Jump to content


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


poppasmurf last won the day on April 4

poppasmurf had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

336 Excellent

1 Follower

About poppasmurf

  • Rank
    Termination Shock
  • Birthday 03/21/1966


  • Biography
    only actively involved in am astronomy since 2007.
  • Location
    Wangaratta,Victoria, Australia
  • Occupation
  • Astronomy Equipment
    8" GSO RC
    Moonlite CS focuser
    Skywatcher NEQ6PRO
    Meade DSI
    Imaging Source DBK21AU618.AS
    tasco galaxsee 114500
    Televue powermate 5X
    fujifilm s96

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Wangaratta, Victoria, Australia
  1. test image ngc 2024

    Hi Dave, I changed my NEQ6 over to belts quite a while ago now. At the time it made all the difference, reducing backlash to virtually zero. I just can't seem to nail down the cause of the current issue and are leaning towards a new mount. I believe the NEQ6 is still a great performer for its price point, I have had mine for around 12-13 years. Mine is still fine for visual and perhaps planetary imaging, but I like deep sky imaging so I have grown tired of fighting it. Cheers Shane
  2. test image ngc 2024

    Hi Ray cheers for the reply. I hope you had some fun with the billy lids. I have run with and without PEC, also did a new PE curve for a complete new PPEC. The only other guide software I have tried I have never had any luck with.(Maxim DL4 and Prism10), I believe the issue there is more the lack of sensitivity of my guide cam which may well be replaced with a Lodestar X2 soon as well. I always run the mount with a slight imbalance to have a preload on any gear mesh. I have got the mount tuned so good there is almost zero backlash. When I did a backlash measurement with PHD2 the report noted only miniscule backlash and recommended no backlash compensation. With regards to the stepper motors, I am thinking that may be the issue. I wouldn't be complaining at all if I used the mount for visual only or perhaps widefield imaging, but as you are aware being up close and personal FL imaging is rather more demanding on equipment. Anyway I am starting to get over fighting the mount and missing imaging time. For a 12 to 13 year old NEQ6, I have had good service from it, and are currently waiting on emails with prices to get an Ioptron CEM60 (Thanks Tony ). Shane
  3. test image ngc 2024

    Ray, the only other guiding software I have tried is within Prism10, I have never had any luck with that but I believe that is due to my guide camera not being sensitive enough. PEC is taken care of in EQMOD, which I have been using for over a decade. Haven't tried if the mount guides with another scope, I only have the RC and a guide scope. I could try swapping cameras around but guiding at 1600mm FL for 400mm FL scope is a bit overkill IMO. Shane
  4. test image ngc 2024

    Cheers Tony, I have done considerable research over the last few weeks, trying to solve this issue and looking at reviews etc on the cem60. I believe the non encoder version is the one I will try convince the MoF that I need. Encoders would be nice but I don't believe the extra $1500 is worth the benefits for me. That would be $ (that I don't have) better spent on other goodies. Thanks for posting the thread about your cem60, I wouldn't have known about them otherwise. Your glowing review, as well as many others, convinced me that this is the best, most affordable option for me. I spent several hours out last night checking everything to no avail, backlash on both axis' is minimal so not that, in fact everything seems mechanically fine. Checked polar alignment and tweaked it a bit, now sitting around 1.5 arc-sec of polar error according to PHD2, it was around 2.4 arc-sec before tweaking it, so not that either. Really has me stumped and can only put it down to either the motors or control board issue. Its been a long time since I've seen round stars from almost any length exposure. Anyway the way I am looking at it, through all the frustration, is that 12-13 years out of the NEQ6 is a reasonable life compared to cost. Shane
  5. test image ngc 2024

    I believe up and down is RA Ray. Shane
  6. test image ngc 2024

    Good question mate, I've never needed to know before so will get back to you. Shane
  7. test image ngc 2024

    G'day Ray, I am a cranky old bastard so I tend to crack the shits when things are playing up and have deleted the really bad subs. I did find an older one that I cropped and zoomed in to get a closer look at the stars. Bad seeing doesn't effect the subs, except for soft focus, and slightly poorer guiding than normal(better seeing). I image at around 1600mm FL and guide at 400mm FL. Not sure where to even start now that I have ruled out mechanical issues. I have "made" an example of the problem at its worst in PS. In this example all I did was clone a star into what the subs in question looked like( imagine all stars the same). This would also have had less visible lines where the mount was moving while exposing. I hope you can understand an old illiterate cranky man.LOL. Shane
  8. test image ngc 2024

    Unfortunately I don't think the budget will run that high Greg, more a pipe dream, I will most likely have to settle on something like the Ioptron CEM60. Shane
  9. test image ngc 2024

    Very scientific term that eh. Immaculate guiding one night but the following night RA had unexplained massive excursions. I originally put it down to the nature of guiding with a mass produced Chinese mount as had happened in the past, and fully expected things to magically improve, as had happened in the past. Unfortunately both RA and DEC both have unexplained excursions now. I thought it might be some dirt or something in the gears, but, after pulling the mount apart things were really quite good inside, apart from 1 suspect bearing. Thinking this was the problem on one axis I decided to replace all the main bearings on both axis'. Also gave all sprocket and worms a good clean and regrease with high quality grease. Expecting I had solved the problem I tried again and found absolutely no change. I now am thinking main board and/or motors are failing, causing both tracking and guiding problems that software can't compensate for. I'll keep at it for a while, but, am also researching new mounts. When I break the news to the minister of finance and war that I'm thinking of a new mount, and that I'm looking at $4-$11k range, should be an interesting conversation to say the least. So far I am looking at the Ioptron CEM60 in the lower range and the 10Micron GM1000HPS in the high range. Unguided 20min exposures out of a 10Micron is very tempting. Shane
  10. test image ngc 2024

    Lol those "sat trails" are difraction spikes from Alnitak. .............I know......... you were taking the piss, but, by explaining that they are difraction spikes, it sounds like I know what I'm talking about. FL is around 1600 or 1233 with the reducer Ray. Although I rarely use the reducer. Up close and personal is the reason I got the camera I did to match the FL of my RC, I believe I am imaging at around 0.94 arc sec/pixel. Other cameras in the Moravian range are perhaps better chips but I like the FoV that the G2 2000 gives me for galaxies. I'm unsure what my mount issue is mate, it used to play nice considering it's a mass produced chinese mount(SW NEQ6). One night I had the best guiding ever and the next night everything went to shit and stayed shit. I have pulled the mount down and given it a service(clean, regrease, and new bearings) but that isn't the problem. At this point I'm thinking either motor and/or control board. Shane
  11. this is bloody aweful. massive tracking and guiding issues. LRGB around 70-80 minutes I think it was. I think I might be needing a new mount. lots of noise and colour calibration didn't work properly either, also prob a bit over colour saturated. Having whinged about all that at least it is something. Shane
  12. Nice one Ray. Shane
  13. Coddington's nebula

    Nice Greg, one I've not seen nor heard of before. Shane
  14. Just got home from a talk by ANU astrophysicist Dr. Brad Tucker, what a brilliant 90 minutes. He spoke on all sorts of things going on in Australia regarding space and space travel, as well as being slightly sidetracked for moments by questions from the audience. This bloke is the most engaging speaker I have heard, if I had educators like him at school I might have become a professional astronomer or rocket scientist or something. Highly recommend anyone that gets the chance to attend one of his talks to go without hesitation. Shane
  15. Latest Video Astronomy

    That's quite a load on the EQ6. How close to limit are you mate? Shane