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Everything posted by Priesters

  1. I’d like to thank you Chris for teaching me those bad habits . I spent a couple of hours last night using GIMP to improve the photos I’ve taken using SharpCap over the last 12 months and I’m delighted with the results. To date, I’d left post processing on the ‘too hard’ shelf. I also think it’s very brave to put yourself out there on YouTube and post on SGL knowing your work will be scrutinised. I’m glad to see the feedback has been nothing but highly constructive which is typical of the supportive community we have on SGL. I’m just hoping that this sets a challenge for all the experts out there and we’ll see lots more end to end tutorials for beginners like me.
  2. Pretty grim in the Lake District too. My home is near Burnley but we have a caravan that we keep at a site near Windermere. Made the mistake of ignoring the forecasts and had a pretty bumpy night and then woke up to a caravan nearby to us looking like this. No one hurt fortunately.
  3. Link to videos on how it works for Newts and SCTs. https://www.firstlightoptics.com/other-collimation-tools/ocal-electronic-collimator.html
  4. Same here. I think there were two in stock from Flo and I got the other one . Photos attached to show what collimating an SCT looks like. Pretty simple and I’m really pleased with it.
  5. Actually just checked the specs on Flo and OpticStar and the weights are almost identical.
  6. A new Meade 8” ACF sells for £1322 and the Celestron Edge 8” sells for £1700. Seems a big difference - am I comparing apples to pears though? Not sure about the weight aspect as I don’t own both scopes.
  7. Priesters

