Jump to content

sgl_imaging_challenge_6_banner_jupiter_2021.jpg.eacb9f0c2f90fdaafda890646b3fc199.jpg

 

 

Oh CRAP!!!


AndyMac
 Share

Recommended Posts

As you probably know, I do film astrophotography. That requires long exposures; hence the need for my ST4 autoguider from SBIG.

Well back in January this year I got set up to image comet Machholz. Got the comet framed & everything - and then turned to my autoguider to set the parameters. It was sending back a series of zero readings in its default setting. This told me that something was wrong with it. :):)

Anyway I had to abandon Machholz & ended up sending my autoguider to Astro Engineering for repair. This is the only place in the UK that will repair it.

Anyway, three months later & with a bill of £150.00 to pay, back it came, seemingly repaired. I gave it a quick test in the house & the readings it was coming out with on its default seemed OK again.

So I deposited it back in the observatory & forgot about it.....til tonight!

Got set up. Centered the Dumbell, found a guide star & turned to the ST4. Yes, you've guessed it! A series of zero readings again. After f...ing & blinding for a few moments I realised I was back to square one - my ST4 was on the blink again. Dunno whether the warm weather has caused a solder joint to break (this was the diagnosis last time) but it's probably buggered me up imaging for a further three months - assuming Astro Engineering will attempt another repair!

Anyway took another look at the Dumbell but my enthusiasm was rapidly fading (I wanted to IMAGE THINGS - sob!). Glad to say that M27 looked a grand sight through my 11" SCT - so much better than the Ring nebula! :):)

Still, what a waste of a clear night! Still, at least my beloved Dumbell was looking good! :o

Hope the rest of you didn't suffer any letdown tonight.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

HI Andy,

Sounds like the sort of night i am having thought a simple pic of the coathanger cluster first with coolpix Balls the remote kept putting the camera into usb mode for downloading pic's thus rendering the camera useless :) ok i though sod that worry about it later.. Went onto the toucam and dumbell balls if i couldnt do anything right! lol it was truely Rubbish! on my part mostly.

I have the toucam imaging m31 at the moment no dought it will turn out too be total [removed word] wash......

Sorry about your troubles andy if i was you i would ask them do a proper job of it and for free maybe not in those words but you know what i mean.....

On a plus side like you the dumbell was nice in the ep's also m31 was the best i have seen this year :)

Hey ho!

James :) :oops: :):o:o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Really sorry to hear about that Andy. I can't beleive the bad luck your having with the autoguider... I hope that BC&F/Astro engineering will have another look at it for you.

Did you try it after it arrived back from them last time?

I know that this isn't going to be a welcomed suggestion but I have a 12mm illuminated EP I can lend to you if you want to do some manual guiding?

Ant

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Andy,

Really sorry to hear about the autoguider. And yes when you've built yourself up to do something and that doesn't come off, it's hard to get motivated for anything else.

Could you switch to a different autoguider. Say a Starlight Express camera. They are fairly cheapish secondhand. Got to say I have no idea if it works with the Ultima, i know they work with the Vixen mounts. I've never tried autoguiding in my life, so i'm talking complete carp right now.

Hope you get it sorted real soon. In the mean time you could dig out that camera drive and do some widefield images.

Regards

Russ

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know that this isn't going to be a welcomed suggestion but I have a 12mm illuminated EP I can lend to you if you want to do some manual guiding?

Ant

Thanks Ant - but I have the micro guide eyepiece from Celestron. I just can't be arsed to manual guide - plus the level of concentration required would probably make my contact lenses pop out! :shock:

Yes, I did try out the autoguider when it first came back. However I didn't 'field test it'. I merely checked its default settings in the house & it seemed to be back to normal again.

I think the recent warm spell may be partly to blame (94°F in my office today & no air conditioning)!

I rang Robert Dalby of Astro Engineering twice today but he wasn't around. Although I left a message I will try to contact him again tomorrow.

