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Everything posted by TerryMcK

  1. Imaging already. Setup to catch some S2 on the Heart before the moon comes up. Not 100% sure how long this clear spell is going to last tonight in these here parts but it is forecast until at least 9PM.
  2. Indeed that would be a great addition no matter how one images whether tripod setup in the garden through to full blown observatory. Hopefully everything has dried out ok Paul and all is ok.
  3. Last night was slightly colder dropping to about -3C and I got 15 hours of imaging in from dust until dawn. The capacity of the Jackery went down to about 37% from full charge over this period.
  4. The rig has been out imaging more SH2-91 in O3 for a few hours until the moon rose fully - fortunately SH2-91 was in a completely different direction to where the almost full moon was. Then switched target onto the Heart nebula in Ha. I've never been able to image the heart so wide before as the Redcat gets the whole lot into the FOV.
  5. I tried the Jackery 500 outside last night in temperatures around zero Celsius and can confirm it works supremely well. I had my portable rig connected up to it which comprises: WO RedCat with ZWO ASI183MM Pro cooling to -20C 2 dewstraps 1 Deepskydad focuser 1 Skywatcher EQM35Pro 1 Raspberry Pi4 1 guide camera ZWO ASI120MM Total current draw when cooler on, dewstraps at 100%, computer running and slewing was just under 2 amps. This equated to 25 watts as seen on the Jackery display. It dropped slightly to around 23watts when just tracking I had the rig on for around 9 hours and was imaging for about 7 hours. The ambient temperature was around 5C when started and gradually dropped to around 0.5C by the morning. At the end of the session the Jackery had 51% remaining. Probably good for 2 nights before recharging.
  6. Although Stellarium which is also connected to the INDI server seems to think it is ok I'm going to leave it be.
  7. 1st sub is in could do with slewing over a bit. Guiding is surprisingly good though.
  8. Full moon and shooting the soul nebula in Ha. I must be mad!
  9. We need much, much more cloud to go with the rain. It's a beauty though.
  10. Hi Jez you may need to double that budget. A great scope/mount for astrophotography when taking wide deep sky images would be something like the William Optics Redcat 51 combined with the Skywatcher EQM35 Pro. If you have a DSLR camera already then that can be adapted to remove its IR cut filter to allow the all important redder wavelengths to get through. The above would be entirely computer controlled and I have such a system. There are other alternatives such as using a star tracker which could be something like the Skywatcher Star Adventurer combined with the same scope as above or the William Optics Zenithstar 61. Although with the latter you would also need a optical field flattener which will bring the cost up to the same as the Redcat with which needs nothing extra. The Altair Astro Altair 60 EDF Doublet Refractor Telescope V3 is also a superb scope. The Altair also requires a flattener too otherwise stars end up egg shaped at the edges of the image. All the above are refractor telescopes but there are also reflecting telescopes such as the Skywatcher 130PDS which is a superb scope. These Newtonian scopes require frequent maintenance in the form of collimation which is aligning the optics. Not difficult or time consuming once you have learnt it but still something that needs doing every time you setup. This one also needs a coma corrector which again does the same job as a field flattener. More cost! Whereas refractors are in general maintenance free. Another alternative is using your DSLR with a prime lens such as a Canon F1.8 50mm or the Samyang F2 135 both of which are superb lenses for AP. However if using a APC sensor the effective focal length of either lens is made longer. Essentially this means you get images that seem to be more “zoomed in”. The focal length of the lens hasn’t changed it’s just the image will be cropped. This isn’t necessarily cheaper than above as the Samyang is quite expensive and is not a dedicated telescope but people have found them great for AP. If light pollution is an issue where you live then you would also need suitable astro filters which will add extra cost. When you get further into AP you will then find you need to add guiding to your rig. This is another small telescope/camera combination added to the main rig and is intended to improve the quality of your images by taking pictures of the sky, locking onto one star and then sending small adjustment signals to the mount to ensure it is always pointing exactly where intended. Beware everything AP is expensive and you WILL end up spending much more than you anticipated. Do your homework and get advice from others too and you may end up with something closer to your budget.
