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About Howie_Oz

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  1. Howie_Oz

    Best setup for wireless Remote Desktop control?

    I cannot find the thread, but ages back I saw someone having similar issues with wifi. So they ran a power cord from inside to outside OBS, and ran EOP (ethernet over power). Fixed up all the problems. Apparently Of course if you are portable setup then it won't help out in the field.
  2. Howie_Oz

    Portable EAA Setup

    Ooooo .... aberations ... you may get vignetting with such big reduction and a mid sized sensor in the Infinity. But get out and try it out. You did good in getting 2nd hand (and those 0.3x SCT reducers are scarce as)! Do hope I didn't confuse you there? Bottom line ... crack on with the Infinity and 0.33x test. Crop off the vignette if you have to and see if it works for your needs. If not, resale should not loose you money. If you decide to keep the 0.33x anyway for future use ... it'll work nice with smaller sensor cams of around 5 to 6mm diagonals. Don't read the rest of this post ..... Unless you'd like to know why diff sensors may or may not vignette with reduction. It's not a physics explanation with precise correct terms etc, but it's how I think of it in an easy to remember way. When light is focused by lens or mirrors, it forms a cone of light. Light intensity/brightness is brighter in the middle of the cone of light, and falls off at the edges of the cone. Hence a small sensor does not extend much into the edges of the poorer brightness of the cone. So they suffer much less from vignetting (dark corners and edges). Larger sensors extend much more into the less bright edges of the cone of light, and so suffer much more from vignetting. The larger the sensor diagonal the more it suffers from vignetting. Second handy thing to know, is reducers act by steepening the angles of the edges of the light cone (so they "reduce" the focal length of the scope). It is this steepening of the light which stretches the stars into elongated rather than round (IE coma). The middle parts of the light cone are still relatively unsteepened as the light right through the middle would clearly be still parallel coming straight down the middle of the scope, even though the edges are now more steep and stretched in order to reach focus shorter than without the reducer. So once again, small sensors will sit more in the region which is less stretched and are less likely to get coma. ANd I'm sure you can then work out why the larger the sensor the more it gets coma around the edges. And third thing to know, Is because reducers (effectively) shorten the focal length of your scope, it means the point you reach focus moves further and further into the scope as you add more and more reduction. So to work with reducers, your scope needs lots of focuser "in-travel". Refractors and SCT's have much more in-travel so usually (not always, but usually) will have enough travel into the scope to bring the camera to focus. However, if you ever think about getting a Newtonian telescope, they do not have much in-travel in the focuser and often cannot bring a camera to focus when you use reducers. People desperate to use reducers with Newts often resort to shortening the tube with hacksaw, or replace the primary mirror bolts with longer ones so the mirror is moved into the tube, or shorten the struts (if its a truss newt - and its what I've done to mine).
  3. Howie_Oz

    Portable EAA Setup

    Ditto to the comments above. And the kit you have chosen was wisely chosen for starting EAA. Your review and experience should be a sticky thread on SGL under the EAA / VA under "Example of how to correctly get started in EAA"! Great to see an excited new member of the "Observing-With-Camera" club, especially the shots of what you saw. Top write up.
  4. Howie_Oz

    Which cam

    Forget about clicking the Live Stack option until you have a live image on the screen which looks bright enough to see many stars as well as some details in the actual object. Don't worry about grainy noise in the image as thats what stacking fixes. Only when the live image is showing many stars and some bits of the object do you start stacking. Stacking will get rid of the noise. Isn't there a sticky on how to use SharpCap on SGL? Or am I thinking of Lodestar Live how to? As other posters say ...bump the gain up to 300 to 360 and then adjust the exposure time to start to get stars n stuff. But you should also adjust the image gamma and contrast n stuff so its a learning curve/balancing act. We've all had to learn and overcome the learning curve. Then when you do click Live Stack you then have to adjust the histogram curve (in the stacking windows TAB's). Worth doing in the end though
  5. Howie_Oz

    Binoveiwing Revolution R2?

