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KevS

Anybody Playing Tonight?

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Thanks James.  I was imaging most of last night.  Clouds came in then passed over and I had a couple of hours of clear sky before the session ended.  Today I just deleted the poor subs.  Seems I might get a pretty good collection of OIII subs which will compensate for the lower nebulosity compared with Ha.  I tried SII earlier on as well but didn't find any.  I think that will need much longer exposures as well as considerable total integration time.  I hope to have guiding set up soon so that I can take longer exposures.  The last few days have been taken up with capturing lights, darks and flats - I'm certainly not grumbling at that!! 🤣  I now have lots of data to process in the next few cloudy days and nights!

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Two hours completed on Heart and Soul OIII and still looking good.  Think I can happily leave it to do its stuff and I can go to bed.

Goodnight all and good luck to all those still going.

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I have a list of things to do, hopefully before the next clear night, including rebalancing the mounts.  My 80ED was producing slightly trailing stars this evening once the counterweights were to the east, so it's possible some adjustment is required there.  I think the plug on the cable I'm using to feed my dew controller might need a bit of attention, too.  It seems to disconnect occasionally if I move the cable about.  I sill need to look at the second dew strap connector on my dew controller build, too.  I removed it from the mount earlier today and brought it inside, but as soon as the forecast suggested it might be clear I took it straight back out and connected it up again :)  I have a third controller to finish as well -- the case is already printed out and waiting.

James

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I also have a fair list of things to do too.  Firstly though I have a set of darks to finish and check if there are any more sets to take.  Rebuild the WF rig to cater for guiding, finish setting up the Esprit 80ED Pro and print/add bracket for the focus motor.  May build a dual WF imaging rig.  Finish off my latest ASC and would like to finish the observatory roof remote control.  I also have a smaller, high precision 3D printer to build and improvement to make to my present one.

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A quick look at last night's subs shows cloud came in less than an hour after I went to bed.  Oh well, got a few more subs anyway...

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Been through the subs and deleted the poor or dud ones leaving 107.  321m = 5h 21m.  Of those 45 are of the Heart and Soul.  135m = 2hr 15m.  Captured just 5 subs amounting to 15m after I went to bed!  Oh well, better than nothing 🤣   Totals for last night FS&T = 3hr, H&S 2hr 15m.  I'm happy with that.  Particularly as the forecast was for total cloud cover all night!!

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14 hours ago, geoflewis said:

Yeah, I guess after 20+ hours imaging the last 3 nights I've suddenly become very blasé......, so thanks for the kick 😏. Glad you're out there tough Steve, as you deserve some luck with the skies.....:thumbright:

It clouded over ten mins later 🙄

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Sorry to hear that Steve.

Finally managed to put together an image of M33 with 10 hours data over 3 nights, 19th, 20th and 21st Jan 2020. to avoid posting multiple images, here is the link to the  thread I started in Deep Sky Imaging.

Moving from Bortle 8 Ruislip to dark Bortle 4 Dorset has made a huge difference to galaxy imaging, it's now worthwhile.

Edited by DaveS
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1 hour ago, kirkster501 said:

It clouded over ten mins later 🙄

Yeah, I did get out after your encouragement (kick 😏), but the transparency was poor due to freezing fog and it wasn't long before I gave up too....

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20 minutes ago, DaveS said:

Moving from Bortle 8 Ruislip to dark Bortle 4 Dorset has made a huge difference to galaxy imaging, it's now worthwhile.

Absolutely, so with a decent run of clear nights you should have a lot of fun the next few months with Leo, Virgo & Coma Berenices all now coming into play - I know that I'm looking forward to it 🤞

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Definitely. Currently playing with telescopes and sensors in Stellarium to see what looks doable with the kit I have. Debating with myself whether to cut short the winter season and start looking at M81 / 82 as they become well placed, then move on to M101 and the Virgo / Leo / Coma targets.

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Set up for taking more g300 180s -25C darks.  Drizzle here today.

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2 minutes ago, DaveS said:

Definitely. Currently playing with telescopes and sensors in Stellarium to see what looks doable with the kit I have. Debating with myself whether to cut short the winter season and start looking at M81 / 82 as they become well placed, then move on to M101 and the Virgo / Leo / Coma targets.

