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Everything posted by gajjer

  1. I managed to blow mine up a couple of months ago. I was using an old power pack with banana plugs and doing it in the dark I managed to reverse power it. I was gutted but took it apart and noticed that a big capacitor was blown. ( It may have been two capacitors, I can't remember. ) The ends of the cap were blown out, so it was pretty obvious. Well, I swapped the capacitors for something similar ( bigger volts and bigger value ) and to my surprise it worked perfectly. One word of caution. It was quite difficult removing the capacitors. Be careful you don't damage the through plated holes of the PCB. I managed to cut the body from the leads making it easier to remove just the leads. Hope you get it going again. cheers gaj
  2. Just a thought, but might it be on one of your flats? What happens when you stretch without either darks or flats? cheers gaj
  3. I look at Clear Outside first, but I have found it to be quite wrong a few times just recently. If it agrees with BBC weather then I am inclined to believe it. But I also look at Sat24 taking the overall Europe view and then the UK & Ireland for a close up. The more you look at the satellite images, the more you realise how difficult it must be to predict. I can't remember what day it was but there was a cloud formation coming down the UK and as it hit land it seemed to dissipate and we had a reasonably clear night. But on another occasion the clouds seemed to appear as the air moved over the UK. Sad to say I didn't take much notice in geography being more interested in a young lady a couple of desks from me, otherwise I would know what the heck was going on. The way I look at it is, if I set up and it turns bad, it was all useful practice on setting up. We get precious few good nights so it's better to set up than not to. As you say, it's difficult to predict the weather and we shouldn't blame the weather men when it goes wrong. cheers gaj
  4. Ok Baz. I think you need to get some basic concepts sorted first. Read "Making every photon count" it will give you a good idea of the principles. The basic problem is that you don't have enough exposure time. Remember you are capturing photons. There is no such thing as half a photon. To illustrate, imagine the brightest part of the picture captured 10 photons, then you stretch the image so that was the brightest pixel in the image. You can only have 10 levels of brightness. It will look rubbish. So you have to capture as much light as possible. ( Increasing the ISO wont help, it may increase the number in the file but you will still have 10 steps ). If you do a really long exposure you risk all sorts of problems with aircraft, satellites etc. So, you need to do many exposures and add them together using a stacking program like Deep Sky Stacker. You will find people who do hours of exposure time and they get lovely smooth images with lots of detail. It's probably not a good idea to do a session when the moon is up, but I know that enthusiasm will get the better of you. By all means do it but don't expect great results. Sometime I do it because I want to try things out and practice is always a good thing. The issues of noise that you are getting are down to the next level of detail. You need to get some basics understood first. Watch some tutorials, look at peoples results and importantly; how they got them. ie number and duration of exposures ( subs ). You have a reasonable result given what you started with but you need a lot more exposures and a lot more understanding. Hope this helps. There is a lot to learn. cheers gaj
  5. I'm a bit late in telling you this, but I have stalled my NEQ6 several times. It sounded horrendous; like the gears were being ripped up, but actually there was no damage. The stepper motors a quite small but there is a high gear ratio. In my case the motors simply stalled. If yours was causing a noise after 'the event' ( of which we will no longer speak ), it may be that there was some movement in the adjustment of the drive causing binding. A previous response referred to the Astrobaby strip down tutorial and I can thoroughly recommend that. I hope it's just a mechanical tune up for you. Still, events like this do open our eyes to the possible failure modes and what we should be doing to avoid them. I wish I could say it will be all plain sailing from here on but I am afraid there are so many things that could possibly go wrong that inevitably over time you will probably experience them all. cheers gaj
  6. And a very well controlled Alnitak too. Very nice. cheers gaj
  7. Hi Bob. Sorry but I can't make out what the traces are. Are they current? Are you using a current probe? What are the scales on the first two? I wouldn't have expected a sinusoidal waveform at all. I did some current probe measurements on my NEQ6 and I don't recall anything sinusoidal. But then it was a while back and I was mostly interested in current consumption at different speeds. I would agree with Malcolm about checking the connections. Bad connections are the main cause of problems. Seems very odd that it works in some directions and speeds but not others. Also check continuity and isolation of cables. If there is anything DIY made: then give that extra special attention. cheers gaj
