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Found 38 results

  1. So the little circular bubble level is weak. But how to improve the levelling stage a head of the alignment stage? A traditional level like this one Or a simple multi purpose one like this one? And we do this on the tripod before adding the mount & OTA? The mount looks gently curved. How do we check that for level or do we trust the ‘fit’?
  2. Hello everyone, I'm wondering if I could get some help, sort of ripping my hair out a little. I have the EXOS2 PMC-8 and last night I used Sharpcap to Polar align, I set the mount up as usual and adjusted until Sharpcap said excellent Polar alignment. So my next step was to do a 3 star alignment I was using a program called Explorer Stars to achieve this, so when I asked the mount to slew to the first star it was way off even in the finder scope, is that normal? So I used the controls to get the star in my FOV and centred it, it was the same for the next two stars way off. so I did the same. I finished the 3 star alignment and when I asked the mount to find an object the object was not centred it was bottom right of the quick photo I took. I've made sure all the information is correct by setting my Longitude and Latitude and also made sure my time is correct, the mount is balanced and level and pointing North. I think I'm doing something wrong somewhere. Also may I ask should my counterweight bar be parallel with the mounts front leg? I have two little arrows on the mount that should be pointing at each other when in the home position but when they are the counterweight bar is pointing to the right quite a fair bit. I'm new to all this only been doing it for a few months so a lot of things are quite confusing. Thanks in advance Bill.
  3. Hello, Mount: EQ6-R Pro, QHYCCD PoleMaster, software Couldmakers Indigo-server, skychart (on OS X). Applied procedure: Leveled the tripod Polar aligned with PoleMaster, so I suppose I can assume that it's decently polar aligned Star alignment using skychart, direct connection to EQ6-R (no Synscan handcontroller, AstroRookie's hubris ) First star synced: Arcturus Second star synced: Dubhe Slew back to Arcturus: nicely centered Third star Vega, which was close to the zenith: completely off Slew back to Dubhe and Arcuturus, every thing still hunky dory Question: what can cause this "error"; is it because I took 2 stars west of the meridian? Is it better to take stars in "opposite positions" of the meridian? Thanks for clarifying! AstroRookie
  4. Hello, Since a couple of months I'm a EQ6-R Pro user. So far I've been using the synscan handcontroller to do the star alignment. I would like the use software like stellarium, kstars or cartes du ciel thru the direct connection with mount, so no longer using the synscan handcontroller. I've tried but when I search an object and make the software slew to it, it's way off. I'm quite confident with my polar alignment as I'm using the QHYCCD PolarScope (and furthermore I've read on this forum that polar alignment and star alignment are not the same). Can somebody please explain how to do star alignment with software like stellarium, kstars or cartes du ciel - I suppose there's is some general procedure that applies to software like the three I mention? Many thanks, AstroRookie
  5. Hi guys, new to SG lounge and new to the hobby. I have just bought my first EQ Mount (Used 2018 model HEQ5 pro, belt modded). I hate to be the newbie to ask questions about polar alignment, but I have what I hope to be a relatively simple question to answer, yet have had no luck with the search bar. When my mount is in the home position (counterweight bar down) and tripod north my polar scope reticle is orientated as per the attached photograph (photo 1). When I was reading prior to getting the mount I had simply assumed that the reticle would be oriented with 0 being directly at the top and 6 at the bottom when in home position. As this is not the case, my question regards what I do during the process of polar alignment. Do I rotate the R.A. so that 0 is at the top and 6 is at the bottom and then place Polaris in the relevant position as per my iOS polar alignment app (photo 2) or do I need to somehow rotate the reticle within the polar scope such that the reticle is orientated vertically in the home position? Are the date and time dials on the mount itself obsolete now that we have the privilege of apps that do the work for us? Apologies if this is a basic question that has been covered before.
