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

Thinking of throwing in the towel

  • Please log in to reply
37 replies to this topic

#1 wxcloud

wxcloud

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 816
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2020
  • Loc: Denver, Co

Posted 23 February 2021 - 03:05 PM


This has been something on my mind for a while now but lately the thoughts have been becoming more numerous. Gear barely gets used, weather or work or just crummy conditions or sometimes on the rare decent sky, depending on the work schedule I'm just depleted and don't even feel like pulling gear out. Had a couple potential nights this past week but previously issues with the computer and other stuff I wasn't even sure if want to try. Who knows if it'd work? And even then when things do work I don't get much data. The data I get, sometimes okay, "it's a start" but repeat nights are very rare.

I've fought with mounting and balance with the astrotech AT80EDT and think I almost get there and find there's a issue with something else, say my focus cube that seems to have communication issues somewhere between it and the OS. Finally ditch that and go with the zwo solution. Software seems to work better but now it looks like it's going back to the drawing board with mounting issues and way too tight tolerances. The idea to try a semi automated system well, pretty much boxing that idea with this particular rig. Seemed to done better before I attempted auto focus.

The raspberry pi with astroberry didn't help, was very cumbersome especially on a small phone screen. My Linux laptop that worked prior to the focus cube (seemed back on par without the cube) caused me to grab a mini PC (over the asiair pro) and I think I got the wrong tool for the job) can't really remote control the rig if I can't auto focus, right?

My skies are junk, need a camera to see most stuff. That needs hours of exposures that are hard to come by. What I do manage to get is more akin to manual eaa. I'd get better more specialized software if I could actually get data.

Recently swapped out to a larger 8 position EFW and looks like I got a centering issue on some filters, egg shaped vignette on one edge.

When I first started back up with a star adventurer, I was eager to get out. Then I needed guiding, a computer, better mount, to dither, all this extra stuff and being in the position to do so with some savings, I seem to have gotten little out of it. Sometimes it's difficult to be motivated enough to lug everything out, hope it works and grab just an hour or two of data.

Frustrations with hardware mounting, recent computer com issues along with the rare usable sky when I do manage to get out just make me wonder. I'm about ready to remove the AT80EDT from astrophotography duty. This whole rig just don't motivate me to take it out.

Thought about perhaps a larger chip OSC camera but skies are junk. Got a smaller secondary rig complete with an AVX mount I got a while back that I haven't even taken outside. Had some thoughts about perhaps going as plug and play as possible, asiair pro and perhaps a smaller rig but...

I don't know. Just discouraged and needed to vent some.
  • wrvond, Cali and Older Padawan like this

#2 Atlanta AstroView 90mm

Atlanta AstroView 90mm

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 167
  • Joined: 04 Jan 2021
  • Loc: Atlanta, Georgia

Posted 23 February 2021 - 03:13 PM

Could always give it up and stick with visual observing. A lot less stuff to set up and deal with. AP seems like such a pain in the butt and I could see myself giving up the hobby all together if that was my main focus and it wasn’t working well for me. Sell your fancy cameras and look at the sky with your eyeball. Just my two cents as a n00b


  • drd715, PETER DREW, wxcloud and 1 other like this

#3 Alrakis

Alrakis

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 339
  • Joined: 27 Jan 2015
  • Loc: North Carolina

Posted 23 February 2021 - 03:16 PM

Depends on what you want to achieve. For me, just to get a good capture of the target with decent details is enough. I use a nikon dslr, no guiding, just an accurate polar alignment with the ASPA alignment and let it take pictures while I am inside. I don't have anything against autoguiding, but with work, kids, life in general, simplicity is key.

 

Chris 


  • F.Meiresonne, ram812, Starman609 and 3 others like this

#4 Madratter

Madratter

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 13,080
  • Joined: 14 Jan 2013

Posted 23 February 2021 - 03:17 PM

This is a hard hobby to do without a mentor or at least a friend also doing it. Unfortunately, with Covid, this isn't the best time for that.

 

I will also say that for many people who think they are interested in AP, I think many of them would be better off going the route of EAA. This is particularly true of those who really aren't enamored with processing. The nice thing about EAA is it is much more immediate.


