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    To improve the astro photography solve mysteries and get to know people

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  1. Hi everyone, having had a lay-off from using my Opticstar DS145C ccd OSC camera in preference for the Altair Hypercam 183C for sometime now, I'm back with the DS145C again, as my batch preprocessing and post picture processing has improved since I began using Pixinsight for the work. The Altair Hypercam is a dream to use really and very user friendly, once you get used to shorter exposures low or unity gain aquisition level and taking lots of subs to integrate (stack) the subs. The DS145 uses Nebulosity as against Sharpcap Pro with the Altair camera and version Nebulosity 1.8.2 comes with the camera. Unfortunately, unlike Craig Stark's F & F video, when I try using Frame and Focus, the resolution is absolutely rubbish or should I say 'poor' to be more polite. I have to resort to Opticstar's 'Starview' window, which is good but very small, not a good focusing aid really especially if using a Bhatinov mask which I prefer. I wonder if a later version of Nebulosity say vs 4.00 will solve the problem, or is the 'Starview mode' somehow linked to this problem? Maybe I should dissable it when using Frame and Focus. Regards Dave
  2. Andy thanks for posting the link snd desciption. I checked it out and created som3 very useful pictures of varios telescopw vs camera vs focal reducer solution for M31 and M45 which are both a bit big to get in with my current set up.ie Evostar 80 ED, Starwave 0.8 flatner focal reducer and theAltair 183c hypercam . I was trying to find out if the Evostar 80 runs out of infocus with a 0.6 focal reducer on instead. Still searching for this one though. ?
  3. At present I use a Starwave 0.8 Focal Reducer making the SkyWatcher Evostar 80mm I use F6, down from F7.5 without a focal reducer, but this still doesn't give the Field of View I need for bigger objects such as M31 to get it all in when astro-imaging. ie no M32 satellite galaxy in the image. I would like to purchase a Starwave 0.6 Focal Reducer to make my telescope F ratio 4.5. Will I have sufficient 'infocus' distance to make this work for me? If anyone has the same or a similar setup as me, I would appreciate your feedback. I use an Altair 183C Hypercam, and add in a 35mm adapter to achieve enough 'out-focus'
  4. I've just reinstalled PHD as after using on my Celestron CG5 goto mount, the calibration routine stopped working properly. Normally, when calibrating in PHD, it counts through steps in each axis North, South, East and West, and for Backlash correction. However an error message appeared during this process, and since then it only cal'd in East and West. I re started PHD, I restarted Windows, I changed mount to SW EQ6 Pro, but to no avail, it still didn't work properly and the guiding suffered, edging northward all the time.

    As I can't find the disk with the supplied version 1.10.1 on I downloaded the next best thing from Stark Labs, Vs 1.10.2 and it finds the camera ok, I just need to cal it now to see if the problem has been fixed.

    Q  Has it happened to anyone else? and is there an easier fix?

  5. I've just had a search regarding the PL131M Guide camera and PHD2 and found some interesting comment and answers on ukastoimaging forum and it looks like the best advice is to stay with the bundled sofTware (PHD) supplied with the camera. No big deal as it worked very well with  PHD.


  6. Previously, the Opticstar Guide camera, PL131M was working fine with PHD, and hoped to use it with the later version PHD 2, but in this version the camera is not listed under the camera list. Has anyone found the same problem and later discovered a solution to the problem so the camera works using the later version of PHD 2 ?
  7. Thanks Red Dwarf, have you come across this before?
  8. While at the autumn Kelling Heath star festival in September, we all had some good clear nights, some better than others, 4 out of 5 for me in fact. It did give me ample opportunity to try out my new OpticStar DS145C ICE CCD Camera for real, getting image exposure lengths from 60 to 600 seconds auto-guiding. For five years I've been using a Canon DSLR (1000D) and so using a CCD was a completely new ball game, and I mostly enjoyed just about everything about it. Then came my first gremlin, I noticed a lighter patch in my images in the top left hand corner, and have since learned this is called AMP GLOW. There is very little written about it, and the retailer said it is common-place with CCD cameras and advised me to use accompanying Dark Frames to subtract and they will remove the glow. I would appreciate to know if anyone else has experience with such a problem and would compare notes with me, and perhaps I can move forward again, without feeling I have perhaps picked a bit of a' lemon' for a camera. Thanks CARAVAN65MAN Please see an example with this post. M27_10mins_gain3_iii_01_bin_sum2x2_lvs.tif
  9. Thanks Steve, by what you have said, I should proceed with the pre-processing of the FITS file images and dark frames as I would with RAW files from a DSLR? Dave
  10. I am learning Astro Imaging using an OpticStar DS145C ICE CCD Camera. It produces images files in FITS format. Craig Stark the author of Nebulosity recommends pre-processing using RAW files, eg in Bad Pixel mapping but doesn't say much about what to do if the camera only makes image Fits files in the first place. I understand the scientific community regularly use this type of image file, and they don't seem to have a problem with them (or do they?). Can anyone threw a bit of light on this this dark corner please? For example does the Fits image file behave like a RAW image file or does it need changing first using a decompressing program? Thanks to anyone who replies
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