  6. Hi all, looking for some help please! I have a wedge for my 8SE and when using EQ North to align it, it says it is slewing to Vega but ends up all the way over at Polaris!? Any ideas? Thanks in advance! I have updated the firmware, Mount is pointing at north, have inputted my latitude and longitude, I have tried picking the nearest city too and nothing seems to work!
  7. I'm on an EQ3 and I have had trouble calibrating it. I'm trying to calibrate the reticule but .... It seems that barrel of the polarscope is off axis in the tube - it sort of moves the whole image around, as if you were swirling a pair of binoculars around. Maybe I can make a video. Is it time for me to buy a fresh one that I didn't meddle with? The outcome is that I can only shoot 20second images before the stars elongate. polar-align-problem.mp4
  8. 29/01/2015 - 30/01/2015 New toy day - laser alignment tool. I thought the 130SLT was working pretty well until I checked the collimation: way out. There should be a warning that your new scope will be off focus until a laser alignment tool is used and the collimation corrected. So that done I got the scope outside only to have the batteries die. Then I found that my 12V PSU is the wrong polarity. So I got the NiMH fast-charged, and of course the skies clouded over 8/8 with some heavy stuff from the west for the rest of the foreseeable.
  9. Hi all! Yesterday good weather, so had my first go at drift alignment with my new reticulated eyepiece. I took my time to figure out well the various steps in the right order, etc... At one time, pointing a star in the east, I think I overdid the correction on the Altitude, because the star started drifting a lot, so I started again from the beginning... As always a learning curve! :-) But I had fun doing it. It took me a lot of time, but finally I got to shooting some subs, and these are the results: M57 @ 38 second subs: M13 @ 63 second subs: The usual coma problem is visible, but I am nevertheless quite satisfied with this first try... The stars look pretty good, if not enlarged too much ;-) Opins? Any feedback would be appreciated! Gerhard.
  10. The struggles of a beginner learning how to use the equipment. :-) Pointed mount North and Levelled EQ6 pro mount 8:30 pm Attached wireless release, 2" nose and UHC filter to Nikon DSLR Attached scope and camera, balanced scope for camera use Collimated the telescope -took 40 minutes of messing around Waited until dark. Took the dogs for a walk around the field to pass the time Polar aligned using the mobile app and sighting against Ursa major. Rebalanced DEC for eyepiece rather than camera 3 star alignment. 1st star was way off and took ages to get it in the eyepiece Restarted 3 star alignment. - Selected a star behind a house. Restarted 3 star alignment -complete. Checked collimation using a bright star - perfect (should bloody be after 40 minutes!) Tried to fine adjust polar alignment using a method discovered online (not drift- I don't think I have the patience.) Didn't work. Restarted 3 star alignment then used the polar alignment on SynScan Took a look at Jupiter was great to look at but not what I set out to do, I want DS images... Attached camera Used live view (LV) to try to focus stars Pointed the scope at M3 and took a 2 minute exposure Tried again with a 4 minute exposure SD card failed. Lost some family pics, grrr Now I have to explain to my partner that it wasn't because of Astronomy, these things just happen. Replaced SD card Took some cautious 1 minute exposures of M90 expecting the camera to explode Pictures were faint so moved to 4 minute with a little more confidence telling myself SD card failures can just happen. Noticed star trails Located a bright star Decided to give PEC training a try. Couldn't do it with an eyepiece. Tried with the camera in LV but noticed some gradual movement in the DEC axis. Hoped PEC training would sort this. Moved onto the Spiral Galaxy Took some 2 minute exposures of the whirlpool galaxy. Wireless timer worked flawlessly. Still a little faint so up'd the ISO and took some more. More detail but more noise. Took some darks with the same settings. Packed away while the camera did its thing. Viewed the pics briefly on laptop. There was star trails (DEC axis again and blurring) Went to bed 1:30 am Summary: So what have I learned? Well DEC error was probably due to the balance of the scope being off. I never did re-balance for the camera. I've also learnt today that I should bias the balance slightly East so the gears engage better. PEC training is a waste of time without an illuminated reticule which I don't have the desire to buy. I'd rather save for a guide scope and guide camera. I've learned I can refine the polar alignment after the 3 start alignment process. I've also read on forums that perhaps I should manually move the scope to the first alignment start then continue with the usual process. I've also seen that two star may be the way forward for EQ6. So perhaps next time I'll start with a 2 star, polar align using the SynScan handset then back to 3 star with the first manual adjustment. I should also purchase a few SD cards that are dedicated for Astrophotography and upload them ASAP after the session. The Astronomik UHC Deep Sky Filter worked wonders with the images for where I live. I can now take longer exposures. Assuming I sort out DEC errors and invest in guiding rig.
