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About AngryDonkey

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  1. AngryDonkey

    How do amateur astronomers make money?

    How to make a small fortune out of astronomy? Start with a large fortune...
  2. AngryDonkey

    Yet Another AllSkyCamera Build

    You can get access to AllSkEye here: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/allskeye-ascom/info Just click the 'Join Group' button and I'll approve you as soon as I get the Yahoo message. If you have any questions just leave a message in the group or you can also contact me here. Mike
  3. AngryDonkey

    Poll: autoguiding

    Apart from focal length, mount and camera used will have a big bearing on answers. In contrast to Dave's DDM mount I have an Avalon Linear which (by design) absolutely needs guiding. I also have a traditional CCD which again needs guiding for the sub length I am after but as you've already mentioned above the newer CMOS cameras are a different kettle of fish. Given the right setup you can definitely get away without but it really depends on who your target audience is going to be.
  4. AngryDonkey

    How to power scope from my car

    I've had best success with deep cycle leisure batteries. They are heavy and fairly pricey but seem to last a long time and don't mind a deeper discharge. I've used normal car batteries before but noticed a big deterioration if they were depleted too low (which is sometimes hard to judge).
  5. AngryDonkey

    SG Pro Auto Focus Routine

    The first step is to get your settings right so that you end up with a nice 'V Curve' on the graph when you run your focus routine. As Ray mentioned the step size is the most important number here. There is a very good explanation in the SGP manual on how to come up with this number. Once you have this cracked you only need to be roughly in focus and the routine will reliably find good focus every time. It's also important to get your backlash setting right. This is also fairly simple to work out, you can play around with the manual controls to roughly figure out how many steps your backlash is i.e. how many steps you need to move when reversing direction to see movement. In SGP then set a number that's larger than your backlash, the value doesn't need to be exact but must move the scope well beyond you backlash range. As has been mentioned above, it's probably easier to run the focus routine for the filter you are imaging with next, then take all the images for that filter (instead of rotating through filters). If you are worried that you might not get data for a particular filter with this approach (e.g. due to weather) you could also do them in batches e.g. 10R, 10G, 10B then the same again and so on, that's what I do. You could use offset values and for example focus with the Luminance filter and use the offset values to set focus positions for the other filters (based on the Luminance focus position) but I prefer the batch approach because I know that the focus is spot on and I am not relying on pre calculated values. Where the offsets can work well is when you are imaging with narrowband filters. Here the time requried to focus is large because your exposure times need to be longer and if you have to refocus often this definitely eats into your imaging time. The idea there is that you focus using for example the Luminance filter and then apply the offsets to set the narrowband focus position. Another thing to consider is that focus shifts quite a lot over time, mostly with temperature change, so refocussing will be required periodically. If you are running a sequence you can either trigger this at set intervals or whenever the temperature changes by a set amount (it is also possible to work out how much your focus changes with temperature and have SGP apply this but needs a lot of data to come up with good results, I personally prefer to refocus but my temperature changes are not that great). Hope this helps!
  6. AngryDonkey

    Finally Finished!

    You are right, the country is beautiful and the weather very reliable, although too hot in the summer! At least it's nice and cool in the mountains, an added benefit :-)
  7. AngryDonkey

    Horsehead nebula in Narrowband

    Hi Sara, Also love the colour! Somehow looks more natural then the usual palette. How did you assign the narrowband data to the colours?
  8. AngryDonkey

    Ready to give up.

    For me plate solving is like any other tool available to me. I don't use it just for the sake of using it, I use it because it makes sense for me to use it (dual scope/mosaics/multi night imaging). Specifically it saves me time when setting up, allows me to achieve greater accuracy in framing (including camera rotation) and therefore gives me more imaging time and more usable subs. Personally I didn't find it particularly difficult or time consuming to setup and can certainly be phased in over a few sessions if not working correctly first time. As has been mentioned above there are perfectly good ways to do without it so there is always that backup to fall back on if things don't work out.
  9. AngryDonkey

    Show us your dual scope set ups

    A couple of shots from my recently completed setup. More details here https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/311549-finally-finished/.
  10. AngryDonkey

    Prism Pro

    I don't think so because then you loose the coordination between the two main cameras which would have been the whole point of changing software (I do appreciate that PRISM can do a lot more than just acquiring images but there wasn't anything else that I needed).
  11. AngryDonkey

    Prism Pro

    Hi Harry, I'm sure Hamza will answer this better but one of the reasons I tried the software was to see if it could work with my dual rig. From memory the Pro versions doesn't support two imaging cameras but the 'Advanced' version does (on top of the guide camera). This also includes coordination between the cameras (including dithering) which was what I was looking for for the dual rig. Unfortunately I discovered that in this configuration it was not possible to use the automation features i.e. running a complete imaging sequence by itself, it would have only worked in a 'semi automatic' mode with manually solving and slewing to targets, flip etc. which was not really something I could live with. So I'm still looking for a good dual scope software to sync my acquisitions on both scopes including dithering. I believe MaximDL can be used with a third party tool to achieve this but it looked far from straightforward and would have required two PCs or additional software (SkyX and CCDSoft). So in the meantime I'm sticking with two instances of SGP which works ok (but no dithering and some lost subs).
  12. AngryDonkey

    Prism Pro

    Hi Hamza, Having evaluated PRISM in the past I can definitely say that it's a very capable and comprehensive product and your support is very good! Maybe you have already discussed this with the SGL admin team in which case please ignore this line but I just wanted to say that if you have not then it would definitely be a good idea to see what posts are allowed as I think there are strict rules with regards to posting about commercial products as a vendor.
  13. AngryDonkey

    Viewing discarded data

    PixInsight generates rejection maps (low and high) to give an indicationof how pixels have been rejected.
  14. AngryDonkey

    All Sky Camera/Weather Station build

    You've probably looked at this already but one of the models (I think this one https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sumvision®-Officially-Licensed-Bluetooth-Streaming/dp/B01LQ8J1H2) has a know problem with a USB driver which leads ti blue screen of deaths (and probably a restart). On the Sumvision website there is a support article for this and a custom ISO download for Windows 10 to fix it. Not sure if this applies to your model though.
  15. AngryDonkey

    Finally Finished!

    Thanks for the nice comments. To be honest I'm just glad it's done and I can finally concentrate on getting some images. Unfortunately the light pollution in Oman is pretty severe and I need to drive a good two and a half hours to get to a half decent site. But yes, astro darkness is available all year round and the weather is very good. It's unusual to not have an opportunity to image around a new moon because of the weather so I'm not complaining !

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