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Everything posted by Robfal

  1. Telescope setup. Up until now I have been imaging with an atik 314L + on a skywatcher 200Pds Newtonian (F5 FL 1000mm) with a separate guide scope (Orion E80 F7.5 FL 600mm) in side by side mode. Used to have a very Old Qhy5 so could not use a OAG (have a TS OAG). Now got a much more sensitive Zwo120mm mini guide camera. What set Up would be best 1) stay with same setup 2) Newtonian with OAG. 3) Orion Ed80 with OAG Benefits of single telescope setup is lighter payload and no torsional loading Would I benefit from a focal reducer or coma corrector? If I was to change camera what should I get Thanks in advance for all help Rob
  2. Hope someone can help me with this. Whenever I stack something (tried lots of different images from different sessions) in DSS I get black bands across the final image (possible in line with stars) see below. Any idea why this might be happening? I've also stacked the same images in ASTAP and these lines aren't there. Doesn't matter if I use calibration frames or not, this still appears I've included un-streteched images (TIFFS) and also stretched versions (over stretched!) which show the error better. No post processing is done on any yet As an aside, If not DSS what would you recommend as stacking software (free!) Rob M64_DSS.TIF M64_ASTAP.tif
  3. I had heard that both the altair and QHY cameras could be problematic part of why I started this thread. I used to have a very old QHY 5 guide camera (just replaced it with a zwo 120mm) and had that working with INDI. I'll have to check how I did that, might be the same process for the 183C. My Pi 3b (considering moving to a Pi4 or mini PC) is also running headless. I like the concept of a mini pc mounted on the pier but only if it works effectively If you can get it running ekos has a pretty nice scheduler built in, it deals with focusing, platesolving, guiding and imaging and will shut down everything at the end to. It will even deal with offsets between different filers. I do have a autofocusser..(a home built Rob Brown one) Myfocusserpro2, https://sourceforge.net/projects/arduinoascomfocuserpro2diy/ really cheap to make,uses an arduino for control and has INDI and AScom drivers. Got a batch of 3 PCB' boards made, only populated one. He also had a dew control system and just got the boards for that. Seems very relaible and accurate Rob
  4. Peter, A mighty fine image, particularly with only 2hrs of total. Most of my images has 8-10 300s subs per channel. I might be overdoing it and I'm very much a novice in terms of the processing in PS. I find it very difficult to remove gradients an bring out fine detail without making the image look false, More practice on my part. I had been moving to not upgrading the camera but then that picture makes me question that decisions. The photo's attached are from the Atik and the 200P reflector, Can't remember exactly but would have need considerably more time than yours from the 183 Thanks for the info, I'll check out Flo's website. I do understand that the Atik is fairly well matched with the 200p hence I got that pairing 10 years ago however I;m still undecided which is a better imaging scope the ED80 or the 200P. The 200P has the advantage of having a bigger aperture so can gather more light and is F5 so a faster optics. Never played around with a focal reducer I run Astroberry on an RPI3b in my obs however I did run a network cable in when I put the power in so I'm not reliant on a wifi signal., much too far from the router. I can then connect via VNC which does give me good control and is not too 'laggy'. I also run Kstars, INDI and Ekos all on the RPI. I understand that you can just run the INDI drivers on that and move the bulk of the processing to your PC. Not sure if you can do that with Stellarmate and you would need a reliable connection. If Wifi is a problem then using some Homeplugs may be a way forward. These allow you to transmit the signal over power cables. https://business.currys.co.uk/buy-rent/N179444W?cidp=Froogle&gclid=Cj0KCQjwzZj2BRDVARIsABs3l9Lso7sz119FZiVNDo63HwoQcvJ8spAlTtUpPEznmQ51vkNN835M1aoaAh_XEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds I think the Stellarmate has a network port (underneath its a standard RPI). IT was fairly easy to configure that in Astroberry so I guess would be even easier in Stallermate.. I had heard the the QHY can be problematic with their INDI drivers so it might be that is you have a poor signal.. How do you run your system with SGP, a PC in the Obs? I used to do this but then my son nicked it to use on his graphics tablet. hence the move to the RPI Rob
  5. Adam J Some very interesting reading. the difference between the OSC and the mono one is considerable, this was why I went for the mono Atik many years ago. Looking at the spec the QE of the Atik is much lower ( 60% vs 84% I think?) so the chip is less sensitive. One big concern was the Amp Glow but if 'Prusling' is managing to use a Dark library effectively to remove this then that is not as much a problem as I originally thought. Without doubt the mono has the potential to produce much better images but as a lazy imager the OSC version makes grabbing a quick image easier. ans as such appeal. Still not sure if the 183 (mono or colour) is a sufficient step up from the Atik, which is ultimately what I need to decide; it's difficult to justify spending a lot of money on a camera given the mixed weather and seeing we have in this country. Will I be able to get decent images quicker or better with the 183 (M or C) than with the Atik? Cheers Rob
