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Paulus17

SW 127 Mak AZ with GOTO?

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What do you mean by PE? Just the PAE data, or the two star alignment data?

Sorry, PAE data. As you say, if the scope's been moved then the PAE is of no further use.

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...and M42 using my exisitng Canon 600D:

How do you get on with hanging the Canon off the MK127? I've tried some shots with my D5000, but it's very difficult to mount the camera without the scope slipping, even after I've altered the centre of gravity on the dovetail bar.

Also, are you connecting the Canon using the supplied Barlow?

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I use the original mount and tripod.

I've not yet weighted the tripod with sand or a weight lifting weight, but I might try that.

The scope was easily moved when I attached the Canon DSLR to it, but since I've tightened that nut up which appears at the start of this thread (tightened relaly quite tight now) it stays where it should and doesn't slip.

I've not any any problem with weight and the mount. I feel it could take much more than the 127mm and the DSLR. There's a review somewhere for the supertrak where they used a 5kn scope and they said they thought it would easily take more; I'm sure mine would take much more too.

I connect the Canon with a T adaptor which screws directly onto the focus tube of the scope and then it has a Canon EOS locking thread on the other side which the camera (without a lens) fits onto.

Astrophotography: The sun was a 1/250th second exposure I think; Jupiter was taken using an AVOI video file which lasted about 3 minutes and zoomed in the program, so te quality isn't great; M42 was a load of 10-20 second frames which appears to be the maximum exposure duration before there is too much blurring due to either poor tracking or rotation.

Don;t discount what you can do with these scopes and mount. As I say, I am really impressed with what you can achieve for the money and simplicity of set up.

James

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Power down? Pull the plug where ever the scope is pointig, take it off and pack up. I never park it.

James

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The scope was easily moved when I attached the Canon DSLR to it, but since I've tightened that nut up which appears at the start of this thread (tightened relaly quite tight now) it stays where it should and doesn't slip.

Yes, I'm going to check that nut out tonight...

I connect the Canon with a T adaptor which screws directly onto the focus tube of the scope and then it has a Canon EOS locking thread on the other side which the camera (without a lens) fits onto.

I'd looked at that before, but never really experimented with it because of the whole slippage issue. However, if I tighten up that nut successfully, I've found an old car DVD player that can take a live video feed from the Nikon, which I should be able to use for focussing more accurately.

I'll let you know how it works out.

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Ok then some questions now on setting up for AP using a DSLR.

Once i have done the initial set up,leveled,aligned,etc,and i then want to fix the camera to the back of the scope,will i have to move the OTA again to get it balanced.?

If i do will this affect the alignment or should i start with the OTA slightly out of balance,not central on the dovetail bar.

I suppose this is summat i can experiment with indoors??

I haven't used a webcam before for imaging,so how easy/difficult is it to do,i am not that techy minded,could you guess :grin:

My mobile is about ten years old :eek:

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I got one of these off ebay to remotely focus the scope, it over shoots, but tweeking it backwards and forwards allows focus to be achieved without having to touch the scope and cause all that vibration:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Skywatcher-Celestron-127-Telescope-Remote-Control-Electric-Focuser-Observatory-/400445887337?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item5d3c6f5369

post-25543-0-16314600-1365608255_thumb.j

post-25543-0-91885200-1365608259_thumb.j

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Q: Once i have done the initial set up,leveled,aligned,etc,and i then want to fix the camera to the back of the scope,will i have to move the OTA again to get it balanced.?

A: No, not if the nut is tight and the OTA doesn't move too much when you attach the DSLR. The sensor on the DSLR is pretty big so even if it moves a bit, you should still be roughly OK. It's just a case of being careful. I screw the T adaptor on first, then gently slick the DSLR onto that. The other option is (and I've done this, again whilst messing around), is to level the tripod, set up the scope with the DSLR on, and do your alignment with the DSLR in situ; I've used Live View mode to visualise the star in question and centre it on the DSLRs LCD; you could turn the grid pattern on if it has one to make sure you are as centred as much as possible. Then there would be little chance of upsetting the alignment.

Q: If i do will this affect the alignment or should i start with the OTA slightly out of balance,not central on the dovetail bar.

