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Like the lunatic that I am, I decided to get the scope out last week during that storm that was passing through. The skies were clear and there was no moon about, so I figured why not! Only problem was the 17-20 mph winds, lol.
I got 2 hrs of subs but had to throw away half of them due to guiding problems more so than the wind, amazingly. This was the 2nd time in a row i'd had Dec guiding problems, and that's after about 2 years of not having a single problem guiding. After the 1st hr of wasted subs, I turned off Fast Switching in Dec and chose to only Dither in RA, and the Dec problems mostly went away, at least to allow me to capture 1 hr of 'still dodgy but just about useable' subs. Once M42 disappeared behind the neighbour's roof, I then re-calibrated on the Celestial Equator (Dec 0) and when I switched to the Pinwheel Galaxy I was able to guide as normal again (with Fast Switching and Dithering in both RA and Dec both turned on again) and didn't lose any subs, despite the wind, so I've decided that from now on I won't be calibrating at the target itself, i'm always going to do it at Dec 0.
I decided to throw this in with another 1 hr of subs (plus 10 x 30s for the core) that I took back in Jan 2017 (has it really been that long?!). That hr also had issues, with some weird streaking in the lower left that I could never work out what caused it. The D5300 hadn't been modified at that stage either. So I fired it all in to APP and decided to stack it anyway, and give it a quick process. Then chose to crank it up to 11 on the colour front, just for laughs.
It won't be going on the wall anytime soon, lol, but I suppose it came out a bit better than I was expecting, all things considered.
20 x 360s with an IDAS-D1
D5300, 80ED, HEQ5-Pro.
Stacked in APP, processed in PS.
edit - I forgot to downscale it - so no pixel peeping allowed 😋
Had a quick search but not found much info, I've just 'transitioned' from DSLR to a CMOS (AA 183C pro)
Used to capture with APT or Backyard Nikon, save as RAW, DSS to stack and use autosave.tif to work on in Photoshop. Whats the general consensus on CMOS ?
So far trying APT or Sharpcap, saving as FITS, stacking in DSS still and using autosave.tif into Photoshop. I keep seeing fits liberator mentioned ?
Opinions gratefully received.
Im having issues regarding dew during colder nights while imaging. I’m aware of how to solve the issue of dew forming on front elements of scopes/lenses using dew heaters, however I’m also concerned with the dew that forms on my non-weatherproof DSLR body and imaging laptop. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to combat this?
This will be a thread detailing some of the changes and additions I will be doing to my ASC/Weather Station project. This is version 2.0 as I'll be making some very big changes from the initial project and I think continuing on in the existing thread would not have made much sense.
So, I still want to use an APS size sensor as after seeing the quality and light capturing capabilities of the now defunct Opticstar DS-616C XL camera and Meike lens I simply cannot go back to using a smaller lens/sensor combination. One thing is certain, I won't be paying £400 or potentially more for another APS astro sized camera so with that in mind I plan on heavily modifying a Nikon D50 DLSR and use the same lens. I chose the D50 primarily due to it having a CCD sensor (ICX453AQ) very close in specs to the one in the Opticstar (ICX413AQ) and the fact that I got a hold of a fully working body for £25.
Now there's a few issues with going down the DSLR route which I plan on addressing as follows:
The oversized camera body can be stripped down to bare essentials and fitted in the existing case with some moving of parts around Uncooled, the sensor is quite noisy so to cool it I plan on using the existing Opticstar enclosure with the TEC and hopefully get it purged with Argon to avoid dew formation. Also, since the box will need to be completely sealed to achieve this, there's simply not enough room inside for the main board to which the sensor connects to. The only way around this is using an 39pin 150mm long FPC extension which I managed to find and will be arriving shortly. This means I can have the sensor completely sealed with enough slack in the connection to place the mainboard anywhere I want. The D50 uses the NEF file extension as a "RAW" file format but it's not truly RAW and a heavy median filter is applied to all long exposure images to smooth out the noise. It works great for day to day shots, but in an application such as mine it'll most probably eliminate or severely affect my stars as most of them at the FL I'll be using the camera at will be a few pixels across and the Nikon median filter is very aggressive with such small features. The way around this is what's commonly known as Mode 3 on Nikons. Nikons have a additional Noise Reduction mode which takes the long exposure light first then straight after an equal length dark with the shutter closed, then applies the dark on the light and you get a further noise reduced image which again works very well, but not so much for AP. With mode 3 you essentially have the NR feature on and take an exposure but then immediately shut down the camera after the light has finished exposing. What this does is it causes the camera to dump a REAL RAW image onto the SD card without applying the median filter OR the Noise Reduction process. This obviously results in a much noisier image as expected, but all the stars will still be there and the image in this way can then be dark-subtracted and processed to my liking. I'll post some test shots I've taken to illustrate this. The D50 uses a hybrid shutter, both the CCD electronic shutter and mechanical shutter are used depending I think on the exposure length. If a high enough exposure is used, from what I understand, one can use exclusively the electronic shutter, but for longer exposures the shutters work in conjunction. Now I know the ICX413AQ in the Opticstar is more than capable of taking long exposures solely with its electronic shutter despite the fact that in its datasheet they recommend a mechanical shutter for proper use. So, my thinking is since the D50's sensor is similar to the ICX413AQ the only thing preventing the camera from being able to take any exposure using exclusively the electronic shutter is that its mechanical shutter is in the way and I don't think that the camera would prevent the CCD electronic global shutter itself to still open and close when required. However, this is all a theory at the moment and the only way to confirm it is to test the camera with the sensor outside when the FPC cable arrives. More on this later... In terms of capture software available, the D50 is actually very poor and I could only get digiCamControl to see and control the camera via USB. But I won't be using this as when the camera is hooked up to the PC its SD card is identified as a storage drive and the camera can be used as it would normally with the images appearing on the drive after being written to the SD! Since I'm using my VB app to process the images I would just point the app to that folder and should work. That's all I can think of for now but if and when new ones come up I'll add them here.
Next I'll be describing some of the other changes planned.
Hi everyone, just looking to get into astrophotography but looking at a DSLR as I'd like to use it for daytime use too, I know usually it's better for them to be modified but I've seen this can be done to allow use for both with only white balance adjustment.
I've seen 1300d's going around £200 on eBay with the 18-55mm lens but the 4000d is a couple of years newer and there is currently one with 18-55mm + 75-300mm going for £350 at Currys. From what I can work out there isn't much difference between them besides a smaller screen on the 4000d and the release date. I'm just wondering if there is some reason people go for the 1300d instead or is it just because of it being older it turns up cheaper?
Sorry for the long winded post but I'm doing lots of research to make sure I get the best one that'll last me the longest, thanks for any help.