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Xiga last won the day on December 4 2022

Xiga had the most liked content!


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  1. The method I used is a little different. I first processed the Ha by removing the stars and applying a bit more N-XT than usual. I tried sharpening it, but it was already quite faint and couldn't really take any. Then I added it as a new layer and double-clicked on the layer to open the Layer Style menu. From here, I changed the blend mode to Screen and de-selected the G and B channels. Then I used levels and Curves to really darken the Ha layer a lot, so that it wasn't affecting the sky background. Once I was happy with it, I changed the opacity of the layer to 80% and then made a copy of the layer, only this time I de-selected the R and G channels and changed the opacity to 20%. This way, I was able to weight the Ha 80% to Red and 20% to Blue, which seems to be the consensus for how the Pixel Math brigade do these things. Nevertheless, I always trust my eyes over anything else, and I admit I did like the effect. It made the Ha less of a fire-engine red, and gave it a slightly magenta hue, which I really liked, so I think I'll do it this way from now on πŸ˜ƒ
  2. Thank you Bryan! Yeah I'm pleased with how it came out in the end. This is easily the most data I've ever captured on a single image, and I really noticed it during processing. It's been a frustrating 18 months for sure, and I won't bore you with the details, lol. I'm just happy to be back in the game again πŸ˜ƒ
  3. Thanks Olly ☺️ I had a hard time processing this. I spent 4 nights on it, and had to start over a couple of times. This was my first time incorporating Ha into a broadband nebula image. I initially spent a fair amount of time looking up how to do it via continuum subtraction using pixel math in Siril. It worked, but then I tried just adding it in PS instead and found I could do exactly the same, only with so much more control, so I went with that. It was also my first time using Generalized Hyperbolic Stretch. I'm very impressed with it. I knew it would tame the stars well, but I was worried I would lose some of the dust along the way, but it seemed to work well.
  4. Thanks! Not sure I can see the birds, although I'm usually terrible at seeing shapes in images. 😁
  5. It was most definitely very strange. The only reason I wanted to roll back the firmware, was simply because the darks still didn't look right, they were way too noisy. The new firmware and drivers didn't fix the problem, so I wanted to try and get the camera back to its original firmware and drivers, as I knew that the camera was working fine with them at one point. The ticket I raised with Dr Qui was simply about rolling back the firmware, and he didn't object so I can only guess he must have thought it would work ok. If the usb board was in the process of failing, I can see how the flashing could have been the tipping point that caused it to die, but I agree the timing was very suspicious. You also make a good point that I could have rightly said that it was him the effectively broke it, so I shouldn't have had to pay, but I didn't think about that. He just said the camera needed repairing and I went along with it. For anyone else who needs to send a Qhy camera off for repair, and you're out of warranty, basically you have to pay for the technician's time plus the parts. So they've told me that my new usb board is covered for 2 years, but if the board were to break again within that time, I'd still have to pay for the technician's time which would be about half the repair costs, which tbh doesn't seem very fair to me. Qhy should really be paying the technician for his time and the customer should only foot the bill for replacement parts, but anyway, here's hoping the camera works within issue now for many years to come.
  6. Hi all After giving up on the hobby for over a year (due to persistent mount issues, which now seems to have magically resolved itself somehow - let's hope it stays that way!) i've finally managed to get enough data for an image. My last one was back in Nov 2022 πŸ™„ I started collecting data for this back in Feb, but then in early April the camera developed a fault and needed to be sent off for repair to fix a faulty usb board. Thankfully, the repair went well, and i got the camera back just in time to get the Red and Blue data to finish this off before we lost astro dark here in N.Ireland. Stacked in APP, and gradients removed using GraXpert (which i am very impressed with!). I stretched the Lum manually using GHS in Siril, and the RGB was stretched using arcsinh (in Photoshop) to preserve the colour. All further processing then done in PS. S-XT and N-XT used along the way too, of course. Capture details: Qhy268m, Skywatcher 80ED, HEQ5-Pro Lum (10 hrs); R (2.4 hrs); G (2.8 hrs); B (3 hrs); Ha (5 hrs). Total (23.2 hrs). It's nice to finally be imaging again πŸ˜€ Even if i do have to wait to August now for astro dark to return! C&C welcome. Ciaran.
