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Found 24 results

  1. Hello everyone, I'm wondering if I could get some help, sort of ripping my hair out a little. I have the EXOS2 PMC-8 and last night I used Sharpcap to Polar align, I set the mount up as usual and adjusted until Sharpcap said excellent Polar alignment. So my next step was to do a 3 star alignment I was using a program called Explorer Stars to achieve this, so when I asked the mount to slew to the first star it was way off even in the finder scope, is that normal? So I used the controls to get the star in my FOV and centred it, it was the same for the next two stars way off. so I did the same. I finished the 3 star alignment and when I asked the mount to find an object the object was not centred it was bottom right of the quick photo I took. I've made sure all the information is correct by setting my Longitude and Latitude and also made sure my time is correct, the mount is balanced and level and pointing North. I think I'm doing something wrong somewhere. Also may I ask should my counterweight bar be parallel with the mounts front leg? I have two little arrows on the mount that should be pointing at each other when in the home position but when they are the counterweight bar is pointing to the right quite a fair bit. I'm new to all this only been doing it for a few months so a lot of things are quite confusing. Thanks in advance Bill.
  2. The other night, I got a rather weird thing happen using Sharpcap. In live-stacking, the first image arrived and it was full of stars. So, without changing any settings, I did a "platesolve" (which also realigns the scope) to centralise my target. It did its single frame capture and I got a practically blank screen and a message saying it could only detect 3 stars. I tried reducing the "sigma" setting, as advised by the on-screen message, with little effect. What gets me is that the same settings produced a whole mass of stars in each of the subs that were being live-stacked. Never had this happen to me before, and no, of course I didn't do anything intelligent like saving the log file! I can always try to replicate this next time (although I always find trying to replicate something that isn't working to be a weird activity in itself!), but on the off-chance that anyone can see what was happening without the log file, I thought I would ask. Thanks.
  3. Hi to everyone Im looking for anyone who has the QHY5LIIc for basic tips on settings to use on sharpcap or any other software to get the best results on Jupiter. I've recently upgraded from the good old faithful SPC900 which I used with sharpcap with some really good results, but really struggling to get good results with new camera. I know the seeing hasn't been great & the stinking jetstream gets in the way to but I just can't seem to get the setup right thanks
  4. I'm having trouble with the current version of Sharpcap "seeing" my 8 position Xagyl filter wheel. An earlier version worked ok but not the latest. Am I missing something?
  5. Aenima

    jupiter Fin

    From the album: 2015 Various

    My best attempt at jupiter with the 200p at 5x barlow f25 5000mm

    © Aenima

  6. Hello helpful forum people, I'm trying to sort through everyone's posts here on this topic, and I don't see if there has ever been a solution found. But first, thanks to Robin (I hope I have that name right) for writing SharpCap, it's got a great interface and I really appreciate his attention to detail and his contribution to astrophotography. So the problem, like most people report, is this: I'm using a Sony Vaio 64-bit AMD processor laptop running a totally fresh W7 with all the latest updates, and a Neximage 5 plugged into a USB2.0 port (I don't have the option to upgrade to 3.0). I'm using the drivers that came on the disk with the camera. Initially SharpCap finds the camera, it opens to maximum pixel count and begins capturing images fine. However, switching to any other pixel count causes the program to hang, in fact the whole laptop hangs and requires a reboot. If I succeed in killing SharpCap and restart the program I get the message "Camera could not be started A get operation on a VCDProperty object failed" Perhaps the driver is buggy, but I've also read that the AMD architecture itself is problematic. Also, with iCap I found the connection to the camera was similarly unstable. If I stay in one resolution it would work, but changing to any other pixel count was a crap shoot. Both SharpCap and iCap exhibit the horizontal lines in the capture that are random and frequent. I've run the NexImage 5 on my Intel PC using good old USB2.0 and iCap works just fine but I can't lug my PC outside! I still need to try SharpCap, but I suspect it will work just fine. Thanks in advance for anyone's help in this. I'd really prefer not to have to buy an Intel laptop just to get a $150 dollar camera to work! Best regards, Blake
  7. Apologies for asking a question that must have been asked a thosand times before - but where can I find a simple step by step guide to capturing and processing a planetary image? The bright shiny red ZWO camera arrived today , and I have got it talking to FireCapture on the laptop, and even making a short movie. The movie is monochrome (the camera label assures me it's colour) but I mustn't quibble. But then what happens? Does SharpCap sort and stack the frames? I crave simplicity, and (preferably) written answers (on one side of a postcard). Can anyone point me in the right direction?
