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Found 14 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. I am ready to purchase my laptop, it will be an Intel core i7 with all the trimmings, my questions is regarding drive space and typical imaging file size output. Many new computers have solid state hard drives, they are much faster but space is sacrificed as even the upper end laptops have 256gb SS drives. Somehow I feel that a 256gb drive will be low for an imaging laptop, I know I can add an external drive but I want to avoid carrying anything else. Maybe I should opt out of solid state and instead get one with a 1Tb standard drive?. Or, am I wrong, and 256gb SS drive will do the trick? I have no idea what a decent range is for typical nights imaging or solar imaging sessions.
  3. Hi, Everyone could with a little advice on connecting a my Synscan v4 to my laptop. I now how to do it and also know about USB serial adapters, what i am wondering is my laptop has a RJ11 coms port but in the Synscan V4 Manual it says you need a RJ12 port as the cable supplied is RJ12. The RJ12 cable fits into the RJ11 perfectly Is there much difference in these and could i still connect using the method or do i have to go and buy the USB serial adapter? if anyone can shed some light on this it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
  4. Hey guys it is getting really cold and this is the first time I'm using laptop in the field for imaging, so I have no idea how to use the laptop in subzero temperatures. Last year when i was checking something in Stellarium, my screen just froze and did not work until i had it warmed. I get that it is Liquid Crystal, and will freeze in subzero temps. So how can i use it in the filed, all night long, without freezing it to death? Sorry for bad English Regards
  5. Hi All, I'm considering the purchase of a Panasonic toughbook (Amazon reseller refurb unit) to use outdoors to control my mount, skyris camera etc. I was planning to use my vaio but am a little concerned whether I could have problems with dew / damp weather. What do others use, does the heat from a laptop resolve the dew issue, any thoughts on the toughbook - advice / guidance / warnings appreciated. Regards, Tony
  6. I've decided i'm going to look into making a imaging netbook my next purchase. I was going to go for a guiding set up next and i probably will do before Christmas but it makes more sense to get the netbook first. I liked the sound of the Samsung Chromebook but i dont think they are suitable at all unfortunately. I've read people throwing the words Acer and Dell around but have very limited knowledge when it comes to PCs ect. Besides, the threads i was reading were from a couple years back. So whats the best netbook to get nowadays? I can spend around £150-200. Obviously its for imaging so it will be running at least PHD and Backyard EOS, probably Stellarium. Not sure what others as i'm not there yet!
  7. After a number of poor results with planetary imaging, I am starting to wonder if the apparent poor seeing is caused by the warm air exhaust blowing out of the laptop. I have had the laptop positioned a few feet away from the telescope dewshield and blowing air in that direction. Aiming at Jupiter the dewshield etc is just a couple of feet higher than the laptop. Next time I'll try to remember to put it on the other side of the telescope so it blows air away from it. But there are plenty of other things to think about while I am out there.
  8. I have recently purchased an Orion Mini guide scope and I'm keen to start autoguiding using my Altair GPCAM2 224. However, I have a MacBook and it's not playing ball. I've managed to get BETA versions of Atair Cam and PHD2 drivers on my Mac but the frame rate on Altair capture is horrendous and PHD2 doesn't recognise the camera. Therefore I'm resigned to having to shell out on a windows based laptop. I'm looking to the second hand market at the moment but all I want is the minimum specs I need to capture. I will use the Mac to process images. Altair states minimum requirements are : Windows PC Hardware Requirements: Minimum CPU: Equal to Intel Core2 2.8GHz or Higher Minimum Memory: 2GB or More USB port: USB2.0 High-speed Port It doesn't say if this is IntelCore2 single, duo or quad. I'm presuming single here. Even still is that the minimum for just capturing data? What are others using. I'm really reluctant to start shelling out another £100+ on a used laptop just for autoguiding. Chris
  9. Hello, I am new member and have got a question concerning the asi120 mc camera I just want to look at the moon with it so , what is the minimum laptop do I need Excuse my english I am a french guy Merci beaucoup
  10. Upgraded my astro pc to a SSD drive ,fairly simple process ,cloned drive with easeus to do software ,so copied everything on old hdd to new ssd , straight forward to do once new drive cloned simply took out old drive replaced with new ,i will install old drive into a caddy and take out dvd drive later on once im happy everything working ok ,but what a difference no waiting it`s instant im sure capturing data will be smoother with the qhy5-11 ssd cost £45 from mymemory,an integral 240GB, my old hdd is 1TB so plenty of storage now ,and caddy for dvd drive was a tenner from amazon ,definetley an upgrade worth doing .
