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SteveNickolls last won the day on December 11 2018

SteveNickolls had the most liked content!

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About SteveNickolls

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  1. A shout out here for using Deep Sky Stacker and then StarTools for processing. Cheers, Steve
  2. Hi, this is all good to know kuneme and thanks indeed for finding the information out. I'm intending to contact PLL and suggest the developments I'd like to see for the Eagle Core. I already use an iPolar device for polar alignment so such capability on the Eagle Core would not be on my list though I appreciate a one fix all approach would attract many other users the the PLL product in this competitive market sector. I'd suggest all Eagle Core users to suggest development ideas to PLL in a kind, positive way and see where future firmware releases take the product. Cheers, Steve
  3. Thanks both for your post and video and most of all for keeping it real, "warts and all". Good luck with future sessions when it should be cooler and kinder on your DSLR. Cheers, Steve
  4. I was able to find out the specification for the Eagle Core back in February, this is what I posted on 20.2.2020- "My understanding on the Eagle Core spec (taken from the technical data tab on https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/language/en/info/p9959_PrimaLuceLab-EAGLE-CORE---Control-Unit-for-astrophotography-with-a-DSLR-camera.html ) is that the ARM cpu is very efficient and runs a proprietory Eagle App, I think Linux based. I understand ARM cpu's are used very widely to run bespoke systems using little power. " That indeed would be very interesting. At some point I will contact PLL and put forward again the benefit of incorporating the two ideas I would like to see integrated into the Eagle app in a future update particularly wrt the addition of an exif temperature value which would go hand in hand with the 'delay' ability provided in v2.8. Cheers, Steve
  5. Thanks for that clarification kunene it all makes sense (no pun intended). Well we can talk on here to our hearts content about what features etc. we would like to see on the Eagle app as some good ideas can come out from the user base. We can let PLL know of what users would like to see on the product to help them direct the development the product in the future . I did send off three ideas last year and while I can't say if one of the ideas did bear fruit the latest update has included a delay capability between sub frames which I'm happy to see. I am conscious that the Eagle Core is a basic product in the Eagle range of mini-pc's and is constrained in terms of overall processing power, on board RAM and SSD space. However I'm not a programmer having any understanding of what is physically possible to fit into a small pot such as the Eagle Core. Two things I feel would add to the usefulness of the device would be firstly change the percentage elapsed time on the Eagle app to either seconds elapsed or seconds remaining. A percentage means little in absolute terms when waiting to see the latest image acquired. I would also like to see a temperature indicator in the Eagle app similar to what is present in BYEOS which takes the exif temperature information from the image taken. While not being a true sensor temperature it is an indicator and allows me in BYEOS to stabilise temperatures more effectively by altering the delay between images. This makes matching light and dark frames easier. I know that last November kunene you considered that adding a plate solving feature as well as a polar alignment routine would be very helpful. I'm not well up on the ASiair PRO as a competitor to the Eagle range but think it performs plate solving (not sure about polar alignment). I'm only thinking aloud that the hardware limitations of the Eagle Core would likely come into play here but it would be good for PLL to commit their view on the matter. JEM_svca earlier this year would like to have seen the Eagle working when his DSLR was operating with the long exposure noise reduction feature enabled, I realise this is one of the things that cannot be turned on if you want to use the Eagle Core. I would add that it's is well overdue for the manual to be re-written and really the paper manual should be updated and integrated to reflect current capability as some of the advice in the paper manual on mount control has long been superceeded by firmware. I'm pleased we have a place to discuss matters to the benefit of users as I haven't seen much other discussion on the Eagle Core and which deserves to be promoted as it has unique design features that make it stand out from competitors. Cheers, Steve
  6. To add to what happy-kat and The Admiral have mentioned you will get a lot of valuable experience out of trialing your Alt-Az mount and if you catch the imaging bug the experience gained will hold you in very good stead when using other mounts and cameras. There is a book (it's perhaps getting a little old now since many portable mounts like the Star Adventurer type products have come on the market these past few years) that will be a useful bible and it's available from our sponsors-https://www.firstlightoptics.com/books/astrophotography-on-the-go-book.html You would find it very helpful in understanding the effects of field rotation and how to plan around the location and movement of targets over a session. It also goes into how many exposures are enough since your individual sub exposure times with an Alt-Az mount will by necessity be short. Luckily the advent of higher QE sensors with lower read noise have become the friends of Alt-Az imaging allowing many short images to be stacked without recourse to buying up front expensive and large EQ mounts to see if you like astro-imaging. One more tip, one overlooked aspect of imaging is coming to grips with processing software that suits your style and approach, you have to find which product best works for you. However much progress can be made getting familiar with your software of choice and it can turn a poor result into something much more pleasing. Also as software matures more capabilities become available to create better results. One benefit of imaging is you can always go back and reprocess old images as you gain more experience or the software improves. I wish you every success in your hobby. Cheers, Steve
