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About SonnyE

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    Proto Star
  • Birthday 12/03/50

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    Santa Clarita, CA; U.S.A. N34 26' , W118 36, West of Orion.

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  1. Well, there is the manual restoration of the settings. They may come back to you as you go through the steps and settings. Sorry you are going through this Neil. I too, learned the hard way. Just pick your way through it. You got there before, you will again. Possibly one or more of these could help?
  2. The first time I ever used the system restore I was scared. But it restores your computer to an earlier time. Like before you did the update to Stellarium. It doesn't mess up your files, just turns back the clock a bit. A nice feature actually. Your situation would be ideal for it.
  3. Dang Neil, I did that once as well. Seems to me it was 15.1 or 15.2 update. Luckily for me, I have 3 computers here that 'mirror' each other, so I was able to reenter the data manually from one to the other. But once I got my 15.0 version repaired, I haven't done much else with it, I updated the comets catalog not long ago. That's been nice. But it is a pity the updates seem to obliterate the resident copy. I did not care for the updated version anyway, since I'm one of those Windows Classic sort of folks. Lean, mean, not to colorful machine. I don't even like App's, but I had to choke them down. Updates should not destroy the resident copy.
  4. Let's back up a little here. White is your camera being over saturated with light. It wants nighttime to work. Milwaukeelion and I both get that. I need to get pretty dark before my guide camera begins behaving properly. PHD wasn't dumb enough for this dummy either. But I have some real help for you: PHD Basics 1, and PHD Basics 2 helped me get going with mine. Just do small changes once you get going. You will be dialing in PHD2 for your gear. I've gotten (finally) to where mine runs well enough that I leave it alone. But until I found those video's I was pretty dismayed with PHD. Keep at it, you will win.
  5. That's fine, just take your time. I did a lot of learning with my telescope and mount aimed out a (closed) window, focused on a neighbors chimney cap a ways off. It was all cloudy, but I played anyway. Just take your time and you'll get there.
  6. That is gorgeous, Richard! Very nice! I have a friend here that has a collection of the older lenses with 42 mm screw on mountings. He uses them attached to his Astro Cameras to take images of the night skies. I'm thinking about trying that myself because the cameras are entirely electronic, and no shutter mechanisms to wear out. (I've put over 87,000 operations on my DSLR in about 3 years.) Lately I've been running Sequences with my telescope and camera. But it isn't wide field. So I'm looking at making my camera lenses mount to my CCD camera.
  7. Thanks Rodd, Yes, and no, on the focusing. Yes that I do the focusing manually. But no, because I use Tekky Daves electronic focuser and by remote. Clear as mud, huh? I have my telescope about 1/2 Borg. When I built my copy of Tekky Daves focuser, I could see I needed to take my wireless control to a new level. A friend of mine mentioned stick computers and I was on that like a fly on manure. A few weeks later, my Borg-A-Scope was fully functioning. But, even though I can fully control everything remotely, including focusing, I'm still doing it with manual settings by choosing steps. Not Automatic like say a DSLR camera lens will. I don't know how to make that next step to achieve fully automatic focusing. Even with fully automatic focusing, I still have some difficulties with my focusing. I guess my old tired eyes aren't what they use to be. I'm open to any suggestions...
  8. ST-4 is, I believe, the actual connector used commonly from the guide cameras, and the mounts ST-4 port. More here. More commonly used in telephone connections and computer modem connection, but adapted by the Telescope industry, or ASCOM. Now I have a great video set for you to take a look at about PHD and how to get it set up and going. PHD (Literally, Push Here Dummy) was too difficult for this dummy to get working. Until I found these: PHD Basics 1 PHD Basics 2 You're getting there, but it takes a lot of patience, and some twiddling. When you do get PHD2 operating, do your adjustments in smaller increments. Experiment with the settings to find the best settings for your equipment. Review the videos as needed, take it slowly. I managed to get mine to where I haven't changed any settings in a very long time. Because it works, and works great. Just take it slow, and enjoy learning.
  9. Eyepieces. And a diagonal if you don't want to be a contortionist. (I didn't have a diagonal for the longest time.) When starting out, I was showing the telescope to our Son. Saturn was particularly favorable a target at the time. I got on it with an eyepiece. Then added a 2X Barlow and refocused, Ahh! Then tried my 3X Barlow, AHH! Then I decided, Why Not? I stacked both Barlow's and centered and refocused. Holy Cow! It was nearly filling the FOV. (Field of view) Everybody got a big kick out of seeing Saturn, live, for the first time. Whew! The new telescope had proven itself for visual. (When you are new, and showing family, it's the object, more than the immediate quality, of the view.) Camera wise, imaging has been quite a learning curve for me. It takes tons of patience, lots of learning your mount, guiding, and all. I think I learn something every session. Last night I learned I need to do a polar alignment and generally check my mounts setting. It acts like it is off kilter or something. So I'll check my basics, then tonight do a polar alignment as well. Possibly the gardener fouled up my mount working by it. But I like my basics just so... If you haven't already, or if I haven't poked this in your face before, I would suggest you sit back and watch some of Forrest Tanaka's video's on Astrophotography. I watched pretty much everything he put up while working on my 'wish lists', and waiting on my stuff. Take note that he modified his 8" Newtonian for Astrophotography. Moving the mirror up in the tube to be able to focus the camera. And how it makes it unsuitable for visual. Lastly, take care in what you choose so you don't wish later you'd picked something different. I wish I had picked a different CCD camera, for instance. But I made myself learn to use what I chose. If you chose something that has a following here on SGL, it is easier to find help along the way with questions. Not so easy with odd ball telescopes, but it is a big web. The most important thing is to have fun, and remember that you will be using what you choose. So it is most important to please yourself, and your budget, as you move forward.
