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Everything posted by Quatermass

  1. Just another up date for those that may run into this issue trying to do a mosaic with APT and CDC. It now seems to be working and syncing the Mosaic panels in CDC with my telescope position when I use APT. First I changed the settings in CDC so that force J2000 is selected. Next I changed the setting in EQMOD driver set up to J2000 under Ascom options In APT I made sure that the JNow button is not activated as we have told CDC to use J2000 and this would change that. And lastly I have kept my coordinates in CDC to Alt/Az not Equatorial coordinates as it does not work if its in EQ settings and APT is using AZ/ALT With that all done find your target of choice in apt and go to it. Then in CDC under view bring up Mosaic and set the panels how you want them to be. Then press send via server in the Mosaic panel and it will send them to APT. In APT go to the objects-to do section under the gear tab and from here you choose import list and then mosaic frames from CDC. Once that is done chose which frame you want to image from your mosaic and hit go to. All being well it should show the telescope position lined up nicely with the mosaic panel in CDC now. I had no idea what J2000 was or what an epoch was before I posted this so I am very grateful to this forum and the wonderful people on here who help each other out. Phew that was a steep learning curve I think I need a beer now.
  2. Goodness me that was driving me insane. So it seems that in CDC you need to do all of the above but now in APT there is a setting that changes the all sky plate solver setting for you as in this section.. I was going to just forget it and use eqmosaic as I have done in the past but will test it out again with the new setting in CDC and APT and report back on my findings fingers crossed. .
  3. I think I may have found the problem thanks to your information about the epoch setting and a bit of diggin g on the apt forums I found this.. Mon Jan 21, 2019 6:11 pm UPDATE 13/04/2019 As of APT V3.65.5 (beta), the problem described below has been resolved within APT itself. Now, when the APT > Gear > JNOW" setting is selected it automatically converts the PlateSolve2 (PS2) and AllSkyPlateSolver (ASPS) communications to JNOW. So: PS2/ASPS to APT is always J2000 (note: ASPS must be set to J2000) If APT JNOW is selected, then APT to planetarium s/w is transmitted as JNOW planetarium s/w to APT is transmitted as JNOW (note: planetarium must be set to JNOW) APT to PS2 is transmitted as J2000 If APT JNOW is NOT selected, then APT to planetarium s/w is transmitted as J2000 planetarium s/w to APT is transmitted as J2000 (note: planetarium must be set to J2000) APT to PS2 is transmitted as J2000 So, for example., I have the following settings: "APT > Gear > JNOW" selected. "ASPS > settings > Platesolve settings > advanced > platesolver coordinates epoch" set to "J2000" "CdC > Setup > General > Server > Coordinate system to use with clients" set to "Current chart coordinate system" EQMOD set to JNOW (though apparently this doesn't matter) The Problem The problem starts with Platesolve2 (PS2). It provides it's solve data in J2000 epoch. Although there appears to be a PS2 setting (PS2 > View > Parameters > Default Catalog epoch) to change the coordinate system, it seems to make no difference to the result. APT, acting as the middleware, can pass these coordinates on to Cartes du Ciel (CdC) for it to show (APT > Gear Tab > Point Craft > Show) as a rectangle of the appropriate Field of View and Orientation (CdC > Right Click > Finder Circle > Rectangle). Image as shown in APT's Preview window If CdC happens to be displaying in "Equatorial coordinates", with "type" set to "Mean J2000" then the rectangle is exactly the same as APT shows in it's preview window. The Chart coordinate system can be set here: CdC > Setup > Chart Coordinates > Chart coordinates system > Equatorial coordinates and Type of coordinates > Mean J2000 Solved FOV and Orientation Rectangle as shown correctly in CdC However, as soon as CdC is set to display in "Alt-Az coordinates", it automatically changes the "Chart Coordinates" to "Azimuthal coordinates" with "type" set to "Apparent" (i.e. JNow). This means that the the displayed rectangle is offset, by at about 1arcmin as of 2019. Solved FOV and Orientation Rectangle as shown incorrectly in CdC Although APT can be set to use "JNow" (APT > Gear > JNow) it makes no difference to the CdC display because in this case it's just acting as middleware. The Solution Patrick Chevalley (CdC developer) and Ivo have collaborated to resolve this