I suppose this is summat i can experiment with indoors??

A: Yes, trial an error, but again, I've never even given thought to this. The mount is more robust than you are suggesting, or at least mine is. The motors sound no different if the DSLR is on or not. But I guess in an ideal world, work out the central balancing point and attach the dove tail as near as possible to that. Another reason why it might be easier to do your two star alignment with the DSLR already attached.

Q: I haven't used a webcam before for imaging,so how easy/difficult is it to do,i am not that techy minded,could you guess :grin:

My mobile is about ten years old :eek:

A: If I can do it, then it can't be hard. I got my webcam off ebay already 'modified' with a 1.25" nose adaptor on, so I just shove it down the focus hole, connect up to the laptop, use SharpCap (freeware), focus, and you are away. Focus can be an issue, so you might need to add a Barlow to achieve focus, or the diagonal but it's a case of playing around, and you could do a lot of that in daylight on a terrestial object. Saturn is now a prime subject for some webcam imaging, and I'm hoping to do that this weekend. I am pretty impressed with my £36 web cam results, so it shows to get 'results' you don't need a £5000 cooled webcam. Mine is a QuickCam Pro 4000. I think you'd be impressed with the results you get. With a webcam, you take a movie (typically *.avi file) then import that into Registax (freeware) and it makes a picture for you; there are various tutorials on how to do this stuff online, and I'm still working my way around / through it all, but again if I can do it, it can't be that tricky.

It's a shame you aren't a bit closer as I'd be more than happy to pop over and show you what I do and help you do what you want to do.

James

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Penicuik, I don't understand your DVD comments.

I can take a live video feed from the camera to the 7" screen on the portable DVD player, which (may) make focussing more accurate than using the LiveView on the back of the camera, or through the eyepiece. I've just manganged to dig out the neccessary cables for that, so will be trying that tonight too.

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I also have an iPad app by OnOne (sadly discontinued) that will allow me to remotely control the camera shutter speed, interval, etc.

Camera USB goes into the laptop (same one that's running Stellarium) which is set up as a wireless router for the iPad.

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Ah, I see. Yes, good idea.

I use a program called Backyard EOS, it's for Canon, and allows live view to be seen on the laptop. You can zoom in and look at focus.

The other way to sort out focus is to use a Bahtinov mask, and a program called Bahtinov Grabber, but that is another story.

If using live view, you can also zoom in on the DSLR LCD and have a close up look, or take a shot, and zoom in on that shot and examine for focus there.

Sounds like you've got a good set up.

James

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Thanks James.

That focuser looks good so might be summat for the future to try.

I have a Nikon D90 camera which has the live view so will see how i get on using that to start with,before i try and attempt the webcam.

What is the extra lead for that came with the 127?

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If it's a lead which has a rj45 one end (like a ethernet connector) and a serial connector the other end (old style several pins that printers used to use) then it's for updating the handset software, and can also be used to control the mount with the computer.

The software for the handset (its called firmware) is updated from time to time by the manufacturer. I think we are on version 3.34 currently, you should be able to see what version yours is when you turn it on. I can't remember exactly how you find out the version. Generally for simple users like you and me, it's not so important to update it. But you can find out online what each update does. You need a computer which has a serial port; most modern computers don't have one so you need to fond one which does or get an adaptor which converts a serial connection to a usb. Don't just get a cheap one off ebay as they don't always work. If you need to just use it once to update your handset borrow one of a friend locally or i'd post you mine and you could post it back. To update the handset you install something of the skywatcher website which connections your computer and handset via that lead, then you install the update file.

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The other use for the lead is it links your computer to your handset, and then the notnal lead links the handset to he mount.

You can set up software on the computer like stellarium to move the mount and hence the telescope. I've done it twice and it is a bit of hassle to sort out, but does work well.

What i've done is to build my own foreground of my back garden in stellarium, so i can see on the computer what i am likely to see from my garden given all the various obstructions like neighbours houses and trees. Linking stellarium allows you then to only navigate to objeects which are visible, as otherwise the handset has no idea if M31 is visible or not.

You still need a serial to usb adaptor if your computer doesn't have a serial port.