  8. Hello to the Linux users. I know that some of you use Linux and the software "Cheese" to record videos that will be stacked into planetary images. I haven't been playing with Linux for a while now, but I know that "Cheese' can be pretty buggy sometimes. I have found a software called "GTK+ UVC Viewer" that, from the reports, seems to be much more stable then cheese and has these main features: - Supports "Universal Video Class" powered webcams - Has a variety of photobooth-like filters, like in Cheese - Like Sharpcap, it supports Dynamic Controls / Vendor Specific Controls (Only Logitech Cams at the moment) - Saving the output in a variety of formats and codecs. I haven't tried the software myself yet, but the reviews seem encouraging and put this software ahead of Cheese. I hope to give it a try as soon as I can. See the official website of GTK+ UVC Viewerfor more infos or try to look it up in your Linux distribution software repository. I hope this will be of use for the Linux users. Clear Skies
  9. Three months ago I remounted the EQ8 in the observatory after my friend Chris made me a pier extension to raise the mount 15 cm. Unfortunately, a combination of cloudy nights, holidays, it not getting dark until early in the morning, and my lovely wife being ill has meant that it took until tonight to get the EQ8 re-polar aligned. SharpCap's polar alignment tool makes this pretty easy. I used my Lodestar x2 mounted on a 60 mm finder/guider. I'll aim to try to see if I can get this even closer with full drift alignment on another night, but my guess that'll be close enough for now.
  10. The Sun, 14 May 2019 One significant active region AR2741 One reasonable prominence on the limb LUNT LS60THa Solar scope, ASI 1600MM and ZWO Tilt Adjuster Cheers Dave
  11. The Sun in Ha 21 Apr 2018 Absolutely crap seeing conditions... even the "blue" parts of the sky between the cloud gaps had a high haze. Nice new active region (AR2706) with spots and a nice prominence showing a large detached section Lunt LS60THa, ASI 1600MM camera and Sharpcap capture software Full Disk AR2706 Prominences and nice large detached section (haven't seen one that well detached before) Dave
  12. Hi I have recently purchased a ZWO ASI120MC-S webcam from FLO. I wanted to try it the other night so I decided to get some test images for the moon. I was using Sharpcap for this. I manged to get the video and was using Autostakkert to stack it. On the final stacked image I can see that there are some strange vertical lines. I have attached a picture of that. There is also a zoomed in image of a region and I can see some small squares almost resembling the pixels on the sensor. Below are my capture settings as given by SharpCap. [ZWO ASI120MC-S] Debayer Preview=On Pan=0 Tilt=0 Output Format=AVI files (*.avi) Binning=1 Capture Area=1280x960 Colour Space=RAW8 Temperature=19.2 High Speed Mode=Off Overclock=0 Turbo USB=86(Auto) Flip=Both Frame Rate Limit=60 fps Gain=50(Auto) Exposure=0.001993 Timestamp Frames=Off White Bal (B)=95 White Bal (R)=52 Brightness=0 Auto Exp Max Gain=50 Auto Exp Max Exp M S=30000 Auto Exp Target Brightness=100 Mono Bin=Off Apply Flat=None Subtract Dark=None #Black Point Display Black Point=0 #MidTone Point Display MidTone Point=0.5 #White Point Display White Point=1 TimeStamp=2018-06-25T23:13:22.6772909Z SharpCapVersion=3.1.5214.0 For Autostakkert (v2.6.8 ) I was not doing anything fancy. Pressed analyze and then used 50% of the frames to stack. Used 200 as the AP size. Also, had the drizzle as 1.5x My camera was mounted to a skywatcher 200pds and HEQ5 mount. I am failing to understand what is going wrong here. Is the camera a problem or stacking is an issue ? Please let me know if there is any more information that you need. Thanks and Regards, Yogesh moon_25062018_1min_00_13_20_g4_ap35_Drizzle15.tif moon_25062018_1min_00_13_20_g4_ap35_Drizzle15_ZOOM.tif
  13. Outside there is something coming out of the sky that strongly resembles the Atlantic Ocean being poured through a seive, so I thought I would give the 'sensor analysis' option in sharpcap a go on one of my cameras. This resulted in the table attached. I'm sure all the figures are great, but as to helping me decide which gain setting I should use for this camera, I am not a lot wiser. There definitely seems to be something strange (impressive?) happening to the read noise between 60 & 61, but it continues to decline after that so I'm not sure that gets me very far. So, it's time to get educated ... (1) which is my best option, and (2) why? Thanks. 224 sensor analysis.txt
  14. Hi guys After seeing a lack of solar imaging talk in the imaging discussion and thinking my thread may get lost in there decided this is probably a better place where the active solar imaging guys are. I am using the 6MP ZWO ASI 178MC (colour camera) on my LUNT LS60THa with Sharpcap capture software and have a couple of questions regarding the use of..... I read in another thread some one saying that a mono cam is better than a colour one as it gives better resolution I have been often using the mono mode in Sharpcap and I seem to notice it is better quality than in colour mode. 1) Is Sharpcap actually putting the 178MC into a true mono mode, or is the image just being desaturated in software ? 2) If it is putting the 178MC into mono mode, is that good enough, or am I still better off buying a mono cam ? Hopefully someone can "shed some light" ( pun intended) on that for me please regards Dave
  15. What am I doing wrong to get planetary images like these attached? Or maybe I should be asking what am I actually doing right? I've tried a few times to images planets with my QHY5L-ii mono camera through the C9.25 both with and without IR/UV block filter and get the same blurred results every time. I've checked collimation, and focus using a star mask. It's pretty good really, and I know the camera works fine because I've used it to get some good lunar shots. I'm imaging thought sharpcap software and have processed the images with registax or autostakkert and get very similar results. Is there anything obvious that I'm missing?? All suggestions welcome, thanks!
