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About Hughsie

  • Rank
    Star Forming

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  • Gender
  • Interests
    Football (Spurs), F1, fishing, long walks, real ale and a good book.
  • Location
    UK, North Essex
  1. Thank you everyone for your replies. That’s cleared it up in my own mind and will save a lot of kneeling down looking through a red dot finder
  2. I use the Celestron AVX mount and I also use Astrophotography Tool when imaging. When I start my imaging session I will undertake a two star alignment then move to my target and THEN platesolve to ensure I have the object centred. My question is do I need to bother with two star alignment (or any other Celestron alignment for that matter)? My thought would be to Polar align then take a shot of Polaris and plate solve this, sync the result to the mount then “Goto” from there. The only issue I have is when you switch the mount on and enter time/date etc it asks you to do a star alignment so how do I ignore this or do I do just that, ignore it! Sorry for the rambling question. john
  3. Great website, very informative and a lot has been going on. Bookmarked for further reading.
  4. I use Velcro straps. Picture attached. You can see some around the handle beneath the guide scope that tidy up the dew straps and behind the main camera. The camera to computer leads are strapped together in a ‘loom’. Makes it easier to adjust which wires go where compared to a spiral wrap and makes tidying up at the end of a session easier dealing with ‘one’ wire. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Grapelet-Black-Adjustable-Strap-Reusable/dp/B01M3SMRBO/ref=asc_df_B01M3SMRBO/?tag=googshopuk-21&linkCode=df0&hvadid=223170773229&hvpos=1o5&hvnetw=g&hvrand=6522590945153768859&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=t&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9045049&hvtargid=pla-421533026280&psc=1 John
  5. I'm sat outside with the scope at the moment. Its either pitch black and freezing cold or as it is tonight, pleasant but too bright. Damn moon will be here soon as well!
  6. Lots of detail and a crisp image, great work.
  7. I have used the AVX mount for just over a year now and have had no issues with it mechanically. The reason I purchased it was for the “Goto” function but soon I got discouraged by having to star align whether it be one or two star align then potentially with calibration stars. Then I got frustrated with British Summer Time and what date I had to put in. Then I got frustrated with the date format (month/day/year) but I see your in America so this should be a breeze for you. Then finally, I got frustrated and found the longitude and latitude for my home in Essex, UK which my wife provided to me was actually the location of Wolfsburg, Germany! But do not let my frustrations frustrate you, these are my shortcomings. Nor do I have any issues with the good people of Wolfsburg, Germany; I just can’t see their sky. Firstly, read the manual then throw it away and get on YouTube. There are some great and very clear instructional videos on how to star align and also how to use the all star polar alignment (a God send for me as my house is firmly planted North and so I don’t have a clear view to Polaris). Second, whilst Goto is convenient, nothing beats knowing your way around the sky with your Mark I eyeball and star hopping. So before you even read the manual (then throw it away), get yourself a decent finderscope and align this with your telescope - the finderscope and your star map are your best friend. These will also help you when you start star aligning to at least know where in the sky the mount has pointed your scope, then how much you need to move it to get on the target. Third, star aligning isn’t a magic bullet but with practice and knowing which stars are in view at your location it will become a breeze so keep at it. I use my AVX for observing and also for imaging using either my Celestron 6SE, William Optics Z61 and William Optics Z103. It’s also used for solar and lunar observing and imaging and it handles all aspects very well. It is a good versatile mount and with guiding I have managed exposures up to 10 minutes with nice round stars. With the counter weight removed, the tripod and mount are easily moveable to your imaging location. I store mine in my garage and weather/time permitting, I carry mine out to the garden each night/day with no issues. I have upgraded the software by downloading the latest drivers to the handset, again a simple exercise described on YouTube and I have removed the original saddle and installed a new ADM saddle. This stops damage occurring to the dovetail bar on the scope and with the larger knobs ensures good purchase to ensure the scope is well secure. On the downside it isn’t supported by Eqmod but does support ascom drivers which really helps when imaging and observing should you wish to control your mount using planetarium software like Stellarium. Overall, it is a sturdy mount and has served me well so far as I continue to learn and observe the night sky. I hope it serves you well too. John Ps please do not throw away the manual
