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Posts Made By: Alex McConahay

January 20, 2003 09:18 AM Forum: Home Observatories

Piers

Posted By Alex McConahay

I'm planning on a permanent pier for my Losmandy G-11. Anybody have any links or suggested books, etc. with plenty of advice?

Alex

February 4, 2003 07:40 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

SAC 7 Drivers

Posted By Alex McConahay

I bought a used SAC7 (air-cooled), and it came complete with software CD.

Directions say (among other things) to install the driver called "webupdate.exe" I cannot find it anywhere, including on the disk I was given when I bought the thing. There is a folder called SAC 7b PC Drivers. But none for SAC 7 drivers.

Is there something I am missing? Do I have a CD for the SAC 7b (electronically cooled) and not the SAC7 (air cooled)? Is webupdate.exe someplace else (like on all Windows machines)? Just what is the story?

I have checked the website. The "Download drivers" link does not seem to have software for a SAC7 with a white cord. I have called Florida, and e-mailed them. But apparently they are out taking astrophotos and haven't had time to call or e-mail back.

Anybody have this driver they could send to me, or know a link to where I can find it?

I have loaded Microsoft WDM Image, but Astrovideo won't recognize the camera with that.

Any help appreciated.

Alex

February 5, 2003 06:11 AM Forum: Religion

Re: Religious Freedom

Posted By Alex McConahay

Bill,

Your position as I understand it is that people should be free to believe what they will. However, a significant part of some religions is that their adherents should proselytize. Many evangelical Christians, nearly all fundamentalist Christians, and many Moslems, feel that they are not doing their religious duties unless they are trying to convert others. Hence, they use every Forum (or in Herb's world, this forum) to preach their beliefs.

Other religions (notably the more eastern religions like the Hindus and the Buddhists) and some Christian factions focus less on proselytizing, and are willing to accept other religions more easily. They would tend to believe the way you do about accepting religions.

What do you do when you are allowing somebody to believe what they will, and what they believe is that you should be converted?

Alex

February 6, 2003 06:12 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Autoguider Guide Scope Focal Length

Posted By Alex McConahay

Hi all,

I am using an ST-4.

Is a Ranger (480 mm) long enough for a guidescope on an 1140 mm main scope (10 inch F 4.5 Meade Starfinder) riding on a G-11?

Alex

February 19, 2003 08:00 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Photo Printer

Posted By Alex McConahay

I'm looking to buy a good photo printer. I would like it to print on 8.5 x 11 paper. (no need for larger sizes). I would like it to be usable for text also (without any unreasonable compromising on photo quality). It is to be used at home, so speed and such is not absolutely critical. Don't really need any direct printing from camera and so forth. Price should be in the $250 to $350 range or so.

I am looking at the Cannon 950 and a similar Epson. Epson claims slightly better horizontal resolution (1440 v 1200 dpi). I like the Cannon individual ink tanks, and apparent speed, but I do not want to sacrifice photo quality for this.

Can these printers do the job reasonably well? (I know the real pros can tell the difference, but I am talking about prints on the wall, not professional work).

I would like the impression of astrophotographers, not just the general run of the mill human. (Although I also want to print other types of photos also.)

Which printer would be better? Other suggestions? Things to look for?

Alex

February 23, 2003 07:09 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

St-4 Losing Guide Star

Posted By Alex McConahay

Hi all,

Had a great couple of nights learning how to use the ST-4. Can't say the images will be good since there was a thin layer of moisture high in the atmosphere. It was coming slowly up from the south, which allowed me to start an image in a clear sky, and then eventually have it start to haze up.

But, since I was largely practicing, anyway, I just moved to a target further north, and started over.

Which brings up a question. When the alarm goes off in the ST-4 saying I've lost the guide star, do I need to stop the exposure immediately, may I wait for a few cycles, or what?

Since I knew the exposures were not going to be the greatest (because of the high thin haze), I just let the ST-4 run. After a cycle or two it would run another ten minutes before losing the star again. Watching the readout while the alarm beeped, I noticed the star stayed in the same position (same x-y coordinates) even as the brightness reading fell significantly. Then, the haze would pass, and it would guide happily a few more minutes.

Can I just keep it running, as long as the x-y coordinates stay the same or vary by at most one (or two or how many) from cycle to cycle? (I realize the image may not come out well as far as exposure and contrast because of the haze---but let us consider only tracking for this question).

Alex

February 23, 2003 07:14 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Flip Mirror Adjsutment

Posted By Alex McConahay

Hello,

I have a Meade 644 (? I think) flip mirror, that allows for adjustment so that the guiding eyepiece is centered in the same place as the Guider.

My problem is that it seems a lot more difficult to get this thing consistently centered than it should. The obvious thing is to mess with the screw on the bottom and the Allen screws on the sides of the knobs--but it just does not seem to work as simply as it should.

Anybody have any hints, advice, etc. on performing this centering? And keeping it fixed through the evening.

Alex

February 27, 2003 06:15 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Centering Meade Flip Mirror

Posted By Alex McConahay

Hello,

I tried this over in the CCD Forum, but nobody had any suggestions. Maybe I could do better with more traffic here.

I have a Meade 644 (? I think) flip mirror, that allows for adjustment so that the guiding eyepiece is centered in the same place as the Guider.

My problem is that it seems a lot more difficult to get this thing consistently centered than it should. The obvious thing is to mess with the screw on the bottom (which adjusts mirror travel, and seems to move the image left-right) and the Allen screws on the sides of the knobs (which does not seem to do much)--but it just does not seem to work as simply as it should.

Anybody have any hints, advice, etc. on performing this centering? And keeping it fixed through the evening.

Alex

April 4, 2003 07:47 AM Forum: Film Astrophotography - Imaging and Processing

Examples of Mistakes

Posted By Alex McConahay

Hi all,

Anybody know of a webpage or book where I can find examples of mistakes of astrophotography. (Yes, I know I can look in imy own album if all I want to see is "mistakes.") What I am looking for are examples of bad polar alignment, or bad seeing, or bad focus. How does one tell one from another? When is the less than good image the result of polar alignment error, and when is it bad tracking (or one of the other mistakes one can make)? What is the difference in a finished picture between out of focus and bad seeing? and How does one tell with a finished slide?

Alex

April 14, 2003 05:34 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Digital Camera Shopping Points

Posted By Alex McConahay

What should I look for in a digital camera that will be used as an all purpose (everyday, travel, etc.)camera but will also be used for astrophotography? What do I need special in a camera for astrophotography?

Alex