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Everything posted by pietervdv

  1. Hello everyone, With the sun finally higher in the sky, the new hi-res solar season has begun. I pointed my 150mm solar scope (pst mod) at the sun last Sunday (April 9th). The focal length is 2550mm in this configuration. The seeing was average, but I managed to make this 4 pane mosaic with a DMK31 camera. I did some changes on my blocking filter setup, so my individual exposures are now 1.1 ms, which really helps to freeze the seeing effects. The frames were captured in Firecapture, stacked in AS2 and deconvolved in ImPPG. Still a bit rusty, thanks for checking it out! Pieter
  2. Hi Maurice, I thought this one was not finished yet? Looks like it is after all. Amazing how much detail you picked up with the relatively "short" exposure! Again, really like the composition of this one. Has a Yin & Yang touch to it, with M78 and the Boogeyman Nebula with the S-shaped Barnard loop in between. Pieter
  3. Sure no problem; check here: https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/language/en/info/p5029_Strain-relief-for-Lodestar-cable---protects-the-connectors.html The one I got was a 3D printed one. Essential accessory, especially if you are using the st4 autoguider connector on the Lodestar. Pieter
  4. Thanks! The advantage of this camera is its very low read noise, downside is an assymetrical ampglow which becomes obvious around the 5 minute mark. But this glow can be calibrated out perfectly with dark frames. By stacking a large amount of short 5 minute exposures, you can take full advantage of the low read noise. It rivals easily with a multi hour (with 20 minute subs) image from my old st8300. The asi1600 is "only" a 12 bit camera, but when stacking a large number of frames the dynamic range becomes larger than that. However, the Rosette is a very bright object, the real test will be on fainter objects. Pieter
  5. Evening everyone, Long time without a post, but the last 2 weeks I had some mediocre clear nights to dial in my new CMOS camera, an asi1600MM-cool. I have sold my long time SBIG ST-8300 to help finance this new toy. This new camera has very low read noise and is nice upgrade from the kaf8300 noise bucket. Been a bit of a hassle to get everything working as SGP did not seem to like the camera at first, causing all sorts of memory issues. But fortunatly all has been resolved with the latest SGP update. My 10" Newton astrograph also had its mirrors cleaned this week, readjusted the corrector - sensor distance and adjusted the detilter for this new cmos camera. This is what the new imaging train looks like. I also included the first test shot made with this camera: 3,5 hours made in 5 minute sub frames, Unity gain setting. No darks or flats used yet. I was very impressed how much detail got registered with only 5 minute subs. Apologies for the non-original target . I am very curious to find out how the camera will perform on the faint Sharpless catalogue objects! Full size can be found here: http://www.astronomie.be/pieter.vandevelde/rosette-asi 3_5hours.jpg Thanks for taking a look, Regards, Pieter
  6. Mja niet slecht ... Very nice, I like the composition of this shot very much! Something overlooked often I think. You have captured some very faint background signal. Mind boggling to think all those faint smudges are galaxies with billions of stars in them! Do you have some other stuff in the pipeline from this expedition? Regards, Pieter
  7. Great! I love these Galaxy cluster shots, food for thought how huge the universe really is. The Quasar is a nice bonus. Too bad making images like this is nearly impossible from my light polluted location. Regards, Pieter
  8. Very refreshing and interesting to see this kind of image. A nice change from all those flashy narrowband hubble palette pictures... I was thinking about the 14 billion light year distance... Since the observable universe is only 13.8 billion ly, we should not be able to see this? There are some different distances found on the net, I found a redshift 1.413, so 7.8 billion ly. In any case it is still mind boggling to imagine how bright this oject must be... Regards, Pieter
  9. Don't bother with this mount. It is outdated, poorly engineered and overpriced. I have used one for several months and tried in vain to improve the performance. The problem is the wormgear diameters are very small, which induces a very large and aggressive periodic error. You will be far better off buying an EQ6. If you are dead set on buying a Losmandy, get a G11, which is far superior than the GM8. Regards, Pieter
  10. Now, what a good idea! It has made an already great image even better. Very impressive! Pieter
  11. Had a couple more clear nights, 30 hours and counting without hickups. Looks like it did the trick for me. Hopefully other owners are seeing the same. Pieter
  12. Very impressive image, you have captured some very dim details! If I may give a constructive suggestion? You should try to add a panel above this FOV. There are some very intricate h-alpha structures to be found in this area, specially around Alnilam, also the faint background streamers behind B33 will be accentuated more with a vertical format. I find a 4:6 format looks more pleasing than the traditional 4:3 for this object (if that makes sense). Take a peek at the Red plates of the Deep Sky Survey: http://aladin.u-strasbg.fr/AladinLite/?target=IC434&fov=8.91&survey=P%2FDSS2%2Fred Just a thought ... Pieter
  13. Hi everyone, Happy to report that since upgrading SiTechExe and the flash rom I have not had any issues. It ran about 15 hours with the updated software and no glitches so far in tracking. Regards, Pieter
  14. Hi Dan, I have been using SiTech V0.90P. I'll upgrade to the latest version and start logging. Not sure how to update the flash rom, do I need the handcontroller for that? Cause its broken... Lucas was going to order a new one from you to ship with a next batch of controllers. I'll report back if the skies ever clear around here. Thanks, Pieter
