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Everything posted by andyhicks

  1. Ah ok thanks Martin, that helps! Ill have another go next time out! I was looking for an obvious drift and the seeing wasn't great that night either. I think it's going to be more fiddly than I was hoping for, As much as I resist Its looking more and more likely I'll be going the ascom route, then I can use align software, it's just a case of getting an eqdir adapter. Am I wasting my time with qgvideo? I dont find many people using it when Im internet bashing, sharpcap seems popular but I didn't have much luck with the qhy5, maybe I should try again and get rid of qgvideo?
  2. Hi, Despite the weather report showing clear all night after spending a while setting up for my second go at autoguiding, just about got ready to take some test shots and the clouds came. Two attempts at autoguiding, failed.. alomost a carbon copy of my last session only batteries let me down that time! it is what it is, Im used to it, would be nice to finally get to ONE sub using guiding though! The cloud was patchy so I tried to use my guidescope,qhy5 and qgvideo to capture jupiter. Im still learning the ropes with the high frame rate camera and ive never imaged a planet before but i was trying all ends of the gain slider and it was always overexposed. I took a short video and viewed it back, for a start jupiter was way off centre, though it looked centred in the live view! I could see jupiter and 3 moons but jupiter itself was just over exposed as i thought it would. anyone know what I should do? If im totally honest i dont understand the length slider, is this the same as frame rate? i played around with it a lot though will little sucess. another question i have is regardinga drift align using phd graph. I tried to follow the steps I've read about but when it came to watching the dy line on the graph it was going up and down, I was expecting it to go in one direction and to adjust in alt until the line smoothens out but I had no chance, I tried a tiny adjustment on the mount and the graph went nuts. Anyone know what went wrong? It was all balanced and as accurtely polar aligned as I could. I stopped dec guiding also. any help or pointers appreciated thanks
  3. Im having an information overload today and as simple as these questions might be i just need to ask someone! Ive just started autoguiding and its apparent my PA is off no matter how hard I try so im looking into software like alignmaster. My questions are: Which software should I use alignmaster with? I've got PHD and qgvideo but I cant find a cross reticle for the align so I've just downloaded sharpcap which has a good one. Can I use alignmaster without EQMOD? I understand eqmod is for computer controlling the mount but for a PA do I really need to do this? ill be adjusting the mount in alt and az right? thanks
  4. Sorry! One more thing while I have you. Is it possible to drift align without a southern view? If so then I may have the ability to get good PA as things are now, without spending more money! Rough polar align (reticule is bang on) ... Use phd to do a drift align..sorted? Right?...
  5. Yeah I'm sorry to keep on at you! You were the only one to respond! I realise now my questions are broad and I probably just need to keep practicing! Just one more thing, you polar align with your ccd... But through what? Your scope? I think I'm going to have to start using eqmod and use software for PA, seems the way to go. My head is so fried right now I can't even translate what Im trying to say! Time to stop. Thank you for your time Martin!
  6. Only just got my flat field panel so the flats used on this image were not great and have introduced a sort of mottled background
  7. I quite keen on the alignmaster software, im not using eqmod at the minute though, Im not ready to give up my hand controller just yet! Ill somthat step when im a bit more used to using the laptop with my scope. I hear what your saying about the proof being in the pudding! im still bothered that I didnt manage to get any test shots with PHD running, so the graph is the only thing I have to go off at the minute. They could have been great for all I know! this leads me to something else you said which is now giving me a feeling of wanting to cry 5 minute subs unguided??!! I WISH! I bought the HEQ5 because I could only gets subs of say, 40 -50 secs out of my vixen GP, now even with the HEQ5 (which I've been using for well over a year) stars start to go eggy at a little over 60secs. Ive set it up so many times and dont really know where im going wrong..?! This applies to my original setup of one scope, things are goind to be different now the setup has changed... ..When I got the mount I aligned the reticule as accurately as I could, its always level and balanced, I use the setting circles for the correct time and date, polaris is placed in the little circle on the reticule and if I rotate around RA polaris tracks perfectly around the larger circle. Ill leave it for a while, come back and tweak it so its as good as I think i can get it and then get imaging. 60 seconds max! so I normally go for 55 sec subs.Thinking about it, for an heq5 this isnt good. Thats why I went for autoguiding! starting to feel bummed about it all now! I could probably do with a rest, I've done so much reading and learning Im finding it hard to shut off at night and sleep heres an image I did the other week, 77 - 55sec subs. I suppose my problem now is why I cant get over 1min unguided?! Im aware the reticule is probably out a bit and id like to use PHD to start drift aligning but i have no southern sky from my yard I know this is physical hobby not a theoretical one but I need to work out as much as I can as clear nights are rare!
