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Mainly astro related stuff to go in here but anything else of interest would be good.

I'll go first

 

1 set of Baader 3.5/4nm Ultra -Narrowband filters for f/10 to f/3.5

IMG_1136.thumb.jpg.1d9b04d8fab0e13530685eec479b80a6.jpg

 

Another ZWO 5 position Electronic Filter Wheel

IMG_1137.thumb.jpg.0448a34bc5bccda351ecc8b09ccaa2bc.jpg

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2 hours ago, TerryMcK said:

Mainly astro related stuff to go in here but anything else of interest would be good.

I'll go first

 

1 set of Baader 3.5/4nm Ultra -Narrowband filters for f/10 to f/3.5

IMG_1136.thumb.jpg.1d9b04d8fab0e13530685eec479b80a6.jpg

 

Another ZWO 5 position Electronic Filter Wheel

IMG_1137.thumb.jpg.0448a34bc5bccda351ecc8b09ccaa2bc.jpg

Nice! Any reason for getting the 5 position EFW rather than the 7?

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5 minutes ago, AstronomyUkraine said:

Nice! Any reason for getting the 5 position EFW rather than the 7?

Light pollution. I don’t use separate LRGB filters anymore and shoot RGB with my OSC which uses the same sensor as the mono. I use an Idas D2 which filters out the LED lights and any remaining sodium or tungsten lamps around here, very successfully as it happens, and use the 2 filter wheels just for narrowband with the mono sensors.

Another mono camera is on the shopping list so just waiting for the annual ZWO offers to emerge image.png.8a3a5de20e5176496cfbb585c99815e4.png

 

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Brian I did have look at the Antlia 3nm filters which have arrived on the UK shores but they are shooting up in price quite a bit in comparison to the 3.5s and a full set wasn't available when I enquired. Again they must be being snapped up as soon as they come in.

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18 hours ago, TerryMcK said:

Brian I did have look at the Antlia 3nm filters which have arrived on the UK shores but they are shooting up in price quite a bit in comparison to the 3.5s and a full set wasn't available when I enquired. Again they must be being snapped up as soon as they come in.

The Antlia filters in Europe are 300 euro for the Ha and SII, 350 Euro for the OIII. Not sure why the OIII would be so much more expensive.

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1 hour ago, AstronomyUkraine said:

The Antlia filters in Europe are 300 euro for the Ha and SII, 350 Euro for the OIII. Not sure why the OIII would be so much more expensive.

Yes that's pretty much what we are seeing with one or two dealers £278 for Ha and S2 whereas O3 is £310 (all for the 1.25" ones)

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2 hours ago, TerryMcK said:

Yes that's pretty much what we are seeing with one or two dealers £278 for Ha and S2 whereas O3 is £310 (all for the 1.25" ones)

Here we also have the full range of unmounted filters, the 31mm, 36mm and 2'', ranging from 350 to 600 euro for the 3nm Ha. The 2' also comes in the mounted variety at 500 Euro for the 3nm Ha.

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Hi Brian, we have the same Antlia options here. I have a set of the 36mm and 50mm unmounted 3nm filters.

While my first light with the 50mm HSO was impressive I haven’t yet tried them with bright stars to assess if there are any halos. Looking forward to first light with the 36mm on my new 12” Meade f8/Mesu system soon.

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5 hours ago, MartinS said:

Hi Brian, we have the same Antlia options here. I have a set of the 36mm and 50mm unmounted 3nm filters.

While my first light with the 50mm HSO was impressive I haven’t yet tried them with bright stars to assess if there are any halos. Looking forward to first light with the 36mm on my new 12” Meade f8/Mesu system soon.

 

I think with any really bright stars, the OIII will leave some kind of halo The top image is the Sadr region taken with my Antlia OIII filter. The second image is taken with the Optolong OIII filter. Sadr is just peeking through in the bottom left, you can make out the faint halo between the circled star, and Sadr. The halo from the Optolong filter extends past the circled star. The circled star had a small halo with the Optolong filter, but disappeared completely with the Antlia filter. A vast improvement, but the Antlia still leaves a halo on Sadr.

 

 

Sadr_New.jpg.483e9c01d1bd475c17bb6d6eb9891237.jpgSadr_Old.jpg.8721e69b6b33d8a8ae3730c64677651f.jpg

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I had a need to store the RedCat51 fully assembled with filter wheel, camera, guide scope and all the wiring rather than it being on the floor in the office. I intend to use this to carry the scope into the field. The scope can then be used along with a small goto mount, which I still have to buy, at darker sky sites than my home Bortle 7.

The softcase that comes with the RedCat is great but it assumes you are going to dismantle everything and put it into the case in its tiny form. Well I didn't want to do that so bought a waterproof large camera case from Meijia and it came today.

 

IMG_1177.thumb.JPEG.f6ad69eadc2922dc6f45973b15c9d81f.JPEG

 

Its external dimensions are 20.62" x16.85"x8.11" and it is intended for use for camera lenses or Drones and has foam that is customisable. Internal dimensions are 18.43"x14"x7.62" 

 

IMG_1179.thumb.JPEG.1da64fde65cd2b2ce07bafca737d5ec3.JPEG

 

This is the top view

 

IMG_1173.thumb.JPEG.b4ebd8d09090773f0f1e84782a0e6023.JPEG

 

With the RedCat assembly placed onto the foam - the scope fits perfectly and the picture shows it overhanging but that is just parallax.