  10. Hi again, Jim! Astrophotography is a different animal. My opinion (based on my experiences) is that you will want as good of a Go-To GEM type mount as your budget can muster. It need not be capable of handling a huge payload, but try and look for something roughly double what you might be putting on it. For example, and not necessarily a recommendation, My Celestron AVX mount is rated for a 30 pound payload. And they sell it with up to a 28 pound 6" refractor that is 47 inches long, Huge! (Not a telescope for Astrophotography) as a "package". But I've heard some great things about iOptron Mounts, too. If I had a do-over, I'd do-over here. And maybe a bit bigger yet, like this one. But I made my bed, so I have to lay in it. On this mount I put an Orion ED80T CF refractor telescope weighting 5.5 pounds dry. My added equipment, Guiding, focusing extension, filter wheel, cameras, and more has it up around 13.1 pounds now. Below 1/2 the rated load capacity. Essentially that lets the mount work under-loaded and smoother, which is critical for doing photography. See, the telescope is essentially your camera lens, and your camera works through it. But everything involved from the mounting bar up is on a moving stage, tracking your object in space. So if your mount is struggling at all, you get poor images in the end. And this is why many decide to err on the side of larger mounts. I needed to err on the side of moths in my wallet, It adds up to a huge expense starting from the ground up for Astrophotography. Where visual observing differs vastly is the human eye does a great amount of instant adjustments we may or may not be aware of. Where a camera is dumb and reports exactly what it sees, including tiny adjustments to what it is mounted on. So guiding corrections show up as bloated stars, and all sorts of absolutely maddening things in our pictures. (Mine were so bad I called them Pickturds. They've improved, but still often abominable. ) So checklist items to consider in your transition: 1. A mount capable of your aspirations, that can take you there, then keep you there. 2. A telescope specialized in imaging, and not just adapted to it. 3. A camera, or cameras, specific to your imaging choice for the evening. Solar system, or DSO? it makes a difference and this is not really a One-Size-Fits-All point in the equipment. And Guiding, Good guiding so you can grow into Great imaging. As I pursued my path into this lunacy, I began thinking big, but found out small was where I needed to go to reach the obscure nebula deep in outer space. Fortunately I did this by using the Internet and a lot of reading how to get there, rather than buying over, and over, and over, the wrong things. And then spending years climbing the learning curve. But I chose to pursue the obscure, the distant Nebula. Like choosing the North Face for my first attempt. I came to my conclusion that I could use an imaging refractor for visual use for planets with Barlow lenses, But that trying to use a visual telescope for imaging would be an exercise in frustration. We proved my idea worthy my first summer when I brought Saturn in by stepping up magnifications with eyepieces and Barlow lenses, causing quite a stir with the Family taking views. Here, light-years from there, I'm doing so much better than then over all. And my imaging telescope looks like it came from a Borg ship on Star Trek.
  11. Makes sense. Have fun. It is very rare indeed I change cameras. Just wanted to point out about the pinch effect.
  12. You must have an incredibly large bag, Dave.
  13. My apologize for the delay Olly, I had a time finding his post. It is mid-thread. Here is the post, and the image. When downloaded the lines I refer to as 'striations' are more apparent. Ed's are the first I've run across besides mine with my Orion G3 color camera. And he is wondering what might cause them? I'm watching postings from cameras in an effort to decide on my next. Thank You for anything you might share.
  14. If cost is not an object, then I would get the bigger filters. My reason is I can remove my DSO camera, and screw on my DSLR. But while the DSO camera works fine with my 1.25" filters, my DSLR gets horrible Vignetting, and coma through the smaller filters. (Sensor size differences) Too large a filter can 'future proof' your choices now. Where too small a filter choice now, might not work well in the future if a different (larger) sensor should be chosen. Make sense? I refer to that as my 'Buy once, cry once' Philosophy. As opposed to a buy wrong, cry all night long mistake. The bottom line is, you have to please yourself, as you will be living with your choices.
  15. So the Johnson got a bit repetitive, but I learned how to bring things to "life" from the night sky. I saw where the Trifid looked venerable to my wondering telescope. I got on it, but it was wandering through our Southern Palm tree. I decided to let things run anyway, taking 150 second images with the G3 camera in YCbCr color mode. It began centered, but I imagine the disruption of the tree caused PHD2 confusion. I threw away the first 22 images from a 50 image sequence run. I was happy to see these the next morning. The AVX with PHD2 guiding, or Stellarium, just continues tracking the guide star until it parks itself at limits of the mount, often aimed downward (good if dew happens, or bird nests). I get up at dawn anyway and go set the mount to 'Home' (Polaris) while the coffee maker is warming up, and bring in the Borg-A-Scope. The nights images are on the extract-able 64 Gb SanDisc memory card in the Stick computer. I get my coffee, mount the micro card in it's carrier, and browse the dreams it gathered. Then do my workflow to convert them to JPG's for working in Photoshop Elements 12 where I filter the noise (which turns the 'rainbow Sprinkles' into stars, while retaining the colors the camera gathered). Then run a batch conversion I've tuned into a minimal transition, and the JPG's are ready to upload into And that works the magic to bring the individual images into a sort of time-lapse, usually at 50 milliseconds per image. I find it fun. And it isn't wearing out my DSLR, and gives motion to a deep space object. I'm hoping for an interesting summer of Nebula chasing. Simple mind - simple pleasures. I'll be back tonight for some other victims of the Borg-A-Scope. Below is my aiming shot. The tree is the discoloration.