  11. Hi In my quest to identify a mount, I would like advice on the Losmandy G8 - the basic unit without add ones is $1500 +tax and shipping, and this is somewhat beyond my budget. However, the reviews I have read seem to suggest that it is a far superior mount than the usual Celestron, Orion, Sirius, atlas etc. Is that true that Losmandy G8 is a better mount. I will be using the mount for AP (upto three minutes), is it a feasible with a basic G8 unit without the Gemini unit. Telescope is 5" MAK (8 lb) thanks Rajeev
  12. Hi - Was wondering if anyone could help me? I've recieved a second hand Orange C8 but it has a rotating secondary. It just spins around in the corrector plate with about .5 mm wiggle room. To make things worse I think the previous owner has attempted to remove the corrector at some stage so I'm not sure what to do. I know I have to align all 3 optical elements but not the foggest where to start. The corrector appears to have two lines etched on the edge at right angles. Say 12 and 3 O'clock - but dont know if this is 11 or 2 O'clock or what ever configuration. I can not discern an corresponding marks on the tube body or down at bottom on the mirror. Ant
  13. This planetary conjunction forms a triangle with Jupiter(left), Mercury(top) & Venus(right) Pentax 645D Pentax 500mm lens @ f8 Exp. 1/4 sec. ISO 200 26th May 2013 Pentax Digital Camera Utility 4 Conjunction of Jupiter Mercury & Venus 26th May 2013 from Kelso by mikeyscope, on Flickr
  14. StevieDvd

    aligned

    From the album: Attachments

    Result from alignment using PhotoPolarAlign by Themos.
  15. Hey guys, Pretty new to the forums, so hello everyone! I have been using a Vixen Super Polaris EQ mount with a Vixen 80m refractor for many, many years. During this period I was not caring too much about polar alignment at all, but instead just to whip it out and have a look around. Recently I have purchased myself a SkyWatcher 200 P reflector with a HEQ5 SynScan mount which together is extremely heavy in a bid to start learning some astrophotography as in East Anglia light pollution isn't too common. My garden does have 'some' solid ground but this is not in an ideal location and so I will most definitely have to use my gardens boggy grass. I am worried due to the weight and the boggy grass, my scope will slowly sink down whilst taking shots. Do any of you guys have any proven solutions or mods that you have come up with in a similar situation to eradicate your set up sinking on loose ground? Just curious if this has been dealt with before in a smart manor. Cheers!
