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Posts posted by Xsubmariner

  1. You are right Prathab, the problem is getting worse. I recently noticed I am now having to bin about 10% of my frames due to Sat trails. The other night, a single 5 min frame had the most so far, 5 trails crossing at different angles. The situation will only get worse now Canada and several other countries want to put up their own Sat broadband constellations.

    Using Pixinsight I can still see the trails in my images, I use weighted batch preprocessing and it doesn’t fully eliminate the Sat trail. Does anyone have a specific data process that improves Sat trail removal?

    • Like 1
  2. I would definitely consider investing in a raid storage system. I have been running a QHY600 mono with my ROR rig since end Dec and even with the limited UK opportunities and a relatively small selection of target Image sets I found my PC (i7) slowed up last week, reason found - the master drive had accumulated 1 Tb of image data in 3 months. For information: each Fits file is 29.878Kb (2x2) and 119.484Kb (1x1), each Master Pixinsight light frame is 179.234Kb and 716.876Kb respectively. I have now changed what files I keep and installed 8Tb backup drives on each PC. I can only imagine how much data you will be collecting given your excellent site/setup.

  3. On 24/12/2020 at 21:13, old_eyes said:

    That seemed to fix the problem - at least on the first trial.


    On 24/12/2020 at 23:38, tooth_dr said:

    I concur that these are my settings too, however I still dont fully trust it yet!

    Both Mesu’s did a brace of MFs last night using the same settings, with only one anomaly. One of the Mesu’s initiated the MF before an SGP image had finished, so SGP carried on then attempted shutdown siting the guide star was lost, I may have inadvertently configured a telescope setting wrong in SGP and will compare the 2 PCs. 

  4. Thanks Dr-ju-ju, I reviewed the data on the link and as you say, was not brave enough. What is interesting is how Win 10 has removed the ability of the PC owner to check the USB bandwidth allocation for their PC. This would be vital information to determine the best port allocation for your given system.

    USB conflicts/disconnects and communication is the biggest fault generator in my observatories and has cost me so much imaging time. Ho Hum back to system fault finding.


  5. I also have the Asi120 mm (USB 2.0 variant) as guide camera on one of my rigs and it has been working fine for ages using SGP & PHD2 with either Atik383 or Qhy 268c or 1600mm on a dual rig setup. Following a recent camera shuffle I now have the 120 guiding and a QHY268M and 1600mm pro as imaging cameras on the dual rig arrangement. During the 2 nights I have finally managed to get some imaging done I have encountered problems with the PHD guide camera (120) image fluctuating and acting strange., this was while imaging with the QHY as the main imaging camera and while the 1600 was connected to the USB hub but not operating within any SGP program. 

    While I encountered the problem I attempted to deselect and reconnect the 120 camera with device under PHD, making sure I chose 120 as opposed 1600, then selected 8 or 16bit then connect. This seemed to recover the guiding for a short period, then the image/guiding problem started again. In the end, the only way I recovered the imaging session after repeated guiding problems was to disconnect the 1600 from the USB hub, then everything worked fine for the remainder of the evening.

    Now I know this setup used to work fine on the dual imaging rig so something has changed to cause the problem, while a Windows 10 update would be my first suspicion (as I have had so many problems with these in the past), or some other software SGP (SGP is limited to 3.2 variant as I choose not to subscribe), PHD2 or ZWO. I don’t think this will be a quick solve. Hay Ho. 


  6.   Reference the new cap I’m more interested if it make a good seal for Dark frames, the cheap clip on that came with mine let’s in lots of light so is useless for darks. Can someone advise how the new cap performs for darks.


    • Like 1
  7.   Reading this thread it is evident that stuf1978 has his heart set on the 2600, may I offer a few points for thought. I have owned several OSC cameras SX,Atik and QHY and only the ZWO-071 remains from what I would class as my CCD and 1st gen Cmos OSC cameras. My other OSC is the QHY268C, same sensor as the 2600 in a different package. The QHY doesn’t have the built in USB hub, as already said not a problem for OSC. The QHY does offer different modes for data management and comes with a useful rotator/coupler, this does increase the camera back focus to 23.5mm, again not a problem for OSC. There is no doubt the IMX455/571 sensor is a game changer, when you read Olly Penrice talking up OSC you know times have changed.

