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Everything posted by CCD-Freak

  1. You can go a bit nuts trying to keep everything neat. (^8
  2. I use cable braid and velcro buckle ties to bundle and secure my cables. Cable braid allows each wire to move independently within the braid so it remains flexible and it also resists hanging on things. The buckle ties allow securing the cable bundle to the tripod leg and the tube or focuser to take the strain off the connectors. I prefer this method instead of putting everything up on the OTA which adds to the wind load area and it is not as easy to protect the electronic devices from dew. My 2 cents. (^8
  3. Once I finally got the chamber sealed and dried out I could go down below freezing without frosting the sensor or circuit board. There was a temp sensor on the "cold finger" just below the sensor and it was connected to a temperature controller to keep the TEC at the desired setting. I typically ran the DSI-II TEC at -15C. If I decide to do this mod to my ASI-178 I will do something similar.
  4. Funny....I have been considering doing that to my ASI-178MM. I did a cooling mod to an old Meade DSI-II camera and it worked well. I could get it down to -35C below ambient. The hardest part was getting it air tight to keep moisture at bay.
  5. Great image !!! Are you using a cooled ASI-178 camera?
  6. I had one of those sheds and I was planning to do something like your project until a Texas thunderstorm changed my plans. It was ripped off the wooden deck and blown over a 6' fence before being deposited in the front yard.
  7. Impressive images !!! I hope you don't mind but I ran your image through Topaz DeNoise AI and it did a nice job cleaning up the noise. I try not to push the sharpening too much. I find Topaz very useful for lunar and deep sky imaging.
  8. I would buy that mount in a heartbeat if I was not on the other side of the pond.
  9. I am a bit of a "black sheep" since I like the square sensor of the ASI-533MCp. Most objects frame nicely with little "wasted real estate" on the sensor.
  10. Hi Adrian I agree....you can over process with any software so I tend to go for the minimum required to get an improvement in the image. You can see the details in the original image but they are fuzzed out a bit and Topaz with it's AI algorithms did a good job of bringing it out. Topaz is so easy to use and I am still experimenting with it to determine the most effective settings. After Before
  11. I recently found a program called Topaz DeNoise AI which I have been using to remove noise and sharpen my deep sky images so I decided to give it a whirl on some old lunar images. These pictures are single snap shots with an ASI-290MM and an old C8 under less than perfect seeing. The results are pretty interesting so I will be experimenting with this some more. "Wadayathink ???" Before After
  12. I posted an early version of this image but this is a revision after I ran it through Topaz DeNoise AI. 70 x 3 minutes (3.5 hours total) through an AT10RC and a ZWO ASI-533MCp with a Baader UV-IR filter. I was over sampled at .39" / pixel at 2000mm FL. The image was a bit soft due to the poor seeing but Topaz made a considerable difference. Captured and processed with Astro Art 7 and Topaz DeNoise AI.
  13. Here is the imaging rig used....AT10RC on an AP900GTO with an ASI-533MCp with a Baader UV-IR filter. Guider is an old University Optics 80mm "Kit Scope" with an ASI-290MM I call it the "Galaxy Canon"
  14. I am starting to process the 10 Gigs of image data I took last week while out in western New Mexico. The seeing was poor (2=below average) and I was imaging at 2000mm with an AT10RC and an ASI-533MCp with a UV-IR filter at .39"/pixel which is over-sampled for poor seeing. NGC4565 Flying Saucer or Needle galaxy about 65 x 3 minute subs after I purged the worst ones. Captured and processed with Astro Art 7. The image was soft and the fine details were fuzzed out until a buddy ran it through Topaz DeNoise and wow....what an improvement.
  15. Here is my AT10RC Galaxy Canon on my AP900 doing it's thing out under the DARK skies of western New Mexico last week.
  16. Yes the almost Bortle 1 sky (SQM 21.99) is why we make the 900 mile trip (each way) out there a couple times a year if we can. Being that dark certainly helps my images. I just bought 5 acres only 200 miles from home which is just as dark but not quite as dry so I am looking forward to much more quality dark sky time.
  17. I have started to process the 10Gigs of image data I captured out in western New Mexico last week. Wind, dust, transparency and BAD seeing were working against us but I think there are some images in there somewhere. NGC3718 galaxy group is my first image I am working on. It is still a work in progress but I am getting close to "sticking a fork in it and calling it done". (^8 About 70 x 3 minute subs after I purged the bad ones. ASI-533MCp with UV-IR filter, AT10RC / AP900. Captured and processed with Astro Art 7.
  18. I decided on the ASI-533MCp over several other cameras. I personally like the square sensor because most objects fit the square field without a lot of wasted field. I have used the 533 with my AT10RC at 2000mm down to my SharpStar 150mm F2.8 Hyper Newt at 420mm FL with great results. I have not regretted getting the 533 and I am drooling over the ASI-2600MCp. If ZWO would come out with a mono version of the ASI-533 I would be very happy to get one of those to pair with the OSC version.
  19. I have been enjoying being a pensioner and as we say "every day is Saturday". Being able to go out to the observatory site for extended stays is great. My wife is happy I found the place and she doesn't mind when I am gone for a few days. She may even go out with me on occasion when I get a cabin (cottage) built out there. We have some nice sunsets out there too.
  20. I was not trying to make anyone jealous and I feel so lucky to be able to have this. I am working on improvements and I will be using my SkyBox portable observatory until I get my permanent observatory built. At some point I may get it set up for remote operation but since I enjoy being onsite that probably won't happen very soon.
  21. I was at my new Star Ranch Observatory site. It is indeed the middle of nowhere and 200 miles from home. Being a pensioner i can go out in my caravan and stay for as long as the sky is clear. I just got water and electric installed so I can now begin construction of piers and observatory structures and eventually a cabin. According to the 2015 data my site is Bortle-1-2 at SQM 21.99. I figured that if I had to drive a long way to be free of the Dallas / Ft Worth light pollution bubble I might as well go for as dark as I could get. It took over three years of searching to find it. My friend Robert has Paducah Skies Observatory next door. https://www.cleardarksky.com/c/PSSRObsTXkey.html As a bonus there is a West Texas Mesonet research weather station on the property that we can access. It is the PADU station on the map. http://rain.ttu.edu/mesonet/obsframe.html I feel extremely lucky to have this land under such dark sky. here are some images from my first two trips to the site.
  22. Waiting for sunset at the new dark site.... AT10RC, AP900GTO, ASI-533MCP set up to image galaxies.
  23. Another good thing about the site is low RF noise so it is great for amateur radio operation. I will be putting up some antennas out there when I get the cabin done. That will give me something to do during the day and cloudy nights. For now I am operating from my mobile. Hope we can work each other at some point.
  24. Thanks Tony I am indeed lucky to have dark skies and I searched for three years to find it. My new observatory site is almost Bortle 1 (SQM 21.99 in the 2015 data). I am looking forward to getting and observatory and cabin built. It is 200 miles to the SRO site but since I am a pensioner I can take my caravan out and stay for as long as the skies are clear We make the trek to New Mexico once or twice a year to enjoy the dark sky and very low humidity and high probability of clear sky. Now that I have a nice dark site with typically low humidity I will probably make the 850 mile drive (each way) to NM less often.
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