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Old 18-01-2020, 04:29 PM
Quopaz (Nick)
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Thumbs up New Here

Hi everyone. Firstly thanks for the amazing photos and the great info. I guess you could say I started back in around 1986. I remember getting up early in the morning to look at Halley's Comet with 10x50 binoculars. I still remember what it looked like. Really not much between then and now, just the odd look at the moon with binoculars or riflescope. About a month ago I noticed a bright star in the west, looked it up and found out it was venus! I was surprised it was a planet not a star. A look with what I had didn't show much so I decided to buy a telescope to see it better. I bought a Skywatcher 10 inch dobsonian, came with 25 and 10mm eyepieces. I added a 6.3mm and barlow to give me magnifications of 48, 96, 120, 190, 240 and 380x. The first couple nights I couldn't get it to focus, then I worked out what I was doing wrong. I was putting both the 2" and 1.25" adapters in when it only needed the one 1.25"! After that it worked well, I've been able to see Venus a few times pretty close up at 380x. It's very bright though and I'm surprised how fast it moves. I also just scanned around looking for things and found a nebula, later I looked it up and found out it was a pretty common one in the saucepan, Orion I think they call it. Took some photos of Venus just through the eye piece with my handheld camera. Moon has been amazing at 380x. I've ordered a 5mm which should give me 480x when barlowed. Last night I found Uranus at 120x, but couldn't find it at 380x. Also had some fast movers go through the scope, not sure what these were, maybe satelites? But they must be fairly common. Shooting stars maybe. Probably gonna try for Uranus again next or maybe Mars early in the morning. I've located Mars but not yet seen it through the scope. Should be a good year for Mars later on they reckon. Would like to see saturn but it's not visible yet. Anyway, thanks and look forward to seeing some more of your amazing pics!
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Old 18-01-2020, 07:44 PM
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welcome
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Old 18-01-2020, 08:04 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Nick
Welcome to IIS
You have a very capable telescope there for observing all objects in the night sky, plenty of aperture and great optics
Did you consider a Goto version ?
It’s fun to nudge nudge and star hop across the night sky with a manual telescope but when viewing planets and the moon it does get frustrating keeping the object in the FOV for detailed observations
I have the Skywatcher 12” goto telescope and it’s amazing , tracks so well and very accurate Goto , depending on your alignment you can observe an object for an hour until it drifts
Anyway, enjoy your Astro journey and good luck
Cheers
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Old 18-01-2020, 08:33 PM
Quopaz (Nick)
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Thanks. Yes Martin I did have a bit of a look at the GoTo ones. I didn't really know a lot about them and really didn't expect the planets to move through the view as fast as they do. On high power Venus was going out of the view in about 10 seconds or so. I might get a GoTo version one day, I reckon they'd be good for taking photos.
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Old 21-01-2020, 05:19 PM
astro744
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You only need an equatorial (EQ) platform for tracking. They can be bought or built.

See https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop...r-40--N-S.html

There are many other complete units on the web as well as many plans. They vary in price quite a bit but some are more advanced and offer dual axis controls.

These platforms will give you about 45 minutes of tracking after which you reset the sector (takes seconds). You need to get one suitable for your latitude. They add about 100 to 200mm to the height of your Dob (depending on design) which can be very handy for smaller Dobs. With some you just plonk the whole scope onto the platform and with others you first need to remove the ground board from your Dob.

These mounts are perfect if you don’t want GOTO but do want tracking to keep your target from moving.
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Old 22-01-2020, 09:28 AM
Quopaz (Nick)
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Thanks astro. That's interesting, I didn't even know you could get them.
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Old 22-01-2020, 03:56 PM
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No worries. A more expensive version is available at http://www.equatorialplatforms.com/

Just search for “equatorial platforms”. They are also know as Poncet platforms.

If you want plans just add the word you your search. I found this one https://photographingspace.com/diy-e...form-pictures/

There are many on the web.

