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Imaging with the 130pds


Russe
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Last try before summer break, here in Spain M22 is a little bit low but I gave it a try. 12 subs of 300s with the QHY168C Gain 10, Offset 50. Barely processed with Pix.

Cheers.

Mario.

M22_final.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

My new Windows 11 laptop rebooted itself after half an hour so only 30 minutes of exposure time on this Cocoon Nebula shot. I also forgot to turn the cooler on!

CocoonNebula-3crop.thumb.jpg.149a3f9a70f10278b52cb4f2a69e107f.jpg

Target: Cocoon Nebula
Date: 2022-08-07
Location: West Herefordshire UK, Bortle 4
Optics: Sky-Watcher 130PDS Newtonian reflector and Baader MPCC III coma corrector
Camera: ZWO ASI533MC Pro  GAIN 400  16˚C
Filter: Altair TriBand OSC 1.25”
Mount: Sky-Watcher AZ EQ5-GT in equatorial mode
Auto-guiding: PHD2 via Sky-Watcher ASCOM Driver for SynScan Hand Controller
Light Frames: Best 15 of 17 @ 120 seconds
Bias Frames: 27
Dark Frames 27
Flat Frames 32
Capture Software: SharpCap Pro
Stacking Software: Astro Pixel Processor
Stretching Software: Astro Pixel Processor
Other Software: Affinity Photo, StarSpikes Pro, Topaz DeNoise AI
Crop: 50%

Edited by Jim Smith
Addenda
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Hi everyone. It's been a while since I posted here because it's been a while since I got my 130-PDS out. New kid, laziness, life, clouds, etc. etc. the list goes on :)  However the main reason is that my "trusty" old Canon 550D has finally decided it no longer wants to stay connected to my imaging laptop and so I can't do anything with it.

My mother passed 3.5 years ago and, after a very long time with solicitors, the last bit of inheritance has come through. I always said that I would use the last bit to treat myself and my Mum always loved my astro photos so I thought "hey, why not finally invest in a decent mono camera?". So I'm here for your advice :)

I have always looked at getting something like the ZWO ASI1600MM-Pro, probably one of the kits with filter wheel, LRGB and narrowband filters (I have a real thing for the Hubble palette and I live in a moderately light polluted town). However, it's been YEARS that I've been considering that, and I'm wondering if there's anything new/better at the same price point? For reference I'm in the UK so brands/pricing/places to buy need to be available here where possible!
 

Extra info for reference:

  • I have an NEQ6 mount, so should be reasonably good for payload weight. Although I'm also considering doing the belt mod with the same inheritance money...
  • I have an ASI120MC that I use for guiding on a piggy-backed Startravel 80.
  • I tend to use Astrophotography Tools (APT), but I am open to other software if there's a good reason. I relatively recently learnt how to properly use plate solving and it was a game changer, but that was just as my camera gave up.
  • I currently do my processing with DSS and Photoshop (with some premium actions included) but I know processing of narrowband data is a different ballgame. I'm also interested in people's thoughts on software.

 

Any thoughts or advice? Thanks a lot!

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1 hour ago, sagramore said:

I have always looked at getting something like the ZWO ASI1600MM-Pro, probably one of the kits with filter wheel, LRGB and narrowband filters (I have a real thing for the Hubble palette and I live in a moderately light polluted town). However, it's been YEARS that I've been considering that, and I'm wondering if there's anything new/better at the same price point? For reference I'm in the UK so brands/pricing/places to buy need to be available here where possible!
 

Any thoughts or advice? Thanks a lot!

Mono is wonderful ! I moved from a DSLR to cooled mono a while ago and certainly didn’t regret it.

For a short time I used the ASI 1600 with the 130PDS but I encountered problems with the weight of the camera gear I was using, it caused gravitational tilt with the stock focuser. My solution was to upgrade the focuser, that cost more than the telescope itself, but it worked OK. For info, the gear I had hanging off the focuser was - ZWO ASI 1600, ZWO 8 pos EFW, ZWO OAG + guidecam + TS GPU coma corrector, it weighed in at about 1.3kg.

I think others have used mono cameras without these issues, so I may have just been unlucky with a flaky focuser, but it left me feeling that the focuser is a weak link when using heavier camera gear on this telescope.  

Re- newer cameras, I’m not really up to speed but I think the 294 mono seems to be the recent model with good reviews, I think I am right in saying it doesn’t have the microlensing issues of the 1600 ?

