Jump to content

1564402927_Comet2021Banner.jpg.a8d9e102cd65f969b635e8061096d211.jpg

New 'gazer and HEQ5 owner bumbling with set-up


DarkKnight
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

Other than my intro, this is my first post. I'm a keen photographer who's just got into nightscapes.

I've just bought a SW HEQ5 mount, the basic one, but I have the GoTo kit on order.

The SW manual is about as useful as a chocolate teapotl! I've got more info from this site than from the manual, however there are still a few (read that as 'many') grey areas.

Once I realised that the mount is pretty much two separate sections I started to make some progress. These are the points I need confirmation or direction on.

  • It is not crucial to have the mount absolutely level but needs to be reasonably so, and stable
  • It is not necessary to have the mount spot on to the South Pole (I'm down under) as there is a fair degree of adjustment with the azimuth adjustment knobs. This one threw me for a bit as I couldn't figure how it worked till I backed off the mount locking screw.
  • The altitude adjustment 'T' bolts are only for fine tuning.

One other thing I'm undecided on is the best way to attach my camera to the mount (Nikon D800 + lens, up to 3kg) either by attaching the camera direct to a dovetail plate or mounting my ball-head to the plate which gives me a bit more flexibility with aligning the camera to the mount.

Cheers

Kev

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The mount does'nt need to be level but if it is the latitude setting is more accurate.

You need to be as accurate as possible with the polar alignment.

I use PHD drift align as adjustment is in real time and obvious.

Both methods of attaching the camera are ok but make sure everthing is solid and cannot flex or move.

My 60Da is just bolted to a short dovetail, the only thing I did was buy high quality bolts as I don't like the average photo bolt.

You should just be able to see the dovetail in this pic of my setup

setup1.jpg

You will need to make sure the polarscope reticule is aligned to the mount axis.

Watch this video by Dion, this shows what to do.

Edited by wxsatuser
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you very much Mike. Just the info I was after.

I'm very new to the astro world so please permit me a few newbie questions.

I'm guessing that is some sort of guide scope alongside the camera and both are linked to a computer.

Is that a dew heater on the lens?

Does PHD work with all digital cameras? Looks like I may have to consider a laptop. Glad I got a 38AH Gel battery.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just had a look at some of your photos Mike.

Wow. Most impressive.  And the lens you used surprised me.

My prime line-up is :

  • Samyang 14m f2.8
  • Nikon 28mm f1.8
  • Sigma 150mm f2.8
  • Nikon 300mm f4 plus a Nikon 1.4 T/C

Can't wait to get sorted and try some of them.      

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ask as many questions as you like, if I cannot answer them, there will be other members that can.

My setup is a permanent obsy so polar alignment once done is not normally an issue.

Yes that is a 60mm guidescope with an Orion Starshoot guide camera.

My camera is not connected to a computer I just use an intervalometer to control it.

I like to do exposures of 5minutes or more so guiding is basically essential and

they are dew heater bands, another necessity as here the gear can dew up quickly.

It is possible, if you can get good polar alignment, you may be able to do upto 2minute exposures.

The shorter the focal length of the scope/lens the better in that case.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just had a look at some of your photos Mike.

Wow. Most impressive.  And the lens you used surprised me.

My prime line-up is :

  • Samyang 14m f2.8
  • Nikon 28mm f1.8
  • Sigma 150mm f2.8
  • Nikon 300mm f4 plus a Nikon 1.4 T/C

Can't wait to get sorted and try some of them.      

Looks like you have some decent lenses.

You definately don't need a scope for imaging.

The lens in the pic is a Sigma 105mm macro, it's not to bad at f/4.5 and gives me a nice field of view.

I do run the Canon 200mm at f/2.8 as the stars are still pretty good near the edge.

Take your time and don't rush things, things will and do go wrong from time to time. :grin:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nearly forgot.

Thanks for the comment about my images.

My processing needs more practice but one step at at a time. :grin:

They could be better but time and clouds normally curtail imaging sessions.

I try to get 24 to 36 5minute subs to stack, some of my images are a lot less.

I do have moderate light polution and use a clip filter in the 60Da.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would agree with Mike on the mounting solution and the use of a simple intervalometer rather than tethering less to go wrong, I find imaging with camera lenses puts the fun back into AP its quick and easy and very versatile a simple lightweight unguided rig could be easiliy added for the trips away too.

Alan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would agree with Mike on the mounting solution and the use of a simple intervalometer rather than tethering less to go wrong, I find imaging with camera lenses puts the fun back into AP its quick and easy and very versatile a simple lightweight unguided rig could be easiliy added for the trips away too.

Alan

The HEQ5 is my portable rig. All 35kgs of it.  :grin:

I'm treed in where I live so I have to travel a bit.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another question ???

I'll be powering the mount from a 38AH battery via a cigarette lighter plug, My local auto shop only had 5amp fuses when in my limited understanding of things electrical I felt that 3amp would be appropriate.

Don't want to fry the mount so should I keep looking for 3amp  fuses ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd go with the Dovetail. Ball Heads are good but they sag unless they are of the very expensive kind

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Mine is a Markins and it doesn't droop at all.

I'll post a pic of my rig when I have it all together.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm stumbling at the final hurdle, the last bit of the kit.

My intention is to mount my normal camera set-up on the mount, which consists of a Markins Q10 and a Wimberley Sidekick, the WS mounts on the ball-head with the ball-head down in the slot, so no droop or flex possible. This is all able to be nicely balanced and gives me the ability to fine tune both laterally and longitudinally.

Being in the boonies I can't duck down to my local astro shop 'coz I don't have one, so I have to rely on the internet. I've spent most of today trying to find the appropriate plate but to no avail, and it's doing my head in. When I think I've found something, the mounting profile does not look right.

Please, can someone point me in the right direction of a basic dovetail plate to suit the HEQ5 with a hole in it to screw my ballhead onto. I'm all over Arca Swiss systems but the dovetail thing is all new to me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi! You have roughly the same gear as I do. I wad also thinking of a ball head for fine tuning but that turned out an unnecessary source of flexure. I adjust the position with the mounts handcontrols and then adjust the rotation by loosening the mount adapter on the 300mm lens. Works like a charm.

I'll answer some more and post pics when I'm at a computer [emoji4]

The Canon 300/4 lens is good for some excellent astro photos and I'm sure the Nikon is every bit as good.

I use a laptop for focusing and camera control. Imaging from my back yard, so power is not a problem for me.

Sent from my phone using Tapatalk

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the reply.

What do you actually use to attach the camera to the HEQ5, ie plates etc ?

I use a 30 cm Dovetail like this one: http://www.astrosweden.se/sky-watcher-monteringsskenor/23117-0and a 1/4" (or is it 1/8"?) bolt.

You can see in the attached picture how I´ve attached the lens, not the camera. I then have my autoguider mounted side by side with it.

post-45229-0-51603700-1438110233_thumb.j

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks to all for your help.

I think I've found a solution with the iOptron Ball Head and a Sky Watcher Ball Head Adapter.

The Adapter fits into the HEQ5 saddle and screws into the ball head. I'll put another screw in the set-up to stop any rotation.

iOptron Ball Head

post-46050-0-44194500-1438146850.jpg

Sky Watcher Ball Head Adapter

post-46050-0-77803400-1438146919.jpg

  • Like 1
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.