#21  
Old 26-08-2016, 07:21 PM
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gaseous (Patrick)
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Glad the visual stuff is working out! Good luck with the photography - dobs aren't renowned for being astrophotography-friendly from all I've read - certainly my pathetic dabblings were nothing to get excited about.
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Old 26-08-2016, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by gaseous View Post
Glad the visual stuff is working out! Good luck with the photography - dobs aren't renowned for being astrophotography-friendly from all I've read - certainly my pathetic dabblings were nothing to get excited about.
Thanks mate... not getting a camera for photography... just more visual stuff.
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  #23  
Old 26-08-2016, 08:36 PM
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gaseous (Patrick)
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Ahh, sorry, I misread your post. Keen to hear how that turns out too!
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Old 26-08-2016, 10:30 PM
AEAJR (Ed)
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I am also looking at the Reveloution Imager R2 kit to get into video astronomy or as some call it Electronically Assisted Astronomy, EAA.

I would really enjoy reading of your impressions of the kit.
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Old 30-08-2016, 05:15 AM
AEAJR (Ed)
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I also ordered a Revolution Imager R2 kit. I would be interested to read your impressions. I don't have mine yet. Hope to have it this week.
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Old 30-08-2016, 07:43 AM
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Maybe IIS needs a separate section for live camera viewing ! There's a sticky above but we don't want to crowd that out.
If cloudynights and stargazerslounge can do it ..

Last edited by ChrisV; 30-08-2016 at 08:26 AM.
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  #27  
Old 02-09-2016, 04:28 PM
Beatlejohn
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I also ordered a Revolution Imager R2 kit. I would be interested to read your impressions. I don't have mine yet. Hope to have it this week.
I received my kit yesterday... The clouds have arrived here so i havent had a chance to test it out yet... but im impressed with the kit itself... the cables are short but ive bought extension cables as suggested. A great kit for getting into video astronomy as everything is included. Cant wait for a clear night!
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Old 03-09-2016, 01:08 AM
AEAJR (Ed)
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First attempt with the Reveloution Imager R2 kit.
http://www.revolutionimager.com/

FWIW, I powered up my R2 kit yesterday and, what do you know, it worked.

During the day I put it into my Meade ETX 80 and was able to focus on my neighbor's house, about 100 feet and some distant trees, about 1000 feet. Did not use the cut filter or the focal reducer.

Played with the menus on the camera via the remote. Not too hard to understand. Basically there are 3 things that we will play with and leave the rest alone.

So, I am all pumped up to get this on a star. But noooo, as night falls there are clouds all across my sky. I should have expected this. I bought new stuff, of course there are clouds. ;( Went to bed around midnight.

2:30 am nature calls. So I answer the call then head for the door. Ohhhh, clear sky with a rim of clouds low along the horizon to the South and East but they seem to be moving in parallel to my location, not toward or away. Great!

3:00 am - I have all my stuff set-up and the Goto aligned and tested. That is when I realized that I have not planned for where I am going to put stuff. I have a battery, a monitor and wires to deal with. I have a remote hanging down and .... stuff. My plan was to rest this all on the eyepiece tray but that is not going to work. IT is not flat enough and not large enough and I am wasting time fumbling with all this stuff.

I get Capella lined up in the eyepiece. Pull the eyepiece and put the camera in. I almost have Capella in focus but I guess it is not exactly centered because as the big ball becomes a smaller ball moving toward a pinpoint star it goes out of view. I hit the buttons on the hand control and the movement on the screen is not in the direction I expect. I can't find Capella.
  • Note to self, during the day, test and mark the camera for the correct orientation so the scope and the image are moving in the same direction.
  • Note to self, rig up some kind of shelf or hanger system on the tripod to hold the monitor, the battery and figure out some cord control.

So I look up and I discover that those parallel clouds have TURNED, have looped back toward me from the SE. and now the sky is being swallowed up by clouds.

3:30 am I am back in the house, frustrated. But, all success comes from failure so I have learned that I have some daytime work to do.

Wish me clear skies!
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  #29  
Old 03-09-2016, 06:57 AM
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Atmos (Colin)
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I think we've all had experienced like that Ed
It is mostly through out failures that we learn what NOT to do and that can be infinitely more important in the long run than just getting it right.

