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Maideneer

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    St. Louis, MO, USA

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  1. My waiting is finally over! Agena Astroproducts got the C9.25 CGEM EdgeHD in stock (5 of them) today and I secured one along with StarSense Autoalign, focal reducer and a dew shield. All this waiting and checking stock every single day for over 7 months was driving me insane. The upside was I got to learn a lot on my little crappy TravelScope 70 which gave me a good foundation for the basics. And now, I'm going to have new challenges, plenty of them but my saving grace is that I have most of the other good quality accessories I am going to need already and am familiar with their use. This is so exciting!
  2. See my sig for equipment, admittedly my scope is ultra-weak but I've managed decent stuff of Saturn so no reason I can't get humble shots of Jupiter. Problem is, I cannot for the life of me find good settings on my ZWO to even get to the point of processing it. It either looks way too bright like the attached or way too low so you can barely see anything. The lower my gain and/or exposure goes, so go the moons too. Any tips for how to at least get some workable data?
  3. Lots of people put their signatures on the photos they take like "John Smith Astronomy" or initials or a logo or whatever. Is there a certain program that creates that for you and inserts it onto pics or is it a case of typing something out in Photoshop and merging it onto your pics every time?
  4. Welp, I managed my first real planetary shot from this little old starter scope and just a couple months experience. The extender made its way to my house and after a week of nonstop rain, it cleared out last night so off I went to the yard. Finding the target is the easy bit, it's the rest that is challenging. I didn't even align my mount or have any sort of guiding help (I won't know how to do that until I get a better scope), I just pointed at the planet and snap snap 1000 frames here and there with Sharpcap. I took Jupiter too but it didn't come out so good, at least not yet I haven't processed it. Having almost no clue how to do much of anything, I processed my source file in PiPP then Autostakkert which I think I sort of understand how to use now. I didn't do any color correction and I didn't use my ADC (forgot) so there's probably a greenish tint to this. From this processed file, what's a good option to use to color correct? I've seen people mention Registax.
  5. The trade offs for not getting a go-to mount will be your time. Time to learn how to make up for the things you don’t have. Time to learn how to do AP without the necessities, and time to find your way around the difficulties. A Skywatcher AZ-GTi mount is a go-to Alt-Az, but the firmware update allows for it to be converted into an EQ. You’ll need to pick up a few extra accessories for that switch but it’s possible at your price point. Now that mount isn’t meant or advertised to be used for AP so you get what you get. That’s the only mount I have experience with, maybe someone else can chime in to help out too.
  6. First off, I love Finland...visited there many years ago and it's beautiful. Now then, you're going to get a lot of different opinions on what to do, what not to do, what to get and what not to get. It's all so very confusing, and as a newcomer to this hobby myself I will offer you some beginner advice. 1) The majority of people will tell you that it's not the telescope but the mount which will be your most important purchase. Here is the thing with that - I'm not saying they are wrong but if ALL you are interested in is sun, moon and planets then you don't need a go-to mount. You just have to know visually what to look for in the sky for planetary purposes and what time they rise and set. The moon and sun are obviously easy to find. A simple ALT-AZ mount should work for you. If you want to go deeper into the hobby for stars, galaxies, etc then a go-to mount would be a wise purchase. 2) Get a good tripod. The ones that come with these bundles are usually junk but the Skymax-102 I *think* comes with an AZ-GTi mount and decent tripod so I'd recommend that one. If you do get that mount be aware you have to power it so there's more money to be spent on either batteries or a portable power source which adds to the budget (welcome to Astronomy!). 3) Get a solar filter to look at the sun, do NOT look at it directly with the scope. That's another expense (welcome to Astronomy!). 4) You're now going to want to consider eyepieces which adds to the budget (welcome to Astronomy!). The scope bundles you purchase also usually come with some basic eyepieces which aren't the greatest but they are usable of course. I believe the Skywatcher 102 is a 1300mm scope, so a 10mm eyepiece would give you 130x magnification and a 25x eyepiece will give you 52x mag. That's quite powerful so consider getting a lower powered eyepiece for decent wide-field viewing. My scope isn't as big so I'll leave it to more experienced people here to answer how to achieve that. 5) It's assumed you have a laptop or desktop to take care of processing the image using software, yes? Most people like to "stack" images and process them to give a better overall quality to them. It's very rare to achieve one-shot images that are great, especially for planets. Moon and sun you can do though in easy one-snaps. 6) You'll want a neutral density moon filter to decrease the brightness when observing. Looking at the moon won't damage anything on your scope or eyesight, but the glare is very noticeable especially with full moons and it can get quite annoying. That's another expense (welcome to Astronomy!). As much as you think I've said here, I've probably simplified it but believe me when I say, the overwhelming feeling comes and goes in waves...I often go through this too. Being confused and feeling uncertain doesn't stop as soon as you order a telescope. But I will say always come back here for more help, the people here are top-notch and there are no dumb questions. I promise you'll feel comfortable here.
