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Found 26 results

  1. So I had a free day yesterday and decided to sort out my equipment and update my astro laptop software packages. I downloaded the latest Stellarium and managed to get it to sync with APT. I installed my Xmas present from my sweetheart (Optolong L-eNhance filter) how did she know it's what I wanted??? I recently installed the free trial version of Pixinsight on my main laptop so after watching a few YouTube videos decided to get some Dark and Bias frames to create some masters ready for my next session. The weather was good yesterday and it stayed clear here as the sun started to set, so I set everything up outside hoping the apps were wrong and it wouldn't get cloudy. As it got darker I launched Sharpcap and completed a polar allingment, I used Stellarium and APT to slew to Vega and checked the focus was good. I then used Goto++ in APT to slew to NGC 7380 (Wizard Nebula), I set PHD2 off guiding and then I had my first issue; my laptop would not connect to my Lyn Astro dew controller so I manually set the temperature to quite low as it wasn't too damp at that time. So I started capturing 5 minute subs went inside and remoted into my astro laptop from my main laptop to check how it was going, all appeared good. I recently set up a Rpi NAS at home so I'm able to transfer data to it and then to my other laptop on the go, so after I'd got a few subs I opened them in PI to check the quality, they looked ok to me. after about an hour PHD2 started binging a lost star warning so I went outside and the clouds were starting to cover the sky, I then took loads of flat frames using my main laptop, Notepad and 3 sheets of white paper and decided to take some more darks in case it cleared. I then set about trying to process the 9 subs I'd managed to capture with the 200 flat frames the master bias and dark frames I'd created earlier. Despite the lack of subs I'm quite pleased with the result, I have done a quick Histogram stretch, and the knowledge I have gained, I'm definately going to purchase PI when I can afford it. So this morning I thought I'd sort out the issue with the connection to the Lynx Astro dew controller, you won't believe it, my Astro Laptop will not turn on, it's been playing up for a while I suspect the battery has died. So just when I thought I was getting on top of this frustrating hobby I get another spanner in the works. So do I gamble and order a new battery then discover it is the laptop that has failed, do I set up another old laptop I have and hope it will be ok, do I set up my Rpi3 with Indigo or do I buy a mini PC as I know my way around windows? Anyway here's the calibrated stacked image as it is in PI with a quick stretch.
  2. Having upgraded from canon 1000D to Nikon D5300 how do users of the 5300 find it for Astro I will be using with APT , and how do you take flats as I can’t use Av mode as there is nothing in tools menu to choose no lens , do you use in manual mode and look at histogram ? .
  3. This evening/morning I am having some problems getting my unmodified canon 600d to live view via apt. One hell of a palaver trying to get focused. Has any one suffered similar problems? Was working fine yesterday, tonight a bit of a disaster all round. I am running the feed for the guide camera down the same USB cable via a non powered hub, the camera works fine during the data gathering phase but no dam preview. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. K
  4. Currently setting up a pi4 with indigosky which will be run via APT , running win10 and the the latest APT Beta release 3.75.2 , now I can connect to indigosky server via browser , but I can’t connect via APT indigo control panel throws up an error can’t connect to indigo or indi server server address is default Indigosky , server port 7624 , on pressing navigate server error says dns address can’t be found , has anyone been successful in connecting to indigosky via APT running win10.
  5. I use the Celestron AVX mount and I also use Astrophotography Tool when imaging. When I start my imaging session I will undertake a two star alignment then move to my target and THEN platesolve to ensure I have the object centred. My question is do I need to bother with two star alignment (or any other Celestron alignment for that matter)? My thought would be to Polar align then take a shot of Polaris and plate solve this, sync the result to the mount then “Goto” from there. The only issue I have is when you switch the mount on and enter time/date etc it asks you to do a star alignment so how do I ignore this or do I do just that, ignore it! Sorry for the rambling question. john
  6. Hi, I am at the moment trying to set up "Dithering" on my APT. I am presently using a Canon 600D, with Orion ED80 Refractor, mounted on my NEQ6PRO. Please note, I have not yet progressed to Guiding - NO GUIDING Do I basically select "APT Dithering" and maybe leave all the other settings at Default? Most grateful if anyone can let be know which settings I might need to adjust, and to what values. Finding it all a little bit confusing ! Many Thanks Steve
  7. Hi Everyone, I have been trying to connect my QHY FW2 to APT and even though it establishes connection, I am unable to rotate the wheel with the software. No clue whats happening. The wheel is powered, connected to CCD and APT. But nothing after that. Someone please help
  8. So my birthday just past so money to splash on astro stuff , i will have my 1000D modded by juan at cheapastrophotography and also have ordered an autofocuser from deepsky dad https://deepskydad.com/autofocuser i know they can be done DIY but this is a neat package and costs about the same as a SW autofocuser and a hitechastro focusmaster and i`m no electronic wizard and pavel seems to have a good product and works with ascom and confirmed it works with APT i will update in a few weeks time when hopefully i will have received and tried out .
