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Greetings all, Some of you may be aware that I have been picking away at a big project involving the systematic testing and comparison of many EAA cameras. The scope of my project seems to be growing without bound as new camera models are released. In an effort to keep up I have taken a divide and conquer approach, focusing on a subset of cameras at one time. In this case I have been looking specifically at EAA cameras that use the Sony ICX825 sensor: Atik Infinity, StarlightXpress Ultrastar and Mallincam StarVision. I was very fortunate to have friends loan me the cameras needed to do the testing, to them I give a big thank you. Below are links to my summary test report, and a comparison table. Please feel free to have a look and let me know if you have any questions. Best Regards, Jim T. http://karmalimbo.com/aro/reports/Test Report - 825 Sensor Camera Comparison_07Oct2016.pdf http://karmalimbo.com/aro/reports/825 camera comparison table_07Oct2016.pdf
Hi there folks, at the moment I'm primarily a traditional, through the eyepiece observer, however I'm putting together a list of components/software that I will need going forward as I venture into the realm of EAA. Primary consideration for my EAA platform is that it be easily transportable with as small an on-site footprint as possible. My thought is that I want to be able to control everything remotely over WiFi, I have an abhorrence for spaghetti cabling, so want to be able to keep this situation down to a minimum. To this end I have put together a list of components which I think will facilitate the sort of observing platform that I am aiming for: Item 1 - Polemaster from QHY and associated control software. I have both Alt-Az and Equatorial setups, however I see the equatorial as being the primary mount for EAA, hence the investment in Polemaster. The EQ is a Vixen SXW and the Alt-Az and Altair Astro Sabre. Item 2 - Small footprint CCD/CMOS Astro-Camera (I'm thinking along the lines of the SX Ultrastar), and associate control software. Item 3 - Guide camera (Although this may not be an immediate requirement bearing in mind my primary goal is near real-time observing rather than traditional CCD astro-photography). Thinking perhaps the Altair Astro GPCAM, or perhaps an older SX Lodestar. Associated software perhaps PHD2, what alternatives are there? Item 4 - Computer stick or very small footprint PC capable of being fixed to either the mount or OTA, without seriously adverse weight impact. The device needs to have integrated WiFi capability and the ability to interface to guide camera, primary camera and Polemaster. Needs to be run from 12V DC supply. Item 5 - Apple iPad (already acquired). Item 4 poses the question, does such a device exists that will enable simultaneous connectivity to all three devices? Immediately people may think of alternatives such as the Mallincam line of products, Revolution Imager etc... however I want to try and steer clear of the older analogue technology. Is the suggested approach realistic, in getting me to where I want to be, if not, are there alternative ways of achieving the same goal? Would appreciate the forum’s thoughts, and in particular any insight from fellow forum members who may have taken a similar approach. Kind Regards Paul J.
Hello, all. I acquired an Ultrastar C for EAA last fall. (I only got a few chances to use it over the winter, but we got some desperately needed rain instead. So that's ok.) The Ultrastar C has been astounding on the few evenings where the fates have yielded to properly working equipment and clear skies. I'm looking for pointers to tools and techniques for post-processing the color FITs image stacks captured from Starlight Live. I'm on a Mac so that limits some of the software options available. The docs for Starlight Live say there is a command line option ('-load-image-rggb') to reload a color FITs file into the program. Does this work from a Mac command line? Are there any other Mac programs that can read the Bayer RGGB color FITs files exported from Starlight Live for manipulation. Or something that can demosaic and export the files for manipulation in Photoshop? Maybe Nebulosity4. TIA. - Richard
Guys I am considering moving into EAA, and the SX UltraStar C looks very appealling in combination with Paul's Starlight Live software, however ideally I want to keep hardware other than 'of an optical nature' down to a minimum. My scope is controlled entirely from my iPad or iPhone and ideally I would like to control all other elements of an observing session from a single device including image acquisition, was curious as to whether any thought had been put towards connecting iOS devices to imaging hardware. The most obvious initial hurdle that I can see is the lack of USB connectivity, perhaps Wifi miight be a possibility? Of course camera manufacturers would have to build in the necessary Wifi interface (if they have not already done so). I apologise in advance if what I am suggesting is totally impractical, or naive, I am viewing this from a pure layman's perspective. I suppose this whole topic should ideally be targeted at Apple, however I was curious to see what people think about the concept in general, and how this might be achieved. I suspect as well that apple would come back with a rather flat NO on the grounds that there would be insufficient profit in the concept for them :-) Kind Regards Paul J.
I have an Ultrastar Color camera. I'm having difficulty with Starlight Live on my iMac. I have the latest version installed. When I load the software the camera is connected, but when I try to acquire an image, I never see anything. The bar at the left bottom of the screen indicates the image is being acquired, but the software image screen remains black no matter how I change the exposure settings. It works perfectly on my Windows 10 pc, but I need to use it on my iMac. Any suggestions? Thanks so much, Joel