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    Senior Technical Manager (Retired)
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    South Suffolk, UK

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  1. Ah!, I see the problem Tony, but at least you have a solution in the 'pipeline' ๐Ÿ‘
  2. ยฃ174 for a set of scope rings ๐Ÿ™„, that is ridiculous. Skywatcher do pairs of scope rings starting at ยฃ26, and are perfectly adequate. Here's a picture of my setup back in 2007, and there is a pair a Skywatcher scope rings with an ED80 in them. I did modify them, in that I removed the original adjuster screws, and replaced them with some M6 s/s studding, and screwed some plastic knobs on the end. I put soft plastic caps on the other end, so as not to damage the OTA. I would think that 14 years on they will be of an improved design, and at ยฃ26, relatively cheaper than they were back then. Expense wise, I started buying gear at the end September, and am only just about done. I had forgotten just how much gear I used to have, and had I realised how much I would need spend on returning to the hobby, and starting from 'scratch" again, I might have thought twice about it. Especially as astro is a secondary interest now, to my photography.
  3. Looks good Tony. The 80mm might enble you to capture some more of the outer ionised gas (red areas), as it extends quite a way out. It will be interesting to compare my 294c with the SXVR H16, that I used on this subject when I last imaged it back pre 2014. Noise wise, I use Neat Image, and have been using it for my photography, since being introduced to it by Dennis, back in the PAIG days.
  4. Nice image ๐Ÿ‘. You guys that stand out in the cold have my respect for your commitment ๐Ÿ‘. I've gone soft in my old age, and sit in the shed/summer house, with a fan heater, and communicate wirelessly with a Mini PC on the scope.
  5. Hi Dave, and welcome from another 'New Boy' on this forum's 'block'. I spent some time in Ontario, in Ottawa, and Kanata. It was a December, and snowy ๐Ÿ™‚
  6. The FOV is not only related to the focal length of the telescope, but also the size of the sensor in the camera. Your Sony A700 has an APS-C size sensor (aka Crop Sensor) which will produce a smaller FOV than a Full Frame sensor. The sensor in the ZWO is much smaller than the sensor in your A700, and as such will give a smaller FOV.
  7. Ethernet would indeed be faster Mark, but having just moved away from running cables out to the Pier, apart from 12V & 19V DC supplies in a buried conduit, it would mean running a 5m + Ethernet cable. Also adding a plugin USB to Ethernet adapter to the Laptop PC, as like many Laptops, it does not have an Ethernet socket. I will see how it all works, out, and if the wireless speed is acceptable then fine, if not, an Ethernet connection would be the 'fall back' option.
  8. Thanks Terry. Prior to 2014 when I left the hobby, I was astro imaging for some 12 years, so I am sadly well aware the issues we face in the UK. Its just something we have to live with. Fortunately, I have my primary hobby of photography, that I can pursue in daylight, and not have to worry about cloud. ๐Ÿ™‚
  9. Its been a lengthy and time consuming, not to mention expensive process, getting all the gear together, and "talking" to each other, but I am now about ready to return to astro imaging, after an eight year hiatus. I started out with the telescope, and an HEQ5 Pro on its tripod. However, after previously having a fully equipped observatory, the tripod idea lasted all of 5 minutes . The next stage was to install a permanent pier, on a concrete base in garden, and control everything via multiple cables (power and usb) from the shed, which would become my control/warmroom. However, again having been spoilt by having had a proper observatory, running cables out every time I wanted to use the gear, and then putting them away after, was not really what I wanted to be doing. So, the next move was to install a Mini PC on the telescope, and control everything wirelessly via my home network, and Windows Remote Desktop application. I ran the power cables (12V and 19V for the mini pc) in buried conduit. Today, I got everything working, now just need the Moon out of the way , and some decent clear nights, and we are good to go. Starwave 115 Apo, 60mm guide scope, Hypercam 294c Pro Tec, GPCAM 130, Skywatcher DC Focus motor + Hitech USB controller, Dew Heaters with Hitech controller, and a Gigabyte i7 based Mini PC. All mounted on the scope Hopefully some 'deep sky' images to follow soon
  10. A nice thought Carole, but not this time around. At the old house we had quite large garden, and it was easy to lose an obsy in it, but as the years passed, looking after the garden was becoming more of an effort. 1.5 to 2 hrs just to cut the lawns. So maybe, moving to a house with with less 'real estate, wasn't such a bad idea. The garden here is not that small, but is far more manageable. Plus the fact the garden is my wife's domain, and she loves tending it, and in the six years we have been here, she has spent a lot of time and effort getting it as she wants it. An Obsy would be a bit of '"blot on her landscape" now. ๐Ÿ˜‰. Gardening is her hobby. She has put up with all my hobbies for 57 years, and I have had a few:- Amateur Radio, Scuba Diving, Sailing, Fishing, MIcroscopy, Metal Detecting, Astro, and Photography, and probably some that I have forgotten ๐Ÿ˜… My life long passion is photography, and still is. So, I'm happy with a permanent pier, and a summer house which now doubles as a warmroom. ๐Ÿคจ Have a look at my post in "the lounge".
  11. After being out of the hobby for over eight years, and now having returned, albeit on a much smaller scale than before, that is to say no observatory, I started off with the HEQ5 Pro on a tripod in the garden. But setting it up each time I wanted to use it, that idea lasted all of 5 minutes (lol). The next step was to install a permanent pier in the garden, followed by using the summer house as warmroom. However, this meant running out cables (dc power and usb etc) each time, and then putting them away at the end of the session. I have now acquired an i7 based mini PC, which will be mounted on the scope, with just short power feeds, and usb cables to the equipment. I have today buried a flexible conduit from the summer house out to the pier, and run just two cables in it, 12V DC, and 19V DC (mini PC). These terminate in a openable weatherproof enclosure attached to the pier. Now all I will have to do when I want an imaging session is to attach the scope to the mount, the mount stays on the pier, connect a single 12V supply, and a 19V one for the mini PC, from the the 'box' on the pier, to a small distribution box on the scope. Not the luxury of everything permanently setup in a purpose built observatory with an attached warrmroom, like I used to have, but its as close as I am going to get to a convenient setup this time around.
  12. Its not the most intuitive item of software Carole, but it is a very effective one, and looking around the astro forums, it seems to have become very popular. I don't know if its is still the case, but way back, Harry produced a series of very informative tutorials.
  13. Almost ready to go Harry, nearly everthing in place now. Having sold everything when I left the hobby, I had forgotten just how much gear I needed. Just as well, as I might have had second thoughts about returning. My main interest is photography, and astro secondary. I've been retired for 19 years now, so no work to get in the way. Hopefully, I'll have something to post soon. Still have PixInsight, and have download all the updates. Last used in 2014. Take care Dave
  14. Hi Harry (PixInsight) Page ๐Ÿ™‚. Nice to hear from you again, its been a while, and a lot of water has passed under the bridge in that time. Being over eight years out of the hobby, I lost touch with the astro imaging community, so its nice to catch up with some of you again. Having looked around some of the forums, I haven't seen any sign of Dennis. Regards Dave
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