  • F.Meiresonne, ram812, drd715 and 3 others like this

#5 Alrakis

Alrakis

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 339
  • Joined: 27 Jan 2015
  • Loc: North Carolina

Posted 23 February 2021 - 03:18 PM

Another option is EAA. Maybe try a revolution imager. 

 

Chris 


  • wxcloud likes this

#6 Older Padawan

Older Padawan

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 175
  • Joined: 08 Dec 2019
  • Loc: Colorado USA

Posted 23 February 2021 - 03:21 PM

We all seem to get a little discouraged at some point in time but this is a hobby. Hobbies are meant to be something that you enjoy and receive fulfillment from. It seems that you may have jumped into this with expectations that have not met your reality. Look at each night and each attempt to gaze up or collect photons as a learning experience. I haven't been at this for much more than a couple of years so I am certainly not an expert but I do have a lot of knowledge about making mistakes, messing up computer programs, taking my telescope out of alignment and many other things related to this hobby however I have learned so much. Hang in there better skies are coming. Winter in Colorado can be crazy especially with our location in respect to the mountains. You might check with one of the local Denver clubs and get some help from them. I'm sure they would be more than willing to offer assistance. If you can't reach anyone there possibly we could figure something out and I might be able to give you a hand I'm not that far north of Denver. Clear skies and keep the faith.


  • ram812 and wxcloud like this

#7 JStarCN

JStarCN

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 108
  • Joined: 12 Dec 2016

Posted 23 February 2021 - 03:23 PM

I think you just described the life of most everyone - at some point - who takes on the challenge of this hobby/passion.  Even some of the experts on this site must have gone through similar at some point on their journey.

 

I am only really starting out imaging deepsky after having completely given up on when trying to use a 9.25inch SCT for the task - instead I just went back to visual mainly.

Decided to start where I should have done with imaging - small refractors.

I don't know if this is feasible for you, but the biggest thing I ever did to get over the challenges of set up and getting things working is to get an observatory. If it is feasible, a permanent  set up makes life a lot easier (well until you decide to change it :) ).

 

As for computers, perhaps try something like the ASIAIR?

 

Whenever something is not going right - often - I just try to get one thing working at a time. 

 

Anyway- best of luck to you.


  • ram812, TrustyChords, Dynan and 1 other like this

#8 F.Meiresonne

F.Meiresonne

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6,823
  • Joined: 22 Dec 2003
  • Loc: Eeklo,Belgium

Posted 23 February 2021 - 03:23 PM

AP is demanding,indeed, but i think also it takes time so patience is a vertue just because of work interfering, bad skies for long etc etc etc.

 

I am doing it about 1.5 year and i had to tackle problem by problem , test things, and working out some procedure...

 

I just got hooked because i could see so much in the pictures , i could never achieve this visualy,allthough this is also a nice thing to do.

 

I was a visual observer for most of my adult life...no AP

 

I am not after APOD pictures either, just more objects i want to see, like M42 but with dust dark clouds around , you can't get those visually.

 

That is what drives me, allthough i can understand the frustration...


  • ram812, Dynan, wxcloud and 1 other like this

#9 F.Meiresonne

F.Meiresonne

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6,823
  • Joined: 22 Dec 2003
  • Loc: Eeklo,Belgium

Posted 23 February 2021 - 03:26 PM

This is a hard hobby to do without a mentor or at least a friend also doing it. Unfortunately, with Covid, this isn't the best time for that.

 

I will also say that for many people who think they are interested in AP, I think many of them would be better off going the route of EAA. This is particularly true of those who really aren't enamored with processing. The nice thing about EAA is it is much more immediate.

Well you can lear alot here on CN.

Most things i learned here, opposed to some people who might think differently.

 

A book is a good start and is a base but will not cover specific issues. Most answers for those i found here.


  • limeyx likes this

#10 PETER DREW

PETER DREW

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,565
  • Joined: 31 May 2017

Posted 23 February 2021 - 03:31 PM

Probably a good time to take a step back and wait for other life issues to settle down.  Think back to what got you interested in astronomy in the first place and do a bit of that again as a refresher.


