Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Finally joined the big boy club and...

  • Please log in to reply
21 replies to this topic

#1 hiMike

hiMike

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 104
  • Joined: 21 Dec 2018
  • Loc: San Diego

Posted 03 December 2019 - 06:56 PM

...bought myself a Skywatcher EQ6-r, which I will proudly mount my $200 scope to until I can afford a proper imaging one grin.gif

 

Any tips on MUST HAVE's before I start messing around and getting my feet wet with imaging? At this point I'd just like to get accustomed to the alignment process and start capturing some light. I've heard good things about EQMOD and the EOS Utility, but should I start without those to reduce variables?

 

Any tips in general for EQ mounts or imaging before I get started?

 

Thanks!

 

Mike

 

 

PS: I know the EQ6 is amateur hour for the Mach1 guys, but let me enjoy myself here =p


  • bobzeq25 and Cfreerksen like this

#2 Ken Sturrock

Ken Sturrock

    Cardinal Ximénez - NO ONE EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISITION!

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 8,064
  • Joined: 26 Sep 2009
  • Loc: Denver, CO

Posted 03 December 2019 - 07:12 PM

...bought myself a Skywatcher EQ6-r, which I will proudly mount my $200 scope to...

 

No problem. You have your priorities straight.


  • hiMike likes this

#3 J Davis

J Davis

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 30
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2019
  • Loc: Oklahoma

Posted 03 December 2019 - 07:18 PM

My list I currently use:

 

Ascom

Eqmod

Stellarium Scope

Stellarium

N.I.N.A

 

Nice part about the above list is they all work pretty well and price is right.  FREE!

 

Welcome to the Rabbit Hole  :)


  • Scott Mitchell, elmiko, SonnyE and 1 other like this

#4 FLT-Astro

FLT-Astro

    Sputnik

  • *****
  • Posts: 48
  • Joined: 01 Apr 2018
  • Loc: AL, USA

Posted 03 December 2019 - 07:38 PM

Welcome to the club Mike.  I’m also a member with a new EQR-6 that I’m just beginning to tinker with.  So far it’s works like a champ.  I’ve primarily been using the handset (Synscan) but I’m primed and ready to begin learning EQMod, Ascom Drivers, PHD and APT all with KStars.   If you haven't read the “EQ6-R owners club”, do an internet search for it.  It’s got a load of info about users info and experiences with this mount.  I’ve got an 8” Meade Newt for an amazing low price on mine and it works very very well. 


Edited by FLT-Astro, 03 December 2019 - 07:42 PM.


#5 nimitz69

nimitz69

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,648
  • Joined: 21 Apr 2017
  • Loc: A barrier island 18 miles south of Cocoa Beach

Posted 03 December 2019 - 10:42 PM

amateur hour?  many of us are doing 5 min or more subs with the EQ6-R Pro.  the below image was taken with an EQ6-R-Pro and represents only 15 mins of data. feel free to spend $8,500 on a Mach 2 if you want but it ain't necessary ....dalek12.gif

M13 30 May 19 small.jpg


  • elmiko, HydrogenAlpha, md11spotter98 and 1 other like this

#6 Ken Sturrock

Ken Sturrock

    Cardinal Ximénez - NO ONE EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISITION!

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 8,064
  • Joined: 26 Sep 2009
  • Loc: Denver, CO

Posted 03 December 2019 - 11:16 PM

Nice shot, Nimitz!

Messier 13 never disappoints.



#7 terry59

terry59

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 9,213
  • Joined: 18 Jul 2011
  • Loc: Colorado, USA

Posted 04 December 2019 - 08:28 AM

...bought myself a Skywatcher EQ6-r, which I will proudly mount my $200 scope to until I can afford a proper imaging one grin.gif

 

Any tips on MUST HAVE's before I start messing around and getting my feet wet with imaging? At this point I'd just like to get accustomed to the alignment process and start capturing some light. I've heard good things about EQMOD and the EOS Utility, but should I start without those to reduce variables?

 

 

I recommend using EQMOD from the beginning. Things such as setting mount limits for safety are valuable tools, plus it is the foundation for all automation. Learning EQMOD (requires integrating a planetarium software such as Stellarium) and a control program will have challenges. Take it a little at a time and you will be fine


  • mikefulb and elmiko like this

#8 bobzeq25

bobzeq25

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 17,392
  • Joined: 27 Oct 2014

Posted 04 December 2019 - 10:54 AM

...bought myself a Skywatcher EQ6-r, which I will proudly mount my $200 scope to until I can afford a proper imaging one grin.gif

 

Any tips on MUST HAVE's before I start messing around and getting my feet wet with imaging? At this point I'd just like to get accustomed to the alignment process and start capturing some light. I've heard good things about EQMOD and the EOS Utility, but should I start without those to reduce variables?