  16. I had a pretty successful session last night capturing 390 x 10 sec subs of asteroid Florence through patchy thin cloud with my Atik 460EX camera I want to now turn these into an animation. My thought is to convert the FITS files into TIFF files, align them, batch process them in Photoshop or Lightroom, then convert the resulting aligned, processed TIFF files into an animation. Is there software that will automatically align (but not stack) FITS files and save the aligned subs as TIFF files? If not, what is the best way of batch converting 390 x FITS files to TIFFs? Thanks
  17. Hi guys, Okay so I have a few questions regarding my AVX mount that have basically generated from me reading up on setting up my mount. Please don’t think I’m lazy, I have read up a lot regarding my new mount (hence the questions) and learned a lot so far but as I’ve only had the mount a week and due to work and time constraints I have been unable to do any more than literally unpack the mount and put it together. I should mention it took 30 minutes to flatten all the cardboard ready for Mr Recycling Man but the more packaging the better so no complaints there at all!! So, my questions are so I can have a one stop shop answer reference rather than trying to remember where all the tips were on this wealth of knowledge forum. Please excuse my ignorance, I’ve had my trusty Sky Watcher 130p AZ2 for 6 years so I’ve not just jumped in blind ..... 1) Why is there a necessity to ensure the mount is facing the correct direction when setting up the scope? 2) I’ve heard similar comments made with regard to members permanent piers in their observatories, again, what is being referred to here and how would you ensure a circular steel pier IS facing a correct direction? 3) Does the peg on the tripod Base plate need to be directly over one of the legs or is it fine where it is positioned? (In between two legs) 4) Is there anything I should do during daylight hours other than align the (finderscope) in preparation for the alignment process? 5) Do I need to update my mount with the latest firmware (?) Software upgrade or can I assume as I bought it 3 weeks ago it will come up to date? 6) HOW do I update my firmware software? 7) How accurate does the declination need to be? Can I work off the (slightly crude) scale on the mong or should I be looking at getting a digital spirit level for accuracy? 8) With vibration in mind, until I sort out a permanent pier my scope will be on the tripod in the observatory, should I allow the tripod legs to stand on the soft flooring foam tiles or should it be on the wooden floor of the shed? 9) Do I need to worry about leaving my spanking new scope and mount exposed to the elements, all be it under a waterproof bike cover in the obs and secure? Slightly nervous ? I really appreciate your time in both reading and hopefully replying with some useful guidance! All the best, looking forwards to those clear skies!
  18. Hi Guys, Desperately need help here. I have recently got a setup Skywatcher 200 with EQ5 so a newbiee me. Anyway I am setting up Polar alignment perfect. Using compas, mount bolts and lat is spot on. GPS and time is also spot on. Using 3 star alignment as well as 2 star alignment. Synscan goes to the first star which is not even in FOV of the finder scope, Then I use hand held to get it in view and alligned. Second star nearly is on target and with handheld I align using the handheld. 3 rd star is also way out. Once aligned I go to an object which does not center at all and is in the top left of the FOV. I have to keep re-aligning every 15 min to see anything. However Polaris remains where it should be using polar alignment scope. What am I missing? Pls help
  19. I've just recently flashed to the new EQ 3.32 handset firmware. However, there are still a few things i'm still unsure of - big shock there When I set-up each time - i cant have a permanent fixture unfortunately - I often get confused as to how exactly I should go about aligning the mount. I have heard people say to set the lat for my area (ie 52) , and occasionally its been referred to as a seperate step to getting polaris in the polarscope. This is likely my mistake, but, to my way of thinking, wouldn't getting polaris in the crosshairs of the pol-scope do the same thing as setting my lattitude correctly? The goal being in both cases to get accurately polar-aligned.? Which brings me to the other query. After levelling mount and aiming 'N' leg North, then roughly sighting polaris in the P/scope - how would I adjust things to get polaris at the right 'hour' in the reticule? So far I use a combination of adjusting the lat/az bolts and nudging the actual tripod a bit by grabbing the rear two legs while looking through p/scope. This seems a tad sloppy to me, as the two different ways of adjusting the pole star's position in the reticule might leave room for error, or rather more error than necessary. Ive not yet tried the new firmware - could anyone be nice and explain the steps so an idiot - thats me btw - can follow them? Skywatcher actually have quite a good instruction manual for this update on their site, highly recommended, but after a few reads I still need a little clarification. Regards Aenima