  • wxcloud likes this

#11 Enance42

Enance42

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 25
  • Joined: 12 Mar 2020
  • Loc: Alton Il.

Posted 23 February 2021 - 03:31 PM

Wxcloud,
I feel your pain. I have been dipping my toe in AP for about 9 months now and it has been frustrating at times for sure. I have thought about going back to visual as well but then I remember all the money that I have invested (and still buying) and don't really want it to be all for nothing. As frustrating as it is,I do enjoy being in the middle of nowhere under the stars, letting my rig do what it needs to do while I am spending quality time with my Wife. The stars will always be there.
  • wxcloud likes this

#12 sbharrat

sbharrat

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 315
  • Joined: 28 Nov 2020
  • Loc: NJ, USA

Posted 23 February 2021 - 03:35 PM

I love the fact that there is a community here where people not only answer questions but allow (and emphatize with) the occasional vent. There is definitely much need to vent with this irritating hobby when the connections won't work (my bane)... but a week away from getting even an hour of new data due to weather and I back to itching for more.

 

I can definitely sympathize with the OP. Hopefully a litle time away will do wonders... and also remind him of *that feeling* seeing some data come to (constrast-stretched) light!


  • wxcloud likes this

#13 dron2015

dron2015

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 305
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2018

Posted 23 February 2021 - 03:43 PM

My approach was to automate everything to a possible extent.

 

1. I do not have the observatory - so I put my rig on the wheels (scopebuggy), including PC, glued to the pavement  the metal pads, so my scope is always on the same place. So, I do not need to assemble it every session, not need to balance every time or do polar alignment every time. What I need is to roll it out and find one star.

2.  Control the rig's PC from the home thu Wifi

3. Use only established and proven equipment - regular windows based PC with well tested software

 

it really helps a lot!

 

Good luck!

 

Best,

Andrey 


  • F.Meiresonne, AhBok, zakry3323 and 1 other like this

#14 imtl

imtl

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 2,860
  • Joined: 07 Jun 2016
  • Loc: Down in a hole

Posted 23 February 2021 - 03:48 PM

Okay. Not gonna try and "mentor" you out of it. But I did look into your history here on CN to see what have you been up to. (Yes I know it sounds creepy but hear me out).

 

About a year ago, you started writing here. Saying you have been lurking CN for a long time. You pulled out your old gear and you went for DSLR with lenses. Then picked up a star adventurer. 

 

You knew your skies are bad. Yet you did it. Probably because you really like the night skies. And that is the drive for vast majority of people here. So remind yourself of that.

 

What I also see is that you might have rushed too fast to upgrade and upgrade and upgrade without really giving things enough time to sink in. As you wrote, you got limited time in life and because of light pollution it's even more limited. It is much better IMO to maximize specific steps first before going all over the place. In one year time you moved from old gear and DSLR and lens to semi-automated setup with still bad skies. That might be overwhelming to a lot of people. I am going to be a bit blunt and say that it was probably a wrong move. However, you already did it and now you're frustrated and not getting anywhere almost. Well, stop then. Better gear is not going to solve some of the issues.

 

You got gear. That does not mean you have to use all of it now if some stuff do not work as you want them, you are in this for years not for a couple of months. The "sophisticated gear" can wait. Go back to the essentials. Put a DSLR on your eq6-r and just take images with a lens. Very wide field, large image scales so you don't have to deal with aberrations and tracking errors and seeing. Just image. Take as many hours as you can. 

 

Another option, use your ASI1600 and just image in Ha. Cut through all that light pollution. No other filters to focus on. No shifts. Simple, beautiful mono images. High contrast, plenty of details.

 

While your telescope is outside doing its thing. Sit for a few minutes and just enjoy the evening. It will do you good. I know with your B zone I cannot really say enjoy gazing at the night sky. But, take what you can.

 

This hobby is tough. The few most important things in it are patience, persistence and love for the night sky. The rest is technicalities.

 

Simplify and go back to basics. That's my 2 cents anyways.


  • dmdouglass, DRK73, zakry3323 and 11 others like this

#15 Voska

Voska

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 142
  • Joined: 28 Oct 2019
  • Loc: Beach Park, IL, USA

Posted 23 February 2021 - 04:25 PM

I was going to say almost the same thing as imtl so I will skip that.

