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Steve 1962

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Everything posted by Steve 1962

  1. I agree with everything the other guys have said. I'd like to add another vote for platesolving from me. The ease of astroimaging was transformed when I discovered AstroTortilla. I found (and still find) it remarkable that it could put me back in exactly the same place night after night. I now use Platesolve2 which I find faster and easier to use, but I still have AT installed...just in case. Another remarkable thing about those two pieces of software is that they're free - so have a play!! Standby to be amazed. Steve
  2. Woh! That is a lovely image that really shows M45 in context. I've never seen that arc of blue extending "southwards" before. Just great. Steve
  3. Thanks Barry - that's brilliant. I've reviewed my spacings and I've gone the wrong way with my filter adjustment. If my system is similar to yours I could be 2.7mm out! ( 2 x 1mm + 0.7mm) Strip and rebuild needed I think! Thanks again Steve
  4. Thanks Barry. Do you recall how much more spacing you needed by any chance please?? Cheers Steve
  5. Thanks Adrian I know it's subtle, but I want it right so I'll have a go. Steve
  6. Lovely Paddy - very vibrant! The full size is stunning. Steve
  7. Very impressive! I don't suppose you'd be willing to share more details please? Cheers Steve
  8. Thanks everyone! I'm pleased that people like the colour - I deliberately went for a "less is more" approach on the saturation. I know what you mean Gnomus - but it sticks out like a sore thumb to me and I decided to flag it up rather than try to sneak it through. It seems that the stars are "out" in the bottom corners of the camera chip in subs taken on both sides of the meridian (i.e. the same stars are eggy even though the camera has been rotated 180 degrees). I initially thought I had focuser sag, but now I'm thinking that this shows there's some sort of fixed misalignment (or maybe a spacing issue?) - any thoughts anyone? Cheers Steve
  9. Thank you Sara - I'm pleased you like it. My plan is to finish a Rosette mosaic - then the Lobster Claw is the next target...if I ties in with this then that'll be a bonus! Haha Gav - I used the term sleep in the loosest sense of the word - I dozed restlessly for a couple of hours max. I just can't quite switch off enough for actual deep sleep with all that expensive kit exposed to the UK elements. Thank you Paddy - I'm glad you think the texture is ok - the only noise reduction was done Pixinsight at the linear stage using MLT, which was a first for me. It seems to work a treat. Steve
  10. This is a total of about 25 hours of 30 minute narrowband subs combined in the SHO palette. It was acquired using an Atik 460exm camera through a Tak 106ED on a 10 Micron GM1000HPS through the excellent Chroma 3nm filters. Although not evident from the image, this is a bit of a milestone for me because I managed to sleep through most of it thanks to Sequence Generator Pro and GNS. ...just brilliant! The full size image is here - NGC7635 Flickr Don't look too closely at the bottom corners - I seem have a bit of tilt. Hope you like it! Steve
  11. Thank you Olly, Hugh, Ray and Barry. I agree with you entirely Olly - I'm pretty disappointed that, having spent that much on my "dream" scope .... and having spent two years of on-and-off tinkering, it's come to this. Yes - there are four tiny adjustment allen screws - but this is fraught with difficulty. First you need a clear night (!?), then you have to tighten the allen keys so that the focuser is tight - but doesn't bind. Then you have to do the same with the scope on the other side of the pier. Just getting the chip level is a nightmare - never mind tuning out any flop! I really wish that I hadn't swapped from my FLT98. Good to hear from you Hugh - that's very kind of you. Sorry to hear about your woes - I'll PM you. Thanks for the feedback on your FT Barry - your images look great. My spacer is bang on according to the "book"- but I could have another play by adding some delrin washers between the FW and the camera. Thanks again guys. Steve
  12. Hi I have a Tak 106Ed running at f3.6 with the QE reducer, and while I'm delighted with the scope, I'm pretty underwhelmed by the focuser - which seems to sag and flex all over the place. Before the Tak, I had a WO FLT98 with a Feathertouch upgrade on it - and that was lovely, so I'm pondering whether to install an FT focuser on my Tak. (he says, wincing at the price and the $/£ exchange rate) http://starlightinstruments.com/store/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=406 Does anyone have any experience of fitting and using the FTF3515? If so, does it do away with sag and flex?....and is it sufficiently short to allow focus to be reached with the reducer? Also - are there any other focuser upgrades for the 106ED that are worth considering? Many thanks in advance. Steve
