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First Light - WO Star 71 Dual Rig - Leo Triplet


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After much wailing and gnashing of teeth, we have finally been able to get our dual rig up and running.  The rig consists of two William Optics Star 71s - one is a Mark I (5 element) and the other is a Mark II (4 element).  They have identical focal length and FOV.  Cameras are a Moravian G2-8300 and an Atik 383L.  Filters are Baaders.  The rig sits on top of a new SkyWatcher EQ6-R.  The object chosen was somewhat random - the Leo Triplet - just to check everything was aligned, orthogonal and so on.  This was, in hindsight, not the best choice since the Triplet soon started dipping into the light polluted part of my sky.  I got only a hint of the tidal tail - possibly because of the LP, possibly because I stuck (mostly) to 5 minute exposures as I was testing the rig.  On the second night I did get some 15 minute luminance exposures, but I did not get sufficient (I think) to bring out the tail.

I am grateful to @swag72 on two counts.  Firstly, she talked me into keeping the faith with the Star 71s (I was going to get an Esprit 80 and work around the different FOVs).  Secondly, she suggested I try the (relatively inexpensive) EQ6-R (I had been thinking about an Avalon).  

Data: 

  • Luminance: 44x300" bin 1x1
  • Luminance: 10x900" bin 1x1
  • Red: 15x300" bin 1x1
  • Green: 15x300" bin 1x1
  • Blue: 15x300" bin 1x1

This amounts to 9 hours 55 minutes captured over 2 (and a bit) indifferent nights - at present I am only getting around 4 hours of 'Astro dark' per night.  [EDIT: Please note there are (hopefully) improved versions a couple of posts below.]

01_Leo_Triplet_FINx1920.thumb.jpg.578fe5f16471f17eb13387c8a3fc67a7.jpg

Edited by gnomus
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After much wailing and gnashing of teeth, we have finally been able to get our dual rig up and running.  The rig consists of two William Optics Star 71s - one is a Mark I (5 element) and the other is

And for those interested, here is a 100% crop concentrating on the triplet:

Can't believe I have been acknowledged for actually saving someone money  Hmm..... will have to rectify that soon before it decimates my reputation  

Posted Images

Looking very promising Steve, I still haven't done any imaging with my pair of 71s as I've been using the WO110FLT on galaxies and making some scope aligning thingys similar to JTech ones but lighter for the 71s.

How are the stars in the corners of the MK11 ?

4 hours of dark will = 8 hours :grin:

Dave

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4 hours ago, Davey-T said:

Looking very promising Steve, I still haven't done any imaging with my pair of 71s as I've been using the WO110FLT on galaxies and making some scope aligning thingys similar to JTech ones but lighter for the 71s.

How are the stars in the corners of the MK11 ?

4 hours of dark will = 8 hours :grin:

Dave

Thanks Dave.  Stars look good across the field of the new Star 71.  I did have some concerns after all the problems with the Mk I, but I am very happy with the results from new scope.  

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Nice image--The tail would be nice, but many images of the triplet that have a bright tail are out of balance to my eye--the  galaxies being overly exposed--kind of like galaxies in the FOV of IFN shots--ultra colorful and loud.  This image has perfect balance, nice stars, and a depth of space--the background looks like space, not a 2D representation of it

Rodd

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31 minutes ago, swag72 said:

Can't believe I have been acknowledged for actually saving someone money :D Hmm..... will have to rectify that soon before it decimates my reputation :D 

Don't worry Sara, encouraged by your efforts I've spent a small fortune setting mine up :grin:

Nice article in AN BTW.

Dave

On the subject of your dual mount have you tried using the 12 volt supplies on the dew heaters to supply the cameras ?