Russ, yes I guess it's the camera drive for the mo. I have some shots on my film which I took with it about a month ago. Tonight has alot of high cloud around so I guess the camera drive shots will take a miss for this evening.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tested out the autoguider again tonight - AND IT'S DECIDED TO WORK!!! :?

Didn't do anything different to it compared to the other night - so I don't know what to make of it!

As the moon is low in the sky I thought I may try a shot of M16 later on. Guess what? Within minutes of my joyeous news, next door decide to light a fire, presumably for a BBQ! :x Needless to say, the smoke is belching up from the south - the EXACT direction I need for M16! :x

Will try IC1318 or M27 I think for starters - almost dark now......... :)

Managed to speak to Robert Dalby finally yesterday. He was going to contact the engineer who did the repair work & get back to me on Monday.

Not sure what to say to him now after tonight's unexpected event.......... :?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mmmmmmm i wonder if a lead may of been loose seeing as the temp couldnt of affected it Andy?

Call the firemen round to **** on that fire :) ,talking of neighbours we have some new ones moving in at the back of my garden hope they dont install a flash light or esle it's archery bow time. :)

James :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Luckily the smoke soon went, James. Took a shot of M27 with my lumicon H alpha filter & then slewed the telescope to M16. Guess what? It was directly behind the neighbour's sodding tree!!! :x

Yes, same sodding neighbour! :)

Ah well......went back to M27 (might as well do a composite) while I wait for M16 to reappear out the other side of the f/n tree!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Finally got to M16 at about 1.45am. It was already heading back down towards the murk. As usual, the distinctive cluster & asterim of stars were easy to make out in my 11" SCT. However, the nebula, itself, eluded me. :)

And to think Astroman can see it as a naked eye object!!! :)

Only got a single 20 minute exposure before it sank below the rooftops. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just got everything packed up after finishing off with a couple of shots of the Butterfly nebula, IC1318. Assuming I framed it OK through the deep red H alpha filter, this one should be well guided. Couldn't have done any better than to give my tempremental autoguider the very bright guide star, gamma Cygni, to guide on.

Good 'ole Mars was dominating the east as twilight intervened & I rolled back the creaking & buckled 'anything-but-waterproof' roof on my 'Tardiss' observatory. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Of course you also have the advantage of a more southerly latitude than us 'Brits' - so M16 will appear higher in the sky & further away from any murk than it does over here. By my calculations it must rise to some 43° above the horizon at the meridian! :shock: We get a mere 25° or so. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

James, if the autoguider works tonight then I'm looking for another shot of M16 so I can make a composite (smoother image, greater contrast etc.)

Although I've still got several shots left to take on the film, I'll probably send it off tomorrow, unfinished (I've two more rolls of E200 in the fridge) - so should get the results back towards the end of this week. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Andy,

If your gonna waste a couple of shots on your roll why not take a pic of your scope? or maybe a star trailing pic? just an idea :)

M16 now thats got to look good in your scope andy...

James :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Discovered by Philippe Loys de Chéseaux in 1745-46, M17 certainly makes for a great Image doesnt it Andy.

Been thinking about a guider for myself prob cost the earth though maybe a receptical eyepiece on the ST102 guiding the C6-r? as it stands the longest exp i will get is 30 secs to 1 min without guideing.......

Andy how long can you do exp's for before using your guider?...

James :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It really depends on the focal length you're using, James.

If I was taking a prime focus shot (focal length 3000mm) I probably wouldn't risk it without the autoguider (certainly I wouldn't go beyond a minute).

If I was using a mere 50mm camera lens, piggybacked on the scope, I'd probably happily go 15~20 minutes or longer without worrying about trailed images.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think 10 minutes may be pushing it a bit James unless you have a pretty accurate drive with very little PEC. It'll also need to be polar aligned well.

My autoguider was in the mood to co-operate again this evening so got set up to take a composite shot of M16. Ten minutes into the exposure, some ruddy high clouds appeared in the south-east. Why they couldn't have started off in the west (where most cloud comes from - and where I wasn't photographing), I don't know! :x

Am currently 20 minutes into a second attempt, now that M16 has re-emerged from the other side of that neighbour's infamous tree! :x

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.