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Everything posted by RobertB

  1. I had a quick go on M51 to test some settings, 4 of the 5 subs were un-usable, but from the one that wasn't completely smeared I managed to do some tweaking. My processing is ham-fisted but if anyone would like the RAW image (and dark frame) let me know. It was a single 60 second image, ISO 1600, unguided, Canon 1000D, C11. (These are small JPEGs) http://brimptonobservatory.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/m51-110602small.jpg http://brimptonobservatory.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/m51-110602invertedsmall.jpg and my associated blog post about it: Breaking News: I only went and imaged a supernova last night! brimptonobservatory
  2. Thanks very much for the quick responses. I will have another go at turning off the automatic darks (although I had tried, maybe I just need to go through the process again to double check the correct settings.) I'll check out AstroJan as well. Thanks!
  3. Hi, Can someone recommend software to control my DSLR camera (Canon 1000D)? At present I only image to the the maximum 30 seconds the camera allows, but I am looking to increase the exposure times. (And before I get the lectures - yes, my mount is up to sub 1 minute, but I am looking at autoguiding in the future). The camera control software that comes with the camera is at first promising but isn't as flexiable as I'd like. It also appears to want to take dark frames between every image, and this doesn't seem to be able to be switched off. I thought I'd found the answer with DSLR Shutter, however I can not get this to work at all. Any other options would be gratefully received. Many thanks.
  4. reddoss, I've just had the same thing happen to my new scope (on the very first night I took it out!) How did you remove the slug trail? I have tried using a bit of condensation from my breath and a gently rub with a cotton bud but that hasn't shifted it. Next plan was to wait until after it's next used and see if it shifts after it's had a "soaking" in dew.
  5. Just a quick warning: I have received an email confirming that I will be receiving some large boxes on Monday. Therefore expect lots of cloud cover on Monday, and for that cloud to persist until Saturday. Saturday will be a lovely clear night because I'm working that evening, then the cloud returns... (Although in jest, I can't help thinking my weather forecast has just as much credability as what the Met Office say!)
  6. Oh, and forgot to say in the last post; thank you to everyone who helped.
  7. Just to let everyone know I have managed to get DSS to work. Over the weekend I managed to take some widefield shots of Orion and Hyades using a tri-pod mounted DSLR. I kept the exposures short and had quite a high ISO setting. Having a full moon glaring away didn't help matter too much! I spent some extra time on the focus and set the camera to take 5 consecutive shots (then fiddled with focus and settings and tried again, to cover various options). I have managed get plenty of alignment stars with a reletively high threshold and it stacked fine. The image I immediately saw looked dissappointing but I opened the TIFF in Photoshop and tweaked the levels with a ham-fisted approach and suddenly the detail jumped out. The images aren't anything amazing (and as I said, the full moon didn't help) but at least I have learnt something I didn't know previously and at least know I can get the software to work!
  8. Thanks for the further advice - I've decided to put this on hold until I can get some better quality images when the clouds next part. Won't try to go for anything amazing, just some short subs with no trailing and good focus, just to get things going. Thanks for pointing out the minimum, and also about the Star Editor. That's a feature that I noticed but didn't know what it was for or how it worked. Also thanks for the links! Fingers crossed for some clear skies over the weekend.
  9. Hi All, Thanks for the replies. I have tried it with the threshold being set to just 2 or 3% and although it found hundreds (actually thousands on 2%) of stars it still would not stack. Must admit the focus/trailing is likely to be the culprit by the seem of things. The stars looked ok at a casual glance (and seemed fine on the DSLR screen - it wasn't contected to my laptop when I took the shots) but looking closer they aren't perfectly round but definately trailed. I'll try again next time it's clear (not holding my breath on that one!) and spend some more time getting the focus tighter and perhaps try shorter exposures to limit trailing too. Once I then at least get it stacking I can start pushing the boundaries back then! If it doesn't work then, then I guess I should focus on planetary imaging - at least me and Registax get on well!
  10. I'm having real problems with DSS. I'm trying to stack some images taken with a Canon DSLR but no matter what I do it tells me only one frame will be stacked and I should check/change star detection treshold and find a transformation between the reference frame and others. I have adjusted the star detection treshold so it finds approx 20 stars - I have no idea how to find a transformation between the frames though! I have this problem no matter what the image is of, how many frames I'm stacking or what format the frames are in. Whether I'm stacking some frames of an open cluster taken through the scope or just a couple of shots of Orion, it only wants to let me stack one frame. Oh, and even if I do let it "stack" one frame the result is terrible! I have gone through the DSS user manual, as well as searched for online guides and tutorials and followed them to the letter, but nothing sees to work!!! Help!!!
  11. Many thanks for the reply Stuart. Hadn't thought of the possibility of fitting Losmandy plates to the scopes (do'h!), something I'll look into.
  12. Is the dovetail plate on the CGEM Mount (which is called their CGE dovetail) effectively the same as a Losmandy dovetail, and therefore adaptors should be (for example) Vixen to Losmandy? I'm guessing the answer is "yes", but I have heard that the dimensions aren't exactly the same, so advice from someone else would be appreciated!
  13. October and the location are more suitable for me, so fingers crossed I can make it for at least a couple of the nights. Never been to a star party and would love to make it to 2011 - hoping to have my shiney new scope by then too!
  14. Wow, thank you everyone. You are all a friendly lot on here. The rumours must be wrong (only joking!) I know Goring quite well, I was there only two weeks ago doing a children's birthday party. Fortunately I'm doing less of that nowadays! Ha! If only, if only...! That's currently on my to-do list! I've read the first couple of chapters but need to find the time to hammer it in my brain. I did know the Nikola Stack a few years back so perhaps I should just stick with that! Sounds interesting, Wednesdays tend to be better for me so I think that's something I should look into. May see you at one those meetings soon! I've noticed that quite a few magicians like astronomy, and astronomers like magic. A few years back one of the guests on The Sky At Night performed magic tricks to explain some of the curiosities of the Universe. Many thanks again to all those that have said hello, and hopefully my questions aren't too dumb!
  15. Hi all, I'm Robert and I live in Berkshire (between Reading and Newbury) and on those brief occasions when it isn't cloudy the skies are pretty dark. Currently my main scope is a 8" dob, although I am hoping to upgrade to something a little larger soon, which will also open up the world of imaging for me to explore. Due to my job (I'm a professional magician) I haven't joined either Reading or Newbury astronomy clubs as they meet on Friday's and Saturdays - my busy nights. But as I have questions that I'll want answers to when I upgrade the scope and enter imaging I thought it would be a great idea to join the forum. Hope to chat to you all soon!
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