Good luck ! 👍

 

2116621391_130PDS(8).thumb.JPG.1be6f62511f67e8b976debeda8f815ca.JPG

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Mt turn I guess... 

HaRGB.Bubble.png.f7ec9ff7ebab7b2982e9fb64fd72c081.png

 

Taken yesterday under a 88% moon from my backyard in Bournemouth UK, borttle 6. 

3.5 hours in 6mins subs for Ha (baader 7nm) + 2.5hours in RGB (Svbony CLS) taken a week ago.

CG5-GT + Canon 50D modified with my very own sausage fingers, 130PDS+skywatcher coma corrector
Nina + Gimp.

Considering that my gear is mostly strings, duck tape and second hand cheap stuff, and that my mount has LITTERALLY fallen apart two days ago and was fixed (I mean botched) in conditions I don't even want to begin to describe, I am pretty satisfied. Very capable little thing, this 130PDS... 

 

 

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Before I order the dew shield I’m looking at, I’m just wondering if I’ll need to remove this white collar looking thing? It looks like the tiny screw holding it in place are stripped or something because I can’t even tell what they are. 

B5103F94-2782-4B08-B554-E5B80B16DC29.jpeg

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1 hour ago, braybarr said:

Before I order the dew shield I’m looking at, I’m just wondering if I’ll need to remove this white collar looking thing? It looks like the tiny screw holding it in place are stripped or something because I can’t even tell what they are. 

B5103F94-2782-4B08-B554-E5B80B16DC29.jpeg

Hey, which screw are you wondering about? I only see two in the image - one thumb screw and one standard Phillips / Crosshead. Neither look stripped as far as I can tell!

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58 minutes ago, sagramore said:

Hey, which screw are you wondering about? I only see two in the image - one thumb screw and one standard Phillips / Crosshead. Neither look stripped as far as I can tell!

Oops, sorry! I took a picture of the wrong thing. I took a new one and circled 2/4 of the mini screws I’m talking about. 

Basically, I bought a dew shield that is *very* close to fitting. I think it might fit if that white ring weren’t in the way. I was going to just replace the dew shield with one that’s one size up, but now I’m wondering if I have to remove this anyway. 

FF3EEE90-E769-4CDE-BBF6-FE4E80A37EB0.jpeg

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3 minutes ago, braybarr said:

it might fit if that white ring weren’t in the way

Hi

Careful. The 'white ring' is the tube aperture reinforcement which forms part of the structure of the tube and secondary spider support. Unless you plan upon reinforcing the tube around the four knurled secondary spider thumb screws and focuser, it must be left in place.

Cheers and HTH

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On 10/08/2022 at 09:58, sagramore said:

I have always looked at getting something like the ZWO ASI1600MM-Pro, probably one of the kits...

I have this setup, and it has worked very well with the 130. I've had very minimal problems with microlensing, and I did need to adjust the focuser to get rid of tilt, but overall I've been very happy with how it performs. 

Some thoughts:

- The 1600 is quite old tech now- the main issue is lower QE than the most modern cameras- but still a good bit higher that your 550d. If I was investing now I'd be tempted to either get a second hand 1600 or go for something newer depending on budget.

- I use an NEQ6 too. I don't think it even notices the 130 is there!

- I got the kit with the ZWO filters. They're fine, but I upgraded to Baader  UNB filters, and that gave a dramatic improvement.

- You'll probably find mono processing a bit of a faf compared with OSC, and your initial results not so good (mine were worse to start with), but once you get into the groove it's great.

HTH

 

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33 minutes ago, Whistlin Bob said:

I have this setup, and it has worked very well with the 130. I've had very minimal problems with microlensing, and I did need to adjust the focuser to get rid of tilt, but overall I've been very happy with how it performs. 

Some thoughts:

- The 1600 is quite old tech now- the main issue is lower QE than the most modern cameras- but still a good bit higher that your 550d. If I was investing now I'd be tempted to either get a second hand 1600 or go for something newer depending on budget.

- I use an NEQ6 too. I don't think it even notices the 130 is there!

- I got the kit with the ZWO filters. They're fine, but I upgraded to Baader  UNB filters, and that gave a dramatic improvement.

- You'll probably find mono processing a bit of a faf compared with OSC, and your initial results not so good (mine were worse to start with), but once you get into the groove it's great.

