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Skybrowser

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Everything posted by Skybrowser

  1. I will be acquiring a SW 200P next week and whilst I know they are incredibly popular, I'll still do a first light report. This one, second hand, has a load of first class mods done to it. I decided to look for a slight upgrade to the 150P and whilst not a great gain in aperture, it'll be big enough for me. The mods include expensive flocking and a lot of other stuff. I've looked at possibly spending a lot of my well earned on either an Apo or a big Dob, but decided against this and I think the 200P will be just about right for me, so, very excited of course and that first light report will come asap. It'll be interesting to see for myself how much a difference it is compared to a 150P.
  2. I'm sure I read somewhere that there is a new kind of CMOS chip with a lot more low light sensitivity. QHY's website have it but the camera looks expensive, although I can't see a price. I am hoping these chips will eventually find their way to cheaper webcams. Perhaps?
  3. Sorry - was typing that when Peter beat me to it!
  4. They've just become available for £53, including adaptor from here. Looks like you might be lucky if you are quick. Telescope House Webcam Imaging
  5. Very interesting to see the chat thread and thanks for sharing. So they could still be making them somewhere then? The company I work for has a large contract with Philips throughout Europe, Asia and South America so I might just give a contact a call tomorrow to see if they are still being made and where, plus where they're being sold to. You never know!
  6. Depends on what your targets have been. Have you started off on planets with a webcam and got that nailed? Moving on to DSO's some are a lot easier than others and most are tough. Everyone tries to go for M31 and those lovely dust lanes but they can be difficult to tease out. After that M1 and most of us struggle to even find it! If you're seeing improvement on your first efforts, then stick with it. I am one of those who does imaging occasionally as it takes up so much time and for me personally, I prefer to be out there doing something (like observing). I think the mistake many people make is to invest in expensive cameras and other kit but there is a lot of skill in the processing which needs to be fully understood and learned. Photoshop is complex, others are a bit easier, but overall for me, it's often the skill of the processing and not the capturing that's the hard part. Good luck - have another go!
  7. Didn't say you'll get one for a fiver, but IMHO, that should be the price. If Philips ever see the light, they could manufacure them again and sell thousands of them for £25 or so. I wonder how many people on this forum haven't got one and would dearly love one? A lot I'm sure. People will of course pay that £53 and they are of course good enough at the price. Especially when you see the Neximage - more or less the same camera with a different coat on at over £100.
  8. 53 quid for a fiver's worth of webcam - OK with an adapter and filter, but 53 quid??? he market drives the price and glad I've got a couple spare!
  9. The celestron Neximage is broadly the same camera as the SPC 900. I have both and the latter seems to perform slightly better and was less than half the price. Fortunate to have bought two of them so I guess I was one of the lucky ones. Morgans are sold out but may get some in as they always sell every one of them. Ebay usually has one or two, as does UK Astro Buy and Sell, but like the advice above, I guess it's time we tried to find a new CCD camera. I've just watched a video about a new CMOS chip on the QHY IMG 132E camera which is much better than the useless CMOS chips but I can't find that camera for sale anywhere. As it's a QHY it'll probably be prohibitively expensive for most of us, but Dion on Astronomy Shed got one to try out and it looks the business. Keep trying to find an SPC 900 - we all eventually get one!
  10. By the way, there are loads of Registax tutorials on You Tube.
  11. Philips SPC 880, flashed to an SPC 900 if you can find one Buy Philips Pre flashed SPC880 CCD webcam bundle at Morgan Computers They are out of stock so keep your eyes open. That bundle is very good and it's the weapon of choice for most of us. As for software, Sharpcap or Amcap are free but there are others. It takes a while to get used to the various settings on gain, exposure, frame rate etc. bus basically, you will need up to 2,000 frames. Additional softare you will need is Registax which takes your .avi file and processes it. All you need to do is a lot of trial and error and you'll get there in the end. Practice makes perfect and all that. If you haven't already, do download Stellarium too. All of the stuff above is free.
  12. I find that regular searching on the internet throws up various websites, as well as You Tube for some great video tutorials. I'm not just talking about Registax, Photoshop etc. but some more basic things like polar alignment. Until I followed it on a video, I struggled. How about we suggest links or name websites where new astronomers can see for themselves. Personally, I find the videos done by Dion of Astronomy Shed really useful. He seems a genuine character (the out-takes prove that) and he has a lot of good advice which he demonstrates brilliantly Does anyone know of any more?
