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Everything posted by CCD-Freak

  1. AA 6 and 7 added much improvement in the auto-guiding module. AA7 introduced full frame auto-guiding which works quite well. I am going to the Okie-Tex Star Party ( http://www.okie-tex.com/ ) next week and I will be checking out AA8 under the stars. I will be interested to see if any changes to auto-guiding have been implemented.
  2. AA8 was released on the 15th so it is "hot of the press" (^8 Looks like a bunch of new capabilities have been added and revised. AA just keeps getting better. I sing it praises on this side of the pond but I often get ignored.
  3. AA7 and now AA8 work fine with two ASCOM cameras and will also talk to PHD for dithering. AA has improved it's guiding too. I think AA6 might do it but I am not sure as at that time I was using native drivers and different brand cameras.
  4. Probably will melt since it is forecast to be 98 F here tomorrow. A "cold front" 80 F is reported to be "on the way" (^8
  5. Long ago I heard a seasoned machinist state that using just a bit of paraffin wax rubbed onto the threads will keep things from seizing. Not being an oily liquid i would think it would not migrate. I have been meaning to give it a go but have not as yet. Has anyone tried using it?
  6. I have been considering one of those lenses to use with my ASI-533MCP. After seeing this image I think I will go after one. Great work !!!
  7. I got Astro Art 2 when I bought an old MX5 camera and it worked great. I later upgraded to Astro Art 4 and used it with a HX916 then a SXV-M25C I just upgraded to Asto Art 8 yesterday and I am still using it to control the scope and all the camera equipment. I use it to do all my image processing too. http://www.msb-astroart.com/ Just keeps getting better and more capable. NGC5033 captured and processed with AA7
  8. The 16iC has basic TEC cooling....plug in the 12v cable and it cools to about 25 degrees C below ambient air temperature with no control via software. I think the 314L+ has a similar arrangement. PHD has no control over the cooling of the 16iC. If your guide camera has "set point cooling" there may be adjustments or at least and on / off setting in the ASCOM driver.
  9. The 16iC cooler worked just fine so the sensor was much quieter than the Orion guider I was using up to then. The sensor was also larger giving more choices of guide stars and the 16bit ADC did not saturate on all but a very few bright stars. I used it up until just recently when I got a more modern guide camera. I still have it in my kit.
  10. I guided with an old Atik 16iC and PHD and it worked great. The cooled camera had few hot pixels to deal with.
  11. Astro Art 8 is now available. I just upgraded from AA7 and I am looking forward to trying out all the new features. http://www.msb-astroart.com/
  12. It was a calm night with pretty good seeing and PHD was playing quite well. Ignore the header at the top of the PHD screen.....I fired up the system with the ASI-290 / UO 80mm / AP900 configuration and it guided beautifully with the 50mm guide scope so I had not saved a new configuration when I did the screen shot. Seeing is typically the main reason for poor guiding from my experience. Whenever I get a night like that I save a screenshot to remind me that it is probably not my kit. The old CI-700 still surprises me with how well it still works even though it is almost 25 years old. (^8
  13. Waiting for darkness.....150 mm F2.8 HNT on my trusty old CI-700 mount. Yes...the old girl still tracks great. (^8
  14. The Tal 2 is a nice mount if you can find one. The one I have carries a 5" refractor quite well.
  15. Great idea !!! Hmmmmm...This gives me some ideas for a future project. If you made the walls a bit taller the roof walls could then be shorter and it would allow the roof to be tilted more than 9o degrees which would give you more view of the sky.
  16. It was a "smart shed" I had about 20 years ago. It was made by a company called "Thinking Outside" which is no longer in business these days. It was very easy to remove some fasteners and then slide part of the roof off to get access to the sky. It was fairly secure since it didn't call attention to itself as it looked like a common garden shed when it was closed up. I enjoyed having a permanent setup until we moved to a place that had a poor view of the sky. I have been using my portable "SkyBox" observatory since then and will soon be building a ROR observatory at my new low Bortle 2 dark site (SQM 21.99)
  17. Here is another one I did with a Zeiss Sonar 180mm F2.8 lens. It worked but i was disappointed with the amount of chromatic aberration it had. You can never tell until you test it.
  18. This is a system I cobbled together some years ago with a 200mm Takumar lens and a SS-Pro camera. The focus motor makes it easy to get precise focus and it holds it once you are done.
  19. I call my caravan the "Moonlight Manor" I even found a sign. (^8
  20. "Resistance is futile" I saw this on the web.....I just could not resist.
  21. I am working to get the collimation dialed in before the Okie-Tex star party next month and I finally got a clear night out at my SRO dark site The conditions were not very favorable which seems to be the norm as of late. I tried an IDAS NB-1 filter with an ASI-1600MM-Pro for this 35 x 2 minute image of the Pelican Nebula IC 5070. Everything is not perfectly dialed in yet but it shows that it will be a fun combo once I get everything as I want it.
  22. How well does the GEM45 handle the SS15028HNT? I have been thinking of getting one for better portability when traveling to star parties. I like how the combo looks with all the red and black. My AP900 will be a tough act to follow but it is a lot to haul around.
  23. Just curious as to how the Gorilla glue is working now that the pier has been in service for a while. I am trying to decide if Gorilla glue or construction adhesive would be as good as thin set mortar. I plan to build my first Todmorden pier at my new dark site as soon as it cools off some. Thanks
  24. I am lusting for an ASI-2600MCp. A friend of mine just got both the mono and OSC versions and he is turning out really nice images. I am saving up for the purchase. I already built a new PC with a big SSD and 32GB of RAM to handle the "gianormous" image files. (^8
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