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Everything posted by Jamgood

  1. Hi Folks. Firstly, I'm not sure if this is the correct forum to be posting in, so apologies if not and please move to the appropriate area. Early this morning after losing my initial target behind trees I thought I'd go and grab a few hours on Pleiades before packing up for the night. I often use Deep Sky Stacker Live while imaging, just to keep an eye on the data coming in and generally see how things are looking. In the 1hr 30m I got of Pleiades I noticed two objects making a continuous line in DSSL. Being relatively new to all things Astro, I have no idea how to identify these types of things. The two objects were to the side and above of Atlas. The image below shows them after 40mins (top) and after 1hr 25mins (bottom) So my question is, how do you identify an object like this in your images? Thanks in advance for any help. Anthony
  2. @Craig a You can 3D print a mask and it takes a couple of minutes to fit with a little bit of Velcro. If you're unhappy with the results, etc, it is none destructive and 100% reversible. Here's mine and I got the 3D Mask Design file from HERE. Another thing that made a big different to my 130PDS images was a change of Coma Corrector. I was using the Baader MPCC and the focuser was pretty much cranked all the way in leaving the focuser tube blocking a lot of light. I changed over to a TS-Optics Superflat GPU CC and the difference is huge. The main reason being the TS-Optics CC pushes the focuser out by around 20mm. This is where my focuser sits now. No protrusion into the OTA at all.
  3. No problem. Bob's Knobs are a great addition to the scope. I have them on mine also. Makes collimation of the secondary a much easier task.
  4. I just used an Allen Key. I got my hand on the secondary as much as possible and held it while giving one of the bolts a twist. If you're confident enough to collimate the scope, you could try loosening the centre screw a little first.
  5. Mine was the same when I got it. One of them will just need a bit more force to get it to shift. Once that one is done, the others will no longer be tight.
  6. What he's saying is if you remove the clips, you will have more of the scatter as the clips block part of it giving you the three scatter/diffraction spikes. If you want to totally be rid of scatter, I think you would have to flock or paint the side of the mirror as well. I have the same scope and went for the 3D printed baffle sitting on the mirror clips. It's not perfect but it is much better than it was. I'm going to flock the mirrors edge next to see what difference it makes.
  7. Yeah, it does have a bit of weight to it. I doubt I'll be able to lift it when I'm 60 but the plan is to have a fully automated Obsy by then. That is very true. It is easy to get overwhelmed with it all. There's a lot to learn after the basics of the scope, mount, camera and laptop.
  8. When I first started in March 2020, I started with a DSLR (Unmodded Canon 200D) and a lens on a rickety tripod. The more I watched and learned about Deep Sky Imaging made me want to go further. I then found THIS thread on here. The images blew me away and the price of the 130PDS seemed a good starting point for me. It's a small light bucket and a very good one that punches well above its weight. I'll have it forever! Then I had the scope with a EQ3Pro mount and a DSLR. Then opportunity came along for a used HEQ5Pro via this site, so I upgraded. (I only had the EQ3Pro for two months) Then I got a better DSLR, a Canon 60Da which was awesome but it died after 6 months so I treated myseld to the 294MC Pro, PPBA and EAF to really upgrade. Here I am now. Don't dismiss a good Reflector. Yes, you have to collimate them, wait for them to cool down sometimes and do a bit of general maintenance but they're great for deep sky work. I've done a few mods to my set up to make it better and I'm more than happy with it. By mods I mean from simple things like Bob's Knobs on the scope to Rowan Belt Mod in the HEQ5. The main thing is, whatever you use, have fun but also make sure what you buy is going to get you what you want to achieve. For example, my set up is great for deep sky but useless for planets. Have a goal and work towards that.
  9. I control my setup from indoors (around 20ft away) via one USB cable. I have a 294MCPro and a 130PDS fitted with the ZWO EAF on a HEQ5Pro. Guide Scope and Camera also. Everything is connected to a Pegasus Power Box Advance (PPBA). I have a 13.8v power supply in a dribox. That powers the PPBA which in turn powers everything else. Everything is set up on the mount ready to go when the nights are clear. I just dump it all outside in the patio. I have drilled small holes on the patio where the mount feet go, this ensures it is always in the correct place and pretty much polar aligned. I polar align with Sharpcap and, other than connecting the USB and power, a few little tweaks on AZ/DEC bolts are all I need to do outdoors. I use Google Remote Desktop on my phone to see the computer screen/Sharpcap while aligning. Then back inside, everything else is controlled via APT and PHD2. Cool camera, slew to a bright star, auto focus, pick target, plate solve and start shooting. Set up time is around 15 minutes which includes cooling the camera. Here's my set up and I would consider it pretty basic but even basic isn't cheap.
  10. I had one of those for a short time. (It came with the used MPCC I bought) I found it next to useless personally. It was an awkward faff around with the locking ring for rotation and I was still having issues with the 55mm+ back spacing at the time so I abandoned it. Bear in mind that I was using a DSLR at the time though and there was less room for manoeuvre around the connection. I went for this Compression Ring in the end and I had the more success with that and the MPCC with the bevel taped. I'm still using it now with the TS-Optics GPU. My conclusion though is the best thing I ever did was get shot of the MPCC. However, I know it's not a cheap hobby and we work with what we have.
