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Pitch Black Skies

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Everything posted by Pitch Black Skies

  1. So an EQ6-R and day or night, provided it's in an observatory. I don't have an observatory unfortunately. However the furthest I would ever be carrying it would be just outside the front door of a bungalow. Great that your friends is achieving that accuracy but it is a mass produced product and I think could vary from example to example. I'm thinking it would makes sense to pay the extra couple of hundred or so for the higher payload capability.
  2. I've since sold the Meade. It was sturdy but the electronics were old and fragile. I opted for a second hand EQ5 Pro with the intention of progressing to autoguiding thus taking advantage of the ST4 autoguiding port. I have since learning that I can pulse guide with an EQDIR cable. I can tell you that the Meade was a better mount. It's much heavier, beefier and smoother. It uses a bearing on each axis while the EQ5 Pro only uses one on the RA axis. The Dec axis can become very stiff. I have now sold the EQ5 Pro and am mountless. My next mount is either going to be the HEQ5 (Rowan mod) or EQ6-R. There isn't a huge price difference between each of them when the Rowan mod and bearing puller is factored in. The EQ6-R comes with upgraded latitude bolts although a lot of owners seem very unhappy with them. Any thoughts?
  3. Thanks very much mate. If it's not having any major impact I'll live with it for the time being. Now just waiting for another few clear nights.
  4. I had some lights from last week so I chanced calibrating them. Just lights stacked and processed The lights then calibrated and processed the same I noticed those specs too. I have no idea what they are. They look a bit worrying. I can't see any negative impact on the final image when the master flat is integrated though. The camera lens looks pretty clean. I'm thinking it might be the primary mirror.
  5. Luckily DSS has a dropdown for dark flats. I've done a little experimentation. You're right about the bias frames, as is @CCD-Freak who I was chatting with also. Thank you both for your help btw. The bias frames indeed add to the noise. There isn't a significant difference when using darks but there is definitely some data there so best to use them I agree. Flats made the biggest difference for me, and more so when combined with the dark flats. I have found the best result using darks, flats and dark flats (just like both of you recommended). Here is some data I have pulled from a master dark, flat and dark flat. Included is a stretched and unstretched version. MasterBias_Gain100 Stretched.tifMasterBias_Gain100.tifMasterDark_Gain100_30s Stretched.tifMasterDark_Gain100_30s.tifMasterDarkFlat_Gain100_1s Stretched.tifMasterDarkFlat_Gain100_1s.tifMasterFlat_Gain100 Stretched.tifMasterFlat_Gain100.tif
  6. Cheers mate, I've just found an option on NINA called flat wizard. It seems pretty good. Going to give that a try now.
  7. Cheers Richard, that's really helpful. I haven't mustered up the courage to venture over Pixinsight yet. I'm using DSS and Startools atm. Coming from a DSLR, I suppose I'm just not used to seeing no dark noise. How do recommend I should take the flats? I only have access to the t-shirt method or a laptop screen with an A4 page.
  8. I went for this exact set up recently. I chose the mini mono as it's highly sensitive and almost weightless. You won't need anything extra for it to come into focus. If weight isn't an issue, the usb 3 colour version is a good shout from @Clarkey. PS, I have been unknowingly using both the EQDIR and the ST4 cable, so thanks for the tip. The one thing I got with mine was an extra 21cm dovetail to mount it on top of the tube rings. It doesn't budge, not sure if that would be the same clamped into the finderscope shoe. This is a great tool from FLO btw to help you make the right decision based on your OTA and main cam.
  9. Can someone recommend what calibration frames I should use with the above camera please? So far I have just made up some darks. I have processed two stacked images (30s exposures, -10°C and at Unity Gain 100). One image is just lights and the other is with lights and 100 darks. I can't see any difference in both of the pictures side by side. Are dark frames needed with this camera? I can upload a stretched dark if someone wants to have a look. I've read somewhere that bias frames are not needed as darks contain both dark noise and read noise. Is that correct and if so, should I not use them? Do I need to subtract bias frames from my flats as they contain read noise or should I just include dark flats?
  10. Something different for a change, a picture of the terminator in daylight. Date - 25th Nov 2021 Time - 10:10 Location - Ireland Phase - 0.71 Waning Gibbous Constellation - Cancer Magnitude - -12.20 Distance - 395659.14 km Diameter 30.20' Camera - Canon 800D Lens - 18-55mm Telescope - 130P-DS Mount - EQ5-Pro Method -One foreground picture at 55mm -One picture of the moon through the telescope -Cropped and edited in PS
  11. Apologies, I mis-read your post. I thought you were referring to the GPU. Once your spacing is rectified, consider upgrading the adaptor with the two thumbscrews to a compression ring with three thumbscrews. It gives a much more even and concentric fit, minimising the chance of tilt in the optical train.