issue. Patrick has kindly provided a setting in CdC that means that all communications with external applications (in this case APT) can be forced to use the J2000 epoch, irrespective of the coordinate system used for it's display. The CdC setting is under "CdC > Setup > General > Server tab > Coordinate system to use with clients > Force J2000" For consistency, with PS2's epoch, the other requirements are that: All Sky Plate Solver (ASPS) is also set to use J2000: select "ASPS > Settings > Plate Solver Settings > Advanced > Plate Solver Coordinates epoch > J2000" EQMOD/EQASCOM (if you use it) is set to J2000 To be honest, I'm not sure what other mount drivers require. Notes Note: It makes no difference to this setup whether APT is set to use "J2000" or "JNow" (APT > Gear tab > JNow). However, it's probably worth keeping all the coordinates the same, so deselect this option. As of 21/01/2019 this option in CdC is only available in beta. For those that want to test it it can be found here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/skychar ... 019-01-21/. Please note, this is a Beta version, so there is no guarantee it won't have issues. So it's use should be treated as such. A final thanks to Patrick and Ivo for implementing this solution in only a couple of days!
  4. Many thanks I will give that a try and see if things improve, Im used to hacking away at these kind of issues nothing is ever easy in this hobby thats for sure.
  5. My settings are set at this at the moment I had no idea what an epoch was?
  6. Not quite sure what you mean by epoch if you mean the time on cdc and apt they look the same what is J2000?
  7. Guess not then.. but I have been investigating this and have come up with the following issues so hopefully this might help someone who is daft enough to try it In this picture you can see the mosaic panels in CDC lining up nicely with the telescope position which looks good so you send the mosaic coordinates to APT using the send via server button into APT and use them to position your telescope but… The problem is the slew moves past the area when I use the coordinates that CDC is giving me when there supposedly lined up as in the above image. You can get around this by nudging the telescope position along so it lines up with the mosaic panels but that’s not what we want. Conducting some tests I found out that if you use the go to coordinates in APT to find M45 and hit go to it will slew to M45 and show that position in CDC but if you find M45 in CDC and hit sync in CDC it will move the fov reticule away from the position that APT had set. Telling me that that CDC and APT coordinates for this target are not the same. Let’s just check the RA and Dec to make sure Yep not the same. Maybe this is why CDC is kacking up because the mosaic frames and apt are not lining up in which case it’s not much use and to be honest I have had enough of this frustration. On one of the APT forums another guy doing this said he just copied the dec ra positions from the center of the frame and put them in APT which kind of defeats the whole point really. Oh well maybe it is my dyslexic brain maybe its CDC and APT maybe I am just cursed who knows sigh.
  8. Has anyone used apt and CDC to make a mosaic successfully if so can you help me out as I'm having a lot of issues getting the frames CDC creates for its mosaic to match my alignment in apt. I can import the mosaic from CDC to apt after I've plate solved and aligned but it ends up shifting the position to the left just off were it should be, it's driving me nuts. The only way I can accurately align them is by nudging the telescope back to the frame marker but sending the frame position coordinates to apt just keeps missing the frame again beginning to wish I had not gone down this dark and troubled road.
  9. Here is one of the darks stretched out looks like its in there waiting to drive me insane..
  10. Interesting thread I seem to be encountering banding on my recent images which I never had an issue with when using my old modded 350d now using an unmodded 450d and got some banding on my last set of subs 60 at 50 sec each and ISO of 1600 only stacked with 20 darks so maybe more calibration frames will help but to be honest I am getting fed up with dslr cameras and all the issues of dealing with noise all the time. I've stretched his image of Casper the friendly ghost nebula to show the banding that's going on I've not really encountered this issue before so hope its not going to become a bug bear with this canon 450d and will defiantly be adding more darks if that is helping. Sigh there is always something in this hobby to drive you mad.
