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Because of the current situation, I have, as many of you guys probably have too, spend a lot more time under the stars when possible.
It has literally been over a year since last I was out doing some astrophotography because of work.
So here is my second take after the long break, NGC 3344 (The Sliced Onion Galaxy).
Initially I thought it would be a lot fainter than it was, so it was basically a shot in the dark, of just trying to get back at doing this.
But the final image actually showed a lot more detail than I would've hoped for!
Spring lent a lot of clear night, but those seems to be gone already. I would've hoped for a few more hours to add some more luminance data to it, as I did have to push it quite a bit.
I am not too happy with the shape of the stars either. Guiding was not very stable through the night, even though balance and polar alignment seemed to be good. Might need to update my Celestron PEC data?
Any advice or feedback is very welcome! 🤩
NGC 3344 (Sliced Onion Galaxy)
Luminance - 13x16 min
RGB - 2x16 min each
Flat and Dark calibrated
Total Integration - 5 Hours 4 minutes (LRGB)
Celestron AVX Mount
ZWO ASI 183MM-Pro
Baader 2'' Neodymium Filter
Baader 1,25'' RGB Filters
ZWO Mini EFW
Explore Scientific Coma Corrector
ToupTek Camera G-1200-KMB Mono Guider
Orion Mini 50mm Guidescope
Deep Sky Stacker
By Geordie mc
Hi. Just starting to use autofocus with the Celestron motor focus and SGP. Can anyone give me some starting points for step size, backlash etc. I’m getting there but wasting a lot of imaging time just trying to get this to work accurately. I’m currently trying a step size of 75 and a backlash of 50. Any tips most appreciated.
I'm having a bit of a clearout to make way for a new project. For sale here are a couple of items that have seen very litle use:
1) Celestron Omni CG-4 GEM Mount + Tripod - £125 *** SOLD ***
This is in generally very good condition. There are a few marks, and scuffs consistent with normal use. There are also a couple of minor (small) patches of surface rust on a few of the bolts and steel legs. It has seen very litle use, and has been in storage for the past few years so it is time to find it a good home. The small rubber tips that go on the very end of the feet have perished, so these won't be included.
It includes tubular steel tripod, 2 counterweights, built in polar scope, built in bubble level and slow motion controls.
Due to size and weight, collection would be preferred from the RG27 area. If you are reasonably local, I would also consider delivering.
Price: £125, but I am open to offers. Payment can be made via Bank Transfer (preferred), Paypal or cash on collection
2) ***SOLD*** Celestron Omni XLT 127mm Telescope ***SOLD ***
Again this is in very good condition, and has been in storage for the past few years and has had very little overall use. A few marks on the dovetail as is to be expected.
It includes a small finderscope, diagonal and a 25mm eyepiece
Can be collected from the RG27 area, I could deliver if you are reasonably local, or can be posted for an additional £8.
Price: £110, but am open to offers. Payment can be made via Bank Transfer (preferred), Paypal or cash on collection *** NOW SOLD ***
Any questions please do let me know.
I popped this topic on CN too but noone seems to know anything.
I came by an old Celestron Ultima 8 pre-PEC. I really like the scope and the mount it may be that I have read too much of Uncle Rod's and other's praise that I feel this scope has some intangible personality and charm.
Circuitry in the base seems to work fine even though the batteries don't hold charge but drive the Ra axis . I have 2 replacement on its way to me.
Now my issue: It didn't come with a hand controller. I know it is not needed for tracking, and I don't have a Dec motor but I find it would be useful for centering in RA and D.A.R.V. method drift alignment.
I was on the verge of making a crude controller out of veroboard and 4 momentary switches that I thought to be correct from the info on various sites, but then I came across an Ultima 8 project that clearly showed the hand controller for my scope.
The pic attached is the one.
I am looking for help on how the dial and buttons are wired in and/or photos of the innards of the hand controller or if anyone knows what else is inside the handbox.
The sources I was going on so far is a combination of the following 3 links:
These of course don't include drive rate rotary switch in the middle and if I could I would really like to to restore the full ability of this mount without spending too much on electronics. Plus I don't want to spend time and effort on wiring something that doesn't work.
Oh and lastly I have no background or experience in electronics just own a soldering station and a whole lot of determination.
Thanks in advance
Well finally I've had a non-cloudy/rainy night (albeit with nearly full moon) to give a good long test drive of my new (well 2nd hand bargain) Astromaster 130EQ out and I had fun with it and managed to get reasonable views of the Moon, Betelguese (didn't blow up), Pleides, M42 (practically compulsory I bet everyone goes for this 1st time out!) and Venus (bright but boring - not unexpectedably). Overall I'm reasonably pleased given the price I paid. I loved the view I got of the southern highlands on the moon and crater rims just peaking over the leading limb!
I had the expected issues with the bog standard RDF that comes fitted but will just have to wait until the Rigel I've ordered arrives to get any improvement over that.
A few queries/ niggles have arised after this first viewing session:-
1) The slow mo controls feel a bit "gritty" and un-smooth, particularly the RA adjustment - can anyone point me in the direction of a good tutorial on giving these a bit of a service or what may be causing this? The RA seemd to have a bit of a "bounce" in it and when adjusted seemed to go briefly in the opposite direction before jerking back to moving prograde (if that's the word! - I mean following the earth's rotation in the RA axis)
2) I'm aware the mount that comes with this scope is not the best - is the scope worth upgrading to a better mount in future? or would I be looking at replacing both the OTA and the mount, particularly if I wanted to move into astrophotography? (this would be quite a while down the line when budget allows). I guess what I'm asking is would the scope reward getting a decent mount when I've saved my pennies? and then afterwards maybe replacing the tube itself? I know I'd need at least a tracking motor to start with to get longer exposures...
3) Any tips and tricks for a fast but accurate polar alignment? I just kind of did it by eye last night and it was good enough for what I was looking at (I think I'll need to sort the issues with the slo mo controls first to be able to judge how accurately I've aligned) Strap a laser pointer to the polar axis?
4) I've found I've been using the scope with the tripod legs not at full extension as it seemed a little wobbly - this does lead to some rather unusual viewing positions however... Any ideas if I might be doing something wrong here?
5) Collimation - I have a laser collimator but with there being no centre point marked on the primary have no real way to check the secondary - any hints and tips here? The scope seems to be in good order anyway so maybe no rush to dive into this for now.
Thanks in advance for any replies 🙂 I may be away from the computer for a few hours from now so please excuse any slow responses/thanks