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Everything posted by MakeItSo

  1. There are certainly a lot of users on SGL who have great experiences with the Mesu mount(the first and the current iteration) but not everyone has reported positively. I did a lot of research over about 6 months a year ago when I was looking for a premium mount which included talking to several Mesu users including one with the latest version (as well as people using 10 Micron, AP and Paramount offerings). It was soon after the latest version was released. There will always be those who are unlucky in their purchase (of any mount) and they are often less inclined to post about it. Point being; talk directly to users.
  2. IR night vision cameras caused me a lot of headaches with NB imaging, mainly when the camera was pointing straight at the scope. This is the camera I settled on after trying several very cheap one. It’s super sensitive without the IR; starlight alone is enough to view things very clearly. Sorry about the highlight...I cut and pasted it from my email. Dahua DH-IPC-HDW5442TM-AS Pro AI Outdoor HD PoE Turret IP Camera w/ 2.8mm Lens, 50m Night Vision & Audio (4 MP)
  3. Based on what you’ve discussed I’d recommend the Pegasus UPB as the next purchase; this will allow you to recycle USB ports and keep dew under control. USB issues can completely ruin your remote experience whereas the opening and closing of the roof is only needed once. The next thing would be the Talon. It’s well worth it. I used a remote gate opener to begin with but it was near impossible to integrate with everything on the mount. So as is often the case, I bought twice and got the Talon. This is tailor made for ASCOM integration and works really well. The CloudWatcher is last. I say this because I have it but my observatory is in my back garden and I never take the chance of imaging for an hour or two between rain - others may differ on this. In a truly remote set up ( I have one in Spain) the CloudWatcher is essential. My roof doesn’t clear the mount and scopes if they are imaging so I’m a little squeamish about trusting the CloudWatcher over a full night unless the forecast is clear. Hope this helps. (also, it would be good to shut off the IR on the security camera if you have it on. Lastly, have you tried an oversized dew heater on the QHY?)
  4. Hi Everyone, I am interested in peoples opinions regarding the 100mm Lunt - (specifically the Lunt 100mm H-alpha Telescope B1800 blocking filter) for imaging. I have a 60mm and would like to upgrade, but just as I was about to pull the trigger, I found one thread suggesting that the 100mm struggles with UK conditions. Because of where I lived when I started AP I am much more active on CN and unfortunately sourced all my advice over there; I should have got opinions here on SGL. My question is therefore a relatively broad one - for solar imaging in the UK, would an 80mm scope be a better option? I am keen on the added resolution of the 100mm but if its a waste, then it would be good to know. Ultimately I will double stack whatever option I take. Thanks for reading, Simon
  5. Hi there, I don’t post here in SGL but I saw your thread. Be assured that HOUK are still in business and a top draw set up. They’re almost certainly inundated with work (lock down has amplified interest in AP significantly) and to be honest, they do sometimes get so focused on their projects that communication lines can be sluggish. I have found this on occasion (they built my excellent OB last year). I think you need to just be persistent. But don’t worry, they are in business and sterling Operators
  6. The DF is connected to your router and sits on the same network as your PC. You don't need to directly connect the PC to the DF. For remote booting of your PC, I would recommend using the Wake on Lan capability (if its a Windows machine); I wouldn't bother using the DF for this. There are many apps that allow you to conveniently set up a shortcut on another computer (you simply need to enable WOL on your observatory PC and then use the provide the app of your choice with its MAC address). Simon
  7. Bumping this thread. I am interested to hear some more experiences with Antlia NB filters. I had saved for a set of Chromas (which are eye-wateringly expensive) but these have been suggested to me by someone knowledgeable as a viable alternative (they may be setting the price lower right now as they establish custom). If their documentation is anything to go by on the website, they look compelling. Nothing like actual hands on experience though - Any more feedback? Thanks! Simon
  8. To be honest, I am not entirely happy with this; I feel some flexure in the system when it slews and who knows how much mirror shift/flop I am going to have. I really want to have the Edge set up for planetary and lunar (and for my kids) but it may be more hassle than its worth. Just not sure yet.
  9. Got my Esprit 150 and ADM dual mounting weaponry (from IKI and FLO) and spent the morning setting it up...
  10. Oops...he clearly states it in the video! HOWEVER, I'd be very interested in knowing what that neat little bracket holding it, is.
  11. Great video. May I ask; what is the model of the ZWO All Sky camera you have mounted on the front and also the bracket you've used to mount it. Many thanks, Simon
  12. Hi All, I am having a problem with my QSI 683 wsg-8. At first, I was getting an unusual artefact on my images when I used the Ha filter which I reported here (see attached 15s sub). While investigating this issue I took the cover off and reseated the filter wheel (I noticed the filter wheel position was not perfect and I think the artefact was coming from light leaking through a small hole adjacent to the filter). I decided to connect the camera to SGP and watched the filters move as I selected them i.e cover off. I noticed that if the filter wheel position was set in the control panel of SGP as Red, and I reseated the wheel carefully with the Red filter in position, I could go move through the filters in sequence as expected i.e. in the order I specified in the SGP equipement profile: Red Green Blue Luminance Ha OIII SII Empty But as soon as I start hopping around, the filter wheel got confused and started lining up the wrong filters. Incidentally, I looked at the filter wheel ASCOM driver settings and noticed only 7 positions specified. My question is this (and I am fully prepared for this to be something obvious as I am learning how to use this camera): does the camera "know" which position is 1, 2, 3 etc because looking at the filter wheel I can see nothing that could possibly orientate the camera if it was set at Red and you took the filter wheel out and put it back in at Green (for example). Is there a way to "recalibrate" the filter wheel? Does this issue resonate with any QSI owners? - is there something obvious I have missed? Many thanks, Simon
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. Finally it came....thanks FLO! Looking forward to testing this out over a somewhat moonlight but clear sky this weekend...
  16. 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?
  17. 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...
  18. 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”
  19. 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?
  20. 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!
  21. Any updates on this? How are you finding the mount so far?
  22. 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.
  23. 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
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