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HEQ5 Pro and GT81


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After a long thought and considerations of what I fancied doing, with the help of Rob Slack and Kim and Steve Richards, ive decided to go for the above to use with a Canon 1100d.

However, I still have indecision on guider scope and camera.

ST80 with a camera, Loadstar or Qhy5. I think I may need an extension tube for the loadstar to work.

Or, Altair Astro's 60 mm guider scope which come with a camera for £149 (but out of stock - another influencer). The mini guider fits in the gt81 rings, but an st80 would need to be mounted in other rings - probably size ways rather than on top of the gt81.

If I got a ST80, id have to buy a camera - loadstar or qhy5. But I think I would need an extra sideways dovetail bar which adds to the weight.

I am going for heq5 pro becuase it is lighter and portable. I may get an neq6 at a later time to mount permanently on an existing steel peer that takes the 9" reflector on a Fullerscope equatorial. Neq6 would computerise the scope.

I need some extra things and would welcome views or help build a consensus of what to get.

I was going to go for a SW 17 Ahr power tank which has a white lamp, red lamp, and I believe numerous voltage outputs. However, ive been told from a few sources they were not as good value as say an 85 Ahr leisure battery from caravan stores. I don't know what to get but a SW power tank is probably made with the astrophotographer in mind and all the outputs needed may be on it. But woukd they on a leisure battery? Does anyone recommend any type. Im looking for something that is not massively heavy, and with a range of voltage outputs tyoically needed, something that may have red leds just as safety identifiers to locate its presence in the dark unless these things are plugged in to the battery such as a dew heater control box. Something that can be lifted with a handle, or if not, that can be wheeled in a small trolley bag. I don't want to lift heavy stuff. If its necessary, id disconnect the heq5 into tripod and mount and count weights. I certainly would with an neq6 - but that will be used permanently.

Dew controller and rings from FLO.

Bahtinov mask for GT81 and a 9" reflector. I may make one or just buy properly laser cut ones but would need advice on sizes. The tube dia of my 8.75" is not quite 10".

I will go for the ordinary focuser of the gt81 but I have a feeling I'll go nuts eventually when having to tweak focus outside, then back into the house to view the effect of the tweak on screen and use the focuser tools on APT, by several iterative steps - unless I can use the live view screen of the 1100d outside at scope tweaking focuser on a bright star with a Bhatinov mask. I can always take the image in APT and decide if it was good enough, then take a test image of star field. And then on, use the goto system to locate objects from in the house. If I was at a dark site such as wymeswold, id have to sit outside with laptop and brave the cold.

I already have a mains power adaptor for the canon. But couldn't use it in the field because it takes 240v.

I remember being at Kelling in feb this year and saw a box connected to the scope mount or tripod. A load of wires went into that but I cant remember was it was for. It was around £200 from some supplier making boxes esp for astrophotographers. I can remember the chaps name but Kim will know. He made some nice images of the heart and soul nebula which he was proud of, using a reflector. I don't know if I need such a box. It may have just geen a variable voltage output device powered by a more simpler battery that had one 12v connection and the multiple connections to the various kit were plugged into the box?

Anything else?

eyepieces for gt81? I have a few Kellners and two orthoscopics 1.25" push fit, and barlow. Any recommended eyepieces for the gt81. I forget which eyepiece comes with the gt81.

I intend to image DSO's, occ close pass asteroids with gt81.

with reflector, planetary and lunar by video from 1100d, or the guider scope camera.

I have a couple of philips web cams which can be used for planetary and lunar, one is modified for long ex mode (made by Dion of the astronomy shed).

I have a Canon T ring and an old eyepiece projection adaptor (itself which has a pentax bayonet T ring, eyepiece holder with I think is m42 thread, and a simple threaded piece that steps down to 1.25" for prime focus imaging. The new Canon T ring was £15 from a photo shop in Nottingham city. The thread on that, I think is not m42 but rather m48? Though not entirely sure. But it would attach to the 1100d and should screw direct into my helical 2" low profile focuser made by Ron Arbour, which is attached to my reflector.

With the gt81, I have no experience of what's needed to attach to the scope. But I assume something similar involving the T ring.

Thank you

Derek

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for me Derek, i`d go for the altair astro 10 x 60 guide scope, it does cost more than a st80 but it will fit the rings of the gt80 and will be lighter and you won`t need to dual mount the scopes which requires and dual mount bar to be purchased,


i`m fairly certain that the guide scope does not come with a camera though, so you are still going to need to buy a guide camera, unless you use the philips webcam.


 


i use mains power so can`t really help very much as to battery setups but i`m sure someone will be along to advise you better, but i would go for a leisure battery, it will last longer both in the field while imaging and in it`s life expectancy. 