  11. I think the problem applies to all Newts, with different margins of error/pacman shapes, with different CCs. With the MPCC and SWCC, the focuser is cranked right in. With the TS-Opticd GPU, the focuser is pushed out 20mm. Here's where mine sits.
  12. Not necessarily. With the MPCC you might have some focuser protrusion into the OTA but it doesn't always cause pacman shaped stars. I never noticed any at all when using my old MPCC. The nightmare I found with the MPCC was trying to get it to sit straight in the focuser tube. There's a bevel on the MPCC that makes it nigh on impossible to get it nice and flush. One corner of my images always had elongated stars. Obviously camera weight (I had a Canon 60Da at the time) added to the problem too. I found that filling the bevel with two layers of electrical tape helped to sit the MPCC a bit more flush and combat the issue. It wasn't perfect but it helped. YMMV, others seem to be completely happy with the MPCC. Best thing I did was sell it on.
  13. Yes. It's identical to the TS-Optics GPU CC that I use with my 130PDS. Only the name is different I think. Probably a rebrand but from the same factory.(I'm actually using it as I type. Excellent CC's. Less fiddling around with back spacing, etc, like with the Baader. Mine worked straight out the box. The really good thing about it is it pushes the focus point out by 20mm so little to no focuser protrusion in the OTA.
  14. I use a black shower cap on the back of my scope. Works well and easily removable. Before that I used a black t-shirt and an elastic band. Did the same job.
  15. I started out with BackyardEOS and DSS. Now I run APT, PHD2. Astro Pixel Processor, Startnet++ and Photoshop. Never used Startools but I doubt that this machine couldn't handle it. It can record 24 live tracks as a studio PC and copes with 100+ tracks with multiple plug ins. (If you don't know about recording, you can easily run out of RAM and processing power on lesser mahines)
  16. Very similar to what I use for my imaging/processing. (Also doubles as my recording studio) I have the Dell Opti10, i7, Desktop. Cost next to nothing, fast and reliable. I have 32Gb RAM though which I needed for recording. No hiccups with any astro apps here.
  17. I think Rory once mentioned in a video that he'd been doing astrophotography for 4 years? So probably 5-ish now. Don't quote me on that though, I may have dreamt it.
  18. I can vouch for the 130PDS for imaging, it really is a great little scope. Not too heavy, doesn't catch much wind. On a half decent mount it can produce some fantastic images. (I started on the EQ3Pro before upgrading to the HEQ5Pro) The EQM35pro should handle it nicely without issue. I've never use the scope for visual though so I can't comment on that. A sad fact, I've never looked through any scope, yet! The only advice I would give is be wary of the Baader. It can be a pain in the ass with getting the 55mm back focus correct and the annoying bevels on the tube don't like to sit nicely in the focuser. I found a work around with mine by filling the bevel with two layers of electrical tape but it was still never perfect. YMMV. I upgraded to the more expensive TS-Optics GPU 4 Element Superflat CC and it is has been completely hassle free, plus it shifts the focus outward by 20mm and stops to focuser tube being so far inside the OTA. There's a 130PDS Thread thread on here that is worthy of a read, loads of great info, mods, etc. There's also a 130PDS Astro Imagers group on Facebook that's worth a look. They're a helpful bunch.
  19. These may be stupid suggestions/questions but...... Did you try a simple PC reboot? (I had to ask) It's amazing that to this day, this simple action can solve all manor of troubles. Did you change the Com Port in EQMOD Toolbox > Driver Setup to the new Com Port that was assigned? (If it was different) Have you tried plugging the Mount USB cable in to one of the USB2 ports rather than the USB3? or vice versa depending on where you started. Some things are really fussy with USB3 even when they are backward compatible. On the PPBA, one of USB3 ports is powered and unusable for certain applications. I'm not sure if this is the case with the PUPB?
  20. I also have the PPBA and a HEQ5PRO. Mone is velcro'd to the mount and it's nice and secure. Not moved at all in 6 months. Works for me. I leave all my cables connected to the PPBA for easier set up. Only one USB and one power cable coming from it all to connect when set up.
  21. Thank you. I used @AstroBloke's tutorial on youtube. Easy to follow and very well explained.
  22. Same data as my last post, this time trying out the Hubble palette. Just seeing what I can likely achieve from my OSC camera with a little processing manipulation. I'm very impressed. Astro Pixel Processor was definitely a worthy purchase. Seeing these images come to life though has given me the itch to go mono a lot sooner than I planned. It will happen in the near future. A side by side comparison.
  23. It was nice to get back out imaging over the last two nights. I'd barely seen a star in the sky since July! This is the longest I've spent on any target and going forward from here, I can see that more time is needed to be spent on each target. (I've been too guilty of hopping around grabbing an hour here and there but, I'm still a newbie!) NGC 281 - Pacman Nebula 10hrs integration. 60x300s Light Frames (5hrs) 30x600s Light Frames (5hrs) 80 Darks 40 Flats 40 Dark Flats Sky Watcher 130PDS HEQ5 Pro with Rowan Belt Mod ZWO ASI294MC Pro - Cooled -10° TS-Optics GPU Superflat Coma Corrector Optolong L-Enhance Orion 50mm Guide Scope & Orion Star Shoot Auto Guider Pegasus Powerbox Advance Astro Photography Tools & PHD2 Astro Pixel Processor, Photoshop & Starnet++ Bortle 8 Skies!
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