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    IT Support [Windows Servers], Astronomy, Space Exploration & Bourbon :D
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    Shropshire, GB

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  1. Thought I'd give N.I.N.A a try last night and was playing with sequencing so picked my target from the atlas, set up via the Framing Assistant and after a few test exposures, put in four sequences for 30s, 45s, 60s & 90s exposures for the Altair Hypercam 183C Pro TEC / SW ED80DS-Pro/EQ6-R Pro combo.

    After shoving this (and the corresponding darks) through DeepSkyStacker, I'm pretty happy with the results from what was an unplanned night.

    I could hear PHD2 pinging every now and again so there was some light cloud cover here and there but NINA just resumed guiding which was nice :) Only downside was the sequencing messed up and was dithering every frame with no way to change it (I should really read the help pages) - but was a lot simpler than using SharpCap/PHD2/Stellarium.

    Have a free weekend off work so might try to figure out GiMP and some better post-processing - but here it is uncropped with very rough levels/curves:

    Cassiopeia Salt & Pepper Cluster and Bubble Nebula [M32 & NGC7635]Autosave030.thumb.png.d504c86d41a2e5461a8315168613edf1.png


  2. both look great @tomato and giving me something to aspire to (and now I'm going to have to start looking at startools, the extra work on the 2nd image definitely pays off)
  3. oh I'm going to have to look at how you add custom landscapes to Stellarium ....
  4. this seems appropriate (or maybe it's just late on a school night for me, I've work in 6hrs)
  5. Gotcha @wookie1965 and have repeated that here, yep the DEC motor hits the RA motor. But the DEC axis rotates, so spin it 180° put the DEC motor at the front and it clears everything.
  6. Have my EQ5 Pro with me at the desk now as I really want to help - checked and it rotates freely without hitting the body, the only issue is the DEC IN cable which is easily disconnected from either end. clutch lever gets a bit close but does pass cleanly
  7. just realised that could come across as a dodgy link, so here's the youtube link directly
  8. I've an EQ5 (Pro) in the garage and had to go and check in case there was something strange with the motors (hadn't had need to take the PS out) yep, just unscrews, feels a bit tight for initial release but a firm grip and rotate CCW Hope the vid I've just taken helps
  9. well I did a quick search - and hit this result from @Stu back in 2014 relating to firmware updates on the Starbook, guessing comms are still the same for other uses?
  10. got to hand it to SpaceX - when they provide video coverage they do it very well. loved the launch-to-land stage one camera, tend not to be too bothered with stage two/payload these days
  11. 110Ah leisure battery is on my list of things for when I start going out and need a supply, with that in mind I've switched from a laptop to a miniPC that runs off 12V so removes the complexity of needing an invertor or drain of powering a screen. Scope/plan setup is done with a direct connection to the miniPC from a laptop, make sure everything looks okay (PA, focus etc) and let it go, then switch the laptop off, just reconnecting periodically to make sure everything looks okay (maybe 2-3mins every hour) so the laptop battery is perfectly good for that. The lightbulb moment for me was seeing a comment saying that "you're only capturing the data, not manipulating/post-processing it on the capture device" so it can be low-power just with good storage.
  12. @Padraic M thank you - guilty there as well (and the histograms from yourself and @geeklee are really helpful) - I was aiming for a black background. I knew there'd be a lot to learn after finally understanding the mount and guiding, but it is quite a step up when you finally have images to process. As for NINA, well I knew I needed Darks and Flats to register in DSS, SharpCap seemed to take them (I know now what I did wrong) and produce just a master file for each which DSS didn't like (I should have just taken captures, and did last night). NINA is brand new to me and I found the wizard in there for them, so tried to use that. So many toolsets to do the same job - I really need to work on one and stick with it. I like the interface for NINA, so maybe that's my task for the coming days/weeks (months/years ), sticking with the same target (where I know I get some results) and I'll have something to measure against for NINA and GiMP. Hopefully results will improve and I can then take that experience onto new targets and challenges. So thanks to everyone who has commented, I'll keep coming back to these comments to keep me on the right path. Kev
  13. A lot to take in there Lee but it is making sense - an enormous amount of help you've given me here, thank you and appreciate you taking the time to look in more detail at one of the screengrabs - I'm busted, I completely forgot to try and align the channels. No excuses, just too keen to get an image - a lack of patience and I don't see any of that for sale on FLO. And @iapa, thank you, I'd only thought about taking the darks for the exposure I was using, not building up the library with a view to referring back (DOH!). ..... hmm, PixInsight ...... I've got a book on that ....... NO! use what I've got, learn and then progress to the next thing! (though that might be setting up the pier that has recently turned into a bird table because I've done nothing with it yet)
  14. only a thousand other things?! I checked my imaging settings and had changed the black level (I think this is offset) from 3 to 30 somehow, that's been put back, for now, set to 0. I was hoping to not have dew issues, but then my heater band is a cheap amazon one with very little control, but thank you, something I can look for an upgrade to over the summer - I'd been staring at the image for so long I was doubting myself as to whether I was seeing it or not. And when I've got all this lot working I've still got all the other things hidden in the garage to play with (ZWO OAG, AutoFocuser, Filter Drawer and of course the C9.25 OTA) - should keep me busy for years, much to the other half's relief no doubt
  15. Thanks again @geeklee for the support. Managed 88x 3min frames last night with a really close alignment. DSS using 80% of frames produced this: which, with a little bit of GiMP (no idea what I was doing, but know I need to do something to bring out C12 from the starfield), produced this: and, for my first DSO with a proper rig (i.e. not my one attempt at Andromeda with a DSWR/Star Adventurer) quite chuffed with how the 100% image compares with Stellarium's DSO image. Got loads to learn still I know but already looking forward to another clear night and a new target. (please excuse the screengrabs, but produced nice small filesizes for sharing)
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