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Everything posted by SteveNickolls

  1. Here's a complete list of the contents of all the Eagle Core updates. as you say kunene v2.9 adds support for two cameras and fixes an error for the Canon EOS 450D. Cheers, Steve Last version 2.9 25/09/2020: 1) Added support to Nikon D3200 (it doesn't shoot in B mode) 2) Added support to Canon EOS 77D 3) Fixed an error with Canon EOS 450D Version 2.8 25/06/2020: 1) Added possibility to set a delay time between images 2) Added support to Canon EOS 4000D 3) Added support to Nikon Z50 and D850 Version 2.7 02/03/2020: 1) Added support of SESTO SENSO 2 and ESATTO focusers Version 2.6 12/07/2019: 1) Added support of Celestron equatorial mounts with NexStar+ handpad 2) Added support to Canon EOS 450D and Nikon D90 cameras Version 2.5 26/03/2019: 1) Added support of computerized mounts 2) Added support to Canon EOS R and Nikon Z6/Z7 mirrorless cameras Version 2.4 01/02/2019: 1) Added Auto Dithering feature 2) Added support to Canon EOS 1100D 3) Improved sequences control Last version 2.2 06/09/2018: 1) Added support to guide cameras ASI120MM-S, ASI120MC-S, ASI178MM, ASI290MM, ASI290MC 2) Added support to Canon EOS 500D, 650D, 800D, 80D and 5D Mark IV Version 2.1 15/05/2018: 1) Added support to Canon EOS 5D Mark II Update version 2.0 17/04/2018: 1) Added support to SESTO SENSO robotic focusing motor 2) Added support to Nikon D5300 camera Update version 1.0.20 01/12/2017: 1) Added support to Canon EOS 450D, 1300D, 750D, 70D and Nikon D800E cameras Update version 1.0.15 24/07/2017: 1) Added support to Canon EOS 60D and 60Da 2) Added support to Canon EOS 5D Mark III 3) Added + and - button to decrease/increase Y scale of guide graph 4) ÒguidingÓ button is now disabled during Calibration Update version 1.0.10 31/05/2017: 1) Fixed an even that could pause autoguide 2) Fixed guide star selection with a tap on the screen 3) Increased system speed Update version 1.0.9 24/05/2017: 1) Fixed the exposition times for the QHY5L-II camera 2) Now the image resolution of the QHY5L-II camera is correctly set 3) Added option black/white for the guide camera 4) "matrix width" and "matrix height" values are now correctly visualized 5) Added the parameter "Guiding rate" in "Advanced settings" 6) Added support to Nikon D750 camera
  2. Thanks for highlighting the latest v2.9 kunene, I'll take a look later at which extra cameras have been added to the Eagle Core's support. I'm sorry you feel let down there's not more in the update and that it might signal an overall lack ideas for development for the device. The history of the Eagle Core updates has been irregular in the past mixing minor additions with some useful ideas from time to time. Cheers, Steve
  3. Hi GuySt, thanks for posting. As others have replied take things a step at a time. Carole's advice concerning the polar scope being orthogonal is a job you can do in daytime but if your HEQ5 is like my old CG5 you may have to temporarily take out one of the dec knobs to lower the altitude of the view through the polar scope. A job best done in daytime in case one of the tiny grub screws in the polar scope drops off! Slight turn on one screw-check and repeat carefully. The three screws work against each other.. I would hope your manual describes the process better than Celestron do. Your problem is made worse having no garden to set up permanent markers to help align the tripod each night. If you try to set up as it is getting dark Polaris will stand out amongst the sky being the brightest star. Once you have adjusted the focus of your polar scope you will find subsequent attempts on other nights easier. You might then want to use the Skywatcher Star Adventurer Mini App (free) on a mobile or tablet to help get a more precise polar alignment. While the App is meant for the Star Adventurer Mini you can use the polar alignment utility to manually set polar alignment. It is quite easy to do. This is not as precise as a Pole Master or iPolar device but depending on tbe focal length of your imaging gear can be fine. It is however much more precise than just lining up Polaris through the polar scope. Good luck with your efforts. Everything worthwhile takes time and patience. Cheers, Steve
  4. Thanks stash_old and kunene. As kunene says the Eagle Core is different to the bigger Eagle pc models in the PLL stable line up in that rather than using Windows 10 Enterprise it runs on its own proprietory Eagle software, I think it's Linux based. Earlier posts in this thread detail the hardware found inside the Eagle Core. Cheers, Steve
  5. Thanks for your assessment on the Eagle Core Robindonne and take the points about comparing to the later ASiair Pro and limited functionality of the Eagle Core. It's exciting to wonder what developments we will get to use in these coming years to help in our hobby. I'd hope that the Eagle Core will be a useful system for many in the future having the structural design element, power provision and tidy cable management features. I'm intending this season trying out the Eagle Core on my Star Adventurer mount. Cheers, Steve