  6. Prusling Thanks for the information; your setup looks to be very similar to mine. I'm controlling my setup through Astroberry/ekos which is essentially the free version of stellarmate. How do you find it? I was also considering upgrading to that too. Is the QHY working well with stellarmate (INDI)? Part of getting another camera was to get a wide field and 'normal' camera setup. I had thought of putting the Atik on the ED80 (maybe with a reducer) get get a wide field rig and mounting the 183 on the 200 reflector with an OAG for the Zwo120mm mini guider. It also good hear that you always image at the same temp and once you have built a dark library you can just reference rather than continually retake darks. That will save a lot of time and with stackers such as DSS or ASTAP it's not really any extra bother. The appeal of the 183C is lazy imaging. All too often to start a sequence but then the clouds appear and I'm left with missing too many of one of the colours. With the colour I can use any frame I grab; granted the light has been split between the different colours and there is a loss of resultions but the pixel size is very small anyway. Do you think the 183C is easier to use than the Atik? What is the difference in imaging time between the two to collect comparable images detail? Rob
  7. Thanks for the comment. Still undecided on what to do. The Atik has served me well and is, in general pretty reliable I have noticed some banding using Ekos and DSS but that could be due to the software too. In terms of FOV they would both be pretty similar so suited to galaxies and smaller DSO however the pixel count in the QHY is much higher. Using the coloured version (ie RGB Bayer filter) would still give the same resolution as the Atik and the mono version much higher. the QE of the Atik is around 60% (I think) whilst for the 183 around 84% which would possibly make up for the smaller pixel size. For instance I think i could run it in 2x2 bin mode effectively making the pixel size similar to the Atik and benefit from the higher QE and have much shorter frame times. In real terms I don't think I would be doing that though!. What I'm not sure of, is whether that gain would be offset by the need to take darks etc (which I do anyway) due to amp glow. Despite having imaged using a mono and filters I do like the idea of a OSC if you don't have to 'mess' about with the processing later Rob
  8. Having had a few years out of the hobby I now getting back into astrophotography and considering a camera upgrade. My current equipment is Atik 314 L+ Skywatcher 200PDS (FL1000 F5) Guide camera Zwo 120mm mini Orion ED80 refractor Electronic filter wheel (brightstar) Mount SW EQ6 Pro Currently using Astroberry/Kstars/Ekos on a raspberry PI to control it all. I can general get 300-450s frames with the guiding with good round stars I'm looking to upgrade the Atik so was considering a 183 Cmos cooled camera, specifically QHY183 c or mono with TEC cooling so have a few questions I'm hopy people can help me with. Would this be a good upgrade? Should I go with a colour OSC (obviously things have moved on greatly since I last bought a camera) or stick with a mono one and filters? Which would be easier (mono or colour) given our mixed climate? Does the QHY cameras work well with indi (although I could switch back to a windows based system)? Would I need a Focal reducer (given the tiny pixels on the 183 chip)? Which scope should I use to image through? Should I be looking at OAG guiding (have a TS OAG already)? Sorry lots of questions but equipment has moved on so much since I last looked Rob
  9. I have an atik electric filter wheel (old style) controled through a seletek controller inside which I have the cheap Baader RGB imaging filters. In general this setup works really well however occasionally I get a filter wheel error which will wreck an imaging run. I need to do some checks however i suspect it is the common problem of the thickness of the Baader filters. I'm toying with filing them down however I do fancy a better set. What filters would you recommend? The more expensive Baader ones look good however do they also have the thickness problem? I do fancy a new filter wheel (sx or brightstar) but don't really have the money for one and a set of filters. If I did get a new wheel what should I get? Cheers Rob
  10. Just to throw a spanner into the works. I've been using a QHY5 with an ED80 scope but could struggle with noise from the Cam (Fine with PHD both noise when using Maxim) I've recently acquired a DSI colour (second hand) and have been using that. Although its got a much smaller chip it is a CCD based camera not a CMOS( as the Qhy5) and hence has lower noise. Seems better with Maxim although still early days. Once I've decided one of them will be up for sale. By the way DSI are now coming onto the market quite cheap second-hand (astrobuysell and Ebay; well under £100 and much less than a new QHY5.) Not sure whether this helps but I'm leaning towards the DSI (when using Maxim/remote obs setup) Obviously a Lodestar would be the best but a second hand DSI would be 1/4 of the price. Rob
  11. I think it might be due to guiding from within Maxim. With PHD I had less problems; I'll go back and re-try PHD. In trying to convert to Using Maxim as a think it has a slight edge with accuracy and can be controlled in a remote obs setup. In maxim I currently use 5 sec subs!. This was triggered as there are a couple of DSI 1c and a DSI pro going cheap at the moment cheers Rob
  12. I currently guide using a QHY5 and an ED80 scope however sometimes I fail to find a suitable guide star and have poor signal noises (CMOS Chip) Would I be better changing to use a DSI 1C (CCD Chip) as there's one going cheap on Astrobuy/sell? (Or a DSI 2) Which would be more sensitive? Comments/advice please Rob
