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Deeko

Camera hitting tripod leg

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I recently moved from a 130PDS to a TS Photoline 80mm frac., mounted on an HEQ5 Pro. Obviously, the image train protrudes much more at a different angle than the 130PDS setup and after balancing the scope on the HEQ5 Pro I noticed the camera may hit the tripod leg if imaging anything that crosses the meridian. Last night was first light and on the very last image after a 3 hour session the camera hit the tripod leg. - target was the heart nebula that crossed the meridian This was about 3am when I was sound asleep. So what are my options?

An automated merdian flip sounds fraught with problems, as it would need to flip, platesolve, and centre automatically where it left off, can that even be done without manual intervention? I'd rather not but open to suggestions for this one but find it hard to imagine this sort of flawless magic done automatically by software and works 99% of the time.

Buy a tripod extension tube, this looks like an easy fix but would it effect stability for the likes of guiding? Looking to size up the pros and cons for this one: https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-mount-accessories/skywatcher-eq5heq5-extension-tube.html#faq

By a longer dovetail bar and experiment with sliding the  telescope back and forth, but fear this will introduce counterweight and balancing issues. The dovetail bar that came with the telescope is very short..

I just avoid shooting anything that will cross the meridian 😕

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What sequencing software are you using?

I am using APT and as you I was worried about the automated flip and the first two times it was enabled I set my alarm so I got up to watch and really it is very simple and just works. It does everything it needs to, It does platesolve the last image, flip, then image and platesolve again and sync to be pretty much in the same position. The image is then inverted 180 degrees but the stacking software then takes care of that.  APT even telly you what time it will occur from the start of imaging in case you do want to watch it the first time (probably a good idea just to make sure you got it right)

Try it - honest it is easy (must be if I can do it first time 🙂 ). 

The thought of only imaging things that will not need a flip will frustrate you in time I think.

I am sure the other sequencing packages such as Sequence Generator and NINA also do the same.

Steve

Edited by teoria_del_big_bang

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As I don't have a dome rotator I can't leave things unattended but can confirm that Sequence Generator performs the flip without any intervention from me.  In fact it seems to platesolve more rapidly than when first starting the imaging run.

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Simply inserting a length of square section metal tube between the dovetail plate and the tube rings will probably give you the extra clearance you need. One of my robotic clients uses this system on his rig.

Olly

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