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Everything posted by fatwoul

  1. Are you looking for a direct replacement? Or are you asking if there is a better alternative to a 10mm plossl, given your equipment? What are you primarily hoping to observe?
  2. Hi again, all. Thanks for the continued welcomes, and for the pointers to various bits and pieces on here and AB&S. iapa and Neil H, thank you very much for your help. I think I may have taken too long to venture back to the forum, as both seem to be sale pending.
  3. Thanks everyone, nice to see some familiar names still knocking around. Mr. Spock - good advice, I should never have sold the NEQ6 I already had. Honestly, given it would be for visual use only, I could probably get away with something a bit smaller. I'm older, fatter, and my knees aren't what they were. Surprisingly, I've heard some positive things about C9.25 on AVX. Ultimately, given the amount of nights I'd realistically get to use it, I need to be a bit budget conscious. I've finally grown up and got myself a mortgage (!) so I can no longer pour my wages into an observatory (I sold mine a few years back ), but if I found a suitable mount in the 500-700 quid range, I could maybe justify that. If I don't manage to find anything, you might eventually see a C9.25 pop up in the classifieds! Thanks again
  4. Hello all, Some of you might recognise my username, as I was a regular member between about 2011 and 2016ish. I'm just stopping by because I'm maybe in the market for a mount for a C9.25, so I thought I'd say hello whilst I was here. I hope you're all keeping well, and the last 18 months haven't been too difficult for you. As always, my best wishes to everyone Robin
  5. I don't know what you consider to be experienced. I've been imaging on and off for 20 years, and imaging seriously for 5. Right now I have flexure, CCD condensation, and last week I spent 4 hours imaging NGC1499 with it lying the wrong way across the sensor. And then did the same with NGC7000. Last winter, all my equipment got rained on when a cloud appeared out of a clear sky whilst I was asleep. Nothing seemed to be broken, but my mount made weird noises for a week. Not long ago, a spider made a web across the front of my newtonian. I spent 45 minutes at dawn, in my dressing gown, peering into the tube to try and find the spider, because I was worried it would make webs over the mirrors if I left it there. After an extensive search I found it on the outside of the tube. I bang my head on the door of my observatory 25% of the time I enter/leave.
  6. Mars - I'd certainly hope so. It's hard to miss targets with this FoV, unless they're tiny. Sara - What should I point at next? Crab Nebula? lolz
  7. Over the last 5 years, I have guided with a SynGuider, Atik Titan, Atik GP, ZWO ASI120MM-S and recently a Lodestar X2. I agree with Sara that Lodestars are great, and my X2 is certainly the best of all of those, rivalled very closely by the Titan (which despite being very good was a bit big for mounting on an OAG). I've been forced to abandon OAGing for now due to the size of sensor I'm using, but the X2 is so so sensitive I have no doubt it would be as good on an OAG as it is for me on a finderguider.
  8. After a prolonged absence, I've been lurking again recently, so I've decided to post some things I've been working on with my new camera. There's plenty wrong with this image, but given that the scope was in pieces undergoing its annual bath only a couple of weeks ago, and was collimated by eye once afterwards, and given that it was taken with a camera I'm still learning how to use, I think the setup shows promise. Object: NGC869/884 Camer: Starlight Xpress Trius SX-35 Telescope: Takahashi Epsilon 180ED Mount: Skywatcher EQ8 Guiding: Lodestar X2 on Altair finderguider x10 120s subs in R,G and B (no L) + calibrations:
  9. Is the interface the same as v1.52 (I think) that I am running, or does that look/operate differently too? There's so little information on the Ultimate around.
  10. Earl, without wishing to disparage your MHU (I hope it's everything you want it to be), I'm curious what made you invest in it considering the problems you/we've had with our MHPs? Is the internal construction radically different? Or are you willing to tolerate the problems (if they continue with the new hub) because of the benefits of being able to mount the hub beneath the scope? Until these recent problems, the Ultimate was on my wishlist, too. My MHP has always been reliable when it comes to the 12/13.8V sockets, focuser and dew heater sockets, it's just the USBs that are disappointing. I should have bought the non-USB version, and a seperate USB hub.