  9. Setting up all the software on my win10 laptop and getting things to talk to one another is a nightmare. I'm starting a new thread, so I can post all the problems I am having, one at a time, so issues don't get confused. This will also hopefully help anyone coming to similar situations later, as the problems and answers will not be interlaced. First issue: APT does not detect ZWO camera. I have got the camera (ZWO) drivers installed and sharpcap can see it and will connect to it properly. However, when I try to connect the camera in APT, the only CCD options it gives me are SBIG (which it isn't), QSI (which it isn't) and ASCOM. Now it shouldn't need to use an ascom driver, because the proper driver is installed, but I give it a go anyway, and this just offers me 2 simulators and 3 QHY cameras (I have one qhy driver installed for the guidecam .... I'll get to that later!). I have disconnected both the filterwheel and guide camera from the camera hub, so they cannot be interefering with the process. I am at a total loss ... any suggestions? Thanks.
  10. I came across a video on youtube of a flymesh bahtinov , not focal length dependant has anyone ever tried this method before ? mesh he used is approx 1.5 mm sq and one half of the mesh is at 45deg to the other half ,found after i purchased a mask for my mak but still need one for my 130pds . https://youtu.be/IeUs7pFwMJw
  11. I had wanted to get plate solving working in APT , after getting a bit puzzled by it downloading both plate solving applications ASPS -all sky plate solver and platesolver2, finally deleted PS2 and managed to configure ASPS and solve an image posted on APT forum ,so in theory this is ready to use within APT ,i found this article on APT forum which you may find useful if you fancy giving it a try http://astropetros.eu/wp/?p=669 just tried solving an image i had ,didn`t have correct path for ASPS so sorted that ,retried and success it solved .
  12. I have got a problem with my QHY5L-ii. (1) It works with Sharpcap - so it cannot be the hardware or connections per se. (2) When I try to run PERecorder I get a black screen and the 'configure' button tries to configure my main ZWO camera (which is not connected). Previously it was automatically connecting to the camera in the laptop, which I have now disabled in Device Manager. (3) When I tried to run it in APT, it was not recognized. I discovered I needed an ASCOM driver so downloaded and installed both (capture and guide) from this page (V0141). Now the camera is recognized and appears to work, except that no image is captured [nothing covering front of camera!]. I have followed through the instructions on this page, and (except for the camera selection not being IC8300 - it is "QHY5LII-C-6117d81029b92212") everything goes fine until I click 'start', when it starts going through the motions (on the log screen), but nothing is produced. The preview screen is on(fit) and I have also checked the saved files (which are blank). As both APT & PERecorder are ASCOM-related, my guess is that, if I can cure either (2) or (3) above, the other will be cured as well. And I would also guess that more people are using this camera on a regular basis with APT than PERecorder. Therefore, if there is anyone who uses this camera on APT, who can offer any pointers as to where I may be going wrong, I would be most grateful. Thanks.