  15. Hi, I have been happily using the Mesu200 mount for 3.5 years now. When I just received the mount I had the issue Dan described earlier with the bad magnetic encoders on the RA axis motor. Lucas was great about this and replaced the faulty RA motor with a version with an optical encoder. I even got treated to a tasty cake and coffee when I stopped by, and got charged nothing for the fix. After this, the mount ran like a gem for 3.5 years without any glitches whatsover. But (yes afraid so...): When reviewing the sub exposures from my last imaging session I found a frame with a very large error in RA. I found this striking as the mount NEVER, EVER loses sub frames. I have not updated my pc for the last 3 years and changed nothing in my imaging setup. I am fairly certain there is no roller slippage causing this as evertyhing is balanced out perfectly. I am sure nothing bumped into the mount also, otherwise I would have seen an error in DEC for sure. After reading this thread I had a look at the PHD guide logs, and there it is, a huge spike in RA. Attached is the guide log screen. The bizarre thing is the same night my hand controller also broke down completly. I got poor reactions from pushing the direction buttons the last couple of weeks. This is not such a big deal as I use platesolving and GoTo's to move across the sky, but I find it striking that both issues (tracking error and handpad controller failure) occured at exacly the same time. I read above there was an issue with poor hand controllers (bad batch)? This is probably a long shot, but perhaps there is a short circuit inside the handcontroller to blame (causing a slew operation for a fraction of a second?). Perhaps an issue to check with all the users experiencing the issues, if the handpad is plugged into the controller. Regards, Pieter
  16. Very nice image! What kind of corrector did you use? Was the double vaned spider a change you did yourself? The diffraction spikes look very delicate. I like that a lot. I can see some very small flaring in your bright stars. You can see traces of the main mirror Clips or possibly a turned down edge of the main mirror. Adding a baffle in front of the main mirror would thighten you stars even further. Regards, Pieter
  17. Thanks for the generous comments! It is a very nice object that deserves some more attention I reckon! A shorter focal length should work great, if framed carefully you could include the bright band of Barnard's loop. Concerning the CCD cooling, the added effect is probably minimal. But the st-8300 is such a noisy camera every bit helps. No colour I'm afraid, I only image in b&w. Well technically speaking, it is partly RGB since this is the Red channel. I don't believe this is a reflection nebula? I could be wrong, but it's a dark nebula obscuring the hydrogen emission of Barnard's loop. The parts of the scope came from all around, kind of hard to put in 2 sentences. I tweaked and tinkered on the thing for 3 years before I was 100% satisfied. If you like a challenge, go for it I would say! I did not make the mirror myself, Orion Optics made it for me. Pieter
  18. Hello all, Long time without a post... Last week I captured some photons for this 2 panel mosaic of LDN 1622, a dark nebula against a backdrop of Barnard's loop in Orion. I captured 17 hours worth of exposures during 3 freezing nights. Platesolving, focusing & mount flip was automated with SGP. CCD: SBig st-8300 -30°C (30 minute subframes) Filter: Astrodon 5nm h-alpha Scope: Homemade 10" f/3.8 Astrograph with Wynne corrector Mount: Mesu 200 Very minimal post processing (10 min max): Calibrated with flat frames, stretched and mosaic assembly in PS. Thanks for checking it out! Regards, Pieter
  19. Thanks for the comments! If only the seeing would be like this every time ... Pieter
  20. Hi, I've processed some of my data from last Saturday. I made a 4 pane mosaic with my 150mm pst mod solar scope and a DMK31 camera. Despite the low elevation of the sun, the seeing was pretty good from my backyard in Bruges, Belgium. I then also made a 15 minute time lapse movie of the activity around AR12599. I captured a movie file every 20 seconds, so 45 frames in total. Processing was done in AutoStakkert, ImPPG, final touchup in PS6.0. The animation may take a while to load as it is quite big. http://www.astronomie.be/pieter.vandevelde/solar_mod/www.GIFCreator.me_beOXQ9.gif Thanks for checking it out! Regards, Pieter
  21. Great shot! It is indeed a lovely part of the sky. I imaged it too a couple of years back with my TeleVue after being inspired by Thomas Davis his image . Maybe you could hold back a bit on the noise reduction? I always find a little background grain gives a more natural look. But that is personal I guess... Regards, Pieter
  22. Ewan Very nice collection, I like the elegant processing! Very appealing! Pieter
  23. Hi all, Saturday was a nice sunny day in Belgium, so I made a couple of images with my 150mm h-alpha scope. I also made a 10 minute timelapse of AR12597. You can find it here, it may take a while to load: http://www.astronomie.be/pieter.vandevelde/solar_mod/www.GIFCreator.me_mOd8wv.gif Thanks for checking it out! Best regards, Pieter
  24. Maurice, All your images (4 if I caught all of them) from the recent astro trip are of a rarely seen high standard. Very rich colours, detailed and razorsharp. Your failed astro holiday earlier this year has been neutralised! One thing that strikes me; the bright blue stars show a bit larger halo than I would expect. Something to do with the Baader filter mod or maybe the Epsilon corrector? But then again, what would I know... Have not made a colour astrophoto myself in 3 years ... Pieter
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