 

Any tips in general for EQ mounts or imaging before I get started?

 

Thanks!

 

Mike

 

 

PS: I know the EQ6 is amateur hour for the Mach1 guys, but let me enjoy myself here =p

Tips for starting out.  You need a camera.  You need optics.

 

You probably already have them.  A DSLR (or mirrorless) and a lens is a great way to get started.  You mount it with this.

 

https://www.amazon.c...e/dp/B0000XMYFQ

 

That will enable you to learn most of the basic techniques.  Don't skip learning to do the camera calibration frames; bias, flats, darks.  If you do you're liable to learn bad habits in processing, and processing is hard enough without having to unlearn bad habits.

 

You also need stacking/processing software.  I'd recommend Astro Pixel Processor, does both, cheap, relatively easy.

 

This excellent book will be very useful.  You won't "get" all of it at first, you'll reread it as you gain experience.  My copy is well worn.

 

https://www.amazon.c...d/dp/0999470906

 

Final tip.  Keep things simple while you work on the basics.



#9 RJF-Astro

RJF-Astro

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 168
  • Joined: 13 Aug 2018
  • Loc: Zeist, Netherlands

Posted 04 December 2019 - 12:51 PM

Hi Mike, congrats on the new mount!

 

What scope are you using? A $200 scope can get you quite far, a reflector more so than a refractor. I recently made this image with a $200 newt:

 

get.jpg?insecure

 

I think it is almost the cheapest part of the setup I am using. So yeah, the rabbit hole is real but I agree with earlier posts: the telescope does not have to be high on your list.


  • kisstek likes this

#10 Startex

Startex

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 153
  • Joined: 23 Dec 2018
  • Loc: Texas

Posted 04 December 2019 - 05:54 PM

I'm a beginner myself so take that for what you will but I have been finding that having a good polar alignment really helps with tracking. Maybe spend a bit of time learning and practicing that.


  • John Tucker likes this

#11 Jon Rista

Jon Rista

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 23,859
  • Joined: 10 Jan 2014
  • Loc: Colorado

Posted 05 December 2019 - 12:29 AM

...bought myself a Skywatcher EQ6-r, which I will proudly mount my $200 scope to until I can afford a proper imaging one grin.gif

 

Any tips on MUST HAVE's before I start messing around and getting my feet wet with imaging? At this point I'd just like to get accustomed to the alignment process and start capturing some light. I've heard good things about EQMOD and the EOS Utility, but should I start without those to reduce variables?

 

Any tips in general for EQ mounts or imaging before I get started?

 

Thanks!

 

Mike

 

 

PS: I know the EQ6 is amateur hour for the Mach1 guys, but let me enjoy myself here =p

I'm a Mach 1 guy, but I'm still a fan of the EQ6. wink.gif I had one for years, it does the job, and doesn't cost too much. IMO, it is unwise to spend $8k or more on a mount when you are just getting into the hobby...unless, that is, money is of no object to you. The EQ6 mounts, especially paired with EQMOD, are a great mount to start with.

 

As for other things you could do. Well, speaking of the EQ6... I did have some trouble guiding in DEC when I was first using mine. About...I guess 7-8 months in, I bought the Rowan belt mod kit for it and did the mod. The belts eliminated all the backlash and noise involved in transferring power from the motor to the worm, and that (along with good meshing of the worm and ring gear) allowed me to guide both axes, which IMO is very important for DSO imaging. But, this is not essential to "getting your feet wet"...it would be more important once you are beyond that point and are getting into guiding and are trying to improve your IQ. 

 

Another mod for the EQ6 class mounts, also from Rowan IIRC, is a spring-loaded worm replacement for the DEC axis. This is another mod that you could make (and it is easier than the belt mod from what I've seen and heard from those who have done it...I went the Mach 1 route before it came out myself), and it could help you deal with the DEC axis guiding and DEC tracking quality even more. I found that around 0.65" RMS was about as good as I could ever get my Atlas EQ-G (Orion's version of the SkyWatcher EQ6) to work, except on occasions of exceptional seeing. I have heard some people with the spring loaded worm have been down in the 0.4-0.5" RMS range, which is about as good as I get with the Mach 1. 