  7. Hi guys Thought i'd post an update on my camera, and the strange issue i was having with subs that randomly looked as though the cooler wasn't working. I figured maybe the issue was down to me using old drivers, and by old, i mean dating back to when i got the camera in March 2020! So i went looking for new drivers and saw that there was also a new firmware available too. So in my wisdom, i decided to flash that as well. Everything installed fine but the subs still looked too noisy, so i wanted to go back to the original firmware, but the Qhy software doesn't allow this. So Dr Qiu kindly agreed to remote onto my machine and try downgrading it for me. However, he couldn't manage it either, and worse still, in the process something went really wrong and i could no longer connect to the camera. He said it needed repaired, so last month i sent it off to Jan in the Czech Republic, and sure enough, the USB board was faulty. He fixed it up for me (total cost was €220) and i had the camera back within a week. Ran off a few quick Darks and they now look just as they always did, so i'm hoping that's the last of the problems i have with it. The camera is only 3 years old, so it's a bit disappointing that something went wrong so early in it's life. Especially when i do so little imaging, (1 image in the last 18 months!) and the camera lives inside the house, so it's not like it's being overly worked or being kept outside in the cold. Anyways, at least i'm back up and running again. And i got the camera back just in time to finish off a data set i started back in Feb πŸ™‚
  8. Hi Richard I've double-checked my power connections and am happy that they are all sound (i use AC power) but i guess something must have come loose somewhere (although i can't figure out how!). I'll just keep a closer eye on the subs over the next few sessions to see if everything is ok. If not, i'll be back on here no doubt! The data is still useable for sure. It's just typical though, that on my best ever Lum session (7 hrs with great guiding) that this happened! The first half were affected, but at least the 2nd half were ok. I've stacked the data already, just to see, and it stacks fine, with none of the hot pixels showing. No need for any cosmetic correction (which APP can do, if i needed it). The dithering and sigma stacking takes care of all the (many!) hot pixels, but of course the resulting stack is no doubt a fair bit noisier than it would have otherwise been. There's always something in this hobby isn't there?!
  9. Hmm, now that you say it Vlaiv, that does sound like a more logical conclusion! I run everything from inside the house, via an extension cord plugged into an RCD (for extra protection) which goes to a weatherproof box, which houses all the power bricks. I do have a 12v extension cable for the camera, as the one it came with is nowhere near long enough, but it has a nice snug fit and doesn't seem loose of flimsy. I've never had any power issues ever since i moved to AC many years ago (best thing i ever did tbh) but i guess something must have come loose somewhere, somehow. I've opened up the weatherproof box and checked all the connections just to be sure, but nothing was loose. I guess i'll just have to keep an eye on the next few sessions and see if it happens again. FWIW on the new darks i took - on the first 20 (uncooled), they started out all the same, ie noisy, then weirdly on subs 8 to 14 they suddenly became a lot cleaner, then on subs 15 to 19 they returned to being noisy again, but then sub 20 was clean, similar to subs 8 to 14. Very strange. But on the cooled ones (subs 21 to 40) they all looked the same, so i'm happy that the cooling worked. I won't bother posting them, unless anyone wants to see them!
  10. I looked at all 210 subs a bit more closely, and i've found a weird correlation between when the mount did it's meridian flip, and a decrease in noise. The mount was due to do it's meridian flip quite early, but because the guiding was going so well i just decided to let it continue on past the meridian. I've been having mount issues and i wasn't confident that guiding would continue as well on the other side, so i let it go on for maybe 90 mins past the meridian before i told it to flip. The first 99 subs were done on one side, and they all exhibit noise that suggests cooling wasn't fully working (despite SGP saying it was ). The mount then flipped, and then from subs 100 to about 115 there is a gradual but very noticeable decrease in noise with each passing sub, before it eventually levels off and the subs all look nice and clean as expected. So somehow, the meridian flip un-glitched the software and the cooling suddenly started working fully again, is my best guess so far! Note, i checked the FITS header for most of the subs, and the temp does fluctuate between -4.9 and -5.0 in all of them. I would have felt better if they all showed the same value, but they don't, which only confuses things even more, lol. ps - I've now taken some new darks with and without cooling. I'll post those next.