Glad to hear that it is largely working without issues
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  #30  
Old 04-09-2016, 06:56 PM
ausastronomer (John Bambury)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stonius View Post
There's a trick to using (straight through) finderscopes that gives them the same advantages of a red dot finder.
  1. Don't squint and close one eye - KEEP BOTH EYES OPEN!
  2. Look at the target spot in the sky where you are wanting to point the telescope
  3. Now move your head such that in one eye you are keeping an eye on the target area, while the other eye looks through the finderscope (you will typically view from a more relaxed distance for this - no eyeballs pressed right against the finderscope! Yes, you probably won't get the full field of view, but meh, it doesn't matter for this method.)
  4. Now move the telescope as if you're trying to place the crosshair in the finder over the target area you're looking at with your other eye. Once you get close, you'll see the object pop into view in the finder too
  5. Fine tune to get it central to the crosshairs and assuming your scope was aligned properly in the first place, the object should be in the eyepiece

Works on mine, anyway. I do have both a finder and a RDF, but I always like to have a backup. Plus the Mag boost of a finder can be good for finding objects that are not visible to the naked eye.

Cheers

Markus
I have straight through finders and red dots on my 10" and 14" SDM's and a Telrad and RACI finder on my 18" Obsession. What you suggest may be helpful to some people but the single thing I find most important to using a straight through finder happily and comfortably is to bend low and get right underneath it and then look up with your head straight, as opposed to using it with your head tilted at a funny angle.

I much prefer straight through finders to RACI's as they are much easier to aim to the correct part of the sky. If I could only have 1 finder device it would be a Telrad as I find this is the easiest to use to do the initial alignment of the Argo Navis.

Cheers
John B
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  #31  
Old 05-09-2016, 01:29 AM
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I realized that I needed a place for the monitor and other stuff but wanted to avoid having to carry a table so I am making a tray that will fit onto the tripod. It is not finished yet but it is coming along nicely.

It is about 12" from the center of the arc to the center of the brace in the middle of the tripod. The cutouts fit around the tripod legs. Just need to work out a lip so things don't roll off.
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  #32  
Old 12-10-2016, 09:58 AM
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Have you chaps that invested in the Revolution Imager got any further reviews? Keen to hear your thoughts.
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  #33  
Old 12-10-2016, 12:43 PM
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9/4/16 - 9-10:30 pm * ETX 80 and Reveloution Imager R2.

This is not really much of a report. The skies were not very clear. Seemed like a thin cloud layer overhead and thicker clouds along the horizon. Things were very dull and obscured. * But I did play with the new video system.

From my failed attempt the other day I realized that I needed to work on space management and come up with places to put things. So first thing I did was make a shelf that hooks onto the tripod. This gives me a little working space. This worked extremely well. If you have a scope on a stable tripod you might want to make one of these. Mine is made of 5/16" ply wood with a 1X2 stiffener across teh bottom that sits against the legs of the tripod. Very stable.

Then I just blindly pointed the scope into Cassiopeia with no tracking just to play with the camera and settings. I did put on the IR filter but not the focal reducer. I was able to get it into focus and just watched stars go through the field of view as I played with the settings. So, it works!

As I said, the sky was lousy, so this was just a "getting used to the equipment" time. One thing I can see is that when I am working with this video system I will want to plan my observations so that I am focused on a particular part of the sky. With all these wires I would not want the scope swinging through vast arcs as I hunted at random/

So far all I can report is that it works. Can't yet say whether this will be a valued addition to my astronomy equipment, but it looks promising. And the shelf works great!

Last edited by AEAJR; 14-10-2016 at 01:33 AM.
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  #34  
Old 12-10-2016, 12:46 PM
AEAJR (Ed)
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9-11-16 - Playing with the Revolution Imager R2

I got the kit about 10 days ago and it seems it has been almost all clouds.* The club has had to cancel three observation/outreach events.

I saw a gap in the clouds so I rushed out with the ETX 80 and the R2 kit to see if I can get some sky time with it.

I barely had visibility to Arcturus and Altair which the scope chose for alignment.** They were in and out of clouds.

Once I had the GoTo aligned I went to the moon then swapped out the eyepiece for the R2 camera. I could not get it to focus then I tried reducing the exposure time as the moon is very bright. When I got it down to 1/250 of a second the focus started to come in and it looked best at 1/500th.

Clearly I need to clean up the wires as I have too much wire. For now I will strap them up with Velcro straps but I may buy shorter cables later.

Clouds kept coming through and covering the moon, the stars, everything, so I put it all away. Still learning.

The kit comes with an IR Cut filter and a focual reducer both of which attaché like regular filters.

He included a moon filter but I don't see any reason to use it. I think it is better to just shorten the exposure time. But time will tell.

