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A few months back, i bought my first mono camera, an Atik 383l+ from Martin @Xsubmariner off here. I hadn't had a chance to give it a whirl until last night.
I thought about getting the 80ED out, but i've been wanting to do some widefield stuff for a while, so i attached an old Tamron 135mm F2.8 vintage M42 lens i picked up last year for next to nothing. The lens needs to be stopped down to F5.6 (perhaps less, i haven't tested though) to produce acceptable stars in broadband, but i was hoping it could be used more wide open for Narrowband. I used step-down rings screwed on to the end of the lens hood to bring the aperture down to 37mm, which is about F3.65 (i did briefly try it wide open in Ha, and it wasn't that bad tbh, but i could still make out some comet-shaped stars in a few places so i opted to stop it down a bit to play it safe). I have a TS Optics filter drawer in the optical train, so i can still swap out filters without too much fuss. I still have about 3-4mm of extra backfocus space to spare, but i can already find focus as it is, so i'm not sure if it's that important that i haven't fully used it all up.
Focusing was tough. I was focusing using a Bahtinov mask on Deneb, and i had to use 10s subs (subframes) at 2x2 bin to get bright enough spikes for Bahtinov Grabber to pick up to the spikes ok. Even then, it was showing the focus error moving about quite a bit, even without me touching the focus ring. In the end i just got it as close as i could and went with it.
Conditions were not great. Some clear spells, but there was a lot of cloud passing through. I figures it would be good enough for a test session. The Phd guide graph looked horrific, and was somewhere in the 1-2" range (image scale is 8.4" so not a big deal hopefully). I bodged together a couple of old dovetails to add enough weight to counter-balance the 5Kg counterweight. It just about does. It's not perfect by any means, but hopefully sufficient for this purpose.
I would ideally like to shoot 1200s subs, but couldn't last night due to the constant clouds (Phd lost the guide star countless times). I was about to give up, but persisted and aimed for 600s subs. Glad i did, as i ended up with 6 useable subs, even if a couple were affected by some thin cloud.
Did a quick stack in APP and a 10 min process in PS, just to get a rough idea of what i can expect from this. I used Flats and a couple of Darks just to do a rough calibration. Didn't do any gradient reduction, was in too much of a hurry after packing up last night. Overall i'm fairly pleased with how it performed. I'm obviously not aiming for Samyang 135mm F2 levels of performance here, but for purely NB bi-colour mosaics i think it can do a job.
I've included a picture of the rig below as well, in case anyone's interested.
6 x 600s (1 Hr)
Atik 383l+ 2" Baader Ha 7nm
Tamron Adaptall2 135mm F2.8 (@F3.65)
I've literally just signed up so I'm totally new here and excited to learn from all you professional astromaster...
I'm not sure if this is the right place to post so I do apologise if not...
I'm after a skywatcher eq3 pro goto mount for my celestron astromaster 130eq every website i go on they are out of stock and not available for a couple of months 🙄 does anybody know a stockist that has these in stock? I've only been in the astrophotography hobby 4 weeks so I've got lots to learn...
Thank you for your help
Lots of astro kit for sale! Payment via bank transfer or PayPal (buyer to pay fees). Reasonable offers considered.
1. Sky-Watcher Evostar 80ED DS-Pro Outfit with auto focuser upgrade -- £350
Comes with diagonal, 28mm 2” eyepiece, 2" to 1.25" eyepiece adapter, dovetail, tube rings, SkyWatcher Auto Focuser, HitecAstro DC Focus Controller USB, metal case. Approx. cost new: £562. Buyer to collect from central Bristol, or buyer to arrange for a courier. Note: doesn’t come with a finder / guider, but I have some available (listed below).
Main items similar to:
2. Sky-Watcher .85x Reducer/Flattener for ED80 -- £120 inc. recorded delivery to mainland UK
3. Sky-Watcher Skymax 150 PRO -- £300
Comes with diagonal, 28mm 2” eyepiece, and dovetail. Note: doesn’t come with a finder / guider, but I have some available (listed below). Buyer to collect from central Bristol, or buyer can arrange for a courier.
It's an earlier version of this: https://www.firstlightoptics.com/maksutov/skywatcher-skymax-150-pro.html
Works well with items 7, 8, and 9.
4. Sky-Watcher 9x50 and QHY5 mono guidescope -- £150 inc. recorded delivery to mainland UK
Includes T thread adapter attaching the QHY5 to the finderscope. Also includes kit to convert into a regular optical finderscope.
5. Sky-Watcher 9x50 Finderscope -- £30 inc. delivery to mainland UK
6. Sky-Watcher EQ3 PRO mount -- £220
In pretty good condition, and includes the handset for full goto functionality. Unboxed. Buyer to collect from central Bristol, or buyer can arrange for a courier.
It's an earlier version of this: https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-mounts/skywatcher-eq3-pro-synscan-goto.html
7. Astrozap Dew Heater Tape, 6" 'scope -- £30 inc. delivery to mainland UK
8. Astrozap Flexible Dew Shield for Skymax 150 -- £20 inc. delivery to mainland UK
9. StarSharp Bahtinov Focus Mask 150mm Maksutov -- £10 inc. delivery to mainland UK
Items 1 and 4:
Items 3, 5, 7:
Hi guys, it's my first post here, so Hello!
My synscan goto upgrade started to act like in this video of mine SynScan GOTO Skipping after being disassembled for few weeks in the closet. There were no such problems before.
When it slews at rates above x3 everything is fine and smooth but as soon as it starts tracking at x3, it skips steps or something like that.
My setup is eq3-2 on alu and SW 150/750 with Canon 700D attached.
Thanks in advance for any clues or ideas!
Complete beginner question regarding using this mount.
When I have tried to set up and align the mount , the goto targeting is off by many degrees. Here's what I do - can someone tell me what I'm doing wrong!?
With the power off:
Align the tripod and mount to North and, with the clutches released, set the declination to my latitude (52deg 28' N). and the mount in the weights-down home position.
Lock the clutches and fine tune the alignment on Polaris using the mechanical adjustments on the mount.
Turn the power on:
Set up the date, time and location, elevation etc. in the handset (noting the American Date format and Longitude first (set to W 1deg 48')
DST = Yes
Select 1 Star align
Pick a star, I usually try Procyon or Betelguese depending on the time.
The scope slews to vaguely the right direction but actually nowhere near. It can take 2 or 3 minutes of manual slewing to centre the star in the eyepiece. Finishing, of course, with an up and right movement.
Finally, press Enter to complete the alignment ==> Alignment Successful says the handset optimistically.
Now from the object menu pick another target. Try, say, Polaris which was where I started and ... nowhere near it. It's the same regardless of the selected target.
I have tried 2 star alignment and 3 star alignment, a factory reset before starting, but nothing seems to work. Once i'm lined up on a target the mount tracks nicely - it just won't go where I want it to!
Not yet at my wits end but - Help!