  11. An HEQ5 Pro bearing replacement kit. Comprising SKF and Timken bearings
  12. I’ll keep you all informed as to how I get on Padraic
  13. Welcome to the forum Sy. When using a DSLR most people tend to set the ISO at no higher than 800 as otherwise it introduces a lot of sensor noise. Canon EOS are very popular in AstroPhotography but I do know a few people who also use Nikon. When I seldom use my old DSLR, which is astromodded, it has around 10MP with relatively large pixel sizes of 5.7 µm. However due to the sensors in DSLR cameras warming up considerably, generating even more noise, as the shutter is opened for such a long time to catch the faint stuff then people go over to cooled cameras (see below). What most people use now is dedicated astrophotography cameras which are cooled. These, however, are not cheap and come either as CCD sensors or CMOS sensors. Both technologies have their advantages and disadvantages. The CMOS cameras generally come in 2 flavours, either colour also known as One Shot Colour (OSC) or monochrome. The mono cameras use filters to capture light from different bandwidths and then the images are combined in post processing to produce colour images. These cameras can range from quite modest MP count up to vast amounts of pixels. My ZWO ASI183 cameras have around 20MP for instance. That said people still successfully use astromodded DSLR cameras, this means having the IR-cutting filter removed from the sensor to take advantage of the whole spectrum of the visible light, to take in the red emissions coming from deep space objects. You can still use your camera lenses too as some objects in the sky are enormous. But it is best to fit the camera to a tracking mount to take the rotation of the earth into consideration. Otherwise you will get light trails from the stars due to how long the shutter needs to remain open to capture enough light. The best conventional photo lenses to use are fixed focal length ones such as the Canon F1.8 50mm lens or the Samyang F2 135mm lens. Zoom lenses should be avoided as they have too many glass elements that make a mess of stars at extremities especially when wide open. DSLRs can also be fitted to telescopes too. Most manufacturers take into consideration that users of their gear might want to attach a DSLR so they make adapters available.
  14. My SW HEQ5Pro is a bit sticky in RA but not affecting the guiding too much - I can get around 0.7RMS minimum but hoping for a little better. However I watched a YouTube video produced by astrobloke earlier on and is has spurred me on to do a bearing replace in the mount. It is about 2.5 to 3 years old and also occasionally develops "the knock" which I have tuned out from time to time. This is just the backlash in the worm drive and is easy to adjust. However I have wanted to replace the factory grease with some low temperature stuff so may as well overhaul the bearings at the same time. So I have ordered: 4 x 689 2RS - the 2RS means 2 rubber seals 6 x SKF 6006 2RSR deep groove sealed bearings 2 x 30205 SKF roller bearings My mount already has the Rowan belt mod kit installed.
  15. Yes planets are easy to do with amateur telescopes. I'm sure some of the good people on the forum can show you what is possible. Have a look in member albums (gallery) or just have a search through the forum. I personally don't do planets preferring deep sky objects such as nebula and supernova remnants.
  16. Yes it did look like a C8 on a NEQ6. I also think he was using APT 25 seconds in. I suspect as the TV cameras were there he hadn't setup fully, was probably demonstrating for show, so may not have put any guiding on at all.
  17. Hello Jez welcome to the forum. Unfortunately the moon was too low here to see the partial eclipse this morning - it was around 7AM when I looked. I was watching Chuck (chucksastrophotography) doing a live stream on Youtube from Michigan USA this morning and he was frustrated by a covering of cloud. He wasn't happy!
  18. extra points if you can list his gear and software used.
  19. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-kent-59298510 Zach Evans talks about his journey into astrophotography during the covid pandemic.
  20. Still building up kit to go portable. A carrying case for the Skywatcher scope tripod. Actually it will also carry similar astro tripods and photographic tripods too. It is strong, water resistant and reinforced. A couple of handles and a shoulder strap. Case is 47” long. Retailers photos shown below. I got it for £15.58 yesterday but today it is £22.13 - very odd as it is not Black Friday yet.
  21. I like it. You have some dusty stuff coming through. The fish head does look slightly bright though.
  22. I can't see anything in the WBPP specifically about Noise Evaluation, However this is in there and has been for a while from memory: As far as I know if you increase it from disabled 0 to 1, 2 or more it then applies a Gaussian filter where the number is the radius in pixels which is then used for the calculation of star positions. It is used on very low signal to noise ratio images. I've never really used it though. As Noise Evaluation is an on or off binary function within the Image Calibration process then the WBPP Noise Reduction might not be the same thing. So much under the hood within PixInsight 🙂
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