  13. Hello guys and girls, these are the first adventures of a new CCD user. I hope you'll have a bit to laugh i bought a used QHY8 from a fellow stargazer. It arrived yesterday. It was missing the documentation (but in the documentation was not part of the deal, so that's okay). After quite a while I got everything running (the Camara needs two power sources). As the weather was good for the first time in years, I immediately set up in my garden at 11 PM. First I was struck by a faulty USB cable - it took me about an hour and a half to isolate the problem as it was not constantly failing but intermittantly freezing the software and/or windows. But after that, i was able to shoot a few short moon sequences with APT. However, the result was less than optimal. I was getting pesky little black squares. I suspected something with debayering and asked APT's Ivo and the qhyccd forum for help. Ivo answered within about 30 mins, and after 2 or 3 messages everything was clear: the debayering settings in APT refer only to the display within APT, not to the saved images ! (I hear the more experienced SGLers ROFLing) After some updates and mouseclicks, i got nice little stacked images of the full moon. The next problem was the cooling: the unit cooled very well when connected straight to a power source, but with the QHY power converter in-between the cooling was mediocre (guessing from the outside temp of the casing). Also, the unit stubbornly said it was running at 25C, but the pictures were ok (yes, i know, moon pics dont have to worry about SNR, but still, they were ok, some test darks at 30 secs were also very ok). Well, to cut a long story short: the QHY8 does not have a temp sensor!!! Its supposed to cool straight away at max power. APT (and other software) is somehow getting wrong temp values. Finally, i used the QHY power converter for the sony chip and a second power supply for the cooling. The finding: the cooling via the QHY power converter was much weaker- even the fan went at a little lower rotation speed. Running through the second power supply, the unit cooled great. Possibly one of the cables was mistakenly sent instead of the original one- it looks suspiciously thin for a cable that is supposed to be transferring 36 watts at 12 volt. So, after several hours of silently swearing, everything works! Yay!!! PS: the suspiciously thin 36 watts cable (the cross diameter of the plug is 2.5mm):
  14. I'm trying to get to grips with a few of APT's more esoteric functions. Reading through the 152 page manual (I really should get a life!) I came across a function called Auto Cancel Exposure. The manual describes the feature thus - "APT monitors the reported distance to the guiding star and if it becomes bigger than a defined limit the running exposure will be stopped before trails to become visible in the image, or to save imaging time for other exposure." This strikes me a potentially very powerful tool, is anyone else using it? If yes, how well does it work? What would you recommend as the default auto cancel distance (the number of pixels the guide star moves before APT abandon's the exposure)? Thanks
  15. Hi all, i am experiencing the strangest behaviour between APT and my Canon EOS 550D: When running a plan, the software takes the pause as the exposure (not the exoposure). In the example i'm adding, I would receive 3 pictures whith 3 seconds exposure each instead of 10,20 and 30 secs exposure. Restarts of both camera and Windows did not help. Other functionality (like liveview) is behaving normally. Long exp. control is "virtual". Connection is via USB (only). All help would be appreciated! (SOLVED-see below)
  16. Hi So, tonight was my first clear night in months. Got all set up. Went to use APT to capture images to polar align the mount, could see nothing. Just black. I don't know if it was APT playing up or if I was doing something wrong. The histogram showed data, so i moved the white / black points but still got nothing. Just grainy black. Annoys me that there is no auto stretch... Went back to the old faithful Nebulosity, and captured a preview. Stars were seen! So, seems that APT was having issues. Then the clouds rolled in. Another night bites the dust. My question is: do people use APT or something else for CCD images? I've heard good things about SGPro, but not sure. I like the sequencing / filter wheel control offered by something like APT or SGPro rather than nebulosity. What are people's thoughts? Thanks Joe
  17. Hello, Just got a new (secondhand) EOS 6D and decided that the area around Pleiades is very good test The first light was ruined by clouds (no surprises here) but last weekend was way better. Clear sky, no wind, temperature around -13C... So here is my image named "Ice and Fire" Very busy part of the sky between the famous Pleiades and California. Details in short: 6D (unmodified), 51x180s, ISO 2000, 10 sky flats, no darks, Samyang 85mm at f/4, EM-200, no guiding, APT dithering (direct mount control), APT, PI.
