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Posts posted by Grant93

  1. 5 hours ago, The Lazy Astronomer said:

    @Grant93: assuming you did use Startools, did you make use of the superstructure module at all? I found that it can sometimes create the appearance of fairly aggressive noise reduction.

    Yes I did use Startools.. I can't fully remember as I did this process last weekend.. but if I do use Superstructure now days, I'll usually lower the aggressiveness a significant amount. πŸ˜€ I should of mentioned it was processed with StarTools in the post, I forgot sorry!

  2. Hello everyone!

    Always posting away in the getting started with imaging forum, felt its about time to be brave enough to post here πŸ˜…. I hope its a worthy image. A bit of a story - Had this 135mm Lens for a while, not fully understanding or appreciating how fast it was, I use to think my backyard skys were too polluted for it, I use to stop it down considerably so I could get 'longer exposures' without overexposing the histogram. I don't know how or when it hit me how silly this was, but I finally understood the love of RASA's and the fact you don't need them long exposure times, just open the damn thing up and shoot for as long as it doesn't overexpose, whether thats 20 seconds or 120!

    It didnt dissapoint, this is probably my second or third cleanest image to date, but with 2-4 hours less total exposure, because this was shot at f2.8 compared to f4-f5. After the first result of processing, I was impressed and wanted more data to try and bring faint dusty regions out around it, sadly I think I've failed at that. I added another 2 and a half hours data, but it doesn't seem any easier to process, and even added difficult gradients, I will try scouring through the images, getting rid of bad ones and restacking on the weekend. However I am too eager to hold my image back as it is one I am rather proud of considering it contains less than 2 hours data, unguided and not dithered (This will change by christmas :)).

    I am rather happy that I managed to pull out some dusty regions to the top right and bottom left - Will a few hours more intergration time be able to pull out a lot more from a bortle 5? Or do we need 20 hours+ for that dusty detail from a bortle 5?

    EDIT: Please please please, give me plenty of constructive criticism

    Heres the details;

    Modded 600D


    Samyang 135mm @F2.8 (Heard it was sharper than F2.0)

    150 Lights @ 45 seconds

    20 of each caliberation frame.

    California 2h3rd.png

    • Like 7
  3. 6 hours ago, AstroMuni said:

    If you have a paid subscription to SG Pro then the bad news is it doesnt work with INDI. The good news is Ekos has pretty much all the features (if not a few more) of SGP but there is always the learning curve.

    Dont plan on using it with the SGP, I just use the SGP for a grab and go, so keep it simple with a intervalometer, no computers, so can just use it for them 2 hour windows free of clouds :) Gonna keep the RPi permenantly attatched to the HEQ5. Just got it delivered today :D Lets see how frustrating it is to set up!

  4. 3 hours ago, AstroMuni said:

    I think you have the right combination - remember my images are without guiding using the HEQ5 pro mount and the 130EQ scope. You have a much better WO ZS61 in my opinion. You just need the right software to control the mount.Β  As I have an old laptop that cant run windows, I loaded Linux and I used Ekos and set it up to realign after every 10 subs. Each subs was 5-30secs. So any drift would get corrected at end of 300sec πŸ™‚ You could try NINA which works on Windows.

    If you prefer Ekos, you either need to have Linux in a multi boot windows environment or like me repurpose an old laptop for Linux.

    Otherwise more money needed to buy a RPi πŸ˜‰ but remember once you have done that you can sit in the luxury of your warm room and control your mount and cameras remotely!

    I've ordered my RPi, so soon I will be setting it up from the comfort of my living room :) :). Although if I know I've only got a couple hours to image, I usually just use my SGP. If I've got multiple hours I set up the HEQ5.

    I assume once I've got my RPi, Astroberry will have everything I need on it?

  5. This all helps, thank you both :) Think I will be getting the 224 as a guide cam, so I can also use it for moon and planetary for them not so transparent/summer nights :) Going to have to buy the guide scope myself though as I don't want my fiance to spend too much on me for christmas :( πŸ˜…

    Also buy the looks of your photos @AstroMuni it looks like it will be good for them Planetary Nebula and Globulars! Something I would struggle with in my current set up :)


  6. I think you guys are twisting my arm into spending more money :o :D Just checked the 224mc on astronomytools and everything seems to fit so perfectly. Looks almost perfect for a full disk of the moon and sun in the ZS61 (How does this perform in solar imaging? Might be a dumb question but I don't know how solar varys vs lunar and planetary). And looks nice for planetary and zoomed in photos on the Dobsonian.

