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Everything posted by ONIKKINEN

  1. https://ecoflow.com/products/ecoflow-river-portable-power-station This one will definitely run your laptop from an AC- powerbrick, i ran my fridge with this during a blackout for a test and it does work under heavy loads admirably. Though it wont power a laptop for long probably since the inverter side of the powerbank wastes fair bit of energy.
  2. I seal all of my expensive electronics in a rugged carrying case when outside and only open it after about an hour from bringing it inside. This prevents dew from the temperature difference from forming on them and hopefully makes them last longer. I have 2 cameras, the handset and a mini-pc (and some cables that absolutely must not break) in it. This might not be an issue for most but i have a 40 degree temperature difference between inside and outside at this time of year and everything gets wet immediately when brought inside. The scope, eyepieces and other optical equipment is left uncapped to dry over night. Sometimes i have to dry my newtonian OTA with a towel if it was very humid outside.
  3. Take the intact tripod bolt with you to the shop and ask them to re-thread with the same threads as the bolt to make sure the correct threads are applied, as @david_taurus83 said it is probably an M12 metric thread.
  4. You can try re-tapping the thread with a thread tap of the right size. Im not certain but i think these are 3/8 inch photothreads. I would start with a thread file to try and clean what remains of the thread. Start from the back where the threads are most likely still in decent condition. Clean up the thread with the thread file as much as possible before trying to re-tap. Then try to carefully go along the same path where the thread used to be, or you will just end up destroying more of it. It will never be the same again with retapped threads of the same size since a lot of the material was lost, but it could work if you dont use too much force when threading into the mount again. There are also thread inserts that you could try to drill into the existing hole but this i wouldn't try myself if i wasn't comfortable with this kind of thing. The thread file and a thread tap + wrench will cost you not that much, but isn't guaranteed to work. But also probably wont make things worse. The best bet would be to take the mount to a local machine shop and ask them about refitting a threaded insert to the hole. Its not a huge ordeal and probably not that expensive. Its far from completely destroyed so entirely fixable.
  5. Most folks use light panels of some sort. Its an extra trinket to carry out and set up but worth it in my opinion since flats are probably the most important type of calibration frame. There are expensive options: https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/index.php/cat/c229_Flat-Field-foils-and-boxes.html And cheap options: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Drawing-Tracing-Ultra-Thin-Adjustable-Brightness/dp/B072F8T5FH/ref=sr_1_29?crid=12P09PNJDKODH&keywords=agptek+light+panel&qid=1641750123&s=kitchen&sprefix=agptek+light+panel%2Ckitchen%2C83&sr=1-29 I use the latter. These cheap drawing tracing tablets feel like toys and probably wont last long but they are very cheap and do the same thing. The dedicated flat field panels are dimmable to whatever level you want and some can work with capture software (like NINA) to automatically take the ideal flat exposure.
  6. The gradient is blotchy and difficult to remove. I end up with a similar result as you with most methods. I could probably brute force this with GradientXterminator plugin in Photoshop, but it looks difficult to deal with. Looks a lot like a light leak to the sensor somehow IMO. Also since you are using a newtonian it is possible your collimation has changed since shooting the lights and taking the flats, which is why flats are best taken straight after the session. This needs to be blocked so that no light can enter during shooting. It could be the culprit here. But one more thing you can try other than re-shoot the frames is to do the background extraction per sub. This works well for linear gradients, but if each sub has a nonlinear gradient due to light leaks it may not work that well. To do this you should use the "seqsubsky" command in Siril before stacking. After pre-processing you can run this command by inputting "seqsubsky pp_light 1" to the console. In here seqsubsky is the command, pp_light is the sequence name in question and 1 is the degree order of the extraction. 1 is linear 2 is less linear etc, usually only the first order extraction works well for individual subs. If you used one of the scripts built in to Siril to do the whole process you can add the command line in to the script you used. You can open the .SSF files with Windows word pad. I am not quite sure to which point the command goes, but it might be the one i marked. An easier way (which i use) would be to use Sirilic, a software that uses Siril for stacking but makes all the data usage much simpler with a drag and drop interface. No need to manually faff with folders with Sirilic. Here: https://siril.org/docs/sirilic/#download In Sirilic the "subsky" command does the background extraction per sub. Set to 0 for no extraction, 1 for linear extraction. Higher than 1 will probably not work well but you could always try. Its a lot to think about, sorry if it sounds like im rambling
  7. Attention everyone having USB issues! I just received a brand new AZ-EQ6 and the Prolific USB to Serial drivers from Skywatchers site DO NOT work with the mount. Skywatcher is probably using whatever chips they have on hand due to the global chip shortages and have failed to update the driver download section on their website. I had to manually install the newest version of Prolific drivers for the handset OR mount USB connectors to be picked up by device manager as working COM ports. Here are the correct drivers: http://www.prolific.com.tw/US/ShowProduct.aspx?p_id=225&pcid=41
  8. Difficult to tell from the screenshot if something is wrong, can you post the raw stack? Im banking towards background extraction going wrong. I use Siril a lot and sometimes its just difficult to use and should be done on the individual subs before stacking. There is a method to do this in Siril with the seqsubsky console command but i would like to try on the stack first if thats ok.
