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About HiloDon

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    Mauna Kea, Hawaii
  1. Hi James, I think it’s how the software reads the data. Other software like Nebulosity has the same options. I’m no expert on this, but I think the firmware establishes the read pattern and the software must match it. The color Lodestar as far as I know is CYGM. The SX RGB cams like the Ultrastar were RGGB. Then for some reason SX changed the firmware to something different. It doesn’t affect the image other than the color is messed up and you can see the bayer mask grid. Don
  2. Hi Bill, Version 3.4 was primarily developed to be compatible with some of the higher res SX cameras like the 674, 694 and 814. For some reason they would only work in Bin X2. Simon added the extra color space options because SX uses different ones for different cameras. Not sure why, but I just purchased a SX674C Pro and it uses a GRGB color space. SX will send you new firmware to change it to RGGB if you would prefer that. Other than that, I am not aware of other changes. I think the Starlight Vision is just a name change, but I think it’s only a Windows version. Hope this helps to clear things up. Don
  3. Hi Rob, I was a bit late reading this, but as soon as I saw your M100, I looked for the SN. I think you got it! We had something similar happen to my friend and me a couple of years back at the VIS. We captured the Leo Trio and there was a new SN in M66. This was a couple of days before the discovery. My friend did submit it after the fact and they acknowledged the submittal. It helped to establish the approximate start date of the SN. We didn’t discover it, but we did have the earliest capture of it. Don
  4. Hey, Doc. Welcome back! Great video. I agree that the Lodestar and Paul’s software were inspirational in EAA/VA. The late great Nytecam opened up a whole new world to me and many others. Things have change and advanced some over the past couple of years, but the reliable Lodestar with SLL still gives a lot of pleasure in viewing the night skies. I really liked your Eyes Galaxies. Hope to see you around a lot more. Don
  5. Hi Martin, SX also has the SX825 Trius that is the cooled version of the Ultrastar. I imagine specs are the same as the Ultrastar similar to the Atik 414 v Infinity. Don
  6. You are correct, James. There was a lot of heated discussion on this in another forum. Here is a good description from a reliable source that explains the difference. One thing to also note is that binning a CCD color cam will lose the color, whereas the CMOS color is retained albeit less effective. https://www.atik-cameras.com/news/binnning-the-differences-between-cmos-and-ccd/ Don
  7. Hi All, First I would like to say how great it is to see a revived Video Astronomy forum now known as EEVA on SGL. Great reports from everyone! Here are some of my galaxies from last night on Maunakea at 9200’. The 694 works well with the latest beta version of SLL, but the stacking appears to be a bit problematic. I’m still investigating it and may have to discuss it with SX. I tried using my old Antares 6.3 focal reducer spaced to give me about .7 reduction on my C1100HD. It surprisingly worked well. Final result is about f/6.8. The FOV is really narrow, but great for galaxy viewing. Don First I tried the popular M51. Couldn’t get it to stack in 1x1 binning, but it did fine in 2x2. 7x45s Next was the Sunflower Galaxy. It stacked well for some reason at 1x1. 5x45s The Whale and Pup. Again it stacked well. 5x45s An attempt to get the jet in M87 was next. This is a cropped view of it. 10x10s Finally, the Black Eye Galaxy. Again had to stack in bin 2. 7x30s
  8. Really great results, Tony!
  9. Hi All, Had a fun night on Mauna Kea at 9200’ this past Wednesday under the full super moon. Seeing that big full moon rise in the east was quite impressive with the clear dark skies we have here. I decided to go for some color views using the SX Ultrastar C and Starlight Live software. The scope was a Celestron C1100HD with Hyperstar. 560mm focal length at f/2. Here are a few of the captures from a productive night. First is Running Man Nebula. The FOV was wide enough to get both the RM and M43, but the difference in brightness is quite different, so I moved Orion a bit to get just the Running Man and the area between them. Next was the classic Horsehead and Flame. Always a favorite. The moonlight affected this a bit, but it is still impressive to see this region of our galaxy. Next was one of my favorites, the Rosette. This FOV focused in a bit more on the central portion, giving a nice view of the central star cluster. The Monkey Head, NGC 2174, was next. In Orion it is an interesting object about 6500 ly away. Not far away is Propus. Also known as the Jellyfish Nebula, it is in Gemini and is a supernova remnant. Next, off to Thor’s Helmet. This is a real tough one to get with limited exposure, but is is very colorful. An emission Nebula in Canis Major, it is about 12k ly away. On the Big Island, we are very lucky to be able to see ETA Carinae. It is very low in the southern sky, but is still quite a sight. It was maybe only six degrees above the horizon on Wednesday. Here is the famous Keyhole of Eta. Up a ways in Eta is NGC3324 also called the Garbriela Mistral Nebula named after the Chilean Nobel Prize winner in poetry. Next to it is the Gem cluster. As a finale, M42, the most viewed and one of the most wonderous Nebula in our galaxy. Don
  10. Hi All, I recently acquired an SX694 mono imager and have been testing it with an Astrodon 5nm NB Ha filter. Last night I had the opportunity to set up my 1100HD with Hyperstar on Maunakea. Here are some results. Don Rosette Nebula 10x45s Horsehead/Flame Nebulae 7x45s Eta Carinae Nebula 1x90s NGC3324 and Gem Cluster 1x90s Heart of the Heart Nebula 7x45s
  11. Excellent work, Martin! It’s amazing to see what the Lodestar can produce, and your Jocular program is quite remarkable. Don
  12. Hi All, Just to keep things simple, I think Grant’s suggestion appears to be a good next step. I think the label of just Video stuck because it was the initiator of what Carl calls fast imaging. For a while when this started, all you had were fast video cams. Then along came Paul Shears, Nytecam, and Martin who developed a simpler one USB cable system that uses an SX Lodestar with Paul’s brilliant Lodestar Live, now Starlight Live. Not really video, but gives similar results. I believe CN actually went from calling the forum something like Video & Electronically Assited Astronomy to just EAA. Video still plays a role in live viewing, and it has a clearer meaning to many. So, I like Grant’s proposal. Whether it helps to bring more posters, only time will tell, but it sure couldn’t hurt. Don
  13. Hi Louise, I would recommend that you try a narrowband Ha filter for EAA viewing of emission Nebulae. The Orion 7nm is a good bargain and performs very well. The filter blocks all light outside that narrow band centered around the wavelength of 656.28nm, so it’s the best LP filter available, but only works on emission Nebulae. The speed should not be significantly affected for emitted Ha light because the transmission at that wavelength should be greater than 90%. Even with the great skies we have here in Hawaii, the filter helps on those nights with a bright moon. It’s best to use the NB Ha filter with a mono camera, but I have gotten some good results with a OSC camera as well. With the Bayer mask on a color camera, only the red lens will pass the Ha light, but most cameras will do some interpolation for the other three. Resolution is reduced, but not as much as one would think. Here is a link to one of my albums of NB Ha captures using a Lodestar 2X mono. Don
  14. Hi Louise, I’m probably going against the grain a bit, but my favorite EAA cams are still the SX Lodestar X2m and the Ultrastar C. The Starlight Live Software is the best in my book, and once you try it, others will pale in comparison. The SLL s/w is a free download and available for both Mac and Windows. Both Lodestar and Ultrastar cams are becoming more affordable on used camera market, as many are jumping to the CMOS cams with Sharpcap. I find Sharpcap a bit clumsy to use and others have been frustrated with it too. If you have any questions, I’ll be happy to answer them. Here’s a few captures I got recently with the Ultrastar C.
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