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Posts posted by AstroMuni

  1. 13 hours ago, Hollie42 said:

    Looking at the FLO page for this https://www.firstlightoptics.com/telescopes-in-stock/skywatcher-explorer-130.html  you can see their comparison of 130 vs 130P. Choose between the two depending on your plans going forward. As others have already said, if you can get a sturdier mount then go for it. And also look at Dobsonions. Skywatcher/Orion do have several good ones with similar apertures.

    And as budget is a concern, look out for second hand ones too 🙂

    • Like 1
  2. On 20/11/2021 at 19:00, Lukelak said:

    I just started using my brand new telescope but when I looked at the moon I saw a bunch of dark spots and at first I thought that they were the moon’s craters but I still see them even when I’m not looking at the moon

    hi, Welcome to SGL. It would help us if you let us know more details about your new telescope - model, lenses used etc.

    • Thanks 1
  3. I have the ASI224mc as main camera and recently purchased the ASI120mm mini for guiding. These are connected to the RPi and I remotely access these from my laptop running Ekos. The connection to these seems to a bit of hit and miss. There are times when they launch beautifully and there are others when only one of them or none will connect. I have tried with the ZWO CCD driver and using the ZWO Camera 1, 2 drivers
    I have ALSO tried using Kstars on RPi and connecting with a local connection and with same results.
    As the ASI224 supports USB3 and ASI120 mini only works on USB2, I tried connecting these to various USB ports on the RPi 4b with similar results.
    RPi is using Astroberry v2.0.4 build so has the INDI drivers from v1.9.3 is my understanding. My laptop is running Kstars/Ekos 3.5.6.

    Any help is appreciated!

  4. 1 hour ago, Starslayer said:

    Thank you. Will go 'see". Pretty sure my driver is up to date ( will check ) and I already have the auto unchecked so I can play with the settings.  

    You should be able to get near focus in daylight. If thats not working then it will be quite challenging at night. Thats my experience.

    During daytime use a very low exposure less than a sec.

  5. 36 minutes ago, Andy350 said:

    And new to everything really!

    I've got the NexYYZ phone adapter, so looking at different setting on both phone and eye pieces.  What I've realised is, if I want at some point to capture a galaxy, how do I know where to point in the first place.  I do have Stellarium app, but I would need to use this to take the pics.

    Take a look at Skeye app which has a Push-To capability. Using this you should be able to get your scope close to where you wish to be. Final steps would need to be done using your finder scope or red dot finder.

    Its not as bad as it looks though, you should be able to capture atleast the brighter galaxies using short exposures (even as low as 5sec) without tracking. Once you have cracked that bit, you can then send those images to stacking software.  Good luck.

    • Thanks 1
  6. 25 minutes ago, vlaiv said:

    That involved Windows 10 laptop and me being next the mount and all - that was setup with my regular Heq5 + serious scope and serious camera.

    What I was suggesting is just an extension of this wherein you have a hub to which the cameras are connected and a cable running from hub to your laptop (albeit a long one :) ). This to me is the simplest solution as there is no introduction of additional software in the middle. You could connect the mount to the hub as well, but as you've pointed out, you are able to use Wifi connectivity for that.

    The RPi solution using INDIGO/ ALPACA seems to be viable. So good luck with that.

    My reason for asking what RPi is used for was because with the RPi running INDIGO it would seem that all the grunt work is still being done on laptop and RPi just becomes a mediator between INDIGO & ASCOM.

  7. 1 hour ago, vlaiv said:

    I want to use software that I'm already used to / paid - like SGP. As far as I understand, SGP won't connect directly to INDI/INDIGO drivers as it is build for ASCOM. I know that Alpaca is just another layer, but as far as I can tell - not really that "heavy" layer to be much of a concern - like in creating latency or whatever.

    What are you planning to use the RPi for?

    In your case it sounds like a powered USB hub that is located outside connected by USB cable to laptop would do the trick. I dont have a solution off hand on how to bypass the USB cable to laptop (ie wireless), but I am sure there are ways around this.

  8. 9 minutes ago, vlaiv said:

    Another thing is that ASCOM ALPACA thing. That sounds seriously good and the way forward. I wonder if it will actually work. Need to test it ASAP. Just afraid that if I install ASCOM 6.5 - I'll mess up my current installation of 6.3

    My suggestion is try the INDI/INDIGO drivers. If you have trouble then try ASCOM route. As INDI/INDIGO is running on RPi, as per my understanding, all that ALPACA will do is create a bridge to ASCOM drivers running on a Windows box. That sounds like additional traffic back & forth RPi. Happy to be corrected on ALPACA.

    8 minutes ago, vlaiv said:

    Agents for example - do I need them running, or can I just use drivers remotely. Or rather - do I benefit from them running. It seems that I can go by just fine without using agents.

    What agents are you referring to? All that runs for me on RPi is INDI server and it will initiate loading of relevant drivers. Nothing else is running there at the moment.

    Now that I have a guidescope, I may consider using PHD2 to run from RPi at some point (as that will be closer to. mount, guidecam) Ekos internal guider works just fine for the moment.

  9. Just now, Stuart1971 said:

    I have tried all ways of viewing my RPI and Kstars running on it, but as I use a 4k monitor, they all produce lag and are not good, the best I have found it RealVNC but I have to have my monitor set to 2560 x 1400 this gives me the best compromise between a good sized image on my 28” screen with minimal lag…on 4k it’s pretty much unusable….

