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since i started work on my observatory there hasn't been much time for AP, but since lunar photography is done in minutes i had a go yesterday.
SW AZGTI with the Skymax127 and Sony A6300 and Baader Neodymium Moon & skyglow filter.
100 frames taken and 50% used to stack in autostackerd.
I have been using my Skywatcher 8” Dobsonian for some time now, and decided I wanted a good refractor with an EQ mount as my next scope. I chose the Skywatcher Evostar Pro 80mm with an LX70 EQ5 mount. This seems to be a great scope to compliment my Dob, but I'm still getting used to the EQ mount! Found some good Youtube videos and am hoping for a clear night soon to really give it a workout! Any advice is appreciated!
I received the new ADM saddle for my AZ GTi this morning (direct from ADM). I have now fitted it to my AZ GTi mount and my Borg 107FL is now a million times more secure than it was before - its a great upgrade!
Here are the parts received from ADM... The new saddle is longer and chunkier than the feeble standard offering.
Here is the AZ GTi mount before I start the upgrade..
Remove the centre circular cover which is stuck on with a sticky pad underneath. I used a small flat head screwdriver to lift the edge of the tin cover then pulled it off with some pliers (there are the remains of the sticky pad underneath to be cleaned off afterwards)....
Remove the 4 black screws and then the standard saddle pulls off...
Re-use the four screws to secure the ADM adapter plate to the mount...
Use the supplied 2x 1/4×20 SHCS screws to secure the ADM dual dovetail saddle to the ADM adapter plate... (You will need an imperial Allen key)
Test it out with the Borg 107FL...
The leftover standard parts...
This looks a great upgrade, my scope's ADM dovetail fits very securely into the ADM dual saddle and my peace of mind is restored!
I have an EQ5 telescope mount which i use for astrophotography. I have modified it with a motorised RA axis using a bipolar stepper motor - my thread for the build is here .
I want to expand the mount's tracking ability by motorising the DEC axis and using a guide scope/camera. I generally use the mount in fairly remote locations so would like to use a raspberry Pi for portability.
I understand that I'll need to use a Raspberry Pi Camera Module for the guide camera.
The capability I want is:
1. guide the mount along RA and DEC axes using a guide star as feedback
2. track the mount using the RA axis only, and if possible continuously take 20-30 second exposures on the guide camera (this functionality is optional, but would assist in polar alignment of the mount)
I don't want any GOTO capability. I am very new to RPi and need some help:
- do I need to write code for this, or is there existing programming available for what I want to do?
- is it possible to avoid the use of screens (in the field)? My preferred option would be to flick a switch to start and stop the guiding, with another switch for alignment mode (or something simple like this).
- do I need to use any particular stepper motors/drivers for raspberry Pi? I'm using a bipolar stepper motor running quarter steps, with an A4988 stepper driver
- is the RPi 3 Model B+ the unit I should buy?
I'm new to astronomy, I got my first telescope in November (StarMax 90mm f/13), I was really happy with the view of the moon and double stars, but disappointed I could see but barely make out nebula (initially the ring nebula). I also tried to take a photo of the moon with my phone but trying to get a stable shot was too difficult, even with a basic smartphone adapter.
I did a bit of research, found about about Video Astronomy/Electronically Assisted Astronomy (EAA) and decided I needed a better mount and took the opportunity to get a faster telescope (StarTravel 102 f5/). I really like the Sky-Watcher -102 AZ GTe with the ZWO ASI 224MC. I've only used it for 4 nights as there is so much cloud about but it's allowed me to take images of things my eyeball wouldn't see. Although my setup is below the minimum specification most would consider for imaging and entry level for visual observations I think I've found a setup that seems to work for me. I like that with SharpCap I can get instant results and the day after when it's back to cloudy I can get a bit more out of the images with Deep Sky Stacker and Gimp. I have tried looking through the eyepiece at the Pleiades, that was a pleasure as well. I can see how observing with a big Dobsonian and amazing eyepieces would be great, but many objects seem better with a camera than eyeballs. The Horsehead nebula wasn't found until astrophotography came into being.
The photo above was taken on my first night with the setup. The January 2019 issue of Sky at Night Magazine has a review of the Sky-Watcher StarTravel-102 AZ GTe and they give it 4.5 / 5. Combining it with an Explore Scientific UHC filter seems to reduce most of the chromatic aberration and increases contrast relative to the stars, and light pollution.
Video Astronomy/EAA seems to offer a great window into both the visual and imaging worlds of astronomy. As First Light Optics say "Your first telescope is arguably the most important because if the views do not amaze and delight, your interest in astronomy will crash and burn on the runway!" I understand cost could be an issue, but if the beginner had a suitable camera Video Astronomy could be as accessible as a Go-To visual setup, and seems more likely to amaze (especially in the skies of a typical house).
My question is why is video astronomy not the first suggestion for beginners interested in both visual and imaging?