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Everything posted by mark7331

  1. Al don't give up. It's always a steep learning curve but the rewards are huge. Maybe you should take your scope to a local club (any SGL members near?) - They'll walk you through your setup and get you up and running - It'll really will be worth it. Mark
  2. Hurray! At last - Good choice & looking forward to that review. Mark
  3. Good, detailed review JeroKane. Sad about the software problems though. Mark
  4. I don't think there is any point buying software when Stellarium is so good. I bought Redshift 7 and Stellarium is still the package I use. Mark
  5. Hello Jamie, welcome to SGL. The 200 dob sounds like a good idea to me Mark
  6. Hi Adam, welcome to SGL! Mark
  7. Hi Martin, very nice scope! Welcome to the group. Mark
  8. I have the exact same model. Leave it on for the first charge (15-20 hours is right) and ignore the lights - the lie the first time. Also when charging after the initial charge keep it on charge until the "charging" light has gone out - the "fully charged" indicator comes on when it's still charging - so ignore it. When the "charging" light goes out it's ready. How many times can I fit "charging" into a sentence! P.S. agree totally with brantuk - keep it charged! Mark
  9. Hi Ben, welcome to the forum Mark
  10. An update: I've just clean the lens and removed lots of debris from the secondary (very gently). I took a flat before and one after I clean the scope and the difference is quite amazing. The amount of noise in the post clean flat is just a little less than half of the pre clean flat. Optics look so much clearer too. Many thanks for the help & advice all and FLO for supplying me with the cleaning fluid and cloth so quickly. Mark
  11. Hi Tony, Here's the Hartmann mask that I use. You'll have to scale to your scopes dimensions. Just in case you'd like some guidance on making the mask this is what I do:- Measure the diameter of the telescope tube and on the card draw circle A keeping the centre point marked clearly. Draw another circle, this time the diameter of the aperture of your scope. This is circle B. With the compass still set to the radius of the aperture make a mark right at the top of circle B then put the compass point on it and with the pencil end make a mark on circle B, move the p
  12. Hi Jim and welcome to the group. This place is packed with the most friendly and helpful people you could hope to meet - I've been a member for about a month and I wish I'd found it earlier. Clear skies! Mark
  13. Hi M, Welcome to SGL. A good place to start is Stellarium. I use it to plan my observation evenings. Jupiter is just about the brightest thing in the night sky and well worth a look. Naming scopes, talking to them etc is all normal for us lot. Have fun with your scope (and names yet?) Seymour - 16" dob by any chance?
  14. Hi Tony, Just a suggestion (if you haven't considered this already): I made a Hartmann mask. It's less complex than a Bathinov (is that how you spell it?) mask but I've found it really easy to use and gives very clear results. The first one I made was out of a bit of card and it worked really well. Anyway - it's easy to make and if you want I'll post a diagram of the mask I made. All you need is card, a compass and a sharp knife. As far as how to attach your camera to the scope I'm not the guy (CCD's for me) but if you post a question in equipment help you'll get some of the big guns to
  15. Tony how are you getting to focus? Is it purely visual or do you use a mask / camera feature etc? I struggle for a whille by way over exposing - Jupiter appeared as a white blob or looked like a star if I got it really wrong. I ended up having exposures of around 1/30-1/60 of a second so it's worth while playing. When you save an image record the exposure time in the file name - it'll help when you're working out what happened later on. It's also sensible to try and tackle one problem at a time even if it means you don't make any useful images you've at least mastered focus then exposure the
  16. Hi Phil, Is your model the 314L+ which has a cooling set point? The manual states that you can set the operating temperature rather than a difference in temperature up to a range of -27 from ambient. The temperature readout shows the current ccd temperature. If you start out at 17c and set the cooling point to -5c the current temperature cools down all the way from 17c to -5c not to 12c as you suggest. The previous version, 314L, didn't have the set point feature - I wonder if that is the model you have? Mark
  17. Great report Mark, I caught IC1295 for the first time last weekend myself. Sounds like you had a fantastic night! Congrats on the 1000th! Mark
  18. Very good first Gaz and better than mine was. Keep 'em coming! Mark
  19. I'm impressed. Very nice images. I actually said "cor" out loud! Mark
  20. Sounds like a good night. Sharing is good - my neighbour is going to teach astronomy next year so we're both persuing messier objects and it gets pretty exciting. I often run inside and grab my son (19yo) and any of his friends who are there to show them my latest find! There are plenty of Wow's and "cool" before they go back to the xbox. If only my dogs would show more interest.
  21. Last time I had the scope out I just couldn't find polaris in the polar scope. After ten minutes of "oh no! my mount's broken!!!" I took the cap off the polar scope and normal service resumed.
  22. Ok, sounds good. I'm going to try both approaches and see how they work out. Thanks for the help all.
  23. Hi Tony, looks like you've got the start of a good shot there. I agree with Michael that you need more data and I've played with the levels a bit just to show what data is already in there (though I'm not great at this). The more images you stack up the more detail will appear. Nice first shot. Mark
  24. Olly, thank you for the advice - I feel a bit more confident that I've got the right temperature now rather than my best guess. I'll start building my library of darks at -5. It really is a lovely camera Mark
  25. Astro Baby's spot on about the dew shield - it's for the secondary mirror which is right at the top of the OTA and totally dews up. You can make your own dew shield from a camping mat for £5-£7. Not an expensive accessory at all! Mark
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