Sky Watcher EQ6 Pro Mount

How to set up Carte de Ciel (Sky Map, CdC) & PHD software for imaging & guiding – version 23/4/2020

After successfully managing to get guiding working earlier this week, I decided to write an outline of the process for (mainly) my own reference so that next time I would know what to do!

Not a perfect process – Damian made this comment:

Well done with regards to last night. I had a quick look at your screengrab on the blog. You didn’t have any calibration loaded – that’s why CAL is orange/yellow in the bottom right. The red DARK also suggests there are no darks for this connection..? Considering PHD had no data about your mount to go on, it did well!

….So still some way to go to improve it.

Click on link below to download process (PDF):

How to set up Carte de Ciel (Sky Map, CdC) & PHD software for imaging & guiding 230420

Andy

 

Results of processing my image of M42 from 4/1/2020 (Lichfield, UK)

Processed version of my B&W photo M42 Orion Nebula from 4/1/2020 – lights and darks – I didn’t have any flats to hand.

This image has been taken with ca. 30 light frames only 5 secs long, showing how much more sensitive the Altair 183M mono camera is than my QHY10 one shot colour camera!

  • Altair 183M mono camera.
  • Sky Watcher Equinox Pro 80mm OTA.
  • EQ6 mount.
  • Astro Photography Tools (APT) software to take photos, Nebulosity 4 software to stack photos and some early processing, GIMP to do further processing.

Andy

 

This post follows on from previous post below:

First image of M42 – with Altair Astro 183M mono camera on EQ6 mount/Sky Watcher Equinox 80mm Pro telescope

Laying of the stones to mark where to place astrophotography setup in garden

Next step in my astrophotgraphy journey has been today to lay the stones in the garden to identify where to place the imaging setup for imaging sessions so that it is close to polar alignment – I can then use my QHY Polemaster to do the rest!

Angella and Alan took me to a reclamation yar last week where we chose 3 cobbles with a reasonably flat side on one edge.

I have laid them just below mower height in the grass.

Andy

First Light for new mobile EQ6 astrophotography setup and for QHY Polemaster and also review Damian’s new (second hand) Borg 90mm travel scope

First Light for my EQ6 astrophotography setup on homemade mobile wooden base on carrots. Worked very well worth Polemaster to polar align scope – once I’d worked out which was RA axis! 20 mins of embarrassment when I turned the declination axis instead during the Polemaster routine!! Photographed Eastern Veil and to lesser degree Pleiades (lot lesser) whilst Damian came around about bought that wonderful Bord refractor he purchased recently. It is a great little scope with wonderful views and quite a bargain! Damian is quire critical of this little scope but then he is comparing it to his Takahashi 104 which he describes as “snapping onto focus” but I think it is brilliant and, for the money he paid, a great investment. He wouldn’t have got a Takahashi for that price and been prepare to use it as a travel scope either. It delivered great views of Auriga clusters and Double Cluster and M81/82 amd Ring Nebula and seemed well matched his 20mm Pentax 70 degree AFOV eyepiece.

Attached photo is me taking flat frames on my setup.l – QHY10 + Tele Vue field flattener + Sky Watcher Equinox Pro 80mm OTA ON sky watcher EQ6 mount.

Andy

Polemaster attached to my EQ6 mount:

Damian’s Borg refractor:

Taking flat frames with my astrophotography gear:

mobile base for EQ6/HEQ5 completed

At last! My mobile base for my EQ6 is completed. Someone will note slightly extended legs and wonder why…..answer is that base is designed to take either EQ6 as is currently on it or HEQ5- and the tripod on HEQ5 (same as EQ5 tripod but different from EQ6 tripod) has long legs and wider spread than EQ6 tripod.

Andy

Painting/staining of new HEQ5/EQ6 mobile base with Cuprinol now completed

Two layers of Cuprinol later (left over from my wife’s fence painting project earlier in the year), the new mobile wooden HEQ5/EQ6 will be ready for vanishing with yacht varnish once it dries – and with high humidity levels at present and low temperatures I think it might take a few days before it properly dries out from the water based Cuprinol. That’s the price you pay for using left over stuff!

Andy