 

Finally, something you will need to do, while getting your feet wet...is get some processing software and learn to process. Processing skills are just as important as acquisition skills. There are some good options for processing these days. Photoshop + DSS, Astro Pixel Processor (APP), and my personal favorite: PixInsight. Check these out and learn them as well. Actually, speaking of software...unless you are using a DSLR or mirrorless camera with batteries and a memory card and intervolometer...you will need some acquisition software. You might need to look into something like SGP for acquisition (which can also fully automate things as well), or if you ARE using a DSLR, you might look into BackardEOS/BackyardNikon or Astro Photograpy Tool (APT).


Edited by Jon Rista, 05 December 2019 - 12:33 AM.

  • ChrisWhite likes this

#12 RJF-Astro

RJF-Astro

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 168
  • Joined: 13 Aug 2018
  • Loc: Zeist, Netherlands

Posted 05 December 2019 - 12:57 AM

Hi Jon, geat informative post, but the EQ6-r is the updated version of the EQ6 and it already has belts. I don't know about a spring loaded worm gear, but Id check that first before thinking about modding.

#13 hiMike

hiMike

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 104
  • Joined: 21 Dec 2018
  • Loc: San Diego

Posted 05 December 2019 - 04:57 PM

Hey All,

Thank you for the great feedback! I will use EQMOD from the start then. I really like the idea of mounting my T3i (DSLR camera) directly to the mount with my 55mm lens for "first light", then moving over to the 650mm f/5 newt when I'm comfortable (identical to your SW130 optically, RJF).

 

Jon great advice on the mount, and RJF thanks for the clarification. I will check out Backyard EOS. Camera control/automation was definitely a missing link. Is PixInsight exclusively for AP? I'm looking to do some editing on daytime images as well, however AP is the priority.

 

Davis, I'm looking into ASCOM and NINA now



#14 bobzeq25

bobzeq25

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 17,392
  • Joined: 27 Oct 2014

Posted 05 December 2019 - 05:08 PM

Hey All,

Thank you for the great feedback! I will use EQMOD from the start then. I really like the idea of mounting my T3i (DSLR camera) directly to the mount with my 55mm lens for "first light", then moving over to the 650mm f/5 newt when I'm comfortable (identical to your SW130 optically, RJF).

 

Jon great advice on the mount, and RJF thanks for the clarification. I will check out Backyard EOS. Camera control/automation was definitely a missing link. Is PixInsight exclusively for AP? I'm looking to do some editing on daytime images as well, however AP is the priority.

 

Davis, I'm looking into ASCOM and NINA now

People do use PixInsight for terrestrial photos, although much of it is astro specific.

 

Photoshop is optimized for terrestrial, PI for astro.  You can use either in a general purpose way, but there are some advantages to using each for what it was designed for.  But no deal breakers.



#15 RJF-Astro

RJF-Astro

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 168
  • Joined: 13 Aug 2018
  • Loc: Zeist, Netherlands

Posted 06 December 2019 - 03:07 AM

Before I started on AP, I did a lot of terrestial photography, always with a Photoshop-component. This got me up and running fast in processing AP, with a special mention for processing video's of Trevor Jones from Astrobackyard. This was nice, but when I added PixInsight later on, it was hard to find my way in it's completely different approach to processing. I use both now and try to force myself in learning PI's quircks, instead of going the easy way in PS. Because I do recognize the quality PI can deliver once you master it. 

 

If I could rewind and do it again, I might have started with PI and then add PS later on, for astrophotography as a main goal. This can really pay off in the long run.

 

And about the 130mm/F5 reflector, that's a good one to start with. At some point you will want to add a coma corrector though. Without it, the edges of your image will suffer from coma. I did not mention it, but I use the Baader MPCC m3. When you get to that point, consider your scope options. Because that is also a good moment to look at other scopes. A coma corrector will also work on other newtons, but not on refractors. If you discover newts are not your cup of tea, you can exchange it without too much extra cost.



#16 SonnyE

SonnyE

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 947
  • Joined: 01 Nov 2015
  • Loc: Cali for ni a

Posted 06 December 2019 - 11:59 AM

Nothing spur's me on more than, "You can't do that with that!"

Oh yeah, well you can get better, and better! Because you are out there trying.

I just spent over 4 years coaxing and nursing and doing with an AVX (one of the bad ones). It finally bellied up on me for it's last gasp.

So I have my finder scope set on an EQ6-R Pro myself. It has a lot of bells and whistles only found in much more expensive mounts.

