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About Hightower

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    Star Forming
  1. Makes no difference. The Android OS locks certain functionality down. Without rooting the OS you can't do as you would like. Dimming apps are available but one that puts a red screen over, I have yet to find.
  2. I think an app to do that would require a rooted phone.
  3. If you want to image planets, invest in a £5 (or less) Xbox webcam - light enough for most scopes/tripods to deal with, and you'll end up with half decent images
  4. I know, Astro Panel told me it was supposed to be crystal clear last night. Was nothing but cloud.
  5. Yeah, after watching your video - it's as James says. Take a look at your gain settings and exposure settings. There's no where near enough light getting in. But looking at your image, I can just see some detail, so that shows you how good a job Registax does, even with such a dull video.
  6. It's not really about the light coming in when talking of FPS, that's your exposure setting. For FPS, you need to find a medium between capturing as many frames as possible in as short a time as possible, but also not having the frame compressed too much. The webcam will compress frames if it can't send them fast enough, resulting in reduced quality as your capture software. I've found that around 10FPS is pretty good. A 30 second video will give me 300 frames, but they don't get compressed too much at the camera. Have an experiment - take a film as 30, and one at 10, and one at 5 and compare the differences. Pick the one that seems the best compromise, but remember that these settings aren't a "I've found a good one, that's it forever" - keep experimenting when you have time, you might just find a setting that gets a better image. Are you barlowed? I would remove the barlow if so. But again with the planets, you don't need to track it perfectly. Have a look at the image I've drawn up. This is on a simplified scale obviously. Say you have 2 frames in your video. Frame 1 shows the left hand side of the moon. Frame 2 wasn't tracked quite right so shows a slightly different part of the moon. You then stick them in the stacking software, which aligns and rotates frames, and finds these two frames overlap, and they both add something to the final image. So your final image would come out, cutting out any bits that didn't fit. So, yes, you need to track a little bit, but it by no means needs to be perfect as the software does so much to help you.
  7. Yes, to an extent. You don't want to have it over exposed, and when talking of photography using a webcam you need multiple frames. The more the better, so don't turn it too low on FPS. The software will decide (along with your input if you want) which frames are classed as poor, and which frames will help make up the final image. I think the default on Registax (from memory) when you select which frames is based on lowest quality, and the level is set to 95% (which can be changed). Now this doesn't mean 95 out of 100 frames will be binned. It means that if a picture isn't within the 95% threshold quality wise (compared to the best frame you have) it will be binned. If you have a really good video, this means that only 70% could be binned. If you have a bad video it could mean 99% is binned. Registax works very well out of the box, but it works even better with a minimal of tweaks - it's definitely worth playing about with it and trying to tease quality out of images. Hey, it's kind of like a sub-hobby for all those cloudy nights we have!
  8. Yeah. With DSO imaging and DSLR camera you leave the mirror open, allowing more light in. If you move the scope while doing this you'll end up with a blurred image. However, with a webcam and planetry you don't leave it open, it just takes a standard video instead. It doesn't matter whether Jupiter starts at the top and then drifts to the bottom as you track it, as the software you use to stack it will align and recentre it for you. You could even use 30 x 25 second clips stitched together to give you more frames and hopefully more detail.
  9. Try 1000, 150, and 15 for the edge. I've just checked and it should fit inside a 150 (rest on the spiders for the secondary). Simply print it on to some card, and get a craft knife and cut all the white bits out. Metal ruler might come in handy too, to keep your lines straight. How did you focus the telescope for the image you took? Did you focus with an eye piece and then just swap out the camera? Or did you try focusing with the camera on the laptop screen? As James has said, longer videos will generally produce better images, but it does sound like a focusing problem if it is totally washed out - you should still see some sort of detail.
  10. You should be fine with manual tracking for planetry work. Sounds to me like your webcam is not in focus. The webcam will have a different focal point to what you have with an eye piece in. Stick the webcam in, and use a home made Bahtinov mask to get the correct focus.
  11. We love the Cumbria Mike, and it doesn't take much of an excuse for me to pack up and head over there. Will there be electric hookups on site (or charging facilities?), and also would the dog be welcome?
  12. I heard there was no stock until the middle of March.... "Hi Hightower, Thanks for your message unfortunately these are out of stock with the supplier at present and won't be available until mid march. Regards Steve"
  13. Hmmmmm, food for thought. She's not bad with me spending money on hobbies. I mean, she's quite happy to let me get a new bike in the summer. Just she wants stuff doing to the house and that is taking priority at the moment.....
  14. Yeah, use the Bahtinov (or similar). Adjust a fraction, let the scope settle, view and adjust again if needed. It's just about small adjustments and letting the scope settle. I don't think people with big scopes have quite the problem as they have sturdier mounts and better focusers, but for smaller scopes it's a case of letting it settle down. You should only need to focus once per eye piece/camera.
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