    I am viewing my laptop screen so it works fine. The more your resolution the slower it would get to screen grab :(

    • Like 1
  10. 1 minute ago, vlaiv said:

    I like the idea of INDIGO as I can use my mobile phone/web client in initial phase of setup: polar alignment and focusing (no motor focuser yet).

    I use Team viewer to see my laptop screen on my phone while I am focusing. Ekos has a polar alignment assistant which you can use in same way.

    • Like 1
  11. 30 minutes ago, vlaiv said:

    It seems to work OK in "in-house" testing conditions - meaning I can slew the mount and so on, but I haven't tried long exposure / plate solving and all other bits - since, well, I don't have night sky in my study

    I use Kstars/Ekos on laptop connected to INDI server on RPi. With Ekos there is option to test platesolving using an older image so you can test the whole kit inside. Caveat: It will slew the scope but its attempt to platesolve again to check if object in centred will fail :)

    PS: I did evaluate INDIGO but the Kstars/Ekos combo just ticked all the boxes for me. Its stellarium + capture + platesolve + control of mount etc.

    • Like 1
  12. 7 hours ago, uk_friendly_fire said:

    I read somewhere that Ircut filters reduce detail and image sharpness on gas giants and stars

    I have been consistently told by my colleagues in my local society that IR/UV cut filter is essential to get clearer images for both planetary and DSO when using my camera (ASI224mc) as its highly sensitive to IR & UV. I have recently bought one but dont have any comparisons to show you as its been cloudy since 😞

  13. On 12/06/2020 at 14:49, BrendanC said:

    Hi all,

    Title says it all really!

    My next big step is to think about guiding.

    I have a Bresser Mikrokular which I initially used for imaging, but now use a DSLR instead. I know that the Mikrokular is picked up by PHD2, so if at all possible, I'd like to use it as a guide camera, with my Skywatcher 130PDS, which has a focal length of 650mm, mounted on my NEQ6.

    So, does anyone have a recommendation for a suitable guide scope with this combination of camera and scope?

    Thanks, Brendan

    Hi Brendan,

    I have a scope with similar focal length/aperture (650/130) and I bought the Astro Essentials 32mm guidescope just last week to go with it. Works well ( I tried guiding & platesolving) during the one night that I managed to get with clear skies. I use the ASI224mc on main scope & ASI120mm mini on guider. The suggested ratio (based on lots of reading up 🙂 ) is 5:1 FL between main & guide, hence went for a guidescope of around 130mm FL.

  14. @velis dont be too disheartened by the bird-jones comments. I have the 130eq which is a slightly bigger version of what you have. It has a slightly better reputation I guess but not too far off :) I got mine collimated with help from a friend and its worked well for me. Do NOT expect to view with high magnifications but it should do a lovely job for viewing DSO and star clusters. As others have said the mount is its weakest point so I used to attach sandbags/milk bottles filled with water etc. to stablise it.

    I decided to take the plunge into astrophotography after I upgraded my mount and was pleasantly surprised with the results (see link in my signature).

    Good luck.

  15. On 07/11/2021 at 16:19, MartinHiggins said:

    The best type of window for observing is an "escape type". Fakro do various sizes and you can choose whether it hinges on the right or left. 

    I observe from my attic with a giant binocular and while not ideal from a pure observing point of view it is an instant set up and comfortable.

    I am thinking a dormer with an opening on the flat roof would work perhaps?

  16. I have acquired my first guide scope and managed to attach it to the screw thread provided for attaching camera to top of tube rings. Had a few discussions with FLO who were very helpful. Also my local astro society were equally helpful in choosing the right scope etc. Now to practice taking images with guiding. Fingers crossed.


  17. 10 hours ago, Laurin Dave said:

    No idea Pramod, but if they work on your system I'd suggest you try the ASCOM driver for ZWO cameras which allows two cameras you can download it from ZWO website .


    Its works perfectly if I connect both to the the USB3 ports on RPi. I cant use the ASCOM drivers as I am Linux based.

    And for completeness the ZWO CCD driver supports multiple cameras at same time. The ZWO Camera 1, 2, 3 are for users who have issues with that driver and these support only a single device each.

  18. Hi,

    I updated my RPi 4 to latest version of astroberry v2.0.4 today and been trying to connect my main ASI224mc and ASI120mm mini guide cameras in Ekos. When I connect both the cameras on the USB2 ports only one of them i.e. ASI120mm connects. If I connect the ASI224mc on the USB3 and ASI120mm to USB2 again its only the ASI120 that connects.

    But if I connect both on the USB3 ports on the RPi it connects successfully. I have tried with the ZWO CCD driver and using a combination of ZWO Camera 1, ZWO Camera 2 drivers. In both cases the behaviour is the same.

    It works fine on my Linux Mint laptop using direct connection to the cameras even though the USB ports are USB2 only. Both RPi and Linux are running Kstars 3.5.5 stable.

    Any ideas what is the cause of this?


  19. On 31/10/2021 at 16:58, Username556 said:

    Would you say this picture is accurate to what you would see in person? 

    Find out the light pollution at your location using https://www.lightpollutionmap.info. Then in stellarium you can set the bortle level for your location and that should help give an idea of the kind of skies you can see. Its not always very accurate but you atleast get some idea.

    I am sure skysafari has similar feature.

  20. 12 hours ago, Gina said:

    The original reason for using separate RPi boards was that Ekos was unable to distinguish between the two ASI 1600MM cameras - they come up with the same ID.

    I came to know that they have introduced ASI drivers to handle separate cameras ZWO Camera 1, 2 & 3 which call indi_asi_single_ccd. This might do the trick.

    • Thanks 1
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