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scorpius

SW Black Diamond 120mmx1000mm Refractor

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Arrived today (23 April 20)  1 new SW BD 120/1000 Refractor. with Finderscope and 10mm and 25mm plossls.  Nice piece of equipment. Driving it around the backyard terrestrially looks good and focuses nicely

As you can see from the photo. we have 100% cloud cover with occasional dribbles of rain. 

Photo taken with my little Canon A520 Shows the 120/1000 on a recently obtained EQ3-2 (I am waiting for 2 axis motor system to arrive) Background is my EQ6Pro with my home brew 8"dob.

DaveIMG_0202.jpg.456ed8d10de17ef97c0fb836b118e84c.jpg

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Very nice my friend. However, I was wondering where this bad weather came from, now I know. :P

Ray

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28/04 Had a bit of clear sky to the West on sunset. Nice view of the Waxing Moon and nearer the horizon Venus. I think I need to motorise the focuser if I use the EQ3. Or use the EQ6Pro which is solid as a rock.  Its tad on the heavy side for the EQ3, it can handle it but a bit wobbly when manually focusing. May go the whole hog and upgrade to a motorised 2 speed Crawford with an Orion motor drive.  I have that setup on my 8" Dob.  Works brilliantly. 

Was using my variable eyepiece 25 to 10mm. Very clear and detailed terminator.  Not sure what phase Venus was in but looked closely to a first quarter view.  

Dave

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Tried it again on the EQ6Pro Mount. -  From the Park position landed with the moon just into the eyepiece.  Refined the tuning and monitored the tracking and it remained inside the eyepiece (25mm) for 2 1/2 hours with only a slight touch to centre it.  Also tried an 10mm plossl. Brilliant.  Detail splendiferous. Plus the scope solid as a rock, no wobblies at all.  This is a nice piece of equipment. 

Did something right for a change :)

Dave

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01/05. Postie delivered the Skywatcher Synscan WiFi module today. Already had downloaded the app for my Redmi Tablet.  Instructions where somewhat limited, but eventually configured it and added the device to the WiFi list of accessible devices.

Selecting the WiFi dongle I was able to connect to the scope, using the RJ45 cable that connects the Synscan Handpiece.  It comes up with the usual warning about the sun and auto configures the location/time/date from the Tablet GPS.  Opening the menu page and selecting the planets. I selected the moon and hit "GoTo" and yep, it did.  As I had not changed anything from my manual test the other day the moon appeared just on the edge of the eyepiece  25mm Angel Eyes 2" plossl.  I temporarily removed the plossl and manually adjusted the moon into the centre and replaced and focused the 120/1000 Refractor.  Spot on. Again I left it tracking for 2 1/2 hours and no visible movement in the viewfinder. 

This makes connecting and operating the EQ6Pro so easy and simple without all the hassles of using a computer and serial cables etc etc.  So easy I could operate the device from laying on my bed in the house.

All I need now is a monitor and link to a camera and operate the beast from inside the house - I think this is best 80 bux I have spent for a long time.

Screen shot of the Synscan App actually tracking the moon.

Dave

synscan.thumb.JPEG.f9d5713bbcee2156b78975ab35a29227.JPEG

Note:  Bottom Left arrows button = Remove Pad -- Bottom Right Button = Menu Select Panels.

This main Panel appears after the Tracking Panel confirms "On Target" and prompts for any minor manual adjustment to centre object using the key pad.

I now need to refine the positioning of the mount/tripod.  The tracking is very good. Getting the unit to land exactly on target is couple of degrees off.

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15 hours ago, scorpius said:

All I need now is a monitor and link to a camera and operate the beast from inside the house - I think this is best 80 bux I have spent for a long time.

Screen shot of the Synscan App actually tracking the moon.

Awesome mate. I'm glad you are getting some great results from this. Observing from inside the house is the way to go. 

Ray

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In between the clouds rolling in this evening I set the 120/1000 up on the EQ6Pro and plugged in the 750D in prime focus and took a number of pictures. Focusing was not easy with my eyes and the small screen in 'live' mode.  Next time I will interface a 10" HDMI monitor I have.  But this single frame is the best of the bunch.  Pretty close I guess.  1/800 at ISO 1600. 

I was also guiding the EQ6Pro with the new Synscan WiFi dongle from my tablet.  Using the Synscan app.  Great !

Dave

IMG_0085PN.thumb.jpg.484215dc7bef4f0ceb4e9d4c4c61eae4.jpg

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That is a cool result Dave. You and me were both on the moon last night. I didn't do any AP on it however, I have just recently got my PC rebuilt inside my obs, so was just reinstalling camera drivers, slewing, slaving, getting everything back on track. I've had a major drought really, so feels good to be back in the trenches dealing with all the technical challenges that present themselves. 

Ray

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Thanks Ray. One thing I noticed that one has to remove the angle mirror adapter otherwise the focal length is a mismatch with the Canon DSLR sensor and cannot focus. Placing it direct into the tube with or without a single 2" spacer in Prime Focus mode is good.  I had the same issue with the 8" and 10" Reflectors and had to raise the main mirrors slightly, when using a plossl this was compensated by addition of a short eyepiece extension tube.

Focusing is a bit tricky using the camera LCD. Certainly will setup a 10" HDMI monitor I have,  to focus easier in 'Live' mode.

Love that SW WiFi module. Setting up the EQ6 date/time/location etc is all automatically entered.  Running the software is a breeze. 

Looks like we have at least a weeek of rain and cloud coming up. So time to bring everything back inside. :(((

Dave

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21 hours ago, scorpius said:

One thing I noticed that one has to remove the angle mirror adapter otherwise the focal length is a mismatch with the Canon DSLR sensor and cannot focus. Placing it direct into the tube with or without a single 2" spacer in Prime Focus mode is good. 

I would always remove the diagonal as well. Not so much for the CCD distance, but mostly to remove anything that can interfere with the photo (flexure, dust, not reflecting all the possible light, scratches on mirror, etc). Your photos will be that tiny bit sharper with the diagonal gone. 

Ray

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Yes I agree with your comments Ray,  the less intermediate surfaces that appear between the primary source and the Sensor, so much the better. I have good selection of 2" and 1.25" spacers, extenders and adapters, some are threaded to take filters of which I also have in both diameters.  With the extenders I can increase/decrease  the focal length. 

Give me chance to go through all my gear and sort it out and catalogue it all. 

Dave

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That said though Dave, it is much easier looking down at the camera screen than crawling on the floor trying to look up at the camera viewfinder. I used to do a lot of neck cranking manoeuvres when I was shooting film. I remember trying to get under the camera and scope so I could see through the viewfinder. Film was a massive learning curve. There are no checking sub frames every few minutes, I had to make sure polar alignment was tack sharp, focus, collimation, framing etc, and then guide for half hour to two hours depending on the object's brightness. Then a few days later I would get the result after developing the film. The good ole days. B)

Ray

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2 hours ago, Radar said:

, it is much easier looking down at the camera screen than crawling on the floor trying to look up at the camera viewfinder

I have that covered Ray, 1. The EOS 750D has a marvellous screen which is on a multi way hinge system so with the view finder aimed at the ground in "live mode" you can have the screen pointing upwards.  2. I have jury rigged the 10" monitor to show the "live screen" on the monitor It gives an excellent enlarged view for positioning and focusing - Its connected via the HDMI cable mini plug to camera, regular plug to the Monitor. After taking, It will show the image taken.  We think it 'mazing!!  I also have brackets to hold the Monitor.  Probby go to Op Shop to buy a small card type table to set up either indoors or out.  I have an extension HDMI cable on order to operate from in the kitchen.  The Scope Power Supply box, which also has 5V and 12V outlets for fans, lights and accessories runs off a SLA battery charged by an AC source. 

IMG_0209.jpg.ba4e1e096f8741f1b85db41ea126d81c.jpg

Seeing for this week is forecast as a big fat ZERO!!!

IMG_0208.jpg.1ef1f0dc70a8328661c35c4532c6ed2b.jpg

Dave

 

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Wow, I really need a DSLR. :wacko: I love that viewfinder configuration. What is that camera worth if you don't mind me asking? 

Ray

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5 hours ago, Radar said:

Wow, I really need a DSLR. :wacko: I love that viewfinder configuration. What is that camera worth if you don't mind me asking? 

Ray

The price is very varied from $450 for body and grip up to $1200 with lens and accessory package. The 750d is a 24mpx and much sought after.  I picked mine up from Cash Converters with lens and charger for just over $520. (On line shop) I also have the 500d and the 7d.  The Eos 750d is excellent for prime AP.  As you see has HDMI port for external monitor plus computer software.  If you buy make sure low shutter count and comes with CD handbook & charger/batteries.  Buying just the body is a good option.  Lens can be found on EBAY.  But ensure NO fungal contamination. !!!.

