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michaelmorris

Kelling Heath April 2017

24 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

I've been a regular attendee at Kelling Heath's  autumn star party for over 10 years.  With the SGL Star Party now moving to October each year I'm missing my Spring star party fix, so Mrs M and I are off to Kelling next week for their Spring star party. :icon_biggrin: 

For those that attended both events, apart from the scale of the event, are there any differences between them?

Any other Loungers going to be there?

Edited by michaelmorris

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i`d say that the biggest thing is the shorter nights compared to the autumn one. 

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It's a very similar event to the Autumn one. As red dwalf point out the nights are a couple of hours shorter but the format of the event is much the same.

It isn't quite a popular as the Autumn event and therefore it's easier to get a decent pitch but there is usually a fine array of equipment on show.

I'll be on Red 303 in you fancy dropping by.

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I'm going to be there on yellow 149. 19th to 26th. Visitors welcome. I'd like some help with autofocus settings in Maxim? I'm having issues getting it to work.

As to the scale of the event, it is smaller with no talks but there are stalls there on the Saturday.

Anne

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3 minutes ago, Anne S said:

I'm going to be there on yellow 149. 19th to 26th. Visitors welcome. I'd like some help with autofocus settings in Maxim? I'm having issues getting it to work.

As to the scale of the event, it is smaller with no talks but there are stalls there on the Saturday.

Anne

Are you using the Maxim autofocus or Focus Max ?

Dave

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I've been trying Maxim but I've got Focusmax v3 too. I'm running a LakesideAstro focus motor through a Mount Hub Pro. I've only just found the backlash settings in the Ascom driver but I'm not sure what to do on the Maxim side. I can't seem to get it to be repeatable so I can put in offsets for the filters!

Im quite happy to switch to FocusMax if it's easier. Any assistance would be much appreciated.

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21 minutes ago, Anne S said:

I've been trying Maxim but I've got Focusmax v3 too. I'm running a LakesideAstro focus motor through a Mount Hub Pro. I've only just found the backlash settings in the Ascom driver but I'm not sure what to do on the Maxim side. I can't seem to get it to be repeatable so I can put in offsets for the filters!

Im quite happy to switch to FocusMax if it's easier. Any assistance would be much appreciated.

I couldn't get FM3 to work but the Maxim one works fine, you need to work out your step size so drive the focuser nearly all the way in and set as zero then out 1000 steps using the hand controller, you then need to measure the amount it's moved, easiest using digital calipers, and divide by a thousand to get your step size and fill it in in Maxim, make sure you're set to metric not inches.

Set the backlash in Maxim window, settings aren't critical, I've got mine set to 20.

You also need to fill in all the other focal length, imaging scale stuff and I also found it necessary to fill in the settings bit, it's a good idea to do this anyway as it writes useful stuff into the FITS header.

Then set it to near focus and run the autofocus routine, you can use the mouse to mark a star then click on the use subframe and zoom in on it to see if it's working.

The only problems I've had is it sometimes changes the maximum out settings to some astronomical number and complains it can't go that far and I have to recalibrate it and if I leave the Lakeside focuser turned on for any length of time before connecting under the observatory window it won't connect so have to turn it off and on again on the hand controller to get it to connect.

Dave

Dave

 

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Hi

The missis and I will be at both I love it you can learn so much from each other

where as normally I'm sat in the ob trying to work stuff out on your own when I haven't got a clue what I  am doing 

There is always guys there who knows stuff you don't and vicer verser 

Solarboy

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Posted (edited)

23 hours ago, Hobbes said:

I'll be on Red 303 in you fancy dropping by.

We'll be in our motorhome on pitch 358 (about 2/5th way down the Red field)

Edited by michaelmorris
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3 hours ago, Davey-T said:

I couldn't get FM3 to work but the Maxim one works fine, you need to work out your step size so drive the focuser nearly all the way in and set as zero then out 1000 steps using the hand controller, you then need to measure the amount it's moved, easiest using digital calipers, and divide by a thousand to get your step size and fill it in in Maxim, make sure you're set to metric not inches.

Set the backlash in Maxim window, settings aren't critical, I've got mine set to 20.

You also need to fill in all the other focal length, imaging scale stuff and I also found it necessary to fill in the settings bit, it's a good idea to do this anyway as it writes useful stuff into the FITS header.

Then set it to near focus and run the autofocus routine, you can use the mouse to mark a star then click on the use subframe and zoom in on it to see if it's working.

The only problems I've had is it sometimes changes the maximum out settings to some astronomical number and complains it can't go that far and I have to recalibrate it and if I leave the Lakeside focuser turned on for any length of time before connecting under the observatory window it won't connect so have to turn it off and on again on the hand controller to get it to connect.