One thing as many have alluded to is this is a hobby that take patience, trial and error, some aspirin or alcohol as it can easily get both overwhelming and stressful when nights dont go right. (trust me I know... i got my first clear night in almost 2 months, i go out, set everything up, get aligned, and smell some burning electronics.... bye bye dew controller... and with it being Chicago weather well... i couldn't do anything so i packed it all back up)

Something else to keep in mind to go on what imtl (Eyal) said... this is a hobby where more money COULD yield better results... but you really can NOT buy yourself out of problems and troubleshooting. 

its winter. your in Colorado in a few months you will be back to clear nights for 200+ days. Take a break for now till when it warms up at night so you can spend some time outside and live troubleshooting. (most dont want to stay out in the sub 32F temps to do this). get all the kinks out of the hardware you have early in the spring and then your summer and fall imaging will be great.

Also maybe take this time to get the necessary items to work from a remote location. I have a brother that is up in Westminster so i have a rough idea of the night scape where your at and there are TONS of areas within a 1 hour drive that would results in some great "dark" sky locations.... of course... there is always Nebraska.... UGH...


  • wxcloud likes this

#16 F.Meiresonne

F.Meiresonne

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6,823
  • Joined: 22 Dec 2003
  • Loc: Eeklo,Belgium

Posted 23 February 2021 - 04:25 PM

My approach was to automate everything to a possible extent.

 

1. I do not have the observatory - so I put my rig on the wheels (scopebuggy), including PC, glued to the pavement  the metal pads, so my scope is always on the same place. So, I do not need to assemble it every session, not need to balance every time or do polar alignment every time. What I need is to roll it out and find one star.

2.  Control the rig's PC from the home thu Wifi

3. Use only established and proven equipment - regular windows based PC with well tested software

 

it really helps a lot!

 

Good luck!

 

Best,

Andrey 

Yes  try to automate things is usefull. I have to set up manually all the stuff, polar align, put computer in place, start the whole thing up. That is the hard part , could take over one hour...but once it is up and running i control it or keep an eye on it inside via Teamviewer...all goes over the LAN. Then i can relax and even have a couple of beers..once done i break everthing down .But that goes quicker...


  • dron2015 and wxcloud like this

#17 Ken Sturrock

Ken Sturrock

    Cardinal Ximenez

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 9,681
  • Joined: 26 Sep 2009
  • Loc: Denver, CO

Posted 23 February 2021 - 04:52 PM

Vent away. We've all been there and done that. You won't find a more sympathetic group of people.

 

As a fellow Denverite, I also know that there is only so much that my location will permit. Likewise, there are some technical advancements that I'm just not interested in pursuing. As noted, you've been on a really fast learning slope. I know that you're a bright guy but many of us have had pauses (over decades) longer than your entire time in the AP saddle. We may not have learned a commiserate amount, but it has allowed time to heal the frustrations (and cash drain) that you've absorbed much more rapidly. It's also given us a lot more time to spend learning gear before moving on.

 

This in no way is meant to talk down to you but meant to recognize how extremely difficult all of this can be. Trying to learn all of the technologies, the background science, debugging complicated gear that has to work together, building the trade craft that comes after many nights. Moreover, a lot of folks suffer from self-inflicted hurdles: A rush to collect data because there are few good nights. A desire to automate things only vaguely understood in a search for maximum efficiency. A tendency to buy everything simultaneously and do all-up testing in the field, in the dark, while trying to collect data. A desire to use "Component X". Trying to "keep up with" strangers on the internet. Actually believing advertisements that are designed to sell you stuff in magazines.

 

Getting over the psychology is hard. AP isn't a job (for most of us). It's about discovering what makes you feel satisfied and enjoying those moments even if you don't necessarily make progress, that evening, towards some bigger goal that doesn't really matter. From our perspective, the stars are eternal. The stars are patient and will wait for you. You've been here about a year. What's that adage about most people overestimating what they can do in less than a year but underestimating what they can do in more than a year?

 

Advertisements aside, if AP were easy everyone would do it - and then nobody who likes problem solving and building things would bother.