  7. FWIW I have checked through the accompanying pdf manual for the Eagle Core bundled with the latest downloadable v2.8 update and there are no changes written down that I can find. TBH the pdf manual could do with a complete re-write as the pdf version refers to certain information only available in a paper manual accompanying the purchase of an Eagle Core. The changes introduced in v2.8 are- Version 2.8 25/06/2020 1) Added the possibility to set a delay time between images 2) Added support for the Canon EOS 4000D 3) Added support for Nikon Z50 and D850 Incidentally does anyone know what the changes incorporated in v2.7 mean when referring to 'SIXTH SENSE 2' and 'EXACT'?- Version 2.7 02/03/2020 1) Added support for SIXTH SENSE 2 and EXACT Cheers, Steve
  8. Hi, the v2.8 firmware update for the Eagle Core is now released- Available to download here-https://www.primalucelab.com/astronomy/downloads Not yet had chance to explore the new firmware and what it offers. The video shows the ability to set a delay timer between exposures. Cheers, Steve
  9. Hi, I followed the construction plans but only made a manually operated tracker no motor was ever added. I'd have to look back in my astronomy logs as to the exposure times I managed but that would be purely manually operated. As happy-kat rightly says 50-85 mm lenses will show detail of nebulae though using an astro-modified camera, having a dark location and lots of sub exposures all help in the final image. Cheers, Steve
  10. I have never used a manually operated barn tracker with long FL lenses my reasoning being that if you had a 150 mm lens on a static tripod you would be looking at very short exposures to avoid star trails, 500/150 seconds (just over 3 seconds) with a full frame or 2 seconds with an APS-C sensor. So with your barn door tracker you would be needing to hand move the device slightly every 2-3 seconds with a 150 mm lens, very tedious very fast and you need to make the adjustments regularly. You can see in one of the images a battery clock to help time when the disc needed to be moved. I tended to use short FL lenses and move the disk every 15 seconds a quarter turn. Obviously a motor controlled tracker would perform the movement continually hence its attraction. So for a hand cranked device best stick to shorter FL lenses for now but a motor driven device would work with longer FL lenses. Oh, also consider the need for better polar alignment when using longer FL lenses. Cheers, Steve
  11. Hi, If you can transfer the radius in the plans onto a piece of scrap wood then cut out the shape with a fine saw. You can then sandwich the rod betwen the two pieces of cut wood and then hammer the top piece of wood to slowly impart a bend into the rod.. If you have a vice so much the easier. Slowly begin to bend the rod a section at a time over the form until you have a curved rod. You don't have to have a very long curved rod, each mm of the rod = a minute so you can afford to damage an end of the rod in bending, hacksaw it off and use the best curved piece of say 100mm length. Hope that helps. Cheers, Steve
  12. Here you go-https://www.skyatnightmagazine.com/advice/build-a-tabletop-tracking-mount/ Plans etc. are available. You don't have to employ fancy shapes for the clapper board sections rectangular pieces of plywood are fine. I used the design some years ago to make a purely manual model and it worked very well and served as an excellent introduction to EQ mounts and polar alignment. Enjoy making the build. That's me in the hammock in the background. Cheers, Steve
  13. Hi RayD, thanks for your post. It will be interesting to see what is included in the v2.8 firmware update. I'm sorry to hear you have some bugs that need fixing so here's hoping the update will fix them. PLL do seem to take onboard development ideas. I did email them in late August last year with some suggestions one being adding a pause function between exposures to help keep sensor temperature down during an imaging session. To work alongside that was the idea of including an exif temperature indication on screen similar to that which BYEOS uses. At present you only know the temperature after the session having put them through Exiflog. Luckily I have a work around using a library of dark frames to help better match the temperatures of light frames taken the previous night. Having a means of knowing the sensor temperature at the time of imaging would be very helpful. I'm aware the Eagle Core has a limited memory size and not having any knowledge in programming really don't know how much such extra code would eat into the available onboard memory. Hmm, I haven't encountered a problem such as you describe on shut down Ray. The only issue I've had when first using my Eagle Core was actually an intermittent problem caused by worn connections between a second hand Canon 85 mm lens and my DSLR's. It would intermittently cause hanging when imaging and meant I had to spend quite a lot of time troubleshooting the fault. The Eagle Core itself has continued to work fine since that lens connection trouble was diagnosed. Cheers, Steve
  14. Fillipo at PLL has today issued this short video about forthcoming v2.8 Eagle Core firmware which will contain support for more DSLR models and some mirrorless cameras plus the ability to set a delay time between exposures permitting the cool down of the camera sensor. Cheers, Steve
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