Author Topic: Stupid mistakes - FUN THREAD  (Read 1835 times)

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Carole

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Stupid mistakes - FUN THREAD
« on: Jun 23, 2018, 08:39:18 »
As this forum has been very quiet lately, (no posts for 5 days currently), and I guess very few people are imaging with the light nights, I thought I'd start up a fun thread and see if we can get people chatting.

So how many stupid imaging/Astronomy mistakes have you made over the years?
I'll kick off with:

1. Tripping over the mount cable in the dark and disconnecting it, and having to start over again.

2. Spending ages trying to focus my guide scope (at Mark's place a few years ago with one of his neighbours looking over my shoulder while I was "showing him how to do it").  Racked the focus in (ST80) and out for ages before realising I had forgotten to take the lens cap off.   :!

3. Trying to polar align with Dec not rotated or counterweight bar not extended and wondering why I can't see polaris.   :!

Carole


MarkH

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Re: Stupid mistakes - FUN THREAD
« Reply #1 on: Jun 23, 2018, 09:17:25 »
Mine is thinking I could possibly accomplish any sort of astro imaging  :roll:

Carole

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Re: Stupid mistakes - FUN THREAD
« Reply #2 on: Jun 23, 2018, 09:33:28 »
Quote
Mine is thinking I could possibly accomplish any sort of astro imaging  :roll:

Ha ha.  So what is the problem and how far have you got?

Carole

RobertM

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Re: Stupid mistakes - FUN THREAD
« Reply #3 on: Jun 23, 2018, 11:15:18 »
All the above and all the below...  :lol:

Carole

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Re: Stupid mistakes - FUN THREAD
« Reply #4 on: Jun 23, 2018, 11:22:46 »
Quote
All the above and all the below...  :lol:
Ha ha Robert, all the below as well.  In other words you name it .... you've done it. 

Carole

julian

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Re: Stupid mistakes - FUN THREAD
« Reply #5 on: Jun 23, 2018, 22:18:48 »
Starting to image in the first place  :lol:. Could of saved a lot of money and not get wound up like a clock spring.

Apophis

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Re: Stupid mistakes - FUN THREAD
« Reply #6 on: Jun 23, 2018, 22:52:08 »
The first time i imaged from on my patio, i was focusing with a bhatinov mask on the scope and when i finished and was inside with my laptop in my bedroom , and like you do i slewed the scope to a target and heard a CRASH from outside of course i rushed out thinking the scope had fallen over but alas all i found was a Bhatinov mask in 5 or 6 pieces on the patio floor.
Roger
Altair Astro 66ED-R  ,  Atik 460EX Mono , Skywatcher Evoguide 50ED , EQ6-R Pro.

Carole

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Re: Stupid mistakes - FUN THREAD
« Reply #7 on: Jun 23, 2018, 22:57:01 »
So I take it you are happy you have given up imaging Julian?

Roger have you done the image with the Bahtinov mask still on scenario, I think we've all done that at one point or another, even Mark.

Carole

MarkH

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Re: Stupid mistakes - FUN THREAD
« Reply #8 on: Jun 24, 2018, 07:50:35 »
Quote
Mine is thinking I could possibly accomplish any sort of astro imaging  :roll:

Ha ha.  So what is the problem and how far have you got?

I've tried almost everything Carole, I'm quite an accomplished photographer but when it comes to the night sky something eludes me. I've tried unguided short exposure stacking. I've tried wide angle camera on its back medium exposure  stacking. I've tried equatorial untracked motor driven short and medium exposure. I did once get some half decent high magnification lunar shots but that was about it. It feels like I'm trying to complete a huge jigsaw puzzle with half the pieces missing. In one last attempt  I'm going to try guiding with phd or the like. I have built a very robust guide scope mount with zero flexure, I've bought a qhy-5-ll camera to guide with and I'll give it a try. But every thing up until now has been absolutely rubbish. Don't hold your breath...........

Carole

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Re: Stupid mistakes - FUN THREAD
« Reply #9 on: Jun 24, 2018, 09:09:07 »
Mark, are you a member of the OAS, if so you should come to one of the imaging sessions, perhaps we can help.

If you're not, then you should pop down to one of our Astro camps, bring your kit and we can help there too.

Carole

MarkH

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Re: Stupid mistakes - FUN THREAD
« Reply #10 on: Jun 24, 2018, 09:22:04 »
Yes I am a member Carole, I'll try and pop down to one of the imaging sessions when we get some decent darkness back again.