  • pedxing, ram812, Older Padawan and 1 other like this

#18 bokemon

bokemon

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 338
  • Joined: 28 Jul 2020
  • Loc: Silicon Valley, California

Posted 23 February 2021 - 06:43 PM

Any issues that you can test / fix indoors - do them indoors

When outdoors, test / practice on things that don't need a lot of exposure time to get good images, e.g. Double Cluster, Beehive, etc.  Get the star quality to your satisfaction.

Then bright nebula like Orion M42

Or throw 1-2 hrs at Andromeda Galaxy before it sets anyway

Then long exposure narrowband like Rosette, Flaming Star, etc

Then find a darker site within 15-20 minutes driving distance, and try again.


Edited by bokemon, 23 February 2021 - 08:19 PM.

  • wxcloud likes this

#19 ram812

ram812

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 868
  • Joined: 10 Dec 2014
  • Loc: Grants Pass, Oregon

Posted 23 February 2021 - 08:02 PM

Vent away. We've all been there and done that. You won't find a more sympathetic group of people.

 

As a fellow Denverite, I also know that there is only so much that my location will permit. Likewise, there are some technical advancements that I'm just not interested in pursuing. As noted, you've been on a really fast learning slope. I know that you're a bright guy but many of us have had pauses (over decades) longer than your entire time in the AP saddle. We may not have learned a commiserate amount, but it has allowed time to heal the frustrations (and cash drain) that you've absorbed much more rapidly. It's also given us a lot more time to spend learning gear before moving on.

 

This in no way is meant to talk down to you but meant to recognize how extremely difficult all of this can be. Trying to learn all of the technologies, the background science, debugging complicated gear that has to work together, building the trade craft that comes after many nights. Moreover, a lot of folks suffer from self-inflicted hurdles: A rush to collect data because there are few good nights. A desire to automate things only vaguely understood in a search for maximum efficiency. A tendency to buy everything simultaneously and do all-up testing in the field, in the dark, while trying to collect data. A desire to use "Component X". Trying to "keep up with" strangers on the internet. Actually believing advertisements that are designed to sell you stuff in magazines.

 

Getting over the psychology is hard. AP isn't a job (for most of us). It's about discovering what makes you feel satisfied and enjoying those moments even if you don't necessarily make progress, that evening, towards some bigger goal that doesn't really matter. From our perspective, the stars are eternal. The stars are patient and will wait for you. You've been here about a year. What's that adage about most people overestimating what they can do in less than a year but underestimating what they can do in more than a year?

 

Advertisements aside, if AP were easy everyone would do it - and then nobody who likes problem solving and building things would bother.

  This is so true, remember the stars will always be there for us forever. I've tried a little AP but the truth is after several "Episodes" of frustrations I altered my path to EAA, keeping the AP in the proverbial back pocket and decided one day, I'll take on a new camera/ refractor and do IT for a while just to shake it up a bit. You know, this is a tough enough hobby as it is, but remember the air will clear , you've paid your dues out of wallet for good kit, and you're not alone... this is "The" place to vent by the way! Hang tough😉

Ralph


  • wxcloud likes this

#20 imtl

imtl

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 2,860
  • Joined: 07 Jun 2016
  • Loc: Down in a hole

Posted 23 February 2021 - 08:09 PM

  This is so true, remember the stars will always be there for us forever. 

Don't say that! I still have a tiny hope that Betelgeuse will go SN during our life time! fingertap.gif


  • Ken Sturrock, ram812, c2m2t and 4 others like this

#21 ram812

ram812

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 868
  • Joined: 10 Dec 2014
  • Loc: Grants Pass, Oregon

Posted 23 February 2021 - 11:01 PM

And have an imaging session going just then...laugh.gif

 

CS! Ralph


  • Dynan likes this

#22 BQ Octantis

BQ Octantis

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,163
  • Joined: 29 Apr 2017
  • Loc: Red Centre, Oz

Posted 24 February 2021 - 04:10 AM

Unfortunately, you get to the end of the hedonistic treadmill of "you gotta upgrade this or that" pretty quickly—assuming you don't run out of money first. And in the Northern Hemisphere, there is almost always a better image out there (than any other image of the same deep space target). So you have to be in it for the love of the workflow or the pride in your own results.

