and wow that is solid and huge! Feels like the focuser could do with an overhaul as it sticks a bit, some internal dust but very sharp and clear. Single circle reticule for targets. Will have to see if I can sort end caps for it to protect those nice lens coatings. Looks like I'll have to drill whichever OTA I want to mount it onto as it has a 2-part shoe, so will be a while before I get around to doing that I expect.

    • Like 7

  2. 7 minutes ago, Karen Johnson said:

    Well I’ve read all through that Mick and it sounds too technical for me so I will run with the Canon for now but it’s good to see that there are solutions out there for Sony cameras.

    ahhh nearing the top of that slippery slope now then, astrophotography 😮 

    What scope are you getting as for imaging the mount is critical for stability?

    Ah yes, looking back the EQ3 pro, should be ok to start off with given the scope chosen.

  3. 6 minutes ago, Karen Johnson said:

    Lucky you, I’m in Cuxton, junction 2 of the M2, right on the river (literally as I live on a boat) with the M2 road bridge and Eurostar viaduct all lit up, if that wasn't bad enough, have the glow from the leisure park nearby.  Will have to travel each time I want to do any photography I think.

    oh that's no fun, mists too from the river at all? How are winters on a boat tho, cold I'd have thought?

    I know the M2 bridge well as I used to be a regular on that road heading back from work via the A228.

    Here My garden view is mainly SE as there's a big oak just past the end to the south. North side the fence is higher so that limits low targets. I'm not so much planning on astro imaging other than perhaps the odd play, happy with visual but will be nice to have the option with the DSLR to explore should I fancy trying. I did have a brief play with the Fuji bridge but I don't think that was an ideal camera and other things got in the way of experimenting further.

  4. Just now, Karen Johnson said:

    Excellent, love to hear how you get on with the A7.  Whereabouts in Kent are you Dave?  Do you have dark skies in your area?

    ahh it's an SLT-A77-ii not the A7 🙂

    I'm in Chatham area not far off the M2, it's reasonably dark in the back garden tho being up a hill and woodland around, tho you can't escape the sky glow and so far this year it doesn't seem as dark up there as it used to be.

  5. worth stating what laptop and its power requirements else its all a bit of a punt in the dark. Many need 19/19.5v some less and some need a smart-tip connector. There are some LiPo packs that will give 19v but a lot will depend on what the power draw is going to be in terms of how long they'll run for.

  6. On 21/11/2020 at 14:38, Karen Johnson said:

    Stick with it, they are great little cameras but the menu format sucks!  I purchased a great book by David Busch.  He has written a series of guides for using Sony A series right from out of the box through and set up to working through every menu option.  If he does a guide for the A6000, well worth the money.  He gives recommendations on which settings to use and explains what they do far better than the Sony provided guide does.  I recommend it.

    may well do the same as I've now committed on an A77ii, once it arrives and I've had a chance to test it out I'll have a look for his guide as I see he has one for this model too.

  7. ahh true, I thought you were considering the alternative of a few LEDs along the edge instead of the clear rod but if not then these wouldn't help. For sure not enough glow to light up the rod even halfway and give much light spread.

  8. I have an IR illuminator ring off a camera that wasn't working, not tested it but they are regular old-style LED's rather than SMD type. If useful I could always remove a few if you want to try a few of those along the top edge. Will see if I can fire them up and check that they are the type that glow red as some don't.

  9. hi Glob

    as Mark says, likely in that lamp the LED's will be SMD, easy enough to desolder with a regular 25W iron if you don't care if they survive. Painting over the ones left with red nail varnish may do what you need and then a red film inside the lens, perhaps 2 layers of. Dismantling could be fun, hopefully it's clipped and not sonically welded.

    @Mark - when I needed to cull the IR for the cameras mounted behind glass what I found worked best was a layer of tin foil under a black felt pad, no stray IR bouncing off the glass. Perhaps similar on the casing would help with your build to eliminate the stray light, tho you'll need to be sure not to short the connections of course.

  10. ahh yes those vouchers certainly create an itch to spend 🙂

    A variable polarizing filter can be useful as you can increase the amount of blocking to suit the target (Moon, Mars etc).

    But as you have a moon filter and it perhaps is sufficient, an RA motor does help to give more relaxed viewing as it relieves you of having to be tweaking controls to keep a target in view.

    Another consideration perhaps, if you only have the supplied eyepieces would be to get a better eyepiece to replace the 10mm and also maybe the barlow. The 25mm is probably good enough but the supplied EPs are not the best. BST Starguider's are well recommended but one would eat your entire voucher. Vixen NPL are decent too.

    oh and welcome to the madhouse, oops forum 😉 

    • Thanks 1

  11. thanks Karen, nice to know they've fixed it. Nikon apparently used to suffer the same. I guess its a case of try it and see with regards to your A6500. For me the A7iii will be way above budget and I'm unconvinced on the compact-style mirrorless models as noted in another thread in the non-astro section where I was considering an A700. Am more leaning toward an A77 or A77ii now but yet to tap the buy button.

    For remote control have you tried Sony's Imaging Edge suite? I believe the A6500 should support live view on the PC when USB tethered as should the 77ii

    Smartphone app tho may well be more limited, for the 77ii it seems to act as a remote shutter release and not much more which is a pity.

  12. Hi Karen

    I've not tried with a camera as yet but I've been researching a new DSLR body and looking at Sony as existing gear was Minolta film so I wanted compatibility with the lenses I have. While trawling about I came across this


    Now I don't plan on doing much via the scope but might want to play a little so that rules out the mirrorless models to me, at least if you want 30s or longer exposures. Others may have already used this model tho and have different reports, worth posting which firmware yours has in case that gives any more info.

  13. perhaps an LED at each end would even up the illumination across the page a bit?

    I wonder too if roughing the surface of the tube would help diffusion?

    The 850nm IR LED's emit a red glow that doesn't light too much so may do what you need, tho taking a pic they'll still look very bright simply because the camera will react to the IR glow but our eyes won't of course. Downside could be that you'll also attract insects because of the IR so beware of a sneak bat attack if they start swarming around you 😉 

  14. given a D-cell alkaline battery capacity is around 12,000mAH then around 1/5th the amount of time using the original 4xD cell pack would last. Might run you ok for an evenings use, only way to know is give it a try. Perhaps useful if you can make a lead with the right connector or a USB female to RA motor connector but modifying a USB extender cable.

    • Thanks 1

  15. The synscan will draw more power when slewing than tracking but 2A should suffice. I run mine via a 5A tho and that works well, or a LiPo car starter pack via a 5A buck converted to regulate to 12v. All the wall-wart and brick type PSU's will get warm, quite normal but hot is a different story as that means its too loaded.

  16. I'd test it with the supplied battery pack and see how it does. RA only should run for a good while off the 6v pack. Worse case, make up a rechargable one using 5x batteries in a 6x holder and bridge the 6th bay with a wire or dummy battery, NiMh rechargables should run a decent time and be low cost if you charge them up ready for use. No real need to try running mains out esp from a second floor flat - would that be dropped out the window?

    • Thanks 1
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