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About dunc

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  • Interests
    Astronomy (Duh!), fettling and tinkering, doing stuff, the beach, walking, cycling, having a nice time.
  • Location
    Manche, France
  1. I've had this in CdC for a while now, the indicator is off target when the target is plainly in the middle of the picture and the EQMOD sync data has been added to by a close by platesolved sync. I just ignore it, tried all sorts and no difference. I always save the model data on park and reload it as I have an observatory but it needs a clear out every now and then.
  2. First get EQASCOM/EQMOD (same thing sort of). You need a cable to connect your mount to the laptop. Ditch the ST4 cable (camera to mount) as its ancient tech. You can use the serial update cable and handset in PC direct mode but a better option is to get an EQDIR module which is essentially a TTL to USB cable, easy to get on ebay. Check the voltage for the mount, its either 3.3v or 5v. Wire it as per the info on EQMOD/EQASCOM website, this is the relevant PDF. Should be a doddle for you! The site is full of info, you need to get EQMOD set up with your location. Anything that needs to connect to the mount e.g. Carte de Ciel (planetarium for telling the mount where to point), PHD2 should connect to EQASCOM via the 'EQASCOM 5/6' option in the appropriate dialog. In CdC you can set your location to 'Telescope' (type it in) and it will pick it up from EQMOD. Hope that helps Duncan
  3. Probably mostly because guidescopes are usually around f2 and your 120ED is f7.5. You should use SharpCap Pro to do an analysis of your imaging train and suggest an exposure, gain and offset. I have a 294 and for my sky (which is quite dark when the streetlamps go out at 11pm) it recommends E250s G121 (unity - my choice) Offset 4 (yes 4) and I get very nice images (mostly - as you may see on my site). This is with an f4 scope so a good bit 'faster' than your 120ED. I love my 294 but it took me a year to get the best out of it, happy snapping! Hope that helps, Duncan
  4. The technique I used was to look on Google Earth and find fairly distant object North of the pier location and line up on that by eye, not very accurate but at least you won't be at the mercy of iron and magnetic fields (steel ducting, brake drum, bolts!). I was pretty much spot on and have plenty of azimuth adjustment for my NEQ6.
  5. It's just a ploy to part the fool from his money, a toy for a wealthy twit, you'd be better off with a superyacht to get to dark skies and and a deckchair and stabilised binos to watch the stars when the captain turns the lights out for you. Now where's my Euromillions ticket...
  6. You've got a lot of galaxies for 80mins of subs! Very nice. I've tried this area and most of the galaxies seem to be non-spiral, and if they are they are edge on. So blobs it is...
  7. I have used APT with an 1000D and 1100D simultaneously as well as 1100D and ASI296MC Pro combination, works flawlessly. I look forward to trying NINA to do the same.
  8. Globular clusters are good targets when there is a bit of Moon in the other half of the sky. I'm particularly happy getting colour and detail in NGC5263 at the bottom and there are some other galactic blobs around as well. The sky was excellent and I am lucky to live in a 21.47 dark zone (when the street lights go out at 23:00). 41 of 50 x 250s, Gain 121 (unity +1 for luck), Offset 4, Temperature -15c. Stacked using PI BatchPreprocessingFD (Micheal Covington version) so Flat Darks are used instead of Bias frames. The stacked image was then saved as 32 bit uncompressed TIF and loaded into StarTools for stretching, gradient removal, colour correction, deconvolution, denoising and saving as JPG (seems to have a very good algorithm for this). Image date, time and location: 2019-04-12 23:00-01:00CET Manche, France Telescope aperture and focal ratio: TS1506UNC f4, TS Komakorr Camera and filters used: ZWO ASI294MC Pro, Baader Neodymnium 1.25" filter Processing applied: Pixinsight, StarTools, Irfanview
  9. Hi CJDawson This may not be directly applicable but I have an ASI294MC Pro and have struggled with issues like this for a year. I was using the default offset of 30 as set by the driver at install and unity gain. I tried increasing the offset with no positive benefit. I recently ran the Sensor Analysis and Smart Histogram in SharpCap Pro and it suggested an offset of 4 which surprised me. But low and behold I now get lovely well calibrated images with lots of signal. I was just about to sell the camera before this! Hope that helps Duncan
