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Barns

Hello from Plymouth, UK

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Hi all, I thought I'd better introduce myself before I start spamming questions at the various boards. I've had a break from astro related activities since my first attempts in 2003-2006 or so due to young kids (for whom daddy being up all night isn't ideal when he's then tired and grumpy the next morning before they even start their day!). Back then I used an LX90 on a wedge with an Atik 2HS and LRGB filters to do mostly galaxy imaging but with the obvious limitations of that equipment - long focal length even with a reducer and dodgy tracking meaning short subs and many wasted. However I was definitely bitten by the Astrophotography Bug and was pleased with what I was able to achieve.

So when I got a bit of an inheritance recently I spent some of it on a whole new set of gear, back in July. After much deliberation and research I decided I'd concentrate on wider field targets to start with, so picked up a SkyWatcher Esprit 100 refractor with flattener, iOptron CEM60 mount with tri-pier, and a ZWO ASI1600mm Pro camera with filter wheel and ZWO LRGBHaO3S2 filters. Also a guidescope and guide cam. I've since fitted an iPolar device to the mount to speed up accurate polar aligns since I set up fresh every time, and I've dinked around with cabling through the mount so there are no trailing cables to tangle while tracking. I use APT for capture and control and PhD2 to guide (who doesn't??).

I've been thoroughly impressed with the gear so far, the mount tracks beautifully (I'm getting 10 min subs reliably with ~0.6" RA error reported by PhD2) and is so much easier to set up accurately than the old LX90. I'm still very much a beginner with PixInsight so post processing is probably my weakest area but it's also a lot of fun so I'm hoping I'll improve with time! My Heart Nebula was ok enough to print A3 to give to my mum for her 70th (awww - not that she's the harshest critic!) and I've just finished processing my first go at the North American Nebula region.

Particular challenges for my location are city skies (Bortle 6 I think) and my rear garden where I set up really only having a view to the NW, N and NE and up to the zenith. So limits targets somewhat. I might try setting up on the front drive sometime but then I'll be battling the LED streetlights on the road.

I've also had some trouble with O3 subs not being quite in focus so I'm thinking that filter isn't parfocal with the others, which is a shame, but probably means I have a good excuse to invest in more gear - looking at the ZWO EAF motor focuser perhaps.

Enough babble, I'm looking forward to learning from you all!

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Welcome. I’m sure you’re going to have lots of fun with your rekindled interest. 🙂

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Thanks both! Looking clear tonight so fingers crossed I'll get another chance to mess all my settings up and confuse myself again :)

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Hello Barns, welcome to the lounge.

 

Rick

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Hi Barnes, and welcome to SGL

That looks a really spot-on set of kit, hard to go wrong with that, look forward to your first images. Although your outlook isn't the best, there are still plenty of interesting targets, both galaxies and NB you could image.

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Welcome! I'm currently Bristol based but my wife and I are planning to move to Plymouth in the very near future to be nearer her folks, the water and Dartmoor!!! Looking forward to observing with you at White Works or Wembury one day 😃

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Hiya welcome to the forum

Neil

Edited by Neiman

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Hello and welcome to the community, hope you enjoy your time here in SGL,

see you around the forums.

Clear Sky's.

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5 hours ago, Pete Presland said:

Hi welcome to SGL from Peter in Bedfordshire 🙂

Hello Bedfordshire, grew up in Leighton Buzzard so that's my old stomping ground :)

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