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July 2021 - Anybody playing tonight


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On 7/6/2021 at 6:30 PM, AstronomyUkraine said:

It's not always like this, and Clear Outside has been known to be way off the mark before now. 😁

Hello guys, I haven’t been able to update anything here in the last days as I am back to work . However tonight I thought I could have a good night a good chance to take my scope out as the weather gave a green light. 
unfortunately I need to wait until 3-4 am to get a clear sky .

 

now the situation is very bad... clouds everywhere as you can see 

image.jpg

image.jpg

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1 hour ago, gabs said:

Hello guys, I haven’t been able to update anything here in the last days as I am back to work . However tonight I thought I could have a good night a good chance to take my scope out as the weather gave a green light. 
unfortunately I need to wait until 3-4 am to get a clear sky .

 

now the situation is very bad... clouds everywhere as you can see 

image.jpg

image.jpg

I am trying to use PHD2 with a ZWO ASI 120 mm as a guide camera.

I am not be able to focus to Vega and every time I select a star I have the message “ star lost-  low mass”? Any advise?

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5 hours ago, gabs said:

I am trying to use PHD2 with a ZWO ASI 120 mm as a guide camera.

I am not be able to focus to Vega and every time I select a star I have the message “ star lost-  low mass”? Any advise?

Are you trying to focus the guide camera on Vega? If my guide camera ever needs adjusting, which is very rarely, I just use Polaris. I use Sharpcap to polar align, and also focus the guide camera. In Sharpcap you can zoom in on the stars, and it's quite easy to get good focus. The focus does not to be critical when guiding, but you don't want donut shaped stars either.

 

The star lost - low mass comes up when cloud goes over your target, you usually get the dreaded beep, and the guide display in PHD will flash red. Once the cloud has passed, PHD should carry on guiding. The warning could also be attributed to the camera being out of focus, or something is loose in the guiding setup. Make sure there is no play whatsoever on the guide camera or the connection between camera and guidescope. One last thing, when you connect PHD2 and start looping, be sure to press the star button and let PHD2 pick the guide star, it does a better job than we can.

 

One last thing, once your guidescope is focused, don't remove it from your telescope if possible. If you do, you'll need to recalibrate PHD 2 every time you set up to image. This will just waste precious time.

Edited by AstronomyUkraine
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7 minutes ago, AstronomyUkraine said:

Are you trying to focus the guide camera on Vega? If my guide camera ever needs adjusting, which is very rarely, I just use Polaris. I use Sharpcap to polar align, and also focus the guide camera. In Sharpcap you can zoom in on the stars, and it's quite easy to get good focus. The focus does not to be critical when guiding, but you don't want donut shaped stars either. The star lost - low mass comes up when cloud goes over your target, you usually get the dreaded beep, and the guide display in PHD will flash red. Once the cloud has passed, PHD should carry on guiding.

I thought the problem was in relation to the clouds and yes I have tried to focus on Vega but unfortunately I am not able to see the full star on the screen just part of it and yet the focus is not brilliant at all! 

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5 hours ago, ApophisAstros said:

Managed a few subs Ha and OSC of NGC7000 last night, had to abort at 2am as fine cloud rolled in.

Roger

I tried a time lapse with the all sky cam obviously only clouds so far not stars whatsoever😞

Edited by gabs
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7 hours ago, gabs said:

I thought the problem was in relation to the clouds and yes I have tried to focus on Vega but unfortunately I am not able to see the full star on the screen just part of it and yet the focus is not brilliant at all! 

A guidescope will never achieve sharp focus like your main scope, the optics are not the best quality. What I would do is centre Vega in your main scope, using APT. Then using the screws on the guidescope holder, adjust them until Vega is in the centre of the frame. Then try to focus it. This will also ensure both the guidescope, and main scope are aligned.

Edited by AstronomyUkraine
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16 hours ago, gabs said:

Hello guys, I haven’t been able to update anything here in the last days as I am back to work . However tonight I thought I could have a good night a good chance to take my scope out as the weather gave a green light. 
unfortunately I need to wait until 3-4 am to get a clear sky .

 

now the situation is very bad... clouds everywhere as you can see 

image.jpg

image.jpg

 

This video might help you to focus the guide scope:

 

https://youtu.be/S9jUMmABVak

 

I use the same setup but with the Altair GPCAM.  I had to remove the locking ring to achieve focus.  However, it looks like the sensor on your ZWO camera is further forward so I think you should be OK.

 

Perhaps try to focus on something far away in daylight to give you a good starting point before it gets dark.

 

Hope this helps.

Edited by PeterBolt
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1 hour ago, AstronomyUkraine said:

A guidescope will never achieve sharp focus like your main scope, the optics are not the best quality. What I would do is centre Vega in your main scope, using APT. Then using the screws on the guidescope holder, adjust them until Vega is in the centre of the frame. Then try to focus it. This will also ensure both the guidescope, and main scope are aligned.

