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We have lift off. Ready to go mobile...


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OK it's taken me a while but when I first got interest in imaging I knew I'd have to be able to get out in a dark field somewhere as my patio is a) horribly bright and b) view limited. 

Last night though, even though my lunar imaging was a fail due to missing focus, I did run the entire session entirely on battery and run from the set up's own WiFi network. This is a big big step forward and made last night more than worth it. 

For reference the complete set up is as follows:

Power - 40Ah car battery in a Bison battery box feeding a Pegasus Astro Pocket PowerBox Advance.

Control - Beelink Mini PC and GL.iNet GL-MT300N-V2 travel WiFi hotspot

Access - either a laptop or ipad via Windows Remote Desktop

Software - NINA, PHD2, ASTAP, Sharpcap 

Mount - Skywatcher AZ EQ6GT 

Scopes - TMB 105/650 LSOZ, Meade 10" SCT and SW 150P (f5)

All in all I'm delighted with this solution. Sure things like the PPBA are quite pricey but everything is fuss-free and just works. The PPBA also makes powering the whole thing trivial and cabling etc very simple so worth the money. I finally have the confidence I can load up the car, go somewhere nice open and dark, set up and it'll all actually work.  

For visual obs I have my guidescope fully aligned to my main scope so I can use that to plate solve - works better for me than using a handset and some form of star alignment. Call me lazy but from home I can't learn to star hop etc as I can't see enough stars due to light pollution and I am not about to waste valuable time whilst out somewhere darker :)

Now just waiting for a free night when I can get to my chosen site and give it all a go. 

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Good setup. If you've got the camera setup you'll be surprised what you can see from a light polluted backyard. I used to wait to go to dark sites and wasted years not going, so I setup where I am and have been doing so since. If you're plate solving no star hopping necessary. If you're swapping between camera and visual get a flip mirror, much more convenient.

 

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20 minutes ago, Elp said:

If you've got the camera setup you'll be surprised what you can see from a light polluted backyard.

I don't have so much of an issue imaging what I can see, it is more that most of the Western skies are completely blocked for me so now I can get mobile and I have access to a nice secure field I can set up in not too far away, I want to take the opportunity.  Not whilst it is quite so cold though!  I will wait until the (hopefully) warmer spring nights :D 

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Ah, understand. Also wish I had access to a nearby open area something like a farmer's field/land. It's not too bad in the cold, just layer up!

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