And it HAS to be easier than my AVX was to me. It's rated for 44 pounds. I think it will be OK with my 13.4 pound DSO imaging pea-shooter. wink.gif

 

What are your plans for a guide scope and camera? To me, a Guide Scope and Camera is pre-requisite to imaging. I'm really simple, my guide scope and camera are my mounts eye to keep it on target.

I've used an Orion MMAG for almost my entire time. Why almost? Because I was fiddling around with an Off Axis guider for a long time. Didn't work. But an MMAG has been, hands down, the very best piece of my equipment. It just works, with PHD2, and has never let me down. But the point here is not WHAT, but THAT you have Auto-guiding for imaging.

Not matter how you grow as an Astrophotographer, Auto-guiding can move and grow as you decide to change telescopes. So once you are set, it can go along as you know it.

 

If/when you glob onto an Astro Camera, it can also go to other telescopes. My research convinced me I wanted an Astro cam right off. But I picked a bad choice. A little over 2 years later, a very goo Friend made me an offer I could not refuse. He offered to loan me one of his Atik Infinity Cameras, the color one. I refused, at first. He convinced me to at least try it. I finally did with huge success, then he sold it to me at a price I couldn't turn down. And now, well, I have an imaging set up I can drive a good mount under, learn a few new tricks, and have fun gathering photons and goosing butterfly's again.

 

I would guess you already have a laptop or tablet for your Astrophotography. If you don't, you will. I got along fine with my laptop for a lot of years. But it eventually died. So now I use a "Baby Dell" 2 in 1 for my mount computer. Works great! And it WiFi's to my inside computer just fine with Tight Vnc (free)

 

Anyway, now you have to get through the Cloudy Nights that always seem to follow any new equipment. Congratulations and have fun. smile.gif



#17 John Tucker

John Tucker

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 921
  • Joined: 03 Mar 2018

Posted 07 December 2019 - 07:59 AM

I've been using mine for 2 years.  Its good to be aware that the mount needs a minimum of 11.8 volts, but the voltage of a lithium battery can fall below that when partially discharged.  So if you are usuing a lithium battery you need a little voltage stepper from Amazon.  They only cost about $40 with the cables and whatnot. 

 

Let me know if you need details.



#18 ChrisWhite

ChrisWhite

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,835
  • Joined: 28 Feb 2015
  • Loc: Colchester, VT

Posted 07 December 2019 - 08:44 AM


 

Another mod for the EQ6 class mounts, also from Rowan IIRC, is a spring-loaded worm replacement for the DEC axis. This is another mod that you could make (and it is easier than the belt mod from what I've seen and heard from those who have done it...

You would need to do the belt mod first in order to do the spring loaded worm upgrade.  Fortunately, for the OP, the mount he bought already has belt drive... so if backlash in DEC is an issue, it might be a nice upgrade. 



#19 fetoma

fetoma

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,027
  • Joined: 26 Sep 2006
  • Loc: Southern NJ

Posted 07 December 2019 - 11:59 AM

You would need to do the belt mod first in order to do the spring loaded worm upgrade.  Fortunately, for the OP, the mount he bought already has belt drive... so if backlash in DEC is an issue, it might be a nice upgrade. 

Jon Rista had mentioned a DIY spring-loaded worm mod on another thread. Anyone know about this mod that can provide a link?



#20 ChrisWhite

ChrisWhite

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,835
  • Joined: 28 Feb 2015
  • Loc: Colchester, VT

Posted 07 December 2019 - 12:05 PM

Jon Rista had mentioned a DIY spring-loaded worm mod on another thread. Anyone know about this mod that can provide a link?

http://www.rowanastr.../productsa5.htm



#21 fetoma

fetoma

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,027
  • Joined: 26 Sep 2006
  • Loc: Southern NJ

Posted 07 December 2019 - 12:13 PM

No, that's not the one Chris. I think he meant something as an alternative, but I could be wrong.



#22 nimitz69

nimitz69

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,648
  • Joined: 21 Apr 2017
  • Loc: A barrier island 18 miles south of Cocoa Beach

Posted 07 December 2019 - 01:18 PM

Nice shot, Nimitz!

Messier 13 never disappoints.

 Thx!  I actually have about 2 hrs of data but haven’t gotten around to processing it yet because I got side tracked building my observatory.  Of course I sold my 294 and now have a 1600MM  pro but I can still use the 2 hrs of data to practice with Pixinsight.  I was planning to get 7-8 hrs but now I’ll have to do that with mono & filters ...




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics