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Old Nov 26, 2012, 05:39 PM
CURIOSITY Has Landed!
Fugitive_Bill's Avatar
Sydney, Australia
Joined Jul 2005
1,160 Posts
Savage,

Absolutely amazing stuff - I look forward to more!!
And it sounds like you've got Tom very hooked/interested in doing some Telescope stuff too!!
I'll comment more later on - I've been up ALL night AGAIN and gotta crash.

[/b]B![/b]
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 09:14 PM
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United States, CA, Oroville
Joined Sep 2007
81 Posts
It's definately fun... Can't wait for clear skies..
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Old Dec 05, 2012, 01:30 PM
Dance the skies...
Tom Frank's Avatar
United States, MA, Walpole
Joined Dec 2003
17,686 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklet View Post
I tried this a while back. I hadn't got enough length on the focuser to be able to get an image. I wanted to set up a guide scope. The focuser was wound right out and I still couldn't get a focused image.

I anticipated problems when fitting a webcam. Would I have to have a bigger range of adjustment ?

It turned out that I only needed to fit the camera onto a tube that just fitted into the eyepiece holder. Focusing on stars, the moon and Jupiter were easy. The camera focuses at nearly the same setting as a 40mm eyepiece.

Terrestrial objects needed a much longer focus tube than I have on my scope.

Had to resort to setting the guide scope up in the dark !
I had the same problem... no focusable image with my camera CMOS about 1/2 in. beyond the back edge of the eyepiece holder, which has a travel of about 2 in. I was focusing on some trees that I'd estimate were maybe 800 ft. or so away. Maybe I should give it another try on an object further out, like the next full moon.

The film container is a very tight secure fit in my eyepiece holder... I could make it work with my camera if the focusing distance isn't any further out than maybe 1 to 1-1/2 in. Do you think it's worth the effort with these limits? I'd still need to get an I/R filter if adjusting with post editing does not work well, but then not many celestial objects have much color anyway with my 4-1/2 in. reflector scope.
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Last edited by Tom Frank; Dec 05, 2012 at 01:32 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old Dec 05, 2012, 10:17 PM
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United States, CA, Oroville
Joined Sep 2007
81 Posts
Heres what I noticed.. For deep space my webcam doesn't gather enough light in my 8 scope.. For the moon its great.. for Saturn and jupiter it is on the decline but still do-able for stacking images.. Here's Saturn on a July night.. Some tweaking on the camera settings in the software might help.. But i never went back out to try it..
Saturn July23 2011 (1 min 34 sec)
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Old Dec 05, 2012, 11:32 PM
CURIOSITY Has Landed!
Fugitive_Bill's Avatar
Sydney, Australia
Joined Jul 2005
1,160 Posts
Savage,

As you are the Astronomer around here and I am not, my question for you today is...

Q: Are Jupiter and Saturn always tilted at about 45 degrees as in your picture/video(s) or does it depend on the time of year and/or where on Earth a person takes the pictures from?
- Because in almost every picture I've seen of them, they are normally aligned horizontally in relation to viewer.

-B!LL!

PS: You've now got me that interested that I almost to want buy a kick ass telescope, but that would eat into my R/C aircraft budget - gezz, decisions, decisions!!

(I got one for xmas when I was about 10 years old, but by memory I think was it was not much more powerful than a pair of binoculars, I think about 90-150 x, but left it at a friends place who had great had great views of Sydney Harbour, and forgot to bring it home, that was maybe 20 years ago, so I might do a bit looking around on ebay and see what sort of price a half decent one sells for these days.)

-B!LL!
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Old Dec 06, 2012, 12:00 AM
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United States, CA, Oroville
Joined Sep 2007
81 Posts
Tilted? That's funny! Actually if I spin the webcam in the eyepiece holder I can straighten it, but I get so fixated on focusing and playing with the settings or capture software I forget to rotate the camera.. I just play around in the driveway or backyard with it and capture what I can.. I tell the family we are going to have a "star party" tonite and they get so excited they forget to come outside and see the stars sigh..
Someday I'll get serious enough to make a checklist of sorts before I venture out into the cold dark night to get things in order.
Speaking of scopes, what I did was searched Craigslist and found scopes for sale.. Then searched eBay for the completed auctions of the scope I was looking at. My first scope was a Tasco I bought for $25.. Then sold it on eBay for $100.. Then bought a Meade etx70.., sold that for $180.. Then found a etx90.. Sold that for $350.. Finally scored this Nexstar8 for $500 (sold new $1,400 according to the receipt).. They sell for up to $700.. So if I decide to move up I'm looking for a 10" or more.. It is fun for me to buy and sell and move up.. Besides I'd never spend that much on the scope I have now.. Got too many hobbies to feed .
BTW here's a screaming deal on a Meade etx90
http://sacramento.craigslist.org/spo/3456444453.html
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Old Dec 08, 2012, 02:58 PM
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Cumbria in the U.K
Joined Jan 2008
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Hi Tom,
Give it a go. I couldn't get focus on nearby objects. I could have put the scope in the car and used something at a distance. I chose to wait until it was dark and then set up the finder scope. I reckon your focus adjustment will be enough.

Chances are it will be about the same place as one of the eyepiece focal lengths when you try the webcam/N0 11 keychain camera. I had seen a comment somwhere else from a guy who found the webcam needed to be way inside the normal focus tube distance.... I can only assume he was doing something odd !

I wouldn't bother about an IR filter. As savage 40 said the webcam/keychain camera is not going to be good for objects like start clusters and nebulae.

It will be most use on the moon and planets. The moon isn't a problem
I haven't tried Jupiter yet as I have been building a new dobsonian mount.
I splashed out on a sheet of plywood to build a new mount for the telescope I built approx. 30 years ago. The 8.5 inch scope has not been used for a long time. A new surge of interest, more time to do what I want and the old, somewhat wobbly, mount just had to be replaced. It's virtually finished and I reckon Monday night has good clear conditions forecast.
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Old Dec 08, 2012, 03:06 PM
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Cumbria in the U.K
Joined Jan 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by savage 40 View Post
Tilted? That's funny! Actually if I spin the webcam in the eyepiece holder I can straighten it, but I get so fixated on focusing and playing with the settings or capture software I forget to rotate the camera.. I just play around in the driveway or backyard with it and capture what I can..
I must have a similar technique

I have some photos, originally taken with a digital camera pressed up against the eyepiece, which show the moon at some decidedly unusual angles !

That's a lesson in frustration - shoving a camera up against the eyepiece and trying to get photos. It can be done but only by the bloody minded !

Now my new dobsonian mount is just about ready I will have to try and fit the webcam and the No 11 keychain camera at an angle that makes sense of things .
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Last edited by sparklet; Dec 08, 2012 at 03:36 PM.
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