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Everything posted by dugpatrick

  1. I tried AstrojanTools on my Win7Pro laptop, with hopes of using this software to control my 350d without needing a WinXP virtual machine. But, as far as I can tell, the software still depends on a USB device driver for the 350d. I tried two access methods: "PC" mode and "PTP" mode (selected from the camera menu). In PC mode: Win7 does not have a device driver, and Astrojan cannot find the camera. In PTP mode, Win7 provides simple access to the camera files, but Astrojan gives error messages when it tries to send camera control commands. I'm guessing Astrojan might work with a 350d if there was a device driver, such as with WinXP. For now I'll use BYEOS from WinXP. If anyone finds a method of controlling a 350d from Win7, please post the solution! Doug
  2. Please post and let others know if you're able to make this software works for 350d. I've been using my 350d via a WinXP virtual machine running on Win7. Which works, but I find it difficult to maintain a separate XP system. I would like to know what you think of Astrojam tools. Doug
  3. Another free tool is Fitsworks. It has several gradient removal tools. Doug
  4. I think Iris will match the image sizes. And, Iris is free. Doug
  5. Newtonians already give the correct image. Ie, the same as you would see with your eyes or with binoculars. When you see an incorrect/flipped image it was probably shot through a diagonal. Doug
  6. The shims go under the CCD, on the pegs that hold the sensor. Without the shims your autofocus will be off, which might be fine if you plan to focus manually. I would try to keep the shims in the original locations, but at this point you would have to make an educated guess. Probably one per peg. The shims are unrelated to the other issue. Maybe you should reseat the connectors again. I don't know what else to try. Btw, I also modded a 350d and a 450d, and the 450d is a nice improvement! Doug
  7. The are a couple of flatteners I would recommend for a ED80... If you just want a flattener, without any reduction, then the Orion Field Flattener for Short Refractors is a good value. Here's a sample image using the flattener: http://www.flickr.com/photos/62714751@N05/8392878761/ For reduction and flattening, the Skywatcher (or Orion or Celestron) 0.85x Field Flattener / Field Reducer is a perfect match for the scope. Here's a sample using the 0.85x: http://www.flickr.com/photos/62714751@N05/10879269464/ Doug
  8. Fitswork is free. It can split the image into RGB, and it does much much more. Doug
  9. I don't know about noise levels in the 1000D, but the patterns in the image look like read noise to me. Did you collect all of the calibration images with the same ISO? (bias, flats, darks, lights) In my experience with a 350d, it's critical that all frames are the same ISO, or you'll have read noise in the result. That said, I think the 450d is known for well controlled noise. Gary Honis has some data regarding Canon DSLR noise: http://ghonis2.ho8.com/DSLRcomparison.html Doug
  10. Hi Wailin, I think if you want to use 2" filters with the 0.85x FF/FR then you need the adapter from FLO: http://www.firstlightoptics.com/adaptors/flo-adapter-for-skywatcher-focal-reducers.html In my experience it can be a little tricky combining Ha with RGB. People with mono CCDs are typically using higher-end software packages. (ie not free software) If you use DSS to stack, then you'll have two separate stacks and now you need to align the images. I have used Iris (free) to align my images, but then you still need to manipulate the Red layer and/or Luminance layers in photoshop. Here are a couple of my attempts at merging H-alpha: Doug
  11. I use the 12nm h-alpha clip filter with my old Canon 350d. 12nm works pretty well in my Orange LP zone. I'm sure 6nm would be better; it's just a matter of how much you want to spend. Here's an example with my ED80: With a DSLR you'll want to split the picture into Red/Green/Blue and then keep just the Red. The best Signal will be in the Red layer. Doug
  12. Wow, amazing images! I see you're using a QHY5L II with the OAG. Are there any problems finding guide stars? Doug
  13. I have a modded Canon 350d (no filter). My experiences... Lenses that focused w/o issue: Canon 300mm f/4, Sigma 28mm f/1.8 No focus at infinity: Canon 50mm f/1.8 :-( Nikon manual lens conversions (50mm f/1.4, 105mm f/2.5) have worked well for me, but as I recall I had to open the front of the lens and remove the infinity-stop screw. It's pretty simple to remove the screw with old lenses. Doug
