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Everything posted by Stickey

  1. Ditto for joining a local club. I joined a club a few years ago and the amount I've learned is incredible. We also have club observing sessions when a bunch of us get together at a nearby dark site and do some observing. Any issues, there's always someone to ask and pandemic permitting, they can help you sort it out
  2. Welcome, and I second the above post.
  3. Stickey

    Beginners Return

    Welcome back, Bazz. Mike
  4. For me, it is my ZWO ASIAir, without a doubt. I tried hard but unsuccessfully to achieve Polar Alignment using the Polar Scope, but I could just never achieve a decent alignment. When the AA arrived and I hacked a RA finder scope to take a 120MM Mini, PA became a doddle. My best was 6", but regularly achieve <20". Then add the Goto feature, aided by plate solving to put the target bang in the optical centre and observing became a joy. Instead of spending most of the time trying to get PA and find the target, now the vast majority of my time is spent actually observing my targets. The AA has been transformational for me.
  5. Hello and welcome, Claire. You could have a look for M31, the Andromeda Galaxy. It will look like a fuzzy blob in your scope (a nice one, btw), but it blows my mind to realise that it's another galaxy, bigger than the Milky Way, containing perhaps 1,000,000,000,000 (1 Tn) stars. It's 2.5 Mn light years away but heading towards us at 110 km/sec! Don't worry, it'll take ~5 Bn years to get here
  6. SGL recently updated its access policies to restrict access to the Classifieds section until users have submitted enough posts in the general fora. This happened to me too. Until then, most of the retailers have Used Equipment offerings and there's always the "other place" - AstroBuySell
  7. The main reason for the sturdier mount for astro -imaging is the need for a rock-steady image during long exposures. This is even more so with long focal length telescopes like Daniele's Skymax 127. Tbh, that scope isn't a great one for DSOs. It's much better suited to Moon and planetary work. The targets are much brighter and exposures shorter, which means the excellent HEQ5 @ £700-800 2nd hand is probably a bit ott atm. Undoubtedl, it's a great investment if the OP intends to get into deeper and fainter targets in the not too distant future, but for now, is it really necessary? I've tried to find the weight of the Skymax 127 without success, but given the entry level mounts it's bundled with, I can't imagine it's too heavy. However, none of the bundled mounts are much good for a heavy scope or imaging of DSOs. PeterCPC suggested an ordinary Alt/Az for Moon and planets or for future- proofing, maybe an EQ5 or the hybrid AzEq version would suffice for now?
  8. Hi Daniele, It all depends on the weight of the scope and all its ancillaries. You should also be aware that the weight limit for doing astrophotography is usually lower by about 30% than that for visual observation. However, if you're mostly going to be doing planetary imaging, that's probably not such a critical concern. I'd expect a package of telescope and mount to be reasonably well matched for visual observing and planetary imaging but if you want to upgrade to a bigger scope, you'll probably also need a better mount. Buying separately enables you to have some "top cover" in the mount. Hope that helps, good luck in your search
  9. I subbed up for these macros. There is a lot of them in the set, some more intuitive than others and a Jerry says, the simpler ones can help give you a quick look at what needs fixing. The individual steps of each macro appear in the history tab and you can explode them and tweak the parameters. Welcome to the wonderful adventure game that is astrophotography
  10. FYI, Dave Eagle is the author of the book mentioned here - He's very helpful.
  11. Hi. That's one beautiful M33. Congratulations . But you say the problem is you want a bigger FoV. How much bigger? There are a number of online FoV simulators that you could use to work out what scope aperture would give you the desired FoV with your camera. As Vlaiv explained, it's maybe not just as simple as aperture size. In addition to FoV simulators, there also one that calculates Pixel Scale of a camera/scope combination. Apologies, I can't remember the name but you should be able to find it easily enough
  12. I've got a very similar one to this and it does work very well. I've taken some nice photos of M31 and Sirius but a couple of pieces of advice - 1. The clamps that grab the e/p are hard plastic and need a folded eye cup to grip on to. If the e/p just had a hard metal surface, the grip can be a bit weak. A bit of insulation tape sorts that out. 2. Depending on the angle of the scope and the weight of the phone, the adapter can flex a bit and the phone camera come away from the central hole a mm or 2, allowing stay light into the shot. A bit of masking or insulation tape fixes that too. Mike
  13. Do you mean between the lens elements or simply on the telescope-facing surface? And what kind of telescope is it?
  14. I struggled to get good PA with my HEQ5 Polar Scope, until I got an ASIAir. That , for me, was probably the 2nd best investment i ever made in astronomy (the 1st being a scope). I think it will work with a Canon 800D, it works with most modern Canon and Nikon DSLRs, but you'd need to check. I can usual achieve <10" accuracy, which means I don't need to guide as I'm not into narrow band imaging and very long exposures. The same device offers catalogue-based (M, NGC, IC etc) goto, with optical centering and it provides imaging sequence planning and execution. It works with a mobile phone or tablet and can be velcro'd to the tripod to protect against an accidental drop. It may not be relevant to you, but it also means I don't need to carry a laptop to a dark site with concomitant reduction in dark adaption and risk of damage from it being dropped.
  15. Bit of an update on the original issue. It seems to have resolved itself. I'm still not getting 30 f.p.s., more like 20. But the good news is that I'm able to capture images and get some decent stars. Not sure why it's fixed itself - maybe just a driver issue. Thanks for everyone's help. Long live the SGL community! Mike
  16. Excellent image, Grasmere
  17. Beautiful image, well done. Looks like that scope is a good'un. Thanks for sharing it.
  18. How is the PA? I've seen images with similar issues caused by the PA being slightly out.
  19. Very nice image. Nice tight stars and plenty of nebulosity. Is that LP lower right?
  20. 1. Congratulations. It looks like your polar scope is well collimated. It should be if the scope is new, but you never know unless you check. 2. Umm, that doesn't sound right. There should be plenty of room for manoeuvre. Are the bolts the same length? Could they be accidentally swapped? I have a HEQ5, at ~53°N and plenty of free adjustment for the latitude bolts.
  21. Ditto all the above. For your 1st session, practice indoors first then just use simple alignment - point the tripod North using a compass, level it, attach the mount and set the latitude using the bolts. That should get the telescope pointing close to the NCP and you should see Polaris in the view through the eyepiece. Then just try the basic 1 and 2 star alignment using the handset. You need to get used to the fine adjustment using the movement controls on the handset. There's a knack to the final right/up movements to centre the target alignment star. Clear skies for your 1st outing
  22. I may be missing something, but couldn't you just loosen the RA or Dec clutches?
  23. I feel for the sufferers. My neighbour got burgled while they were asleep and now has security lights front and back. The good news is that they're PIR, the bad news is that they pick me up when I'm out observing in my back garden. I don't blame him, he's got some justification, I just wish the sensors weren't so sensitive.
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