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Old 16-04-2021, 09:23 PM
Swongky (Shane)
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Hi All

Hi All,

I'm Shane from Sydney and followed an old work colleague of mine into the idea of astrophotography (particularly with the intent of capturing DSOs).

At the start of 2020, I got a Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro GoTo Mount and a
ZWO ASI290MM Mini Autoguider. The next step was to get a scope and I was thinking of using my old Nikon D60.

It's now 2021 and I literally haven't progressed from the start of 2020. I'd have thought COVID would've been a great opportunity to have got into it.
I do have 2 kids 5 and under and get woken up in the middle of the night often by them so am often tired. Have I jumped into this too soon!?

What I did end up doing was getting a set of entry level Celestron 20x80 binos, a phone mount adapter and shooting the moon with my phone through them Nice and quick, no long/multiple exposures or stacking required.

But what to do with the other gear. Any advice for a busy/tired dad? Do I lug this equipment around (which is not a full set up) and maybe use it in 10 years time, or should I sell up and wait till the kids are older and I actually have more energy and rebuy stuff that's probably advanced since today. Any one been in the same boat?


Shane
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Old 16-04-2021, 11:02 PM
croweater (Richard)
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Hi Shane. If you have some lens maybe just whack your nikon on the heq5 and do some tracked wide field shots. Get some experience polar aligning and maybe guiding and you'll get some great widefield shots. Then you'll be able to practice stacking and processing as well. No hurry. No pressure. Cheers, Richard.
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Old 17-04-2021, 07:41 AM
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Rainmaker (Matt)
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Hello Shane,
I think Richard's advice is sound. You don't need a scope, just a couple of lenses and your D60 will get you started. You'll be surprised by how well it works.

You can set your gear up in the evening, polar align it and then cover it up... then, if the kids wake you up, check if the sky is clear....
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Old 20-04-2021, 07:28 PM
Atko90 (Daniel)
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Hey Shane,

I agree with the guys as well. It would be good practice at least just getting used to using an equatorial mount etc as even if you did downgrade to a smaller setup the basics will be the same.

May as well have a play It might even help you decide what you'd like to do.
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Old 21-04-2021, 06:47 PM
Swongky (Shane)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by croweater View Post
Hi Shane. If you have some lens maybe just whack your nikon on the heq5 and do some tracked wide field shots. Get some experience polar aligning and maybe guiding and you'll get some great widefield shots. Then you'll be able to practice stacking and processing as well. No hurry. No pressure. Cheers, Richard.
Thanks for all the positivity guys!
Correction on my Nikon, it's a D70.
I guess this means I now need to get a power supply.

Also, I understand polar alignment is a skill that needs mastering. Is it a bit like riding a bike? Once you've got it you don't really lose it? Or would it be more akin to playing an instrument and needing to practice regularly to keep decent at it?
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Old 30-04-2021, 01:48 PM
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NorthernLight (Max)
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Location: Auckland, NZ
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Itís like riding a bike, although you get rusty if you donít practice. Donít sell your gear. Keep it and start widefield. Iím in the same boat with the nights. But every now and then I take a weekend off and go to the dark sites. You can Jerry rig a power connection from your car battery with an old extension lead and some crocodile clamps with a couple of cigarette lighter ports at the other end. Keep the engine running, though or else you are in trouble. Widefield is most fun under dark skies. Sleep in the car and keep warm with whiskey. If you go widefield guiding is usually not required once the mount is decently pole aligned. Itís really nice to calm the nerves.
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