  8. Stars are crisp to the core and you can really see those colours. Fantastic image.
  9. This is made up of 24 AVI's of a 1,000 frames each. Each AVI was processed in AutoStakkert2 using 50% of the frames to create 24 individual TIF files. Flat frame also generated from a 50% stack of 1,000 frames and used to calibrate each AVI stack. Imaging started at 09:56 BST and continued at 4 minute intervals until the 24th run was made at 11:28 BST. Camera Settings; Exposure 10ms; Gain 40 Equipment - William Optics Z103, ZWO ASI174MM and a Daystar Quark Chromosphere. Software - SharpCap for image capture, AutoStakkert2 and Photoshop (Levels adjustment applied then two runs with the Unsharp Mask 1) 300% at 1 pixel then 2) 40% at 5 pixels). The TIF layers were then aligned, cropped and ordered to produce the time-lapse with a 0.08s interval between each frame. Thanks for checking in. John
  10. Having recently seen a couple of gif images here in the forum, I wanted to try my hand at doing something similar for AR2741. This is made up of 24 AVI's of a 1,000 frames each. Best 50% of each stacked in AutoStakkert2. There is a 4 minute interval between each AVI. Flat frame also generated from a 50% stack of 1,000 frames. Camera Settings; Exposure 10ms; Gain 40 Equipment William Optics Z103, ZWO ASI174MM and a Daystar Quark. Software SharpCap for image capture and Photoshop (Levels adjustment applied then two runs with the Unsharp Mask 1) 300% at 1 pixel then 2) 40% at 5 pixels. Thanks for checking in. John
  11. Below is an image of two lunar craters, Clavius and Tycho. I don't know much about the moon or regions of it never mind craters so these clear nights over the last few days have helped to get to know it a bit better. Image captured on 13 May 2019 at 20:14 GMT, Moon phase 70% waxing gibbous. Image taken using the William Optics Z103ED, ZWO ASI174MM with a Baader Neodymium filter. Captured 2,000 frames using SharpCap, stacked in AutoStakkert2 with levels, contrast, brightness and unsharp mask adjustments in Photoshop. Thank you for checking in. John
  12. Hi Shamba, nice image you have captured there, lots of detail. You may benefit from taking flat frames and calibrating them with your main images. If you are capturing Avi and stacking in autostakkert then it’s pretty straight forward. Just give me a shout if you need more info.
  13. Attached is an inverted image of the Sun taken in Ha on 14 May 2019. The final output is comprised of two images, one capturing the surface detail and the second the prominence. Both were taken with my William Optics Z61, Daystar Quark Chromosphere, ZWO ASI174mm and captured using SharpCap. Surface image - Exposure time 10ms, Gain 40. 3,000 framed AVI. Prominence image - Exposure time 10ms, Gain c290 (memory bad!). 3,000 frames AVI. SharpCap settings then restored to the surface setting. Telescope was then centred on the Sun and defocussed. Further 3,000 frames of an AVI were taken to create a stacked flat frame. All three AVIs were stacked in AutoStakkert2 with the surface and prom image calibrated with the stacked flat frames. Best 60% taken. Levels adjustments undertaken in Photoshop along with high pass sharpening. Two images brought together as separate layers and combined in difference mode. Some contrast adjustments made to surface image as well. Many thanks. John
  14. Hi Chris, very interesting and thank you for sharing. I am interested in doing something similar so just wanted to pick your brains on what you have done. If I am reading this right the workflow is; 1) Take a 1 minute avi 2) Stack Avi frames for the 1 minute film with a flat. 3) Output is a single stacked frame. Repeat step 1 every 4 min, in your case 20 times. Combine each of the 20 frames into ‘gif’ software to create the animation?
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