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About Brent

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    Proto Star

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  1. Great idea. Just out of interest, what would you estimate the cost of materials to be?
  2. Hi Robin, Firstly, thanks again for this great piece of software. I have an issue which I have found an effective (if long winded) workaround for, but I thought I'd let you know about it anyway. I have SharpCap 2.9 and have been testing the polar alignment routine with a 9x50 finder and a Philips SPC900 LX modified webcam. I can set the exposure length correctly (I need to use about 12 seconds to resolve enough stars) and the screen displays each new exposure UNTIL I open the polar alignment window. The last image then stays on screen only until the next exposure completes, at which point just a frame which appears to be noise is displayed. I found that if I close the polar alignment window, new exposures resume being displayed correctly, and if I re-open the polar alignment window it will return to the step at which I closed it and continue, using the last frame displayed (hope that makes sense!). So, I can open and close the PA window and time it right to get through the routine but obviously don't have live on-screen updates on the final step. The routine is otherwise really fast and accurate I must say, well done, and thanks to you and @themos for this great innovation ?.
  3. Wow, I feel an attempt at a bayer removal coming on!
  4. By the way, if you particularly want Live View I'd get one of the others you mentioned. It's never bothered me not having it though.
  5. I have a 350D. Canon never released any 64 bit drivers for it so you'd need to either be running 32 bit Windows, or a 32 bit virtual machine. Many have had success using a virtual machine but I installed 32 bit XP instead as my netbook isn't very fast and is short on RAM Once that's done it can be controlled in the same way. I use Astrophotography Tool, it does everything I need and much more and the free version includes almost everything.
  6. Thanks Rodd. SharpCap's polar alignment routine is remarkably easy actually. I used a finder guider with a Philips SPC900 LX webcam, and the plate solving is standalone and included in the download, i.e, no internet connection required once installed. The finder doesn't even need to be closely aligned with the scope as long as it's FOV is within 5 degrees of the NCP. The procedure is detailed on the SharpCap website, but a short description: 1) Do a usual polar alignment via the polar scope, but anything within 5 degrees seems to be acceptable (so you could theoretically have no polar scope and eyeball it!) 2) Set the scope to polar home and take an 8 second (or so) exposure. 3) SharpCap will plate solve it (in under a second in my experience!) 4) Move the mount about 90 degrees in RA. Take another exposure. 5) SharpCap will plate solve the second exposure, then compares the two images and works out the centre of rotation. It then tells you how many arc-minutes/seconds to move the mount in simple terms (up/down/left/right) and shows a visual overlay with an arrow and a circle to move a given star into. This is updated onscreen as you move the mount bolts and new exposures come in. (I had a slight issue here which I'll have to report to the authors, but overall it couldn't be simpler!) Hope I haven't missed anything (apologies ro the authors if I have), but have a look at the SharpCap site for a more detailed version.
  7. I set up on Friday 16th under a full moon with a plan of just testing the polar align routine in SharpCap. It works really well, actually better with my mount than Alignmaster now that I have some backlash issues. It takes backlash totally out of the equation! Thanks to @themos (PhotoPolarAlign author) and @rwg (Robin, SharpCap author) for this great feature. It was really fast and easy to do and I'd thoroughly recommend it! Anyway, having accurately polar aligned in record time I thought it would be a waste to let a clear sky go unused when I was already fully set up, full moon or not. This is 45x180s of lights (limited length subs due to the moon), 50 flats and 50 bias. Captured in APT and processed in DSS and PS. It needed a REALLY healthy dose of HLVG which I'm guessing could be due to the full moon (?) as I've never really needed to use it before. Equipment: Canon 350D (Full Spectrum) with CLS-CCD & Baader Mk III MPCC Skywatcher 150p Meade LXD75 Finder Guider Thanks for looking.
  8. I can see that myself now, great description! And let's face it, I think we could all be dragged away by the men in white coats, what with obsessing about graphs and standing out in minus temperatures for countless hours . So I won't tell if you don't
  9. First time out this season on the 11th September after 17 weeks of no setting up. To be honest I'd have just been happy to remember how to set up after that long but I also got an image (of sorts!) to boot. Interestingly, guiding was absolutely atrocious with a range of +/-5 arc seconds (the larger spikes seem to come every 6 mins or so, so I'm assuming they're all dithering related?). Screenshot of guiding also below, help very welcome. Just 18x300s of lights, 50 flats and 50 bias, so not much to work with and it shows! The rest of my kit is in my sig, thanks for looking.
  10. You can also easily add as many new stars to the Alignmaster database as you like to give you many more options in pairs. Just add them in the correct format in the sterne.txt file. Closer pairs will obviously need more iterations carrying out to increase the accuracy though. This is what I've had to do to get usable pairs from my setup location and it's worked very well.
  11. Excellent presentation, Sara. I also was planning to do more imaging of asteroids after capturing 2012 DA14 on its close pass in Feb 2013. Then I got into struggling with introducing guiding to my setup and I haven't done any asteroids since! By the way, that last image in your video of the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter scares the heck out of me! At the minute I'm halfway through "Lucifer's Hammer" by Larry Niven, that one's about a comet, but still.
  12. Great images Tim, I particularly like the Heart. Which UHC filter are you using if you don't mind me asking? I'm seriously thinking about getting a Castell UHC but I'm unsure whether its bandpass is narrow enough to shoot with the moon up.
  13. @wimvb , Thanks for pointing that out, totally correct! Having got it back into PS in a darkened room and hopefully corrected it with HLVG, all I've got to say is I NEED TO STOP PROCESSING IN A DAYLIT ROOM!! I've replaced the image in the OP, thanks again.
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