I'm currently working on M82 and close to getting all the data I want, so I may then pop over to M81. I haven't imaged that on it's own for several years and then with a much inferior rig and DSLR camera. There's a fair amount of Ha in there too and my DSLR back then wasn't even astro-modified. I'd also like to take another look at M51 as I haven't tried that with the C14 either. So many galaxies, so little time and so few clear nights.....

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My 'grab and go' dob arrived today from FLO -first light tonight! Supposed to be quite clear here until tomorrow morning, so plenty of time. Dob is a 300p, non-GOTO, just point and shoot with the Telrad (or is that point with the Telrad and then shoot?)

Replaces my 200p on EQ5 which went yesterday to a new home, just wanted something with a little bit more punch and easier to set up and start observing.

Clearing here in a few hours for the rest of the night apparently, heading to my 21.8 'B' site not too terribly far from home, the boss has even given me her blessing, amazingly. Like winning the lottery! Haha.

OTA is surprisingly light (okay, relatively light, really, it's not bad) and lifts off the base in seconds, base can be carried with one hand. Reusing OTA foam packing for travel.

Was torn between the 12" and 14", but the 12" seems like the way to go for the price and portability factor.  

Hope to post a review soon.

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Edited by Ships and Stars
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Dob looks like it should be a lot of fun!

This was all I could manage from my M82 shots - bit meh, but was shooting through heavy fog so to be expected. Hope we get some clear skies in the next few weeks - hopefully on a Friday night or a Saturday night!

M82_2020-01-20.thumb.jpg.06c9d7b60db0e159ee8d84883869acee.jpg

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Now stacking (integrating) the darks just captured.  T-25C g300 180s.  I'm standardising on -25°C and planning to keep to twp gains - 180 and 300.  Exposure 180s and another longer depending on adding guiding.

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After a bad start with everything possible going wrong now finally imaging Monkey Head. Just been to other side of town and it's in thick fog so not sure how long it will last!

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1 hour ago, Ships and Stars said:

My 'grab and go' dob arrived today from FLO -first light tonight! Supposed to be quite clear here until tomorrow morning, so plenty of time. Dob is a 300p, non-GOTO, just point and shoot with the Telrad (or is that point with the Telrad and then shoot?)

Possibly a bit of a silly question... Do you get a shroud with it to cover the flex bit or is it not needed if your skies are dark enough perhaps? ☺️

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6 minutes ago, geeklee said:

Possibly a bit of a silly question... Do you get a shroud with it to cover the flex bit or is it not needed if your skies are dark enough perhaps? ☺️

Ah definitely using a shroud! The astrozap one is nice, but £72, I'll just use some foam tonight, then make one, if the DIY one looks a bit suspect, then I'll break down and buy the az. Really, SW should have at least thrown in a cheap nylon tube, but otherwise the scope seems really good.

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2 minutes ago, Ships and Stars said:

Ah definitely using a shroud! The astrozap one is nice, but £72, I'll just use some foam tonight, then make one, if the DIY one looks a bit suspect, then I'll break down and buy the az. Really, SW should have at least thrown in a cheap nylon tube, but otherwise the scope seems really good.

Ah thanks for that! I remember seeing one on a posted photo of your 500P I think but have always wondered about the smaller ones. 

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On 20/01/2020 at 13:07, Gina said:

In my case that would mean dismantling the rig as the camera is mounted and takes the weight of EFW and lens.  Much easier just to take darks at night if I can't stop light getting in (which I'm pretty sure of doing).

Gaffer tape around any light leak I’ve found works ok. No dismantling of gear. I used to work for Ilford Photo and made film for ye olde fashioned cameras and always made things light tight with a roll of tape.

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Yes, I ended up covering the filter wheel extension part with some scrap rubber tied on with a rubber band and a bit of wire.  That enabled me to take darks in the daytime.

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Been looking at guiding.  I think an OAG will be fine with my Esprit 80ED Pro (and MN190) and I have all the required parts.  Unfortunately for lenses this won't work because the guide camera won't go far enough in - I'll need to use a separate lens for guiding.

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You'll also need to look at how you cope with losing the guide star, Gina.  Things can get a bit messy when that happens, if you get a short burst of cloud, for instance.

James

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Been going through my collection of OIII subs for the Heart and Soul.  131 decent subs for 2020-01-21 and 42 for 2020-01-22.  Total of 173 x 3m = 519m = 8h 39m.  That should do.  Now they need calibrating and stacking.  Going to need a lot of space - 173 calibrated subs at 64MB ≈ 11GB.

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