  9. No problems with the flat. Nicely illuminated with no overexposed pixels at all. There are some 0-value pixels in the red channel but i dont think its the issue here. Not sure how to go about fixing that either, maybe trying to take a longer exposure flat by dimming down the light source since this is a 1/200s flat exposure? A couple of T-shirt layers more with sky flats or the monitor method with a dimmable light source, but anyway thats beside the point. You get this view in Siril by putting the preview mode to "Histogram" in the bottom and selecting the rainbow false color mode from the bottom tool panel. Very easy to see what is what especially with flats. This is a pretty good flat although the optical axis is not exactly center to the camera (collimation or tilt). Do you get the gray uneven blotches on the raw stack before background extraction? Ill go with either a) light leaks during capture (difficult to remove) or b) something wrong with the background removal process.
  10. Can you attach the raw flat file so i could have a look? That is a good method by the way, unless the sky was somehow unevenly lit at the time. AV mode in DSLRs always produced decently illuminated flats for me so i wouldn't worry about the method. But if you want to test another method you can just point the camera and telescope (or lens or whatever) to a computer screen/tv/tablet that is showing a white screen with the minimum brightness setting. Take at least 30 flats and move the telescope around the screen and rotate it in your hands during this to make any possible defects in the screen even out in stacking.
  11. Looks a bit like light leak from the viewfinder if you used a DSLR. The viewfinder is a light pathway to the sensor and some light will leak there if its not blocked. On my first session out with a DSLR i had a red light headlamp on pretty much the whole night and occasionally i would point it towards the camera. It left a red blotch on all the frames that looks a lot like what you have here. This would not be removable with flats and would conveniently explain why the weird shape remains after taking flats. Or could just be that the flats you took were not that great, so how did you take the flats?
  12. This looks like the secondary mirror was not perfectly centered under the focuser, which in my experience causes asymmetric flats (and other issues). Take a look at some examples from my previous flats. These screenshots have been taken with the false color and histogram preview modes in Siril, very quick to see differences. Also there is a change of camera, hence the very different look to them. One of the first flats i ever took, in almost stock collimation with my VX8 which after inspection with proper tools i found to be not well centered. Not a huge change in collimation, but a huge effect. On the bottom we see shutter shadow from a DSLR not quite being fast enough for flats. On the left side we see the same thing as in your example, an asymmetric brightess change. One of my more recent flats with care taken to achieve as good a collimation as i can, but you can still see the red bright regions are not perfectly centered and probably some tilt remains. But the asymmetry is mostly gone because i centered the secondary with a concenter eyepiece. Also, this process includes adjusting the focuser and not just the secondary so yes one could say the secondary and focuser were out of collimation.
  13. Might be you . We definitely agree on the brain part, but i think this issue also exists without platesolving. Just as well one could do 3 star alignment perfectly, slew to target and go to sleep and wake up the next day to unusable frames, in fact i think this is more likely without platesolving since you are just using your eyes to determine whether or not you have the target framed. If its an obscure/dim target with poorly defined edges and hard to recognize features its very likely you will end up missing and failing. I have a running project where i am shooting IFN that is only visible after about 2 hours of integration and there isn't even a hint of this structure in a single sub so i could never frame it properly without platesolving. Also this area of the sky has few defining features that could be used as pointers so not helpful to just eyeball these things. I had the camera at an angle of 82 degrees instead of 90 on the first session, so no i will have to check every time that the platesolver does indeed report the 82 degrees and once it does im all set and the framing can not fail. I think platesolving is 90% solutions to problems and 10% possible added problems with software (which will definitely happen at one point). If one follows what the platesolver is doing and understand the parameters that must be set for it to do what you want, it will end up saving about an hour per session and almost never cause problems. @ollypenrice @malc-c This talk about Argonavis control systems and permanent observatories is a solution to most problems, including this one. If the setup is made of premium parts (Argonavis is in the Mesu?) and permanently placed then the align points would be faster and better as it introduces no extra spanners in the works. This way also every night works the same, as the mount is fixed in an observatory and not moved each night so the alignment points do not have to be remade. For most users though who set up and tear down each night, or at the very least carry the mount in one go already assembled from a shed/from indoors will absolutely find platesolving a blessing and a solution to many problems including the one OP is having. Same was with my EQM35, i could do 3 star alignment perfectly with a star exactly centered on my DSLR crosshairs and still have a +/-10 arcminute deviation from where its supposed to point, which would be easily enough to ruin most targets. That would be because the pointing accuracy of Synscan mounts are quoted as 6 arcminutes at best.
  14. I received a Skywatcher product today (AZEQ6) and with it came a leaflet with Skywatcher products advertised in it. I noticed that there is a mount that i do not recognize at all. Doesn't look like anything from Skywatchers current catalogue, is it a new mount?