The Thing

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Re: Stupid mistakes - FUN THREAD
« Reply #11 on: Jun 24, 2018, 15:40:05 »
Well, where to start.

Polar align but not on Polaris and then try guided imaging all night, wonder at the rugby ball shaped stars.
Thinking I could get away without collimating my SCT (this was two nights ago!) so 3.25 hours on the Ring nebula wasted.
Thinking I had collimated my my Newt, but was way off.
Kicking the tripod at DSC and thinking I hadn't disturbed the PA (cider may have helped that decision!).
Forgetting various cables.
Not testing dew heaters annually and wondering at the dew forming on the corrector of my SCT (good summer job).
Not checking everything is still tightly screwed together every session.
Not disconnecting everything in the observatory when lightning is forecast (cost £350+ that one did).
Not having the right software at DSC and no internet connection (not such a problem these days).
Forgetting my sleeping bag at the infamous -7c Stairs Farm DSC (Thanks Space Dog/Rocket Pooch).
etc. etc. etc. 

And now I find my digital focuser isn't working (I'm in the observatory) but at least that's not my fault - or is it??????
We're all guinea pigs in the laboratory of life. Better a fluffy guinea pig than a lab rat!
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (Gallic shrug :))

MarkH

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Re: Stupid mistakes - FUN THREAD
« Reply #12 on: Jun 24, 2018, 16:52:38 »
Duncan, does your little polar alignment scope compensate for the fact that Polaris is slightly off the spin axis ?

The Thing

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Re: Stupid mistakes - FUN THREAD
« Reply #13 on: Jun 24, 2018, 19:44:37 »
Yes probably. I haven't used a polar scope in years. I use SharpCap's PA tool or more often one of PHD2's 3 PA tools, Static Polar Align being my favourite. Worth using and very easy if you have a guide scope of some sort even if you aren't going to guide. You can even use your main astro camera and scope if widefield. BTW PHD2 is now at version 2.6.5 dev1, I always use the development versions and haven't had a guiding problem that wasn't of my own making :} for a long time.

http://OpenPHDGuiding.org and https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/open-phd-guiding
We're all guinea pigs in the laboratory of life. Better a fluffy guinea pig than a lab rat!
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (Gallic shrug :))

julian

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Re: Stupid mistakes - FUN THREAD
« Reply #14 on: Jun 24, 2018, 22:28:54 »
Hi Carole
I will go back to imaging :! Maybe.
 :lol:

Carole

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Re: Stupid mistakes - FUN THREAD
« Reply #15 on: Jun 25, 2018, 11:21:05 »
Oh Duncan, that lot was a laugh.  I have polar aligned on the wrong star once.  But not laughing at the lightning strike.

Quote
Not testing dew heaters annually
I have no way of checking dew heaters electrically speaking, but I normally put my hands on them to see if I can feel warmth every imaging session.


Carole
« Last Edit: Jun 25, 2018, 11:59:19 by Carole »

The Thing

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Re: Stupid mistakes - FUN THREAD
« Reply #16 on: Jun 25, 2018, 13:20:15 »
Same again last night - hadn't tightened the mount fixing bolt -  PA all over the place! I was trying to do some test vids of the moon with a different configuration but the tracking at lunar rate didn't really help as the mounts ecliptic didn't coincide with the real one!
We're all guinea pigs in the laboratory of life. Better a fluffy guinea pig than a lab rat!
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (Gallic shrug :))

The Thing

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Re: Stupid mistakes - FUN THREAD
« Reply #17 on: Jun 25, 2018, 13:23:01 »
Quote
Not testing dew heaters annually
I have no way of checking dew heaters electrically speaking, but I normally put my hands on them to see if I can feel warmth every imaging session.

That works if you turn the power up but they shouldn't be warm enough to feel in use, you are only really trying to replace the 1 or 2 watts lost by radiation to space from your exposed optics. Too hot can cause heat plumes and possibly optics to distort a bit.
We're all guinea pigs in the laboratory of life. Better a fluffy guinea pig than a lab rat!
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (Gallic shrug :))

Carole

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Re: Stupid mistakes - FUN THREAD
« Reply #18 on: Jun 25, 2018, 14:52:36 »
Well when I got my first Dew heaters there was no controller and so I got used to being able to feel the heat.  that's what I have always done and how I discovered my DH hub wasn't working when I was in Wales at the Astrocamp.  No lights on it as a clue.  Luckily I managed to borrow one.

Since then I bought a controller, and being used to feeling the heat have it fairly high.  Don't want to speak too soon, but so far not found any problems from doing so.  It just reassures me they are working.

Carole