  13. Cool start indeed! Looks pretty darn good from where I'm sitting - as you say - very 3D! Steve
  14. I haven't done anything AP-wise since about February and I've sort of "fallen out of love" with the hobby over the summer but my daughter bought me Warren Keller's new book Inside Pixinsight for my birthday in June..and it's just arrived from Amazon. The book has fired me back up so I'm sort of back in the saddle now and the other night I managed 3 x 30 mins of 3nm Ha of the Bubble and friends. This needs a lot more subs and some Oiii, but the reason I'm showing it now is because Warren's book has introduced me to the concept of noise reduction while the image is still linear using Multiscale Linear Transform. - All I've done with this image is MLT, Masked Stretch and Local Histogram Equalisation - no ACDNR or TGVDenoise. I think the MLT has done an excellent job. Here's a screen shot of my MLT settings in case anyone is interested. The full size can be seen here: Flickr Thanks for looking. Steve
  15. Hi Mark The driver only returns an IsSafe parameter as True or False when asked by the connected application. This is in line with my understanding ASCOM devices should normally just sit there until asked to do something or provide some information. The functionality for timers etc. would (I think) normally be handled by SGPro..so I'm pretty sure that this means the answer is "'fraid not!". If that doesn't work for you could you start an external timer on receipt of a false IsSafe I wonder?? Here's screen grab of my settings... Hope this helps Steve
  16. Beautiful image Barry - you're on a roll at the moment! Very nicely processed. Steve
  17. Out of interest ... has anyone had any success with my driver??
  18. Hi Rob I've clicked the "Like This" button - but "Like This" doesn't do the image or your patience anywhere near enough justice....and the video - Wow! By the way - what's the music on the video please? Cheers Steve
  19. That's very beautiful Barry - nice to see someone local is getting some quality skytime! Steve
  20. Thank Steve, Gav and Steve! I can't claim any credit for that - it's all done by the AccelStepper arduino library. "Angst" is the right word Gav - but we got there in the end..and it's been a great learning curve!! Looking forward to the dark winter nights now!
  21. For a quite a while now, I've been working on using an arduino to control the azimuth and shutter operation of my four year old 2.2m Pulsar dome. I've had a few versions of a working system up until now, but they've always used a standalone application to run them. However, over the past few weeks I've re-written the arduino code and Mahan Mawadj from Canada has very kindly written me an excellent ASCOM driver. Here's a video of the system in operation.... The system uses 2 Nema 23 4kN stepper motors and M542 stepper drivers - one for the azimuth and one for the shutter. The azimuth motor runs a drive cog around a CNC machine drive belt which is glued to the dome walls and the shuter motor uses the existing shutter string to open and close the shutter. The azimuth motor is mounted on a cheap TV swing and the shutter is mounted on a home made pivot - both are held in tension by bungee cord. The system keeps track of the number of steps that the azimuth motor has taken from its home position (north) and uses this info to calculate the dome azimuth. There are limit switches mounted at the Dome Home, Shutter Open, Shutter Closed and Shutter Locked positions.... .....and as can be seen, it works with the excellent SGPro. At the moment, the system uses an umbillical cord comprising a 230V power lead and a USB lead, but the next step will be to make it wireless and battery powered. Total cost for all the bits - less than £300. Thanks for looking. Steve
  22. I've just logged into SGL for the first time in several weeks and I'm deeply shocked and saddened by this bombshell news. I'm sure that, from these lovely tributes, Per's family and friends are aware of just how well liked and respected he was, but I'd like add that he was never anything but friendly, insightful, enthusiastic and knowledgable in every contact I had with him. Like everyone else, I will sadly miss him. Please pass on my deepest condolences and thoughts to Per's family. Feeling very sad. Steve
  23. Oh Wow! That's great Chris. So - just guessing here - I take it you're pleased with the 16000 camera and the Chroma filters then?? Steve
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