Dave

Dave

 

I worked out my step size as 1.5, does that sound ok? Does that apply to the motor only? I've got the backlash in the MHP driver, not Maxim so I'll need to fix that. I've done the focal length. Backlash was on 25 but I changed it to 50 as I wasn't getting a v curve, just shark's teeth! I was nearly at focus by reading the fwhm.

i haven't had any problems with connecting, it stays up fine. 

I'll have to try it again at Kelling as I've packed the camera.

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2 hours ago, Anne S said:

I worked out my step size as 1.5, does that sound ok? Does that apply to the motor only? I've got the backlash in the MHP driver, not Maxim so I'll need to fix that. I've done the focal length. Backlash was on 25 but I changed it to 50 as I wasn't getting a v curve, just shark's teeth! I was nearly at focus by reading the fwhm.

i haven't had any problems with connecting, it stays up fine. 

I'll have to try it again at Kelling as I've packed the camera.

Which scope have you got it on ?

On my WO110FLT it works out at 6.3 microns.

Not going to Kelling but if you take digital calipers with you or find someone who can bring some you can get a second opinion.

Backlash 25 should be fine.

Dave

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At home on an Altair Wave 102mm triplet. At Kelling I'll have my WO ZSII 80mm. I also have a 6 inch RC. If I can get it working for one, I should be able to work out the others. I've got a set of calipers, rather cheap ones from Aldi! They have been packed  because I'm also trying to work out focal reducer distances.

Funily enough, Maxim seemed to want to have 4. something as the stepsize on auto. Maybe that was closer.

I've been scared of the autofocus for long enough, it's about time I sorted it out! It's a pity you're not going to be there.

Anne

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Don't use the auto function, it says mine is 10 microns.

Dave

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That might explain my shark's teeth, Maxim's moving too many steps!

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12 hours ago, Anne S said:

That might explain my shark's teeth, Maxim's moving too many steps!

If you watch the read out window while it's running the autofocus the HFD should go up by about 1.5 per step, you can adjust the step size to achieve this.

Dave

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2 hours ago, Davey-T said:

If you watch the read out window while it's running the autofocus the HFD should go up by about 1.5 per step, you can adjust the step size to achieve this.

Dave

Thanks Dave. That'll give me something to do in Kelling, assuming the weather's kind. It's difficult to work things out when there's no one nearby who can help. Sure you aren't going to Kelling? There's a pitch come up on ABS!!

Anne

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1 hour ago, Anne S said:

Thanks Dave. That'll give me something to do in Kelling, assuming the weather's kind. It's difficult to work things out when there's no one nearby who can help. Sure you aren't going to Kelling? There's a pitch come up on ABS!!

Anne

Sorry Anne, just been to Peak SP so can't swing another one just yet as I have to stick Mrs T  in the care home which doesn't go down too well :grin:

You're lucky your old man likes astronomy, hope he's keeping well, has he sorted that iOptron mount yet ?

Dave

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4 hours ago, Davey-T said:
46 minutes ago, Davey-T said:

Sorry Anne, just been to Peak SP so can't swing another one just yet as I have to stick Mrs T  in the care home which doesn't go down too well :grin:

You're lucky your old man likes astronomy, hope he's keeping well, has he sorted that iOptron mount yet ?

Dave

Ian at Altair sorted it out. Something went wrong on the Dec side if I remember rightly. Ioptron can be a bit flakey. My original Ieq30 spent more time down the shop than with me! At least everything is easily accessible for when they do go wrong.

We're planning on autumn Kelling, SGL party and Winterfest as long as I don't have any concerts in the way. Retirement is great!

Anne

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I'll be there from 16th to 23rd April. Caravan on pitch 345 in the red field. Feel free to drop by. Happy to help any newcomers as best I can. 

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Looking forward to this years Spring event - I'll be on pitch Red 311 - mostly observing with a C8 SCT and the Sun with a Lunt50THa, but there are a couple of planets to image too :-)

David

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I'll be on my usual pitch Red 383 Thurs to Sunday (poss Monday).

Dave

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Hi I'm a regular Autumn star party person Blue field, will be takening possession of a nice new motorhome next month. So no more tents ! With this in mind looking to do more Star parties and was wondering how hard it would be to get a pitch for next years Kelling Spring star party guess I need to be booking now! 

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I believe telephone bookings for next year's spring star party go on sale on Monday. Check with the site.

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Here's a quick drone fly past from the afternoon of Friday 21st April. 

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