  11. Thanks, Earl. Sometimes it's just nice to know that someone else understands. :-/ Having re-read the thread, I notice that you seem to occasionally experience the same problem I had yesterday; namely, that the computer stops detecting the MHP, so badly that a total computer restart is required. My observatory is intended to be monitored from indoors via Radmin, and having to go back outside and restart computers would - and is - setting me back 4 years in my imaging. I just don't understand why a system that worked reliably for two years with my Atik 4000, and DID work reliably for 2 months with my Atik One, is now untrustworthy.
  12. My whole setup has been completely out of action since Christmas, due to the problems I've been having with it all. Between them, my MHP, Atik One and Baader Steeldrive have conspired to almost completely destroy my confidence, and my enjoyment of astrophotography, but since I can't in good conscience sell the stuff, and can't burn the dome down, I'm stuck with it. So this week I returned the MHP to my observatory for testing... The first thing I noticed was the red LEDs inside my MHP. "What's strange about that?" you might ask. Well, HitecAstro returned it to me, having stated they found no fault, and that nothing was done to it besides replacing the 12V and USB cables, but before my MHP travelled to them, the only red LEDs it had on it were on the outside - the "ON" light, and the four dew heater lights. All the interior (unnecessary) LEDs were green. I actually raised this with them years ago, suggesting that these LEDs should at least be red, in keeping with other astro devices. So it seems they may have done more to my MHP than they let on. Unfortunately nothing they did seems to have made a scrap of difference. To summarise: The MHP is connected via its USB directly to the motherboard of the PC, and to its own Maplin 13.8 bench supply. It has running from it an RS232 to the focuser on my E-180, the USB and 13.8V to my Atik One 9.0 (Atik GP is connected to main camera using its internal hub), the USB and 13.8V to the Baader Steeldrive. Both 13.8V are running from switchable sockets (sockets #1 and #5). The EQ8 is completely independent of the MHP, and is instead connected directly to the PC, and to its own identical 13.8V Maplin supply. MHP powered up fine as usual, camera was switched on and run via Maxim for 45 minutes, after which cloud came in and I declared it a successful test. Cameras were then disconnected from Maxim, and I decided to try the Steeldrive. I switched it on, and then back off. And at some point thereafter the MHP stopped responding completely. I switched its main supply off and on, causing baffling "new device detected" messages from Windows (why? the device hadn't moved USB sockets or anything) but nothing short of a complete restart would allow me to re-establish connection with the MHP. Tonight this was no big deal, but at Christmas, on the clearest, crispest, longest night of the year, the problems with the MHP also involved the Atik One, which also stopped responding, as did the Atik GP, (and the Atik One's integral filter wheel started making awful noises), in such a string of problems that I threw my hands in the air and didn't return to the observatory for three months. HitecAstro say there's nothing wrong with their hub. Atik say they're sure I will love my new camera once I'm used to it, and Baader...offer no intelligible advice in anything other than severely broken English in PDFs on their decrepit website. Some vague discussions online suggest that a lot of the equipment I'm using doesn't like AMD processors, which the PC has, but this has never been a problem before. Finding out if that is the reason would involve buying a new processor, etc, and with 15 grand already poured into what is fast becoming a lemon, I'm reluctant to waste more money. All I know is that before the summer, I had been running my Atik 4000, Titan and EFW2 (all via the same MHP) on an NEQ6 without any problems for two years, and that since "upgrading" to the Atik One, I've got less imaging done in 6 months than I was doing in a fortnight this time last year. What few images I have produced since the upgrades are actually worse. :-( Worst of all, all this nonsense has left me no longer enjoying astrophotography anymore, and I used to love it.
  13. Steve, had I known to check SGL for a response, I could have told you two weeks ago that I would like my MHP returned to me unaltered.
  14. I agree. My initial frustration was borne more out of my difficulty in getting in touch with HitecAstro, which they now acknowledge they are trying to fix. I'm fairly sure I have a problem with the USB Hub bit, but no other element of the MHP has been problematic.
