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After following the xbox livecam mod thread I decided it was time to have a go, plus with all the clouds and snow it kept me occupied for all of half an hour doing the mod itself. Last night we had the chance to give it a go at long last and ended up with this:

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Very faint and not at all like some of the other images I've seen published with this cam, but its mine and I'm happy enough with it. Telescope is a Skywatcher Explorer 130m and the image was taken from 1:45 minutes of footage before it slipped behind the houses and was not barlowed. Stacked using registax and a little play with the wavelets, though no real idea what I'm doing there!

I do have some questions about how to improve it, the first one being is it worth investing in a better barlow than the stock skywatcher one supplied (will be taking that to another thread though), as I understand that by using a barlow the object should appear larger? In that case with my scope and the xbox cam should I look at another 2x barlow or push it to a 3x or 4x?

Second question...how do I get colour to show?? Is this a photoshop edit that people have done with their xbox footage or is it down to settings used on sharpcap?

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Hi Twiggies - I have just put a reply to your other thread re: Barlows. As I say on there, I am far, far from any sort of expert, but I mentioned using a Barlow with the lens unscrewed. I have got a ScopiumCam (from 365astronomy) and although a bit blurred, and the sky being pretty poor conditions, I got this a few nights ago. Hope that helps

Chris

Jupiter 19_03_2013 21_53_55.bmp

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  • 3 years later...

Hi Twiggles,

I know this is a very old post, but I'm just starting out trying to take pictures, and like you I have a Skywatcher Explorer 130M.

Did you ever find out how to improve pictures of Jupiter using that telescope? If so how?

If you have any tips like camera settings and software editing settings please let me know.

I've managed a tiny picture of Jupiter and it looks similar to yours. I'm also trying to do pictures of the Orion Nebula....trying my best! :)

Many thanks

Paul

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Wow, now this is a blast from the past!

Must be honest, I didn't use this telescope for pictures at all last year. I got a Celestron 127 mak for planetary work which does give me better results, though of course that could be down to more practice (although the longer focal length helps!). What camera are you using Paul? I also ended up getting an Altair GPCam, which I am more than happy with.

Of course, setup is crucial. Get it aligned as best as you can as that will maintain objects in the center of view as long as possible, particularly if you have been trying for DSO's. Remember, what works for planets doesn't neccessarily work for DSO's!

Second top tip, get a bahtinov mask to help with focusing. Use it to get bright star focused, then move over to your target and get it centered. Patience is the key here and it pays off. My routine is to get a star lined up with 25mm, then drop to the 10mm and recenter. Pop the camera in and incease gain to max and exposure setting to about 4-5 seconds, that should be plenty to allow you to see a bright star. Once on screen use the bahtinov mask to improve the focus, as it gets better you can decrease the exposure time since the object should get bright the closer you get to focus. Once happy then move to your actual target. To help with this I have marked on my eyepiece tube where the focus points are with and without the barlow so that I can center with eyepiece, then adjust it to a rough focus point with the camera before perfecting it with the bahtinov.

As for camera settings, it all depends on the conditions and target. What works one night may need an adjustment on another night, it is a fairly frustrating hobby! Generally speaking though for something bright like Jupiter I have exposure at around 10-20 ms and gain adjusted unitl it is just visible on screen. I'll run a 1-2 minute video stack depending how long it stays in view and then recenter and go again.

I stack by running through PIPP, then Autostakkert and finally adjust wavelets in registax. There are lots of youtube videos etc available on all those programmes, I tend to just play with the wavelets until I get something I am happy with!

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Thanks for the reply!

My sister gave me an old (8/9 yr old) Canon EOS Rebel XL. Someone has finally showed me how to set manual settings like 'exposure' and IOS, however, now my EQ2 mount has packed in and I can't track using the motor drive, so need to get that sorted first before trying again :hmh:

Paul

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16 minutes ago, pblackwell said:

Thanks for the reply!

My sister gave me an old (8/9 yr old) Canon EOS Rebel XL. Someone has finally showed me how to set manual settings like 'exposure' and IOS, however, now my EQ2 mount has packed in and I can't track using the motor drive, so need to get that sorted first before trying again :hmh:

Paul

You should get some decent pics with a proper camera when you mount and motor is sorted,

i had a go at Jupiter the other day...

i have the Skywatcher explorer 130p, I don't have a motor drive (ordered one like) and I used a iPhone and iPhone adapter and nightcap pro.

my images are stills, single shot no stacking or long exposure because I haven't got a motor yet , 

there not the best but I was happy for starting out 

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If you can just use your camera and lens on your mount (no telescope) you can learn a lot about starting imaging before then looking at using your telescope. Wide field images can be great. There is also a thread somewhere about drift aligning an eq2.

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