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Gina

First M101

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AP has really bitten me! :) Maybe I need the "AA" Astrophotographers Anomymous" :headbang:;):) :)

Edited by Gina

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LOl yes no one warns you when you start doing this just how addictive and expensive it can become but there are worse things to become addicted to I suppose. :)

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Oh yes there are! :headbang: Actually, I've got myself more in control now and managed to do some of the outstanding jobs around the house :)

But there just might be a possibility of a session in the obsy tonight :)

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Back to M101 :) I think I might try 10min subs next as long as PHD behaves. Not sure how high an ISO I'll be able to use but I'll have the cooling on and should manage -10C. Seems that long subs are the thing for faint objects like this. A little experimenting will be needed before the run proper. Probably try ISO 1600 first - 3200 with a couple of mins was OK.

I know some people are recommending working on easier objects first but I've got my teeth into this one :headbang: Or is it that this one has got its teeth into me? :)

Edited by Gina

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Oh yes there are! :headbang: Actually, I've got myself more in control now and managed to do some of the outstanding jobs around the house :)

But there just might be a possibility of a session in the obsy tonight :)

I think you might be right there! ;) Looks to be clearing up nicely, hopefully it will be as crisp as last night (before the clouds rolled in), the stars were perfect, no twinkling and an (almost) black sky.

Hope you can get more data on this, M101 really needs it.

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I became quite obsessed with M101 going back to it several times. I remember trying o find it the first time and nearly giving up but that was because I was looking for it in the wrong conditions, moonlit night and lot of light pollution. Once i had a good dark night and the street light went off it was fairly easy to spot on my camera. I really should try harder with my guiding system and go for longer exsposures but they dont seem to make that much difference on galaxys for me so i have been sticking to doing lots of shorter exsposures. The other factor is the amount of time it takes to set up the guiding system and phd can be a bit iffy some times which I find annoying. You get it all set up and running ok then the pesky clouds move in and you wish you had just taken some shorter subs and got the job done. However its going to be worth the effort for the nebula later on in the year specially if I get an Ha filter which is looking like my next fix.

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Well, the clouds are almost gone ATM and there's a clear blue sky. The breeze has almost died and it's looking good.

I too am thinking of getting an Ha filter as the next thing I get. Trying it with my QHY5. Might try it with the DSLR but realise that only one pixel in four will be in use. OTOH the camera red sensitivity is very much better without the filter so it might work. Worth a try I think.

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Well you did better than me :) But Mark really has this processing business tamed :headbang:

Yup QM is a dab hand at the old photoshop. I'll have to find another computer to trial photoshop. It does seem to be more powerful then gimp and have some good astro plugins. Maybe I should start saving for a copy rather than keep my eye of the FLO clearance thread :-)

Good luck with the clear weather. blue skys with some clouds here but need to work tonight :-(

Cheers John

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Got the gremlins in my system! :) All set up with alignment, focus and started PHD on a star but the damn computer is playing up - several apps are stuck. Only things not affected are Firefox (as you can see) and APT. Nothing else will do anything. I've already tried a cold boot but no joy - it's playing up again. I may have to give up on M101 and choose an object that doesn't need guiding! Drat it - it's a lovely clear night with good atmosphere! I have a love/hate relationship with computers! ATM the hate is winning!!!! :headbang:

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Oh dear rotten computer give it a good telling off mine crashed on me last week and I had to buy a new hard drive for it, it likes me now. Lovely clear night here but haven't got my motor drive sorted yet so can only do some straight observing mind you Saturn is looking amazing at the moment.

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Task Manager shows that EQMOD is not responding :) Works long enough to slew to target but soon after that it fails and the tracking stops :headbang: I'll try another port on the USB hub.

