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About geoflewis

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  • Birthday 01/11/1954

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  1. Thanks Ray, yes very pleased, but even more surprised . Geof
  2. Thanks Peter, I was extremely lucky. I almost missed this wonderful opportunity as I was so frustrated and tired from several consecutive nights of poor seeing that I almost passed this one up....!! However, as soon as I turned the camera on Jupiter that Sunday night I knew this was going to be different. Even then the 45 minutes or so around transit was something else. It just shows that planetary imaging from the UK requires perseverance and luck as you never know when the seeing gods are going to give us those fleeting moments of sublime conditions. Cheers, Geof
  3. geoflewis

    A quick(ish) M13 to test my new Obs set up

    Thanks everyone, much appreciated. Sorry for my tardy replies, I’m currently visiting the beautiful city of York for a few days with my wife for our 43rd wedding anniversary. I love this target for both visual (probably my favourite) and AP. The test wasn’t so much for the scope, though it’s the first time I’ve imaged it with this particular scope/camera combo, but mainly I wanted to cycle the new laptop through an SGP sequence to chack that everything worked, ie plate solve, center, auto focus, filter change, downloads, etc. I’m pleased to say that it did and yes very pleased to see the propeller showing . Geof
  4. I’ve just bought myself a couple of refurbished laptops for astro, so wanted a bright target for a quick test run of my capture software. I also purchase a preowned Lodestar X2 off ABS, so was also testing that. I now have as a dedicated Obs laptop a refurbished Dell i5 Win7 4GB RAM, running SGP & PHD2, so having installed all the various astro software it was time for a test run. The i5 with only 4GB RAM, was slowish to boot, but ran everything as sweet as a nut, so I’m pleased with it and the X2 so far. I also recently acquired one of Garry Jarette’s KISS OAG focus adapters, which made easy work of focussing the X2 with my QSI583wsg camera. My Obs has Ethernet connection back to the house so it was a fast process transferring the captured data to my also new refurbished Dell Win10 i7 12GB laptop for image processing. Here is the result... All in all a pretty successful test outing Geof
  5. geoflewis

    Sequence Generator Pro 3

    Well done on getting that far with SGP, it took me quite a few attempts and help from an experienced user to get consistent results. It was very much a case of adding features one by one to be sure that they were working, rather than going with everything at once. PHD settling settings was one of my tricky ones too, but I'm travelling this week, so can't offer you my settings as a guide, but they may not work for you anyway. PS2 platesolving does require you to be very close to target and you need to provide an accurate target prompt, which it can read from the FITs header if you have your scope connected via ASCOM. Astrometry.net or Ansvr do not need accurate alignment to work, but will be slower than PS2. Interesting that you first solve worked quickly, was that via PS2, or the blind solver? Good luck, you'll get there and not regret it Geof
  6. geoflewis

    Sequence Generator Pro 3

    A great way to set up your targets is to use the option to enter coordinates from solved images on Astrobin, Flickr or DSO Browser. It's a great feature and I use Astrobin urls as most images there are already plate solved. Good luck and have fun....
  7. geoflewis

    Alignment Success

    A great report and I love that compass inscription; what a super gift....
  8. geoflewis

    A perfectly good observatory... in bits!!!

    Wow Sara, It looks fantastic and as has been comment previously, it may be brand spanking new, but it blends in seamlessly; great design and execution by the builders. ....and you decided this was the time to come back to the UK...!! Hope you pack a big pair of scissors for the return trip, to cut the ribbon for the official opening.... Cheers, Geof
  9. geoflewis

    Sequence Generator Pro 3

    Not only will having all the indexes eat your disc space, but it potentially will also make solves slower as it might check less suitable indexes, so if you can identify the index range that you need then I'd go with just having those installed. I also downloaded all the indexes initially, but then took those not neede off to separate storage where I can get at them quickly should I want to add more for different scope/lens/camera combinations. If unsure, good way to check which indexes you need is to enable the ansvr log tool whilst solving an image and it will report which index it actual used for the solve. PS2 with ansvr as blind solver failover works a treat everytime for me.. :-) Good luck, Geof
  10. Thanks Ruud, I appreciate the kind feedback. Given what I've seen before and since that may be my only decent image of Jupiter this year and I was surprised and delighted to get it. Regards, Geof
  11. geoflewis

    Jupiter 15 May - poor seeing

    Thanks Angie, I need my beauty sleep too, but I hate to miss an opportunity just in case it turned out to be a good session. I've also just bought a dedicated DSO laptop for the obs on which I've spent the last couple of days installing anf configuring the astro software so I wanted to test that out, but the skies put paid to that too. C'est la view - something to do another night..... Geof
  12. What a difference a week makes.... After the excellent seeing on the night of 6/7 May it's been back to the UK usual of nothing at all, or nothing worth processing. With sunny clear skies all day here in Norfolk yesterday and the jet stream out of the way I was hopefull (well I'm ever hopefull...), but ended up being disappointed by cloud piling in just as Jupiter started to gain elevation towards its transit. I managed just 2 x R-G-B runs, before completely losing the sky, so here is how that turned out... Imaged through increasing haze, I had to really 'bully' the data in Registax and PS to extract anything at all, which shows in the final image, but I'm sharing it FWIW anyway, so thanks for looking.. Regards, Geof
  13. geoflewis

    Organising your imaging files

    A great question Mike and one with which I continue to struggle. I've used a range of scopes, cameras and capture software over the past few years and my file storage methodology has developed over time. Currently I use a mono QSI583 camera + filters with SGP for capture control. My current convention is: Firstly I have a dedicated folder tree for all my calibration files, i.e. darks, flats, flat darks and bias (though currently I'm not using bias frames). That folder tree comprises separate folders for each camera, Nikon DSLR, Canon DSLR (which I no longer own) and QSI583 CCD. For the QSI only there are seperate folders for Bin1 and Bin2 and temperature. Currently I capture all QSI data at -10C, but if I ever change that then I will also introduce temperature related folders for each Binning. Under each of those folders I have sub folders for each calibration type (darks, flats, etc) and below that are sub folders by date where I save individual files together with the master calibration file once that has been created. In addition, for the QSI camera there are folders by filter type (LRGB, etc) for Flats and Flat Darks, so that I can accurately calibrate the corresponding filtered light frames. I have attached below a screen shot of my calibration frames folder tree... Secondly I have a separate folder trees for each of the capture tools that I have used, those being ImagesPlus, MaximDL and currently SGP. Since I'm now using SGP I'll explain what I do with that. I configure SGP to save to specified folders by setting the folder and file name structure using the provide directory and file naming tools. This incorpates the target name and I save individual light frames under separate folders organised by target name\filter. I find this works well for the QSI camera as then all files for each target+filter are filed together. See below screenshot... NB When I process the light frames I save those under a sub folder for each target+filter, then when I create the LRGB, RGB, HaRGB, etc., final images, I save those under an appropriately named folder. My file names include reference to Target/Date/Exp/Bin/Filter/Scope/etc., as appropriate, to help me remember what I've actual taken and also in case I accidently move them somewhere else. As you say it's a messy process that can very quickly get out of control; mine is still a work in progress so may well change over time if I find a better method. I hope this helps (though maybe I have just created more confusion), but I'm also interested to see other folks file and folder naming conventions. Cheers, Geof PS The above is for my DSO images, but I also have a separate folder structure for saving and processing video files for planetary, lunar and solar images - phew, my brain hurts....!!
  14. Congrats to the winners, all 3 are superb and well done to everyone that entered.

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