  11. Hi Astronomers... I decided that after modding my 40D, in the last few years taking a few long exposure images successfully with the modded DSLR even up to 45min (30 mins usually) subs at 2000mm with all subs usable unless clouds ruined the exposure. Lately I thought I'd tackle a new challenge, that challenge being PEC training on the CGEM to see if I can improve the tracking quality (RMS in PHD) and in turn tighten the star bloat a bit and improve the detail, particularly imaging at F10. Currently my attempts failed miserably. Initially I learned the hard way that you can not train PE on the CGEM using the GPUSB autoguider port, can't even have the cable plugged it since the CGEM starts to make a tapping noise and the whole alignment gets confused or theres is a conflict between the autoguider and the handcontroller, the mount becomes unusable until it is power cycled. The second attempt was to connect the NexRemote via COM8 (on my laptop) and generate a Virtual COM32 for PHD to connect to the NexRemote. PECTools connected to NexRemote directly, so had all three bits of software talking to each other. I have installed ASCOM version 6 and the Celestron ASCOM drivers. I connected PHD using ASCOM via these drivers. I aligned the scope via nothing but NexRemote on the laptop, the NexRemote read the GPS and aligned successfully. I located a guide star, calibrated PHD and commenced guiding, which it was guiding with no problems. Till this point everything was smooth and as expected but here's where the problem started... I had PECTools connected and seemingly everything was OK, it found the index, which came up with a dialog box warning that the scope will move up to 2 degrees, which it did when I hit "OK", returning the guide star to nearly the same spot, which I thought was quite good for such a small FOV since I was using the IS21au618 CCD as a guide camera with a 1/4" CCD. I resumed guiding in PHD, hit "Train PEC" to start the training procedure and nothing... where the sine curve is, there is meant to be a yellow line showing the start point and a grey line moving as the scope goes through its 479 second worm cycle. I waited for more than 10 minutes than left it for a half hour to see what will happen and nothing. When I hit stop training nothing changed on the graph. Same thing was with batch training, I left it for 90 minutes and still nothing, no files generated nor was there any difference in the software after I stopped training. I decided to do a PEC training procedure using the hand controller (after starting from the beginning, aligning the scope using the hand controller) on the scope, which it seemed to be OK, PHD was guiding and the mount was recording, after 8 odd minutes it stopped. When I initiated playback, it seemed to improve the guiding scale a bit, but not so much as to be worth while.. but a improvement nonetheless. I tried running everything with administrator privileges with no change. I'm under the impression that the CGEM has a 3 cycle worm period before truly being periodic, so the way to get the best result is to average over 6, 9 or 12 cycles and upload the result. Has anyone tried this and had a similar outcome, or does anyone have any advise... the laptop I'm using is a Sony VAIO running Windows Vista Basic... but all of the controls are working so I'm reluctant to think that the OS is incompatible with the software. The second thing I tried was using "PERecorder" which worked OK with the calibration and verification until I hit "Record" to record the PE... all it did was display a error message, a crossed out rectangle was all that was shown where the PE graph was supposed to be generated and the tracking was stopped of course losing the guide star. When checking the hand control Tracking setup, it changed from EQ-South to "Zone-5"... Normally there is no "Zone-5" option, just OFF, EQ-North and EQ-South. Sorry for the novel but currently I'm out of ideas, if anyone has any ideas, help would be appreciated. Mariusz
  12. Hey guys I am curious. I'm about to get myself some auto-guiding kit however I don't have a laptop to run the Backyard EOS or the auto-guiding software. I know a lot of people like to run cables to the inside of theri home and hook up tech there but where the fun in that?! Due to the freezing cold temperatures and dew this time of year, what laptops (if used outside) do you guys rock with and if you do, how do they handle with the cold temperatures. Cheers for any advice. - Tom
  13. Hi, I think i need a new Windows astronomy laptop. I use a Mac day to day. I had used a naff old HP Windows 7 machine. But now, after the first clear night in months, the USB ports started playing up. Took an hour to get them all recognised. They are a bit loose too. If I was going to buy a new laptop, what would people recommend? The one benefit of my current laptop is that it has 4 usb ports. I've had to dig out a powered usb hub to try and get things sorted tonight!!! Do people use laptops with powered hubs or laptops with several ports? Im thinking of spending £100-250 for a new one. I have (currently) 4 devices needing USB power, so a hub with 6 or 7 may well future proof me (for when I buy my ASCOM controllable observatory and motorised focusser ) Appreciate people's thoughts Thanks Joe
  14. Hi all! I just recently bought a laptop for using Maxim with my imaging (for now just shooting the pics, not guiding yet), and I immediately was confronted with the problem of humidity. On the first night out the pc was covered in moisture after an hour or two. I had to wipe the screen to be able to make out the Maxim windows... Does anybody have any tips on how to minimalise this, and avoid problems of shorting the motherboard, etc? Apart from keeping my fingers crossed, the only thing that comes to mind is a lapdome... Any thoughts appreciated!! Gerhard.
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