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About old_eyes

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    Proto Star

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    North Wales
  1. Hi Olly. Stellarium is quick and easy to use and the tool I usually turn to. CdC is more of a faff for me, but I like the use of simple graphics to show the extent of the target. A bit more useful than Stellarium's images which are based on whatever is in the database and don't necessarily cover the full extent of the target. About to start experimenting with the Framing Assistant in NINA. It is not really a planetarium programme, but it looks like it will really help you with framing and mosaicing once you have decided your target.
  2. With a permanent setup now available I am cautiously extending my methods to include advanced topics I had not considered before. Usually this causes me to commit some newbie error or other that confuses and frustrates. Today it is dithering. So. CEM60EC mount, PHD2 guiding, NINA control and acquisition. Short focal length (500mm) so I asked for 5 pixel dither. Using 4 sec exposures on PHD2 so allowed 30 sec settle time. Here is a section of the PHD2 guide log: DEC (red) is doing pretty much what I would expect, but RA makes the move then dramatically overshoots in the other direction before slowly returning to stable. PHD2 report failed settling, but NINA carries on happily taking the next frame before the settling delay is completed. Am I setting the parameters in the wrong place? Am I setting completely the wrong parameters? I get the same behavious with APT in control. Any suggestions? I should mention that partly because this is an early experiment, and I also wanted to get some useful data as well I am dithering every 5 subs.
  3. Right! I think that's me lot. The cloud has arrived; late, but a comprehensive blanket. Running some darks whilst I wait to see if it passes over, but it looks solid. An unexpectedly good session. More imaging time than I had expected, and a chance to try out NINA. A profitable evening!
  4. I'm very much in positive territory tonight. CO forecast was for a couple of reasonable hours in the evening and then clouding over. But so far it hasn't. There was a lot of fine wispy cloud early on, but now it is clear and crisp. CO still says it is cloudy, so I guess I am lucky! Not expecting much I have been doing some testing and working with NINA for the first time. Seems to be working well. Slewed , platesolved, centred, autofocused, meridian flipped and recentred. All in all very impressive. I will keep going until cloud or sleep overwhelms me.
  5. Just running my first sequence with NINA. There is a lot of wispy cloud about, so I don't expect too much of the images, but it was a good opportunity to set up NINA and try things out. Well! So far I have seen the magic of: slew from park to selected target platesolve and centre target autofocus take 8 light subs note that scope has passed the meridian, flip, recentre target and continue with sequence. All without touching scope or computer. It was easy to set NINA up once I had figured out how to configure platesolving. Everything else was simple. I liked the look of NINA, and since it is free, I figured I had nothing to lose with an experiment. I am impressed!
  6. I checked the camera settings and they were different to the QHY recommendations for this camera. Histogram was possibly clipping. Now set Gain 10, Offset 50. This has not yet solved the problem. Fast download not an option. I also replaced the supplied USB cable with a shorter (0.5m) gold contact cable. No change. Now this is interesting. On battery power the banding is not visible (If you strain you can maybe detect something, but is is so far down in the background that I am not sure it is really there and not my brain looking for a pattern I think might be there). However, it is not always visible when running of the 12V supply either. Not sure why this should be. It could be the power supply (a Nevada 30A switch mode), or it could be something connected to the same supply that is interfering. Could the pulse width modulation on the dew heater be doing it? I would rather stick with the same supply as it enables me to use the internal wiring of the CEM60 to keep everything neat. I can try putting a couple of capacitors across the supply to the camera - say 470 microfarad and 0.1 microfarad. And see if that helps. I also have another regulated 12V power supply that I can try to see if it fixes the problem. If that works, at least I can run another 12V cable from that through the conduit to the pier and avoid having large 12V batteries lying around. More tests to carry out, but not tonight as it is relatively clear and I would rather collect more data. even if the quality is not great.
  7. Thick fog now. Taking the hint and off to bed. Congratulations and good luck to those sticking it out.
  8. Still plenty of cloud where we are. Stars peeping out here and there, but everything in motion and no confidence I could stay on any target for any length of time. On the other hand, had a good run last night, and I am not used to being able to image two nights in a row. Not sure the old body can take it!
  9. Yes. I have been watching your progress with interest. It is a neat design. Did you sort out whether there would be any excess wind loading with the ‘wings’ partially open? the actuators do make an irritating whine, but at least it is over fairly soon. Mine take about 45 sec fir the full travel.
  10. Well. If you were somewhere in the area between Vega and Arcturus it definitely wasn't M31. The only thinkg I can think of that would fill your view at that magnification would be M13 in Hercules. There is a sort of arc or stars below it. Could be?
  11. OK at last able to start. Still some wisps around so may lose some subs, but it is getting clearer. FINGERS CROSSED!
  12. Promised clear skies for tonight, but still waiting. Clear patches occasionally followed by big banks of cloud. Pity. I was hopeful.
  13. Yes, there are three substantial hinges across the width of the flap. No evidence of any twisting or strain yet, but I will keep an eye on it.
  14. Linear actuator now installed and for a wonder it works! Evidence here
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