View Full Version here: : Hello to all
04-05-2012, 09:56 PM
I live in Perth and have had a long time interest in astronomy.
As a child I had a small reflector and remember looking at Halley's comet.
I have run several astronomy nights as a teacher and thought it was time to get a telescope for myself (and my kids).
I was always going to make my own, grind a mirror etc but got a good cheap second hand meade ds-10. Most likely from late 80's.
I have some new Meade 4000 eyepieces on order as at the moment I just have one 25 mm. Unfortunately the weather has been quite bad.
My plans include:
Learning how to collimate the scope (with f/4.5)
Get a laser collimator
Learn to polar align and track.
Get a modified webcam for imaging deep space
Join a club?
Find some other people with the same scope
Make a solar filter to watch the transit of venus
Thanks for reading dhufish
04-05-2012, 11:00 PM
:) Hi Matthew. Glad to have you on board.
05-05-2012, 10:43 AM
Hi Dhufish - welcome. I live 5km away according to the web software and also have a 10" f4.5 Meade, although mine is the Starfinder. I still rate it as one of the best optics I've seen- and it's a great scope for deep sky. If you need any help collimating , I'm happy to show you how I do it, at least. Not as big a deal as people seem to think.
05-05-2012, 12:30 PM
Thanks for your offer of help Andrew.
I would be great to learn how to collimate this beast.
I was going to get a laser. Did try the de-focus method but I could not get concentric rings and still have comas on edge of field.
Are you involved in the Perth clubs?
Oh and I live in willetton.
05-05-2012, 12:47 PM
I assume the DS 10 is a 10" Newtonian? And it is f4.5?
Assuming that is correct, yes it will need reasonably good collimation to get the best possible views. Please remember that you are always better off getting pretty good collimation then taking your scope outside and enjoying it than trying for perfect collimation and wasting valuable observing time.
I have used this guide here http://www.astro-baby.com/collimation/astro%20babys%20collimation%20guide .htm to collimate my scope and it is really quite simple. Print it out and read while doing. The critical thing to remember is that the laser is ONLY for the final tweak. There are an infinite number of versions of misaligned optics that a laser will give good readings to. Try and get a cheshire/sight tube combo such as this http://www.bintel.com.au/Accessories/Collimation/Orion-Collimating-Eyepiece/418/productview.aspx which will help a lot. Takes a little getting used to but with a bit of practice, it gets easier.
Also, at f4.5 a bit of coma is almost inevitable and collimation will not fix it, it is inherent in fast newtonians. You could get a coma corrector if it really bothers you, but in my opinion you are better of getting good quality wide FOV eyepieces.
05-05-2012, 03:45 PM
Not really involved in any clubs anymore, too much 'other stuff' where clubs are concerned. I'm very close by- I'll send you my home number via PM.
As for collimatable gear, I've found the autocollimator to be the best final touch, but you need to get the primary pointing the right way with a Cheshire or laser first.
05-05-2012, 07:22 PM
I'd forget that and go for a Gstar-ex of one of the other video-ccd cameras. Worth the price, you'll get a lot more out of them rather than battling with past technology. Have a good look at what people are using in the photography section, I don't think you'll find too many modified webcams there anymore. If you're worried about price put a "wanted" add in the classified section of the forums and see if you can a secondhand one.
And you can trust Andrew. :thumbsup: You'll be getting first-grade help with him.
05-05-2012, 11:58 PM
Yep im another one of those poor astro photography guys. :) At the moment I am gathering people together for astrophotographers in WA. I own a f4.7 newt and collimate it quite easily, but as Andrew said, auto collimators are the way to go. Please do yourself the favor of not getting a laser.. they are bad in my honest opinion.
I keep getting people say that i must have great optics, truth is I know how to collimate my telescope properly. Have a bit of look at my webpage for some of the work that i do.
Also I wouldn't bother with a modified web cam, it will waste your time effort and money... a dslr is the next step up and although i don't normally recommend them as they have too much thermal noise. They are a good first camera so to speak ( I cut my teeth on them ). If you want to do it right first time out, get yourself a peltier cooled CCD camera, then you will be working with first class data straight out of the box and not smashing your head against the wall.
