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How's your EAA rig doing so far this Winter?

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17 replies to this topic

#1 jimthompson

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 09:38 AM

Hi all,

 

On a lighter side, I was wondering how Winter has been treating you and your gear so far.  We've had very few clear days for observing where I am, probably only a half dozen opportunities since October.  I have managed to get out a few times though, most recently on Jan 9th (see Flickr link below).  The snow is piling up pretty good here in Ottawa.  How are y'all doing?

 

Cheers,

 

Jim T.

 

p.s.  Image attached below is of my pier mounted scope setup in my backyard.

 

Jan. 9th observing images:  https://flic.kr/s/aHsmyiJU6H

Attached Thumbnails

  • 20190214_085049-resize.jpg

Edited by jimthompson, 14 February 2019 - 09:40 AM.

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#2 nicknacknock

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 09:45 AM

Jim,

 

The only image I can post is something similar to yours, albeit no snow, yet plenty rain and cold. Instead, I have done what every self respecting amateur astronomer does in such situations: Burning a hole in my wallet buying new gear lol.gif

 

Still can't believe my last EAA session was in late July, just before summer vacation and then I come back to the most horrid weather recorded over here over the past 10 years or so. My RC is currently sulking somewhere in storage and begging me to bring it out for some galaxy hunting. Alas, current forecast is for 2 more weeks of rain (at least).

 

On the upside, most dams are almost full here - no water shortage this summer for sure...

 

EDIT: Nice shots on Flickr! waytogo.gif



#3 alphatripleplus

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 10:26 AM

Hello Jim,

 

My equipment is in hibernation mode for the foreseeable future, and it is not just because it is winter. I'm a little tired of using my smaller scopes and want to bring out the old C8 for some of the smaller faint fuzzies. I really prefer not to use it on my current ancient mount - based on my experience with that combo (long story).

 

Anyway, I'm hopefully moving later this year and will then open my wallet and get a bigger mount better suited for the C8 or something larger. Don't worry, I will warn everyone if I bring on the new equipment curse. 

 

For the moment, I'll continue to entertain myself by reading your latest test reports....keep 'em coming.

 

Errol


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#4 OleCuss

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 11:01 AM

Yeah, my gear is fine/unused.  Weather and schedule have meant no use for a long time.

 

There is a small chance that I'll be able to do something early Monday morning but that is pretty iffy - and then pretty much guaranteed to not be able to do anything for at least a week or two thereafter.


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#5 Jeff Lee

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 11:16 AM

Well, (this is not an Ad) since I joined Slooh and watch my targets build on my screen I am now counting it as EAA. Guess What, 200+ EAA runs in the last month! While my C8/ES102 take a "winter nap", I've been happily setuping up runs watching them on a 50" HD TV (Or on a laptop). It's fun playing with scopes I'll never own. And it feels like what I do with my EAA setup (2 scopes on a AltAz/EQ Sirius, one sending files to a Sharpcap folder on my desk top, the other processing on the Laptop). At first I was worried that it would be too easy and I might not want to go back to using either my SLT or Sirius or LXD75's setups - but all its done it make me want to do more EAA.

 

I am pretty sure that my current setup + Slooh is my future in astronomy. I will still attend star parties for visual using my ES102 and the Sirius in AltAz mode, but EAA at home has re-kindled my desire to view & understand. So I can say with the addition of the Slooh scopes, my EAA is almost constant now:) because either at home, in the Canary Islands, or Chile - one of the places is going to have clear skies and EAA will be happening:))))

 

I've attached a sample from the 20" in the Canary Islands of NGC 6015 - to watch something like this develop on your screen is for me simple amazing stuff.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 6015RCN.jpg

Edited by Jeff Lee, 14 February 2019 - 11:20 AM.

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#6 nic35

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 12:15 PM

This winter I found that clear skies came in conjunction with either a) intense cold - less than about 15F, or b) High Winds or c) Full moon.  And, always accompanied by lousy transparency.

 

So I ran off to the desert southwest for a week or R and R and observing.  Of course, it is now raining in the desert !

 

john



#7 Rickster

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 02:33 PM

Fall and winter here are normally good for EAA. Not this year though. Smoke, clouds, moon, wind, snow...oh my.

Thankfully, our snow hasn't piled up (so far).

This was a night with beautiful clear skies and good seeing. And then ice fog moved in. Grrr.

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMAG1425 (Medium).jpg

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#8 S1mas

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 03:44 PM

Hi Jeff, I'm interested in Slooth too, mostly of no weather here. Can you elaborate what adjustments you can do while observing there - histogram, exposure lengths? I'm on trial license now and my experience with Slooth was quite awful by now, - often elongated stars, very dim images with those huge apertures and no options to control situation.


