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Chris Willocks

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About Chris Willocks

  • Rank
    Nebula

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  • Website URL
    www.cwastrophotography.com

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Shropshire, England
  1. Hi everyone, I just wanted to share my latest image; which is a narrowband, Hubble palette (SHO) composite of the Lion Nebula (Sh2-132) in Cepheus. I acquired this image using my Takahashi FSQ-85EDX, EQ6-R Pro mount and Atik 383L. Guiding was done using an Altair GPCAM2 AR0130 mono camera and TS Optics 2" off-axis guider. The total exposure time was around 14 hours and processing was carried out in PixInsight, Photoshop and Lightroom. More details about the image can be found here: https://astrob.in/zw2517/0/. Thanks for looking. Any feedback would be welcomed. Chris
  2. Sorry for the late reply everyone. Thanks for the advice. It's all sorted now. I think the issue was that I updated SGPro on my PC and in doing so, it removed my equipment profile, in which I forgot to put the focuser backlash parameters back in that I had before. I set the compensation to 100 steps in and it's perfect now. As Starflyer said; the auto focus in the new version of SGPro is significantly better. Chris
  3. Hi Alan, The first part of the curve is slightly flatter, however I've physically checked the grub screws on my Lakeside focus motor and they are tight. I don't have any backlash compensation enabled for the motor in SGPro, as I've never had any requirement to in the two years I've had it, up to now i.e. I've never had this message before. I'll give it a try anyway. What would be a good backlash compensation value to use for the Lakeside motor? Chris
  4. Thanks for the reply. Good to know someone else having the same issue. Although, I am using an older version of SG Pro (V3.0.3.165), as I can't upgrade my PrimaLuceLab Eagle PC to a newer version of Windows 10 because I don't have administrative rights apparently. So, the newer versions of SG Pro aren't supported on my PC, unless I can find a way to upgrade Windows. But, I've been using this version of SG Pro for a year or so up to now and not had any issues up to now, so I think that it's seeing related, but I could be wrong. There was one occasion tonight where I didn't get the HFR message when running auto focus. Chris
  5. Hi everyone, I've been doing some deep sky imaging over the past few nights of Sh2-132 in narrowband with my FSQ-85 and Atik 383L, however my focusing in SG Pro has been hit and miss. Usually, my focusing is spot on and I've never had any issues up to now. The first night of imaging Sh2-132, my focusing was also perfect. However, yesterday and tonight, I keep getting a message after running auto focus in SG Pro, stating that the HFR is outside the expected value (not by much mind). The curve looks absolutely fine i.e. a V curve and I've physically checked my Lakeside focus motor, to see if there are any issues, but everything seems fine. I've tried different exposure times, binning, step sizes and I still get the message. Having said all of the above, the full moon is out and the weather has been quite windy over the past few nights. So, I don't think the seeing is particularly great as a result. Is it normal to have slight focusing difficulties when the seeing is poor? The lowest HFR I'm getting is still in the 1-2 range and the images aren't that out of focus. I've just never seen this before. Hopefully someone has experienced something similar? Many thanks, Chris
  6. Thanks for the feedback everyone. I appreciate it. As Martin mentioned, for some reason I seem to have a green bias in my images. So I've just tweaked it the colours again i.e. reduced the green, cropped it and lightened the background a little. Chris
  7. Hi Martin, Thanks for the kind comments and feedback. You're right; it's a difficult galaxy to process. Getting the colours to pop out of the image was the most difficult thing. Fortunately, I was able to get my flat panel working and have reprocessed the image with a 2x drizzle; adding in some flats, flat darks and bias frames. I think the result is much more natural. The first version was far too overprocessed. Chris
  8. Hi everyone, Just thought I'd share another image I acquired a while ago, of the Orion Nebula (M42). I acquired this image using my Takahashi FSQ-85EDX, EQ6-R Pro mount and an Atik 383L. Guiding was done using an Altair GPCAM2 AR0130 mono camera and slim off-axis guider. Processing was done in DeepSkyStacker, PixInsight, Photoshop and Lightroom. More details about the image can be found here: https://astrob.in/388622/B/. Thanks for looking. Chris
  9. Hi everyone, Just thought I'd share my latest image, of the Triangulum Galaxy (M33). This is the first image that I've acquired since I had a Pulsar 2.2m dome installed. A permanent setup certainly makes life easier; especially here in the UK, where the weather isn't always that great. I acquired this image using my Takahashi FSQ-85EDX, mounted on a EQ6-R Pro mount and an Atik 383L. Guiding was done using an Altair GPCAM2 AR0130 mono camera and TS Optics 2" off-axis guider. This was only a quick process in PixInsight, Photoshop and Lightroom. I think there is room for improvement, as I didn't use any flat frames, due to my flat panel not working. But I'm still fairly happy with the result. More details about the image can be found here: https://astrob.in/8egwwe/0/. Thanks for looking. Chris
  10. Thanks very much for the replies and feedback, both of you. I appreciate it. I'll take your points onboard and have a play around with the settings accordingly. Chris