    Definitely going to go for the 224 I think, just them couple of questions above πŸ˜….


    16 minutes ago, Clarkey said:

    The 120mm mini is mono whereas the 120mc is colour. Also being USB 3 you will get a much better frame rates. As Astromuni says you could consider the 224 which is a better planetary camera.


    49 minutes ago, AstroMuni said:

    @Grant93 if you are considering a colour camera, You should also consider the ASI224mc.


  7. Thanks to everyone for the very helpful advice! I will get that recommended EQDIR USB Adapter Just a couple of follow up questions :)

    19 hours ago, Clarkey said:

    The only other thing you might want to think about is possibly getting the 120 mc which you could use for planetary imaging with your Dob. It won't be sensitive as the mono, but it is USB 3 and at F4 should still be more than able to guide.

    Whats the difference between the two when it comes to imaging planets, moon, and solar? Because that was going to be something else I'd start to do come summer when the nights are shorter. Some planetry, lunar and solar imaging (With the right solar filter ofcourse) with the mini. Is it just the frame rate difference? So I would have to expose for longer with the mini? Thanks :)


  8. Hello everyone.

    Just looking at finally getting into guiding and using christmas to my advantage, asked the fiance to get me a ZWO ASI 120MM Mini and Astro Essentials 50mm Guidescope from FLO. Also going to get myself a Raspberry Pi 4 8GB to use AstroBerry on.

    Basically what I'm asking is, what else do I need to connect it all up? Any cables that these items do not come with, but I will need to connect it to the HEQ5?

    Also any recommendations for something I might need in the future. Or even if you recommend a different camera, scope, or mini PC (As you can see, on a budget), Because you think I may regret some purchases?

    Thanks in advance for your help :)


  9. Hi there,

    I use canons, but post processing definitely doesn't stop after stacking. The stacked version doesn't look much more impressive than the single frames.Β 

    However it doesn't have to be complicated or expensive, there are many easy guides for free software such as GIMP, starting with easy curves adjustments and such. Or there's cheap software out there such as StarTools for around Β£40 one off payment, which is very easy to learn and use with simple workflows.πŸ˜€

    Hope this helps


    • Like 1
  10. Hello everyone!

    Just a bit of imaging from the clear nights we had last weekend here in the midlands, sadly being a full moon also. Pretty much using every bit of my set up also.

    Got the Double cluster and Owl cluster, both on the 600D and ZS61 with the HEQ5. 2 hours each.

    Then the Andromeda galaxy on the 800D and Samyang 135mm with the Skyguider pro for 4 hours.

    All processed in StarTools.

    Let me know what you think :)




    DB Cluster2.png

    Owl Clusteredit.png

    • Like 6
  11. On 31/10/2021 at 16:58, Username556 said:

    Would you say this picture is accurate to what you would see in person?Β 

    You will never resolve any sort of color whilst looking at the milkyway with your naked eyes, only cameras pick up color. From my experience of a bortle 2, it's very clearly there, and its just like a metallic effect across the sky. So from the picture you posted, imagine slightly less detail, and no color, just a metallic effect, well worth travelling out to see it. I would do it every week if I could. Remember if you ever do travel to a site like that, keep your eyes out for some naked eye DSOs. Double cluster, andromeda etc πŸ˜€. The summer core is no longer visible, but the milkyway still travels up through Cygnus and Cassiopeia too.

  12. 15 hours ago, alacant said:

    Yeah, that's much better.Β 

    Did you try the SVDecon [1] this time? Try selecting non saturated stars against a dark-ish background. Ten or so from random but evenly spaced areas of the image is all you need. You could also try SuperStructure darken at about 30 or so %.


    [1] Not sure 512 has it. 518 though definitely does.

    Yes I did use SVDecon. But admittedly just used the standard, didnt change anything, I'll have to try that next time. I did use SuperStructure, I don't think I darkened it, but I lowered 'strength' (I think?) to about 40%, as 100% just took away too much of the sharpness.

    Now I just need to learn how to use that NBAccent module :o.