  8. Hi Bob. Here are my thoughts. The drive motors are stepper motors so I would have thought that if they move, it wouldn't matter what speed you are demanding. I don't know anything about ST4, I drive mine through a Lynx Astro cable. When I have had motor stalling problems it has usually been when fast slewing and it sounds horrible, like gears are being damaged. It's not as bad as it sounds, it's just the stepper not stepping. The motor wont over current when stalled. Not like a conventional brushed motor. If you have the handset try it with that. There is a very good tutorial by Astrobaby that tells you how to strip the mount down and tune it up. The bit I would have a look at is the adjustment of backlash. The backlash is adjusted by moving the worm closer to, or further from the main gear wheel. It is possible that it is fine in one position but binds at others as the gear rotates. A product of the eccentricity of the gear. The adjustment screws move the whole casting holding the worm gear. This is true in both axes. Personally I would try to establish if there is something in the ST4 drive that is not operating correctly first. If it is stalling you will hear it. If it's not getting the drive signal you wont. Then I would look at adjustments before doing a strip down. I would recommend an adjustment anyway. If it's secondhand you don't know what has been done to it. Hope that helps. cheers gaj
  9. Well I have managed to capture a few frames of the horsehead nebula and first run through with processing showed promise but for the fact that the stars are really bloated. So what did I do. Well obviously I googled Star mask horsehead nebula looking for a nice tutorial. Sigh. It's a sign of the times, Guess what I got. cheers gaj
  10. Having travelled this path myself. I thoroughly recommend that you look into controlling the mount with Cartes du Ciel. Go look at EQMOD and ASCOM. You can just click on a star and the mount will go to it. Certainly makes life easier. cheers gaj
  11. Yes. That's the one. Then get Canon Utility installed. When you plug in an power up the camera, the Utility should fire up. You can then due live viewing or set a schedule of exposures. You need to read the manual really. cheers gaj
  12. That sounds like a pretty normal night for me. Except, you missed out the "where the heck is the USB cable for the camera?" . . . "Oh no. Windows has started doing an update." . . ."Why wont the filter wheel connect?" It has taught me patience. Otherwise I would have a pile of plastic, aluminium and glass scrap. It's character building. Grrrrrr. cheers gaj
  13. Hmm. It's not really giving a true impression of scale is it! I like a good jigsaw. Reminds me of Christmas. Have we had Christmas yet? cheers gaj
  14. Gosh yes. What an assault on the eyes that must be when slewing. Now let me see. Old office chair - check, two dustbins - check, stepper motors - check, Raspberry pi - check. Right, I'm off to the garage! cheers gaj
  15. Hi Brutha just to reinforce what AMcD said. I made my pier so that I had location dowels that would ensure I positioned the mount in exactly the same position each time I fitted it. The intention was to take the mount off after each session. However, it wasn't long before it was being left on all the time. All I did was remove the scope and cover the mount with a rugged black bin bag. It's been fine for several years. I can't bring myself to leave the scope on it though. The other thing I have is a plastic bin. At the end of a session all the cables, focus control, games pad etc all just get dumped into the box for sorting the next day. It just makes strip down quicker. I hope you enjoy your pier as much as I have. cheers gaj
  16. If I may stick my beak in here. I can't see it either. Have you tried plate solving on it? cheers Gaj
  17. I didn't say it didn't suck in. I was trying to say it wouldn't suck in a concentrated stream. It will draw air over a wider area. cheers gaj
  18. Not sure that is true. When a hair drier blowing, it blows in a concentrated stream of air. If you reversed the motor, I don't think it would suck in the same concentrated flow. My gut tells me that blowing air through the fins is better but with such close proximity of the fan to the heatsink, I don't think there would be much difference. cheers gaj
  19. This happened to me towards the end of last year. No kit was damaged in this story but it did put the wind up me. I was out the back with my telescope. All was running well while I took images of something or other. I am on my own and it's pretty dark . . .obviously. Then I heard a clunk. Like someone had tripped over something nearby. I froze. Ears turned up to 11 I stood still and listened for more movement. Nothing for at least a couple of minutes. Then again. Clunk. Clearly the intruder thought the coast was clear. I reached for my torched and waved it round where the sound appeared to be coming from. "Get the baseball bat Steve, I think there's someone over the back." I said rather loudly. I don't have a baseball bat ( I am 69 ) and I was on my own. Shivers went up my spine but I couldn't see anything that could be causing the sound. As the night progressed the clunking happened several more times and I started to get used to it. The following day I happened to see my neighbour in her garden near to where the noise had been coming from. She told me she was going to put a board over her coldframe. . . . . the conkers were falling on it and she was worried the glass might break! Pesky conkers!!!! cheers gaj
