#21  
Old 12-04-2009, 10:04 PM
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erick (Eric)
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I suggest that you get the motor drive. You'll learn about tracking. It'll force you to roughly polar align that mount (for the first time? ) You'll enjoy being able to automatically track when you push the magnification up on the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn. Much easier, also, for showing a group of others the sights - you don't have to keep re-centering the object between each person. And, you'll get a good bit of your money back when you sell the scope/mount.

I think you can do things without a laptop at present.

Have a good look at the Gstar. It gets good reviews for what it does.

For photography, it seems that, for the Moon and the Planets, poking your point & shoot at the eyepiece and clicking can give you "respectable" beginners results, with a bit of practice. Well, best to start somewhere and produce some results you can proudly show off. I'm sure that you have read enough to know what a challenge it is, financially, time, equipment, to start seriously down an astrophotography route.

Last edited by erick; 13-04-2009 at 09:19 PM.
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  #22  
Old 13-04-2009, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by jjjnettie View Post
It all depends on how far you want to go with this Jen.
If you're intending to get serious and put the time and effort into the learning curve, save up for the good mount, scope and camera.
If you think you'll be happy to just play around and grab a few pics on the way, (like I do) then the Gstar and EQ3 will keep you happy. For a while at least.
Hey there JJJ oh i would love to go all the way um yeah get serious in doing this but dont we all but on that note in reality of it all i am a busy working mum so time and effort proberly would be a issue at this stage of my life Yeah i think i just want to play around and get that once of awsome shot of the planets and the moon and maybe a nebula or two every now and again just to be able to show off to my friends (i like showing off) I am pretty happy with my scope for now so i dont think im quite ready to upgrade just yet i still dont know how to use this one properly Once the kids move out of home and have their own lives then thats when i will say right now its Jen's time, JJJ lets go astro shopping
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  #23  
Old 13-04-2009, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by erick View Post
I suggest that you get the motor drive. You'll learn about tracking. It'll force you to roughly polar align that mount (for the first time? ) You'll enjoy being able to automatically track when you push the magnification up on the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn. Much easier, also, for showing a group of others the sights - you don't have to kep re-centering the object between each person. And, you'll get a good bit of your money back when you sell the scope/mount.

I think you can do things without a laptop at present.

Have a good look at the Gstar. It gets good reviews for what it does.

For photography, it seems that, for the Moon and the Planets, poking your point & shoot at the eyepiece and clicking can give you "respectable" beginners results, with a bit of practice. Well, best to start somewhere and produce some results you can proudly show off. I'm sure that you have read enough to know what a challenge it is, financially, time, equipment, to start seriously down an astrophotography route.
polar align for the first time i just pick it up and spin it around

Hey Erick i have taken a pic of the moon with and old push button camera and it was absolutely awsome (well i thought so anyway) too embarrassed to post in here after the work that gets around here though thats what has got me hooked into taken more pics
I just wanna take part in the imaging threads
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  #24  
Old 13-04-2009, 06:56 PM
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Jen, polar allignment is easy and a lot less physical then what you have been doing . Just set the alt (tilt of your scope) to somewhere between 30 and 35 degrees, make sure your scope is on top and the weights are on the bottom (straight up an down) and point the front of the scope roughly south. Thats it. You will only need to turn you slow motion controls to stay roughly on track. Once you have done this a few times you get the hang of it and can start setting up more accurately. That way you will be able to drink more UDL's coz you won't have to waltz your scope around the back yard. I agree with Eric, you will need a drive on your RA to track properly.

Mark

Last edited by marki; 13-04-2009 at 07:07 PM.
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  #25  
Old 13-04-2009, 11:10 PM
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Jen, polar allignment is easy and a lot less physical then what you have been doing . Just set the alt (tilt of your scope) to somewhere between 30 and 35 degrees, make sure your scope is on top and the weights are on the bottom (straight up an down) and point the front of the scope roughly south. Thats it. You will only need to turn you slow motion controls to stay roughly on track. Once you have done this a few times you get the hang of it and can start setting up more accurately. That way you will be able to drink more UDL's coz you won't have to waltz your scope around the back yard. I agree with Eric, you will need a drive on your RA to track properly.

Mark
Is that it well, that does sound easy
LMAO at watlzing with my scope in the back yard thats exactly what i do with it
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  #26  
Old 14-04-2009, 09:38 PM
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So if i want a gstar cam whats my shopping list
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  #27  
Old 14-04-2009, 10:18 PM
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A laptop computer
Gstar ex camera
A usb2 pcmcia card to plug it into
IR filter
That's all you'll have to purchase, the rest is free off the net.
Gstar capture program, free from myastroshop
Virtual Dub
DeepSkyStacker
Some form of image processing software, PhotoShop, PaintShop etc. (if you ask nicely I can email you down a disc)
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  #28  
Old 15-04-2009, 09:19 AM
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Jen, I have used a similar camera that I borrowed from a friend of mine. It is called the Stellacam. He lent me a small Security TV screen that he also bought to use with it in the field. For this setup you dont need a laptop. And it provides nice visual observation without the need to look in the Eyepiece. Also these cameras provide a inbuilt frame integration so what you see on the screen is a stacked image showing more detail than what can be seen by the Eye. From my backyard in burbs of Sydney i could not visually see centauras A but witht he stellacam/TV combo i could easily make it out.

