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Padraic M

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Padraic M last won the day on April 16

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  1. As Terry said, worth uploading your logs, but also review the PHD2 Best Practices guide. I haven't noticed any difference in Dec guiding pre/post a flip, but the thing that comes to mind is Dec balance. As far as I can remember, if you're West facing East pre a flip, and you're scope-heavy you are constantly in contact with the worm drive so Dec backlash doesn't play a part, but after the flip and you're East facing West, gravity and backlash could cause some short jerks as the scope front-end 'falls' away from the worm. This is covered in the PHD2 guide and in lots of forum posts here.
  2. I wouldn't rate that Meade 80mm for AP, given the issues you have with the focuser, which probably can't be resolved. Take a look at this thread on upgrading the focuser on the ST80: https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/234392-st80-focuser-upgrade/ This would give a much better result.
  3. Hi Gabs, unfortunately I'm not sure you will! AP is an expensive business no matter which way you go. If you don't have the budget at the moment, you will need to make big compromises, and some of those just will not be practical. In some cases, you will be better to save your money and wait for the 'correct' purchase rather than buy something now that won't do the job, and can't be upgraded in the future. This particularly applies to the mount. I haven't owned the Skywatcher 130 that you show above, but my first scope was an equivalent Celestron Astromaster 130EQ with motor drive
  4. Errr, white? 😀 But each to their own!
  5. At least you noticed. I've spent ages scratching my head, checking the camera, rebooting the PC and still couldn't figure out why the images were all white. Eventually look up and.... yes.... clouds.
  6. @Marmot I find the most comfortable approach is to keep both eyes open - if the second eye is distracting I cover with with my hand. I don't find it easy to close one eye while looking through the other and straining my neck to see the sky!!!
  7. That's a huge improvement - focus looks spot-on and definitely no trails. Have you tried to plate-solve it on astrometry.net? There's nothing particularly interesting in that area of space from an astronomical point of view; quite a few double stars and an eclipsing binary; just one DSO that's too small and faint to see. If you were to point to Ursa Major, you would see the multiple star system Alcor and Mizar in the plough handle; and you should also be able to make out M101 and M51 galaxies. M101 would be 50 pixels wide at your pixel scale, and M51 would be 22 pixels wide, so definitely visi
  8. Looks good. How have you mounted the PPB Advance?
  9. @MarkARNot sure it's ASTAP's fault, but also not sure where to begin with diagnosis. Screen shot below - in the NINA Meridian Flip pipeline, after 'Do the flip' there's a 60-second settle period. Then it takes a 4-second image for platesolving. If what's shown in the image window is the 4-second platesolve image, then there's some serious star trailing, so it's not a wonder that ASTAP failed. I can't understand how there could be star trailing after a long settle, and in a 4-second exposure this isn't just standard sidereal tracking - the mount must still be slewing. I don't think th
  10. Big clouds back in for the next week, so I've taken the rig down. Anyway with the big moon out, there's really no point in capturing. I'll wait for the next new moon.
  11. This is the result of the last three nights imaging - had the mount set up and aligned in the garden for the week, and NINA was generally well-behaved. So much easier when you don't have the hour of set-up time to do every night - just power up, cool down and press go. My only issue was with ASTAP plate solving failing consistently in the sequence, when it works perfectly when I run it manually in NINA. Luckily astrometry.net works great every time. Managed quite a few automated meridian flips too! I've got Bortle 8 skies, with a 3/4-to-full moon so plenty of LP and noise in there.
  12. Hmmm forgot the 'same filter' bit. Redone now with much better results. Thanks Brian!
  13. That's really nice Paul. Love the star colour.
  14. Got a 98% moon tonight with clear skies. I wonder is it worth it? This is 4.5 hours of Ha in 27x 600s exposures, calibrated with flats and darks. Does that look right? I would have expected the flats to calibrate that vignetting out. Is there anything special about longer exposures that need new flats, or with moon-glow? Maybe I just need new flats.
  15. Left the mount in-situ since last Thursday so all I had to do was load a sequence and hit Enter, but really just imaging 'for practice' as the moon is right in the middle of my southern view. Took 90mins of Ha to add to M106 from last week, waiting for M101 to clear the trees, then took 3hrs to add to M101 from Thursday night, Ha, RGB and Lum. Not a great result - very noisy. Guiding also causing some small problems (~0.9" rms with occasional DEC spikes) so some more experimentation to be done there. Two automated meridian flips and a slew to target, all worked well.
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