  12. It should be much sharper, mine is. Are you sure you've the GPU? It doesn't change the focal length, thus you would still need to chop the focuser tube, I did. Back focus is 53mm for F4 but F5 can get away with 55mm which is basically just an 11mm t ring attached. How is your imaging train clamped together? Are thumbscrews, compression ring, etc? Edit: It does actually push the focus point out by a little if screwed directly onto the focuser tube.
  13. Can definitely see an improvement with the CC. Without it, it looks like seagulls in the top left corner. Much better corrected in top left with the CC. Without CC With CC This is in a 130P-DS yeah? How long were the exposures and do you know if the options are full collimated. The reason I ask is, I think the pics with the CC should be a little sharper.
  14. I took it for a quick test drive last night to see how it stacks up against my DSLR. Each image is only around 7 minutes integration time each with no calibration frames. Processed in ST. DSLR CMOS -very pleased with the results.
  15. That's odd. What does a single exposure without the CC look like?
  16. Congratulations on your EQ6R! I have the same setup, albeit riding on an uncertain EQ5. I have opted for the ZWO ASI533 MC-PRO after some digging around. If you can live with the square fov, the 533 has lower read noise (1.0e), higher QE (80% peak), and suffers zero amp glow. Paired with the 130P-DS under OK seeing conditions, it gives an ideal resolution of 1.19"/pixel. https://astronomy.tools/calculators/ccd_suitability Clear Skies
  17. My early Christmas present, thanks to @vallyman
  18. Yeah, it's definitely not something you would want to be rushing. Give yourself plenty of time, or maybe do an hour here and there over a few days. It can be a bit painstaking but I was also going to mention like you said, you have peace of mind. It's also very satisfying to know everything is squared up. It's a good opportunity to get to know your telescope better too, us Newton owners are tinkerers at heart. If my memory serves me correctly I think the chap accidentally broken his secondary mirror in that video I shared. Be super careful Ricochet's advice above is really good, it should really help narrow it down. Be sure to update when you've found the culprit!
  19. You're welcome. To go a step further than levelling the focuser, align it so that it is perpendicular to the opposite side of the tube. In fact this should be done before ever collimating the telescope IMO. This gent does a great job at explaining it. It starts at 27:15. Have you verified that the doughnut is centred while you had the primary out? It isn't really connected to the problem you're having with the off center laser dot, but it's good to know for that extra level of accuracy. I've had to recenter the primary spot on every new telescope I've bought so far. The template included with the Cats Eye by Jim Fly is a useful tool for this. BTW if the spider vanes are over tightened they can pull the OTA into an oval shape. Not a deal breaker, as long as the focuser is aligned and the secondary is concentric to it. Keep at it, you will figure it out.
  20. No. Tilting the primary doesn't move the dot out of the doughnut at all. The dot location on the primary is determined by how the secondary is reflecting the laser beam. To get accurate collimation one must always ensure the dot is in the centre of the primary prior to using the Barlowed laser technique for the primary alignment. Having said that, sometimes a laser can have one believe the secondary is collimated by showing the dot in the centre of the primary. Under closer inspection one might find that the secondary is slightly rotated and tilted more on one side to account for it. I was a big fan of using a laser for collimation too but after more experience I am now wary of them for the reasons listed above. IMO a very accurate way to collimate is by using a Cheshire sightube for the secondary alignment, then ensure it is rotated properly and that the three primary clips are even in the secondary. Then simply use a collimation cap to ensure the primary is collimated. As you peer through the collimation cap everything should look completely concentric. When you know everything is completely concentric, then pop your laser in to see if it agrees. If it does, there might have been a slight tilt in your secondary. If it doesn't, the problem is with the laser, and from experience it is possibly with how it is seated in the holder.
  21. Despite starting with a 6" dob myself, and progressing to an 8", and then finally to a 12". I think if like you mentioned your main interest is the moon, Saturn and Jupiter. A better choice for these targets would be a mak. I would still echo what the others have said though, dobs are a great beginner scope. They are good at a lot of things and give plenty of bang for the buck. Either way, I hope you have fun with the hobby, and welcome to the best forum on the internet!
  22. To be honest a lot of that has gone completely over my head but I will revisit in the future and can hopefully make some sense of it when I have accumulated more knowledge and experience. For my image I just copied this gentleman's tutorial on YouTube. That is all I am really capable of at the moment.
  23. "ASIAIR PRO is a smart WiFi device that allows you to control all ASI USB 3.0 cameras, ASI Mini series cameras, and Mainstream DSLR cameras. (It can not support ASI120MM/MC camera)" Does that mean the ASI120mm Mono guidecam is not supported?
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