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Stu

Messin' around with a few bits....

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Despite the wonderfully clear skies last night, I couldn't muster the energy to go out for a session, so just played around with a Mickey Mouse All Sky Camera I have assembled out of bits. Really it is just a cylindrical Tupperware container with a hole cut in the lid for a plastic dome to be fixed into place. I used parts of smart camera bracket to hold the camera in place inside the container, with a Fujinon zoom lens attached. To provide a bit of dew control I just wrapped an 8" dew strip a couple of times around and wedged it in place just underneath the dome. After some messing around with focus and aperture setting, I got it working reasonably ok.

Despite being a complete muppet in IT terms, I managed to get an old laptop setup in my shed with teamviewer on it so I could access it from the house either on my laptop or phone. It seems to work well, got some good views last night, fun watching the planes go over and the constellations slowly moving. If nothing else it is useful to see if it is clear or not.

There is obviously a fair amount of distortion as soon as you get off axis, probably a combination of the lens and the cheap dome. I'm not looking for quality so no need to do anything about this. I will have a play with the aperture to get the best results. With the light pollution around here it is a tricky balance to draw the fainter stars out without blowing the whole lot! I experimented with 30 and 60 second exposures, plus fiddling 'in the dark' with the other settings in SharpCap. A bit of fun, although this morning the dome had frozen over so clearly more heating required!

Later I did pop the Heritage 130P out later on (after watching some appallingly bad film Mrs Stu had selected!) and had a quick run around a few objects. I was struggling with the eyepiece position on the alt az mount. I have the mount quite high on a pillar so I can clear the hedges so the eyepiece is either ontop or below the tube. I fitted an L bracket I had spare and although that added a bit of flex visible at high power, it was definitely more comfortable. The Skysurfer V RDF I have fitted is also a little too close for comfortable use so I need to find a way of extending that out a little.

M42 was surprisingly good at low power, clear green tinge to it unfiltered and the Trapezium split showing all four components at x27. Didn't try higher power.

Not having much time, I wanted to check a few doubles to see how the optics stood up. Polaris first, and whilst the primary was a little messy, the secondary showed beautifully as a tiny sharp pin point, really nice. Collimation seems pretty good but will check more thoroughly next time out.

Sigma Orionis next, and with the 6mm setting on the Nag Zoom, x108, all four components were visible, even the very faint fourth was quite clear, a nice result.

Finally Algieba. Reasonably tight double at 4.7" separation and mag 2.2 and 3.6 components. This too gave a nice split, again stars are not nearly as clean as in the Tak, and bit 'hairy' ;) but as a quick grab and go it was still a nice image.

Actually that was not quite finally, I had a quick trawl across the Auriga clusters, and the additional aperture showed it's worth here, really quite pleasant views, well worth a look.

I guess I'm just reinforcing what others have said. This is a very capable little scope, very compact and light but great fun to use. Now I've finally found my plumbers tape, the focuser is much smoother and holds position well, no real need for an upgrade.

Here area couple of screen shots from the world's worst ASC ;) 

EDIT Found some pics of the beast itself ?

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A good result stu, im toying with setting up my Mobius camera coupled to a lipo battery and 5v bec to power it, then set it to timelapse and see what it can do

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1 minute ago, nightfisher said:

A good result stu, im toying with setting up my Mobius camera coupled to a lipo battery and 5v bec to power it, then set it to timelapse and see what it can do

Yes, would like to get my head around time lapse with it. I think you can auto save from SharpCap then just need something to play the files in.

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5 minutes ago, Stu said:

Yes, would like to get my head around time lapse with it. I think you can auto save from SharpCap then just need something to play the files in.

can you make a timelapes movie using windows movie maker

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Nice report Stu :) saving up for a heritage 130p myself. Sounds like a good piece of kit.

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23 minutes ago, Dinoco said:

Nice report Stu :) saving up for a heritage 130p myself. Sounds like a good piece of kit.

Very nice little scopes. I got mine for the kida off AstroBoot as just the OTA and use it on a standard mount, AZGTi or my Giro-WR. Works well, and puts it at a much better height than the dob base.

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check out allskyeye software too.

I like your tuppaware pot mine will be similar I am feeling as it will be home made for occasional use.

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I think tend to be too ambitious with ASCs :D  Good one Stu :)

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3 hours ago, Gina said:

I think tend to be too ambitious with ASCs :D  Good one Stu :)

It would be very nice to have remote focus and aperture though Gina :) 

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Good job Stu, do I recognise that camera :grin:

Dave

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1 minute ago, Davey-T said:

Good job Stu, do I recognise that camera :grin:

Dave

Might do Dave :) !! Just pm me if ever....well, you know ;) 

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Nice job ! I must do something like this sometime ! :) so that I can monitor clouds from the fireside !

Which camera is it ?

 

 

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Looking good, like you said, as long as it works it's worth having.

It's one of the easiest ways to see if it's clear or not outside which if you have a decent phone, you can vnc to it and have a quick check of the conditions.

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13 minutes ago, Jonk said:

Looking good, like you said, as long as it works it's worth having.

It's one of the easiest ways to see if it's clear or not outside which if you have a decent phone, you can vnc to it and have a quick check of the conditions.

Thanks!

The first two shots are screen shots from a TeamViewer session on the phone so it's quite easy to see, and even control from the phone.

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After a bit more messing around with this camera, it is out again tonight. I've put the dew strap outside as it was produce too much heat inside. I've just popped a large sockful of dessicant in the tub to keep things dry and hopefully demisted.

I've also zoomed in a little to reduce the amount of LP picked up around the horizon which does seem to have helped. The dew strap also blocks some light.

These are 60s exposures. The focus may need a tweak, but not too bad.

IMG_7034.PNG

IMG_7036.PNG

 

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On 10/02/2018 at 12:12, happy-kat said:

check out allskyeye software too.

I like your tuppaware pot mine will be similar I am feeling as it will be home made for occasional use.

Is this software available free of charge? Can you link to it?

Many thanks

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I have it installed but funny me can;t find it now, I'll keep looking as I am not going mad...

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Thanks for this Stu - I have been meaning to do this for a while now. I will probably have plenty of cloudy nights ahead of me as I just received a new scope and I am anxiously waiting for first light. To make matters worse it is a 'grail' scope found NIB from an estate sale for pennies on the dollar. I may never see the sun again...

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