  15. Thanks, Steve. Can I send it to you? I'd prefer to do so, and would imagine that would be appropriate having bought it from you? Like StevieDvd, I've got other HitecAstro devices (EQDIR module, dew heater controller, SynGuider power adapter, etc), none of which have been problematic.
  16. Help yourself if anything you see passes muster: https://www.flickr.com/photos/valleyobservatory/
  17. My 2p: I had an Atik 4000 Mono for a couple of years, having admired Olly's results. I have recently sold it and replaced it with an Atik One, a decision I am starting to regret. As Olly says, the 4000 really is a nice camera, and underrated, so can often be bought secondhand for less than it deserves. Personally, I liked the 4000 for two reasons above all others: 1) The well depth and pixel size suited my setup (Takahashi E-180 ED), and gave me a field of view of 1.71 degrees. I was able to image the Rosette and Heart nebulae without mosaicing. 2) The square sensor. As a photographer and photography technician, I don't particularly like square format cameras for conventional photography, and try to dissuade students from using Hasselblads, etc. But for astrophotography, I think square format is fantastic: you never need to rotate your sensor. For permanent setups like mine, that meant I could leave the 4000 on the telescope, meaning I could return to the same object whenever I liked without the faff of reorienting the sensor. The Atik One is a decent camera in its own right, and having a built in filterwheel and OAG has finally allowed me to guide off-axis again (56mm backfocus is limiting sometimes) but the results I've been getting just don't feel the same.
  18. In the manual, Skywatcher specify 15V / 3A for the EQ8, although I know a lot of people run them off 12V I have just today purchased one of these to power my cameras and focusers: http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/maplin-97w-dc-fixed-voltage-bench-power-supply-xm21x But I have read that running the mount on the same supply as other devices is best avoided due to the fluctuating demand from a mount compared to the steady supply required by cameras. So with that in mind, Maplin also sell this one: http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/moonraker-375w-switched-mode-dc-variable-voltage-compact-bench-power-supply-n87jn Is that one any good? It has a favourable review from someone called Steve who has used it for a telescope mount. If that was you, please get in touch as I'd like to know more about your experience with this supply. My questions are: am I better running my mount separately, as I have done so far? If so, is the Moonwalker a good supply to use for the EQ8? And if not, would a second XM21X be a suitable alternative? Clear skies and all that
  19. Understood, and fair enough. As long as it's no reflection on the power supply itself? I'd hate to think I just bought a lemon, and I definitely don't want to pop my cameras. I've had a number of students come to me since Christmas, wanting to buy telescopes (Christmas money, I expect) and showing me Maplins links. I've sent them all your way instead, although most of them are in the £100-200 range so I've told them to talk to you about binoculars as well.
  20. Thanks, Steve. If you could ask David about the power issue with the USB hub on my V2 (my specific problem) and whether there are fuses somewhere in the MHP, you would cover all my concerns. If you were also able to find out the price for the little focuser handset (that plugs into the MHP) and get back to me by PM or email that would also be helpful. I will usually run the focuser via PC but it would be nice to have the option. I purchased the 13.8V supply today from Maplin. The one recommended on FLO - Steve, they're no longer supplied by you? I'll find out this weekend whether that makes a difference to the MHP's behaviour. Incidentally, I have never run my mount (NEQ6 or EQ8) via the MHP, or any power supply shared with the cameras, etc, after reading here that mounts and other devices should be powered separately, since the demands placed on the supply by the mount are more up-and-down than the steady supply needed by imaging devices, and could cause interference in images. I did try it as an experiment, and did find a difference. As such, I am also in the market for a good 15V supply for my EQ8. Maplin also sell this one: http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/moonraker-375w-switched-mode-dc-variable-voltage-compact-bench-power-supply-n87jn Which has a favourable, astronomical-based review on their website, by someone called Steve. Is that you? If so, do you have any more information or experience of the supply? Would it be suitable for my EQ8, do you think?
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