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No joy there :headbang: EQMOD still failing after a couple of minutes. ATM I'm running 2m subs at ISO 3200 on M101 with EXIF T = -11C. Individual subs look reasonable. No guiding. So much for thinking of trying 10m subs :) This current data may be useable though - who knows :)

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Here's a sub in JPEG scaled to fit here - nothing else - no histogram fiddling or anything. 2m ISO 3200 EXIF T = -10C

post-25795-133877774915_thumb.jpg

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Now running DSS on last nights subs. 55 lights and 56 darks. No flats yet - I need to make up my light box first as using the sky with opal Perspex diffuser didn't work properly. Back in a few hours with the result :)

Edited by Gina

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Going great guns Gina!

For flats you could just stretch a white t shirt over your scope and set the camera to Av. So long as the histogram is balanced well they should work and they are not dependent on temp like darks are so I allways do mine in the morning and only do my darks at night. Bias are the same you can do them in the morning.

It was a great night last night but I have not got my dual axis controller yet so could only do some observing saturn was incredible.

This morning I got my cable to control my camera from my laptop for the subs so as soon as I get my dual axis controller I will be out there all night next clear night, have some catching up to do. Just hope nothing else goes wrong.

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JPEG from the latest stack attached. I'll upload the TIFF to dropbox later. 44 lights selected from 56 with 55 darks.

post-25795-133877775147_thumb.jpg

Edited by Gina

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Going great guns Gina!

For flats you could just stretch a white t shirt over your scope and set the camera to Av. So long as the histogram is balanced well they should work and they are not dependent on temp like darks are so I allways do mine in the morning and only do my darks at night. Bias are the same you can do them in the morning.

Don't think I've got a white T shirt :) And yes, I know flats and bias don't care about temperature ;)
It was a great night last night but I have not got my dual axis controller yet so could only do some observing saturn was incredible.

This morning I got my cable to control my camera from my laptop for the subs so as soon as I get my dual axis controller I will be out there all night next clear night, have some catching up to do. Just hope nothing else goes wrong.

Yes, last night was good and I think I have some decent data - a much wider histogram than before :D Hope you get your kit working again soon and have some clear nights to use it :)

Two minutes was really pushing the tracking and I really need to get mount control working for more than a couple of minutes. I don't really know what's changed - it was working continuously for a couple of hours before (though thinking about it, it did fail after that time). I'm wondering if it's a USB problem. I'm using an unpowered hub ATM with 4 outputs of which I'm using two - one for mount control and the other for the SPC900BC webcam on the finder. I have a 7 way powered hub so I'll give that a try.

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I will have a look at these tomorrow got to get some kip man 3 lovely clear nights and no axis control bah. Hope it gets here before the clouds return im climbing the walls.

Sent from my GT-S5670 using Tapatalk 2

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Thanks Mark :) Weather here doesn't look good for the next few days ;) Clouds last night, totally overcast this morning and cloud and rain forecast until Monday at least :D

Plenty of data accumulated in the last couple of months that could do with re-processing so my next job is to see if I can get the hardware sorted out to run the better software (PS). Needs much more RAM. Possibilities are to add RAM to one of my P4 HT boxes (possibly the netbook but I doubt it) or dual boot my AMD 64 X2 box with XP as well as Linux Mint (preferred OS). P4s have 1GB ATM - AMD has 4GB. I guess the AMD being much faster would be better but...

Now if GIMP brought a full 16 bit version sooner rather than later...

Edited by Gina

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Sigh yes the weather has took turn for the gray and wet again looks like my motor burning out has cost me a few nights good imaging time. I dont use Linux just xp at the moment as it still runs well and I am not looking forward to the new version of windows at all will continue to use xp for my astrophotography laptop set up for the time being. I gig of ram wont cost much got a gig for my dell and that was very cheap new hard drive and ram was about 40 quid on line. Looks like I will be running the Halesworth astronomy group soon that will be exciting and give us all something to do when its cloudy. Going round each others houses watching national geographic astronomy documentrys and having coffee and hob nobs together when its cloudy is my idea of a fun astronomy group.