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Guest sharpie78

regarding power for your 1100D.....I got a power adapter for my 450D from here.......http://astronomiser.co.uk/


It's designed to be run from a psu but if you get in contact with them, they can do it with a different connector. I can't see any issue running it off a leisure battery.


 


Regarding guidescope.....I was using a 50mm guidescope as a finderguider with no problems at all. I recently changed over to an ST80, It's added more weight but I've got it all balanced nicely now and it works really well (piggybacked on my newt). The main reason I switched was so I could focus it more easily when doing video astronomy. The camera I use is just a cctv camera. My setup is definately a bit of a compromise on quality cos I had a tight budget


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for me Derek, i`d go for the altair astro 10 x 60 guide scope, it does cost more than a st80 but it will fit the rings of the gt80 and will be lighter and you won`t need to dual mount the scopes which requires and dual mount bar to be purchased,

i`m fairly certain that the guide scope does not come with a camera though, so you are still going to need to buy a guide camera, unless you use the philips webcam.

 

i use mains power so can`t really help very much as to battery setups but i`m sure someone will be along to advise you better, but i would go for a leisure battery, it will last longer both in the field while imaging and in it`s life expectancy. 

 

Thanks Rob and all.  Regarding finder guider; I take it that the eyepiece is removed and the guide camera goes on just like in prime focus on the main scope?  Next point is, I have a 8x30 finder for my Fullerscope reflector, which was taken off to be replaced by a Celestron 8x50 illuminated reticle polaar finder, neither of which are now on the Fullerscope. 

 

I assume the 8x30 finder would be too small, and certainly, it doesn't have a 1.25" push fit eyepiece, but something smaller, may be just under an inch.  Next, could the 8x50 Celestron be a guidescope? It has a right angle prism on it with eyepiece that screws out. But the it may be possible to take the whole right angle off and if it's a 1.25" push fit, it would acacept a guide cam that had such a 1.25" fit.  I didn't want to buy extra if I've already got something that would work without mods. But for the cost, I may as well go for the mini guider Altair Astro - it appears they're out of stock on that one last time I checked though :(

 

 

GT81, largely influenced by Ron, Kim and what I'd read, also triplet as Ibbo said. I assume with a triplet, chromatic aberration would be less that SW80, but the differences may be insignificant of course under non ideal conditions which are the most frequent than perfect seeing..

 

I think the name was a hub. What is that? was it an electrical hub where all the leads go to that. Rather like a big multi adapator for all the cables, and powered by battery below.  I'd like to have sockets for the cables rather than connecting messy wires to terminals on a car battery terminal (which only gives 12v).  I think you fellows use multiple voltage outputs e.g. Canon would need 2.7V to power the adaptor that I have already received. But that is a main lead, so I assume would need a DC lead (I will have a look at the box on that adaptor, it may take either mains AC or 12V DC - not sure).

 

I hope I haven't missed anyone's response out. Answered them all in Rob's.

 

So on battery. Can anyone say what battery they use to power HEQ5 in the field?  Hey, I assume that the HEQ5 also takes mains when I'm at home - of course it must - Rob uses mains.

 

It's ganna be a big order lads. Thanks

Derek

 

 

 

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you could use the 9 x 50 finder but not the celestron one, you need the skywatcher version, not certain why but i think it`s because the front of the finder can be focused, you`ll also need the adapter for the replacement of the eyepiece which can be bought from Bern at modern astronomy.


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the box thingy-ma-jig you saw at kelling might have been an hi-tec astro mount hub ??

Actual Jack. I'm now not sure. The lad referred to someone who made them up and you can get them for about £200?

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Guest sharpie78

It sounds like it could be a "mount hub pro". They retail slightly above the £200 price bracket though. Here's a link to one at FLO.


 


http://www.firstlightoptics.com/astronomy-cables-leads-accessories/hitecastro-mount-hub-pro-v3.html


 


Regarding your power in the field question...... I'd say any leisure battery of 40Ah and up would do a full night of imaging in the field. Of course it depends how much equipment you're running off it.


 


There's loads of posts over the various forums on making your own powertank. There are commercially available ones but if you make your own you can customise it to have as many 12V outlets as you need.


 


I made one up with a 230V-12V PSU in it so I could use that when I've got mains power in the field (star parties etc) and switch over to the battery when I haven't.


 


I added a USB hub and mounted all my electronics inside it so it kinda doubles up as a mount hub. It saves strapping psu's etc on to the mount/tripod. I made it out of an old record box so it's a good size but it sits nicely under my tripod. I haven't got round to putting a leisure battery in there yet cos I've always had mains power in the field but the space and wiring is done ready for a battery.


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