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With new mount and upgraded scope features, now looking to venture into imaging.
Before I start, I'm not looking to get feedback on polar alignment, mono guidecam, better imaging cameras, etc; this is more a 'dummies guide' setup discussion! I'm not expecting to get great images at this stage, just more the options available, getting over some issues, so that I can jump outside on a clear night with an ideal, foolproof(!), setup for either imaging or visual as time would permit and what may work best for me. As you may guess from the topic name, I'm a mac user (Macbook Pro) and would rather keep to this if possible (whilst I do have Windows (and Ubuntu) via parallels, I'd rather not use these).
I've got a setup which has worked well for visual, and obviously want to have a couple of 'staple' setups that I can use depending on expectations of night observing or imaging. So far, the best one for me has been the Skywatcher Wifi Synscan controller, which has worked a treat with my Android phone - I use the Synscan app to complete alignment and GOTO stars/planets/DSO etc, or Stellarium_plus after completing alignment. This removes the need for the Synscan Handset and any USB cables to the mount altogether. But I don't know if this will work for guiding.
That then brings me to my issue on mac - connecting USB(A) between Macbook and Handset, I've attempted to control the mount through Stellarium. Trying each of the available connections (/dev/tty.usbsetial-1420, /dev/cu.usbsetial-1420, and just for sake of it, the /dev/tty.Bluetooth-Incoming-Port and /dev/cu.Bluetooth-Incoming-Port) in the dropdown menu under DeviceSettings/SerialPort, I cannot get the mount to connect (well, more like selecting the telescope and clicking the "Start" on the TelescopeControl just results in the spinning icon and I have to Force-Quit Stellarium and start again with the same result each time. Annoyingly (for fellow mac users!), Parallels/Windows/Stellarium connects and controls the mount fine! As the mount is the newer "pro" type, I also have a USB connection directly under the hand-controller RJ45 and AutoGuider ST4 sockets, but using this still results in the same issue. Another issue I have seen is that when I unplug the USB from the computer when connected to the handset, the date on the controller jumps significantly - for example, last night at ~23:30, I was transported through the local wormhole galaxy to Jan 2048 according to Synscan! Obviously unplugging isn't going to happen during a genuine session, but just wondering if this is a possible issue somewhere?!
Any other mac users connecting USB directly to the SW 'Pro' mounts?
Software wise, would folks generally suggest steering away from Stellarium towards KStars or SkySafari(Plus) for controlling the mount?
Can the Wifi dongle be used for controlling mount from computer (any OS) or do I need to go USB either to handset or directly to mount?
Is there an issue in using Mac USB to the telescope compared to 'straight' Windows (i.e. PC/laptop with Windows instead of virtual)?
Anyway, back to topic... I've a Nikon DSLR to use for primary camera at this stage, which would be triggered independently from guiding software. PHD2 is my hopeful choice of guiding software (is EKOS with KStars similar?), with T7C guide-camera on 240mm f/4 guidescope, and at this stage, I can confirm PHD2 at least connects to the camera on OS-X. There is an ST4 port on the camera, but having read several topics, I think I want to pulse-guide directly - is this correct or is ST4 best for this setup? This sorta comes back to software and connections - my understanding is one of the following cable setups for guiding (as a minimum) :
Guiding-camera => USB(A) => Macbook => PHD2 => USB(A) => SynscanHandset => AZEQ6
Guiding-camera => USB(A) => Macbook => PHD2 => USB(A) => AZEQ6
Guiding-camera => USB(A) => Macbook => PHD2 => Wifi => SynscaWifi Adapter on AZEQ6
[using ST4: ST4_on_AZEQ6 => Guiding-camera => USB(A) => Macbook => PHD2] (no additional connections needed if ST4 is used)
Additionally, I'd like to use an observatory package, say Stellarium/KStars/SkySafari, to select objects and drive the mount, then use guiding software to keep good 'tracking'.
Where in this train does EQMac fit in, or when is it used?
What about the 2019 addition to EQMod (ASCOM Alpaca)? Can this be used or is it already in other packages?!
For Windows users, how does EQMod fit in (if I go down route of getting Windows laptop for controlling things, is the setup similar to above?
There may be bits in the above that repeat, and for that, I'm sorry, just want to get across the message that I'm new to the guiding but haven't quite settled down into the software/hardware I'm expecting to use for 'goto' and 'guiding'
For a mac user, what setup and software are folks using for guiding and observatory softwares for the newer USB-on-mount 'AZEQ6/EQ6-R Pro' mounts from SW?
I own a NEQ6 mount and EQDirect cable, but the RJ45 version. The NEQ6 uses a DB9 port, so I got an adapter but I need to wire it myself. See attached picture of my adapter + EQDirect. I am quite unsure how to wire my adapter. The first diagram here should tell me how, but I'm still not sure I get it. If I look at the EQDirect adapter (see attached close-up), it looks like on pin 1 & 2, when the diagram says there should be ground there. Also someone in an INDI forum told me I could ignore the 12v pin as it would be supplied by the mount, but the RJ45 actually seems to have something on those pins.
It's tempting to just look at the wiring of both adapters and trust the colors, but I'm afraid making mistakes here might damage the mount...
EDIT: I own this RJ45 to DB9 adapter. Would any of the proposed wirings in this document work for my need?
Baader optical wonder solution is practically Isopropyl alcohol. Instead of £12 for a 70mL of it, buy a 1000 mL of Isopropyl alcohol for £22 (before pandemic it was only £5). They have also smaller bottles which will be cheaper of course. The Baader solution and Isopropyl alcohol don’t remove the toughest of fungi on optics, only a few of the less deep set ones can be treated with them. I have used both for cleaning eyepieces and on certain stage of cleaning several 8 to 12 inch mirrors. They both worked identical. When applied through an optical cleaning fabric, they remove ( dissolve) fatty oils and fingerprints on optical surfaces. I had cleaned a 12 inch mirror once which for some unknown reason had ice cream stain on it (cleaning followed standard operation procedure for cleaning coated aluminised mirrors).
I am excited to join this big star gazing community! I realize I am abusing of your kindness, so that you in advance for any help you can give.
I have an old telescope, what appears to be a Meade ETX 90 from the early 2000s. I cleaned it pretty well after many Youtube videos and online research. I found full blown spider webs and dead spiders!
I have encountered a few of issues as I'm putting it back together and I wonder if anyone might be able to help.
1. I took off the screws of the back of my OTA (I know I shouldn't have!) and now I'm not sure how to put them back on (see attachments). When I try it seems to push the primary mirror instead of fastening to anything.
2. My secondary mirror flip is broken, the plastic piece part fell off. Is it possible to fix? The mirror itself is also very dirty (see attachments) and I don't think it can be cleaned further. Any tips on how to replace it and where to buy the parts? Or is it possible to not use the 90 eye piece viewport and instead use the front one so I don't need to fix the flip or the mirror?
4. My secondary baffle is sliding off. I've read that this is a problem w/older models. I tried pushing it to the right place and it requires some force, but after 1 minute it slides back to its original place. What should I do? Does this matter?
5. The plastic attachment to hold the smaller lens (finderscope?) wobbles no matter how tightly I screw it on. I don't know if it has anything to do with the front plastic part being a little broken.
Thank you for your help in advance, and I am still learning terminology so be easy on me
I am thinking of re-starting mirror grinding at home. I used to grind by hand and in this method, when we use the 1/3rd off-centre strokes for hogging out the sagitta, the upper glass becomes concave and would be polished into a mirror.
However, this time I'd like to build a Mirror-O-Matic or something similar and do not understand that if the tool is on top, how will the bottom glass become concave?
Or am I mistaken?