  7. Ok thanks. I'm gonna try it out, appreciate the help.
  8. I am about ready to purchase this item which is a no brainer but here's my question. https://agenaastro.com/zwo-1-25-inch-ir-cut-filter.html Am I ok to buy the filter on its own or do I need the following to go in tandem with it? https://agenaastro.com/zwo-t2-1-25-filter-adapter-t2-1-25-3.html I will be using the following in the chain - ASI224, IR Filter, Nose Piece, Extension tube, ADC, Barlow (optional) What I am trying to figure out is a few things: 1) There is nowhere to attach the filter by itself to the actual sensor area so I *assume* I need the adapter too 2) Assuming I have the adapter + filter in place, I then need to know if I will still have the ability to thread the nose piece in Once I figure these two items out, all the rest will work itself out down the chain.
  9. The diagonal idea worked, it worked and I'm stunned! I got a picture on my screen of some tree leaves in focus! Wow this is liberating lol. Tonight is the last clear night for a week so Jupiter and Saturn here I come! *fingers crossed* P.S. - all of you people are amazing and never made me feel stupid. This is such a quality message board and I'm proud to be here.
  10. Right, so I am looking around and apparently an extension tube like this one - https://www.amazon.com/Orion-5123-1-25-Inch-Telescope-Extension/dp/B0000XMUH8 - might be what I need. In the customer reviews, there's even a guy who has the exact scope I have and others who regard it as helpful for additional back focus with a camera. So that's my next step here, aaaaaaaaand it's going to rain all this week so I guess that leaves me a while to do some reading.
  11. I just got done for the night and I didn’t try for the moon but visually got myself seeing Jupiter and Saturn for an hour. I had a massive headache so wasn’t up for much. Here’s my issue with the more back focus thing. Wouldn’t similar but far better scopes need the same thing? A nice Redcat or Zenithstar, those are somewhat similarly sized in focal length, wouldn’t that call for the exact same thing? Or is there something I’m missing. I know the cam isn’t defective, I popped on the fisheye inside the house and it works just fine so I’m glad about that at least. i do have my diagonal yes but I just realized I also have my new ADC…maybe I can try that tomorrow night. If that’s not enough, I can search around for an extender but no idea what that looks like yet until I shop around (I am NOT a handy DIY person). What a pain lol!
  12. I will do my best friend! Your help is greatly appreciated…another report back in the AM. oh and to OP, I just realized I hijacked your great thread, I’m sorry about that…I didn’t intend to.
  13. I centered the chimney first with an EP, removed the EP and inserted the cam w/nose piece into the focuser back. The sliders do SOMETHING to be sure, basically just alternating between white, black, an occasional bluish or tan or whatever - but it's so sensitive and fleeting that it's virtually meaningless to what extent I leverage the sliders. So something IS happening, but no picture or anything. My scope focuser knobs do next to nothing when the cam is in. I read somewhere that having this cam is nearly equivalent to having a 5mm EP, so I wonder if I'm pointing at things that are too close but then again, pointing at the moon last night produced nothing either. I'm still going to try your moon tactics later on tonight to see if something works but I'm just lost at this point. I don't think Sharpcap in 32 or 64 version matters, I know I have USB 3.0 ports so I really am at a loss.
  14. Daytime problems arising for me too, which was unexpected. pic 1 is what I see through my finder scope which is a chimney top pic 2 is the actual chimney top, about 100 some odd yards away pic 3 just shows the cam attached to the focuser in back pic 4 is just an example of the settings in sharpcap no slider I adjust works, from exposure to gain to capture area etc etc, the PC screen just goes from white to black and every shade in between depending on movement. quite literally can’t get a picture and don’t know how to proceed. This isn’t much fun
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