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About OhNo

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  • Interests
    RC fixed wing planes and Astronomy
  • Location
    Saskatchewan, Canda
  1. I'm late to the party, but want to thank steppenwolf for posting this gem of his. Being a new PI user does make the art of processing a pretty vertical learning curve! LOL At least when I go back and use other tools like StarTools or PS they seem kind of easy to use!
  2. Thanks Paul, as a matter of fact I do have a filter wheel. Got it shortly after picking up the ASI 120MM. It is the 5 space ZWO that came with RGB plus another filter (almost clear), but I haven't been able to determine what the clear(ish) one is exactly. I have all 4 filters in the wheel which leaves me an empty slot, so I can use i the wheel to get me back far enough so I can focus. I haven't used the ZWO many times for DSO AP. The chip is pretty small... but works well on Luna and the planets. DSO AP sure seems to be different than DSO. Just pulled the ST80 off the C8 (was using it as a guide scope) and geting ready for the next clear(ish) night...
  3. The sky finally cleared so I could try out the new-to-me Atik Infinity. While clear it was -5C with a 11-17 km/hr breeze making it feel like -10C. The humidity was 92%. These sessions (first time) are usually pretty comical. I started out with it stuck directly in the back of my C8. This scope has a GSO focuser and I was able to achieve focus, no problem on M31. Figuring out the capture software took a while, but I did manage to capture something. Wasn't long before the Dew monster attacked the corrector plate of the scope. No biggie, another one was cooled and ready to be put on the mount. The ST120 SkyWatcher (f/5) was a different cat to capture with. Once focused the images had a terrible orange hue to them. This morning I read where I was probably short on exposure time, and could/should have switched to Manual color Balance, bumping up the Blue. Sadly tonight will probably be a bust, as the clouds are supposed to stick with us. I have messed around with both the above mentioned scopes trying to get a decent image of M31 with a 1100D Canon DSLR. I may have not had enough data, but this target isn't real easy for me to capture. Others may disagree!
  4. There is an old saying "there is a fine line between tough and stupid". I tend to flirt with that line every time I take a scope out. My folks bought a telescope for the family when I was about 10, they just sold (pronounced "gave it away") it s few years ago at a garage sale. Since then life has thrown yet another curve at me, and I find myself with some gas left in the tank, a small amount of disposable income, and a lot of time on my hands. Around a year and a half ago I spotted a Celestron 130SLT on Kijiji. Wasn't more than a few hours later (rural guy here) and it was sitting at my place. I welcomed the wonders that the night sky offered. Well, me being me, you just can't have one. Right? It didn't take long to figure out there are a lot of telescopes around gathering dust, however finding people who wear 'em out is tough to do. Here is my dilemma. I have gathered up a flock of scopes that should let me do pretty well any type of astronomy there is, with-in reason. I don't own anything that you would call "top end". It is a work in progress. In addition to the 130 reflector I own a Celestron C8 (f/10), Orion ST80 (f/5), Orion 90mm frac (f/10), and a SkyWatcher 120mm (f/5) frac. Mounts include a CGEM, CG-4 and a bunch of inexpensive mounts that came bundled with the scopes. I installed a home built pier this summer, and have an observatory that I built last winter. Here I will add that none of my scopes were purchased new. As a mater of fact, there are only a couple things I've purchased new, the CG-4 mount and a ZWO ASI120MM CMOS camera. Oh, here is where I better admit to my weakness, AP. While I have gotten 96 Messier objects under my belt, AP and the rabbit hole have a strong pull. Stronger than my ability, and equipment to capture Deep Sky Objects. I started out with a Canon 1100D, then I bought the ZWO. Yesterday the latest used purchase arrived, a Atik Infinity. Even though it was snowing (yes, October 1st) I had to take ift out and make sure it worked.... It does!!! Here is the issue, figuring out what works best with what. I have had the help of a Solar guy with processing. I have bought a license for "Capture" program, but have yet to purchase any licenses for processing. I am a true believer that IF you should strive to capture the best image your equipment and your ability allow. Thankfully I live on a rural farm site with Bortle 2 sky. My nemisis is the wind! That is the reason I built the observatory. Believe it or not astronomy related stuff is not available closer than 500km. I am a touch and feel kind of guy, and not being able to look the retailer in the eye and analyzing if he is pulling your leg has left me with a few items not worth having. Case-in-point a .50 Antares focal reducer, hey, at least it was a relatively cheap indiscretion. This type thing has brought me to posting this request. I have become fairly good a polar alignment, a lot of my images done with just tracking are kind of proof of that. I have delved into guiding a bit. Guiding has improved my images a bit with both the DSLR and somewhat with the CMOS. But the messin' around time, and extra equipment is what got me looking at the Atik hardware and included software. My motto has always been "get everything you can out of what you have". And being an OLD 4-H member, their motto is "learn to do by doing". I have tried about every combination of camera/mount and capture equipment. Always interested in hear others success and disappointment stories. Feel free to share.
  5. OhNo