    10 hours ago, bottletopburly said:

    My effort using 1.8.519 ,win10

    Nice effort, I like the color of the nebulosity in this!

  13. Nice picture!

    I also own a SGP, and I also did this once with a 600d and SMYG 135mm Lens, with 10 seconds between exposures. I also only did it every 4-5 frames, and probably every 15 frames I would fiddle with the DEC bracket a bit (slightly loosen one side and tighten the other), so you're not only dithering in RA but DEC also. You will find the 10 or 15 seconds between frames eats up your imaging time massively, when you've been sitting out for 4 hours but got 3 hours 15mins of data (but very worth it if you're willing to do it).

    However, in this weather I cannot be doing with sitting out there for hours on end haha (unless I'm out with the binos or dobπŸ€“). I would rather set up, spend 15 minutes making sure its running ok, then go and sit inside where I can see the rig running on my backgarden from the patio door, whilst watching TV πŸ˜…. But the sad thing is, when you have done it once, and you see the difference, it means more money to be spent on a mini PC and guiding set up to be able to automatically dither πŸ₯Ά Which I am planning on making before christmas πŸ˜….

    But to answer your question: Yes 15 seconds should be plenty πŸ˜ƒ.

    Good luck & wrap up warm :)


    • Like 1
  14. This time I used that newer StarTools software, the bleeding edge version - v1.8.512 (I noticed you have .518, so havent updated it fully). And got a result much closer to what I am happy with and to what I wanted. Not so disappointed with the stars in this one, and much sharper I think even though I binned more. Forgot I had the bleeding edge version, definitely my go to version now. Let me know what you think :).

    Best ZS61 NAN.Png

    • Like 1
  15. 17 hours ago, alacant said:

    JTOL and I doubt it, but I wonder if this has anything to do with OS? We're on Kubuntu 20.04.3. I know there are a few other st users on the forum @almcl, @bottletopburlyΒ but I don't know which they use. I've no experience of st on mac or windows and only a few pokes around on android.

    I'm on Windows 10. Looked into Siril this morning, will give it a go stacking there also, after I learn how to do it..

    Found that startools log, in a notepad with about 10 miles worth of scrolling πŸ˜…

  16. 1 hour ago, alacant said:

    Nice data. There is some lovely detail emerging. StarTools v1.8.518

    I think the noise is under control. All I did was set a 2px NR after tracking had been turned off. TBH, I don't think it needs any.Β 


    Always so impressed with what you can do in StarTools.. Everything is so much sharper than mine. I need more practice :D


  17. 9 hours ago, Budgie1 said:

    I know you're working with StarTools but I had some time to play so I had a go with your data in PixInsight, just as a comparison. ;)

    I used as much of the image as I could, even with the rotation, and came up with this:


    You did a much better job of the stars than I did! Did you feel there was a lot of noise to deal with?

    Going to get a mini PC within the next month for unguided dithering (I think this is possible?), then within the next few months I'll get a guiding set up to do guiding and guided dithering which should help me produce clearer sharper pictures I would imagine.

  18. 20 minutes ago, alacant said:

    No idea. Why did you remove it?

    What will help with the halos is careful choice of the second AutoDev ROI, including the selection I already indicated.

    If that's not what you're after, you then have st's Deconvolution (use the manual non saturated star selection) and as a final line of defence, the Shrink module.

    Post your data if you like.



    I removed it because it looked horrible after processing.. an enhanced version of the rest.

    Ah I see, I'll try that with the ROI next time! Thank you!

    Heres the data :) here you will see the massive accidental rotation, dont laughΒ πŸ˜…

    6 Hour NAN2.TIF

  19. 5 hours ago, alacant said:


    You still can and should use flat frames. Just take a set for each night. Pre-process each session's light frames with their respective flats. Then register them. Stack as normal.

    Stars: make sure the second AutoDev includes at least one saturated star, but don't forget to leave some room for the fainter stuff.

    Nice image.


    Yeah thats the trouble, I had a set of flats for one night, without realising it I rotated my camera on the second night, and tried reusing flats - The first stack with the flats didnt go well, had a very bright corner πŸ˜ͺ

    I did have the Xi Cygni in my picture, I cropped it out at the end, why will this help with the halos?

    Going to keep having a go anyway, will try stacking in Siril also, Forgot about that until this morning!

    Thanks for the advice :D



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