  8. Thanks for the reply I've heard about flexure! how many more things do we have to deal with to get good tracking! seems like one thing after another! I've been building my guide setup for a while and Im now concerned its not upto scratch I'm using a side by side dual mounting bar and the st80 is in adjustable guidescope rings, its secured as tight as I can get it before the screws start to bend the tube. The setup seems solid but now I'm worried its not! Thanks for the tips, plenty to be thinking about. I forgot to offset the dec balance last night so that might have something to do with the dec corrections in the zig zag pattern? im a little annoyed with myself, I've known about tweaking the balance for ages but just forgot! I had a lot to deal with last night, it was a bit of a farce. I thought the graph looked a bit hectic but I guess im happy with it. The purpose of last night was just to get things set up and get PHD working so technically it was a success. I was still annoyed when my battery died and i couldnt try it out properly! I think ill spend the next few practicing dry runs of setting up! thank you very much for taking a look Martin, much appreciated
  9. Firstly, WOW!! I was lucky enough to catch the huge fireball everybody is talking about, for all the amazing things I've seen through a scope I think that was, probably, the best thing I've ever seen! amazing!! I caught the whole thing, started as a bright meteor with a green tail then it exploded into glowing, orange fragments. It seemed to last for ages. OK, just tried autoguiding for the first time! theres nothing complicated about the software is there? I found just getting everything on the mount, plugged in and balanced in the dark was the trickiest part. Here is a picture of my graph.. phd.bmp On my first attempt it was all over the place and I could only get 60s subs so I re-balanced everything, checked polar alignment and tried again. This is the best I got, what do you think? when I got it to this point and I was ready to take some more test shots my wireless shutter control's battery died but at that point I was distracted by the fireball and lost concentration anyway. Tonight was an experience! it was my first night setting up dual scope, using the qhy5 and I only got this laptop last night. Imaging was a lot simpler last time I went out! I'll probably need a few sessions to get used to this new way of doing things and for some reason I was trying to do everything in a hurry tonight so Im sure the process will become smoother and hopefully my graph. Is there anything you can tell me from the graph above? any pointers? thanks andy
  10. patiently waiting randomgary! i still cant believe I saw this!
  11. Looked like hyabusa when that came in!
  12. Some of that totally made it to ground!! It went so slow! I'm on a high now!!
  13. Makes tonight's autoguiding failures worth while! I'm speachless!!! Amazing!!
  14. Omg omg omg!!! Best thing I've ever seen!!!
  15. Sorry for the delay. Heres a couple of pictures. It might be a good solution if you already have a manfrotto tripod but if you dont and your going to spend money maybe buy something more suitable? these arent expensive though. I always inteded to buy a dovetail to attach my camera and coped without widefield but when I realised I could do this I was well chuffed. I'd had the ability to attach it all along! simples
  16. I know this topics a few days old but I discovered the other day that I can attach my camera directly to my mount by just using the manfrotto mini dovetail type thingy you get with their mounts! Simples. Only bad thing for me is my counter weights are too heavy so I had to use a small dumbbell weight.
  17. Nope! I must have mad skills! Plug all soldered now, works like a champ Thanks again buddy, clear skies!
  18. Ok forget that it now seems to be working! Must remember to get facts right before clogging up SGL with needless posts.. Thanks buddy
  19. Ok my idea seemed to fail! I cut and split the wires on the cigar plug, plugged it in and touched the wire ends to those on the flatfield panel. I got a slight whine noise ( which it's supposed to do) but no light.
  20. Haha ok noted, I'm no electrician either but this seems to simple to pass up. I dismantled the plug already buy its easy to put back together, at the other end is the plug that goes into the mount so that's no use, I could cut it off I suppose and solder wire to wire. Thanks again for your help!
  21. Ok just been having a think, I've got my old power cable for my mount so I'm going to transplant the cigar plug to the flat panel. The wires come right out of the black and red plugs so am I right in thinking I just need to solder the two wires to the cigar plug? My only problem is both the wires currently in the cigar plug are both black! I don't know where to put the new red and black wires?
  22. Thanks for the quick reply! I would like to use it with the power tank I use for my mount for simplicity so I think I need to find a cigar plug adaptor. Do you know whether the type of adapter I need has a name so I can find one easier? What type of plugs do I have now? I've never seen then before and I can't even imagine where you could plug them in??!
  23. Hi all, Just received my new flat field panel from GN. Looks good, the wire I expect will break at some point in the future, im wrapping it in tape to stop it flexing! I have just one question! I'm trying not to be dense but how do I power it? It came with a 12v inverter and I was expecting a cigar type 12v plug..nope, I got these red and black plugs instead?? Can anyone help me out?? Thanks
  24. γειά σου Bloom! I love Greek skies!! My yearly treat!
  25. For example, if I'm imaging m31 or m42 where it's best to capture some shorter exposures for brighter areas and longer for the fainter detail, how would I go about taking darks? Should I take a set of darks for each set of lights? How would I process this in DSS? I normally take lights, darks, bias and flats and then give them to DSS to deal with, I always thought this was a bit too easy and after a bit of reading it seems I was right. Ive never calibrated my flats before, I assumed DSS did everything but I'm not so sure it does? Probably a bit late for trying to get my head around this but the dark length question was bugging me! Andy
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