    You know, years ago in the days that Mallincam AV cameras were King, I saw a post on another forum about a guy who was sending the analogue video feed from the MC camera into a Sony HMD. IE the early days of virtual reality headsets. Those Sony HMD's were uber expensive (for me anyway!). But I loved the idea. So when you folk get these dual camera setups working, as well as trying your twin setups to more rapidly reduce noise/ more rapidly increase SNR, etc it would be interesting to see if there's a VR headset which will display two feeds side by side ala stereoscopically. Now be careful about what I am saying here as I very much doubt that the width apart of the two cams are going to make any difference at all in yielding a 3D effect .... they are simply no where near far enough apart to do that given the distances to the objects being viewed. But ... the two images each contain different noise and different bits of clarity, and just like the stacking software your brain should combine the two diff noise/clarity images into one instantly presenting to you a cleaner and more detailed 'view'. And as per the Mallincam Sony HMD guy waaaaay back about 7 years ago, in the absence of any peripheral light or people distractions give the viewer a totally immersive floating in space experience.
  6. And again trust Don and others are safe over there. Saw on morning news Kilauea spewed ash 6 miles high this morning.
  7. Howie_Oz

    Binoveiwing Revolution R2?

    Toaster will most definitely take the two images from two cameras and stack without problem. It doesnt care where the image came from. There's a max derotation angle setting in DSS itself, which will allow slight differences in the two frames and still stack. But I will suggest a better way to 'collimate' the two cameras. A handy tool to use for overlaying the two images just to check orientation of the two cameras is a free (Windows) app called peek through. Once loaded you setup a hotkey which in my case is Windows-A. At start of evening go to bunch of bright stars and take test image and when get short high gain photo of the target stars, set the second camera at same exp and gain. Then with two photos side by side (from each camera) ... click on one cameras image so that window is 'active' and click Windows-A (in my case) and that window will become transparent. Then you simply drag the transparent window over the first non transparent one. Drag the Window edges to make it the exact same size/scale, and bingo you'll see the stars are aligned or not aligned via the foreground transparent one won't overlay the background non transparent one. By simply turning one camera slightly and due to the high gain you'll use on the bright target stars, you should see the stars (from that camera which youo are turning) rotate over the top of the image from the other camera. Then lock it down. Bingo both cams are collimated and so closely that DSS wont have any trouble stacking the images from the cameras. I know some use cam as eGuider open in one copy of SC, and another SC opened to run the main imaging cam. Havent done it myself but Ive heard peeople say they do that. Else ask Robin. You'd set two copies of SC to run each of the bino cameras, and set both to save to the toaster folder and it will see every new shot (from either camera - it doesnt know any diff seeing every new frame and a new frame to stack). It wont 'brighten' the image but sure as heck you'll decrease noise (thus increasing SNR) twice as fast as using just one camera. So you'd get faster to the final shot you wish to accept as nice and noise free, but also if you still went for a total exposure time same as if you only had one camera in, the better SNR will enable to to tease out more detail ... and in effect allow you to get a 'brighter' shot with more details. Go for it mate !!!! I'd love to see your results!
  8. Howie_Oz