    Mr Ridiculous

    Good advice from everyone. Only thing I’d add is that the Star Sense SCT will have a front corrector plate and so the day after you first get to use it in anger you will be buying a dew shield and then probably a dew controller with a dew heater band which is additional cost you might not have factored in. The reason is that the corrector plate will fog up very quickly as soon as there is any moisture in the atmosphere, which in my experience, happens a lot. For the record I’m an SCT owner and I love it but thought you should know about this. DOBs are not immune to dew either but nowhere near as susceptible as SCTs.
  8. Yep, want one too but can someone tell me where/how I attach my 32mm panaview?
  9. Totally agree with the others on the EP, Telrad and Collimation advice. One thing I add though is do enough reading about how to check collimation and if it’s ok/good enough - leave it alone. Collimation is important but as a relative newbie myself once you start twiddling things to try and get ‘perfect’ collimation it can be frustrating time consuming exercise that detracts from your overall enjoyment of the hobby. If it does need doing, SGL has loads of advice in the forums and even better join a club and I’m sure you’ll get plenty of help there. Oh, and remember to let your son have a look through the EP from time to time
  10. If it’s any comfort mine is a new Mount too and, so far, I have only connected via the USB port on the Mount using the SynScan Pro driver/app. A bit like you I couldn’t get it to talk via EQMOD so I gave up as I already had an EQDIR cable. I’ve just used that since and not gone back to trying to solve the problem.
  11. Sounds like you know a lot more about PC’s / Coms ports than I do but have you changed the ‘Baud rate’ in EQMOD which I think you need to do if connecting via USB? Personally I use the EQDIR cable referenced previously plugged in to where the hand controller used to go and use a wireless gamepad controller for basic hand controller movements. This YouTube goes through setting up via USB. Sorry if I’m telling you things you already know.
  12. Or at least it is to me! After reading an awful thread from someone else in which a lot of damage appears to have been done due to a simple mistake I want to check the safety of my own set up if someone wouldn’t mind confirming. The picture below shows a StarTech USB 3 hub which requires a 12v 3amp supply directly plugged in to my Powerbank with a 12v 10amp output. Is this ok? I also have a StarTech USB extender over Cat5/6 unit for longer distances between laptop and scope. This cat5/6 unit requires a 5v 2amp supply. I am planning on connecting this to the Powerbank via the car charger shown in the second photo which I believe drops the voltage down from 12v to 5v and 2.1amps. Same question - is this ok? I’ll obviously take great care not to get the two mixed up and supply 12v to the Cat 5/6 unit. Thanks Andrew
  13. Just to conclude. Walked 1/4 mile up a country lane from the caravan site last night and set the Orion Table Top on top of a handy boulder and spent a very pleasurable couple of hours viewing Saturn, Jupiter and its moons without any technical hitches and the best seeing I think I’ve ever experienced so far plus glimpsed a couple of meteors. Tonight looks even better so I’ll be out again in half an hour. If this carries on Flo’s share price might drop! (Just kidding Flo, please may I have my EQ6R Pro and Optec Lepus Reducer whenever you’re ready )
  14. This time next week it will be exactly 3 years since my wife, daughter and son made the terrible, terrible decision to buy me a Celestron Astromaster 76EQ for my 48th birthday. Little did they know just how much of the family money I would subsequently pour in to this new found passion. Tonight I have returned to basics, looking at the moon and later hoping to get a glimpse of Saturn’s rings through an actual eyepiece rather than lap top, camera etc. I’m posting here as I’ve learnt so much from this site and have never properly said hello to everyone and thanked you all for being such a wonderful, knowledgeable and sharing community. And yes, maybe I have had one or two of those Cobra lagers you can see in the pic. All the best. Andrew
  15. Good advice from the others but I also suspect the heat last night may have been the main factor in your neighbours poor sleep pattern. I certainly struggled to sleep well and had a window wide open. When it’s -5 in winter you may find it less of an issue but best to try and keep neighbourly relations positive in the meantime.
  16. Hi, can you see any light at all or is it just black?
  17. Hi, Does anyone have experience of using the above or can suggest cheaper alternative kits (I.e less than £450 for this unit) for simple motor control of a Crayford or Rack and Pinion focuser attached to the visual back of an SCT? I’m not looking for autofocus btw, just the ability to fine focus without having to touch the scope and also preferably control the focuser via a laptop rather than hand controller. The OTA is an 8” Meade LX90. Thanks Andrew
  18. Update just in case anyone else comes across a similar problem and reads this thread. Using the correct physical USB ports on both the extender and the laptop meant the JMI unit was consistently discovered and connected to the JMI control software. Unfortunately, it then consistently crashed after several operations (continuous in/out, pulse in/out etc). It didn’t matter which other devices were connected (or not) to the extender. It consistently worked fine when connected directly to the laptop. On reflection I think the cause is actually quite obvious. The remote extender requires 5v 3amp DC power input which In my set up is supplied exactly by a 20 mah power bank. The JMI focuser is a 9v motor unit so I am assuming that is where the problem lies and have resigned myself to having two cables after all.
  19. Think your question may have led to a solution. I just tested using the MotoFocus on its own via the StarTech Extender and it initially failed but then it occurred to me that if it was fussy about which physical USB port it was connected to on the laptop maybe it was also fussy about which physical port it was attached to on the Extender. Last port I tried worked! Same experiment with the USB Hub - same result. Don’t have time to test out with all devices attached until after next week as setting off to Lake District this aft. but happy bunny for now. Extender and Laptop now have stickers on the relevant ports . Thanks v much for your help.
  20. Hi, Hoping someone can help me complete my mission. So far I have successfully connected the Mount and two Cameras to the Laptop via a StarTech USB Extender and Cat 6 cable. My problem is with also using the laptop to control a JMI MotoFocus unit which, after much experimentation, seems to only play to very specific rules. It will only reliably connect if it is plugged in to the same physical USB port. When plugged in to that same physical port it will not tolerate being connected to it via either the StarTech extender or a USB hub, both of which I think are sufficiently powered. When I say ‘will not tolerate’ I mean it either doesn’t connect at all or if it does, it loses connection soon after and then the motor runs until I disconnect power which is somewhat alarming. As a result I currently have to have one cable for the JMI Focuser and another for the Mount and Cameras. I’m using the JMI MotoFocus Plus 1.0 software to control the Focuser and have tried uninstalling and reinstalling it. The Mount and Cameras are connected via SharpCap. I have experimented with various different configurations of different devices being connected via the USB Hub and StarTech extender, such as just having one other device and the JMI unit being connected via these methods and all failed so it looks like the Hub/Extender is part of the problem rather than the other devices. Weirdly, I can get the JMI Unit and one other device connected to the same physical port via a simple two way USB splitter. If anyone has any experience of this or any suggestions they would be gratefully received. I am no computer whizz, however, so if it involves messing about with Com ports etc please assume minimal knowledge . There’s also no more budget for buying ASI Air or similar btw so I have to stick with a cable solution. Thanks Andrew
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