All set up and was nice and easy with the help of the tutorial at Light Vortex Astronomy.  Looking forward to using it once the cloud clears (which at the moment feels like never!)

Also getting to the point where I am contemplating replacing the DSLR with a cooled CCD – but that’s a big and expensive step!


PHD + QHY5L-II Guiding tip

I had been struggling to find guide stars when using the above combination and was confused as others indicated that there should be loads of stars visible.  In a chat about the Sky-Watcher guidescope mount over on AstronomyShed a member advised that he normally increased the gain on the QHY5 all the way up to 95%.  Bam! Tried it and now I have lots of lovely stars to guide with.

Thanks Keith (AKA Aardvark)

Focusing sorted!

Well the new latitude bolts arrived – eventually – and have been fitted.  The back one is a great improvement, but the front one – under the polar scope cap, is still a pig to adjust.  I think the problem is actually a design fault in the mount.  The idea of a bolt just pushing on a lug whose angle is constantly changing it not a good one!  At some point I suppose I will have to take the mount apart and see if an improvement can be made.  I’m not up for that while it is still in warranty so maybe a job for much later!

I also, on a whim, ordered a second auto focuser and controller for the guide scope – wasn’t really necessary but now that it’s fitted it does make things easier.  However, it has highlighted the need to sort out power and data a bit better.

Sigh, always something more to do! 🙂