  20. Hi GuySt I'm 69 and I do this stupid stuff all the time. I am, however, making a laminated check list to reduce the rate of idiot failures. If like me you find it difficult to get back up having bent down to look through the polar scope , you may benefit from using a webcam on the polar scope. I just bought a cheep webcam and made a little adapter to connect it to the eyepiece. I use Sharpcap to look at the image. Works a treat and no more groaning trying to get back up! Just a suggestion. I have only just started using it and I'm chuffed as punch. cheers Gaj
  21. Thank you all for your responses. MarkAR: The camera works if I use commands in terminal. It's specifically Astroberry I am having problems with and particularly Oacapture. RadekK: I'm not sure how I identify the driver. In the INDI Control Panel of Kstars it seems to indicate V4L2 CCD , indi_v4l2_ccd. See my comments below to JamesF 7170: Yes it's enabled and works in Python3. JamesF: Thanks to Amazon and a secure pension, I have managed to get a V2 camera. I can get it to run in Ekos. It takes pictures and streams video. It still does not work with Oacapture. I am glad you think it is a pig of a job James. I don't feel so stupid now. I'm gradually finding my way round the Pi and Astroberry which is a struggle being mainly an analogue man with digital experience. The behaviour with the V2 camera is pretty much what was happening with the V1 camera. With the drop down Camera menu there are the following options and responses: (V4L2) bcm2835-isp-capture0 : locks up (V4L2) bcm2835-codec-isp : unable to connect camera (V4L2) bcm2835-codec-decode : unable to connect camera (V4L2) bcm2835-isp-capture1 : locks up (V4L2) bcm2835-isp-output0 : unable to connect camera (V4L2) bcm2835-codec -encode : unable to connect camera (V4L2) bcm2835-camera0 : unable to connect camera (V4L2) bcm2835-isp-stats2 : unable to connect camera There is no other equipment connected to the Pi. The board is a Pi version 4. If there is any other information I can give you, please ask and I will do my best. It's a new set-up and not yet seen first light, so if you want me to try something and it goes belly up, I'm not loosing anything. I have posted something on the INDI site also. Just so you know it's not a pandemic! Thanks everyone for your input Gaj
  22. Hi all well, I am trying to find out why my Raspberry Pi camera V1 will not work with Astroberry. I have gone round and round Google and my head is spinning with dead ends. I was hoping to run Oacapture and do some planetary stuff. However, when I try to select the camera it tells me it can't connect. Fair enough. Am I right in thinking that there are only INDI drivers for V2 cameras? I'm not a software person so be gentle with me. cheers Gaj
  23. I've just moved to a new location and I'm using a new setup until I can get a pier sorted. I'm using a EQ£-2 with a LYNX ASTRO USB EQ DIRECT cable, Skywatcher 150PD, Canon 60D camera, Skywatcher Finder with a QHY5-II guider. Now all of this setup is new to me. My new location does not have a clear view of North, so I'm running blind on that. I set it roughly using a compass and also judging the shadow at 1:00pm. Crude I know. The first time I ran it I managed to get calibration but could see that Dec was drifting off. So adjusted the mount until it reduced and got under control. That was using PHD, which I have been using with no problem on my NEQ6 mount. Never bothered to go to PHD2. I got some reasonable results. The following night was a different story. I had shifted the scope round to make it easier to see the red doot finder. So there may have been a balance change. When it came to running PHD it did not seem to overcome Dec backlash for several steps, then it continued to calibrate North. The star did not appear to move, I could hear the motors doing something but could see no movement as there had been with W/E. It then started to report small movements but still no visible star movement. It got up to something like 50 step and then aborted. Then the star jumped quite significantly. It did this on several attempts. Swapped to using PHD2, that I have virtually no experience with, and it did pretty much the same. I don't meddle with stuff if its working, so I haven't messed with PHD or PHD2 much. They just worked straight off. Ohhh the shame of it!! Any thoughts, suggestions would be gratefully received. cheers gaj
  24. Thanks guys I thought she was a goner! Before I part with $75 can someone confirm that it is the Maier Photonics 656 ITF band pass filter. Thanks Gaj
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