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About AweSIM

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    Star Forming

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    lahore, pakistan
  1. Thank you everyone for responding to my query and sharing your thoughts on this issue. You guys have given me a lot more to think about, and well as raised more questions in my mind. I have updated the topic question in the first post to list these questions, as I didn't want to start a new thread for follow-up questions. If you have time to spare, please go through the edit I made to the question and share your thoughts. Thank you for your invaluable advice. Asim
  2. Thank you for responding Roland. I have gained new insight and knowledge from your reply. Thank you.
  3. Hi Olly. Thank you for that in-depth explanation. I clearly have to learn and understand a lot more than I currently do. As per your advice and Carole's and Roland's, I think I will settle for now on a Mono camera with fixed filters, then upgrade to having a guidescope and guide camera, and finally get a filter wheel. Does this sound like a logical order? Also, would you mind if I pm you some follow-up questions? Thanks a lot.
  4. Hi Roland. i appreciate that you do seem to understand my confusion and thought process. Thank you for your valuable suggestion. I do believe that I should save for a mono cam and filter wheel. If I have some more funds, I would even try to save for a guidescope and a guide camera as well. From what I've read on Carole's blog, a mono camera and filter should work quite well even in light polluted areas due to the fact that they let in such a narrowband. Thank you once again.
  5. Hi. Thanks for your take. Your suggestion will definitely help me make an informed decision.
  6. Hi Carole. Thanks a ton for your valuable advice. I had a look at your site as well and have bookmarked it to go thru it all. I found an in-depth blogpost you shared there too titled "Why change from DSLR imaging to CCD camera". I will be taking a closer look at your equipment to refine my selection of cameras. Thank you for sharing your views. And thank you for taking time out to explain all this in-depth to a novice like myself.
  7. Hi, I have a SkyWatcher P-DS 200 telescope and an NEQ6 Pro SynScan mount to go with it. I've done plenty of astrophotography over the past year or so using my Nikon D90. My D90 recently suffered hardware failure and is no longer usable for imaging. So I'm trying to build up my knowledge of what to look for to replace and improve my setup as far as astrophotography is concerned. I've tried using my google skills to gather knowledge but it hasn't proved very fruitful so far. Thus I am turning to you guys to share your wisdom. I love doing photography of deep sky objects and planets equally. 1. I understand I need to invest in a CCD imaging camera, but there are so many options in so many different price ranges. I've read about using web cameras for imaging. But from what I've read, web cameras usually have a resolution of just 640x480. Isn't this too low in order to get a good quality astrophoto? Also, I believe web cameras are not capable of taking long exposures (say, over a few seconds). Instead they take video which is processed in registax or iris or a similar software to work with individual images. On the other hand, I've seen really expensive CCD cameras like those from Altair that are not even color. Should I invest in a web camera capable of taking poor resolution video or invest in a decent camera from (say Altair), or I should abandon this route completely and have my D90 repaired? I would love to be able to image in color. How should I decide which of the 3 routes should I go? And what should I look for in choosing a camera? Sensor size? Megapixels? Brand? Color or black and white? 2. I don't have an auto guider, and don't know much about its limitations. Till now, I've constrained my exposure to less than 30 seconds. Should I save my money by not getting a CCD for primary imaging and repair my D90 instead, and instead invest in an auto guider scope and camera instead? If I don't invest in an autoguider, will a CCD camera (like Altair) not be an improvement over my existing D90 at all? I am aware that most of us here have taken small steps in this hobby: incrementally updating our kits. I don't have that luxury partly because I live in a country where astronomy equipment is of nobody's interest. So I have to have a friend bring it back from a trip abroad, which isn't very frequently. Also, there is no second-hand market here that I can sell my old gear to before upgrading incrementally. So I would prefer to future-proof my investment by getting gear that I will not have to replace/upgrade anytime soon. Even my SkyWatch PDS 200 and NEQ6 were brought many many years ago and are still serving me well. I know these are very subjective questions and there might not be a definitive answer. But I would love to hear your thoughts as to how you would solve this conundrum if you were in my place. Thanks everyone! Asim ------------------------------------- Edit: After going through all the responses posted to this topic, I have realized that guiding is a must if you're using narrow-band filters since they let in so little light that very long exposures are required. On the other hand, I have some follow-up questions: Why is it that mono cameras are more expensive than color cameras? Technically, color camera is giving you three channels worth of data whereas mono is giving you three times as long an exposure. But I fail to understand why is there such a cost difference. It's possible to use a color camera without any filters. But is it possible to use a mono camera without filters too? Would it see all visible wavelengths and render them as a greyscale image? If so, technically, I can get a mono or color camera first, and then get a filter wheel + filter set. Am I correct in assuming this? Carole, you mentioned in her blog that filter wheel caused a