    A real benefit of OSC cameras for inexperienced imagers is the ability to capture enough data in one-2 sessions to create a colour image, which improves satisfaction and builds confidence. New data can be added as, when available and the image reworked. This is especially beneficial in the U.K. where you never know when the next opportunity to image will come.

    That said, there are many cameras that will deliver exceptional images in the right hands and the time has never been better for picking up a good used bargain. Is this the time to make the move to mono? I have seen several complete mono kits (camera,FW & fitters) going for barging prices. Whatever you decide there is plenty of choice at this time.


    • Like 1
  8. 6 hours ago, Starflyer said:

    I don't have you challenges and only need 55mm BF

    I would think the X2 in the current equipment setup is a close call even at 55mm BF, I only accounted for 1 mm inward focus to achieve the 54.5mm min BF with 9.5mm of spacers between the FW and the OAGM. Thanks for the heads up ref the ASI174MM, looks to be a possible solution. But at £500 delivered the cheaper option for me is to machine 4mm off the front of my X2, as long as I leave some thread I can use it with my SX setups using a 5mm extension.


    5 hours ago, Fellside said:

    What 130 Scopes (F number) and Reduces are you using?

    I have the TS130 photoline F7 and Altair 130EDT also F7. I have 3x 3” Altair 1.0 flatteners (51.5mm BF) and 3x Planostar 0.79 reducers (55mm BF) for my different triplets. I understand Altair’s new flatteners were modified to give a 55mm BF. Actually it may be possible for me to machine the ends of the 1.0 flattener cone to increase the BF to near 55mm.

  9. On 12/02/2021 at 09:04, SamAndrew said:

    Any advice on getting perfect balance? even with the motors disengaged on the Mk2 there seems to be quite a lot of stiction in the system,

    Great thread thanks Jonk and others for the information, you never stop learning.  Being told I have spanner hands, I generally struggle when a sensitive touch is needed so I acquired a cheap spring balance which works great for balancing these mounts.  As has already been said, both of mine have differing levels of stiction in different places as you rotate the RA & Dec axis even with the motors disengaged, but as Lucas says this is normal for these drives.

  10. Problem

      After building my new QHY 268M, CFW3-M  and OAGM setup I have been unable to get a guide camera to focus through the OAG. While the camera came with layout cards showing this setup for 55mm, I also hoped this arrangement would let me use my 3” flatteners (BF 52mm) with my TS&AA 130 triplets. Is it possible?

     Having attempted this setup my conclusions are:

    The minimum back focus (BF) this equipment arrangement can support is 54.5mm for a guide camera with 12.5mm BF. To achieve this BF the prism will have to be set at the very outer edge of the field of view. Note every mm the prism is extended into the optical path will necessitate the adding of a mm to the FW-OAGM spacers to keep the guide camera focus tied to the imaging camera and this will increase the overall setup BF. Whereas most OAGs keep the guide camera BF fixed while the prism is altered in the QHY OAG case it appears the guide camera is fixed in position and the BF is increased or reduced when the prism altered.

    The layout card for the above equipment included with the camera should show the additional spacers arranged between the CFW3 and the OAGM, with the exception of the 5mm M48 threaded spacer which stays in front to attach the kit to the flattener/reducer.

    The recent transition to short bodied cameras, QHY600M and 268M variant necessitates a redesigned OAG to deliver a short BF arrangement <55mm. 

    To use this arrangement with my 3” Flatteners I will need to either cut 4-5mm off the front of my Loadstar X2 or replace the 4 round head screws for countersunk units, and use a thinner M48 threaded spacer, say 2-3mm. This would recover 3-4mm and that is what I am planning to do, or should I just butcher my Loadstar X2?


    Back ground

      From what I have ascertained the minimum back focus distance from the centre of the OAG prism to guide camera sensor is 33mm + back focus of guide camera. This is based on assumption the adjustable prism is placed just inside the optical field of view to achieve the shortest possible guide camera BF. The 33 mm is measured from centre of the prism to guide camera housing base that the guide camera front face mates to.  A picture shows 30mm measured and there is 3mm taken up by material thickness and the 4 housing mounting screws with round heads ( countersunk heads could recover 1mm).