HTH

 

Thanks for the input, appreciate it.

Can I ask what you had to do when you say "adjust the focuser to get rid of tilt"? I think this is one of the thing that's worrying me!

The other question is what was the dramatic improvement you found with the Baader UNB filters? Noise reduction? Less LP? Something totally different?

Thanks!

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Latest image with the 130PDS + ASI 1600. About 5hrs of Ha data and 6hrs of Oiii.

I have some sudden tilt I need to sort out, it bugs me a lot knowing I can have round stars in every corner. I’m also hoping to get better filters soon, these star halos are obnoxious. 

C5C80580-87A2-4F25-9572-E6B034ABA0D4.jpeg

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It's yet another Veil Nebula, except this one is made up of nine panels - my biggest mosaic yet. Lots of battles with gradients, and my camera wasn't quite rotated right which meant the crop made the eastern part too close to the edge, but I sort of managed it and can add data to this in future.

24:42 hours over 7 nights (247x360s)
50 darks, 25 flats, 25 flat darks
Bortle 4, Moon average 89% phase, 16° height
APT, PHD2, 130PDS, NEQ6, ASI533MC Pro (gain 101, offset 50, -10°C) with 2" ZWO Duo-band filter
APP, StarNet, Affinity, Topaz DeNoise AI, Photoshop

I've also superimposed a Moon (also my shot) to show how incredibly large this object is in the sky, and yet invisible to the naked eye.

200544305_withmoon.thumb.jpg.4a83539cb32038d1d7da245a4ab11b46.jpg

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M33 From last week before the bright moon got in the way. About 8hrs total of 180 & 300s subs.

saw eq5 and 130pds, PlayerOne Neptune C camera.

37E94F86-8446-479B-B7A0-B2D1308BAD0B.jpeg

Edited by Rob F
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Only 3h15min on NGC7635 Bubble nebula, no filter unfortunately. Still, surprised I even got this much with the PlayerOne Neptune C and nearby full moon.

546EFCAB-2EB2-410A-B354-46E3D33719D6.jpeg

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On 12/08/2022 at 09:12, sagramore said:

Can I ask what you had to do when you say "adjust the focuser to get rid of tilt"?

Sorry for the delay in replying- camping in France at the moment with dodgy internet. I had a small amount of tilt when I first got the camera. After a bit of fiddling with it I realised there was a small amount of play between the drawtube and the body of the focuser. Underneath the focuser there is a small panel where the axle passes through. With a bit of trial and error I was able to remove the play without making the focuser too stiff. I think I 

On 12/08/2022 at 09:12, sagramore said:

 

disassembled it first which helped me understand how it works- it's quite simple.

On 12/08/2022 at 09:12, sagramore said:

what was the dramatic improvement you found with the Baader UNB filters?

2 things: faint nebulosity came through much more easily and complete absence of gradients. I live on a main road and outside my house is a very bright 8m led streetlight that gives most of my images, including when I use 7nm filters, a nasty gradient (and has been the cause of a number of rows with e-on who are responsible for it, but don't seem to understand their responsibilities around light intrusion- horrible company). I can get rid of it in pixinsight, but this adds noise. When I use the 3.5nm version there's no gradient- which is brilliant.

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Another 2h40m of 120s subs added, now roughly 11hrs and hoping for more when the sky clears again.

 

7BAC470F-20F6-451D-A2FB-A44778C84DBA.jpeg

Edited by Rob F
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On 16/08/2022 at 22:41, Whistlin Bob said:

Sorry for the delay in replying- camping in France at the moment with dodgy internet. I had a small amount of tilt when I first got the camera. After a bit of fiddling with it I realised there was a small amount of play between the drawtube and the body of the focuser. Underneath the focuser there is a small panel where the axle passes through. With a bit of trial and error I was able to remove the play without making the focuser too stiff. I think I 

disassembled it first which helped me understand how it works- it's quite simple.

2 things: faint nebulosity came through much more easily and complete absence of gradients. I live on a main road and outside my house is a very bright 8m led streetlight that gives most of my images, including when I use 7nm filters, a nasty gradient (and has been the cause of a number of rows with e-on who are responsible for it, but don't seem to understand their responsibilities around light intrusion- horrible company). I can get rid of it in pixinsight, but this adds noise. When I use the 3.5nm version there's no gradient- which is brilliant.

Thanks for the info, that's all really helpful!

Enjoy your holiday :)

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