  11. Sunday night hopefully going to be clear wait for it wait for it lol
  12. Doing a mosaic will soon have you scratching your head if your camera is not aligned to RA and Dec even though the mosaic frames look good in your software they will come out all wrong if your camera is not aligned like this. The first picture is how my 4 shots came out when I stacked them all up the second picture shows the actually frames in CDC super imposed over the final image. You can see that if I had aligned my camera to ra and dec it would have lined up ok but because my camera was not lined up with RA and DEC my mosaic came out all screwy. Testing to see if your in line with RA and Dec as listed above is good practice for sure especially if you want to avoid this nightmare. The camera needs to be at 0 or 90 degree angle to start but you must test it out by focusing on a bright star and while doing the exposure move in ra and get that lined up straight I use Astrophotography Tool or backyard EOS both good programs. And also make sure that you have a good size overlap on your mosaic frames to crop off dark edges caused by gradients. OR avoid going insane by not doing mosaics in the first place. .
  13. Yes indeed comrade ship in the freezing cold, actually I'm going to get another pc set up in the shed so I can use my laptop indoors to control it all and not freeze my bones outside while keeping an eye on the imaging session.
  14. I always blame the clouds they totally deserve it lol
  15. Well just to bring you up to date I received the Synscan go to upgrade kit last week and installed it on my EQ5 mount on the same day. It was easy enough to install on the mount despite the lack of instructions if you have installed the dual axis motors on this mount it will not be a problem. I also opted for a eq direct cable to by pass using the handset as I am using eqmod astrophotography tool APT and Cartes du Ciel to control the mount. The improvement made by installing this upgrade is totally worth it in my opinion and has made a massive difference to the eq5 mount. Tracking is improved the go to system is excellent and using it with eqmod and APT is a joy to use especially with the plate solving in APT. Having taken it out and given it a good testing on a few night here are some of the images I have managed to capture all of them have been unguided with a non modified canon 450d. Orion Nebula Rosette Nebula Casper the friendly ghost nebula and the Patrick star fish cluster. 30 lights 20 darks no flats or bias stacked in dss and processed in ps. Next on my shopping list will be a guide camera but more then happy with the synscan upgrade and looking forward to some more clear nights. QM
  16. Interesting choice of mount seems very similar to the eq5 mount with the synscan upgrade.
  17. Hi Marvin, that's a great image and your right the 200p is beast and will be pushing it a bit but I managed to tame it on the eq5 so feel confident that it will work for me again with the better go synscan upgrade I'm also going to do strip down of my eq5 maybe or at least a regrease of the worm gears and adjustments to get rid of slack when I fit the synscan. Here is my image of the Dumbell Nebula taken with the eq5 and 200p taken in Jan 2011 but with just the dual axis kit motors and no guiding
  18. Cheers Steve it seems a long time ago when I did all that but it was a lot of fun building an observatory out of an old shed and chatting to everyone on this forum about Astro EQ and guiding set ups the many nights spent trying to figure everything out and dodging clouds to get an image from it all. I plan to do it all again now I have moved to a nice dark sky area but this time round I have all that early experience to draw from. Taking a good look at the motors that come with the eq5 synscan upgrade they look identical to the motors in the HEQ5 mount and having used the old dual axis kit motors with Astro EQ these ones should be much much better. I intend to use not just the 200p but also a 130p on this set up so lots of options to play around with. My plan is to cut a side door in my shed and have the mount in its own little boxed off area outside with a lift off roof as this area will be ideal for a clear view of the sky and I can then keep nice and warm in my shed. Here is a picture of my plans to convert my shed into an observatory I have trees blocking the view to the North East unfortunately. I love doing this sort of thing and as we are confined to our homes why not.
