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heliumstar

First Light - Bresser 102xs + Altair Astro GPCAM v2 Colour IMX224

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First light with Bresser 102xs f4.5 and Altair Astro GPCAM v2 Colour IMX224. Looked at the Moon tonight to test the waters and get a hang of it. I see it is quite a learning curve but I am confident. I like the usability of this setup. Mounted on SW AZ GTI WiFi. Even the stock legs are satisfactory which is kind of a surprise. One hand carry...

Bresser 102xs f4.5 - well a few issues with this. While focuser is rotatable it's not as easy as with Starwave 80ED. I might try and source some rings for it. The finder is at the wrong place and the focuser would be better with 2 speed. CA is present both visually and on camera. Any filter suggestions? Need to try DSO - no luck tonight - lack of knowledge and clouds. Otherwise it is a keeper!

Altair Astro GPCAM v2 Colour IMX224 - need to sort Windows laptop so that I can control both the mount and camera from one device - it's a pain controlling the mount via iPhone app and camera from Mac. Altair's software for Mac is I think stripped of many functionalities that come with Windows version and SharpCap is Win only. I sourced SDK from Nick from Altair Astro and will start building full RPi solution for it so I can control everything without cables - put it out on the balcony and sit inside. First of course I need to dial in my way of observing with this setup so I know what settings I use the most and how it all fits together. Hopefully the winter weather will comply :)

All in all pretty happy. It's nice to sit on a chair in front of a computer and have huge moon on the screen.

 

firstlight102xs.jpg

Edited by heliumstar
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This is proving to be quite difficult. I am able to get the camera working with Altair app on Mac OS but on Windows it doesn't work in Altair's app and neither in SharpCap. Have to do some day tests today to see what is going on. Might be an issue since I am running Windows on Mac.

Also SW Synscan app on Windows in very buggy. Might be Windows on Mac again but still should work. Nothing really special with Mac Air hardware and other stuff works.

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I have that telescope too, albeit for visual use only. I find it extremely useful for what I do (visual variable star observing), it is capable yet portable. I find myself using it extremely often. The little but observable chromatic aberration does not bother me, but I understand others may find this undesirable. My recommendation is to buy the optional 10:1 add on to the focuser (see picture below). It is extremely useful. I also ditched the finder, it is a plastic pieces of trash that shouldn't have been manufactured or shipped. This is a short focal relation scope. If you use it at low powers, it will be its own finder.

Bresser_Hexafoc_1-10_a.jpg

4.jpg

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I love the scope itself. Yesterday I was using it mostly for visual after EAA fiasco :) While CA is there it's actually not bothersome to me. Looks to be on par or even better than Celestron 102 XLT AZ f6.5. It seems to me that this Bresser even has slightly better 'snap to focus' than Celestron - better focuser? I'll look into dual speed addition. I agree about the finder. It's not even funny....that's how bad it is. Plastickly little thing.

Edited by heliumstar

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So it looks like this EAA thing doesn't agree with me. It's the beginning so the ruling is still out.

Yesterday I hooked up everything and went on to align the scope using Vega and Altair. All was good. Positioned the scope to Mars, Moon and back and forth to both stars again. Everything was spot on in the eyepiece and on the screen. Off I went looking for M27 and M57. Scope positioned itself and I though great - let's see now. No matter what settings and exposure times I used in Sharpcap the only thing I could see were stars.

Is it possible this is just a no go at my location? Any tips?

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It was nearly full moon last night which would make m27 and m57 tough targets. I don't know about the weather for you but for me there was cloud coming and going and it's possible sometimes for cloud to be thin enough that you don't always  realise it's there but thick enough to make a faint dso disappear even though some stars are still showing.

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There were indeed clouds below but I don't think they interferred in any way although I cannot be 100% sure about this since I don't yet have proper experience. The moon might be an issue. Thanks for reminding me of that. Now the thing is that when I put 3.5mm and pointed towards M27 and did it visually I saw what appeared to be elongated smudge. Very, very faint. M57 not even that.

Any ideas about some other bright subjects when looking W, NW and N?

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Paz, you were right I think. It's the moon. There is just no other explanation. The sky was clear and steady and all the stars are there on the screen and I did long exposures and yet M27 and M57 nowhere to be seen - not even a hint.

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On 24/10/2018 at 20:17, heliumstar said:

There were indeed clouds below but I don't think they interferred in any way although I cannot be 100% sure about this since I don't yet have proper experience. The moon might be an issue. Thanks for reminding me of that. Now the thing is that when I put 3.5mm and pointed towards M27 and did it visually I saw what appeared to be elongated smudge. Very, very faint. M57 not even that.

Any ideas about some other bright subjects when looking W, NW and N?

Double stars and open clusters are good even for small scopes in light polluted skies. In that direction epsilon Lyra and albireo are the most popular doubles but there's more everywhere. Open clusters are most common on the galactic equator so if you look towards Aquila in the west and them traverse straight up through Cygnus and cassiopea  overhead there a lot of them about. In Cygnus for example are M29 and M39.

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