Bintel used to sell the Johnsonian EQ platform but I think the manufacturer no longer makes them. This was maybe 10 years ago.
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Old 25-01-2020, 10:05 AM
Quopaz (Nick)
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Thanks, looks like something to save up for. Conditions were pretty good last night after several days of too many clouds. Had a good look at Venus, then after it got dark the Orion Nebula was amazing. Saw a massive shooting star (not through the telescope), probably the biggest I've seen. Went right across half the sky low down and horizontally in a second or two, very bright with a huge long tail that fanned out.
Just for fun I had a go at taking a few pics through the eyepiece with my hand held point and shoot camera. Not ideal I know, but was interested to see how it would go. Only picked up a small part of the nebula, it was much bigger and better through the scope.
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Old 25-01-2020, 10:13 AM
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Kind of tempting to get a proper photography set up now. Venus:
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Old 27-01-2020, 09:23 AM
Quopaz (Nick)
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Conditions were great again last night with clear dark skies and no moon. Mostly just looked at the nebula and the views were very good through the scope. Unfortunately I can't photograph what I see. Need tracking and long exposures I think. But anyway, I played around with some camera settings and got an improvement.
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Old 27-01-2020, 09:29 PM
Quopaz (Nick)
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The moon earlier tonight before it went down:
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Old 30-01-2020, 11:36 AM
Quopaz (Nick)
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Got up early this morning and got a look at Mars and Jupiter through a telescope for the first time. Attempted to get some pics of Jupiter, and while not great, I did get the 4 moons. All in a straight line- 1 on one side and 3 on the other. Could see some cloud bands through the scope but it was hard to photograph, then I ran out of time when the sun came up. Probably not the best time of year either. But it was fun looking at them anyway. Will keep trying.
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Old 30-01-2020, 01:25 PM
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Nikolas (Nik)
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Try posting pictures in the beginners section under beginners astrophotography. You will get more responses and advise, this section is just for introductions.
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Old 30-01-2020, 01:55 PM
Quopaz (Nick)
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OK thanks. I didn't really think my pictures were good enough for that section yet.
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Old 30-01-2020, 02:31 PM
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OK thanks. I didn't really think my pictures were good enough for that section yet.
They don't need to be 'good enough'...

However, you will get more visibility, feedback & advice as the imagers amongst us tend to look for them in that thread...

Don't stress it, we all had to start somewhere...
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Old 30-01-2020, 09:52 PM
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We all started where you did, this is a great place for advice and encouragement
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Old 31-01-2020, 11:49 PM
Quopaz (Nick)
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Yes plenty of great advice and information here. There's so much different equipment available that it's hard to know what to get. But some sort of equatorial tracking mount seems to be needed for good photos. I had thoughts of getting a DSLR camera and using it with the dobsonian, but now I'm not sure if it would be much better than what I'm doing now. Can be hard to get them to focus I've read.
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Old 01-02-2020, 12:08 AM
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Hi Nick,

From reading your posts, I assume you are using a push to dobsonian is that correct?

To have any success at all with images (from a basic perspective) you do really need a tracking mount. You can do some very short exposure deep sky stuff with an Alt/Az tracking mount & you can do some very good planetary imaging on an Alt/Az tracking mount using video & a number of free processing software packages.

If you want to get into longer exposure photographs (Deep sky longer than 10s exposures which is about the best you'll do on an Alt/Az tracking mount) then yes, you will need an Equatorial Mount with tracking...

I know nothing about EQ platforms for Dobs, other than the fact that they do exist but, if you just want to add tracking to your Dob, there are a number of ways to accomplish that but, none are particularly cheap...

Depending on your brand of scope there are Goto upgrade kits (predominantly for SW I think) which give you both Goto capability & tracking. Another option is to look at Digital Setting Circles, an Astro device such as Nexus or Argo Navis & a drive system such as Servo Cat; there might be other options available too, depending on which way you want to go.

Or, there are completely different approaches you might take depending on how seriously you want to get into AP & how deep your pockets are...

Cheers
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Old 01-02-2020, 12:24 AM
Quopaz (Nick)
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Thanks Outcast, yes I think it would be called a push to. Great for looking at planets etc. which is what I wanted it for. But then you think "I have to get a photo of that". I might be better off to save up for a while then get a completely different set up for photography. Maybe something like a 100 or 120 refractor on a motorized EQ5 or 6 mount?
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Old 01-02-2020, 01:45 PM
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Thanks Outcast, yes I think it would be called a push to. Great for looking at planets etc. which is what I wanted it for. But then you think "I have to get a photo of that". I might be better off to save up for a while then get a completely different set up for photography. Maybe something like a 100 or 120 refractor on a motorized EQ5 or 6 mount?
a 100ED refractor on an eq mount with a cooled camera is the best options however the cost can get very prohibitive. Best to purchase many of these second hand to begin with if possible.
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