  18. I have yet to be entirely happy with the focus on my pictures. When cropping them quite heavily (I use a DSLR, so smaller DSOs need a bit of cropping) the stars always feel a bit bloaty and look out of focus - much more than the image from the full frame. I have been using the focus aid in APT, checking out the FWHM tool. I don't know much about the science behind it, but my understanding is that the number needs to be as low as possible. Last night I was focussing and tweaked it down to around 1 to 1.5 - obviously it was fluctuating with the atmosphere/interference, but I thought that it was a pretty good score. I locked the focus very carefully, making sure that I didn't change the figure - I usually tighten half-way, check the value and then re-do it (if needed) before locking it down completely. I only twigged tonight that DSS shows a FWHM maximum on the light frames after it has checked them and, when I looked for the images I took last night, the FWHM figures were coming out at over 4.5. I am presuming that this is far from ideal focus, but is also a long way from what I thought it was. Is there any relation between the FWHM measurements in APT and DSS? Is there a reason for the discrepancy or am I just going to need to be even more careful with focussing? Are there vital settings in APT that I need to set? Will check for more scope related settings next time I get out. Might also need to get the Bhatinov mask out rather than relying on just APT Focus Aid. Thanks, as ever, for any thoughts
  19. Hello, So I thought I would share some screen shots of my XP SP3 Virtual Machine that I have setup for Astro Imaging. The nice thing about putting all the software into a Virtual Machine is that I can move it about between different laptops. VMware also allows you to remotely connect and disconnect USB sockets, which is hand when you want to restart a usb camera. Lastly I can put the VM to sleep and start it up so as to keep everything as is. Some screen shots of the different aspects of the VM with a custom red theme. EQMOD, Astro Tortilla, PHD2 EQMOD, Stellarium (Stellarium Scope to control EQMOD) EQMOD, APT (Focus aid and other tools) Hope you take some inspiration
  20. This weekend managed to free some time and decided to get a rest from the APT development by gathering some more photons At the end my primary hobby is astro-photography... It is not very popular target - NGC891, a galaxy 30mly away in the Andromeda constellation, in region full of small fuzzies. Looking at it now I think that it would be better to use ISO 800. F/5.3 is quite fast and doesn't allow to show much of the stars colors... Looks like I can't get away from the 2h curse . No matter what I plan or do almost all my objects gather something around this limit... Next night I tried to image it again, but the sky was quite unstable and the image was very blurry, so decided not to lose time and try something more forgiving... Here is it: and a version with cropped main galaxy The image details are in AstroBin, but in short they are: MN190, Tak-EM200, 550D (modded), APT, PHD, PS, DSS 18x420s at ISO 1600 = 2h 6min Thanks for the look!
  21. Sooner or later everybody tries M31... Finally decided to it is time to make a first attempt. This is the last of the images taken on our summer astro party. 1730m above sea level are very tempting to try targets with fine detail It becomes trickier than I expected. The framing is not the best one... Still can't manage to align the stacks of 1min and 2min exposures which cased a burned core and so on. But I'm happy with it so far. Maybe one day will re-process it again M31 - Andromeda Galaxy Imaging: WO ZS 110 triplet + WO FRIII 0.8x, Modified 550D, EM-200, APT (Astro Photography Tool), PHD Guiding: WO ZS 66SD, DSI 1 Pro Subs: 14x10min = 2h 40min, ISO 1600, no calibration - only dithering Processing: DSS, PS CS3 Location: Rozhen (1730m ASL), Bulgaria Hope that you like it
  22. Here is another image from our national astro-party This object is fainter than I expected, but the shape is well visible Objects: Ngc 7635, M 52, Ngc 7538 Imaging: WO ZS 110 triplet + WO FRIII 0.8x, Modified 550D, EM-200, APT, PHD Guiding: WO ZS 66SD, DSI 1 Pro Subs: 13x10min = 2h 10min, ISO 1600, no calibration - only dithering Processing: DSS, PS CS3 Location: Rozhen (1730m ASL), Bulgaria, 07/19/2012
  23. This is the first processed image from the data I gathered on our 3 nights national astro party The site is 1730m above sea level and gives much better seeing than my usual dark site (850m ASL). I'm a big fan of William Optics (the swan is their logo) and own two of their scopes - ZS 110 triplet and ZS 66SD. Both are in the game for this image of M17 - The Swan nebula All details are in AstroBin but let write them here in short: - WO ZS 110 + WO FRIII 0.8x, Modified 550D, EM-200, WO ZS 66SD as guide. - 19x7min = 2h 13min, ISO 1600, no calibration - only dithering - APT, PHD, DSS, PS CS3
  24. Last Saturday, decided to try this very beautiful object. Here it is quite low (max 23 degrees altitude) and this caused a lot of problems for the guiding. The guiding star was dancing in PHD and forcing it to make a lot of false corrections. As a result half of the images are unusable When the object closed the meridian switched to Cocoon nebula, where PHD was much more happy and spent the rest of the dark time there So here is my modest image of M20... - 33min total (4x7min, 1x5min, ISO 1600, no darks, dithering) - MN 190, 550D (modified), EM-200 - PHD, APT, DSS, PS
  25. Hello, This Saturday managed to gather some photons before the Moon rise. Here is my rendition of the Cocoon nebula. Equipment - MN190 + 550D + EM200, APT + PHD Details - 13 x 7min + 1 x 6min = 1h 37min, no darks - only dithering Hope you like it
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