After getting a little used to my new guidescope and camera, and with the planets pretty much behind the trees for the year, I decided to try another deep sky target. Looking around in Stellarium, I noticed the wizard nebula that seemed to perfectly fit in frame. Seeing was not great for the night, although the sky was totally clear otherwise.
I had a lot of trouble getting my tracking to behave. I think the cheap motor I used for it started slipping teeth or something. Many frames would have what appeared to be trailing error but not in the direction of tracking. After three platform resets, I noticed that the image in the camera live view would jump quite noticeably at a pretty regular rate. I assume it must be from the motor, I couldn’t imagine the rollers would lose grip that regularly. I played with the rollers a lot by hand, and I couldn’t notice any slipping or jarring of any kind. I’m working on piecing together a stouter motor assembly with a worm gear for the final drive.
Even with all of my troubles, I got 40 excellent frames. Each is a 30 second exposure at 1600 ISO. Again, the Baader UHC filter was a champ, really killing off the light pollution. The individual frames previewed quite well with the auto-stretching in APT. The triangular stars that I had encountered last time were fixed by relaxing the mirror retaining tabs, so I’m glad that wasn’t something worse. Or that I borked my $600 mirror!