Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by DoctorD

  1. Hi Andy I don't know if there is any specific software for you to use, however you could try Deep Sky Stacker Live - just set up your favourite capture program to store captures in a folder and point DSS Live at this folder to stack on the fly. You'll need to change the folder and reset DSS Live for each new object but you should be able to process images in real time this way. http://deepskystacker.free.fr/english/live.htm I think that Sharpcap has stacking and basic processing options and works with a wide range of cameras including the QHY family. http://www.sharpcap.co.uk/sharpcap/features/live-stacking Nytecam has also carried out EAA for some time using the basic capture program supplied with the Lodestar - setting up quick/automatic processing of the image without stacking. Let us know how you get on. HTH Paul
  2. I guess we need to see a single exposure - can you post a FIT file if you have one? Paul
  3. Hi Astrith does look like another supernova, it's there on both frames. Did you save the raw fits files - SSL can do this for you but I'm not sure what the default setting is. Paul
  4. Hi Eric When you replaced the eyepiece with the camera did you get an image of the alignment star - this needs to be the first thing you do to ensure that you have focus. It's unusual for the camera and eyepiece to be parafocal so you will need to adjust the focus when swapping between eyepiece and camera. What exposure are you using for the DSO - Hercules Cluster should be an easy target. My HEQ5 is often out when slewing to a target, most times it's somewhere on the screen but not always and thats at 660mm Focal length (C8 @ F3.3). I think that your 20mm eyepiece will have a significantly bigger field of view than the Atik, even when used with your F6.3 reducer. So we need to determine whether or not you have goto accuracy issues or your exposure is wrong - I've no experience of the Atik camera, perhaps others could help with device specific help. CS Paul
  5. Hi Astrith I think you are right - improved signal to noise with the extra exposures. Did you adjust the levels or is everything the same for the two images other than the stacking of more data? CS Paul
  6. Hi Eric The field of view with your Atik will be quite small - what eyepiece are you using to centre your targets? Are you finding any stars - just not landing on your target? The F6.3 reducer should be about 105mm from the CCD to get F6.3 - so a diagonal or spacers will be necessary. I'd also suggest that your initial alignment is done with the camera and not an eyepiece - this is what I do with all my scopes but I find it especially useful with my C8 SCT. Bear in mind that I usually work at F3.3 which gives me a wide field of view. HTH Paul
  7. Hi Chris The X2 is more sensitive - there are a few people on SGL who have tested both versions, the exact level of increase seems to be debatable, but no one seems to deny that the X2 is better. I have no first hand experience as I only have the original Lodestar-C which is considered to be the least sensitive of the Lodestars using the older CCD and being colour (loss in the bayer Matrix). I've used various filters with my Lodestar-C - Baader Neodymium, 35nm Ha and UHC with some success but most nights do without, except for an IR block if I use my refractor to limit star bloat. If your light pollution is local and low level (i.e making dark adjustment difficult) but the sky glow is not too bad then you may not need any filters. At F5 your Dob is pretty fast and a 1.25" reducer will make it even faster but focusing may be more difficult - a Bahtinov Mask is very useful! HTH Paul
  8. That's quite a selection of scopes - it will be good to see how the Revolution Imager performs at the various focal lengths and focal ratios. My experience with the SDC435 is that I needed about F4 to get results with the maximum 10s integration time. You have a good selection of focal lengths that should enable you to frame many objects and the Alt-AZ mount will be fine at 30s or less exposure time. Although you should be aware that some of the noise reduction features effectively extend the exposure further making field rotation an issue (with the SC435 at least) so it might be worth trying your EQ mounts as well - plenty to play with! CS Paul
  9. Hi Welcome to SGL and the Video Astronomy section - I've not seen the Revolution Imager before but it looks similar to the LN300 cameras some of the people on here use and have had good results from. I still have my SDC435 camera and use it from time to time - It's nice not to have to rely on a PC sometimes, especially when camping. What scope and mount do you have - it will be good to see what results you acheive. CS Paul
  10. Hi Chris There are many ways into EAA/Video Astronomy and the Mallincam cameras have a good reputation - although you should bear in mind your back focus requirements, especially on a Newtonian if used with a reducer. I'd suggest checking that others have bee able to use your chosen camera with similar scopes. The Lodestar is also a very capable EAA camera - if you've not seen my Video of it in action have a look here: This is the older Lodestar-C working at F3.3 with a C8 SCT and uses Starlight Live Software for Near Real Time viewing. HTH Paul
  11. Hi Memoryman Have a look at my gallery and my recent video of what I have acheived with a Lodestar-C. This is from my light polluted garden and is the older Lodestar, the newer X2's are more sensitive (both mono & colour). HTH Paul
  12. Hi Dom I can only comment first hand on the Lodestar-C - which is the camera I have, my other comments are based on what I have seen from other users and HiLoDon's thread on the Ultrastar. Paper specs are all well and good, but real world results are what we are looking for. There's been plenty of discussion about the relative merits and sensitivity of these cameras on SGL and other boards - I'm no expert, just a simple Lodestar user who's happy with his results. CS Paul
  13. Hi Memoryman I'm sure the Meade SN10 @ F4 will make a great EAA rig - just not with the Ultrastar - HiloDon works at F2.1 using the Hyperstar and even then from his "lo" light polluted location the Ultrastar struggles to perform in EAA mode - only in his "hi" clear skies location does he generate the stunning images with the Ultrastar. Drop a Lodestar X2 in your SN10 - mono or colour and you will get good results at 30s - or go with the Atik Infinity - both have good software and decent sensitivity. Hope this helps. Paul
