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About Astrokev

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    Brown Dwarf

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    Bedfordshire, UK
  1. Hi I'm hearing good things about APT and am considering giving it a try. I have a Nikon D300 which I believe is supported, but I've seen on the APT site that it requires a serial cable to connect the DSLR to the PC. But, it also suggests that the serial cable is not commercially available, with some instructions to make one. I'm a bit surprised and confused by this. Does anyone else use a Nikon (ideally a D300!) and please could you advise what cabling I may need, where I can get this, and how it all connects together? Many thanks
  2. Looking really good Shane. Good luck with the rest of the build kev
  3. Thanks Michael and sorry for late reply. Yes it was reporting a 78 min error! No idea why it was so bad. Any ways, I’ve re done the PA using SharpCap and my guide camera and it’s now just about spot on. I’ve also increased my guiderate in EQMOD to 0.4 and my calibration is now fine. This hasn’t improved my guiding (still achieving between 1 and 1.5 arcsecs, so I need to look elsewhere. Balance is the first thing on the list. Even though I can’t get under 1 a-s, star shapes are perfectly round and not large, but sub a-s guiding may make the stars smaller.
  4. Thanks Paul and Craney. Good polar alignment is obviously a good thing, but could poor PA be a cause of the poor PHD calibration, or is it more likely to be caused by backlash? If it's backlash, how can I remove this before doing the calibration? I tried using the Manual Guide buttons, but couldn't tell if the mount was moving. The image in the camera image screen is too small a scale to show any movement (although I've seen a YouTube video which clearly showed this movement - it looked like the image screen was zoomed in as the green box around the star was quite large. Anyone know how to zoom in on this image to more easily see movement using Manual Guide?)
  5. Thanks Paul. That needs SharpCap Pro I think? To use Guide assistant, isn't this done after calibration? It's the calibration that I want to improve, and then go from there.
  6. Hi All I'm trying to better understand how to improve PHD guiding, and am having a few calibration problems. Can anyone please offer some guidance? I have an NEQ6 mount and am using an Altair 10 x 60 RACI finder with ASI 120MM mini to guide. Following the calibration instructions in PHD I've selected a calibration star near Dec 0 and just east of the meridian, using Auto-star selection. The Review calibration graph is attached. The West and North lines at not quite at 90° and the return East and South lines are not superimposed over the West and North lines. My mount was polar aligned using the polar scope and I think is OK. That said, PHD guide assistant suggests my alignment may be nearly a degree off, which is huge and I'm not sure is correct. Guiding after completion of calibration was all over the place, giving a Tot RMS error of > 3-4" So, please can anyone suggest what may be causing the poor calibration chart? Backlash may be part of the cause - I tried to reduce this using the PHD Manual Guide buttons, but this doesn't seem to have made much difference. Any suggestions would be hugely appreciated
  7. Mmm, that's a thought....
  8. Yep, sounds unlikely now I think about it! Not a major problem in the grand scheme of things. I can always try and pick up a used short FL scope. An achromat should be OK due to the narrow band I'll be trying to image, so shoulen't be too costly.
  9. I do plan to do imaging aswell. Maybe I should've posted in the imaging forum instead / aswell Doing the maths, I guess 2000mm FL is pushing it a bit for full disk imaging.
  10. Hi All Just playing with ideas to inform a decision - Has anyone used the Quark with a SkyWatcher Esprit 100 ? The scope is a 100mm f5.5 APO triplet. With the inbuilt Quark x4.2 magnifier, I'm wondering whether I'll be able to achieve full disk? From what I've been able to find, this could be a struggle? Also, I believe I'll need a UV/IR cut on the diagonal nosepiece due to the size of the objective. Any thoughts, experience, suggestions regarding this combo would be much appreciated. Thanks
  11. Excellent job. Looks really smart
  12. I imagine you'll find something suitable in your pile of old broom handles waiting to be re-purposed in the back of your workshop
  13. A while since I posted on my thread, so this is to let you know I'm still here . Eventually started work on the step and path. Not much to show yet, but think I've figured out what I want it to look like and have most of the materials. Just starting to prep some sort of foundation cement layer. Much easier laying bricks when what you're laying them on is level!
  14. Yes that looks very neat!
  15. My tiles expanded hugely when I was doing some solar earlier this week. It was like walking around on a bouncy castle. I need to measure the expansion and decide how much to trim.
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