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Sigh yes the weather has took turn for the gray and wet again looks like my motor burning out has cost me a few nights good imaging time.
Oh dear - yes, very annoying! :)
I dont use Linux just xp at the moment as it still runs well and I am not looking forward to the new version of windows at all will continue to use xp for my astrophotography laptop set up for the time being.
XP has improved vastly over the years and got pretty reliable after 3 major overhauls and numerous updates. Still not as stable as Linux or OS X but not bad now. Vista apparently was a bit of a disaster and only a stepping stone to W7. The latter still seems to have some issues and many people prefer XP.
I gig of ram wont cost much got a gig for my dell and that was very cheap new hard drive and ram was about 40 quid on line.
True. I did buy some RAM for my P4 desktops only to find that there are two sorts with slightly different sizes (about an eighth of an inch difference) and I got the wrong one :) Being cheap it wasn't worth the hassle of sending it back. Now I'm wondering whether the P4 desktops would be fast enough or whether I should set up my AMD 64 X2 for dual boot with Linux and XP (I tried VirtualBox and found XP ran to slowly with it). Which processor and how much RAM do you have?

The netbook, being limited in RAM and HD space, seems best for just collecting the data which is then transferred to laptop or desktop for processing. Indeed that was how I envisaged using it in the first place but I was so pleased with it that I started using it for almost everything :) It's so light and portable - lovely little thing ;) I use it with a cheapo 17" monitor in the warm room but bring it indoors and use it's own screen to run DSS while sitting comfortably on the settee, though I have been known to run DSS in the obsy.

Looks like I will be running the Halesworth astronomy group soon that will be exciting and give us all something to do when its cloudy. Going round each others houses watching national geographic astronomy documentrys and having coffee and hob nobs together when its cloudy is my idea of a fun astronomy group.
Great thought Mark - astronomy should be fun :D

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On my main pc upstairs I use 3 gigs of ram and an amd processor and windows 7 I do all my processing work on this pc as its my main work horse.

I also have second hand Dell Latitutde 11OL which I use out side running xp prof this is my main laptop for setting outside with next to my telescope I have phd and backyard eos running on it and once I have collected all my sub on it take it inside and transfer them all to a flash drive on to my main pc upstairs to process with. A fast pc with lots of ram and a fast processor is needed to get the most out of PS and dss if I tried using them on my dell it would crawl along.

Hobnobbs anyone :)

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On my main pc upstairs I use 3 gigs of ram and an amd processor and windows 7 I do all my processing work on this pc as its my main work horse.
So, what speed is the processor and how many cores?
I also have second hand Dell Latitutde 11OL which I use out side running xp prof this is my main laptop for setting outside with next to my telescope I have phd and backyard eos running on it and once I have collected all my sub on it take it inside and transfer them all to a flash drive on to my main pc upstairs to process with. A fast pc with lots of ram and a fast processor is needed to get the most out of PS and dss if I tried using them on my dell it would crawl along.

Hobnobbs anyone :D

Hmm... Seems then that my P4s would be rather slow :) I'll have to see if I can find my XP install CD, set up a partition on the AMD, install XP in that and set up dual boot.

A nice new computer would be nice - the AMD is already getting a bit long in the tooth :) But spare cash - when I have some - is earmarked for astronomy kit. OTOH I guess a decent computer for the data processing could be considered as astronomy kit ;)

OK thinking about my options :-

  1. Add some RAM to a P4 desktop box (XP Professional already installed) and set the processing running while I do something else.
  2. Set up dual boot on my present AMD desktop with XP Home 32bit (if I can find my install CD)
  3. Ditto with OEM XP (32 or 64 bit) dual boot with Linux
  4. Ditto but W7 64bit instead of XP
  5. Buy a second hand desktop or laptop
  6. Buy a new desktop/laptop

Do you reckon W7 would be better than XP for processing?

Edited by Gina

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This article should be helpful to you about ram needed

http://www.adobepress.com/articles/article.asp?p=1247538&seqNum=3

I dont think windows 7 or xp matters its the amount of ram and the processor that matters with PS more is better. When you start using lots of layers you need lots of ram to keep it smooth. I get away with 3gig 4 would be better still 2 would be just ok.

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