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Everything posted by AstroKane

  1. Cheers Frances - I have read your threads on the 294! A main reason I went for the 294 was that at the time I was imaging unguided at 60s subs - the 294 seemed to perform well at this, with tracking I wouldn't push much past 180. I am used to stacking hundreds of subs (I recently discovered the Blink function in PI - AMAZING). My dark library is ok, my flats and dark flats are useless, I suspect when I get good flats a re-run of the data will come out nicer. We have poor weather this week so I wanted to spend time on calibration data, I just need the kids to give me a free evening
  2. Not a ramble at all - I was really leaning toward Mono. Ultimately, OSC just suited my ability and expectations. As you say it is nice to have a recognisable image at the end of the night. They are not award winners by any means but if you look at my very first images compared to the newer ones it like I've hired Hubble I am planning to upgrade my mount in 2020 and once that is up and running I would most probably look to include a mono cam and filters. I think to jump straight into that would have been a bridge too far for me.
  3. I have read that the 294 struggles when it is cooled right the way down - uneven cooling against the sensor. I have so far only brought it down to 0 so cannot comment. I plan to run my winter images at -15 at most. I have also read that pushing exposure time too long can again bring up issues. That isn't a problem for me as I have so far primarily imaged unguided at 60's but only plan to run guided images at 180 - I am using an AVX.
  4. I just thought I would throw in my 2 cents along with some images in the hopes that it might help someone who is sitting on the fence. I still have a long way to go, good calibration frames is the next task but I am loving the 294. For me learning how to use a dedicated astro cam via the OSC route has really been great.
  5. Thanks! I was using a canon 700D before I got the ZWO. It took me a while to get the hang of the new camera but I do think it is the way to go. A couple of major benefits right off the bat are that you can cool the camera and also create calibration libraries. Rather than for example shooting darks at the end of your session.
  6. That is great to hear! I have the ASI294 I am assuming I just need to ensure that the mono camera I go for has a similar size sensor etc? I would like the asi1600 pro but need to properly look into it.
  7. Hi All - I thought I would throw this post together as I like many people spend hours trawling through forum posts when I am deciding to invest in a new Astro toy. After following the well trodden path of DSLR imaging, spending some fabulous nights taking pictures of the night sky you come to that split in the road. A dedicated astro cam - OSC or mono!? The respective camps will come together and argue this way and that about the good and bad of each - OSC useless under moonlight, mono you have to take calibration frames for each filter etc etc. It can be quite daunting deciding which path to take and where to put your hard earned cash. I opted for the OSC in the form of the ZWO ASI294 MC pro. My reasons, at this stage in my journey I just really want an easy to set up and go experience. I have many years ahead of me enjoying imaging and trying all camera types. As I have said I am a relative novice and with a 2 month old son and 20 month old daughter, evenings and time to myself is a luxury. Last weekend in the UK I was blessed with two clear nights and two sleeping children so I decided to dust off the scope and use the ZWO in anger, the first real time since I picked up camera. As the moon was 99.9% illuminated I didn't really have a plan or any high expectation of any decent outcomes. I image in bortle 8 skies to boot. In the end, I spent a big part of the night imaging and going between a few targets and I was processing the images as soon as the image run finished. My images have been processed in PI and again, I am really new to that too. I was imaging through a SW ED80 on an AVX mount unguided at 60 second subs (you can see I am a newbie yeah!) So what did the ASI manage to produce: I first picked out M33 and spent 1 hour on that I then went to M45 and spent two hours on that and finally with dawn not too far away I spent 20 minutes on Orion I was really happy when the images were coming in. For me the ASI294 has proven a good investment, I have learnt a lot about imaging from it and I still have a very long way to go before I think I will out grow this camera. It has been a big learning curve from DSLR. I cannot wait to see the kind of image it can produce under new moon conditions, better calibration frames and processing. I guess what I am trying to say is these images are not going to win awards, they are not going to be the best I have ever taken but they did really help me appreciate that in astro you have to set your own bar otherwise you can get lost in all the other data available. Hope this has helped anyone wanting to make the jump from DSLR to an Astro cam - happy to share any other info I have learnt from the transition. Clear Skies
  8. Cheers mate. Crikey we may be in trouble then! Hopefully it comes out nice. To be honest, I have never imaged M33 and considering the conditions, no tracking and my beginner level gear - I am already quite happy! When I have a finished data set will keep in my re the colour. Clear Skies
  9. Over a fully moon lit weekend in bortle 8 skies, I managed to get 4 hours unguided data on the Triangulum Galaxy - I think my expectation was so low that I am actually quite happy with the end result. I will attach both nights images below. Scope: SW ED80. Camera: asi294 (cooled to 0) Mount: AVX. Subs stacked in DSS and processed in PI. I have two questions: (1) I wonder how many hours under the correct conditions would really bring this image to life? I know the rule of thumb is as many as possible..but I wonder what other imagers use as a ball park, I was thinking 15-20. (2) I went to an OSC (asi294 pro) from DSLR and I am at this point happy with my decision. But, I am thinking to invest in a mono (asi1600 pro) so that I can combine my OSC data with Luminance and Ha. Have other imagers had good results from this method? First night - 1 hour 2nd night - 4 hours data Clear Skies
