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Posts posted by HotBlack

  1. Yup,

    I use it, it was one of the first planetarium programs that I used contantly, so I got fairly used to it. Now I much prefer it to the others, I find I just can't get on with them.

    It does have some annoying features but on the whole I'm sticking with it.



  2. Jon,

    I had my 300D done by Astronomiser. Excellent job, and I'm still using this old technology.

    But If I look at his site them he doesn't do the modification for 1DS at all.

    Maybe you should check to see if the mod is available for the 1DS before you consider using it for AP in this way.



  3. I've been getting great results with my modified Canon ES300D, so I'm now considering moving on to an astronomical CCD camera and have decided to purchase either the SBIG ST-8300 or the ATIK 383L+.

    Currently using the Canon I can get a good result in one imaging session of about 2 to 3 hours using the following workflow

    1. about half an hour setup, aligning on subject, focussing, taking test images

    2. flat darks and flats, saved to CF card on camera (saves download time) in RAW format, usually I take 19 of each which are then used by DSS to make a master flat for the session. (I do observatory flats, taking short exposures of the inside of the dome shutters illuminated with white torch light (the shutters are also painted white on the inside)). I guess this takes about 5 minutes, although it feels longer.

    3. lights (RAW format), usually 10 exposures of 4 minutes, sometimes 15, sometimes 5 minutes, downloaded to PC so that DSS Live can stack them and I get a view of the result.

    4. darks (RAW format), same exposure as the light and I always take an odd number usually 11 and again saved to CF card on the camera. DSS makes these into a master dark.

    2. about quarter of an hour take down time.

    If I were to purchase a one shot colour CCD then I think that the work flow would be very similar and because the CCD would be more sensitive than the Canon I'd expect the results to be better (get more photons converted into signal). But the results would be even better if I were to go mono and use a fliter wheel.

    So the question is would I be able to achieve a similar or better result with a mono setup in one session like I've described above? I recognise that the workflow would need to be adjusted because flats would need to be taken with each filter (LRGB) so that is four sessions of flats and that lights would also need four sessions. Flat darks and Darks would only need to be done once per run as these can be used with each. I think my workflow would be along these lines

    1. Luminance flats

    2. Luminance flat darks

    3. Red Flats

    4. Green Flats

    5. Blue Flats

    again I dont think that these would take any more than about 10 - 15 minutes

    6. Luminance lights, say 9 or 10 off 4 min exposures

    7. Luminance darks, I expect that I'd not need as many as with the Canon and once I'd built up a library of master darks at certain temperatures I'd not need to do these at all.

    8. Red Lights, probably about a third the number as the Luminance lights, say 3 or 4 and binned 2 x 2

    9. Green Lights, as for the red

    10 Blue Lights, as for the red too.

    I'm not overly concerned about the additional expense of the filter wheel or the filters but I think that going down the mono route is ultimately going to give me better results and greater flexibility with narrowband also coming into the equation. But if I'm not going to be able to achieve this without having to do multiple sessions on one subject (which might mean weeks needing to be taken to get the image) then One Shot Colour has to be the preferred route.

    I need some advice to help me decide which route to take.

    Thanks in anticipation.



  4. Hi,

    I attempted this subject last year with an unmodified Canon EOS300D, and I was able to get a result. I wouldn't call it a good one though, the HH is faint and I had a lot of trouble pulling anything out of the background and I think I was taking 2 minute subs (can't be sure on this they may have been longer).

    Since then I've had the camera modified and I use a CLS clip filter too to deal with the light pollution. This definitely gives much better results.

    If you didn't want to get the camera modified the you could just try using a light pollution filter to extend your exposure times.



  5. 2" really give an advantage when it comes to imaging. The focal plane image produced by the telescope is really quite wide and when imaging with a 1.25" hole the corners of the image will be vignetted by the restricted aperture.

    For visual use the vignetting is still there, but visually it will not really be apparent because most of the time you are looking at the centre of the field.

    There is no advantage to using 2" eyepieces in a 1.25" focus barrel, and also because of the extra glass involved the 2" eyepiece will be more expensive than the equivalent 1.25". It will also be heavier so could potentially cause lateral movement in a focusser that is not very robust, then you'll get additional aberations.



  6. Hi bunch,

    This is the result of about 2 hours effort at the scope on Friday night and another 2 hours on Saturday morning. My first decent HH.


    Camera: Modified (Astronomiser) Canon300D

    Scope: William Optics Megrez 80II FD

    Exposures: 15 at ISO800, 4 minute subs, darks, flats and flat darks were taken too.

    Stacked with DSS, processed in Photoshop CS3, level/curves and then tweaked using Noel's actions and Peter Morris's actions.

    Hope u like.




  7. very nice image,

    how long were the subs?

    and have you adjusted the drive speed on the mont to improve the tracking? to get such good unguided results?


    Subs were 240 seconds each.

    Mount is as I bought it, which was second hand two years ago. I had a tracking fault about this time last year (the cold affects it) and I took it to Telescope House for a repair and clean up. I have to hand it to them it came back better than before it went wrong. I've had the same issue this year but it has corrected itself (after I applied some warmth using a vivarium heating cable wrapped around the casing).



  8. If I can get this with an ST80, I can't wait to get my hands on a high quality refractor! Hmm, now where was that review of 80mm refactors. Over to equip. help for advice on an 80mm!