  6. Hi Nick, I do like what you have discovered, very resourceful indeed. I'm sure that work around will prove very helpful to others facing a similar dilemma. Cheers, Steve
  7. Hi I had a new Canon 700D modified by Astronomiser being local to me. Excellent service. I had just the one filter removed and it has suited my needs since then. Chers, Steve
  8. Hi Kunene, thanks for your recent post. I can understand your frustrations not being able to have a polar alignment capability in the Eagle App but you have let PLL know your ideas as a customer. It seems PLL didn’t explain to you why the Eagle Core wouldn’t or couldn’t have a polar alignment built in. When I last contacted them with some ideas Fillipo was able to explain why the Eagle App couldn’t include a temperature indication of the sensor (it’s all explained in an earlier post of mine). Maybe if more users wanted polar alignment included then it would add weight to get it incorporated in the future? I agree the Eagle Core works very well at what it does and may actually be under selling itself against competitors as it’s a solution that includes a tidy cable management system and its structural design incorporates it into the imaging rig in many useful ways. I do like its red livery too which fits in well with my WO RedCat set up. Certainly no need to Velcro tie an alternative mini-pc somewhere on the mount or OTA. I’ve done a check of basic prices of the options you mention- Eagle Core £277 (FLO) Lacerta MGEN 3 £609 (365 Astronomy) ASIair Pro £313 (FLO) Atik Base (£269 (FLO) Pegasus Power Box V1 £340 (eBay) Before deciding on a solution that meets an individual’s requirements all these current competitors would require quite a lot of comparison work to be done before choosing. When I purchased my Eagle Core the main option was the original ASIair. The range of PLUS accessories is extensive but costly-in the last video I posted it was pointed out that PLL are not a far eastern manufacturer churning out thousands of units where economies of scale become possible but PLL’s products are of much higher quality getting the individual attention of a small team of committed staff. Yes, the number of threads where the Eagle Core or even Eagle range are mentioned are few and was a driving reason to having this thread where users could share views etc. Looking at the number of views the thread has had (currently 4,570) it is helping to get the product thought about so individuals can make their informed decisions before parting with their hard earnt. I agree that it would be great for the Eagle Core to reach its potential. Cheers, Steve
  9. Thanks for posting your recent experience and observations Nick with the LENR workaround I'm sure it will be helpful for others who want to try that approach and indeed if they in turn can post that it also works for them. We really could do with some clear night skies right now to use the Eagle Core in earnest; I keep records of sessions and this August has been by far the worst year for getting out since my records began in 2012. Interesting that you found the progress bar greyed out but for informing PLL. Cheers, Steve
  10. Thanks for both your recent posts Nick. I can understand your situation with limited star alignment capability. I can't personally help over plate solving but I can see the time coming when plate solving becomes a tool inbuilt into many mount firmware. Hopefully other SGL users with practical experience and knowledge on the subject will be able to chip in and help you here. The reply you received from PLL on the subject is very interesting and will wait to see what comes of it in the future. Cheers, Steve
  11. He, he just our luck to get the light pollution turned down just in time to see all those LEO satellites. Just a thought. Cheers, Steve
  12. Hi Nick, yes the standard Star Adventurer has an auto-guider port. I just took this image off the FLO site- I will let you know how I get on using it. Cheers, Steve
  13. Thanks for your post describing your cable choices and details of your equipment, you have a fine looking set up. It's very helpful to see how folks employ their Eagle Core's as part of the structural side of their imaging rigs. I take it the Eagle App has worked out the box with the AZEQ6 mount apart from some glitches with dithering? One of the things for me to explore this season is using the Eagle Core with my Star Adventurer and see what is produces. Good luck for imaging this season with your set up. Cheers, Steve