     The guide camera housing is 38mm deep and 39.5 with the 4 housing screws removed, so for the guide camera to reach the housing bottom the camera tube must be 38mm or greater.  This limited my choice to Loadstar X2, my GPcam 2 body was to short.

      My Loadstar X2 has a back focus of 12.5mm.  Therefore my OAGM minimum back focus is 33mm + 12.5mm = 45.5mm measured, but there is a practical need for some inward focus travel, say a minimum 1mm .  Moving the adjustable prism further into the optical tube to extend this distance risks covering or shadowing the APS-C imaging sensor. Retracting the prism to shorten the distance results in blanking a portion of the prism image. Therefore I assess the minimum OAGM back focus distance with a Loadstar is 44.5mm (C) . Noting there is 5mm from the prism centre and plus the 5mm thick M48 threaded spacer makes the minimum BF this kit can support =54.5mm (B) assuming you have the necessary 9.5mm spacers (A) available.

      To use my 3” flatteners with their 52.1mm (inc filter compensation) BF, I will need to reduce the OAGM BF by 1-2mm.  I hope to achieve this by swapping the round head screws for countersunk screws will recover 1mm and possibly shaving 1 mm off the Loadstar face. With FW-OAGM spacers (A) reduced to 8.5mm and the M48 threaded adapter swapped for a 3mm thick adapter I should be able to achieve a total back focus of 51mm, jod done. Now to find a 3mm thick M48 threaded adapter.






  11. 18 hours ago, Deeko said:

     Coming from ZWO cameras I usually 'set and forget' to unity gain and default offset.

    That is the way I operate my ZWO camera’s. With the QHY you are given more control over how to tailor the cameras sensor data to your chosen target, whether this is a good thing or not, only time will tell.  Personalised offset and gain values can be stored with a title within the Driver for later selection.

    What would be beneficial is clear, unambiguous guidance on what startup settings the uninitiated user should adopt prior to developing their own skills.

    Have QHY already done this in the settings for DSO/Planetary that appear after  initially loading the driver software or were these values chosen randomly.

    I can find nothing to suggest they are recommended values can anyone enlighten me?

  12. 2 hours ago, Starflyer said:

    Are the M54 spacers threaded

    The only spacer that is threaded for M54 is this one and I measured ( engineers ruler) it at 4mm which isn’t aligned with the diagrams. 

    2 hours ago, Starflyer said:

    I thought the CFW3L was only available in 7 x 2", have they released a 7 x 36mm version?

    You are correct my bad, the filter wheel is the Medium not Large, was getting confused with my Q600 kit. Don’t seem to be able to edit the post at present to correct 🤔


    • Thanks 2

    2 hours ago, Simon Pepper said:

    Thanks Xsubmariner Are you able to recommend a cooled camera for my needs?

    It is always difficult to recommend a camera for other people as there are many factors that need to be considered. If you are able to buy new and your preference is for a cmos camera why would you consider a first generation unit with its known limitations when the second generation units are already available. The new 16 bit IMX based cameras are a substantial improvement in noise, QE and don’t suffer microlensing.

    If you are prepared to consider CCD as well as CMOs and used, there is plenty of choice and the market has been buoyant recently with some cracking cameras to be had.


    8 minutes ago, teoria_del_big_bang said:

    What rotators are you using out of interest ?

    Hi Steve, I have a mix of Pyxis LE, Night Crawler and am currently fitting Falcon rotators which has been somewhat delayed as I chase short thread adapters.  The LE is limited as it can only be fitted to a 2” coupling, not ideal for imagery. The NC is integrated with the focuser as a package so limited to OTA by appropriate adapters. The falcon has M54 threaded input and output which integrates nicely with the emergence of M54 in the latest QHY kit and supports larger frame sensors. Unfortunately the lack of easily available thread adapters to connect the imaging components within short back-focus lengths remains a challenge at present, hopefully this situation will improve as M54 usage increases.

    • Thanks 1
  15. From my experience the way to determine the different focusers is via the assigned COM port and selecting it within the SGP equipment window, via the focuser mechanic button prior to connecting. I keep a note of the different settings for each imaging system, especially important when running 2 instances of SGP within the same PC. The SGP manual is excellent and should help.

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