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About chouet

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    Astrophotography, squash, cycling, reading
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    Cambridgeshire, UK
  1. chouet

    Ioptron iEQ45

    Hi. Did you find an IEQ45? I have one that has only been used a few times.
  2. Thank you both. The 314L+ though small is good for galaxies, and would give 0.97"/pix on an RC6 and 0.82 on a 6 which astro tools suggests is good for OK seeing or better. The Horizon would need good seeing or better (if not binning). Good to know you're both happy with the RCs! Nick
  3. Hi all My first scope was a Celestron CPC925, but I quickly moved to DSO imaging and never got any success with the SCT (I think I have one of the dud Meade reducers). 90% of the time, I'm imaging with a Redcat or FLT110 refractor but would like a bit more reach for galaxies. I occasionally image the moon, but haven't had a go at the planets for years, so the SCT gets little to no use. I'm considering putting it back on the forks and selling it and getting a small (6 or 8 inch) Ritchey Chretien for galaxies. I'd be interested in thoughts/views on this. I have an Atik Horizon and an Atik 314L+ camera. Thanks! Nick
  4. Hi all. I’ve read 10 or so books (at least once) in pursuit of getting to grips with imaging. Over the winter I added a Redcat wide-field scope to reduce impact of tracking and flattener spacings and switched from a small chip mono CCD to an Atik Horizon. I’m finally turning out images I’m happy with, both LRGB and narrowband. However, it’s still a bit trial and error on settings, etc though I’m learning a lot from setting up with Sequence Generator Pro. can anyone recommend a good book for CMOS imaging? All the ones I have don’t really scratch the surface on how to get the most out of CMOS vs CCD and I’d like to learn how to optimise exposure lengths, get better flats, etc. thanks! Nick
  5. Hi all I'm just in the process of renewing cabling, etc. in my obsy and am playing with a mini PC on the mount rather than a tower PC away from the mount. I'm currently using a Lynx Astro 5m EQDIR cable. I'm struggling to see from product diagrams which EQDIR adapters allow for a short cable - I only need to get from the DB9 port to the mini PC mounted on one of the scopes and want to avoid bundles of cables. Any suggestions? Thanks! Nick
  6. Thanks @DaveL59 - you reminded me I have some quick drying electrical contact cleaner. I vacuumed out the PC tower and cleaned all external contacts. After doing that, I could only start the PC with no USB devices connected, but think I narrowed it down to a couple of bad ports. To test, I’ve run about 48 hours of dark frames without a hitch, so . Having looked into the alternatives too, I’ve also ordered a Beelink T45 mini PC to run at the mount. I will set this up for all the imaging, which can then go out into the field too (it’s 12v) which solves a separate problem. The current PC will just run the mount in the obsy, meaning I can restart the imaging PC if necessary without losing the object tracking. thanks again all nick
  7. Hi all My SkyShed Pod observatory has been running for 7 years, and my setup is a PC tower (running 24/7) with an early model Mounthub Pro distributing power and USB. I’ve recently switched to a Lynx Astro EQMOD cable to stop recurring issues with the old Prolific chipset. NEQ6 mount - sometimes loses the connection, but keeps running at sidereal mounthub pro - sometimes needs a reboot to connect Atik Horizon with Atik Dusk software running over USB2 - stops responding anywhere from 5 mins to 2 hours into an imaging run Atik Infinity or ASI174 guide camera via Dusk or PHD2 - cannot get guiding to start reliably anymore The setup is becoming increasingly unreliable. With so many things affected, I suspect a USB or power issue either at the PC or the Mounthub. I’m going to try and do some testing with cameras connected directly to the PC (Would probably be wise to use the MountHub’s USB port on the PC to test that). My question is, if I do need to replace hardware, what solutions do people find most reliable? E.g. a power/usb/focuser hub at the mount (e.g. Pegasus or mounthub), something like an Eagle PC at the mount, or something else? I’m very busy with work and triathlon training so my time (when skies are actually clear) is precious. thanks! Nick
  8. Hi all I've been converting my NEQ6 to belt drive using the Rowan kit, and cleaning and regreasing for the first time. All the bearings appeared ok and still full of grease, so I only added grease to the carefully-cleaned worm gears. Having reassembled and adjusted the backlash, everything seemed fine until testing through a complete revolution of each axis. RA is sticking and stopping the motor at just one point on a full rotation of the mount, so I'm thinking the brass worm gear must be the culprit. I tried loosening off the backlash and also the steel worm, but it was still sticking. Any ideas where I should look? I now have as secondary issue in that in trying to strip the RA axis down again to have a deeper look, one of the bearings is stuck fast and won't allow the RA shaft to come out . Thanks Nick
  9. Hi I’m struggling to get started in Nebulosity 4. I’ve followed the tutorials carefully but am struggling to reveal any Nebulosity in my images with ‘Levels / power stretch’ (again, following the tutorials carefully and using low power, etc). The images I’m trying to process are around 30 x 480 sec subs of the Rosette Nebula and 40 x 120 sec subs of the Pleiades. Both using an FLT110 refractor at F7 and an unmodded Canon 5D3 (I captured RAW + JPEG). In both sets of subs, I can see nebulosity in the raw subs but it disappears after stacking and power stretching doesn’t reveal anything. If I stack the JPEGs, the nebulosity is there. While capturing, the histogram peaks were around 30-40% for each colour channel. I have plenty of darks, bias, flats, etc. Any ideas to get me started? Thanks! Nick
  10. Completely agree with the above. The software is a joy to use and you feel as though you are achieving a lot with your time.
  11. Hi Mark. It was the shape of the extension tube that meant the camera and eyepieces did not go in the same distance. Using a different tube solved the problem. I'm not sure about reflex camera control.
  12. I'm getting the parts together to build an allsky camera using a DMK31. I've got a 6 inch acrylic dome from an underwater camera enclosure which I'm mounting on a waterproof plastic enclosure. I managed to bag a bargain on ebay with a Fujinon F1 lens for about £20. The bit I'm struggling with is how to approach dew control. The enclosure I have is quite big (260x185x125) so I have room for options. Should I use a dew tape? If so, where should I put it? The only other thing I can think off it some sort of small DC fan heater, but can't find anything appropriate.
  13. I went for a Skyshed Pod in 2011 and love it. I considered a roll-off roof, but didn't really have space and my wife didn't want another wooden structure next to my workshop shed. I considered the pulsar, but didn't want to have to tackle motorising the dome for imaging. I had a good look at another Pod owner's setup which helped make the decision. It's so fast to get up and running, and everything stays clean and dry in the plastic environment. I have 4 storage bays, which works well (though I haven't quite figured how to best store all the scope and camera cases). For most imaging sessions, I just need to go out and move the dome round every hour or two. Interestingly, I've never had a dew problem either (all my dew heaters are still unused). Imaging at the zenith is a problem, so I added a zenith table last year but have only needed to use it a couple of times. I don't find it too noisy to slide on and off. I am conscious of noise as our gardens are small - I did change my mount to reduce noise! I'm in the Cambridge area if anyone wants to view a Pod. Nick
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