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Everything posted by pilkinn

  1. Juan did answer and seems a nice guy. Unfortunately he couldn't mod my 60D but I'll bear him in mind for future.
  2. Can anyone recommend a DSLR astro modification service please. I see Astronomiser no longer does it. There is a site called cheapastrophotography but the guy hasn't replied to my emails. Thanks.
  3. For the polar alignment... if you have a smart phone then just download the app (there's one for Apple and one for Android). I use the Android version called Polar Finder which has an option for the reticle found on iOptron polar finders. Just use the "iOptron" and "telescope" settings (it inverts the picture to match the actual view in the polar finder) and then move the skytracker accordingly. Works fantastically for me, I haven't really taken any serious pictures yet (sky too bright) but have tested it with 3 minutes shots as 70mm. No trails were seen.
  4. Depending on which method you're using, MaxIm should have no problem doing the alignment. Just rotate one set of images 180 degrees, save and then do the alignment. Sent from my HTC Desire S using Tapatalk 2
  5. With Bobs knobs the idea is that you could be looking through the eyepiece and tweaking the collimation knobs at the same time. I reality I don't because I always have the dew shield on as those SCTs dew up very quickly most nights. Bobs knobs are still a good idea as you get a better feel than using an Allen key or screwdriver. I would recommend checking the collimation regularly - even every session as all it requires is to de-focus on a bright star. Sent from my HTC Desire S using Tapatalk 2
  6. When using EQMod and things go wrong, press "Park" and let the mount move to where it thinks the Park position is. Then unlock the clutches on the mount and physically move the mount to the park position - counterweight bar pointing directly down, telescope in-line with the counterweight bar pointing north towards polaris. Then clear the alignment data - press on the >>> button to see the advanced settings and then press the delete alignment button. Then "unpark" the mount and try doing the alignment again. If you have your location settings set correctly, the mount should slew to roughly where your alignment target star is.
  7. For planetary, a C11 + EQ6 is fine. Mirror flop is not an issue - once you have the planet in focus. I use an add-on focuser with mine and only use the C11's focus knob for rough focussing (and move the mount when the image flies oout of the fov !). However, If I had my time again, I would have got a C9.25 instead of the C11 for panetary imaging. It was just that a second hand C11 came up first. The C9.25 puts less strain on the mount, is easier to handle and by all accounts gives just as good results. The only plus for the C11 is that it does capture more light and so you can use lower exposure times and therefore higher frame rates. This I found particularly important when imaging Mars with RGB filters. From results I've seen from C9.25s it doesn't look like you get any better resolution with a C11 as you might of expected.
  8. I agree that DSO imaging with a SCT is tricky - I've tried it myself with my C11 at native focal length and it isn't easy. However, there comes a time when you yearn to image something different. This means turning away from the normal large fuzzies that fill the forums and start looking at some galaxies. These are mostly small, very small. I just can't get excited about an image having a 60' x 40' area with a galaxy in the middle measuring 3' x 40". This means a longer focal length is required to reel in that galaxy. People are always advised to get a "fast refractor" because it means that you need "less exposure time". You only need less exposure time because you're squashing the same amount of light into a smaller area. Then they come back asking how they can make things "bigger". I think too much emphasis is placed on the f-ratio. What's more important is the focal length and matching that with your camera AND the target you're after. True, starting with a fast system gets you going, but sooner or later you need more focal length. If you can get that AND a larger aperture at the same time (and hence keeping the f-ration manageable) then all well and good but not many can afford a mount capable of holding (and guiding) such a beast.
