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I'm planning a bit of a change in my imaging setup and after much thought I need some input from others if you can.
I want to upgrade my setup, currently a SW 130pds HEQ5 with a 60mm guide scope imaging with a modded 500D.
I often find my imaging time limited but am planning the build of a mini obsy to make longer sessions more practical.
Would mounting a SW72 ed on top of the 130pds be over kill to get an dual imaging system going and increase the data volume, both with a canon 500d and a simple finder guider, the mount should be ok with this.
Or just keep the status quo and add an auto focuser for longer single scope sessions that can be more automated in keeping good focus with the lighter setup.
The dual version I believe would end up having wider field images as I would probably have to add the higher resolution from the longer FL to the shorter FL images.
Any 2p's worth would be appreciated I just want to achieve more productive sessions.
Having setup my kit last night to image Orion I found the Heq5 mount making a hard clicking or grinding noise depending slew speed only in Declination and only when pointing west.
Tried with handset as well as eqmod, the mounts power is supplied with a mains power pack.
I don't get as much time to image as I'd like and often image object in the east as they rise.
Tried slight adjustment of Dec but still happens.
Throwing it out for suggestions.
With the recent poor viewing I have decided to strip down my HEQ5 pro mount and upgrade the bearings and add the Rowan belt modification.
From threads I have looked at on this forum and also looking at the Astrobaby guide I think I need the following bearings, I know many on here have already upgraded the bearings so thought I would just check they are correct before ordering.
I have ordered rubber seals in order to prevent moisture ingress. Now I know these tend to make them run slightly tighter than metal seals but they do not run at speed so though they would be better. Any thoughts?
Went out on Sunday night to try and get some OIII for the Veil Nebula Bi-Colour Mosaic I’m currently working on. It ended up being a largely frustrating night though as I was fighting a big, bright full moon (in hindsight not the smartest decision I’ve ever made in fairness, lol). Factor in just enough intermittent clouds to exacerbate the issue even more, and when it finally set behind the neighbour’s house at 03:30am I was feeling pretty glum and was about to pack up for the night when I suddenly thought, what the heck, let’s try for a quick capture of 21P!
As it was fairly low to the East, I had to disconnect all the cables and carry the whole rig to the other side of the house and re-do Polar Alignment, PHD calibration and focus. I did think about not guiding, as I knew the exposures were going to be short, but it just feels wrong not to guide these days so I decided to do it anyway just for peace of mind if nothing else. So I started capturing around 04:15ish and as astro-dark was due to finish shortly after 5am I decided to just do 40 subs of 90s each using the IDAS-D1 filter (we have streetlights nearby).
Went in to grab a quick 60 mins of shuteye, except I overslept and didn’t wake until 06:30, so was then in a mad rush to pack up and get ready for work! Which meant I forgot to get Flats, but thankfully I was able to re-use the master Flat from my M13 image from a few months back and it seemed to work just fine ?
Processing this one was interesting to say the least. This is my first comet, so I had to do some research beforehand. These days I always do my stacking in APP, but I had to go old-school and use DSS for this one due it’s special Comet-only stacking mode. So I did 2 stacks, a regular Median one just for the stars, and a 2nd Kappa-Sigma one aligned on the Comet (and using the same reference frame as the Median stack). Some subs were badly affected by intermittent clouds, so I could only stack 33 out of the 40 subs (and tbh 33 was really pushing it, quality-wise). I processed each one separately in PS and then layered in just the comet on top using the ‘Screen’ blending mode. I actually wasn’t aware there was red nebulosity in the background until I started stretching, and it certainly would have been easier to process had it not been there, lol. As expected, I have had to use quite a bit of NR compared to my normal amount, due to the pitiful amount of exposure to work with. Hopefully it doesn’t look too bad but let me know if you think it needs more or less of anything in particular. Of course, there’s only so far you can ever go with just 49 mins of data at hand.
As the capture was done in such a rush, I didn’t bother worrying about the framing. I just input the co-ordinates into SGP and let it centre on the object for me. But having now worked out where in the sky this is, and looking at the FoV, I can see that had I rotated the camera 90 degrees then the Cone Nebula would have been in the frame. I actually haven’t imaged the Cone before, so I think this winter I will make a point of imaging it in it’s own right, and then I can re-use it to make a much more interesting version of this image with a much better background. Fun times!
C&C welcome as always. And thanks for looking! ?
Edit: Decided to make a few changes, so here's v2: