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Andromeda Galaxy
Posted By: fewayne, 07-29-2018, 11:19 AM

This is the image that pretty much made me give up and buy a telescope. You don't have to look all that closely at the star shapes to see the aberrations. 19 exposures of 124 seconds each, stacked in Photoshop. And then some editing :-)


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08-17-2018, 05:12 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by fewayne Quote
This is the image that pretty much made me give up and buy a telescope. You don't have to look all that closely at the star shapes to see the aberrations. 19 exposures of 124 seconds each, stacked in Photoshop. And then some editing :-)
Looks pretty good to me!

Same here, (6in sct f10/f6.3 too long/slow,ca),...and then another (100mm f6 refractor - fringe forever), and then another 6in f4 imaging newtonian - COMA!, and then coma corrector. Now laying in wait for it to come back around. :P
Gotta love m31. This monster seems to be everybody's nemesis.

08-17-2018, 05:41 AM   #17
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Stunning!
08-18-2018, 02:17 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by blues_hawk Quote
Looks pretty good to me!

Same here, (6in sct f10/f6.3 too long/slow,ca),...and then another (100mm f6 refractor - fringe forever), and then another 6in f4 imaging newtonian - COMA!, and then coma corrector. Now laying in wait for it to come back around. :P
Gotta love m31. This monster seems to be everybody's nemesis.

I'm still on my first scope. It was a few things that, I'm sure like fewayne, that drove me to get a telescope: Using the ring to focus on a normal lens is, blah!!! Smallest touch and it's out of focus. They also suffer greatly from field curvature and you have no way of correcting it, and you just can't add some of the cool stuff like yo can with a telescope.
I bought a WIlliam Optics ZS 71ED doublet. Yes, only a doublet, but it has great CA correction and could make a great guide scope when I get to that point. it's f5.9 but with the Flat6A, I get that to f4.72 and no more field curvature. And the stock focuser is pristine, very well made.
08-21-2018, 05:44 AM - 1 Like   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by aitrus3 Quote
I'm still on my first scope. It was a few things that, I'm sure like fewayne, that drove me to get a telescope: Using the ring to focus on a normal lens is, blah!!! Smallest touch and it's out of focus. They also suffer greatly from field curvature and you have no way of correcting it, and you just can't add some of the cool stuff like yo can with a telescope.
I bought a WIlliam Optics ZS 71ED doublet. Yes, only a doublet, but it has great CA correction and could make a great guide scope when I get to that point. it's f5.9 but with the Flat6A, I get that to f4.72 and no more field curvature. And the stock focuser is pristine, very well made.
I've seen some very good AP done with those, very nice little ota's.

Mine has been partly a voyage of discovery and partly trying to find lower budget methods to get people involved. Hence all the different types, and mistakes. I'm still using my first mount which has cost less than 500$ overall, but has cost me so many sessions due to building, rebuilding, constant debugging, and driver development with the guys at Indilib. It gets a little crazy sometimes. I guess the project aspect is as big a part as the AP itself for me. I've resisted the urge to go buy the biggest cgem mount I could afford on a few occasions.

08-21-2018, 07:54 AM - 1 Like   #20
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My HEQ5 Pro I bought used for $650 cdn ($720 with shipping) and it took me a full year and a half simply to understand what the heck I am supposed to do to polar align the thing. And it took another half year to realize that I could focus the polar scope. Trying to see a fuzzy polaris was truly difficult. I actually tried selling the mount because I got so frustrated, and was successful selling it for $750 but when it got to the buyer, the thing had almost completely rattled apart and the guy wasn't comfortable following factory instructions on how to tighten it all back up, so back it came to me. I got a lot of insurance money back from the shipping company and free shipping for the one package, but I had to pay for the tripod shipping, again. I think I came back with a net of $0 at the end of it all, so at least it didn't cost me anything other than frustration.
08-23-2018, 08:45 AM - 1 Like   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by aitrus3 Quote
My HEQ5 Pro I bought used for $650 cdn ($720 with shipping) and it took me a full year and a half simply to understand what the heck I am supposed to do to polar align the thing. And it took another half year to realize that I could focus the polar scope. Trying to see a fuzzy polaris was truly difficult. I actually tried selling the mount because I got so frustrated, and was successful selling it for $750 but when it got to the buyer, the thing had almost completely rattled apart and the guy wasn't comfortable following factory instructions on how to tighten it all back up, so back it came to me. I got a lot of insurance money back from the shipping company and free shipping for the one package, but I had to pay for the tripod shipping, again. I think I came back with a net of $0 at the end of it all, so at least it didn't cost me anything other than frustration.
Just found this.(forum thing again) What an adventure for the poor thing! That's one of the models I've been pining for. Everything I've got is 150mm or less and on a cg-4 the TPO newt pretty much maxes it out, so if I want to go bigger it's either build a monster or give in to the cravings.
If I build one it will probably be like the direct drive Shevill Mathers built for his college observatory down in Tasmania. Big wheel on top, cone shaped tubing frame to a central pivot. The thing looks like a steel squid ate a pill bottle but it's very solid, not exaclty portable though. Then again, the heq5 might not travel well in a civic sedan either.