  11. Good morning everyone, I recently had a 2.2m Pulsar dome installed and have been experimenting with different equipment profiles in SG Pro, and am trying to figure out which profile is the most optimal? So far there are three different equipment profiles that I have been experimenting with, with the Pulsar dome: SG Pro Equipment Profile 1 Focuser: POTH Hub Telescope: POTH Hub Observatory: POTH Hub Dome geometry and slaving set just in POTH and not in SG Pro. Cartes du Ciel connected to telescope via POTH Hub also. In this first profile, I used POTH for the focuser, telescope and observatory, with each of these set to their individual drivers in POTH i.e. Lakeside Focuser V2, EQMOD ASCOM EQ5/6 and Pulsar Dome driver respectively. A few questions regarding this profile: Am I correct in assuming that the dome geometry and slaving options should only be set in POTH for this profile? I assume that POTH overrides any geometry or slaving options selected in SG Pro? Should the telescope mount and focuser be controllable via SG Pro when using POTH? For some unknown reason, the mount wouldn't park when I selected the option in SG Pro? Should POTH be selected in Cartes du Ciel when using this profile? I read that this can cause a loop and that EQMOD ASCOM EQ5/6 should be used as the driver? Is there any way to have the dome permanently slaved in POTH without selecting the checkbox every time? I assume the slaving options in SG Pro i.e. slave on sequence start don't work, when using POTH? SG Pro Equipment Profile 2 Focuser: Lakeside Focuser V2 Telescope: EQMOD ASCOM EQ5/6 Observatory: ASCOM Dome Driver Dome geometry and slaving set just in the ASCOM Dome Driver window and not in SG Pro. Cartes du Ciel connected to telescope via the EQMOD ASCOM EQ5/6 driver. In this profile, I used the generic ASCOM Dome Driver for the Pulsar dome and the individual drivers for the focuser and telescope. A few questions regarding this profile: I assume that when using the generic ASCOM Dome Driver, which allows you to input dome geometry and slaving options, then it wouldn't be necessary to input these into SG Pro itself, as it would cause conflict between the two? Can Cartes du Ciel be connected to the telescope via the EQMOD ASCOM EQ5/6 if the telescope is also connected to it in SG Pro, or would this cause conflict? I presume that that is the reason for using POTH Hub i.e. to avoid conflict between drivers and programs etc. SG Pro Equipment Profile 3 Focuser: Lakeside Focuser V2 Telescope: EQMOD ASCOM EQ5/6 Observatory: Pulsar Dome Driver Dome geometry and slaving set just in SG Pro. Cartes du Ciel connected to telescope via the EQMOD ASCOM EQ5/6 driver. In this profile, I used the Pulsar Dome Driver instead of the generic ASCOM Dome Driver and set the geometry and slaving options in SG Pro. A question regarding this profile: Same as previously; can Cartes du Ciel be connected to the telescope via the EQMOD ASCOM EQ5/6 if the telescope is also connected to it in SG Pro without causing conflict? If you could kindly advise which of these profiles is most optimal, then that would be appreciated. Hopefully this all makes sense. Just to also add; in the very near future I will be implementing the ACP Observatory Control software with the dome, along with MaximDL and FocusMax, which are mandatory with the ACP software. Which dome driver would be best to use with this software i.e. POTH, Pulsar Dome Driver or ASCOM Dome Driver? Many thanks, Chris
  12. Thanks for explaining. Am correct in saying that the RMS of less than 0.3" is based on the half the value of the image scale of the imaging camera i.e. 0.72"/px? Also, just out of curiosity, how did you calculate the guiding resolution of 1"/px stated above? Wouldn't the centroid precision be limited by seeing? For example, if you had a seeing of 2", that would mean that the optimum sampling based on the Nyquist Theorem would be 0.67"/pixel. So if you work backwards (assuming that centroid precision is 1/16 x pixel size): 0.67"/ pixel x 16 = 10.72"/pixel. So, in other words, anything below 10.72"/pixel resolution for the guider wouldn't make any difference in this case, due to being limited by seeing? Have I got this correct? Thanks, Chris
  13. Hi everyone, I'm wondering if someone can kindly explain to me in very simple terms how the following factors affect guiding accuracy in relation to each other: Mount accuracy i.e. PE RMS. Imaging camera pixel scale. Guide camera pixel scale. Seeing. From what I've read, the ideal mount PE RMS (unguided or guided) should be half the pixel scale of the imaging camera? Is this correct, or is it half of the guide camera? How are the imaging camera and guide camera pixel scales related when it comes to guiding accuracy? Is there an optimum ratio between the two? How does seeing come into all this? I'm just trying to understand how to assemble the optimum setup, in terms of obtaining the best guiding accuracy. For example, if we had the below equipment setup, would this give ideal guiding accuracy for imaging small objects, such as galaxies: Scope: Esprit 150ED. Mount: CEM120EC2 (PE < 0.15" RMS). Imaging camera: SX Trius SX-814 (Image scale: 0.72" per pixel). Guide camera: Lodestar X2 with SX OAG (Image scale: 1.61" x 1.65" per pixel). Hopefully this makes sense. Many thanks, Chris
  14. Thanks Alan, I was also looking at this TS Optics flattener, as it seems to have slightly more backfocus: https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/language/en/info/p10307_TS-Optics-PHOTOLINE-2--1-0x-Flattener-fuer-Refraktoren-und-Apos.html. I presume this would be compatible with the Esprit 150. Chris
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