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Messy Hair 101

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  1. APT will platesolve for you. Basically you will need to download All Sky Plate Solver or another programme (forget the name and don't have laptop to hand), enter your setup details like focal length, it will take a picture and work out from the stars exactly where you're pointing, then shift to your target. It can be found under the mount tab in the point craft section. Not sure if it's included with the free version. Its definitely worth paying for. You won't use your hand controller any more. Search YouTube for pointcraft APT and there will be plenty of more detailed guides.
  2. I think you've missed the price off buddy.
  3. Hi, Can anyone recommend a power supply for the cooler for a ZWO 183MM PRO? I'm amazed they don't come with one but apparently not. I'm not an electronics expert so am wary of plugging the wrong thing in. Just wondering if anyone found something on Amazon or such which is cheap and readily available (Which seems to be an issue with a few astro shops at the moment). Thanks
  4. Not that I know what I'm talking about but I hear good things about the Optolong L-Enhance filter. You probably won't need the L-Pro under class 4 skies.
  5. Yes Jupiter and Saturn nearing opposition did rekindle my interest in planetary. I'll be curious to see if anyone wants to weigh in with some mono experience as well although colour is back on the table (and a mak!)
  6. I feel like I'm on the psychiatrist's couch a bit but you're right, I do sound like I want mono don't I? Or I at least think I should want mono. It's reassuring to know you are seeing a big improvement with a similar setup to me. Funnily enough I've looked at Maks and SCTs as well during my long search. I had a 6SE which I let go when I got the ED80 and have always regretted it a bit. I bought it with the mount and accessories for £300 a number of years ago. Astro bargain of the century! Probably worth considering to truly get some decent planetary shots. Thanks for your help with this.
  7. Ah I had a 400d! Great camera, and a really nice pic as well. We're so lucky to have such a prominent comet passing us in our lifetime.
  8. Thanks Dan. Yes I've spent countless hours on Astronomy Tools! The 294 was a consideration as well. I have also run them through Bintel's tool to check for over/under sampling. After smooth talking my wife and pointing out I'd already got her a Christmas present, I can cover the cost of filters. I'm wary of reigniting the great mono vs OSC debate again. I do like colour for convenience and I imagine I would see better results initially as the learning curve is shallower. I just don't want to get a year down the line and regret not going mono. I know there is a strong argument that, once you're set up, mono doesn't take as long as although you are taking several passes with different filters, you are building up data more quickly, but yes, it would be annoying if you are half way through a sequence and the sky turns to cotton wool. I do want to stick with ZWO as well because I know their kit and have looked at it a lot, plus, you know, they're red Ideally I would like 1 camera which can cover the gap of my 550d and take better planetary images than my 120 (although I'm aware with a 510 focal length, planetary is never going to be amazing). I have an L-pro as well and will be looking at the L-Enhance at the same time I think. I know there is an L-Extreme which looks interesting...
  9. I'm going to be that guy. Sorry. I'm after some advice on the "best" camera for my setup. A little background - I have been into astronomy for about 7 years but have become more involved in the last 18 months and trying to push what I can do. I'm looking to upgrade my AP setup, ideally with 1 ZWO camera. The question is, which one? Current setup is the classic Skywatcher 80ED with a 0.85x FR on a HEQ5 Pro with belt mod. I'm guiding with a 120mc-s on an Evoguide 50. I sometimes use the 120 for planetary but the main imaging camera at the moment is an astro modded 550D (Thanks @Adam j, still enjoying this). The question is basically an upgrade path from here. I am interested primarily in nebula and galaxies, but do like to do some planetary and lunar work from time to time. I like the convenience of OSC but my brain is telling me mono would be better in the long run, although more of a learning curve. Camera wise, I would like to stick with ZWO and the 183 and 1600 are on my wish list (cooled), in both mono and colour flavours. Would one of those be the best compromise or would I need to invest in a smaller, planetary camera too? Is the mini filter wheel and filter set bundled with the 1600 good enough or is there something better for a similar cost? I would look to keep the 550d for wider field shots so could go with a smaller pixel size on the dedicated astro cam to make targets appear a bit bigger. Any input would be greatly appreciated. I realise this is a bit of a stream of consciousness rather than a specific question. I just want some reassurance before I make a big investment.
  10. You just need the USB lead that comes with the camera to connect it to a laptop, turn it on and APT should detect it. If I recall, the visual back is screwed on and there is a tube into which you insert the diagonal. You would just take out the diagonal and attach the t adapter to that. The T ring then screws onto the t adapter which is connected to your camera (put them all together before you insert the t adapter!) I would get all that working as it will keep you busy for quite a while! In terms of guiding, it doesn't really work for your alt az mount (guide star will be sharp but other stars on the edge will trail). You really need an equatorial mount for guiding and long exposures as field rotation will become an issue. The moon and planets will be fine though - They might be your best targets with that mount and focal length. Have fun with what you've got and reach the limits of what it can do first. You will probably be limited to fairly short exposures of 30 seconds or a minute for DSOs but see how good you can get it, then you can decide on next steps - assuming you're not happy with what you get.
  11. If you're running your scope off the mains, I would get a dummy battery with mains adapter for your camera as well. Monitoring battery usage will drive you nuts! You can find cheap ones on Amazon. Canon do an official one but it's crazy money - probably a half to a third what you paid for the camera. You have a t-adapter and t-ring so connecting to your telescope should be OK as long as you have back focus. Just double-check that in daylight if possible before you get set up. I think it will be OK though. Further down the line, you might want to look at connecting your camera to a laptop and controlling it with something like APT which is a real game-changer.
  12. I remember driving back from the shop with my first scope, snow started to fall.....
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