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Everything posted by Dougie

  1. Terry at SX has tested my M26C on his Tak 106 and sent me an image with no elongated stars. This has now ruled out the CCD window. Ian King is now looking into this for me.
  2. Hi Tom (sorry) It's worth calling Altair Astro for advice. I had a C8 which was good for visual, but I wanted a scope for imaging. Couldn't stretch to the top end of the market, but the 102 appealed to me.
  3. Hi Jonathan I had a similar problem a year ago after reading Olly's report. Should I go for the 115 or the 102. I contacted Altair Astro direct and they suggested for imaging that the 102 was slightly better. That's the one I bought. Enjoy your scope.
  4. Francis I would say they are the same length, but at slightly different angles. On my next test, I'm going to remove the IDAS filter from the image train, to see if this is the culprit.
  5. Francis, without the Flattener I get elongated stars in all four corners with the M26C. This means that the flattener is doing it's job, so is it the OA which is causing the problem in one corner?
  6. Spudlet, test results look good. Are these taken with the reducer in place? Francis, I haven't tried without the flattener, but I should give it a try. The only problem will be trying to get the focus right. I took 2hrs 20 minutes of data last night on M31 which I now need to process, except work is taking priority for the next week. If the image is half decent, I'll post so that you can see the issue I get in the corner.
  7. Francis You may be right, but not sure how to correct it, if it is correctable. Or is it a fault in the flattener?
  8. I managed to get the tilt sorted but I do have slightly elongated stars in one corner. CCDInspector is showing no tilt bit a slight curvature at one end. But I suspose that's the problem using an M26C camera. I will later this year be adding a smaller chip camera to my equipement, so elongated stars should not be a problem
  9. The distance I have from the rear flat shoulder of the flattener to the chip is 51.5mm with all parts included I never thought about the filter in the image train having an impact.
  10. OllOOlly, I was using the recommended distance of 51.5mm suggested by Altair less the 17mm from camera face to chip given by SX. With two spacers and the IDAS filter, I have 34.5mm. I've checked all screw fittings for flex and everything appears tight. I did try using the adjustment screws on the camera, but only made matters worse, hence Terry at SX putting things right for me. Now bought a separate tilt adjuster so I can't mess up the camera and giving it a try tomorrow night.
  11. I bought the 102 after reading Olly's review in one of the popular Astro mags. Overall pleased with the scope, but the lens cap does take a long time to screw in and yes it is noisy, particularly at 2.00 am in the morning. When it's late, I tend to put a temporary cap on until the morning. I have the flattener but I'm still getting elongated stars in the corners. Had the camera checked by Terry at SX using his laser, so that wasn't the problem. I'm going to try and adjust the tilt of the camera this weekend with the help of CCDInspector. Hopefully it will improve things.
  12. I agree with Olly, that mono is probably better, but it's all down to availability of imaging time. I went from a DSLR to a SXVR-H9C, which I managed to get second hand. Although it has a small chip, it's started me off on the CCD route. With the lack of clear skies and combined with my own availibility, I would have struggled to get the LRGB subs to produce a coloured image. Let alone the additional cost involved for filters etc. I admire those who produce great coloured images from mono cameras. In a few years time when I upgrade, I will stick to OSC.
  13. I Debayer after Calibration. For my SXVR-H9C I use Bilinear for the Bayer method and BGGR for the Bayer / Mosaic pattern. The pattern could be different for the QHY8. I struggled to find any information for my camera and the only way was through trial and error. I went through all the patterns and processed each test up to Histogram Stretch. Finally arriving at the correct pattern.
  14. As Sara says, watch Harry's videos, they are very good and easy to follow. You will need to watch them over and over and eventually things fall into place. I saved the videos to my hard drive and constantly refer to them. I've organised my folder structure in the order that Harry has laid out, saving the file and renaming at each stage.
  15. I get bits delivered to work. Hope my LP filter turns up before I finish on Thursday. But with cloud forecast, it won't be much use until January.
  16. I have a FT focuser on my C8 which was previously on a CPC 800 that I once had. It's easy to fit, as it comes with the necessary tools and a detailed How to Fit DVD. I haven't noticed any mirror flop during a session and will often pack scope away and several days later, set up again, to find scope still in focus. Sometime in the near future, I would like to motorise the FT, but off the shelf, it does come at a cost.
  17. You say that you are also going to Portugal. I stayed in a remote place in Portugal last year that was 15 miles north of Faro and on the side of a valley. The dark skies were fantastic, but all I had was a small pair of binos, which were better than nothing. I did pass an observatory on the south coast and I wish I had booked a visit for the night. It is: COAA Centro de Observação Astronómica no Algarve Poio, 8500 Portimão, Portugal It may be too far south for you. Have a good trip.
  18. Yep, £5k rings a bell. I try and buy most stuff under the radar, but it often means saving up cash and paying by cash. Shops love me. Just bought an SX Lodestar under the radar and as it's a bit like an eye piece, it shouldn't get noticed. Started saving up for my next investment, but it could take many months.
  19. Stick with it to learn visual observing first and as others have said use webcam for planetary photography. I had a CPC 800 and it was a good scope. I then used the time to start saving up for all the imaging kit, and still haven't finished. Traded in the CPC after 2 years for a CGEM 800, fortunately dew heaters and other bits were compatable.
  20. Looking good here but alas I'm up at 4.00am to get on to the M25 Closest I'll get to an M number!
  21. I have a small celestron power tank and it was not up to powering a dew heater for the C8 and a dew heater for the guidescope and power the mount. I went out a bought another heavy duty power pack which does the job. I'm also thinking of getting a mains adaptor like the one Brantuk has shown.
  22. I use laptop with APT software to view using liveview on screen for focussing. APT handles all the exposures of the camera and works well with Canon cameras.
  23. For those a bit further South, don't forget a spin off from the RGO and that's the Observatory Science Centre at Herstmonceux. Formerley the RGO from 1958 to 1990. Well worth a visit and it's a good day out for kids with open evenings to the observatory.
  24. Same thing happened to me. I'm on my second scope in two years and only now just set up for imaging. Lodestar guide camera next on the agenda and other stuff planned over the coming year.
  25. Here's mine which is a few months old Had a CPC 800 prior to this, which I traded in for this CGEM 800 No trampoline in garden, as kids grown up but keep coming home.
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