  15. Looks very similar to my shots when i had focuser sag/collimation issues with my newtonian. Dont know if collimation can be an issue with your refractor but focuser sag or tilt somewhere in the camera-corrector-focuser area would look like this.
  16. Increasing gain will not be bringing fainter stuff in, it will just make brighter stars saturate faster and make the image look brighter. Higher gain has a lower read noise but with exposures as long as yours it really doesn't matter any more with modern CMOS cameras. I personally wouldnt take longer exposures than the ones you are already taking as it increases the chances of losing more data due to wind/mechanical issues etc. Your camera is pretty good so longer than 60s exposures are pretty much guaranteed to be sky-limited unless shooting narrowband, hence almost no benefits from longer subs. You did not mention using a filter (H-alpha/O3/both) with your setup, but using a narrowband filter would make the image be better much faster. Many such filters out there for colour cameras like the Optolong L-extreme. Also, the kind of sky conditions (light pollution, etc) you image from will dramatically increase or decrease the time required to reach a good looking result in the end. But could also just be not quite enough integration. But in the end its difficult to say without seeing the picture first, mind posting what you are working with now as it is?
  17. Postman brought 2 very heavy boxes. Didn't include rocks as i first believed! Feels very solidly built unlike my previous Skywatcher mount . Unfortunately wont be using this for a while as i seem to have finally gotten the C(not from the postman that one).
  18. Thanks for the recap, it all makes sense now how this happened! The rust markings are only on one spot, presumably the spot that was towards the ground when the mount was sitting for 40 days. I think if it had been in use faster after the water damage, this wouldn't have been nearly as bad or even rusted at all since the water could have had a chance to drain off.
  19. Clear nights are rare? Just use 3 telescopes at once. looks like you have figured out the weather problem just fine
  20. Then they would probably work just fine. But one more tip i will give about the.FITS files not being viewable easily: They dont have to be viewed! In NINA you can set various parameters to be written on the file name itself and so can inspect all the useful information of the sub without opening it. You'll find this in the options-Imaging tab. Example below: In this image you can see a screenshot of the folder i have saved my subs. The file name consist of the time and date it was taken on, then the exposure time, then the number in the sequence it was taken on. The next number, for example on the top one 1.15 is the guiding error in RMS arcseconds from the duration of the sub, not the total error of the session mind you. Next line is the name of the sequence that i had created. The final 2 numbers are HFR being 3.77 in the top example and the number of stars NINA detected and used for this HFR measurement. If these values are clear outliers from the average sub, then probably a good idea to just throw it away. Just by glancing at this list i can immediately tell that there are some clear outliers that should not be used for stacking because either the guide error or HFR was too high (for example the HFR 4+ subs are not good). This way i dont need to inspect the sub itself and can just remove it from the list without much worry on losing data. I find this to be an essential method when there can be hundreds of subs after a night to inspect.
  21. They might still be a bit out of focus, hard to tell if its processing or just slightly big stars due to focus, but coma is gone. I just see a Canon driver option in NINA. Have not downloaded anything from Canon, thats for sure. I think this is just on NINAs end to deal with the driver? I dont see this option straight away by the way. I must plug in the camera and then click the refresh button for this option to appear. Also, the camera must be set to manual shooting mode first. Can you use the FITS files as you would raw files, as in they are debayerable and have usable header information (ISO or gain/exposure time)? If you can, then im not sure there is a benefit to having the files be in .CR2 format. One benefit might be that .CR2 format files are easy to open and browse through in windows where as .FITS files really are not.
  22. Coma corrector is doing great , very nice images for such short integrations. Actually just nice looking images even without considering the integration. I focused with a bahtinov mask for a few dozen sessions but then switched to just using NINA HFR readings. Takes maybe a bit more time (not always) but i am guaranteed good focus. It can be difficult to tell by eye whether the bahtinov mask diffraction pattern is truly centered or not, and changing seeing can make this difficult. I found that i could reach what i thought was good focus with a bahtinov mask but still improve it after taking the mask off and doing tiny adjustments with my 1:10 reducer gear in the focuser. Your mileage may vary, but i dont trust my bahtinov mask anymore.
  23. Does the dark stuff not come off? Difficult to tell without handling the bearing myself but looks slightly oxidized. If it feels slick when rolling then nothing to worry about, but if you can feel the dark stuff with your fingers or when rolling the bearing it should be taken off.
  24. Try to clean all of the rollers and all the surfaces they roll on as thoroughly as possible and apply the new grease after that. There should be no feeling of grit or jerkiness in any of the bearings, if there are it means metal or rust has flaked off and is causing friction. Rust specks will act as sandpaper and will destroy the bearing, if it isn't already gone. It does look a bit rusty but i wouldn't call it ruined yet. But if not cleaned it will be ruined in use eventually. I think it can still be used without worry of further damage as long as its well cleaned and greased, but do keep in mind that eventually it should be replaced.
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