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Show us your set up in action at night.


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Here is a time lapse I did recently popping around on a nice evening.

This was the night following the last Super Moon. (Such a disappointment)

Best viewed in Full Screen.

 

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Here's mine  

My AstroTrac kit on holiday in Fuerteventura...  

I still often take a photo of my dome at night, the novelty hasn’t worn off yet 🤷‍♂️🙈 Even the Ha filter struggled here.    

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My setup a week or so ago in Pembrokeshire, looking out to sea with some light pollution from Skokholm Island I think. Its a Takahashi FSQ106ED on an NEQ6 Pro, which I lug about for days, heading to wherever there is a clear sky forecast. This was imaging NGC7000. Power comes from 3 x leisure batteries which I recharge during the day while kipping in the car. 

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Had a session this evening on the moon with the OMC140 on my Vixen GPmount.

Skies were pretty hazy, seeingbwas ropet and moon just off full so not ideal, but nice to be out.

 

 

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@Peco4321: Looks nice. Two tips from another eq3 owner;

1 if you move the camera to the opposite side, it will give you somewhat better balance (and if you rotate it so the sensor lines up with the ra direction, it will make imaging over several nights easier. Plus the possibility to reuse flats from several occasions.)

2 the weak point of this tripod/mount combo are the aluminium legs. I used the tripod at its lowest position, until I reinforced it.

Happy imaging with your setup

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You can do a lot to reinforce those ally tripods. I filled one with concrete mix packing it all in tight with a rod and left in the summer shade to dry out. Makes a world of difference but needless to say it looses all the benefits of light weight aluminum. Because most of the fittings on the ally tripods are plastic your never going to beat replacing it with a stainless or wooden tripod but its worth considering as a cheap fix until you have funds for an upgrade.

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2 hours ago, wimvb said:

@Peco4321: Looks nice. Two tips from another eq3 owner;

1 if you move the camera to the opposite side, it will give you somewhat better balance (and if you rotate it so the sensor lines up with the ra direction, it will make imaging over several nights easier. Plus the possibility to reuse flats from several occasions.)

2 the weak point of this tripod/mount combo are the aluminium legs. I used the tripod at its lowest position, until I reinforced it.

Happy imaging with your setup

Great tips thanks. Will hopefully try it out tonight. 

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2 hours ago, wimvb said:

and if you rotate it so the sensor lines up with the ra direction

So do you mean lining up with the scope? When I image the moon I rotate the camera to give the most pleasing aspect. I guess with lunar imaging this is ok but you're right if I want to add data to DSO imaging I need to think a bit. 

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Lining up the camera with the ra axis is good practice if you want to do dso photography. The first concern should always be to frame the target properly. But if you want to image iver several nights, or do mosaics (even just 2 panels), it's easier if the camera is lined up.

My recipe: target a bright star and expose for 20 to 30 seconds. After about 5 secs of exposure, press the ra+ button. You star will now trail. After the exposure, look at the trail and rotate the camera in the same direction as the trail is pointing. Then repeat the exposure. Do this untill the trail is parallell to either the long side or the short side of the view finder or screen. Now your sensor's long or short side is lined up. On a next night you do the same. When you stack images from several nights, there may be a shift, but at least no rotation. The amount of shift depends on how accurate your star alignment is. If you don't have goto, you can try to get bright stars in roughly the same position on the various imaging occasions. (Consider this poor mans plate solving)

Hope this helps,

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1 hour ago, Stub Mandrel said:

I did this to my EQ3 tripod before replacing it with a stainless steel EQ5 one. You could just fit big jubilee clips round the same part of each leg and do them up nice and tight.

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Sorry for my ignorance, what does that achieve?  Does it just firm it all up. 

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22 hours ago, wimvb said:

This is what I did:

http://wimvberlo.blogspot.se/2016/08/vibration-damping-eq3-aluminium-tripod.html

I also tried to fill the legs with sand, but there are too many openings in the legs, and the tripod became too heavy.

I was able to fill the bottom sections. I epoxies the plugs in place to stop leaks. The only way I could think of doing for the top parts was to plug them with plaster, but I decided not to bother.

In the end I used aluminium welding sticks to really get the legs solid :evil4:

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IMGP8120.jpg

Nothing really new here. But note the tripod pads on the ground. I drove post anchors into the ground (cut off the standing part), where I put my tripod. This greatly reduces the time needed for leveling and polar alignment. On this occasion, the mount was level from the start, and I only needed a slight adjustment in polar altitude. The pads are low enough for the grass to grow over in the summer. (And relatively easy to find under the snow.)

The guiding scope is barely visible behind the main OTA. I'm considering longer (14") dovetail bars to reduce differential flexure. So what do you think, should I go for Vixen or Losmandy style bars? Will Losmandy bars fit to my scope (SW 150PDS, currently with cone error correction screws in the dovetail bar)?

Cheers,

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Thought i would put my 2p's worth in. Last night just about to start on M51. Pier made from an I-beam knocked together for my by a lab mates boyfriend in exchange for a crate of Guinness. I use a cheep as chips lynx 10 windows 10 tablet and a powered hub to run everything. guiding with Phd and Cartes du ciel all throug EqMOD

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Quite deplorable of me to harp on about this, but how does one truly express one's gratitude for a scope that will endure all the accessories applied by one so optically challenged, and still deliver, night after light-polluted night, in full denial of its aperturial limitations?

How do you give thanks for something so above gratitude?

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Edited by iPeace
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