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Everything posted by Tony

  1. M51 from last night

    Great work guys! An inspiration to those of us in the city to aspire towards!
  2. NGC 5128

    Great image! That is really special!
  3. recent Triad images

    These two images were taken with a TRIAD filter from urban site in Pasadena California. Both were ten minute exposures. Used Stellarvue 102sv Refractor with a field flattener, iOpron CEM60 mount.
  4. test image ngc 2024

    There are a lot of good mounts out there if your are prepared to spend some money. I bought an iOptron CEM25 and was so impressed I traded out my CGEM for its bigger brother iOptrons, CEM60. with which I am equally impressed for guiding consistency. It claims to carry up to 60 pounds, but I have not yet pushed it beyond about 38 and that has been near perfect guiding. Everything depends upon the mount! if that is screwed up, nothing else matters. The minister of finance might be most pleased that its price is modest.
  5. Ioptron mounts

    Since getting into this hobby, I've moved through several mounts beginning with a Meade LX90 on a wedge, ETX125, Vixen SX Star Book, Celestron CGEM and now a iOptron CEM60, its been a frustrating journey but learned a lot along the way. My last durable mount was the CGEM with which I took many satisfactory images with guiding that allowed up to 15 minute sub frames on a pier mounted in my light polluted area of metropolitan Los Angeles, California, Pasadena actually. After about 6 years the CGEM movements were getting a bit sketchy and from time to time fount it had a mind of its own when trying to align it to the night sky. So I started looking about for a replacement. I settled on a portable light weight iOptron CEM25 for my lighter optical tubes. This experiment proved very successful with smooth opteration and exceptional guiding performance one aligned to the north celestial pole which was fairly easy with the given polar scope. I was so impressed with its smooth operation and ease of use, that I decided on replacing my pier mounted Celestron with its big brother, the CEM60. I had to have a new adapter block made to secure it to the pier, but once set up it has turned out quite well following a few pilot error hiccups. Pay attention to the owner's manual when plugging in the cables! I plugged my Starlight Express guide camera into a power outlet by mistake and seem to have fried the connection from it to the scope. A GPUSB cable and box from Shoestring Astronomy has become a very good work around so it now works great. I'm impressed with the smooth operation and guiding I have gotten with this set up as being ligh years ahead of my prior struggles. I don't like to endorse products because your experience might be quite different, but so far this has exceeded my expectations. I use a Celestron 9.25" SCT, Stellarvue 102SV refractor and Celestron 6" SCT on this set up. Its a bit too robust to balance m 66mm Williams optics refractor, which resides happily on the smaller CEM25P.
  6. Ioptron mounts

    The EC must be phenomenal as it reportedly can take images without guiding, however as you can see on this map of the graph, with minimal guiding the CEM60 is really the best I've ever used by a long shot. I am used to seeing some sawtoothed motions recorded on the lines of both axes on the graph, but this mount seems to be able to track superbly, and for the price its hard to beat. I've used the smaller CEM25P with this same 4" refractor with similar guiding results. That is why I bought its bigger brother for my 9.25" SCT and 80mm guide scope. Its load capacity is listed I think at 60 pounds which is a lot, so i'm using only about half of that on my pier. Erratic guiding messed up some much time and effort in the past, that having this thing just perform so smoothly with no hassles, makes the tediousness of imaging go away. I'm using an OPT TRIAD filter that eliminates a lot of light so exposures here run 12-20 minutes per frame. In each session I've had not bad frames due to tracking errors. Even on its flip at the meridian, the target is dead center in the field of view... have to re-calibrate the guiding for the opposite hand, but it works flawlessly. If I sound enthusiastic about it, its because I've spent 8 years fighting all manner of mount deficiencies! cheers, I think the minister would approve of this purchase and hopefully you'd have similar good fortune using it!
  7. M44 region

    Looking good to me!
  8. This is an image taken from suburban Pasadena Ca. under light polluted skies, using OPT Corp's TRIAD filter. Lets ionized H alpha, Beta and Oxygen wavelengths only through so it pretty well cleans up light pollution. This was 10, 15 minute exposures, with a QHY8L camera and Stellarvue 102SV Refractor on an iOptron CEM60 mount.
  9. Ioptron mounts