headache for you due to light leakage. Which is why I thought a better way might be to simply use individual filters when needed. But the lovely people in this thread seem to believe that this is not a big issue. Should I try to save more and get a camera with built-in filter wheel, or should a separate filter wheel be just fine too? I understand that for planetary astrophtography, I would benefit from the camera having a smaller pixel size since planets appear so small on the sensor in the first place. On the other hand, DSO photography might not benefit as much from small pixel size. Is my understanding correct? Where does pixel count become relevant? I've seen cameras having 2 million pixels cost more than ones having 20 million pixels. Why would this be? I believe that small pixel count (sensor size) cameras are more suitable as guide cameras while larger pixel count cameras are suitable as main cameras. Is my understanding correct? Finally, consider the following cooled cameras: ZWO ASI183MC | Color | 15.9mm sensor | 20 mega pixels | 2.40µm | EUR 960 Altair 183C | Color | 20 mega pixels | 2.40µm | EUR 980 Altair 183M | Mono | 16mm sensor | 20 mega pixels | 2.40µm | EUR 1129 ZWO ASI183MM | Mono | 15.9mm sensor | 20 mega pixels | 2.40µm | EUR 1149 ZWO ASI294MCPro | Color | 23.2mm sensor | 11 mega pixels | 4.63µm | EUR 1197 ATIK Horizon Color | Color | 21.9mm sensor | 16 mega pixels | 3.80µm | EUR 1399 ZWO ASI1600MM | Mono | 21.9mm sensor | 16 mega pixels | 3.80µm | EUR 1499 ZWO ASI1600MMPro | Mono | 21.9mm sensor | 16 mega pixels| 3.80µm | EUR 1533 ZWO ASI071MCPro | Color | 28.4mm sensor | 16 mega pixels | 4.78µm | EUR 1779 ATIK Horizon Mono | Mono | 21.9mm | 16 mega pixels | 3.80µm | EUR 1789 Should I aim for [Altair 183M Mono] camera from this list? It's the cheapest out of this lot, is mono, has very small pixels, and has a high pixel count. Thanks, Asim
  8. Hi, A few years back, I acquired an NEQ6 Pro mount. Recently, during moving from one place to another, I managed to lose the power adapter that comes with NEQ6. If some of you guys own an NEQ6, can you please post close-up pictures of the adapter and its specifications so I can order it online? Also, if someone can post a link of the power adapter itself available from any online site, I would be very grateful. Asim
  9. Hi Patrick, I managed to have the scope shipped to Oslo to a friend who was coming back. The OTA got confiscated in the customs and I had to go visit the airport authorities every day for a month to get it released after paying almost 33% duty. I had to show them images of the scope on the internet and of beautiful DSOs to make them believe that it wasn't an RPG or sniper or something like that =P For the mount, a friend of mine had gone to Amsterdam for company work with a colleague of his. I had the mount shipped to them. They were shocked of its size and weight when it got delivered to their hotel. They stripped off all packaging and stuffed the mount head and tripod in their suitcases (which got ripped by the time they landed in PK). They ran out of space in their suitcases and handcarried the counterweights in their backpacks. Poor folks. They put on a calm face while trying to carry the counter weights to keep the airport authorities from inspecting their hand carry for weight limit breaches. =P I had to treat them out when they finally landed. They told me they felt like drug smugglers or spies. =P I have been using the scope for almost 6 years now. Though there have been stretches of months when I haven't been able to use the scope due to work/family commitments. But every 3 or 6 months, I jump right back into this hobby. It's been more than 20 years since I fell in love with this hobby at the age of 10. =)
  10. Hi, I was just visiting this thread again and I just felt compelled to thank all you guys again. You guys have been awesome! I actually love you guys for being so awesome! Thank you so much for having taken time out to guide me. =)
  11. Hi, I was just revisiting this post and wanted to thank you guys for your valuable advice and suggestions. Thank you so much. =)
  12. I was visiting this thread again and I'd like to thank all the ppl who replied to me here. I am immensely grateful to you guys for your guidance and advice. I am now a proud owner of the kit linked in my signature, thanks to you guys. And oh, @banner001's post made me laugh once again. =)
  13. I'd just like to pop in and thank all the wonderful ppl who replied to this thread to help me get started. I was just reading all the posts I started and had that nostalgic feeling. Thank you for your valuable advice. I am since a few years a proud owner of the kit you can see in my signature. =)
  14. Hi again. So I checked both Altair and QHY5L-IIM on TS. A couple of questions about these cameras that you can help me with. :-) 1. Altair (https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p8916_Altair-GPCAM2-IMX224-Colour-Guide-Imaging-Camera--1-2-Megapixels---Basic-Set.html) is actually less extensive (eur 223) than QHY5L (https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p5990_ALccd5L-IIm---high-speed-lunar-planetary-camera--max--200-pfs---monochrome-version.html) (eur 249). And both are color cameras. I was under the impression that mono cameras are better suited for guiding. Can you share your experience? 2. Altair says the Camera has an autoguider port too. How does it work? Does it mean that I wont need to interface it with a spftware like phd via a laptop? Does it autoguide well? Can you explain a bit more about the entire process and your experience?
  15. Hi @ronin. Thanks for your advice. Yes I was trying to get everything I might possibly need in one go. You're right that I should get items as I need them along the way. I think I'll drop LPS from my list. Regarding the power supply, I don't think I'll be comfortable making my own power supply. Hence I need help in deciding between the various power supply options available on TS. :-)
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