  14. Glad you got it sorted - welcome to the wonderful world of EAA!! CS Paul
  15. Hi Memoryman Have a look at this thread on the Ultrastar - I think that you'd be better off with the Lodestar to Atik Infinity as Don suggests that a Hyperstar reducer is needed to get the best from an Ultrastar with sub 60s exposures. If you are looking at guided exposures then the Ultrastar should be OK - but we're discussing this in the Video Astronomy Forum (and EAA). HTH Paul
  16. Hi I think that you'd be better off sticking with the G3 - I think it's more sensitive than the SSAG. Video Astronomy is a bit of a misnomer - unless you are using a real time integrating camera such as the SCB2000 or one of the Malincams. What many of us do is EAA - Electronically Assisted Astronomy - effectively taking relatively short (e.g. 30s) exposures and using software to process these "on the fly" rather than stacking and processing later after the capture session. With your G3 you could use Deep Sky Stacker Live - http://deepskystacker.free.fr/english/live.htm Set up your capture software to save 30s exposures into a folder then point DSS Live at it - you get some control over the processing which is do each time a new file arrives in the folder. Those of us with Lodestar or Atik Infinity cameras benefit from a single piece of software that handles the exposure, stacking and processing but you could have a go with your G3. In order to get useable data at 30s you will find that F5 and below is useful although your ED80T should give you some nice views of the brighter DSO's - even better with your x0.5 reducer. Let us know how you get on. CS Paul
  17. Hi Keltoi Sorry I missed your question about video capture - I cannot help really as I use a Mac - however OBS is available in Windows and mac versions (free!) and can capture a window and stream and.or save to a file but you'd still need a video capture program to work with your video dongle. HTH Paul
  18. Hi I started with a SDC435 which is pretty much the same as the SCB2000 - fantastic on the brighter Messier objects, I think you'll get hooked pretty quickly. Let us know how you get on. CS Paul
  19. Hi Alex Yes, OBS allows you to record specific windows on your desktop (with cropping & scaling), switching between windows with transitions is also possible, and you can select an audio source, including a microphone - fantastic piece of software primarily aimed at on-line streaming but with file save available simultaneously. HTH Paul
  20. Hi Don I use OBS - https://obsproject.com/ Handles Scene Creation/Selection, streaming and file saving all at the same time - no need for CamTwist and is available in Windows, Linux and OSx variants. AstroJedi - Thanks, I used iMovie for the video editing. CS Paul
  21. Hi Karl Please feel free to use the video on VAL - let me know if you'd like the original (non Youtubed) version - it's about 500MB - I could probably put it on DropBox. Thanks for the feedback Andrew - glad you liked it live and speeded up!. CS Paul
  22. Hi I've published a video of my viewing session as broadcast on Video Astronomy Live on the 17th March 2016 speeded up by x16 so you get a whole evening in 12 minutes! This shows what can be achieved despite living in a Red Zone (Bortle 6-7) with local light pollution too. Equipment: C8 on HEQ5 with F3.3 reducer Lodestar-C Starlight Live EQMAC Sky Safari Plus V1.8 Enjoy Paul
  23. Hi You'll find that we use a variety of telescopes and reducers, however you'll also find that typically we work with systems that result in a focal ration of F4 and below (that's not to say slower systems won't work). This is for DSO viewing not planetary - the ATIK Infinity is targeted at DSO work. Exposures of 5s should show up M13 - did you change the exposure from Jupiter (which would need very short exposures so as not to completely blow out the image)? I do not use eye piece projection with my Lodestar - just my scope and reducer. Hope you can get it working. Paul
  24. Hi Jorman Sorry the Ultrastar didn't work out for you. I think you may be being a little over critical or perhaps had too high expectations given your astrophotography background, although from Hilodon's "Ultrastar C Limitations" thread, I think that perhaps the Ultarstar was not really suitable for your needs. With my Lodestar C (not the latest X2) and C8 with the F3.3 reducer, I can get an image in 30s which, for dimmer objects exceeds anything I can see with my eyeball from my light polluted garden (no real chance of dark adaptation given the two 1kw Halogen "security" lights my neighbours insist on using!). The image improves with further exposures and stacking, much like the detail in an object can be seen with extended viewing. I agree that this is not real time - it is electronically assisted astronomy (EAA) - perhaps in time we will see further camera developments that make true real time DSO observations possible and the video shared by cuivenion shows a step towards this. However, for many of us, the cameras we use provide the only way to view many DSO's in a level of detail that is otherwise impossible given the equipment we have and the lack of access to dark skies. I hope that you do not totally give up on the Video/EEA aspect of our hobby - it is a great way to share what we do. Other cameras are available such as the well respected Mallincam range which can be used without a computer as well as USB cameras from ATIK and Starlight Express (Lodestar X2 in particular) which have been used with some level of success. These have lower resolution and relatively small chip sizes which will affect what you can fit into the image - a range of OTA's/focal lengths are necessary to get the best from these devices I occasionally broadcast on VAL - http://www.videoastronomylive.co.uk/#!doctor-d/c1j5j Please drop by and see what we can achieve. Clear Skies Paul
  25. I agree with aparker - try x^0.5 for the stretch, this needs a little bit of experimenting to get the contrast, brightness and levels right. My method is to increase the contrast until the histogram is stretched and to the right then lower the brightness to just above the point that the histogram hump seems to disappear to the left. Then adjust the levels - usually bringing the black level 1/3 up the hump. The views we get are not "live" - I think of what we do as electronically assisted astronomy - with my Lodestar 30s is usually enough for most objects - remember we are not trying to replicate the level of detail or signal to noise achieve by most astro photographers. HTH Paul
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.