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Everything posted by Clarkey

  1. I think if it is an M48 T ring it will screw in directly. If not TS sell one.
  2. Not officially, but yes.... I have a Baader MPCC and the SW F4 Aplanatic and the latter is much better - however this is with an F4 scope.
  3. I tried the Mutec version in the link above and had to send it back and the connector was very poor and failed after a few uses. I changes it to a kenable version which I have been using for about 18 months now. I would suggest adding a short 50cm extension to the male end before the PC and taping this in place. This will protect the plug which tends to be the weak point. (I actually tape all the joints and boosters to prevent water ingress and to protect them). FWIW I have actually ordered another one today so I can control my second rig
  4. I routinely use an active USB 3 cable to a 12v powered USB hub on the scope. So far I have never had any uses even on damp nights. I have taped up all of the repeaters on the cables which might help. I do keep thinking about a remote mini pc, but what I use now works well so I will carry on with it for now.
  5. FWIW I have just ordered a Steeltrack from FLO. I had a look for R&P focusers as I can certainly see the benefits as although there might be a bit of backlash it won't drift. However, there seems to be a European shortage of suitable options at the moment. The Steeltrack on my RC8 has been excellent, so I am happy that the newtonian version will perform equally well.
  6. Ok, as I suspected a new focuser is in order. I have got the Baader steeltrack on one of my other scopes which has been good, but I'll maybe look at the R&P option (if I can find any available anywhere). Thanks for the responses. The one on my GSO RC8 was way better than the one on the Photon and I changed it to the Steeltrack. Agreed. I would rather pay a few pounds more for a useable focuser. Alternately, sell the scopes without focusers and reduce the price accordingly. Agreed.
  7. I recently purchased a TS 6" F4 Photon newtonian specifically for imaging. I knew there were a number of potential difficulties on purchasing, not least the need for excellent collimation and the need for a good coma corrector. (I did try a Baader MPCC I already had, but it did not give good results so I got a SW Aplanatic which gives good stars). Unfortunately the focuser also seems to be worse than I was hoping. I have managed to get it aligned with some shims, but it will not work accurately with the electronic focuser. If I tension it enough it does not slip, but some small adjustments of focus just 'bounce' back to the original position. Having looked at the internals I am not really surprised. There is loads of play in the focus axle, probably due to the lack of bearings and a plastic housing. Additional the drive is so thin it bends under compression. In reality, what could be a really good focuser is let down by some penny pinching on a thicker piece of steel and a couple of bearings. Given it is sold as an imaging scope it is a bit of a let down really. What I would like to know is whether there are any 'tricks' to improve the operation of these focusers? It is sold by TS as an improvement over the standard Crayford focusers, but in my opinion it is worse. As it is largely plastic I feel a bit limited in terms of an 'engineering' solution. Any hints or suggestions would be appreciated.
  8. This is true in theory but in practice I have found it difficult. As the filters are not parfocal, the focuser needs to adjust for each sub. Although the focuser is pretty good, it does slip very slightly and over multiple subs it drifts slightly. I tend to run a few sets of each filter - making sure I get at least one set before the first cloud rolls in!
  9. I have used mine down to about minus 10 without issue. If it is very cold I turn the power right up. I can't say about minus 20 as it is not normally that cold here! Even the USB heaters put out a fair bit of heat. The other option is to make your own then you can choose the wattage you want. I have made dew heaters from nichrome wire and resistors - both work well. Nichrome is a bit fiddly to work with, but if you are handy with a soldering iron it's not too bad.
  10. I would also suggest a pre modified second hand one. If you buy from here or astro buy and sell you will almost certainly get something decent. If you decide it is not for you, sell it on at minimal loss.
  11. I'm guessing it does not really matter which one you use. As long as it keeps the scope slightly warmer than ambient it should still prevent dew. I do not think the actual temperature is that important. I have used both 12v and USB powered heaters and both work well. For 45cm you probably need 12v.
  12. Great image . The multi star guiding definitely helps in my opinion.
  13. Really great image I have got 4 hours clear sky at the moment - first in weeks...... and I am on bedtime duty with kids
  14. It is not the highest point when the object crosses the meridian from east to west from your position? That's my understanding.
  15. I have moved to OAG now with my RC8 but before this i used my st80 which worked ok. I do find OAG a bit if a faff, but it helps keep the weight down as I have to set up each time I image.
  16. I always get told off for pointing out the continuity and technical errors in films. Good to have a likeminded soul...
  17. I find the same thing with Startools. It is one of the reasons I tend to find it gives less pleasing results with nebulae. If I do use it I normally use Astroflat Pro to reduce the fragmentation in the background. I some cases I use the manual develop module instead of the autodev as this stretch can be reigned in a little.
  18. I have the f4 version that I purchased recently for imaging. I would say it is on par with any other 'standard' newtonian such as the SW explorer. There are a few issues with it for AP, but none of these will affect visual use. With regards to a 60mm refractor, you will certainly see much more. I have a an 80mm scope and the greater aperture is much better for DSO's. The only thing to be aware of is that newtonians can be a bit of a pain on EQ mounts due to the eyepiece positions.
  19. Just to add to the comments above. Your budget is quite limited for AP and an AZ mount is generally not particularly good for DS imaging (but not impossible). I think a camera lens and tracker is a good starting point as a good EQ mount is not in your price range. The ST 102 OK for widefield observation, but not really suited to AP. A couple of links for interest:
  20. True, but if the wings fall off then the best pilot in the world is still going to crash and burn.
  21. I think at the end of the day it is a 'horses for courses' debate. There are multiple different options for image processing all of which have positives and negatives. For me I use the option that gives me the best results I can, in the time I have available. I find the Affinity interface easy to work with so it is what I use. Is PS better? Probably - but only if I can get it to do what I want. PI might be the 'best', but it is no good if I can't get it to work correctly. FWIW I use different software combination for different types of image. I find Startools really good for galaxy images, but I struggle to get the result I want with nebulae. Whether this is the software or my incompetence is somewhat irrelevant. So as I have said - the best software is the one you can get the best result with. If I gave my data to someone else they might well get a better result with their software and processing skills - but if I cannot repeat it then it is meaningless other than to make me want to improve my own work flow. (What is 'better' is often subjective anyway).
  22. Just to add as an alternative - I use an active USB3 cable (10m) running to my laptop PC in the house. I would have considered the ASIAIR option but my focusers are not compatible. I have a 12v powered USB hub at the scope. HEQ5 and DSLR are generally fine for wide field AP (but some models are better than others). Scope options are pretty wide, but I would keep the FL relatively short initially - 600mm or less. Even a camera lens would be good to start with.
  23. Depending on the quality of the power supply, on many of the cheaper ones the voltage drops as the power requirement increases. I had a 10A supply to my set up and I am sure this caused some of the connection problems I was having. I moved over to a 30A regulated supply and I have not had any issues since. I would power the mount directly though. I have made my own 12v distribution boxes and I still power the mount separately. The mounts do seem to suffer from voltage drops.
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