  10. Thank you again Louise for making me revisit this - I hadn't factored in the 294 has 6.5mm of back focus already. So I was indeed out! Corrected now
  11. Hi John - I am based in Essex too so encouraging news you are having success with the Camera. I have no doubts it is a capable piece of kit, once I get it up and running. My previous gain setting was 200 which was resulting in Mono images. I haven't added any calibration frames as I only wanted to see if I could get some data that produced colour - Looks like lowering the unity gain solved that. Now to collect better data when the Moon isn't so obstructive. I had a dark library for the winter (-15 same as you) but now we are getting in to the warmer months I need to redo for the summer season (a job on the to do list). What temp do you push your 294 during the summer? I imaged the above at 0 and didn't imagine I would go much lower. Clear Skies
  12. Hi Louise - Thanks for your feedback much appreciated. Totally on board with calibration frames. The only reason none are included here is I was just testing to see I could get the image to produce colour. It certainly looks like for my location setting the gain lower was the key. The outing prior to testing on Cocoon (selected purely on it's position) I imaged Vega and ended up with a lovely mono star. Two questions if I may re the highlighted above - How can you tell the spacing is out? I will have to re-check this as I thought it was ok - is it something in the image that suggests this? I will definitely look into the IDAS filter - I have LED street lighting, assuming that helps block those. Clear Skies
  13. No worries, I was confused because I knew I had selected the correct Bayer in DSS so couldn't fathom why I was getting Mono images from a one-shot colour. Hopefully the gain adjustment solves this - IC5146 seems to be quite a bright object so hopefully it is now just a matter of getting the data, 4 hours is perhaps not enough. And then of course proper calibration frames and processing. Clear Skies!
  14. Cheers! I'll be sure to play around in processing when I collect some good usable data! This was just a process on the fly to see if I finally managed to pull out any colour. No calibration frames bar the 5 darks. My primary goal was to collect some data that showed colour. I am hoping the switch in gain from 200 to 127 is the answer and then I will build in the calibration frames along with more data.
  15. Hi All - Just looking for some advice/guidance. I swapped out my DSLR for a ZWO camera and I am finding the switch tough. I am getting used to APT as an imaging package and now really rate it's features. My main issue is the camera. I opted for the one shot colour as it suits my time and circumstances - however lots of my test shots were coming out in Monochrome, at that time I also added a guiding system which was just not working at all. A little disheartened, I downed tools for a few months. I am now back at it. I have taken the guiding system off for the moment as I find the camera is so sensitive that anything longer than say 120 blows out the image with my locations light pollution. Removing the guiding has enabled me to focus more on the camera, I realise now that perhaps the gain settings were too high (set to 200) I then changed this to 'Unity Gain 127' and finally success my image has produced some colour (for a long time I thought it was DSS even though I knew I had the correct Bayer Filter). So my questions, the image below (as well as full spec) is 4 hours on the Cocoon Nebula with very little processing and calibration frames...Am I on to something here and now it is just a case of getting the time in and adding calibration frames before I end up with a good data set? Is this a hard target to image from the northern hemisphere in light polluted suburbia? Any other users of this camera have any tips or tricks picked up during testing, gain settings for example? Scope: Sky-Watcher ED80 with 0.85x Focal Reducer Camera: ZWO ASI 294MC Pro Mount: AVX Moon 71.7% Lights: 240x60 Darks 10x60 Processing: Stacked in DSS, processed in PixInsight: Background Neutralisation, Geometry crop, Screen Transfer Function on the Histogram.
  16. Stunning, great FOV - I have never seen the Veil like this, such scale.
  17. Hi - Sorry to distract from the thread. I have just switched over from DSLR to a ZWO OSC. Which means I am now learning APT. I would love to know a bit more about how to use APT and plate solve to get me on target. Could you DM me some pointers or links with some info? I use an AVX but have ASCOM for guiding etc. Thanks in advance and clear skies!
  18. Guys - I cannot profess to really understand the above but it was a fascinating read. By coincidence I spent 30 mins on Vega last night gathering some subs...thought I would drop them here to compliment your data. ? Clear Skies
  19. To be honest, it doesn't take terribly long and once you have your routine down, I actually quite enjoy the setup. As opposed to the remaining hours of doing nothing whilst the subs are acquired. But yeah, if my rig puts you off, then defo swerve DSO ap! My setup is very much a rookie rig...I still have to add a mono camera, filter wheel etc. Clear Skies
  20. Hi all - I’ve just finished my upgrades ready for this winter..will be my second season with this current rig after a big upgrade last year. Main new inclusions are dew heaters and a guide scope (the SW ed50) which I cannot wait to bring in some subs longer than 90s. I thought I’d drop a few images here for any interested ? This is a real lightweight setup and will hopefully get some time in dark sites this winter - for ref my rig is made up as: Mount: Celestron Advance VX with Pole Master for PA. ADM vixen dovetail and rings. Scopes: Skywatcher Evostar 80ED DS-PRO, Skywatcher 50ED EvoGuide Cameras: Canon 700D & ASI290MC (guide camera) Misc: Hitec Astro dew heater with astrozap dew bands. Bahtinov Mask for focusing.
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