  19. I have yet to try out the synscan upgrade but having spent 4 years using the eq5 mount with the standard dual axis kit motors and a 200p I know just what that set up is capable of doing if you look through my blog you can see all the images I took with it during that time. It did take a bit of tweaking but it worked a treat for what I wanted at the time. Mind you if I had the eq5 Pro with the go to back then I could have done much better I think. Yes it is true that the HEQ5 is a better mount and has a better weight carrying capicity but its also a lot heavier and when I want to be taken the gear out to other locations this set up should be much lighter. A good overhaul and regrease does the world of good to these mounts for sure.
  20. Having got back into doing this all again and purchased a second hand eq5 mount and 200p I am about to upgrade it with the synscan go to upgrade. It was great fun working with my old eq5 mount back in 2013 using Tom Carpenters Astro EQ and the dual axis kit motors and eventually upgrading to an HEQ5 mount but thats was sold of and Im back to square one again. Upgrading the eq5 with the synscan you could argue is a bad move and it would be better to keep saving for an HEQ5 but as I have already done that in the past Im happy to get the synscan and use that but I would be intrested in hearing from those of you that have the eq5 pro and the 200p and are imaging with it. I managed to get 5 and ten minute subs with my old eq5 mount and the dual axis kit motors with guiding and a bit of tinkering so the new motors that come with the synscan upgrade should peform much better and it will be alot of fun retracing my steps. So if your imaging with the eq5 synscan upgrade and a 200p or whatever let me know how its going. Clear skies QM
  21. Good to hear from you again yes I really loved being part of this forum all those years ago and remember doing all this to get a guiding sytem set up. For now I am happy enough to start again with just the eq5 200p and the dual axis kit with the 450d its fun to use this simple set up. But I have no doubt that getting guiding set up really helps get better subs so will be looking to go that route again but this time I will be buying a good camera for guiding as the webcam was ok but not great.
  22. Yep I like to use mine for other photography projects. Going on to a cooled ccd camera is certainly tempting but the thought of using a filter wheel and spending even more time gathering the data from different filters is something I would only consider if I had a proper observatory set up and the telescope on a pier mount. However I did try out a Ha filter many years ago and really was impressed with the results plus the bonus of being able to image when there is a full moon.
  23. That is something I will consider later on down the line for sure the software used to control the mount has also changed alot since I was doing it and I hope to get set up for a more perminant solution. It was nice when I had my little observatory and freezing my buns off outside is not something I want to be doing again. Im hoping to get myself an Ha filter and do some work with that. Ive allways enjoyed using a DSLR despite the issues with noise.
  24. Well its been a long time since I posted an image on Stargazers Lounge having sold all my gear 6 years ago and taken a break from it but having moved house to a nice dark sky area I simply could not resist getting back in to it all again. I got hold of a second hand Skywatcher 200p and EQ5 mount which was how I started out back in 2012 and then added to that a Skywatcher inhanced dual axis kit. Next on my list was to upgrade my Canon 350d to a Canon 450d unmodded and then I just head to wait till a clear night gave me that chance to flex my imaging muscles again. Last night despite a bright moon I got a chance to image the wonderful Orion Nebula at last. 130 shots ISO800 30sec 30 darks flats and bias then stacked and processed. What a joy it is to be doing this again and now I have lovely dark skys to work with I cant wait to do more and get the full guided set up later on. Clear skies everyone QM
  25. Well very happy with the skywatcher enhanced dual axis kit gave it a test run tonight after a very quick rough and ready polar alignment on my eq5 mount with my 200p a full moon but a clear bit of sky and tried a quick shot of the Orion Nebula ISO 800 30 sec exposure and got this from on single shot. Cant wait to give it a go when Mr Blobby had gone away feels good to be imaging again at long last. Looks like the Skywatcher enhanced dual axis controller is a winner and also pleased by the preformance of my unmodded canon 450d.
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