    Tracking with PHD guiding is really superb
  10. Orion Nebula

    Same set up as for Rosette, Triad Filter on 4" refractor. imaging from "light pollution central" can be fun.
  11. Rosette nebula

    I took this from Pasadena with a TRIAD filter from OPT corp that eliminates light pollution for emission nebulas letting through only H-Alph, H-beta and Oxygen wave lengths. I used my 4" Stellarvue refractor with field flattener, iOptron CEM 60 mount, QHYL8 camera. two hours and thirty minutes exposure yielded this image. clear cold nights have been good imaging weather here.
  12. Rosette nebula

    That can be a real puzzle! I had awful Guiding problems with my earlier mounts that included a Meade LX90 on a wedge, a Vixen mount, finally success with my Celestron CGEM for several years but on occasion it just went nuts. Now I'm using an iOptron CEM60 that is the best ever. My guiding graph is nearly two flat interwoven lines and makes guiding a pleasure, but for how long before something changes? Who knows? hang in there.
  13. Orion Nebula

    I have taken some short exposures of the trapezium stars from another time that I can superimpose on the washed out area. will probably do that to complete the view.
  14. Ioptron mounts

    I plan to use my CEM25P for DSLR tracking of milky way shots. I had an AstroTrac gadget that really worked well but it was a bit bulky and not as flexible as the iOptron light weight mount. Once aligned I think I can take 5 minute subs with my DSLR without guiding if I use a wide angle lens. with a guide camera and PHD the graph is very flat.
  15. M45 superdeep

    Incredible how much you can coax out of the sky! Great shot
  16. Virgo/Coma galaxy supercluster

    A not so empty place in the sky! caught a lot of gnats there! Nice view!
  17. western veil

    will give it a try, and I might try with my short focal length 66mm refractor
  18. western veil

    Western Veil NGC 6960, Stellarvue 102SV refractor, 10 exposures at 15 min each, QHY8L camera, iOptron CEM60 Mount, from Pasadena California, "Light Pollution Central".
  19. western veil

    SQM 18.10mag/arc/sec2 Brightness 6.5 mcd/m2 artif bright 6030ucd/m2 ratio 35.3 I'm about in the middle right of this view near the hill at right edge. quite a glow to overcome!
  20. Eastern Veil

    Switched out my Celestron CGEM for an iOptron CEM60 mount which I now use for imaging. took this of the Eastern Veil over about two and a half hours at 15 minutes per exposure with a Stellarvue 102CV scope and QHY8L camera.
  21. Eastern Veil

    I had a Celestron CGEM for about 8 years and it performed pretty well. Guiding graph was a bit jagged but within the first row of parallel lines on the graph. It also began to chatter when slewing so I decided to try an iOptron CEM60. I had gotten an iOptron 25P for portable imaging and was very impressed with the smoothness of the guiding and operation so I thought its big brother might be good. upon setting it up, by mistake I plugged my guiding camera into a power port. from there on I couldn't guide at all, so thinking the mount might have issues I sent it back to iOptron for repairs. They fiddled with it but found no problems and sent it back to me. I tried connecting the mount directly to the computer for guiding using a GPUSB box and PHD. Works fine and guiding is exceptional. They have a good polar alignment scope and illuminated rings to place Polaris in the right spot. Seems to be nearly perfect. I took the viel nebula using 15 minute subs for 10 exposures over a two hour and half period of time. all frames had perfectly round stars. guiding graph is attached in photo. So judgement is, its about as good as it gets for a mid priced mount so far, and super smooth operation. Not sure what to do with guiding though the camera to the mount as that doesn't work so I think I may have fried a circuit in my Starlight Express guiding camera, but it does send images tot he computer that I can use to guide using the GPUSB box and cables.
  22. SAO76540

    smoky place !
  23. Eastern Veil

    Not in Pasadena where we live, but along the coast about 50 miles away its horrific and smoke is everywhere. this area of the coastal plain has a history of burning to the sea when off shore winds pick up for centuries, but now people have populated the slopes so its dangerous. I was out of the imaging business for nearly six months after changing out my mount and getting the new one up to performing. when skies clear I hope to do more.
  24. NGC 1365

    incredible image guys! that's tops!
  25. M100 region from last night

    outstanding delicate shape and details!