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mbstarmer asked:

Hi Richasarisi - I just received my LX850 and found your Blog. I really appreciate what you are doing and have shown. Can you take pictures or share your complete setup? How do you have your camera mounted , do you have a check list of the gear you use and how you process images? Thanks for the help

Hello mbstarmer!

Just to correct things off the bat, my name is Andrew - “Richasarisi” has been asking me lots of questions.  ;)  BUT THAT IS OK!  And I love getting asked questions! I just hope I can answer them…  ;)

Also, I am on a big trip around the U.S. right now, so sorry for the delay in the response to your question.

Thank-you for for the complements!  When I get back to New Mexico I will post my imaging set-up.  I don’t have a check list per se anymore gear wise, but here are the basics of what I use:

For the Series 6000 130mm ED APO:

  • Astro-Tech 2” field flattener (I will get the 3” Meade version next month).
  • T-Mount (any model will do) for the camera-2” field flattener
  • Canon 60Da

For the 14” f/8 ACF:

  • T-Adapter
  • T-Mount
  • Meade Basic Camera Adapter
  • Canon 60Da

Processing…now that is an art form I am still learning!  Still the basic steps:

  • Take test images with the Canon EOS utility.  This allows me to “frame” the image.
  • Quit the EOS Utility and start up Nebulosity.
  • In Nebulosity select the camera, set the exposure time and ISO and the number of images to take.  BTW, for most of your targets under 5 minutes will be more than sufficient.  For some, you will need to take short exposures and long ones (see the example I have posted regarding M42 in Orion).
  • Name the image sequence in Nebulosity.
  • Start taking pictures - automated based on your settings.
  • Once done “stack” the images in Nebulosity.
  • Then the art form comes into play - process the images in Nebulosity and/or Photoshop.

These are the basic steps.  Some other points:

  • Make sure you do PE training after setting up.
  • Make sure you do the Auto Rate Calibration function before imaging.
  • If there is a bright Moon out, imaging and guiding will be a huge challenge.  The views visually will be pretty still in many cases though!

I hope this quickie intro helps.  When I get back I will post detailed images of my imaging rig.

richasarisi asked:

Hey Andrew Are you using any after market focuser on your 850? Or you still using Meade's? I'm looking at Optec TCF-S with wifi, just need to make sure I have enough backfocus. The Meade electronic wont support the weight of a cam. And the stock focuser is way to coarse for photo work.

Hello Richasarisi,

I am just using the Microfuser from Meade, however I am just imaging with the Canon 60Da and the Mallincam.  It does seem to support the diagonal and the 30mm 2” eyepiece too (that eyepiece is a beast as it weighs in at 2.9 lbs!).

What is your imaging system?  

richasarisi asked:

Hey Andrew, got my 27TVPH and my ADASCTLM27, just wanted to let you know that you need more parts to get this attached to your camera. I'm in the process of figuring that out. I think I have it now but it looks like there is more then one way to do it. I'll let you know what I find out. Are you shooting with a CCD? or a DSLR? Nikon or Canon?

 - let me know what your final configuration is.  I am shooting with a Canon 60Da.  I love it!

richasarisi asked:

Hey Andrew Just wanted to let you know that I picked up a SkyFi and I have the latest version of Sky Safari loaded on my iPad. The latest version now has options for LX600 and LX850. When you goto an object it engages the starkock as if from the hand controller! It works awesome! I bagged so many objects lastnight I didn't want to stop! Try it out! Happy Father's Day!

Yes!  The SkyFi/Sky Safari/LX850 are a magic combo.  Thank-you and Happy Father’s Day out there!

richasarisi asked:

So andrew I was looking at the Astro-Physics Telecompressor -- so that is 27TVPH but do I also need to get the ADASCTLM27 for it to fit on the back of the Meade scope? So this being 0.75 will take our f/8 to f/6 -- thats pretty good! Did you get a chance to see PanStars yet?


I have not tried it yet, but reading the Astro-Physics link it looks like you will need this adaptor.  And yes, this will take our ACF down to f/6!  For my Mallicam X2 video camera I use a 0.5 focal reducer (f/4) which works very well for the video camera.

I am still on my travels out east, so I have not had a chance to see PanStarrs yet…boooo!

richasarisi asked:

When in align mode, after I point the scope at Polaris and hit enter, it slews to the next brightest star, what if that star isn't visible? Clouds? or trees etc? Can I select another star? Or even abort the process?

Hello Richasarisi,

If the star for alignment is blocked just use the “scroll” keys until you get a star that is visible and you can work with.  Autostar will take you to the new star automatically!

— Andrew

richasarisi asked:

Andrew thanks for the information on the FF/FR's I'll wait until you test one out before I decide what to do. Heres another question I have for you from page 33 in the manual. "Align OTA: Provides an alignment routine that adjusts the OTA so that it is orthogonal to the LX850 telescope mount." Then it says to adjust this " Center the star using the hex head screws located on the bottom side of the OTA dovetail." Where are these located? I'm lost on this.


Sorry I have not gotten back sooner - I just returned from a huge round of traveling and finally had a chance to look at the OTA dovetail plate.  I do see five screws on the bottom, which seems to allow for some “slight” adjustment for orthogonality in the vertical direction per the instructions, however I have not had a need to adjust them.  Figure 23 in the LX850 user manual shows three of these screws.

Let me know if this helps.

— Andrew

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