Andrew has a lot of knowledge when it comes to optics so (sorry andrew for this :D) milk him for all you can hehehe.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to give me a message.
06-05-2012, 05:54 PM
Before I came to the Dark Side of AP (Cooled CCD, Guiding etc) and before I knew how to polar align and drift I used a Gstar-ex with a filter wheel. It allowed me to see all the deep sky objects in real time and it took nice pictures of the planets and terrific pictures of the moon. Combined with a filter wheel for colour it really was a great way to start. The best part was being able to show friends and family what I was looking at on a monitor without having to process the data.
I still have that Gstar-ex although it doesn't get any use these days (must think about putting it up for sale on the classified section)
All the best
06-05-2012, 10:44 PM
Thanks everyone, great to get such warm welcomes and sound advice.
Will now steer away from a laser and get Cheshire eyepiece instead.
They do look reliable to use. Have been reading some of the resources and they have helped alot.
I was initially looking for a modified webcam, can the gstar ex take long exposures for deep space? Only asking as it is video based?
Paul I would consider the ccd but unsure on prices.
I do have a bday soon! It is great to find people on Perth.
Have a short wait for my new eyepieces and clear sky's.
Any recommendations for a COLLIMATor available in Perth?
06-05-2012, 11:04 PM
I will make something a bit clearer. A laser has its place. Its best use is as a final tweak and to confirm collimation before sessions. I recollimate from scratch anytime I make major adjustmenst to my setup. For example cleaning the mirrors, a new focuser, that sort of thing. I will check the setup everyone month or 2 using the Cheshire, but i raely needs more than a little tweaking.
Each session I check my collimation at the start with the laser, and if it a long session every couple of hours after that. The sort of movements that may happen in that timeframe are the movements that a laser with quickly and accurately pick up.
07-05-2012, 12:13 AM
If you want me to teach you how to collimate and set up your telescope properly let me know Matt. I work in the city and am in Bentley most Fridays.
Possibly a laser has its place, but they are just not accurate enough in my honest opinion irrespective of how good a quality you have. I don't want to move into the finer points of collimation but a laser will only correct 1 of 4 different errors and you need at least two errors corrected to get decent collimation. A laser and a cheshire correct for the same error as well, so having both is a waste of money only one is a bit easier if you don't know what your looking at.
I can collimate my system from being in parts to being accurately collimated to within microns of perfect alignment within 15 minutes, then my system is ready for long exposure DSO Astrophotography. I do this every time I use my telescope regardless of time.
Once again Matt a warm welcome from the Perth astronomy peeps! :)
07-05-2012, 11:34 AM
Yes a GStar video can take pictures of deep sky objects. It works slightly different to DSLR or Cooled CCDs in that the video is integrated to increase sensitivity and then clarity is gained by the number of frames of video that you capture. For example with a DSLR you may have an exposure of 5-10 minutes on average which will require precise alignment. With the video You may capture anywhere from 1000 to 4000 frames of the video. This is Then run through a program called registrax which will 'stack' the best frames together and allow you to enhance them to bring out detail. One advantage for a beginner is being able to see your picture immediately as it is captured and also you can manually adjust the framing if you have drift. These sorts of cameras are great to practice skills on in the early days. Once you graduate to DSLR there is a whole different level of complexity and skills to learn. I took my first DSLR pics in march 2011 under Brendan's guidance and caught the bug big time. I just had to have a cooled CCD within 2 months of taking that picture and getting infected with the astrophotography disease!
It's all good fun and there are a lot of us willing to give you some help
All the best
07-05-2012, 07:26 PM
Brendan is that offer of looking at a setup valid for other peoples as well? ;p
any getogether for peeps in perth area wanting to learn AP?
07-05-2012, 09:47 PM
21-06-2012, 11:45 AM
If you ever want to sell the GSTAR-EX, drop me a line :)
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