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Posts Made By: Alec Hitchman

September 23, 2009 05:57 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky


Posted By Alec Hitchman

I am taking photos through my fork-mounted Meade 14", at a scale of about 1.39" per pixel.

I am guiding with a 80mm APO piggy backed on the Meade.

Although my guiding error graphs are tight, I keep getting elongated stars along the RA axis.

Would this be a sign of flexure? Should I try off-axis guiding?

Your thoughts are appreciated.

January 7, 2006 11:01 PM Forum: Refractors

Re: New Meade S5K ED

Posted By Alec Hitchman

If finances are your main concern, then purchases from AP, TEC, TMB, Tele Vue, Tak do not make sense to me. They are selling top quality, and price is a secondary consideration with those scopes.

If finances are a concern as they are with me, there are others besides Meade; Celestron, Synta, GSO, etc.

Also, I am not a business expert, but I fail to see how a company could sell a telescope to hundreds (thousands?) of amateurs or "department store" amateurs just once. That does not make business sense. Meade would not be in business if their products are a poor as everyone claims.

I have purchased a number items, telescopes and accessories, from Meade. They have always been helpful, fast, responsive, and the products are always as advertised, never more, and certainly not less.

I do agree with you, this has been a very informative and interesting thread! I appreciate everyone posting what they think.


January 11, 2006 03:23 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

LPR Filters

Posted By Alec Hitchman

I recently purchased the IDAS NBN-PV (narrow band nebula-photo/visual) from a fellow Astromarter; it is supposed to work great, so I hear.


January 14, 2006 04:22 PM Forum: Meade

LXD 75 Questions

Posted By Alec Hitchman


I have been very happy with my LXD75 mount; I purchased mine as part of the 10" SN setup. I was able to hang the 10" with a 80mm short tube refractor, and it worked grin

Of course, it wasn't an optimal photo setup, which is what I was doing. When I just have my 80mm on there for photography, the mount is rock steady, and goto's have always been on. A little backlash in one axis, cured by training.

Overall, I would not hesitate to get another one, if this one every went belly up.

BTW, I have sold the 10" (great scope, but I wanted to concentrate on wider field astrophotography), and I am planning on having a Burgess 102 achro guiding a William Optics Zenithstar APO....should be just the right load on this good mount!


February 16, 2006 06:42 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

I'm new and would like some opinions....

Posted By Alec Hitchman


I am new to this as well, and I also have a LX200. however, I do my imaging right now with a DSI-Pro or Orion Starshoot, and a small apo refractor on an LXD75 mount.

Yes, I know cheap, small chip cameras and a cheap Meade mount....

But, I am able to get up to 90 seconds not guided with the short focal ratio on my Zenithstar 66SD apo, depending on how good my LXD75 is acting.

I would recommend getting a focal reducer, a small apo refractor, and either a DSLR (they sound like a good idea) or a couple of the cheaper cameras, and then you can autoguide and image too, in order to help override the fact that the LX200 mount is not an AP900.

Total cost of my setup: focal reducer: 150, small apo refractor: 500, DSLR and adapter: 600, one-shot color CCD (DSI-Pro II, Starshoot): 500, software: 250. Total: 2100.


February 17, 2006 09:13 PM Forum: AstroMart FAQ

Am I way off base?

Posted By Alec Hitchman

Another thing to consider:

As the seller, you have received a number of responses for the ad.............

February 17, 2006 10:16 PM Forum: AstroMart FAQ

Am I way off base?

Posted By Alec Hitchman

Thank you both for your opinions. I do think that it is important to get confirmation that the item is "yours" from the seller.

As a buyer, I have been too spoiled by sellers who respond to an e-mail like that in my original post with: "Alright, I've marked it pending, the shipping will be $xxx.xx".

As a seller, if someone says they want to purchase, I will take that as a yes. If they back out for some reason, I usually am not that concerned. About 30 seconds, and I can post or modify my ad, if needed.

I guess that it is all about how you want to do business, and if you want an item, no matter how the seller responds, be very, very unequivecal in your responses:

"I have a Benjamin in my pocket with your name on it...please, please tell me where to send my money." or something like that.


March 5, 2006 02:42 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

Noob M51 using ZS66SD and Starshoot

Posted By Alec Hitchman

Hello all, here is another image with terrible light pollution problems. Definately need darker skies!

ZS66SD with Starshoot at prime focus, stack of around 40 75 second RAWs, on LXD75 unguided.

Should have my guiding setup ready to go the next time, so I can go longer subs with my narrowband filter.

Thanks for looking.

April 13, 2006 08:06 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

Starshoot Photo Examples

Posted By Alec Hitchman

My second image is of M82. Taken on 4/10/06, with the moon well past first quarter.

This one was about 25 minutes of 75 second subs, taken through an Orion 120ST achromat refractor.

For both images, the mount was a LXD75, roughly polar aligned, and both images were unguided, thus the short subs.

I hope that this gives everyone an idea of what the Starshoot can do. In the hands of a real pro, this camera would probably provide great results.


May 22, 2006 05:45 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

M81 and M82

Posted By Alec Hitchman

Very impressive! Excellent example of that combining technique!