  20. Hi all. after receiving my scope yesterday I went outside for about half an hour with it and was quite impressed on how easy everything is to set up and use. However I have two questions that I would like answered. When viewing at the moon using my 25mm eyepiece I could see a blue and orange haze around the left and right side of the moon. Was this because I didn’t have eyepeice focused probably or is there another reason? And also while focusing I had a lot of vibration is there a way to reduce it. Today I tried to get my red dot focused aligned with my telescope and I think I’ve managed o do it correctly but was concerned that my target was to close. My target was the Ariel on the roof top as I didn’t have any clear targets that were far away I had to choose that. I managed to get it aligned probably but heard that the targets were supposed to me further away? Man Thanks
  21. Hey guys, I couldn't find an solid answer within the forums, so asking here... Has anyone successfully used Sky Safari 5 Pro to do plate solving/mount alignment? I have no problem connecting and controlling my mount (AVX) with Sky Safari on my Mac, but is there a way to do alignment in the program? So far, it looks like I'm forced to do the Nexstar 2 star alignment on the hand controller. If I try to click on Polaris for example (it won't let me actually click on or select the NCP), when I click "align to polaris", it just says it can't execute the command because the scope is "too far" from Polaris. Only way it'll do it is if I first do 2-star align on the hand controller. Thoughts? Thanks! - Josh
  22. Hi all, just posting some new pics I took the other night in Saint Barthélemy, at 1633 meters above sea level (very good seeing): M27: M31: IC1396: The usual problems arise: guiding, coma, and noise from the camera (especially visible in the M31, I think). These are pics from 30 73secs exposures at 800 ISO with darks and bias. I did not take flats... Do you think that would improve the noise problem? I'm hoping to construct a flatbox some time... And maybe acquiring a laptop to use for serious guiding. A guide scope would already be available from my astro club... Any thoughts, suggestions would be very welcome! :-) Gerhard.
  23. I have been reading a bit about true north and magnetic north and how aligning my mount taking magnetic declination into account will help. So my declination is 1.41 degrees west. Two questions. If I was to set my compass to this magnetic declination, I need to rotate the red arrow 1.4 degrees to the left and then light that up with the compass pointer and point my north tripod leg in that direction? Is 1.41 degrees going to make that much difference? Not sure I can adjust my compass with that degree (sorry) of accuracy. I may be approaching this all the wrong way. I can see how a mag dec of 10 degrees might make a bit of difference, but we seem quite close here in Gloucester! I used this site to check. http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/geomag-web/#declination Cheers Mark
  24. Hi Folks My 6 month old (used 4 times) Celestron Nexstar SLT 127 Matsukov Cassegrain has always given alignment problems. It is difficult to align and once aligned, quickly goes out of alignment. Just this evening after using the Solar system align using Venus, I selected Mars (which is very close to Venus these days). The scope went about 5 degrees south of Mars. When I sent it back to Venus, it didn't go there either. I have had problems with the two star align as well. Once aligned, it held Saturn for about 15 minutes before going out of the field of view, but when asked to go to a different star, it gets quite lost. Sometimes it goes below the horizon looking for things ! I don't know what to do. Returning is not easy given that I am not in US regards Rajeev Kingston Jamaica
  25. Complete beginner question regarding using this mount. When I have tried to set up and align the mount , the goto targeting is off by many degrees. Here's what I do - can someone tell me what I'm doing wrong!? With the power off: Align the tripod and mount to North and, with the clutches released, set the declination to my latitude (52deg 28' N). and the mount in the weights-down home position. Lock the clutches and fine tune the alignment on Polaris using the mechanical adjustments on the mount. Turn the power on: Set up the date, time and location, elevation etc. in the handset (noting the American Date format and Longitude first (set to W 1deg 48') DST = Yes Select 1 Star align Pick a star, I usually try Procyon or Betelguese depending on the time. The scope slews to vaguely the right direction but actually nowhere near. It can take 2 or 3 minutes of manual slewing to centre the star in the eyepiece. Finishing, of course, with an up and right movement. Finally, press Enter to complete the alignment ==> Alignment Successful says the handset optimistically. Now from the object menu pick another target. Try, say, Polaris which was where I started and ... nowhere near it. It's the same regardless of the selected target. I have tried 2 star alignment and 3 star alignment, a factory reset before starting, but nothing seems to work. Once i'm lined up on a target the mount tracks nicely - it just won't go where I want it to! Not yet at my wits end but - Help! Mark
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