    That's how I started, using an ST80, like you I was very encouraged with the results. I upgraded to a William Optics Megrez 80II FD which I obtained second hand. The results were a magnitude better, the colour correction was so good. I've been using it for about 2 years now and the scope hasn't given me a bad image yet, I only get those through sky conditions and my own errors.

    I'd definitely recommend a WO 80mm scope.

    Good Luck



  9. Thanks for the comments all.

    Very nice. Good colour. Tight stars for unguided! Bit of uneven background illumination - may have needed to take some flats. Apart from that good detail.

    Flats were taken, but on 2nd evening the camera took jpeg's instead of Raws, so DSS wouldn't use them. Note to self "need to pay more attention".

    That's a very nice image especially given it is unguided on an LX200. You obviously had a very good polar alignment. Is it on a permanent mount?

    The LX200 is permanently equatorially mounted on a pier and AE Megawedge. I spent considerable time getting it accurately polar aligned.

    Thanks again guys.



  10. Hi Guys,

    This is my latest image, taken over two nights 17th and 30th Jan, in 18 four minute subs, so there is 72 minutes of exposure. Taken with the modified Canon EOS300D through my WO 80II FD, piggybacked on the LX200. Unguided.

    Stacked with Deep Sky Stacker and processed in Photoshop CS3.

    Hope you like it, I do!




  11. This is my first excursion into narrowband imaging, albeit only a Ha addition for a luminance layer in Photoshop.

    Details are,

    Modified Canon EOS 300D with Astronomic CLS clip filter, William Optics 80II FD refractor.

    Colour data taken on 11th October between 21:45 and 22:32 BST

    10 x 240 sec exposures, calibrated with darks, flats and flat darks.

    Ha data taken on 12th October between 21:54 and 22:40 BST

    10 x 240 sec exposures, calibrated with darks, flats and flat darks.

    Each nights data stacked with DSS. Post processed in Photoshop CS2. Ha data grayscaled and layered over colour data as luminance layer at 60% opacity.

    The image presented here is a crop of the centre of the frame, which also included M52 and NGC7538.

    I've also put up a scan of a visual observation I made of this in 1992 using an 8.5" Newtonian. Compares pretty well with the image.





  12. Two very quick and dirty sets of shots of Pluto.

    4 off 1 minute subs taken on 18th and 24th August and turned into a gif file so that it does a "blink" comparison.

    This is a crop of what I captured with my Canon EOS 300D and WO Megrez 80II FD, the first set of frames I captured in JPEG only so it is very noisy, the second set was in RAW and were much better. I'm going to try and add to it but capture in RAW for the rest.




  13. Hi Jordan,

    Pretty good for a first DSO.

    The elongated stars in the corners are due to the curved focal plane that the scope produces, the only way to eliminate these is to use a field flattener. I deal with them by cropping the image.

    Well done.



  14. I'm amazed at the number of clear night I've had lately, 5 really good ones since 15th August, so I've been busy.

    Here's one of the targets I've been imaging.

    The Lagoon Nebula is quite tricky from my location because I only get a limited time (about 1/2 hour) to image as it slips into the small gap between my neighbours house and mine. So this is shot over two nights so far, 20th August I got 7 off 180 second subs and 24th August I got 6 off 180 second subs to give a total exposure of 39 minutes. Frames were stacked in DSS and processed in Photoshop CS2 and Noels actions.

    Camera - modified (Astronomiser) Canon EOS 300D with Astronomik CLS clip filter

    Scope - William Optics Megrez 80II FD, piggybacked on the 12" LX200. Not guided.

    Hope you like it!


  15. First go at some of last nights images. This is a crop of the M16, Eagle Nebula, widefield that i did. The blighter slipped behind my chimney while I was imaging :) so I only got six usable frames.

    Telescope WO Megrez 80II FD, camera modified Canon EOS300D with Astronomik CLS clip filter. 6 off 2 minute subs stacked in DSS and post processed in Photoshop CS2.




  16. These both need plenty more subs, but I thought I'd put them up as a preview for you.

    Markarians Chain, about 1 hour of exposure in 2 minute and 5 minute unguided subs. Taken with the WO Megrez 80IIFD and the (modified) Canon EOS 300d at 800 ISO, and Astronimik CLS clip filter, piggybacked on the LX200. Stacked with DSS and post processed in photoshop.

    M101 about 1/2 hour of exposure in 2 minute unguided subs. Taken with the WO Megrez 80IIFD and the (modified) Canon EOS 300d at 800 ISO, and Astronimik CLS clip filter, piggybacked on the LX200. Stacked with DSS and post processed in photoshop.

    Hope you like.





  17. Hello Rob,

    Welcome to the Forum.

    There are a few amateur astronomers in Rugby (me included).

    Did you know that Rugby has an Astronomical Society now?

    It started about 18 months ago and meets on the third Sunday of every month at the Citizens Voluntary Service building next to the Town Hall, oposite the Bingo Hall. Next meeting is on 19th April at 7:30 p.m. Why not pop along to the next meeting.

    There is a website, not spectacular but it will tell you about the society, see Rugby & District Astro Society.

    Also if you fancy a chat, then get in touch with me via my website or PM me from here.



  18. Hi guys,

    Having imaged this the other night (Boxing Day) and having processed it in different ways I can't decide which is the best (maybe none of them). Unfortunately there is some star trailing, but apart from that the details are,

    Stack of 10 off 140 second subs (all show the trailing), imaged with the modified EOS300D, Astronomik CLS clip filter, WO Megrez 80II FD. Stacked in DSS, with dark frame calibration.

    I think this field has thrown me because there is nebulosity across the whole frame.






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