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  1. Last week
  2. pulled the trigger

    Hi mate, Voyager is aquisition and observatory control with fail safes to shut down and close obs if automated. There are a couple of aspects of Voyager that I like better, auto focus and plate solve seem to work better for me which is a big factor for my situation. As to what I were using, APT AstrophotographyTool, is it better or not? Tough choice but APT is cheaper and in many ways a lot easier to us, but I have had problems with auto focus and plate solving so tried Voyager and I believe it is a better all round performer for my needs. Even if it is more expensive and slightly more difficult to learn. When I say difficult to learn that is not to say it is hard to learn at all just different from APT. Hope that is clear as mud for you Ray. Voyager is well worth a look, it has a demo mode that never runs out but is limited to 1hr sessions, a 45 day free trial which reverts back to demo mode, or a full licence for ever with 12 month support/update and a renewal support/update option on a yearly subscription. Shane
  3. New home for the old girl

    Very nice mate. I so need a terrestrial digital camera for AP. I still have over 20 rolls of kodak elite chrome 200 and three film bodies, which I will certainly use. when I upgraded my mount from a Losmandy G11 to an AP, the new owner of the G11 also loved it, as I did when I first bought it. AP is a journey of technical, scientific and cosmic knowledge. It is an incredibly rewarding and sophisticated pastime. Ray
  4. pulled the trigger

    Wow mate, that's good news. That's how equipment is supposed to make us feel. Test shot is awesome. Can't wait to see how your first serious imaging run goes. Are you only using voyager for image acquisition? If so, what were you using and is voyager better? Ray
  5. New home for the old girl

    Getting New or Used equipment that is in good functional condition is always a joy to experience. I have sold used gear and bought used gear as part of upgrades. One cannot always afford new. I sold my EOS 350D to a friend and she is having great experiences with it. Last week I took delivery of an used Canon EOS 7D Body, with low shutter count. Functions like it just came out of the new box. At $425 it has given me a step up in the photography world. Waiting now for the storms and clouds to disappear to try it on the 10" Skywatcher. Of course my collection of Canon EF mount lens are all compatible for terrestrial photography. Dave
  6. Earlier
  7. pulled the trigger

    My first test image using Voyager and the new mount, NGC 6559. GSO RC8 CF, Moravian G2 2000, CEM60. 2 hrs integration of L and R frames from last night before cloud rolled in. So far I am really liking Voyager, now to work on more than just a basic image session. This is with no calibration frames. Shane
  8. I have been meaning to have a tidy up of the obs for quite some time now, so today I finally got around to it. Rearranged the scope section and cleaned up my desks in the warm room. Job well done, and if(LMFAO) it stays clear tonight I intend on starting a mosaic run on the NGC 6559 area. Shane
  9. pulled the trigger

    I have now had a chance to polar align and have a short semi serious play with the mount. To say I’m pleased would be an understatement, the ease of use, from pa to star align and everything else is quite astonishing after the NEQ6. The hand control box is very intuitive unlike synscan hand control box. Works seamlessly with both control box and pc connection at same time. I am also trialling voyager acquisition software and the guiding results from the mount were awesome with phd2 sitting around 0.4rms error which is around 3-4 times better than I was used to getting with the hyper tuned NEQ6. I highly recommend a CEM60. I can only imagine how much better the CEM60EC would be. I’m sure after I fine tune pa and learn all the software things will improve even more. Absolutely zero complaints. I am aware this is not a premium mount, BUT, the way it behaves by disappearing into the background without issue makes it feel like I am using a premium mount that cost much more. Shane
  10. pulled the trigger

  11. pulled the trigger

  12. Voyager

    https://www.voyagerastro.com/ I have had a good play with this software in demo mode and was so impressed I bought the full licence without actually trying it under the stars in real world situation. I have finally recieved my rs232/usb cable and everything connected to the software without a hitch, now as soon as the weather clears up ill have an imaging run to see how well it does its job in the real world. Very imressed so far and not over expensive either at A$115 although that price is going to be almost double as of Aug 2019. Will post some results when able. Shane
  13. pulled the trigger

    cable finally arrived, now just need the weather to play nice. Not only am I trying out the new CEM60 but trying out new software,Voyager, for equipment control and image aquisition. Let the fun begin. Shane
  14. pulled the trigger