  14. One suggestion: If DEC dithering does not settle due to issues with backlash/etc, then you click the box for "RA only" dithering. RA never fails to settle quickly. The downside: you loose one of the dithering dimensions, but still it's better than not dithering. Doug
  15. Not quite free but close: BackyardEOS and PHD. Dithering works great. Certainly worth the $30, and you can try it for free. PHD is worthy of the donation too, even if not required. I'm just a happy customer, no relationship with the product. Doug
  16. If you have photoshop then you could try 'content aware fill'. I would agree that rotating the camera would work, with sigma kappa stacking, if you can get enough different angles. I've never tried due to the effort, and I think post processing might work too. A generic example: http://www.photoshopessentials.com/photo-editing/content-aware-fill-cs5/ Doug
  17. 200mm should be fine. I have used 175mm guiding with my 1000mm telescope and it work. I prefer to use a ST80, which is 400mm, but I think you should be fine with 200. If you have a good S/N ratio then PHD can detect partial pixel movement, and this helps guiding with a short focal length guidescope. Doug
  18. I have used Iris to align images. In my case I was aligning H-alpha with RGB, but in principle it should be the same for R/G/B. Iris seems to work well and you can find tutorials. And it's free. :-) Doug
  19. I'd like to hear recommendations too. Here are the options I know about: Orion (US) 0.85x reducer/flattener: - Appears to work very well - No longer offered by Orion Skywatcher 0.85x and Vixen 0.85x - appears to be the same as the Orion 0.85x FR/FF WO 0.8x Type II - Good reviews - Type II no longer offered by WO Televue TRF-2008 - Good reviews - Recommended by Orion staff for the ED80 (they now carry the TRF-2008) Orion 0.8x reducer - Reduces but does not flatten - Should work for small sensors, but edges of APS-C will have problems Orion flattener for short refractors - Appears to do a good job flattening, but no reduction - See astrobin for examples - I ordered this flattener because of the low price, but if price is not an issue for you then I think the 0.85x FR/FFs would work better. Doug
  20. You just need to work on the focus. The diffractions spikes will come togther as you come to focus. Also the donut stars will become pinpoint stars. Doug
  21. FYI, pictures are on the Baader site: http://www.baader-planetarium.com/pdf/mpcc_e.pdf
  22. The Baader MPCC will work with a standard T2 ring, which is about 11mm thick. One side EOS and M48 threads on the other side. The MPCC screws into the M48 threads. The other side of the MPCC goes into a 2" focuser. I don't know whether this configuration will reach focus on an Orion XT8. On my Celestron newt (C8N) I had to get a short adapter for the focuser in order to reach focus. MPCC does not help with vignetting, but good flat frames should solve the light falloff issue unless it's severe. Doug
  23. I used Paint Shop Pro for many years, but 16-bit support is weak. I hope they continue to improve because it's a good alternative other than lack of full 16-bit support. Some of the plugins work with PSP but not enough to satisfy an astrophotographer. There's a student version of photoshop, well at least there is in the US. If you can't qualify for the student version then with patience you might find a good sale on the full version. A few months ago, right before CS6 was announced, you could buy the full version of CS5.5 (non-student) for around $125 USD. These sales are extremely rare for photoshop but with patence you could score some savings. I also like Iris. It's worth having even if you have photoshop, and it's the right price. :-) Doug
  24. It sounds like the problem has been solved, but there might be another way for people that have not drilled holes yet. With my Celestron (Synta) R&P focuser I use the compression adapter from scopestuff: http://www.scopestuff.com/ss_faga.htm It holds my DSLR camera and MPCC pretty well. (and it holds a cooler around the DSLR too) Doug
  25. In my case I already had an old DSLR, so going with a DSLR was the cheap option. I removed the IR filter myself using online guides. Here's an example of H-alpha with a Canon 350d: Resolution is hurt by the bayer matrix but it works. A bigger problem for DSLR users is lack of temperature control. This is mostly a problem in the summer, especially where I live. I have my camera in a cooler which brings down the temperatures 30 degrees F. Doug
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