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obscura

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About obscura

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  1. PL2023, EQDIR and BSDs' - W7/32

    Update. Have had no further problems with BSDs or any other trouble since my posting on 20th January - installing PL2023 rev 9 and dumping 10518.
  2. If anyone has had the Blue Screen of Death lately then perhaps this may be of help. The USB-RS232 driver PL2023 is as recommended on the Hitec Astro site. Never really had any problems with earlier versions but needed to download latest revision 10518 after general USB cable problems and their like - this was a month or two ago. Occasional BSDs occurred which I eventually reasoned to be down to the PL2023. The only way I could clear the problem was by a Windows recovery or loading an earlier backup. And who needs that? In fact I was about to ask for help this morning after another BSD hit when Windows advised an updated version 1.9. This is now downloaded and in use and so far so good but will take a few more days to verify. The dowload includes other goodies one of which identifies the chipset in the EQDIR, user guide etc. The chipset identifier didn't seem to work for me as yet, but early days. Will follow up later when performance is verified, or not.
  3. Camera Advice

    Absolutely. 1100D. I don't use my DSLR for anything other than AP. Good price and no, the 600D isn't worth the extra. I was lucky in getting my 550D supplied modded by Astronomiser for a really good price. A lot of the features for these type of cameras are probably never used - if ever seen. But you pay for them none the less. Good luck
  4. Narrowbands on DSLR - exposures

    Catching up. I think I am down to hanging in for a clear night and if anyone can help there - that would be good. I needed to get a heads up before the next one which could be before New Year, or not. I think I have what I need and where I am going now and appreciate all the input given in this respect. Oh, the IR/UV cut filter isn't there for the NBs, its for the LP. My filter wheel is a cheapy 4 position. Three are the NBs and the 4th the LP. The IR/UV is there for the LP not the NBs and its therefore up the barrel. It'll probably not reduce too many photons compared with the NBs themselves. I also thought it may be useful in the event of a CCD (yeah right) and RGBs. As and when I get a decent image, I'll be back. Again, may thanks to all, your help and advice is highly appreciated and welcome. Its also good to see that the blog has been useful to others.
  5. Camera Advice

    Canon tends to be the preferred DSLR in AP and perhaps s/w and h/w centre on the EOS. The 1100D is very popular AP. So, its Canon for first, second and third choice. I would agree that Canon s/w is good and reliable. Other s/w packages like APT employ Canon s/w for exposure and shot count. I started with Canon s/w and drifted to others like APT for the whiz bangs. E.g. You can set up light, dark and calibration frames plans with the likes of APT and this saves some time and hassle. However, start with Canon s/w to get the feel of it all - its simple to use. Then, migrate to say APT - it's a very good price and is to be recommended. There are a number of other s/w packages around usually at a far higher price - but a step at a time. Keep it simple at first you'll find there is enough to keep you going. Canon EOS is typically powered by 7.4Vdc and not from a 12vdc battery. Actually, mine has always been mains powered so I have a mains psu delivering 7.4vdc which of course runs as long as you want. Changing camera batteries in mid flight is not to be recommended. This would be essential if you go for the DSOs - which you will. Oh - ensure that the Canon comes with all s/w discs - you can only get updates on the Canon web site. Hope this helps a little
  6. Narrowbands on DSLR - exposures

    Ok I'll take that on board re PS pre-process. Amazing then with 8min subs and no calibration frames. There is hope for me yet. Cheers
  7. Narrowbands on DSLR - exposures

    m37 I too boggle at ccd prices new or s/h. Then Canon sell thousands, hundreds of thousands. CCDs sell far fewer to a more limited market and tend to use CCD rather than CMOS. I s'pose at the end of the day its a question of justification to oneself and the spouse. I haven't managed that to date. To me that is - no chance for the Lady. melsky forgot to say that the Ha images of NGC1499 were so under exposed that almost nothing was there. Clue in after thought was that the image appeared heavily clipped - very black sky with a very faint neb show. So dark that couldn't be salvaged with PS. That really is a nice image -I will give that a whirl at 8m and as many as I can get. How many darks? Thanks for that. Again, thanks to all, my faith in Canon is restored (for the time being). Still fancy a SX H9 mono, its nearly affordable. (Yeah right)
  8. Narrowbands on DSLR - exposures