Dave

From my Tablet.

 

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Is there a limit to exposure time? Could you do a two hour exposure with it? 

Ray

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9 hours ago, Radar said:

Is there a limit to exposure time? Could you do a two hour exposure with it? 

Ray

With a programmable timer anything is possible. Maybe we should get together soon and I can give you all the pros and cons.  I have an EOS 500d which I could loan you and familiarize with using a DSLR  before buying.

I have spare adapters for interface plus timers/release cables.

Dave

22 hours ago, Radar said:

Wow, I really need a DSLR. :wacko: I love that viewfinder configuration. What is that camera worth if you don't mind me asking? 

Ray

The price is very varied from $450 for body and grip up to $1200 with lens and accessory package. The 750d is a 24mpx and much sought after.  I picked mine up from Cash Converters with lens and charger for just over $520. (On line shop) I also have the 500d and the 7d.  The Eos 750d is excellent for prime AP.  As you see has HDMI port for external monitor plus computer software.  If you buy make sure low shutter count and comes with CD handbook & charger/batteries.  Buying just the body is a good option.  Lens can be found on EBAY.  But ensure NO fungal contamination. !!!.

Dave

From my Tablet.

 

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Dave, excellent result on the Moon for an Achromat t2030.gif

Are you using any UHC or Yellow filters? or natural?

I'm a huge fan of the Synscan WiFi unit too. It's so nice to simply turn on the power and GOTO an object. No more dealing with Date, Time, Location, Daylight Savings, 3 star alignment etc. every night :lol:

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16 minutes ago, Dragon Man said:

Dave, excellent result on the Moon for an Achromat

Hi, Thanks for comment.  The recent moon shots are without filters WYSIWYG. Yeah Ray and I have spoken about filters I have a full set of 1.25" and 2" coloured filters plus moonglow. I have modified my eyepiece adapters and fitted with 1.25 and 2" threaded barrels as all my AP is in prime focus. I have yet to try the filters.  Mainly due very poor skies. Had an occasional break where I was able to try out the 2 new scopes.   I certainly agree about the Synscan WiFi dongle.  Esp after tearing my hair out with Serial/RJ45 cables etc.   I am motorising an EQ3 Mount/tripod I picked up ex Shop Demo so there will be more posts coming up shortly. 

Dave.

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Hi Dave,

Thanks for the offer to borrow a camera. I would only be using a camera like this for star trails, wide-field (piggybacking) and lightning shots (and meteor showers). I can't see myself connecting it to a telescope (have a dedicated CCD for that), but who knows, maybe one day I might. I love the chip size on the 750D. I'm down at Curtin a lot, so maybe I'll swing past when the isolation tapers off. Otherwise you can pop up this way and checkout my observatory (whichever works for you mate). 

Ray

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No problems Ray.  When (?) things return to normal will be good to catch up and have an eyeball.  Meantime will keep in touch with news and interest. Keep Safe and Clear Skies.

That goes to all our members and visitors. :)

Dave

 

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I did a quick browse around Perth district Camera outlets and noted a Canon EOS 750D available at Morley Cash Converters with 70/300mm EF lens etc for $520, So that does appear to be around lower prices they are available. 

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Dave, I did a search online to see how good (or bad) the Canon 750d is when used for AStrophotography.

Not all the Canon range are useful for AStro and it's worth checking for each model

 

I found this, I hope it helps:

 

 

 

Canon camera info.jpg

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Noted Ken, I have a number of Canon Cameras, including film versions plus the last one made by Canon H1n film cam.  I have used the range from 350D to the 7D.  At Present I have the EOS 500d 750d and 7d. Each have their pros and cons.  Basically I judge their performance on the results I get and and personally not particularly interested in what some of the "Rivet Counters" think -- Also there is a lot of bias between brands, each one trying to outdo the other.  Over the years I have handled Pentax and Canon film and Canon Digital.  I cannot speak of Nikon as I have never used one. but there are two very divided schools between Canon and Nikon.  The later model I have of the 7d, I use mainly for Terrestrial use and birdwatching. having a very wide range of EF lens also keeps me to the Canon brand :) 

 

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I've only ever owned one camera. A Canon 350d, and I still have it and still use it  :lol:

I'm not much of a photographer (Terrestrial that is).

I have about 14 Astro cameras though. :blink:

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