Yes I admit there is a bit of discrepancy between the main scope ( imaging scope) and the guiding scope.

 

next time I will try to do as you suggest 1) focus on Vega to the main scope 2) centre the same star in the guiding scope .

 

hopefully that you help me to achieve a better focus and then I should be able to guiding.  Maybe...

 

 

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2 hours ago, gabs said:

Yes I admit there is a bit of discrepancy between the main scope ( imaging scope) and the guiding scope.

 

next time I will try to do as you suggest 1) focus on Vega to the main scope 2) centre the same star in the guiding scope .

 

hopefully that you help me to achieve a better focus and then I should be able to guiding.  Maybe...

 

 

just get a small Bhatinov mask and use any starfield, simple enough. Only has to be near focus to guide probably.

Roger

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2 hours ago, gabs said:

Yes I admit there is a bit of discrepancy between the main scope ( imaging scope) and the guiding scope.

 

next time I will try to do as you suggest 1) focus on Vega to the main scope 2) centre the same star in the guiding scope .

 

hopefully that you help me to achieve a better focus and then I should be able to guiding.  Maybe...

 

 

Don't forget to calibrate PHD2. Point the scope to a star just west of the meridian, on the equator. After calibrating, run the guiding assistant for about 9 minutes, accept the recommendations it gives you.

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12 hours ago, gabs said:

Yes I admit there is a bit of discrepancy between the main scope ( imaging scope) and the guiding scope.

 

next time I will try to do as you suggest 1) focus on Vega to the main scope 2) centre the same star in the guiding scope .

 

hopefully that you help me to achieve a better focus and then I should be able to guiding.  Maybe...

 

 

 

If you find there is too much flexure in the standard guide scope mount you might want to consider something like this:

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/164865616499

 

The quality is pretty good for the price.  

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2 hours ago, PeterBolt said:

 

If you find there is too much flexure in the standard guide scope mount you might want to consider something like this:

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/164865616499

 

The quality is pretty good for the price.  

Thanks I just need to understand if I can install it on my scope considering that is a skywatcher 72 Ed evostar .

the guide scope is now installed using the finder shoe.

 

I will check spec and dimension before buying it.

 

thanks you so much!

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2 hours ago, gabs said:

Thanks I just need to understand if I can install it on my scope considering that is a skywatcher 72 Ed evostar .

the guide scope is now installed using the finder shoe.

 

I will check spec and dimension before buying it.

 

thanks you so much!

 

I believe I have the same skywatcher finder shoe on my reflector which fits no problem.

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2 hours ago, ApophisAstros said:

Hi Gabs,

Do you attach the guidescope with rings? I used to have a unstable skywatcher shoe and never achieved good guiding until i changed it to rings and its super accurate.

Roger 

Hi Roger,

It has no ring so the guiding scope is that one. Yes I think next step is to get the rings the good thing are not expensive! 

DAC1BBD1-3274-4811-A1CF-77C1827D2B4D.jpeg

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30 minutes ago, gabs said:

Hi Roger,

It has no ring so the guiding scope is that one. Yes I think next step is to get the rings the good thing are not expensive! 

DAC1BBD1-3274-4811-A1CF-77C1827D2B4D.jpeg

This type of guidescope bracket is OK, but will never be as secure as one with rings. I swapped mine out a while since for rings, and it feels a lot more secure.

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27 minutes ago, AstronomyUkraine said:

This type of guidescope bracket is OK, but will never be as secure as one with rings. I swapped mine out a while since for rings, and it feels a lot more secure.

I think I am going to do the same i don’t want to take any risk! 

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14 hours ago, gabs said:

I think I am going to do the same i don’t want to take any risk! 

Just contacted rother valley optics . Rings are out of stock so I guess I should keep everything as it is , and wait for fee weeks..unless someone knows where they can be available.

 

Thanks

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3 hours ago, gabs said:

Just contacted rother valley optics . Rings are out of stock so I guess I should keep everything as it is , and wait for fee weeks..unless someone knows where they can be available.

 

Thanks

Just found an interesting information for those that have my same finder scope as a guiding scope ( a sky watcher 9 x50 ) . It seems that to get a nice focus with an ASI 120 mm camera, the tighter rings has to be removed because once taken off it give you 12 mm of additional space which allows to focus . 
I hope that would helps someone 

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4 hours ago, gabs said:

Just contacted rother valley optics . Rings are out of stock so I guess I should keep everything as it is , and wait for fee weeks..unless someone knows where they can be available.

 

Thanks

They are available at TS Optics in Germany, shouldn't take long to deliver them to the UK.

 

https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/language/en/info/p10030_TS-Optics-Sucherhalter-fuer-50-mm-Sucher---fuer-Standard-Sucherschuh.html

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