 

Edited by Davey-T
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1 hour ago, Rodd said:

Nice image--The tail would be nice, but many images of the triplet that have a bright tail are out of balance to my eye--the  galaxies being overly exposed--kind of like galaxies in the FOV of IFN shots--ultra colorful and loud.  This image has perfect balance, nice stars, and a depth of space--the background looks like space, not a 2D representation of it

Rodd

Thanks Rodd.  You are very kind.  I suspect that if I had done all 6 hours of Lum as 15 minute subs, then the tail might have been a bit easier.  I just had no idea if it was going to work at all when I pressed the 'Go' buttons.  Like you I want the picture to look 'natural' (whatever that means) first and any 'extras' come second.  I've wasted too much time and spoiled many images trying to extract every last pixel of detail out of my data.

1 hour ago, swag72 said:

Can't believe I have been acknowledged for actually saving someone money :D Hmm..... will have to rectify that soon before it decimates my reputation :D 

Rest assured Sara - two scopes, two cameras, two focussers, two wheels, two sets of filters .....  You have cost me plenty!

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1 hour ago, Davey-T said:

...

On the subject of your dual mount have you tried using the 12 volt supplies on the dew heaters to supply the cameras ?

 

Not sure if that was for me or Sara, Dave.  I do use the power outputs from my dew heater controller.  One runs the Atik 383L and the other the EFW2.  It seems to work fine.

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1 minute ago, gnomus said:

Not sure if that was for me or Sara, Dave.  I do use the power outputs from my dew heater controller.  One runs the Atik 383L and the other the EFW2.  It seems to work fine.

Just noticed that Sara has the same dew heater controller as mine that has spare 12 volt supplies, I've run separate cables from my cameras in the loom down to the power supply ATM.

Sara doesn't look to be using hers.

Not being an electrical genius I'm not sure if the pulsing of the dew bands would affect the cameras ?

Dave

 

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15 minutes ago, gnomus said:

I can only describe my experience.  No issues as far as I can see.

Lovely images :thumbright:

Is it the hitech dew controller with the power you have?  Is so, it is encouraging to hear it doesn't cause any issues (particularly as when I had an atik 383 it was fussy about power).  That might help me in my current quest to rationalise what has turned into a rat's nest of cables. 

Helen

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9 minutes ago, Helen said:

Lovely images :thumbright:

Is it the hitech dew controller with the power you have?  Is so, it is encouraging to hear it doesn't cause any issues (particularly as when I had an atik 383 it was fussy about power).  That might help me in my current quest to rationalise what has turned into a rat's nest of cables. 

Helen

Yes. The Hitech 4 channel controller.  

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7 minutes ago, Helen said:

:thumbright: <Helen heads off to swap the hitec from the portable set up for the kendrick on the mount> 

Please post the results Helen, I've made 3 looms so far so one more won't be a problem :grin:

Dave

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The dew controller from Hitec that I bought second hand is fit for the bin and nothing else...... 2 of the channels dont work.... I won't be buying another hitec as a replacement.

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14 minutes ago, swag72 said:

The dew controller from Hitec that I bought second hand is fit for the bin and nothing else...... 2 of the channels dont work.... I won't be buying another hitec as a replacement.

I have a Kendrick Digifire 7  in the obs'y that's been working fine for well over 10 years, a Revelation that 2 channels packed up on after a couple of years and the Hitec recently purchased, hope it lasts.

I would have thought they were repairable as there can't be much electronics inside them.

Dave

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13 minutes ago, Davey-T said:

.....I would have thought they were repairable as there can't be much electronics inside them.

 

What I know about electronics is about as much as I know about ballet dancing........If you ever saw me you'd know that I clearly don't ballet dance LOL!!!

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8 minutes ago, Barry-Wilson said:

Very well done Steve and Lis in overcoming the challenges and complexities and with a beautiful Leo Triplet to boot.

Let full dual photon hoovering commence . . .

Thanks Barry.  In fact, I had the Esprit/QSI 690 going at the same time.  So every 1 hour was giving me 3!  Who needs a remote scope, eh? :wink:

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Looks like you have made a great investment there! I am curious about one thing. Were the scopes (different generations) and the CCDs (different brands) so well matched that you got exactly the same image scale, or do you have to tweak it before aligning the channels?

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