  13. Morgans go out of stock and then some more arrive regularly. I bought two a while back and will have one modded for long exposure when I can afford it.... Keep your eyes open. When the dust settles in terms of fall out from Stargazing Live and the Brian Cox effect wears off, I think a lot of kit will go onto fleabay and the prices will drop a bit.
  14. Andromeda is, I would put money on it, everyone's first disappointment in visual astronomy. Apart from M42 and the Pleiades, it's probably the easiest object to find, certainly the easiest galaxy. All that searching in the right place and all you get is a fuzzy blob. I've had my 150Pl in the darkest of dark skies and still can't make out anything but the core. That said, it's still pretty amazing to see it.
  15. They were discontinued a long time ago, but one or two suppliers still sell them. The 880 is flashed to a 900 and often they provide the adaptor and filter you will need. The other kind folk on here will no doubt provide the appropriate links for you. Good luck. Besides Stellarium and all the other stuff mentioned above, remember a hot mug of tea and several layers of clothing!
  16. Do have a look at the TAL barlows. I had the cheapy Barlow from SW and then bought the TAL 3X. The difference is very apparent. They are great value for money and are solid little performers.
  17. The 150Pl is a long old tube at 1200mm. Great starter scope and I still use mine extensively. Works for me! Not sure about the SkyMax but portability, if an issue for you may make that one the right option.
  18. This is fascinating stuff and despite the brain power demonstrated, I'm still in the "I just don't get it" camp. The question I would ask, or rather the point I would make is that there seems to be an assumption in the comments above that objects are moving away from us at more than the speed of light. Does that not make a key assumption error, in that we are assuming everything is moving away from us and that we are therefore assumed to be stationary (or is it stationery....?). I mean, there are some very technical points made and all seem sound, but almost every comment above talks about stuff moving away or expanding at some speed. Could it not be the case that we are expanding in the opposite direction and we therefore have two objects moving away from each other, in opposite directions with each one moving at less than the speed of light but the combined effect is a seemingly faster than light speed thing happening? It's the combined speed of both objects which causes this to be the case? Sorry for being such a layman here but if you don't ask....
  19. There are quite a few comments about these scopes on SGL and they appear to be not great in terms of quality according to many and I'm sure you'll get a lot more feedback on them in the next few days.
  20. Hey Steve, you're giving blokes a bad name by admitting, in writing....that you put it together without following the instructions.... If I ever do that, 'er indoors isn't happy and a certain Swedish furniture shop have much to answer for. Great review and thanks for sharing. Love the humour. Most of us make do with something other than a specially designed one, but you've set me thinking...now where's my wallet? Oh, no, yet more "astro stuff" I can hear my beloved saying. I have, er, modified the word "stuff" somewhat... she loves it really - first time she saw Saturn she said the predictable "wow".
  21. If you've never collimated a scope before, it's a doddle. First time it took me about 45 minutes! Nowadays, it takes a couple of minutes, tops. The 'frac guys will say it's a pain to do, but it really isn't and it helps enormously.
  22. Those images are a great start. Some people try to use any old webcam but the weapon of choice is the Philips SPC900 - or rather another version which is virtually the same as this and flashed to make it think its the 900. An easy mistake most people make is that they can't see anything on the laptop screen and this is because the planet is really out of focus. To at least get it on the screen, turn the gain right up and you'll probably see how out of focus it is. At least with it there, you can then turn the gain down and focus ready to run it. After that, it's over to Registax - free stacking software. I found that by loads of trial and error that the frame rate of 10fps is fine but the vaious settings on the other stuff largely depend on the conditions.
  23. Someone put a new thread on recently talking about the members of the forum getting close to 20,000. Looks like that will happen in the next few hours! Amazing to have some many new members and those scope advice questions will keep coming no doubt. Great to see though:hello2:
  24. The fuzzy blob you saw will probably be about right but check your collimation. Those lovely spirals and dust lanes only really come out on images. I suspect you may have some light pollution where you live (not many of us live in really dark areas) but on the odd night you may get a bit more detail. Get your eyes really well dark adapted and stay away from observing bright objects like the moon. Trying a bit of averted vision sometimes helps pick out some detail but that takes time to get used to.
  25. Yep - by tomorrow night the 20K barrier will be broken - amazing and so good to see so many members from outside the UK take an active part. The scope shops will be busy this weekend!
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