    NexStar 6se EAA Recommendations

    You've done well as that's about what we all see on our first goes. Good job mate. Re number to stack ... you've already seen it and will now have in your mind what kind of number to stack yields a good result. Cos there's all sorts of recipes re what number is best. It is indeed a law of diminishing returns and sometimes stacking more than optimum leads to blurry images as more gear/motor pulse problems appear in more frames. Its a "give it go some night on one object" sort of thing for you to try out. Stack the equivalent of 1 minute (say thats 12 x 5sec frames), then 2 minutes (24 x 5 sec) then 4 then 6 then 8 and so on and watch for the difference in ease to move the sliders around to see the best you can get it, which both helps you learn what slider does what as well as the aha moments of Gee bright nebulas works best with about 5 minutes worth of total exposure time, but the dim stuff really needs 10 minutes, and star clusters only need 1 minute. Or something like that. Re cannot find the objects .... the 6SE Nexstar hand control has a Precise GoTo menu item. Go look that up in the manual, and if you dont have the manual look for copy of the manual on the web or from celestrons website or an astro shops website. Basically if you cannot 'see' it then use the HC menu to initiate the Precise GoTo. It knows the constellation of your desired object and so knows the brightest star in that constellation and slews over to it. Being a bright star you can see it thru your finder! Tada! ... so move the scope using the arrow buttons to centre that star thru both the finder and then the camera (which again being bright star it WILL show it on the laptop). Once centered you press Enter and the HC works out how much the error in slewing to that bright star was in that constellation and so refines the accuracy of all targets in that constellation based on that error. So then you slew back to your desired object and its accuracy to land on the small sensor should be much better now. cheers
  9. Howie_Oz

    Does anyone broadcast?

    Another endorsement for NSN (Joe's site). Tis the best I've come across. If you broadcast be aware that it needs (according to Joe trying to help me do a show which kept crashing) 2Mbps upload to work properly. I'm in Australia and only average 0.4 to 0.7 Mpbs upload so once I got 3 or 4 people join in the show and voice chat with me it crashes several times a minute. Until I get better internet I cannot broadcast. There is debate on what I've just said there though, as some US people broadcast with less than 2Mbps upload fine. So it could be some other weird Aussie bandwidth/other problem going on for me. There is a Cloudy Nights Announcements sticky which Don in the above post (HiLoDon) and others put announcements of when they are going to be on. But some dont bother putting it in there and instead post they are up live on the NSN Facebook page ... so join that too. Don's broadcasts with the Lodestar X2 and Starlight Live are excellent. Always impressed with both that cam and the software. Another regular is another Don (DonBoy) who tests and wrings every last drop of goodness out of so many camera's it's wonderful to watch new stuff before everyone goes buy them. And lastly, Robin Clark who lists on that CN announcements page as saguaro (or something like that) who wrings the utmost out of ASI1600 doing 1 min x 10 to 20 stacked ... but while not VA shortness, the shots are like AP. Very sharp and great detail.
  10. Howie_Oz

    NexStar 6se EAA Recommendations

    You got the 0.5x1.25" ... no worries ... just get out and use it and have fun experimenting! Those Mallincam (and other brands) 0.5x 1-1/4" and 0.5x 2" reducers are (IMO) all GSO's or that design spec, rebranded. They're all priced simiilarly, look identical, and have the same specs. I've tried several 2" out in field with the local astro club as many guys buy them and I've always found them blurry compared to the old Mallincam ones. But ... I see Roel's post above he was using the MFR5 ... he may have compared his MFR5 to the typical 0.5x cheap reducers and have a comment. IE dont just assume my findings on the 0.5 cheap reducers were the norm ... maybe the three or four I've tried were all rubbish offloaded to Aussie vendors at some point (LOL). Roel might have gotten a good one and reckon they're fine. You might have gotten a good one and find it great... so no probs keep it for now and get out and have a crack and see how it goes. But, it was the MFR5 I was referring to. Comes with spacers and two lens units. Using those in different combinations of lens and spacers you can achieve a variety of reduction to suit diff targets. I got it with my Mallincam VSS+ which was my first venture into VA waaaaay back 6 or 7 years ago! Anyway ... the ZWO cam's come with a 1-1/4" adapter which screws onto the camera body. Into the 1-1/4" hole in that adapter you normally thread the ZWO 1-1/4" nosepiece. But if you end up finding a MFR5 2nd hand and buy it to give it a try ... you'll find you can thread the MFR5 into that 1-1/4" hole effectively replacing the need for a nosepiece and away you go.
  11. Howie_Oz

