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Old 30-09-2009, 08:23 PM
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OzRob (Rob)
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Are rental scopes cheating?

As I live and work in Thailand imaging during certain times of the year is a non-starter. From about May to October it is very rare to get a clear night. To get my imaging fix over the last 5 months or so I have been using online rental scopes. It's easy as all you need to do is pick a target, decide on filters, exposure times and numbers of images and you are away. The images can even be captured while you are asleep. However, in the back of my head I think that it is all too easy and is cheating. So, is it cheating???...
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Old 30-09-2009, 08:34 PM
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So, is it cheating???...
Only if you don't tell your wife....
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Old 30-09-2009, 08:52 PM
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jjjnettie (Jeanette)
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I think I'd go crazy if I didn't have some sort of data to be working on.
If you can't capture it yourself, I guess remote imaging is the next best thing.
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Old 30-09-2009, 09:09 PM
dpastern (Dave Pastern)
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I don't consider it cheating. How much does it cost?

Dave
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Old 30-09-2009, 09:11 PM
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Octane (Humayun)
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An absolute fortune. Some of the images I've seen taken with these setups, would have cost over a thousand dollars.

It is not a poor man's option.

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Humayun
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Old 30-09-2009, 09:12 PM
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Well, if we go on that path in thinking, then buying a very good and expensive equipment is also cheating.. because, lets be honest, equipment is a name of the game in this hobby of ours.

And, what about professional astronomers? They "rent" the equipment the are using in their work... so are they are also cheating?
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Old 30-09-2009, 10:02 PM
Hagar (Doug)
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Not this one again....... It's only cheating if it's not you using the remote scope.
Lots more to a good image than just the captured data.
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Old 30-09-2009, 10:18 PM
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An absolute fortune. Some of the images I've seen taken with these setups, would have cost over a thousand dollars.

It is not a poor man's option.

Regards,
Humayun
Yeah, I agree that some of the money that some people put into them is excessive. However, it does not need to be that expensive. In some instances I think it could actually be cheaper than having your own equipment, especially if you don't do a lot of observing and imaging. First of all there is depreciation on the gear and the expense of getting to a dark site. Of course for some people that is all part of the fun.

Out of interest I looked at how much it would cost to set up a remote setup as an investment. I thought about a Tak FSQ106. With all the equipment required it would have cost just shy of US$30K. Itís not a good investment IMO.

Anyway, I have learned a lot about imaging and processing over the last 5 months. I suspect that I have started in the hobby differently than others but I think I have an advantage. I have seen what is required to get good results and hopefully that will help when I can get out with my own equipment. I am looking forward to November when clear skies are the norm here rather than the near impossible.
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Old 30-09-2009, 11:22 PM
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It all depends on what your real priorities are. Do you want top images by bypassing all the joys of the complications of setting up your own imaging rig? Thats fine as long as you give accreditation to all the inputs to your images.

I would bet that even a moderately experienced imager could not make the best use of a remote scope's data.

It is not the destination, it is the journey that is important!

Bert
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Old 01-10-2009, 12:55 AM
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I agree with Bert, while building and setting up my little system, i had great fun (Watching my brother in law do all the work), and as many would agree, first light is tummy butterflies night.
I think most of the fun is in knowing you put it all together (In my case watched), and what your viewing is very special to self satisfaction.

Theo.
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Old 01-10-2009, 04:35 AM
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I agree with Doug, not this again. Last time I sat on the fence, but this time I'll air my view.
I reckon it is, but to me it should be the individuals decision after all.
I have friends that control their gear from the comfort of their couch, watching TV, and contest that if you aren't getting cold, insect bitten, dewed on, or tired, then you aren't really doing it. But hey, that is me, and each to their own.
Gary
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Old 01-10-2009, 06:08 AM
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multiweb (Marc)
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IMHO rental scope would be the opportunity to play with gear that I'd never dream of owning one day.
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Old 01-10-2009, 06:24 AM
dpastern (Dave Pastern)
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An absolute fortune. Some of the images I've seen taken with these setups, would have cost over a thousand dollars.

It is not a poor man's option.

Regards,
Humayun
holy $dollars H! I'll pass then.

Dave
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Old 01-10-2009, 08:31 AM
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I think some of the scopes on light buckets run at about $1 a min. so a long exposure is going to require some long dollars to go with it.
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Old 01-10-2009, 08:32 AM
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BTW, I dont think it's cheating, if your a junkie, you get your fix anyway you can....
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Old 01-10-2009, 09:08 AM
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Someone should set up a Flickr account where people can access unprocessed images to practice with.
Though there'd be a lot of hoo har over copyright.
But then people wouldn't be sharing their very best data in this way.
I'd throw in a few of mine. Just to see how others interpret my images.
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Old 01-10-2009, 09:42 AM
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Cheating would be if you steal someone's equipment or data.

But if your'e paying for it, be it on a night by night basis or for the equipment outright, I don't see the difference, it's just two different ways of doing it. It's like the choice between buying a lawn mower and mowing your lawn with it, or renting a lawn mower from the petrol station and using that, why would the latter be cheating?

I haven't used rent-a-scopes yet because (1) I have a slight preferrence towards saving that money to invest in my own equipment (2) my main problem is I don't have enough time to use my equipment, so having someone else's to use instead is of no additional benefit to me. (3) I like the gadges of astronomy, so half the fun is playing with the setup.

.. but I don't have any problem with others using them.

I certainly don't think sitting on a couch using my observatory from inside is cheating, there's a lot of effort involved in setting that up, it's just the time has gone in to arranging it to work remotely rather than actually being out there. And it comes back to the gadget thing and what you're interested in about astronomy. it doesn't necessarily give you any advantage over anyone else.
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Old 01-10-2009, 09:45 AM
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Nearly got the Flickr account up and running. Just to see if this idea will work.
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Old 01-10-2009, 09:57 AM
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Nearly got the Flickr account up and running. Just to see if this idea will work.
I think that sounds a great idea.
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Old 01-10-2009, 10:02 AM
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/astro_j...rocessed_data/
Only one image loaded so far.
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