Again, best to get someone show you in the flesh the first time. That will save you ages working things out and looking for help online.

James

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I bought a USB-Serial Adapter from Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1 - this uses the Prolific chip that most people seem to recommend. My 2003 Sony laptop is running Win XP Pro and the latest version of Stellarium.

Two main points I'd like to bring to the party; the serial port baud rate for the port should be set to 115200 in the Hardware/Device Manager/Ports/Prolific etc./Port Settings page. This permits firmware upgrade within about a minute, vs. the 'slow' mode described in the firmware ReadMe. I don't know how much effect it has on PC control of the scope, but it can't hurt.

The second is that I assumed that for Stellarium to drive the scope I would have to set the SynScan to 'PC Connection', but this isn't the case. The mount will slew under Stellarium control on any setting BUT this one!

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This is where the headaches start :grin:

James i already have the T mount and extension tube for the Nikon,i got em when i was trying the imaging with the HEQ5,but only tried it twice,with very little success,so if the 127 is ok for imaging it will be used more i hope,if we get any more clear nights??

I have a battered HP laptop with Vista and there is no port for that connection so if i try it out will have to get an adaptor as you say.

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I'm sure some of your local astro mates may well have the serial to usb lead you could borrow to update the handset. Buy one if you want to control the scope with stellarium.

You could have a play at using the DSLR on the 127 in the day time on wild life or just at distant objects. It will give you some idea of how easy it is to set up, how the motors will cope, balancing it all, focusing, connecting to the laptop etc. there is probably free software which can control your nikon from the laptop. You might try starting a thread aboUt it in the imaging section of the website.

James

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OK, I've tightened up that bolt (never would have occurred to me to do that - most grateful) and the whole thing is rock-solid.

I attached the Nikon directly to the back of the scope as you suggested and that all works well too.

The picture shows that setup with the camera's live feed going to the monitor (bottom). The scope is focused on a distant street light.

The monitor isn't particularly sharp, and is probably only useful for letting others see what you're viewing. A combination of a Bahtimov mask and the camera's own screen should take care of focusing.

The iPad setup I mentioned before has a live view display too, although I suspect it'll be too laggy to be directly usable for focusing.

SW127Nikon.jpg

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OK, I've tightened up that bolt (never would have occurred to me to do that - most grateful) and the whole thing is rock-solid.

I attached the Nikon directly to the back of the scope as you suggested and that all works well too.

The picture shows that setup with the camera's live feed going to the monitor (bottom). The scope is focused on a distant street light.

The monitor isn't particularly sharp, and is probably only useful for letting others see what you're viewing. A combination of a Bahtimov mask and the camera's own screen should take care of focusing.

The iPad setup I mentioned before has a live view display too, although I suspect it'll be too laggy to be directly usable for focusing.

SW127Nikon.JPG

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I can't see the picture on my iphone but i'll look tomorrow on a computer. I can't take any praise for tightening up that nut, someone told me when i asked for help as the whole thing was so lax. I have given mine a really good tighten and it still tracks and slews perfectly and the motors don't sound like they are under any more tension that before, and as you report it all feels rock solid when the dslr is mounted. If there is any laxity in the left-right (az) axis there is a corresponding nut at the bottom of the mount arm; mine is already tight.

Yes, a bahtinov mask and live view will probably be good enough, it will just be a case of trial and error.

I look forward to seeing some results.

James

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I can see the image now.

You should be able to tweek the focus connection around so eventually the camera sits in a normal landscape position rather than in that portrait position. On mine is kind of loosening, turning, tightening exercise. You just need to hold your mouth right as you do it.

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I can see the image now.

You should be able to tweek the focus connection around so eventually the camera sits in a normal landscape position rather than in that portrait position. On mine is kind of loosening, turning, tightening exercise. You just need to hold your mouth right as you do it.

Yeah, I got that, it was just a case of doing a quick setup to check everything worked.

I also counted 6 turns anticlockwise to roughly focus back to an eyepiece in the diagonal after switching back from the direct camera mount.

Happily the two eyepieces that come with the scope, and the 15 and 40mm additional pieces I have are all roughly parfocal.

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