BTW I also tried it with a 2X barlow to get more mag. I was looking at the moon and thinking, how do I increase magnification, as I would like more mag. Then it occurred to me, use a barlow.

2X barlow worked fine. I also have a 3X barlow that I did not try.

The mag I was getting seemed to be similar to an 8mm eyepiece which, on the ETX 80, is about 50 power.

I have not tried the focal reducer. On the moon I would have no reason.

I spent the evening dodging clouds. I took a turn on Mars but the clouds put a quick end to that.

Hope for clear skies tonight.

Last edited by AEAJR; 14-10-2016 at 01:35 AM.
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  #35  
Old 12-10-2016, 12:47 PM
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glad the shelf is holding up its end of the bargain!
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  #36  
Old 12-10-2016, 12:48 PM
AEAJR (Ed)
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Posted by aeajr on 06 October 2016 - 12:00 AM in General Observing and Astronomy
I don't recall if it was in this thread, but someone asked me to test the Revolution Imager R2 in my XT8i to see if it would work.

Used without the focal reducer it worked fine. Focus was around the real 1/3 as I recall. I did an image impression comparison to my eyepieces. I would estimate the image on the screen would be comparable to a 5 mm eyepiece of narrow AFOV. Mybe comparable to a 40 degree AFOV 5 mm eyepiece.

But when I added the focal reducer I could not get the image in forcus. I think it needed more inward travel. When I brought it all the way out I then pulled the camera slowly out of the focuser to see if more back forcus would help, but it didn't.

The photo below is of the screen. The dark region was not apparent as I looked at the screen so it is somehow an artifact of my camera phone. This was a group of stars in the core of one of the double clusters.

Meade shipped me a replacement for my ETX 80, under warranty. But they shipped me an ETX 90 instead. Turned out it had a bad declination motor drive system, so I boxed it back up and am sending that back. The 90 costs a lot more than the 80. I told them I appreciated the 90 but would prefer an 80 as it is more in line with my goals for the scope.

Seems they have a backlog on the new ETX 80s so I may be waiting a while.

While I had the 90 I did try the RI2 system with it during the day.** Was able to bring in trees about 1/2 mile away both with and without the focal reducer, for anyone who is interested.

I want my ETX 80. Hurry up Meade!


BTW, the image below is taken directly off the video monitor. There was no computer involved and no stacking other than what the RI2 does in the camera. The dark area in the image was not apparent as you looked at the screen. This has something to do with the smart phone I used to take the photo. This was the core of one of the double cluster groups. I call this the man in the cluster.
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Last edited by AEAJR; 14-10-2016 at 01:37 AM.
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  #37  
Old 12-10-2016, 12:52 PM
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So far, from what I see, the view experience is different but exciting. You can also capture the feed to a computer using an adapter, that I have, so that you can do image stacking. I have not ventured into that yet.* With my ETX 80 back with Meade for replacement I have not really been able to make much progress.
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Old 12-10-2016, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by AEAJR View Post
So far, from what I see, the view experience is different but exciting.*** You can also capture the feed to a computer using an adapter, that I have, so that you can do image stacking.** I have not ventured into that yet.* With my ETX 80 back with Meade for replacement*I have not really been able to* make much progress.
Thanks Ed, does it tend to pick up additional nebulosity/colour?
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  #39  
Old 13-10-2016, 07:13 AM
AEAJR (Ed)
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I really haven't been able to work on that. My tracking scope, my ETX 80, is being replaced. Without tracking I am just constantly moving the scope to try and keep the target in view.

The 1200 mm FL of the XT8i provides something comparable to 240X without the focal reducer. So you know how fast things move at that mag.

In the ETX 80 I am working with a 400 mm FL so I will get something around 80X. If the focal reducer works then it will be more like 40X. Now, even without tracking, the target will not be moving so fast.

Add the tracking of GoTo and I can lock onto a target and start to play with it, adjust exposure and averaging in the camera and the like. Then I can get a better idea of what I can do.

Until I get the ETX 80 back I won't be using the RI2.
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Old 13-10-2016, 07:19 AM
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This is the set-up I was going to use on the ETX 80

I have the monitor mounted on the left, the battery on the right or alternately on the OTA. This way the system moves with the scope while is slews and tracks.

I checked with Meade and they said the weight should not be a problem.

The shelf works great. It should be able to hold a laptop when the time comes. But for now it is just a great place to stick stuff like note pad, flash light, small chart, etc. Super easy to make.

Now I am waiting for the replacement ETX 80.
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