    Wow! I will do my best to respond to the incredible helpful response on this one. There was I thinking of selling up and taking up a suitable indoor past time. However, I could not think of one so its back to the billion year old photon. I have taken some "decent" pics and been more than happy - most of these were with a 350D which isn't renowned for its noiseless capability. Pics were in and around Orion including my favourite- M1. Sorry, I digress. Back to NB. Seems I should not quit on it and try 30 x 300, 500 and/or ex times 600s using just Ha initially. I standardised on ISO 800 from the beginning and have rarely tried 1600 an above. The NGC1499 shots were all at 300s @ ISO 800 but only 5 off. Exif T was 17C throughout, 14C above air. I will lay back on this until New Year when the skies clear again and try it out again I do fancy a CCD but I think its one or the other but not both at this time. Many thanks to everyone for advice, help and encouragement. All your comments are taken on board.
  9. Narrowbands on DSLR - exposures

    Must admit that I was beginning to think that since posting. O3 was somewhat better. The very thought of 600s+ exposures wasn't/isn't an option. So, I'll sleep on it but sense that the Canon and all my 2" stuff will go up for sale in favour of a sensibly priced mono CCD - SXV9, 314+ and move to LRGB. Many thanks for for your input and for being straight. Best Rgds
  10. Have had reasonable success with the DSLR, Canon 550d modded, with just IR/UV filter and a cheapy LP filter. I acquired 2" HA, O3. and S2 filters early this year and have just got to employing them. (h/w and s/w probs caused delays). Managed to get a couple of hours on NGC1499 the other night using 5 x 300s exposures each for all three to see how it all went. Each filter was behind my Baader IR/UV cutoff. The result was a little disappointing in that the images appeared grossly under exposed with just a shadow of the neb visible on Ha though the sky was as black as the ace of spades. DSS would only accept 1 of the 5 in Ha. Is 300s adequate? Would taking 30+ at 300s improve or do I need to open out to up to 600s exposure? But then, noise?? Would appreciate advice.
  11. New QHY5 II guider Help

    OK To summarise. Forget the QHY5v its a million miles different. For:- QHY5 II, ST80, PHD - Finding focus in daylight (better to get the heads up then than on a dark night) 1) QHY5 II is very very sensitive. Add a moon filter, maybe two, or its like to the camera. 2) ST80 just remove centre cap. 3) ST80 does require a good 3" extension for back focus. 4) PHD. 0.05secs - be good if you could get down to 1/1000 - 1/4000 5) Focus on object say 200m away though the gable end I used was les than that. My thanks to all the input I got here as it was those that put me on the trail.
  12. New QHY5 II guider Help

    An update. I abandoned the problem last night trusting I would have clearer thoughts today. In fact it was 4am when an idea germinated. Yesterday's probs were focus and too much light (in daylight!) for PHD's quickest shutter speed of 200ms. I think I have nailed the latter by removing just the small ST80 cap as suggested yesterday by Steve. There was still too much light coming in and thus the idea was the obvious - attach a moon filter in front of the QHY5 II. That appears to be making a very big difference as I can now see shadows rather than bright white. I just need to play a little further with focus on more distant objects - and I have another dark filter at hand.
  13. New QHY5 II guider Help

    Ok I'll give it a whirl.
  14. New QHY5 II guider Help

    Thanks Steve, Rob. 1ms? That makes a lot of sense to me from what I saw this morning. I began to think that I was chasing my tail. A big step change from the QHY5v. The minimum speed for PHD is 0.05s - 200ms. How are you achieving shutter speeds of 1ms? Other guide s/w? I have the QHY5-II not the QHY5L-II with a QE somewhat less than the L version but I guess it's still be much more sensitive than the older 'v'. Surprised by 3" extension rather than 2" but I'll see what I can cobble together from my 2" etc. I saw a recommendation to load the WDM driver but I didn't see the need for that for guiding - which is the camera's role in life. Back to the drawing board.
  15. Acquired from MA recently but has yet to see the night sky. Off line it "appears to work" but I would appreciate what my expectations should be. Drivers used are those supplied by MA. Have run it up in daylight on its guide scope ST80. PHD settings - cal 1500/2000, exp 3s (tried1-10), gain min to max, scope ascom & camera on board. I was hoping to set a rough focus as well as how the QHY5 II performs. However, results seen are not as I hoped for. ascom scope - just blank white screen with or without scope covered. No image obvious. on camera - dark when covered whitish when uncovered. No image obvious. In both focussing appears to make no difference. The only thing is that from the garden I have a target of 20m but the screen remains obstinately white (a little banding). Was tried with and without a 2" extension. I would appreciate thoughts and advice on this one as I would like to avoid set up problems at night. Its behaviour is somewhat different to the QHY5v.
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