  16. Hi, I have a HEQ5 Pro with a QHY5L-IIc astrocamera, which I run with SharpCap (never got EZ-Planetary to work). When I start SharpCap, it in turn starts EQMOD. So far so good! I then start Stellarium via Stellarium Scope (or I start Stellarium Scope first and then SharpCap). If I choose an object to monitor in Stellarium, and let Stellarium slew to it, I constantly get Timeout error in EQMOD, either directly or after a short while. If I dont start SharpCap, i.e. if I dont stream video, I don't get timeout error in EQMOD. I have installed the Ascom QHYCCD capture driver, but if I select that in SharpCap, then SharpCap crashes, so I must use the system driver for the camera. What is causing this Timeout error? Anyone? Regard Mats
  17. With the couple of decent nights we had last week I was able to finally get a view of Jupiter at opposition this year! The problem I've been having is when I've processed the videos. I've been taking videos in RAW8 at a custom resolution (720×240) with a ASI120MC camera in sharpcap. I noticed that the image would jump about periodically causing part or all of Jupiter to flash to different parts of the frame. I hoped that when aligning with PIPP and then limiting the number of frames in Sarpcap to the 10% highest quality images that it'd go away but when I finish the image I get the strange line artifacts that are evident in the attached image, which are ruining the images. The jumping didn't happen in "normal" resolutions so that seems to be the most obvious solution. I was wondering though if anyone had any advice of how to process the videos in PIPP/Registax/other program in order to delete these rogue frames? Cheers guys.
  18. 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.
  19. Hi folks, thought I'd post here as more people here seem to be using the Live Stacking feature of SharpCap now. SharpCap - if you haven't encountered it before - is a free Astro-focused capture application for Windows. SharpCap includes support for a wide range of cameras - including QHY, ZWO, Basler, QHY, Webcams, Frame Grabbers, ASCOM and others. Any camera that SharpCap supports can be used in live stacking mode, although to get decent results you will need to be able to set exposure lengths of about 1s or more. Live Stacking includes an alignment option (on by default) that will correct for drift and field rotation in each new frame as it is stacked. Alignment depends on being able to detect at least 3 stars in each frame. Additionally you can filter incoming frames based on a FWHM measurement of the stars detected, allowing frames with better seeing conditions to be stacked and worse frames discarded. There are simple functions allowing the histogram of the stacked image to be stretched for display and the stack can be saved either 'as seen' with the stretch applied in PNG format or in FITS format with no stretch applied for later post-processing. SharpCap also has an embedded scripting language which allows simple programs to be written that will automate a capture session - some users over on Cloudy Nights have been using this facility to automatically stack a target for say 30 minutes then move the mount to point at a new target and start stacking that. SharpCap 2.9 is currently in beta and will contain improvements to the live stacking features including an easier-to-use histogram stretch function, more star detection options for alignment and automatically remembering most stack related options. However, if you prefer to avoid beta software, feel free to use SharpCap 2.8 instead. Just as a taster, here is an M81 I produced in 30 minutes of 4s exposures with the ASI1600MM-Cool. This was really just a test stack - taken on first-light with the camera, testing a new version of SharpCap and with a whole bunch of other things in my setup changed - I'm sure it's possible to do better when hurrying a little less! I'd love to hear any feedback people have on how to improve the live stacking feature - and see any images you capture with it! cheers, Robin PS. For about the first 10 minutes of stacking I had left the mount accidentally on Lunar tracking rate having used the moon earlier to sort out focus and align the finder scope. The alignment feature took care of this quite happily and I didn't even notice until I spotted a little line of hot pixels building up due to the drift.