 

I still find deep fulfillment using my unmodded DSLR with a fast (≤f/2.8) and/or short (8-50mm) lens and an intervalometer with my motorized EQ2. Setup is 5 minutes. Tight polar alignment is 2 minutes. A DSO session is 1-3 hours, mostly unattended. While I hacked the controller to add an autoguider port, I rarely use it—I find it adds minimal benefit for the added equipment bloat of guiding.

 

And sometimes, you just gotta shoot the moon—if only for something to process:

 

gallery_273658_12412_103427.jpg

 

(Click for full size.)

gallery_273658_8467_376016.jpg

 

BQ


Edited by BQ Octantis, 24 February 2021 - 06:55 AM.

  • Stelios, mtc, dmdouglass and 9 others like this

#23 Sacred Heart

Sacred Heart

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 660
  • Joined: 16 Aug 2020

Posted 24 February 2021 - 08:12 AM

This has been something on my mind for a while now but lately the thoughts have been becoming more numerous. Gear barely gets used, weather or work or just crummy conditions or sometimes on the rare decent sky, depending on the work schedule I'm just depleted and don't even feel like pulling gear out. Had a couple potential nights this past week but previously issues with the computer and other stuff I wasn't even sure if want to try. Who knows if it'd work? And even then when things do work I don't get much data. The data I get, sometimes okay, "it's a start" but repeat nights are very rare.

I've fought with mounting and balance with the astrotech AT80EDT and think I almost get there and find there's a issue with something else, say my focus cube that seems to have communication issues somewhere between it and the OS. Finally ditch that and go with the zwo solution. Software seems to work better but now it looks like it's going back to the drawing board with mounting issues and way too tight tolerances. The idea to try a semi automated system well, pretty much boxing that idea with this particular rig. Seemed to done better before I attempted auto focus.

The raspberry pi with astroberry didn't help, was very cumbersome especially on a small phone screen. My Linux laptop that worked prior to the focus cube (seemed back on par without the cube) caused me to grab a mini PC (over the asiair pro) and I think I got the wrong tool for the job) can't really remote control the rig if I can't auto focus, right?

My skies are junk, need a camera to see most stuff. That needs hours of exposures that are hard to come by. What I do manage to get is more akin to manual eaa. I'd get better more specialized software if I could actually get data.

Recently swapped out to a larger 8 position EFW and looks like I got a centering issue on some filters, egg shaped vignette on one edge.

When I first started back up with a star adventurer, I was eager to get out. Then I needed guiding, a computer, better mount, to dither, all this extra stuff and being in the position to do so with some savings, I seem to have gotten little out of it. Sometimes it's difficult to be motivated enough to lug everything out, hope it works and grab just an hour or two of data.

Frustrations with hardware mounting, recent computer com issues along with the rare usable sky when I do manage to get out just make me wonder. I'm about ready to remove the AT80EDT from astrophotography duty. This whole rig just don't motivate me to take it out.

Thought about perhaps a larger chip OSC camera but skies are junk. Got a smaller secondary rig complete with an AVX mount I got a while back that I haven't even taken outside. Had some thoughts about perhaps going as plug and play as possible, asiair pro and perhaps a smaller rig but...

I don't know. Just discouraged and needed to vent some.

I just got back into astronomy 6 months ago after 16 years off.  The last time I used my scope on a regular basis, mostly visual, was 2004.  I had alot going on, or atleast I thought I did, either way I walked away from astronomy in 2004.  I started in 1997, bought my first scope a Meade ETX 90.  I was younger and dumber in those days,  in 1999 I really dove in,  buying two Questars a 3.5 and a 7.  My mount for the seven was an Optic Craft Machining Model 3.   Well I soon realized that model 3 mount was not cutting it, hard to set up, not go to etc..  So, into the 401K again, Software Bisque was going to come out with a new mount, Paramount ME,  I bought one - still have it - used it last night for visual.  The mount is a beast, been rock solid from day one, even after sitting in the garage for 16 years uncovered. Yes I even bought a camera, SBIG ST9E.  Never did learn how to use that thing. Do not have anymore.

