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First Light With Altair Wave 102.


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After having it for over a week I finally got chance last night to try my newl Altair Wave 102ED Triplet.

It was also a test for the mount after having the new motor/encoder fitted earlier in the week by Lucas.

I did M33, and M45 ...also did M's 81 & 82 but the data wasn't good with a bit of cloud and LP etc so scrapped them.

Have just done the usual things in PS with some Noel Carboni and Annie's actions.

The guiding trace was excellent ....see other Mesu 200 post....so am assuming the elongated stars as it goes to the edge is field curvature?

Will prob buy the flattener as it seems a reasonable price.

Details are same for both pics ...QHY8 camera,12 subs of 10 mins each, with Flats and Biases, guided with QHY 5 in Altair 60mm mini guide scope 3sec guides for m33 and 1.5 sec guides for M45

Guided with PHD and pics acquired and stacked etc  with Nebulosity.

Still lots to learn but slowly seeing improvements.

Tom

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post-6132-0-05615300-1380463971_thumb.jp

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They look very good. I would say that was a successful test!

Do you know why you seem to have lost the normal blue colour your M45 image? I get a similar thing in my processing. My widefield stars seem to almost come out black and white. I have colour in the image because the blinking light pollution gives an orange cast, but the stars have no colour!

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Hi Bryan

Yes I had noticed that and wondered about it myself......don't know why it's like that as other attempts I have made with other scopes are bluer....this scope being a triplet and not giving any false colour like blue rings round stars may be the reason?...I don't know ...I am sure someone will explain it.

These pics also had loads of orange LP before I processed it out....have got an imaging type LP filter that I only tried once so now I have got sorted with a good scope and mount will also try it again....there never seems to be  enough minutes in the night to do all I want to do :smiley:

Have also noticed a gradient I should have removed on the m33 now as well. :embarrassed:

Tom

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Thanks for that Daniel but I use Nebulosity for all stacking etc. I don't use any of its tools after stackiing etc other than Adjust Colour Background (Offset)

I do everything else in Photoshop.

Could boost saturation in PS though, I  may have a play with it at a future date.

Tom

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  • 3 weeks later...

Nice first outing well done, i bought the AA 80mm Super Triplet 2 weeks ago & only really got a good go last night, same thing but very slight RE edge of field view, i had the Planostar flattener delivered today.

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I bought the Planostar Flattener and hoped to give it a try last night

However just as I got set up the clouds came in and ruined it.

BUT one thing I did notice was that with the extra weight of the flattener the focuser was slipping went pointed at the zenith which was a bit dissapointing.

My QHY8 isn't a particularly heavy cam and wondered if anyone else had experienced this on these Altair Wave scopes with the 3" focuser?

There doesn't appear to be a 'tension increasing' screw like on the cheaper GSO type focusers only the  'locking once focused' screw

It must be even worse with a heavier mono cam/filter wheel etc.

Can't comment on the effectiveness of the flattener till next clear sky.

Have posted a pic I took a week or 2 ago of the Cocoon Nebula ....that is alot of stars :smiley:

Tom

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I processed some QHY one shot colour data this week. I'm not sure how it was stacked but the colour balance, though miles out in the basic stack, was instantly rebalanced by using Dynamic Background Extraction in Pixinsight. After that I thought it was fine. One thing is for sure; any colour anomalies have nothing to do with the optics. They won't make that much difference!

I wouldn't use DSS for doing any kind of colour balancing. I'd really recommend PI for intital work on the linear data and then I'd say that you can stay in it as long as you can understand it! Me, I head for Photoshop pretty sharpish after DBE and SCNR green in PI but I dare say I'll inch slowly into it...

It was clear that the flattener was needed.

As for Crayfords, I'd just say to any manufacturer, 'New scope, doesn't work, why not? Jump to it.'

Olly

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Tom, did the focusser slip as soon as you pointed skywards or further into the night, noticed by your sub quality ?

I can say my 80mm AA has not slipped at all, the two scopes appear to be almost the same but the 80 is described as being 3.5", not sure what,if any, difference the .5" makes or if indeed it's the same unit apart from size. Anton Enright said in his initial review of his 80 that he found focus needed adjusting through the night as the scope cooled down, i have not noticed this but as the weather is not playing ball i have not had much chance to test it out.