  20. Really frustrated with AS2. Ive taken a 2000 frame vid of jupiter using Sharpcap with QHY5L-IIc. The image has Jupiter & two of its moons. I normally run it through PIPP to centre it & Take out low quality frames & then run it through AS2 but when I do that it centres the planet & I lose the two moons, so I thought just run it through AS2 to stack it but I get "access vialation at address 00501DAA in module "Autostakket" write of address 00000000" I then click ok & get "failed to open file framecount: 0" Anybody got any ideas what I'm doing wrong? Thanks
  21. hi guys All my lunar imaging has usually been done with DSLR camera and telephoto lenses, usually the Canon 100-400mm and a x2 teleconverter Last nite I finally fired up the new scope and did some imaging Skywatcher 120mm x 1000mm fl EVOSTAR Black Diamond The mount is a HEQ5 PRO so for the first lunar image through that scope with a ASI1600MM camera and Sharpcap capture software Dave
  22. I am starting to get to grips with some of the features on Sharpcap and last time out I tried to use the focussing assistant using a bahtinov mask. The first thing I noticed is how sensitive it is. The attached screenprint involved the tiniest movements of the fine focusser knob on my Star71, which caused it to sweep from +1 to -1 without stopping in the middle. I decided I wasn't going to do any better than that (but could probably waste an awful lot of clear-sky-time trying!), so decided to accept that. After all, from what I have read, an FWHM of about 1 is reasonable. But now comes my confusion. I was assuming that the scale was FWHM units. But, as can be seen from the screenprint of the log, the FWHM of each individual sub was just under 4. I realise it would not necessarily be the exact same figure as when I was focussing, but 4x that figure? This would seem to suggest that either the scale on the focussing assistant is not FWHM units (so what is it?), or my focussing went way out during my imaging session. The resultant image can be seen here. So, are these the sort of results I should be expecting? Or where am I going wrong? Thanks.
  23. Over the last few months I've been trying my hand at imaging DSOs, in learning to do this I've found that you really can't get away with exposure times longer than a few seconds without motors and a solid polar alignment. Initially I tried this by eye using Polaris, the best I achieved was around 8 seconds of exposure before the inevitable drift of whatever is in my view. I thought about buying a polar scope or learning the drift technique, then I happened upon the polar alignment facility in Sharpcap 2.9 on this forum and gave it ago. Jut thought I'd write a few things about how that's gone for me. Firstly I tried using the software with my 150P with a field of view of <1/2º, unsurprisingly this didn't work; I just couldn't see enough in the field of view for the software to lock onto anything. I calculated the field of view of my 70mm Travelscope with my cam and still found it to be shy of the 1º requirement. So I bought myself a cheap 0.5× reducer to achieve ~1.8º across field of view. As most people have found the weather has been shocking with weeks of cloud at a time. Since I got the reducer at the beginning of Feb I've only been able to get out three times. It's only on the third time late last week I was able to finally achieve a polar alignment using the software! It took me over an hour; the light pollution in my subburban part of Hull is pretty bad and the software was rarely able to consistently detect the same dozen stars with every refresh of the image. I had to have my gain quite high with an exposure time of 5 seconds to get much out of my images. I was getting quite a bit of noise in the images but increasing the minimum star-size in Sharpcap from 1 to 2 pixels seemed to help. Quite often I'd get a lock for the first RA angle but not on the second, which was very frustrating. The times I got a lock from both angles were then hampered by the lack of the yellow line, which dictates which way to move the Alt-az and altitude on my mount, obviously in those instances I was very far away from the NCP. It isn't an overstatement when I say I was over the moon once it finally locked onto the correct point! I achieved a PA less than 1" from the NCP, I have seen people who have achieved much better than that but this has been an order of magnitude better than anything I've done previously, where I was lucky to get within half a degree. For those who struggle with PA I can definitely recommend the Sharpcap feature, it is fairly intuitive, easy to use and quick. To show the difference it can make I've attached an image of everyone's favourite - M42. Multiple other problems with the image aside I'm pleased with the improvement of the image with good PA compared to the one by eye. Both images were taken as 30 second exposures on a motorised mount. I hope this is helpful for those who have struggled like me and I'd be interested in hearing other people's experiences with PA.
  24. Just installed a new ZWO ASI1600MM cooled, and a Xagyl EFW8, running Sharpcap on a PC running Windows 10. Version 2.9 of sharpcap does not give the option of 16 bit, nor is the cooling interface showing up in sharpcap. In fact, there is virtually no option for single frame capture, multiple images (to do Photometry). There only seems to be video capture available. Version 2.7 of sharpcap has the correct interfaces; ie: I can select 16bit mono, choose to save as .fits file, set camera temp etc etc---none of which is available in Sharpcap v 2.9. Am I missing something? I've searched through all the menu items to see if there's something I've ticked/not ticked.
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