  14. Hi Nicks952, thanks for your message. I share your liking of the Eagle core device. Yes you can get hold of the various cable connectors at 365 Astronomy and make up your own cables if you have the skill and that way reduce overall costs. I have found all the cable connectors to be very sturdy in use, no chance of any coming loose accidentally. Yes you need to religiously do all the pre-requisities with your DSLR before using the Eagle Core as mentioned in the manual-that is setting the camera to Manual mode or BULB mode if you have it; having the USB cable connected between the DSLR and one of the Eagle's USB ports; having a charged battery or ideally power the DSLR from the Eagle Core; having a memory card installed in the DSLR (and formatted before first using it with the Eagle Core) and having manually set your camera's focus. The times I have forgotten to connect the USB cable-urgh! I've written a little list of the procedure to follow, very handy after a lengthy lay off between sessions. I haven't yet attempted to allow the Eagle App to control dithering mostly due to my mount, a CG-5 having known DEC backlash issues after previous guiding calibration in PHD2. Having said this the guiding routine in the Eagle App simply works for me, I had expected problems at the calibration stage. It would be good if the Eagle App allowed the use of dark frame or bad pixel map )as PHD2 does) to avoid the accidental selection of a stuck pixel for a guiding star. I have recently swapped from using my ASI120MM-S with a 30 mm ZWO mini-guider for a 50 mm SkyWatcher guide scope to give more stars to choose to guide from. Can I ask what guide scope you use with your QHY 5L-II mono camera? Good luck trying out the advanced settings when guiding. Unlike when imaging when we tend to stick to certain settings when guiding you have to allow for the conditions on the night which may mean adjusting the gain and exposure time so as not try to chase the seeing. I actually think PLL don't shout out the value of their Eagle range enough considering how much easier it makes set up/take down; many cables don't need to be touched each time and the risk of snagging or lose cables is very unlikely. The Eagle unit also becomes part of the physical set up with the holed design of the unit being very useful for ensuring no part can move or sag or needing to resort to Velcro to attach the device to the rest of the rig. The Eagle range isn't cheap but it is well put together and puts connectivity, cable management and power distribution in one unit. Can I ask which of the Eagle power adapters you have? Mine is the 5Amp model as I only power my mount and DSLR from the Eagle Core. I had previously purchased my dew heater equipment so am happy to power that from the same power reel (4 outlets) as the Eagle uses. Good luck this season imaging using your Eagle Core, do post any images and your experiences here. Cheers, Steve
  15. Hi Nicks952, thanks for your post. Really that's the purpose of this thread, to act as an online presence and resource for this very useful device. I'm really pleased the Eagle Core has been of value to you over the last two years, you must have been an early risk taker/adopter. I'd encourage all owners to write to PLL with their suggestions for developments. I did contact Fillipo after the v2.8 update suggesting they consider altering the 'percentage time elapsed' for either 'seconds elapsed' or 'seconds remaining'. Another idea, to add the camera sensor temperature on screen can't work as the Raw CR2 file is stored on the DSLR's memory card not the Eagle Core which only shows the last .jpeg. As regards the work around for LENR I think one of the pre-requisites for the Eagle Core to operate is having that function turned off. Thanks again for posting Nick, would you be willing to post some detail on your set up with tbe Eagle Core to share with others? Cheers, Steve
  16. I thought it helpful to add a link to a recent video out of Woodland Hills Camera and Telescopes about PrimaLuceLabs. Quite a long video but a good insight into the company, their motivation, new facility and product line for general interest. One aspect coming out of the video that users of the Eagle Core, baby of their Eagle range of mini-pc's will be aware of is the benefit arising from fixed cable management and reduced set up time. There is a sizeable portion of time given over in the latter half to the Eagle Core. I do not have any affiliation with either Woodland Hills or PrimaLuceLabs but do own an Eagle Core device and think it a product line that deserves to be known and heard throughout the hobby. Enjoy. Cheers, Steve
  17. Thanks for this John, will check out your coverage. I've got my system detecting the shower this year and will be interested to see what coincidences occur between our set-ups. There's also a live stream at http://hebweather.net/meteor-echoes/ to keep an eye on for comparison. Cheers, Steve
  18. You might find it needs judicial amounts of tape to pack the metal adapter in place in the hot shoe. Hopefully you will get a better fit to your DSLR than I had with either my Canon 600D and 700D. Geoptik make an even more expensive adapter but that can be secured to the hot shoe by means of an Allen screw. Cheers, Steve
  19. A shout out here for using Deep Sky Stacker and then StarTools for processing. Cheers, Steve
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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
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