    As I got older, my life changed other things were more important and needed my attention.  Besides, I was getting tired of spending a hour to set up and an hour to take down, for a couple of hours of seeing through the eyepiece.

   Now, at present day,  I have been retired going 5 years now.  Retired spring of '16.  It took me five years before I said OK I will give it another go.   This time my approach is different,  I still consider myself young and dumb,  just that back then I was younger and dumber.  Astronomy is NOT my life,  it is just A PART of my life, Not my life.   

    I have my scope set up permanently on a portable pier, I have a cart to wheel the scope out and in, 15 minutes to set up or take down.  I do not have a deep space cooled camera, I will use my DSLR for starters.  I do have a planetary camera, QHY 462. My set up is simple, no motorized focuser, no mini computer, no usb hubs,  just old school brute force.  A refurb laptop, 3 usb cables, 2 for cameras, 1 for connecting the mount.  I am outside with the scope, even if I am imaging, I still will remove the camera and look through an eyepiece. Some of my planetary pictures came out good and some really bad,  I will never have magazine quality pictures like I see here on this forum and other forums. If I get a good one great, if not oh well,  not every night is a photographing night.

 

   Like I said before, I have a different approach now,  I enjoy the moment.  It is, what it is and I am not going to get upset over it.  This is just part of my life, not my life.

 

   Sometimes you need to take a break, get up and walk around.  You definitely do not need to beat yourself up over it. It is OK to walk away,  maybe it is time to take a break, relax.  You can always come back to it.   Sometimes you have to "recalculate the ride"  as a GPS will tell you.    

 

  You said, sometimes it is work or bad weather,  and yes you are correct, those were two of my reasons, the third was family.   I view it as, picture you in a car going down the road, traffic is building up and you find yourself always driving around the slower vehicles.  What do you do??  Continue to drive around, no, it is frustrating.  Either slow down to go with the flow or pull off and take another road or get something to eat.  Sound familiar,  you are the car, work, bad weather is the slower vehicles.     Remember, when it comes to astronomy,  all you have to do is get there.  You do not have to get there at a certain time,  do not put constraints on yourself like that.   Take care of the three things that are more important than astronomy,  you, your family and your work.    So take a break, slow down,  get back into the flow of things.  

 

         Enjoy,   recalculate that ride so you can enjoy,      worked for me,     Joe 


  • ram812 and wxcloud like this

#24 John Tucker

John Tucker

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,282
  • Joined: 03 Mar 2018

Posted 24 February 2021 - 08:56 AM

I have to agree.  AP is a big pain. 

 

  • I can't count the number of times I've driven across the state to a dark site, only to have clouds roll in at dusk in spite of a weather report that said 0% clouds for a week. 
  • Or after two years of functioning perfectly at home, my mount decides this is the time to develop poor guiding due to a suddenly loose belt. 
  • My laptop does a hard disk crash and I spend a day reloading software.
  • I struggle to figure out how to adjust my tilt corrector. 
  • Most processing software, even that costing hundreds of dollars, doesn't even provide an instruction manual.  
  • And on most forums, the answer to every problem is "spend another $2K"

Recently I've come up with a new hobby that I find more enjoyable and far, far less expensive.  I have 24 karat gold needles custom made by an elite Swiss jewelry craftsman. I stick them in my eyes and, then after a few hours, flush them down the toilet. 


Edited by John Tucker, 24 February 2021 - 08:57 AM.

  • ram812, wxcloud, Atlanta AstroView 90mm and 1 other like this

#25 kraegar

kraegar

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,369
  • Joined: 17 Apr 2012

Posted 24 February 2021 - 09:11 AM

I was just talking to someone about how dumb this hobby is. We spend thousands of dollars on equipment and software to go sit in the dark and curse at equipment and the clouds. Lose countless hours of sleep. Spend dozens of hours processing the images.  And the result is a picture that probably isn't as good as someone else's picture of the exact same thing.

 

Yet I'm itching to get back to the hobby after a few years away.  There's just something satisfying about seeing the results of an image you worked so hard on to take yourself.  We all need to vent, and we all need a break sometimes. This hobby is a massive series of challenges all stacked against us.


  • wxcloud likes this


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