    Hi, from Western Canada

    Wow! Thanks for the welcomes. Harvest resumed again today, but the forecast looks terrible for the next week, should give some time to catch up.
  6. Thought I'd better introduce myself. I'm not exactly a newbie into the hobby, but still have a lot to learn. I got back into it after a long time away (+40 years). As a retired farmer that still lives in the dark (Bortle Zone 2) region of Saskatchewan I feel I'm lucky. My re-initiation started about a year and a half ago. Bought a used NexStar 130SLT and was instantly back on the hook. Since that fateful day I've gotten to see some amazing things. I've always had to make the best of what I've got. Amateur astronomy isn't proving to be much different. The second-hand scope/mount collection is growing at a pace that should be avoided. I've bought a stinker or two but have some equipment that can get me in the direction I would like to go. With the changes in hobby since my last go around, it is difficult to pick only one specific goal. My attempt to avoid AP was futile. While my ability (skill level), and equipment will never get me an Award winning image, I'm tickled pink at what I've capture thus far. I have managed to put together a few DIY things to make Astronomy, in general, less influenced by Mother Nature. Here the expression goes "I don't mind the Hot, I don't mind the Cold, but boy do I hate the WIND". Wind abatement was dealt with by building an observatory. It could be better, but has served me well. The other major improvement was the Pier. It was a built out of a lot of goodies out of the scrape pile. I had a close call with the tripod that was under the second hand CGEM mount I bought. The pier will NOT have a tripod leg slide in.... Scopes have been my nemesis. "Had I known then what I know now" comes to mind. Another quote that ought to be heeded by use Newbies is "Less is MORE". I have to admit to being a refractor kinda guy. I have 3 of those ranging from 80 to 120mm. My largest scope is a 1981 version of the C8, and the most ignored scope in the gaggle is a 130mm reflector. Any of this sound familiar???? Had I to do it all over again I would buy a 100-120mm frac with great glass, and call it good for purchases. I think the AP thing is the ultimate challenge. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Ummm, I don't know a thousand four letter "descriptive adjectives", but every time I go to process an evenings captures I work on a new swear word. I have had humbling moments. They happen often. An example was September 9th of this year. The sky had been trash for weeks, but Clear Sky Chart said there'd be a small wind of opportunity.... I was ready (and needed) that chance. No plan, but the scope was sitting on the Mount/Pier and ready to go. Thought I'd just do some visual observing....yeah!!! WIthin 5 minutes a camera was on the scope.... still no plan, but I'd never just shot the limb of the Milky Way. To my surprise I captured one of my best shot (3 actually) ever. I bet I'm not the only one this has happened to. I have experience, A lot of it is bad. But without the bad how are you going to know when it is good. RIGHT? Anyway thanks for letting me in to your community, got my glasses on and am ready to have my eyes opened.
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