Monday, September 22, 2014

20140922 Sun

The mount was fixed, the sky was cleared, so it's time to take image again.  It's a bit late so that the sun was partially blocked from inside my home, so I've just taken a single prime focus shot:

1625 (GMT+8), showing AR2172 far left, 2171 and 2173 with 2169, 2170 on the middle.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Nexstar+ fixed

To follow up the issue of “Bootloader invalid package 0002”, and actually, it could be 0080 or something else.

In short, you will need to re-flash the firmware and you will need a serial cable.  I found the cheapest one here:


And it's just RMB 17!  The quality is excellent, way better than the ebay autostar serial cable I got a few years back, and it's much cheaper as well.  I got it on the following day and it is from Shanghai to Hong Kong!

And then you will need a serial port, i.e. RS-232, but then it's really hard.  I searched through all the PC that I could access but none of them got a serial port.  So, I took the plunge to buy a USB serial adapter.  I have experience on that with my Autostar before, so I got this one:

And it comes with a long USB cable too!  This cable will work with my Lumenera 075M, too.

From that taobao site, I realized that Chinese firmware is available, so why not?

And we still have English with this firmware.

It's just quick and easy!  I might want to use a bluetooth serial module from ebay some days later so that I can control the Nexstar with my mobile phone remotely!

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Nexstar SE failed in mid-autumn festival

Last night, we went out for watching the moon and playing.  I only brought my Ukulele without a telescope since the weather was no good actually.  But to our surprise, the moon came out from behind the cloud.

Anyway, I still got my mobile phone.

Arriving home, the moon was about in the right place from imaging, I pulled out my Nexstar SE mount in the hope to use it with my C5 plus my DSLR to shoot a big moon.  But then the Nexstar Plus hand controller refused to boot up with the following error message:

“Bootloader invalid package 0002 ”

Apparently, the firmware was corrupted and a quick google exercise confirmed that.  Ordering a cable from US results in a heavy shipping charge and long shipping time.  Checking from Chinese site taobao gives a cheaper and faster option.  Finally, I managed to find a OEM or better say DIY cable at very low cost!  I expect to have it on hand on Thursday.  So, I can still use the mount on the planned local trip on Saturday.


We have plenty of sunshine today, but my Mark-X does not allow me to point at the sun due to its position from inside my playing room.  Got to wait until the Nexstar SE is fixed soon hopefully.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

20140905 Moon

After work and jogging, I saw the moon hanging high outside, so why not?  Moving cloud means poor seeing, I'd rate it as 4/10, transparency rather high at 7-8/10.

Prime focus first:

2329 (GMT+8), Gassendi:-

2333 (GMT+8), Clavius:-

With 2x barlows, 2336 (GMT+8), Clavius:-

2341 (GMT+8), Gassendi:-

At the end, I pulled out my 4mm TMB to enjoy some visual observations!

Focusing at high power requires some patience for this smaller Nexstar SE mount.

Monday, September 01, 2014

20140901 Moon

The moon was rather low, seeing sucks but why not?

Just for fun and I believe I could fine tune the collimation soon.

Prime focus:-

 With 2x barlows:-

All taken with my C5.

20140901 Sun

This morning, I replaced the tap of my toilet... this is a long outstanding issue, but it's finally fixed.  So here we go for solar imaging again!

Seeing 3/10, transparency 7/10 with so many cloud around, so I couldn't do mosaic... I really want to do a big sun again soon!

First up is a near full disc at 1347 (GMT+8), the monster filament is the eye catcher!   Here are the active regions from the left to the right: AR2152, 2153, 2151 with 2149 close to the left limb.

So the next step is to capture a close up of the monster filament with a 2x barlows, the camera was rotated to align with the diagonal of the CCD chip, taken at 1349 (GMT+8):-

Going up to 5x for some more close up, at 2400mm with a small 1/3" CCD, poor seeing reveals no fine detail, taken at 1355 (GMT+8):-

AR2151 at 1358 (GMT+8):-

AR2152 at 1402 (GMT+8):-

AR2149 at 1404 (GMT+8):-

Finally, a three frames mosaic of the monster filament at 2400mm from 1359-1401 (GMT+8):-

Moving cloud renders uneven illuminations.