  13. I agree Olly. I am surprised that there is a distinct lightening of the image to the one side. That's why I question that I've got the optical chain correct. Atik 314L M42 thread Atik Filter wheel (with 1 1/4 filters) M42 thread to focusser Currently got it on the ed80 but I'll transfer it back and then get a photo. Equally I'll get an image (probably a flat frame) Regards Rob
  14. Now fitted the atik to the ED80 and there is no vignetting. So what is the solution? Is the something I should do in the optical train or can this be corrected through the use of flats Rob
  15. Calling all Newtonian imagers! I've recently acquired a Atik 314L+ and currently setting it up. When I connect it to my skywatcher 200P DS Newtonian (imaging version) I can clearly see what appears to be vignetting in images. The wasn't apparent with the Atik 16ic I used before however this does have a much smaller chip. Should I be getting this vignetting (or is it coma) with my combo? Is there anything I can do to solve this? I have used the trial version of CCD Inspector and the scope is well collimated. However should I be adjusting the secondary mirror? Unfortunately I didn't save any images however I will post a flat ASAP. I will also fit the Atik to the ED80 and see if there is still a problem. All suggestions welcome Rob
  16. Having recently been selling some bits and bobs I thought I needed to say how gracious people on this forum are. I had several people after the the same items and all those who missed out Pm'ed me to say 'not to worry' What a lovely bunch of people you are. Many thanks Rob
  17. This sounds like a syncing problem (I've had similar) as Euan suggests Plate solve will fail if you out by 2 degrees ( I think). Try aligning to a bright star and synching the mount in 'The Sky' to ensure it's pointing in the right direction. Then try a plate solve. Are you using EQMOD because I've found that getting too many align points confuses it and so it might have thrown a wobbly. Rob
  18. Rich, Glad you were impressed with CCD Commander. It's not pretty but just works. A couple of times with poor seeing it failed to plate solve however that was with an Atik 16ic so there is a pretty limited field of view. Just got a 314L+ which is more sensitive and has a larger FOV. Also getting a usb based relay interface which should allow me to switch on my EL panel to do flats automatically from within CCDC Rob
  19. AS the others have said. Fight light Optics is highly recommended for new stuff For second hand either here or U.K. Astronomy Buy & Sell Generally astronomers look after their kit but as always the case when buying second hand be wary. Most of my kit has been bought second hand. Or even post a wanted on this forum Rob
  20. Just got a shiny new (well new to me) Atik 314L+ and was wondering what calibration people were doing with it. With my Atik 16ic (now for sale) I used to do Flats, darks and bias frames however people say the 314 doesn't need darks. Others talk about bad pixel mapping! What is the best strategy? How do you do bad pixel mapping? Can't wait for some clear skies Rob
  21. Billy, Its the USB/serial version. Whilst I only need to switch the EL panel on/off at the moment the 8 relay would allow for expansion (putting on mount/ roof etc). CCD Commander will run either VB script or a simple exe/com file. Hopefully I can hash the coding together with the help files. I plan to hang the panel from the wall of the obsey and then slew to it, run a 'switch on' code/program, take the flat frames then run a 'switch off' piece of code/program. All that can be automated from within CCD Commander using the standard actions. I post some more info once I've had a chance to play. Rob
  22. Just bought the 8 relay version (£33) from Ecrater. Hopefully my programming is up to it. This could be an cheap and simple solution to switching on equipment in an observatory (possible even to automate the roof). Rob:)
  23. I'm working to automate my setup and can now virtually switch on observatory, roll back the roof and start imaging. However the one part I've yet to sort is taking flat frames. Is there an easy way to switch on a light box (actually a EL panel) from a PC. I use CCD Commander (can't recommend it enough!!) to do the master control and that has the ability to run external programs or VB scripts so would need something to interface with that. I know you can use the x10 automation system however it could cost me £200 or more to switch on the El panel. There must be a cheaper option! (I don't mind DIY'ing it) Rob
  24. I use Maxim/pinpoint Le and find it to be pretty good. There has been the odd time when it has failed to find a solution but that is probably mainly due to poor seeing and a very small sensor (atiK 16Ic) I've not had any problems with crashing etc which is suggested as possible (Flakey!!) I would recommend that route as all others would require considerable additional cost. CCD Commander, by the way, also gets a big thumbs up from me. Euans theory of not aligning but plate soving generaly seems to work (again the small sensor and rubbish seeing are probably the cause of the odd fail) Rob
  25. An interesting thread, I've been going through the same process recently with pretty much the same setup. My trial version of CCDC has just run out so I'll be upgrading soon. Plate solving and being able to slew to a nearby star to re focus between filter changes is ace. I do have one problem though I hold alignment points in EQmod and at the end of the night park the scope (horizontally). The next time I use the setup EQmod reloads the alignment points however the alignment it then out; so I then have to re-align. Perhaps I'll try not aligning but using plate solve only. I,ve not tried pier flipping yet; don't I have to do something called 'cone alignment? An excellent piece of software, and cheap too Rob
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