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21 minutes ago, upahill said:

No problem, as for screen size - I do all the aquisition from a laptop, actually wish my camera didnt have a screen, never used it.

 

15 minutes ago, JamesF said:

I think it's useful just for confirming settings are correct when you start, but in the main I agree.  Other than that initial check I don't think I've ever used the screen on my 450D when I've been imaging.

James

Laptop..  that is the way I have been thinking since reading up... I have an old one here somewhere I was going to fire up.. was figuring be better than touching the set up all the time and im guessing there will be a few programs worth installing to help me along. 

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I started with, and still use, APT - its simple and free (there is a premium version too which gives you a few more features) - generally the camera stays in manual mode all the time and the settings are controlled from the software, so I setup a run of say 30 x 30 second exposures at ISO800 and click start. Pretty simple and there are some tutorials on youtube to help out too.

Sounds like you got  a good deal there.

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Astrophotography tool.. check!  Found it..  Will spend some time on youtube doing my homework ready for when I need it.

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Having read through most of the posts there were two things that I noticed that seem like very good ideas. There are two very distinct parts to Astrophotography - the image capture and then the post processing. It is fair to say that both are an amazing challenge. Someone mentioned the book 'Make Every Photon Count' and that is certainly an excellent book for both aspects and is highly recommended. Another item mentioned was the SkyWatcher Star Adventurer. If you can pick up one of these 2nd-hand it suits a DSLR and lens very well indeed and the tracking is excellent. As it is very portable you can keep it and use it even when you have upgraded your telescope and mount. I am lucky enough to have a lot of different equipment, but I still have a Star Adventurer and it's an impressive device. The attached image was taken using a DSLR and lens mounted on to it, then post processed to accentuate the asterism - Kemble's Cascade. BEWARE, this is an addictive hobby and for once the adage is perfectly true - when it comes to expense 'the sky really is the limit'!

It has just occurred to me that Stellarium is free planetarium software for a computer that would certainly help you find your way around the night sky and find objects to view and image. As has been suggested, I should be inclined to use your current telescope and mount for observing.

101 Kembles Cascade.jpg

Edited by DKNicholson

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I finally have 'Make Every Photon Count' in hand... if I get through it it will be the first book I have read in over 30 years lol.

Some thing I would like an opinion on please...  I have been thinking that when the time comes and I want to start buying some decent gear for astrophotography that I would like to buy as much as possible in one go.. may look for a more complete set up of better quality, but for now..... There is a skywatcher explorer for sale not far from me.. it's a 150p-ds ota so the right tool for the job rather than my 150pl.. it is advertised as open but unused, in box with all original accessories for £130 well, that's if the bids don't take the price up(currently no bids) Was figuring that the lighter tube may allow me to use my dslr with the scope on my eq3-2 just to start me off.  I would then have all the basics to satisfy me until I can get some money together to upgrade properly. What do you folks think?

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At 130 it's a bargain, imo. But the ota weighs 5 kg, and is at the load limit of your mount. Otoh, it's a standard imaging combination, sold by skywatcher resellers. It's also the combination I started with (150pds + eq3 pro). As long as your long term intention is to upgrade your mount, I'd say go for it. Just keep in mind, you absolutely still need tracking. Maybe sell the 150 pl? 

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8 hours ago, wimvb said:

At 130 it's a bargain, imo. But the ota weighs 5 kg, and is at the load limit of your mount. Otoh, it's a standard imaging combination, sold by skywatcher resellers. It's also the combination I started with (150pds + eq3 pro). As long as your long term intention is to upgrade your mount, I'd say go for it. Just keep in mind, you absolutely still need tracking. Maybe sell the 150 pl? 

Yes on both accounts... I would look to upgrade the mount down the line when money allows.. I may consider upgrading everything if the interest takes hold. As for my 150pl.. my thought is to sell it on.. I know it is better suited for viewing but as a beginner I wonder if I would really need it as I can still view through the 150pds...plus I could put the money from the sale towards tracking. On the topic of tracking dual or single motors? Control of the RA is the must so could I just leave the DEC adjustment to manual..  is their any real benefit in paying extra for full control knowing that I will at some point be upgrading the mount.

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1 hour ago, Gimboid said:

On the topic of tracking dual or single motors? Control of the RA is the must so could I just leave the DEC adjustment to manual..  is their any real benefit in paying extra for full control knowing that I will at some point be upgrading the mount.

Go for dual. Only if polar alignment is spot on, will tracking in RA only suffice. You need dec control if you want to guide. Dual motors also make it easier to slew to targets. Without the dec motor you still have to touch the mount in oder to point to a target. This introduces vibration. Dual motors should also increase the resale value of the mount. 

Edited by wimvb

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19 minutes ago, wimvb said:

Go for dual. Only if polar alignment is spot on, will tracking in RA only suffice. Plus, if you have dual motors, you will have goto capability. You can then start thinking about guiding and computer control. It should also increase the resale value of the mount. 

Dual it is then... I have a vary small patio area to use in my garden and i'm within 6 feet of my house which is in between my set up and polaris so polar alignment is going to be tricky.. I have been reading about and watching videos on how to get reasonable alignment using a compass.. obviously when i'm away from home it won't be an issue.

Just want to see if my thinking is right.. If I go for the dual set up I take it I need the enhanced version which can connect to a auto guider which in turn will connect to a laptop? To then have goto capability would I need anything in addition or would this do it? 

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3 hours ago, Gimboid said:

Dual it is then.

Did you read the edited reply? 

Unless you get the synscan upgrade, you won't have goto. This upgrade is more expensive than the other offers. But regardless of which upgrade you get, if it includes dec, you won't have to touch the mount to center a target. Hence less vibrations that can throw pointing off. 

Also check which upgrades allow guiding (st4 port). 

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7 minutes ago, wimvb said:

Did you read the edited reply? 

Unless you get the synscan upgrade, you won't have goto. This upgrade is more expensive than the other offers. But regardless of which upgrade you get, if it includes dec, you won't have to touch the mount to center a target. Hence less vibrations that can throw pointing off. 

Also check which upgrades allow guiding (st4 port). 

No I didn't see edited reply..  but think im with you now lol  If I get the enhanced dual motordrive I can use that with a guide scope which can be controlled via a laptop using  APT

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