    NexStar 6se EAA Recommendations

    Yeah mate ... have a crack with the 224 + reducer. Been there done that! LOL. Its still mighty powerful mag/narrow FOV with a 0.5x on the 1500mm FL 6SE tube though. So you'll be very limited to short exposures and any aberations in the tracking and bad goto's will show up. But it's all about having a go and learning and finding out. And cheap first go for you cos you already have the 6SE. Couple of tips ... I found the GSO 0.5x reducer to be rubbish. Second hand Mallincam reducers work really nicely. Much sharper views and less coma. Its tough to find them 2nd hand though (they are expensive (!!!) brand new). Plus you can double stack reducers with the very small sensor size of the 224 ... it handles it quite well. Secondly, if you do find it still has too much mag/narrow FOV/hard to goto, hard to track, hard to go long enough exposures, blurry stars .... its more the OTA problem with it still simply having too much FL/mag rather than a prob with the 224. Try to borrow an Orion ST80 from someone (although 2nd hand they are cheap as chips) and put it into the dovetail "clamp" on the 6SE mount. Much wider FOV/less mag so more forgiving on tracking, goto accuracy, field rotation with the small chip 224, much 'sharper' stars .... but you'll have to use a yellow #8 or #12 to cure the achromatic color fringing with it. The thing with the little ST80 mounted in the 6SE mounts dovetail clamp is that it makes a GREAT grab n go! Leave the thing all setup with camera the whole lot ready to go. You really dont have to use the tripod with the 6SE as the base has rubberised 'bits' underneath so you can plonk it on a car, the ground, a couple of bricks ... single cable from the cam to your laptop with you sitting in a chair and away you go. Bit tough to crouch and do all star alignment ... but get a 2nd hand StarSense and then you're really talking ... plonk it down, turn it on and in the couple of minutes the StarSense is doing your alignment you're getting the comfy chair and laptop out. By the time you're ready with that you're ready to start 'observing' with the 224. As they say the best scope is the one you use the most. And the easier the setup when we occaisionally see clear sky, the more we'll get out there ... and the more we can forgive the still fairly blocky/grainy/star bloat images coming from the 224 compared to other cams. But those other cams have their compromises ... longer exp time, etc. So crack on, cant wait to see how you go.
  12. Howie_Oz

    New Set up for VAA

    Said I'd post up a quick tip on PA with a GEM when you cannot see the pole... The star alignment and PA routine built into the hand controls...... 1. Dont forget that second alignment is necessary after doing the PA routine! The sequence is always first 2 or 3 star alignment followed by PA routine followed by second 2 or 3 star alignment. 2. The alignment routine and also the PA routine selects stars for you to use assuming you can actually see the pole. So the tip is ... if it selects a star you cannot see because it is near the pole, don't sweat it ... just use any star it suggests which you can see. 3. Dont forget that second alignment is necessary after doing the PA routine! The sequence is always first 2 or 3 star alignment followed by PA routine followed by second 2 or 3 star alignment. Not a mistake writing this up a second time !!! LOL ... you'd be amazed how often it gets forgotten!
  13. Howie_Oz