IMG_1174.thumb.JPEG.b03c60d83fb34c2ef57604ac599fcb75.JPEG

 

As can be seen the end cap will be inside

 

IMG_1175.thumb.JPEG.57b9cbb1be84fa41b56f8a52e85f3f0d.JPEG

 

The other end will probably just need the cables disconnecting from the camera.

 

IMG_1176.thumb.JPEG.384b6d892c4269f4fb435e892e409587.JPEG

 

The foam comprises pre-cut squares that just need removing. There are 3 layers of foam so making it easier to remove.

 

Initial indication looks like it is very solid, made from polypropylene and it has waterproof gaskets with lip seals. It also has 4 very solid catches with padlock holes.

Here is a publicity picture from the vendor so you get the idea of what it looks like.

image.thumb.png.527ae7f9fdb63134b8e2a6282b1de556.png

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07S1K2ZZ9

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  • 2 weeks later...

We know that sometimes equipment fails. I had repurposed an old USBA to USB micro-B cable from a defunct mobile phone on my RedCat rig to control the DeepSkyDad AF3 focuser. Needless to say it failed so I bought another brand new one from our favourite online retailer for £1.67

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07GBS2QXZ

 

image.thumb.png.af6cc751b9ea94a7773fb8c3589b98a6.png

 

The 0.5m length is ideal and the rig is working again.

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I have been debating whether to ditch my guidescope and go down the OAG route. I finally took the plunge, and this is what arrived today. The OAG and the helical focuser, just to make focusing a bit easier. Was a bit of a faff getting backfocus, but managed it in the end. Now just need clear sky nowOAG.thumb.jpg.4403f998d06246a888624f893784c8dc.jpg to focus everything.

 

 

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 Having cut down all my dew strap cables to the correct length to suit my rig, resoldered new plugs onto them I was left with a pile of cables with phono plugs on the end. So these inline sockets came today to make extension cables as you just never know when you need longer cables.

 

image.thumb.png.94291827bff99a792346b3f10d01f65f.png

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Apologies in advance everybody! I've bought some more astro gear and it's going to be cloudy again!

This time I have just received a "portable" goto mount the Skywatcher EQM35 Pro from one retailer.

image.png.de0dc87ed8ac387042613bd9bfd0df28.png

 

I've also bought from another vendor a Polemaster adapter for itimage.png.3550647709f66638e80c34a2ce225880.png

 

a two port dew controller image.png.d7dd15ba23adcfb8d53bd172d8d352fb.png

 

and an EQDIR cable (which has come as a cigar lighter adapter by the vendors mistake!) 

IMG_1197.thumb.jpg.c0ad0578e770d59e75c8fd7f5c30c53f.jpg

 

It should have been one of these VVV

image.png.67db2c0aa0f958b1a7943a08e45868ae.png

 

 

So the reason behind this is to have a fairly "lightweight" goto mount that I can take out in the field with my WO Redcat51. It can also be dedicated to use at home when I can use the other mount for one of the other scopes I have. Double bubble.

I may have to leave the Skywatcher tripod at home though and replace it with a carbon fibre tripod instead. It weighs a ton.

 

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1 hour ago, TerryMcK said:

Apologies in advance everybody! I've bought some more astro gear and it's going to be cloudy again!

This only affects UK astrophotographers, it's going to be clear here. 😊 Not that it will do me much good, the jet stream is overhead and in the red zone, around 37 m/s.

 

Nice portable setup thoughTerry. What will you use for power, do you have some kind of power tank?

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I have a Jackery 500 Brian.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jackery-Portable-Explorer-Generator-Adventure,Emergency/dp/B08RNT5BDT

 

I've just set the rig up without the scope to test its power draw and it is 14watts when slewing and 7 watts when tracking. The noise when slewing is slightly louder than my belt driven HEQ5Pro but not too much. When tracking it is silent which is great.

 

The Jackery can power the dew heaters, camera cooler, Raspberry Pi and should easily last a night of captures. When the EQDIR cable comes I'll give it a test - clouds permitting 😉

 

I'm going to modify the Vixen clamp by the way. It is one of those "mar the vixen rail" ones that leaves bolt indents in the aluminium rail. I have a proper Vixen clamp that doesn't rely on screws to clamp in place. I'm going to bolt it to the green rail that came with the mount. That way the green rail is the only thing that will get mashed up. I can then slide the telescope rail into the proper vixen clamp.

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54 minutes ago, TerryMcK said:

I'm going to modify the Vixen clamp by the way. It is one of those "mar the vixen rail" ones that leaves bolt indents in the aluminium rail. I have a proper Vixen clamp that doesn't rely on screws to clamp in place. I'm going to bolt it to the green rail that came with the mount. That way the green rail is the only thing that will get mashed up. I can then slide the telescope rail into the proper vixen clamp.

Those Skywatcher clamps are not the best. I have a similar setup, my Esprit come with a Losmandy rail, and I don't have a Losmandy saddle on my mount, so I bolted a Vixen rail underneath the Losmandy rail and clamp it to the scope.

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In the post today, came:-

 

A Gigabyte i7 based mini PC, which will  be mounted on the scope, so that I can control the HEQ5 Pro, and cameras remotely via a wireless connection.

 

Have installed all the relevant software, just need get on with the physical installation.

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