---------- Post added 08-23-18 at 08:46 AM ----------

I wonder how many people have said "just get the polemaster" (grr) :P
08-23-2018, 12:06 PM - 1 Like   #22
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Haha! Tonnes have said "just get the pole master" grr. I don't want the pole master, I'm stubborn and like to learn for myself how to do something or what's going wrong so I can fix it on my own. I'm pretty much alone in this venture. I don't have the time to make it to the local astronomy club, but not that many folks in that club use their rigs for photography. 99% there is visual.

HEQ 5 travels nicely, the tripod is the only thing that is long. As long as you aren't packing your car for a 4 week trip, the gear would travel fine. It's just heavy. I thought I was buying the Star Adventurer when I bought it, as I wanted to take it on hikes into the mountains and run it off batteries... buuuttt.... no. too big for that unless I were to use an ATV.
08-24-2018, 12:34 PM - 1 Like   #23
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My iOptron CEM25P mount, like many others, can talk to a computer via the serial port in its hand controller and a USB-to-serial converter box. I selected KStars/Ekos as my astronomical software because I wanted to run a Raspberry Pi in the field and not depend on my laptop's batteries. With no other hardware than that, I can use Ekos's polar-alignment routine and usually nail it within a few seconds of arc within ten minutes or so. You simply point the scope roughly at Polaris, and the s/w shoots a series of three images, does plate solving to figure out exactly what's in the picture, and then does the math to determine where the polar axis has to be pointing in order to yield those particular results.

It sounds complicated but in practice it's really simple. I had to download and install some of the plate-solve index files, but other than that it was pretty turnkey and the actual process is really pretty simple. iOptrons have a pretty dang good polar scope but this gets me to MUCH better accuracy.

I use the guidescope and guide camera for this since the lower magnification does not necessitate as many index images, but if you download the extra indices, it works perfectly well with your main imaging scope too.

08-24-2018, 08:31 PM - 1 Like   #24
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Part of my problem is $$$. I have very little to spend. Only own a Mac and would never be able to justify a pc purchase.
It'll take me until I'm 50 to get to the kind of gear I'd like to be using at this rate. Heh.
I was planning on getting a guide setup but there is also software I'm wanting to get, there's the need to now fix my mount, there's other camera lenses and filters I'd like to get... the list goes on. It's always hard to choose!
08-24-2018, 09:29 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by fewayne Quote
My iOptron CEM25P mount, like many others, can talk to a computer via the serial port in its hand controller and a USB-to-serial converter box. I selected KStars/Ekos as my astronomical software because I wanted to run a Raspberry Pi in the field and not depend on my laptop's batteries. With no other hardware than that, I can use Ekos's polar-alignment routine and usually nail it within a few seconds of arc within ten minutes or so. You simply point the scope roughly at Polaris, and the s/w shoots a series of three images, does plate solving to figure out exactly what's in the picture, and then does the math to determine where the polar axis has to be pointing in order to yield those particular results.

It sounds complicated but in practice it's really simple. I had to download and install some of the plate-solve index files, but other than that it was pretty turnkey and the actual process is really pretty simple. iOptrons have a pretty dang good polar scope but this gets me to MUCH better accuracy.

I use the guidescope and guide camera for this since the lower magnification does not necessitate as many index images, but if you download the extra indices, it works perfectly well with your main imaging scope too.
HEY! another indi user!
Proud contributor here. I got aligned on the dumbell nebula in about 2 minutes from home startup tonight thanks to ekos plate solving.
Between the Onstep (diy) team(my guys), Jasem Mutlaq(the head lunatic), and his friends, and a few other crazy dedicated contributors, not to mention the Kstars team, this thing is really starting to shape up!

---------- Post added 08-24-18 at 09:35 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by aitrus3 Quote
Part of my problem is $$$. I have very little to spend. Only own a Mac and would never be able to justify a pc purchase.
It'll take me until I'm 50 to get to the kind of gear I'd like to be using at this rate. Heh.
I was planning on getting a guide setup but there is also software I'm wanting to get, there's the need to now fix my mount, there's other camera lenses and filters I'd like to get... the list goes on. It's always hard to choose!
I think indilib stuff may port to mac. If not then you could be the guy who makes that happen. (excited)
As for guiding, I recently took the inline 8x50 from my TPO scope and crammed a 2inch male into the back (after some grinding) to make a guide scope from an unused inline finder scope. THe adapter to m42 let me srcew on an ASI120 and it' been working well. Better than my diy mount will handle.
08-24-2018, 09:35 PM - 1 Like   #26
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"My God, it's full of stars."

Last edited by SpecialK; 08-24-2018 at 10:07 PM.
08-24-2018, 09:37 PM - 1 Like   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
"It's full of stars."
and things... definitely things.

---------- Post added 08-24-18 at 09:38 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by fewayne Quote
This is the image that pretty much made me give up and buy a telescope. You don't have to look all that closely at the star shapes to see the aberrations. 19 exposures of 124 seconds each, stacked in Photoshop. And then some editing :-)
I just looked back at this. It's a good one for sure.
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