I have noticed however that when using the rotatable focusser, for framming, you do need to refocus.

My only niggle with the AA is the one thumb screw for tightening the EP or FW, mine ends up against the FW making it really difficult to turn, it does grip like a vice once toghtened though & has no issues what so ever.

I now have the flattener which will cancel this problem as the FW will be a direct connection to the M48 - T2, i need to make up 16mm though to use it.

I am however very glad i bought the AA as the performance so far has exceeded my expectations, the Altairs are not praised enough by the astro community as far as i can see, their cost is very reasonable for what you get, which is a lot of scope & the build quality is top notch.

I see you have the 60mm finder as well Tom, i use a DMK618 for guiding which has an FL of 225mm, i appreciate your setup is otherwise different but any chance you can pm me a screeny of your phd settings if possible ?

PHD1 or Beta PHD 2 ?

Nice first shots btw, i have yet to try a galaxy & at this rate i'll be popping the SCT back onto the mount for Jup soon anyway.

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Hi Ewan

No I didn't actually get to take any subs due to clouds but was just pointing the scope almost vertical to do a sync on a star and was focusing and it kept slipping down ....like I say only the planostar flattener and a QHY 8 on it so disappointing as Altair plug the Planostar like mad on the website as ideal for the scope but the focusser is definitely (despite its 3" diameter) not up to it.

Just back from pub will dig out a screen grab of PHD settings and post here soon as get time this week

Tom

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Hi Ewan / Tom

I purchased the Lakeside Motor Focuser System which tends to keep the focuser locked in place, although it doesn't have a clutch to manually adjust the focuser by hand.

I have the planostar flattener but was getting elongated stars in two corners with my M26C.

After many tests on tube alignment, CCD alignment etc., Ian King lent me one of his own WO flatteners, which looks like  it may have done the trick, but tests were limited to a moon lit sky.

I did previsously get 10 min subs on M31 guiding in PHD using the planostar flattener, but with a gradient in one corner (probably caused by light polution from my own house) and elongated stars in two corners, I was not satisfied witth the result.

Clouds permitting, I want to give M31 another go using the different flattener.

Overall, still pleased with the scope.

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Hi Ewan / Tom

I purchased the Lakeside Motor Focuser System which tends to keep the focuser locked in place, although it doesn't have a clutch to manually adjust the focuser by hand.

I have the planostar flattener but was getting elongated stars in two corners with my M26C.

After many tests on tube alignment, CCD alignment etc., Ian King lent me one of his own WO flatteners, which looks like  it may have done the trick, but tests were limited to a moon lit sky.

I did previsously get 10 min subs on M31 guiding in PHD using the planostar flattener, but with a gradient in one corner (probably caused by light polution from my own house) and elongated stars in two corners, I was not satisfied witth the result.

Clouds permitting, I want to give M31 another go using the different flattener.

Overall, still pleased with the scope.

Not sure about the 102 but my 80 has tilt adjusters, im no expert but id imagine these can correct slight alignment diffrence.

The one thing i have to remember is do near as focus, frame target & then lock it down, i have made some clssic mistakes so far ie left binning on, bahtninov mask on while imaging & nosepiece cover still on camera :-(

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Thanks to all for the kind words re the pics :smiley:

I sorted the focuser....it was me not looking properly...hadn't noticed there was a larger than the rest hex screw under the focuser to adjust it's tension so tightened it a midges and it seems fine now......must learn to open my eyes!

Will give a proper test on the flattener when chance.

Ewan...not forgot that info you wanted...will post once I next fire up the obs PC and check the settings.

Tom

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Thanks to all for the kind words re the pics :smiley:

I sorted the focuser....it was me not looking properly...hadn't noticed there was a larger than the rest hex screw under the focuser to adjust it's tension so tightened it a midges and it seems fine now......must learn to open my eyes!

Will give a proper test on the flattener when chance.

Ewan...not forgot that info you wanted...will post once I next fire up the obs PC and check the settings.

Tom

Easy enough to miss Tom & you will certainly be pleased with the scope, i'll keep an eye out for the pm, weathers not great either so time not a problem.

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