  9. You'll find that many things will cause less frames to be captured than you expect. I've found that the size of the target makes a big difference if you're got the display window open. Last night using the same setup I was running at a lower frame rate with Jupiter than Venus as the latter is much smaller. Sent from my HTC Desire S using Tapatalk 2
  10. Hi Pete. It's actually 7 ports (the 7th port has a bluetooth dongle in it which is hard to see as it's black). It's a 12v powered hub by StarTech called the "StarTech.com Mountable Rugged Industrial 7 Port USB Hub". I used to use a 4 port powered hub (5v dc-in) but found it unreliable when I used all the ports - the Lodestar guide camera wouldn't work all the time. Plus the fact that I had to have another device to convert 12v down to 5v. I also found 4 ports just wasn't enough (EQMod module, filterwheel, guide camera, main camera, HitechAstro hub, motor focuser) so opted for the 7 port model (they also do a 4 port version also powered by 12v). I've used it for a handful of imaging runs and so far so good - with everything connected. It isn't exactly cheap but I found a company on ebay who sell it for the best price of £58.46. They're still selling them at this price ... http://www.ebay.co.u...#ht_1043wt_1397
  11. David. You're not alone in not understanding wavelets. It's something I've been struggling with myself. Thanks to the other posters above I now understand. My question now is how does Registax determine what each of the 6 wavelet settings relates to in terms of the scale of the details in the image? Sent from my HTC Desire S using Tapatalk 2
  12. ... and with the supplied erect image prism and 20mm cheapo eyepiece ...
  13. Picture of the Celestron 70 on top of my WO FLT98 (this is with the WO diagonal and Orion eyepiece) ....
  14. I've just bought a Celestron Travel Scope 70 to use as a finder. I bought it off ebay for a very good price of £39.95 + £6 postage. I see there's only one left now. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/230843819533?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649#ht_1138wt_1397 I've fitted it to my WO refractor using some ADM rings I already had. I had to remove the supplied dovetail and I dispensed with the finder it came with. Just tried it out tonight and it provides remarkably better views than I thought it would. I'm first used it with a WO diagonal and an Orion 20mm reticle eyepiece (as I'm using it as a finder) but even the supplied prism and 20mm cheapo eyepiece actually works very well.
  15. According to the internet it's at .... RA = 23h 23m 26s / Dec = +58deg 48m
  16. Hi Epicycle. I haven't got one of these scopes but have been considering getting one. I'm just wondering how easy you found collimating it was. The problem you're having may be the collimation and so how easy it is to collimate a key question.
  17. To calculate the CCD field of view you can use one of the many calculators out there. One example is ... http://starizona.com/acb/ccd/calc_pixel.aspx Sent from my HTC Desire S using Tapatalk 2
  18. I'm attempting an imaging run in Ha at the moment of the Veil nebula and the moon isn't too far away. You're right Olly in that there is significantly less contrast in the guiding images but so far so good. I'll have to see how the stacking goes as I'll be combining tonight's subs with other subs from other nights where there was no moon at all.
  19. As you say the visual filter won't have IR blocking. This is easily remedied with an extra IR filter. With reference to not being parfocal, I wouldn't worry. I find that I tend to do imaging runs one filter at a time. If I use another filter I check the focus even though my Astronomik filters are sold as parfocal. Sent from my HTC Desire S using Tapatalk 2
  20. A reducer's primary goal is to reduce the focal length and hence the image scale. This means that objects appear smaller on the chip. The only way to keep the same image scale but allow you reduce exposure time is to get a telescope with a larger apature. Sent from my HTC Desire S using Tapatalk 2
  21. As others have said, a HEQ5 or better still a EQ6 are your best bets - if you get a EQ6 you won't have to buy another mount until to move up to a C14! Sent from my HTC Desire S using Tapatalk 2
  22. Hi Matt. The C8 is ideal for planetary imaging and you don't need to guide. You will need to get a camera that can take videos at high frame rates. A webcam is fine to start with. For DSOs guiding is a must especially at the focal length of a C8 (even with the focal reducer). Sent from my HTC Desire S using Tapatalk 2
  23. Ah, sorry I think I misunderstood. If you mean calibrating the polar scope, then no. Once done that should be that.
  24. Hi Roger. I too suffered from loss of focus last night. I thought it was my focuser again slipping, but I came to the conclusion it was the change in temperature. It's starting to occur to me that a small change in temperature when it's warm (as it was last night) causes more focus shift than when it's really cold. Excellent image by the way !
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