  11. Hi guys I have a Qhy268m and noticed a weird problem in some lights recently. I started a thread in the Imaging discussion forum, but think it's better in here. Link below. Interested to hear other owners thoughts, and the best way to test/analyse whether something is actual wrong with the camera. Cheers.
  12. Thanks for the response guys. Onikkinen that's a good idea, I'll post a link to this thread in the Qhy268 thread πŸ‘ I think you might be on to something Oddsocks. I use AC power for everything so I don't think it was a power issue, but I agree it does look like the cooling wasn't working properly for whatever reason. I took a long break (over a year) from astro, and this was only my 2nd session getting back into it. I looked over the subs from the 1st session from a couple of weeks earlier, and those subs were also affected. I also checked some subs from a year ago and they looked fine. I'm not convinced just yet that the cooling is booked, so i think I'm going to re-install the firmware and see if that helps. I think it's still running the version from when the camera was first released. Forecast looks awful here for the next while, so I might also do a test of shooting some darks with the cooler off, followed by some at -5C, and see if they look as expected. Cheers guys.
  13. I was out the other night shooting some Lum on Vdb 152 with my Qhy268m. The rig captured around 7 hrs in total, but when i came to inspect the data, i noticed something very strange. I use APP for calibration, and have never, ever had any issues calibrating my data. I calibrate with Masters for Darks, Flats, Dark Flats, and a BPM. But when i inspected the calibrate subs, i noticed lots and lots of what look like hot pixels remaining. I think a small number of them are in fact hot pixels (i probably need to take new Darks and a new BPM, it's been 18 months since i last took some) but the majority can't be hot pixels as they are clearly moving frame by frame. What's even weirder, is that the number of them start out quite low, then as the sub count increases, they grow in number until there are absolutely loads of them, and then they start to decrease in number, such that by the end of the night there are not many at all. I'm totally stumped as to what this could be. The camera was only running at -5C and i've checked the FITS data for a number of subs and they all show -5 (or -4.9) so i don't think it's a cooler issue. I've attached a few raw subs below, if someone could kindly take a look. I've included a few from the early part of the session, a few from the middle, and a few from the end. I've also attached the calibration masters as well. Here's a screenshot at 100% zoom of how Sub 60 looks like after calibration! I haven't bothered stacking everything yet. I suspect that the dithering and rejection algorithm will clean things up a lot, but i'd still very much like to sort this out as clearly something isn't right. vdb 152_120sec_No_ISO_filter0_L_3_frame1.fit vdb 152_120sec_No_ISO_filter0_L_3_frame2.fit vdb 152_120sec_No_ISO_filter0_L_3_frame3.fit vdb 152_120sec_No_ISO_filter0_L_3_frame60.fit vdb 152_120sec_No_ISO_filter0_L_3_frame61.fit vdb 152_120sec_No_ISO_filter0_L_3_frame62.fit vdb 152_120sec_No_ISO_filter0_L_3_frame197.fit vdb 152_120sec_No_ISO_filter0_L_3_frame198.fit vdb 152_120sec_No_ISO_filter0_L_3_frame199.fit MF-IG_56.0-E_4.0s-QHYCCD-Cameras2-Capture-6252x4176-.fits BPM-QHYCCD-Cameras2-Capture-6252x4176.fits MD-IG_56.0-E120.0s-QHYCCD-Cameras2-Capture-6252x4176.fits vdb 152_120sec_No_ISO_filter0_L_3_frame63.fit
  14. It must be a full year now since i last captured or processed anything, but I've been trying to get back in the Astro saddle lately. Of course, the awful weather we've been having here in N. Ireland certainly hasn't helped, but when i saw this i thought it would be a good opportunity to get back to processing again. Workflow for this was actually fairly simple. I don't have P.I, but the stars really needed BXT so i used trials for both P.I and BXT to correct them. APP was used for gradient reduction (which i did find was needed) as well as doing the initial stretching, before manually combining as SHO in Photoshop. Lots more stretching then done in PS. Star-Xterminator and Noise-Xterminator both used along the way (in PS, not P.I, just because i prefer to do as much as i can in PS) and finally a bit of high pass filtering. Also left some green in too, as i personally prefer it on SHO images. Decided to really push it, given the size of the data set. Thanks for sharing!
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