    You and me both mate. Shane
  15. pulled the trigger

    Looks great mate. Can't wait to see how the first imaging run goes. Ray
  16. pulled the trigger

    New counterweights all finished and installed. These moved the moment of inertia up the shaft somewhat and as a bonus also made balancing a lot easier.
  17. New home for the old girl

    The old NEQ6 has been sold and moved into her new home. The new owner is absolutely loving it and having a ball learning to drive it, as evidenced by the numerous messages I get on a daily/nightly basis. Like myself, Leon, the new owner, has made a huge leap in equipment coming from a EQ2/3 to a goto mount. I well remember the overwhelming feeling with such a huge jump in technology. Shane
  18. pulled the trigger

    All setup, balanced witing on pc cable.Although balance will need redoing once the paint dries on new counter weights. Shane
  19. pulled the trigger

    Interesting. Hopefully it is all setup though and ready to roll once the weather permits. We've had poor weather down here for the last 6 weeks. Let me know how that software goes. Ray
  20. pulled the trigger

    G'day Ray, with the cable it is an RJ4 connection mount side and DB9 pc side so either need DB9 to usb or the way I have gone is a 5m RJ4 to usb with a built in rs232 converter. My theory is a single cable to warm room pc is less likely to give issues over a cable with a extension joined on. On another note got 2 new 5.2kg counter weights made for me at work, now I just need to paint them so they don't rust. Also looking into another software image aquisition package called Voyager. https://www.voyagerastro.com/products/voyager-features/ Still haven't been able to get out under the stars with it yet which sucks. Shane
  21. pulled the trigger

    It looks killer mate. I agree with the RS232 gripe, even my AP came with two of those plugs, however I already had the adapters. I think the theory is that the RS232 plugs are water tight and can be screwed into the mount as opposed to push fit USB which can come loose or allow moisture into the plugs. That's the only advantage I can see. Ray P.S Don't think I didn't notice that empty tin box of sweets in your observatory. I know what you've been doing out there at night time.
  22. pulled the trigger

    Mount is installed on pier in the observatory. Still need to polar align but weather needs to cooperate. Also need to tidy up cabling. So far I have noticed a couple of things. First: This mount is rather hard to balance due to its ultra smooth operation in both axis’. Not a gripe just an observation as I was used to the NEQ6 which was quite a bit stiffer(read, “a lot”), even with new bearings. Second: This is a small gripe. Considering very few, if any, modern pc’s have a serial port and the fact that mount manufacturers seem to want to stick with outdated RS232, then it would be nice if an RS232 to USB converter were included with the mount so that it can be connected to a pc. So now I need to get a converter to connect to my obs pc, this is partly my fault as I did know I would need one, and also that one isn’t provided, but I forgot. Above factors aside the mount seems very easy to operate with the hand box. Shane
  23. pulled the trigger

    Got the pier plate home today, now waiting for the paint to dry. And guess what, the bloody rain is coming down and looks like it will be cloudy for the next week at least. I should have known all new astro gear comes with cloud, just been a while since I've made any new purchases.LOL. Will post more pics later as I get it all commissioned. Shane
  24. pulled the trigger

    ja, ja, ja, geesuz! for some strange reason only known to the Universe I share your enjoyment. Send us some pics once it is setup on Monday or Tuesday my friend. Enjoyment in AP comes from a good mount, everything else is just trinkets (to an extent). Ray
  25. pulled the trigger

    She has arrived. What a thing of beauty. Quite a nice PE curve of just over 4 arc seconds peak to peak. Wont be doing much till my pier plate is ready on Monday but I will have a bit of a play on the bench in the mean time. Shane
  26. pulled the trigger

    Hurry up driver! Deliver the mount! Ray
  27. 3 years of time lapsing!

    Excellent work Gordon Ray
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