Jump to content
  • Join the online East Midlands astronomy club today!

    With active forums, two dark sites and a knowledgeable membership, East Midlands Stargazers has something for everyone.

Its enough to make a grown man weep.


Recommended Posts

Last night I spent ages setting the gear up realigning the eqmod  ready for tonight.


Tonight arrives and is the clearest skies I can remember for a long long time.

I can even see M31 with my rubbish eyesight.


With great excitement I fire up the obs.


Now what shall my first target be,,,,,


I know get an image of the supernova in M81 / 82.

Be the first chance I have had to see it let alone image it.


Slew to Denab to check the alignment.

Slap bang in the center of the camera I just know this is going to be a night to remember.


OOOOHHHH how right I was.


Slewed over to M81 / 82 centered them up.

Fired up PHD to calibrate the guiding and -----


I am sitting looking at a black PHD screen with no stars to guide with.

So its change the settings on the camera,,, less frames ,,, more frames,,, up the gain,,, lower the gain.

Nothing all I am doing is changing the Black screen to white and back again.


So off into the obs to move the guide scope.


Strange really I am thinking to myself as I had not moved anything. 


So I move the guide scope this way then that way up and down side to side.

Each time I move it I walk back indoors to check for a star only to be met with the same black screen.


This is not right I said to myself as 2 hours pass by with me walking back and forth like a demented protester at a CND rally.


In desperation I slew the scope round to Jupiter.

I mean even a guide camera cannot miss that ---- can it ???


The black screen from PHD tells me otherwise.


Sod this for a game of soldiers

I figure rip the guide cam out and line up the guide scope with an EP.

So hunt out an EP clean it up plonk it into the guide scope.

Disengage the electric focuser and focus onto Jupiter.


She looks beautiful I can see all her bands the shining moons perfect.

Re engage the focuser put the guide cam back into the guide scope.

Walk back indoors to be met with the same black screen.


By now four hours have passed I am entering the first stages of hypothermia and it is slowly dawning on me that on the first clear night in an age the bloody guide cam has decided to die.


It really is enough to make a grown man weep.


Now where the hell did I put those cleanex.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

i can relate to that feeling Graham.

had alittle problem with phd myself, could hardly see the star, so started messing with the settings and cam settings only to find out that there was a film of hazy dew on the lens of the guide camera, school boy error, i,ve never had to crank up the dew controller as much while using the obsy before, must be a lot of moist air about.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nights like that is why Ihave a set of eyepieces. I give the rig and me an hour to sort things then if its still not working I take the cam out and do visual. The clear skies arent wasted then. If im feeling fit enough I have a visual set up outside the obs so if the imaging rig does decide to play ball and work I can be doing visual instead of sitting watching a phd graph all night, i would sooner be looking at stars than a graph any time

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks folks.
I think looking back after a nights sleep what really annoyed me was the fact the camera its self was working so the usb port picked it up.
It must be the chip that has packed up.
This did not dawn on me until I switched the obsy light on and saw that the PHD screen was still black.
Still another one of our hobbies moments to put down to experience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think we all have times like that. It reminds us that even though we might think we are "experienced" astronomers that we are all still learning. I underexposed 89 lunar frames last night. On Saturday, one set of solar (afocal) images were useless because my lens cleaning was bad.


I don't tend to do long sessions during the week and have to admit that, even at weekends, I'll do one of two easy shots as not to have a "blank" session.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.