So a laptop is not required. I used this setup with my Lx90 and was able to see things i would not otherwise be able to see. You can also connect it to a regular TV inside the house and watch there.

There is a lot more information on this forum section on CN that caters specifically for this type of observing.
http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthrea...at/0/Board/VAA
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  #29  
Old 15-04-2009, 10:21 PM
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Thanks JJ whats a usb2 pcmcia card what does that do



Thanks netwolf that gives me a bit more to think about wow there is so many options


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  #30  
Old 15-04-2009, 11:21 PM
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Jen, the Gstar pulls a bit of power from your USB ports on the lappy. If they aren't up to the job, you'll get all sorts of problems with the camera and software.
So you need to use the pcmcia card.
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  #31  
Old 16-04-2009, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by jjjnettie View Post
Jen, the Gstar pulls a bit of power from your USB ports on the lappy. If they aren't up to the job, you'll get all sorts of problems with the camera and software.
So you need to use the pcmcia card.
ok thanks JJJ
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  #32  
Old 18-04-2009, 11:50 AM
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Jen,

If you want to have a low cost try at imaging why not get a standard webcam, remove the lens and make yourself a tube for the front to fit in the focuser, or leave the lens on and try afocal through an eyepiece. This will give you a feel for what you can do without a motor drive.

Peter
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  #33  
Old 18-04-2009, 12:07 PM
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thanks Peter yes i could try that too there is just so much to choose from i also had a look at one of those Phillips SPC900 webcams would that do the trick too or is the Gstar a better option
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  #34  
Old 18-04-2009, 01:21 PM
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The Phillips SPC900 is a colour webcam so will plug into your computer USB port but is limited to less than 1 sec max exposure so won't be sensitive enough for deep space stuff but great for Jup, Saturn and the moon.

The Gstar is a video camera (has a video out connection) so you need a video grabber to capture the images onto a laptop. It has a much more sensitive monochrome chip than a webcam so is really designed for deep space stuff.

To make full use of a deep space camera you need to be able to take a long exposure (preferably minutes but at least a few seconds). This is where tracking becomes important because if you don't track you end up with star trails if the exposure is more than a couple of seconds.

I started with a webcam and my 10" dob (and I still use it today for moon and planets). You end up capturing an AVI movie file with the planet moving across the field of view. You can convert this file into a series of bitmap still images and then stack these to improve the signal to noise ratio and end up with a single stacked still image.
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  #35  
Old 18-04-2009, 02:00 PM
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Thanks Peter so it basically comes down to what i really want to start imaging (or capable of imaging) with a little scope like mine cheers
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  #36  
Old 18-04-2009, 06:01 PM
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Jen,

You got it - if you really want to capture deep sky images you need more sophisticated equipment and this ends up costing more money to set up. No point having a really flash camera if the mount can't track the object you are trying to image.

As I said in an earlier post - If you can get hold of a laptop (you'll need this for whatever camera you go with) I'd give a Meade LPI a try - it's basically a webcam designed for lunar and planetary imaging but it can do slightly longer exposures than a basic webcam (I think up to 10 seconds but haven't tried this yet) so you might be able to image some other things (star clusters and maybe bright nebs)

I recently bought a second hand one on this forum for $65.

Peter
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  #37  
Old 18-04-2009, 07:58 PM
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You can capture quite good images of the planets using just a regular video camera if you have one.
Just butt it up to the eyepiece, zoom in, focus and press record.
You process the images the same way, putting the .avi through Registax.
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  #38  
Old 20-04-2009, 03:52 PM
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Oh man i dont know what to do now, ok so you saying the GSTAR might be too good to use with my scope i have just ordered the motor drive for my scope so i will finally have tracking soon woohoooo and im getting my laptop on the weekend so im neally there
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  #39  
Old 20-04-2009, 03:56 PM
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You have to start somewhere Jen and if budget is limited, you start with what you have and can buy economically. Won't be perfect, might be rather ordinary, but you'll learn a lot for when the Lotto/inheritance windfall comes!
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Old 20-04-2009, 04:38 PM
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You have to start somewhere Jen and if budget is limited, you start with what you have and can buy economically. Won't be perfect, might be rather ordinary, but you'll learn a lot for when the Lotto/inheritance windfall comes!
oh yeah i have the winning ticket for next Saturday night
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