Edited by S1mas, 14 February 2019 - 03:45 PM.


#9 Jeff Lee

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 04:35 PM

You have to match specific scopes with targets and get the right pre-set. Yes, there has been some issues, but they seem to respond quick when you point out a tech issue. The PNG's can look like junk due to wind, weather, some tech issues. Remember that the FITS are often better and if you get something you really like then something like FitsWorks is your friend but your not "EAAing" then. It took me about 100 imaging runs to get things figured out. One way is to watch a lot of the other runs and see what people are using as far as scope and setting for objects. For me its been fun learning and worth the $25 to play with the toys. Not going to replace my Kit for sure but in the end I thinks it's a good value to keep in the game.

 

The Presets are only applied to the PNG's the FITS and right out of the camera and need the normal processing.

 

Since there is no "contract" only month to month I feel it is worth the $25 to test it for real. Here in Oregon I can see it tripling my EAA/AP opportunities. Since I've got all the Equipment I think I'll need and am retired It's a good deal. I spend a hour or so (Have actually run 10-15 sessions a day) watching my runs and then the next day you get the fits to process if you want.

 

Each scope has about 7 presets for the PNG files, so like I said you have to learn and then play a bit to get the best PNG's.


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#10 mikenoname

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 07:36 PM

Was doing fine for a while this winter, got a few good sessions in, and then my trusty little ETX-70 has now decided that it can't find any of it's alignment stars. Way off. Still hoping that another reset will cure it because I can't find any other mechanical or electronic causes...



#11 lollywater

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 04:38 AM

Winter ???

We have just experienced the hottest January on record and our hottest day on record at 46C. We had 10 days in Jan above 40C and most days were over 35. I took the scopes out of the pod and the shed so they wouldnt melt.

What is the white stuff? Salt maybe ? Did all your water evaporate like ours did?

cheers

Paul


Edited by lollywater, 15 February 2019 - 04:47 AM.

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#12 DSO_Viewer

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 11:52 AM

Winter ???

We have just experienced the hottest January on record and our hottest day on record at 46C. We had 10 days in Jan above 40C and most days were over 35. I took the scopes out of the pod and the shed so they wouldnt melt.

What is the white stuff? Salt maybe ? Did all your water evaporate like ours did?

cheers

Paul

Of course Paul it is your summer now and we will post this question just for you during our summer lol.

 

Steve



#13 Rickster

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 01:08 PM

Jim, This is whacked. Today it is 36F with rain in Ottawa, Canada. Yet, Ottawa county Kansas (where I live), which is 500 miles closer to the equator, is at 14F with snow.

#14 jimthompson

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 01:50 PM

Jim, This is whacked. Today it is 36F with rain in Ottawa, Canada. Yet, Ottawa county Kansas (where I live), which is 500 miles closer to the equator, is at 14F with snow.

Welcome to Winter in Ontario (and perhaps many parts of the U.S.).  One day 10F, the next 40F.  It makes for terrible roads (ice, pot holes) and equally terrible astronomy.  I would not mind the winter time so much if it stayed consistently cold. At least then the air would be clear and stable.

 

Cheers,

 

Jim T.


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#15 mclewis1

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 04:20 PM

Another vote for Jim's comments above, if the weather would stay cold (and the snow soft) I'd be a lot happier.

 

Here's what I have to put up with today. Plus we're supposed to get a bunch of rain tonight and then back to freezing temps tomorrow ... the ice coating all this will be soooo much fun to clear ... sigh. 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Cold snowy POD.JPG

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#16 fteter

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 06:23 PM

+1 for Slooh.  Here in Salt Lake City, the winters are cold and the skies are clouded over with inversion smog.  So my observing is done via Slooh.  When the skies clear and the weather warms up, I'll have my scopes out again.



#17 lynnelkriver

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 09:10 PM

Hey Jim:  Lots of cold and snow here in Minnesota also.  I've been fortunate to have a half dozen or so clear evenings the last month and gave the ASI294MC Pro and SV90 refractor a work out. I'm loving this EAA.  I can't wait to get my C9.25 Edge HD out this spring for the galaxy season!  All the best and stay warm!  Scott



#18 gun4hire

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Posted 24 February 2019 - 01:17 PM

I need to get back at it too...When I do get in the mood, it is WAY below zero, moon lit or cloudy. I have been doing my other hobby, cowboy fast draw. Weather doesn't affect it. Been going through the big D so I have been distracted..but it is all good since I will be keeping my place and ok skies!!


Edited by gun4hire, 24 February 2019 - 01:19 PM.

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