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About pete_l

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    Brown Dwarf

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    Benamaurel, Spain 37N
  1. No disrespect intended, but I would suggest the simplest possible set up. While there is no such thing as a computerised telescope that is ready "out of the box" there are ones that only require the minimum intervention to start using once it has been set up. I am thinking of the Meade LX850 Starlock system. It is as close as you will get to one that only requires switching on and it does its own alignment and automatic "centreing" and tracking ready to take images. You will still have to choose a camera for this. I would suggest staying with a "one shot colour" camera. This avoids the added complication of colour filters and having to take different images for red, green and blue light - then needing to use additional software to combine them into a full-colour end result. Furthermore, it would be worth your while contacting your local astronomy club. Not only can they provide local advice (which suppliers to use) and assistance in the initial setup and troubleshooting, but they may be willing to work with you for public outreach events too.
  2. You can't improve resolution by taking longer exposures (nor by taking more exposures of the same duration)
  3. There is a sufficient spread of opinions on the internet that you can find good and bad reports of practically anything. Some are even based on reality and experience. Although it is often impossible to tell which ones those are. And since old opinions regularly get recycled by people who don't have any first-hand knowledge, even looking at the date of a post doesn't tell you much. All I can suggest is to heed the views of people who say they have actually owned an item - paid for with their own money - for a considerable length of time in the near past (the last 6 months for example) and to ignore all the rest. Ultimately it is up to you to decide which ones to believe.
  4. Planners look at where people walk in a park and then build the paths on those routes. I would suggest a similar strategy here. Don't start with a permanent position, try out a few with a moveable set up and then see which one you like best. It might be that other factors, such as shelter from wind, become significant.
  5. Best answer! I believe people get too tied up in sky darkness data, simply because it is one of the few attributes that can be easily quantified. A case of valuing what you measure rather than measuring what you value. Transparency, steadiness and cloud are just as important (though I'd say cloud-free beats all the others for obvious reasons). Even Mauna Kea only manages a visual darkness of 21.5 during sunspot maxima. That doesn't seem to stop them!
  6. If at all possible dump the "car cigarette type" connectors. They are low quality, often make poor contact, can work loose and quickly corrode. I would suggest replacing them with IP 65 rated industrial standard connectors.
  7. Stack Overflow suggests this error is caused by a lack of disk space
  8. If it was me, I'd fix the collimation and focus before doing anything else. Then I'd put the scope under the stars and see what the images look like. After that, if there appeared to be a problem I'd start to use tools like CCD inspector.
  9. Yes. The question is whether a unit bought second hand is able to show how much of that 10,000 hours has been used up. The equivalent of a mileometer or generator's "running hours" meter if you like.
  10. Is there any way of knowing how many hours of their limited "life" these s/h devices will have remaining?
  11. Great job. The "trick" when you want two identically cut pieces is to stack and clamp (or screw) two sheets of wood together and to cut them as if they were one piece of twice the thickness.
  12. OK I guess what we all want (well, I do ) is a side-by-side, like-for-like comparison with the Baaders you also mention on your website. To make it more "interesting" to have the images anonymised so people won't be drawn by the name of the filter used. The images don't have to be of anything interesting, just the same target, same equipment, same exposure, same observing conditions. Any chance?
  13. As Starlight point out, when you do bin a colour image internally in their camera, you lose the colour data. The presumption is that binning an OSC image should preserve the colour information
  14. I don't think it works like that People understand (or quickly learn) that the a reconfiguration on that scale involves a lot of work. So they would tend to make the change-over once a season or once every few months depending on how many observing sessions they have. Unless they have another OTA permanently set up. But an SCT provides far more options. Apart from the native focal length, it is quick and easy to bolt on a reducer. So an F/10 SCT can easily become F/7 or F/6.3. And using a Night Owl can be brought down to F/4 (though that limits a user to OSC due to shortened distance behind the reducer). And while the mount was an abhorrence from day #1, my Celestron U2K is still optically and mechanically sound - it will be 20 years old in November.
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