View Full Version here: : Need Advice - Bits and Pieces
12-10-2011, 11:09 AM
So I thought I would sort of repost in this section as I got no love in the other thread. Its been a while since I've had anything to do with Astro stuff. Ive been OS for 6 months and since been back I've been unemployed (end game for astrophotography haha) until a few weeks ago I've picked up some work finally.
So I've got a laptop sorted. I was just wondering I could get some advice on (and where to buy!):
- Guidescope/guiding camera setup - want a decent setup for a good price..something I wont have to upgrade?
- Heating gear... cheap that'll do the trick?
- Focusing - pretty sure I want to replace the piece of junk thats on the ed80...please help here as I'm a little overwhlemed...obviously I'd want something quality but not too expensive?
- EOS Clip in Filters? And which ones essential? (Ha 12nm most likely first choice)
- Focal reducer?
Basically I know Iíll be upgrading the scope eventually, so what I really want to do is make sure I spend enough money on quality to get some optimal results for the gear Iím using now..without forking out a ridiculous amount. I mostly want to be able to capture some ok data with my equipment so I can learn more about processing etc so when the time comes to upgrade I know what I want and mostly what Iím doing!
Thanks Everyone in Advance!
20-10-2011, 12:40 PM
for my two pence! If you are imaging at shorter focal lengths with the ed80 then you could consider a modified finder as a guide scope- there are details around the net and on here where folks have converted a cheap finderscope and guided with either a Starshoot guider or a webcam. Bintel sells the whole pre modified package too.
I like mine and it keeps the weight down.
Not sure about the focal reducer.
Focus mods to the ED 80 to make it more sturdy are also on line, but you might eventually end up getting a Moonlite so you can operate by hand box or by laptop.
There are threads here on IIS about making your own dew heater bands.
20-10-2011, 01:42 PM
For heating gear on the cheap, have a look at USB powered mittens - incredibly cheap, easy to connect and they do the job.
21-10-2011, 01:23 PM
EOS clip in filters mean nothing unless your camera is modified. they don't magically let Ha light hit the sensor! Just a word of warning. the only clip in filter that will do anything for you is the CLS one for light pollution if your shooting from a city environment.
if you have the ED 80, even cheaper solution to usb powered mittens is put some card sticky taped to the dew shield, double the extension and well :) you generally wont have too many issues and with summer coming up :) that gives you a long time to get the right gear that works best.
As for focusers, the best mod to do to your SW focuser is use a Knife stone (you know the ones to sharpen your knives) and make sure that the flat cut out is actually flat as 90% of the time it isn't Youtube has quite a few guides that take you though the process.
Be aware if you are using the orion star shoot autoguider and modifying your standard SW finder that you need to shorten the finder tube in order to focus so the best way to get guiding will be to do one of 2 things.
2" OAG unit you just have to make sure you get the right extensions then life is great! some people think that this is too much hassel but if you get it right you will reap the rewards.
Finder guider package from Orion
to which i would go with the OAG 100% of the time as it will make your life alot easier when you get to your next scope and the finder guider really isn't much use about 800mm FL as everything else has to be nigh on perfect to get them to work properly! If you end up going to a newt they will be useless as flexure kills their worth (past experience).
Brendan (uni student) :thumbsup:
11-11-2011, 04:43 PM
Thanks for the input guys.
Brendan I figured as much with the Ha clip in filter. I have got some stuff on the way and will look into the CLS-CCD clip in. I know Doug has spoken to me about the Hutech IDAS LPS2 filter, but I'm unsure whether it will fit in the nose end of my WO field flatter IV? Anyone know of this?
Ended up getting a crayford 10:1 focuser, the stock ed80 just does my head in.
Now i've just got to get my hands on some heating gear (thoughts on kendrick ones and what will suffice my equiptment?) and a few more power accessories and I should be good to...for now haha
I've got a 30 a/hr batt at the moment that is like a power pack that has 2 12v sockets in it.... I'm a little curious as to what I should invest in on top of that now that I'll be running more gear. I'm thinking like a 75 a/hr battery and an inverter? thoughts? or should I just get a few smaller specific adapters (ones for laptops at jarcar and so forth) that dont require the conversion between voltages etc Also need to look at something to charge them when I'm at home...
12-11-2011, 03:03 AM
If you're handy with electronics and have a soldering iron, I just solder together some 5W resistors in series and heatshrink them. A cheap anti condensation system for under $5 & very effective esp here in SW WA with our damp winters!
I've upgraded my SN 8" to a Moonlite and it's just a pleasure to use. I am now in the process of upgrading my 80mm refractor. The best part about the refractor series is that once you've committed and installed the Moonlite & decide to upgrade the scope later on (to another refractor), most Moonlite upgrades only require the flange to be changed (within limits of course as there are many 10's of OTAs out there)
As for EOS clip filters, unless you've got a modified camera, they're probably not going to do much.
Research on this site and guys like Brendan and Doug are far more qualified than myself (from my perspective anyway!) and have the results to prove it.
Finally, personally I would avoid an inverter as so much stuff these days can run off 12V - laptops to guiders to Canons, mounts, heaters, USB hubs etc etc. Basically what I've done is bought a Jaycar switching 240V/12V (variable) 15A which is more than enough if mains is available and I run my gear off a 30AHr battery and my load is under 5A (excluding laptop). Choose your battery based on your load & time you wish to run for and try and avoid inverters. I get about 4hrs on my system away from home and if I'm camping, I bring along my 40W solar panel (with MPPT) for charging the battery.
My 40W panel with the Silicon Chip MPPT kit (also from Jaycar) means I never need to use a mains supply to recharge my batteries. 40W is probably bare minimum btw. I build my own solar panels but even going down to Retravision etc (nearly everyone sells the blinkin things) I've found shops often have 1 or 2 orphan panels around 80 - 120W they want to get rid of for under $3/watt (thanks to our governments for cutting the rebate:shrug:). This is a very good price.
Good luck & let us know how you go.
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