    New Set up for VAA

    Newbs2215 ... I'm a retired Engineer whose been into 'observing with a camera' for 3 years now with both AltAz and Eq mounts and many types of scopes. At one point I owned 4 different cameras. Here's my point by point take on your questions given the experiences I've had. 1. The hand control's of all GEM's have a built in PA routine which does not (!) require you to see Polaris at all. I have never ever used a polar scope to do PA. The hand control routine are really easy to use and do not (!) require you to pick any stars near the pole in order for it to work. On my HEQ5 PRO GEM mount I get great goto accuracy and 90 second tracking without star trails. I have never had to use autoguider doing VA. I will also post up a tip for getting close to PA in a second post after this one. 2. You can most certainly do VA on AltAz. I've done so many times! Because of field rotation effects (stars all around the edges of an image are rotating about the centroid of the image) you are limited to how long you can expose in different parts of the sky. Some parts only 5 sec frames before you get field rotation, and other parts up to 50 sec frames (if a good altaz mount - but generally max out at around 25 secs if using something like a Nexstar / entry level). Google to find charts and tables for max alt az exposure times so your latitude. AltAz actually makes it quite rewarding because (a) you are doing something which is not as easy as simply using a GEM; and (b) you have to plan more to wait for object to rotate into the 'good/longer exposure' parts of the sky during the night (or even later in the year) to get longer exposures to 'see' it and capture an image to keep as your observing log. 3. If you have done visual astronomy at all, then you'll understand what you can 'see' (IE FOV/magnification) with different size eyepieces on your scope. The simple way to understand what camera will suit a particular scope you have ... it is the diagonal dimension in mm of the sensor of the camera you get told about. If the sensor diagonal is 23mm then it will yield a very similar FOV/magnification as an eyepiece of similar mm size IE a 20mm or 23mm or 25mm eyepiece inserted into your scope. A very small sensor camera, like the old original security cameras converted for VA, had very small 5mm diagonal sensors. So they behaved like a 5mm eyepiece ... IE very narrow FOV/very high magnification. Which may have lead the poster earlier in this thread saying it was extremely hard to find, centre and align etc with a VA camera on the scope. Thats correct if using a small sensored camera - because it yield such a high magnification/narrow FOV, so it needs very accurate gotos from your mount or else you land off target and have no idea which way to move the thing to find the object! Of course it also depends on what scope you are using too. IE a short focal length scope of low magnification will handle a small highly magnifying sensor much better than sticking the same highly magnifying sensor onto a very long high magnification scope! Google for "12dstring FOV calc" and its a great tool to click on a huge number of scopes and cameras and objects to 'see' what you can view ..... and do that before (!) you plonk your cash down! 4. IMHO larger sensored cameras which yield great FOV are the way to go, because you can always zoom into the image if the object is small. Whereas if you use a small high magnification camera/sensor then you cannot 'zoom out'! But ... always a catch ... large sensors are far more likely to vignette. If you dont know what that is .... google it. So before buying a camera always ask on as many forums as you can if anyone has used that camera with your particular scope, or one with similar specs IE close to same focal length and aperture. 5. The biggest issue IMHO is learning how to get the best out of the software which is required to do VA/EAA. Thats where the learning curve is! They will all work and work well but its a challenge. Having said that, some folk find Sharpcap very easy to learn and use, and others dont! They find something else better and easier to use and get better results. And vice versa. So the software is where I think you'll wonder why you trusted all the people recommending this rig and camera or that rig and camera. cheers
  14. Howie_Oz

    Shortened Dob struts - Lunar Liveview video

    Thanks all. I'll try to find the time to put a comment note in the vid ... yeah FL same just moved it outwards. cheers
  15. The Canon 700D wouldn't come to focus in my XX12GT dob, so I did the usual thing and shortened the struts. Well, actually the struts are still the same length, but I found the connection plate had enough surface area to allow me to drill a second set of attachment holes 35mm lower on the plate thus effectively shortened the focal length when I used those new holes. Worked a treat and out the backyard in my Brisbane Australia home, I was treated to the best live video feed I've seen from my scope. My other OTA, my old faithful 200p newtonian, has an eFocuser but just hasn't got the fine ratio like the XX12 OTA's dual speed. I need to invest in a new two speed focuser for the 200p. Anyway, live HD desktop video link below ... as per another post with video link, I waffle a bit so use the Youtube settings cog to set (a) twice normal speed so the video is only 8mins instead of 16; (b) set 720p HD; and (c) go full screen. I was very happy I took the trouble to do the mod to enable the Canon to reach focus and thus do liveview. Can't wait to do a bit of outreach at my clubs next astro night. Hope you enjoy the about 320x mag view. Cheers https://youtu.be/LQJ9WyE2nmA

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