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About MakeItSo

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    Astronomy, Crossfit.
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  1. Dear All, Thanks for reading. I have a fairly straightforward question for users of Starlight Xpress cameras. I have a Lodestar 2 and an Oculus AllSky camera. The problem: when I take an image with either camera, I just get a black image back. No matter what my exposure settings are, the image is always just a black box. My other cameras (a QSI 683 and the Atik Infinity) work just fine. Once, today, the AllSky took an over exposed image during the day; but then stopped working. I was using USB hubs but I have switched my set up so that the cameras are connected directly to my PC via the supplied cables. The length of the cable from the AllSky is long and I have just purchased a repeater cable just in case it's a connection issue. I know this isn't much to go on but I'd be interested in some input... Thanks Simon
  2. Hi All, This is my first software post. Here is my kit. 10 Micron 2000 UP QSI 683 Tak FSQ106 I am using SQP and PlateSolver2 with my equipment and at least on the face of it, everything works together well. The mount and camera are recognised by SGP and if I take an image, I can PlateSolve it quickly with PlateSolver2. The paths to my catalogues are correct and I can successfully blind solve with ASTRONOMY.NET. However, When I try to run a model in ModelCreator (using the kit above and specIfying PlateSolver2 as my plate solving software (with blind solve ticked), the model runs, captures and image and then PlateSolver2 hangs and says "not responding". If I right click on the image and manually enter the co-ordinates from the keypad (with image scale correct - 2.1 for the QSI and Tak) it works. But I want to be able to automate all of this - select 90-100 points and let it run without having to do this manual entry. Has anyone encountered this issue before....are there specific settings that I may have missed. Image scale is important but this is saved in my SGP equipment profile so I don't think this can be an issue. This is not an issue with the mount at all....its an issue with ModelCreator2 and most likely the settings I have in SGP. I hope this is right forum for this kind of question. Any help is greatly appreciated....its driving me nuts! Simon
  3. Finally it came....thanks FLO! Looking forward to testing this out over a somewhat moonlight but clear sky this weekend...
  4. Just noticed a massive hike in the price of Takahashi refractors
  5. What do you think the imaging capacity realistically is for this mount - I know its rated for 100kg and some reviews of the Mark I have suggested 75kg for imaging. What do you think about this?
  6. This is great feedback. I signed up to the 10 Micron forum to try to understand the sorts of difficulties that are found with these mounts. Didn’t know that the 10 Micron is basically a Linux computer. Linux is the standard in my field of research, but I have to say, I find it pretty awful and quite brittle (many of my colleagues disagree); it can be very unforgiving of simple mishaps like improper shutdown. I noted on my fairly superficial perusal that some 10 Micron owners have had difficulties with the mount following power outages. I may be jumping the gun here (and happy to be told that I am wrong) but is there any truth in the idea that perhaps the sophistication of the 10 Micron software/hardware and the fact that it is baked into the mount also means that there are more things that can go wrong? As a relative novice to imaging, I would really like the mount to “disappear into the background” so that i can improve my skills. VERY happy to be told I am mistaken...
  7. If you can find the item sold at the original (or lower) price by another retailer you should be able to “appeal” for price match with the “blue button”
  8. Interesting. The Paramount mounts seem to have an almost Apple-like closed system. I’m sure you can use other software with them but I’d be interested to know if Paramount users find this restrictive?
  9. Dear Folks, I posted this question on CN and got really good feedback - but it was quite US-centric as expected; lots of AP and SB users. I am keen to have opinions from colleagues on this side of the pond (and hopefully get feedback which includes as much or more comment on 10 Micron, Mesu, ASA etc). I am looking for opinions from owners of these mounts on the following. 1. How easy was it for you to set the mount up? If you are portable, this is obviously very relevant. If you are permanent - still relevant but less so. 2. How easy do you find the software control of the mount? This may be a roll your own set of applications via ASCOM or for Paramount users for example, the SkyX package. 3. Do you use your mount remotely i.e. is it fit for purpose as a remote system? 4. If you have had technical (either mechanical or software) issues, how good has the support been? 5. How do you rate the craftsmanship in the mount? I understand this is subjective, but on a previous, similar post in CN, some users expressed preferences regarding the actual build of the mount and how it contributed to the overall enjoyment of the mount. Many thanks for reading!
  10. Any updates on this? How are you finding the mount so far?
  11. This is most helpful; I can see that the point here is that you are paying for (future proofing, I suppose) the big image circle but you don't initially need to invest in a large sensor, that can come later.
  12. Hi Folks, Thanks for reading. I would like opinions on suitable (or the best) CCD camera pairing with a Tak FSQ106. I have been using Astronomy tools to calculate the image scale and take into account the seeing, but the repeated comments about the 106’S large imaging circle have me a little confused. Is it simply that a large sensor is needed to fully take advantage of the 106? I note that on Astrobin, many different cameras are used with this scope; is the point here that from an image scale perspective many cameras would be suitable, but from an image circle perspective, a large sensor is better? One camera I have looked at is the Atik 11000 but I am keen to see what other options may be good/take full advantage. Many thanks for reading. Simon
  13. Not a silly question at all... Simply a query; research and user experience are two different things. My research tells me this mount is superb but I’d like to hear about user experience with the software
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