  10. The daft name was the one N.I.N.A's object browser put into the Sequence name, I had searched for M51, as ya do... I thoroughly recommend N.I.N.A. as a capture app. I am using Version 1.8 RC006. 22 x 250s Gain 120 Offset 4 Temp -15c, 10x5.8s Flats, 10 Dark Flats, 10 Darks, 0 Bias Telescope aperture and focal ratio: TS1506UNC f4, TS Komakorr Camera and filters used: ZWO ASI294MC Pro, Baader Neodymnium 1.25" filter Processing applied: DSS 4.x, Startools Date: Mar 25, 2019 Dimensions: 3954 x 2632 pixels
  11. I use an old film changing bag, I put the cover on the scope (black plastic) and put it over the end of the scope and wrap the arm hole bits round the OAG and guide camera (its a 6" newt) to guard against like leaks. I cover the scope body (carbon fibre) with thick black cloth just in case. I am VERY careful to make sure the cameras cooling vents are clear of any obstruction. The back of the a scope has metal cover, I found a pedal bin lid that fitted perfectly as otherwise the mirror back is exposed and it has an unsilvered centre spot doughnut - big light leak! BTW I have found the ZWO ASCOM driver doesn't produce dark darks with my camera, as an APT user this has caused endless problems. I have switched to SharpCap for the minute as the native drive doesn't exhibit the same issue. (ASICAP, APT, SharpCap, same stretch applied via menu otpion).
  12. Hi, I have an 1100D and have no problems with its RAW CR2 files in DSS 4.2.2 (which I have used for many years). A 450D should be no different if its producing CR2 files. Modding makes no difference to the file format. I don't know how experienced you are with DSS but to see if you have data don't use any Darks, Flats, Bias - keep it simple. Use only a few Lights to keep it quick, also you can select an area on a Light and only process that part of the image - saves a huge amount of time when your trying settings. Use the visualisation slider top right to inspect the lights to check you have an image to stack . If the colour is pants (should be very pink with a modded DSLR) change the Bayer Matrix by choosing an equivalent Canon camera in Raw/FITS DDP Settings FITS tab, but Generic RGGB should work as Canons use that layout as far as I'm aware. Turn off all RGB/Background calibration - Stacking Parameters dialog, Light tab bottom of dialog, click blue text which will change when you have set the options. I use Kappa Sigma Average stacking mostly with params of 1.5 kappa and 1 iteration. Run the Registeration/Stacking process. When the final image comes up it will look black with a couple of bright spots (maybe) of bright stars. Select Link Settings check box. Move the RGB/K black level to the right until the colour graphs broaden out, move the middle triangles so that the graph line intersect the colour graphs at the start of the curve. Set Saturation to at least 20%. Click Apply. If nothing starts to appear maybe your lights are darks! Hope that helps Duncan
  13. I'll be on my local beach looking out towards Jersey, forecast is clear - here's hoping. I saw a bit of the last one from South London, this should be much better. If anyones in this part of Manche, France it may be an opportunity to get together for some observing.
  14. I did this to my NEQ6, painful. That chip is a power regulator, I tried replacing it but didn't have a hot air soldering gun at the time, so gave in a bought a new board. You would think there would be a couple of diodes to help prevent this. External to the mount I use a power module from China to get 12v from a 19V laptop power brick and that has overcurrent and reverse polarity protection, it also has voltage and current metering, all for £8.99... Skywatcher should incorporate one in the mount!
  15. Hi Martin, In twelve years of imaging I have used Hartman masks and eyeballs, good old Bahtinov Grabber (which has an autofocus capability but I still use manually), APTs two methods, BG (not auto!) and FWHM/HFM, never tried temperature compensation or filter change capabilities. I have seen SGP autofocus used by friends and it seems OK but took a while to go through its routine, SGP has never tempted me. Recently I have discovered N.I.N.A. which works really well and is very easy to use. I set up sequences to refocus every 5 or ten subs depending how long they are. It can refocus on filter change and temperature change as well. It does a really good job. Of course you can autofocus from the image capture window as well. The only thing that lets NINA down for me is it takes a long time to display an image, APT is much faster, but it's new software so it might improve. I have used NINA for all night mosaic runs (very easy to set up) and not had problems. Hope that helps, Duncan
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