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Had some issues with my laptop (again) and had to redownload a bunch of stuff. Stellarium and Registax to name a couple. I was about to download GIMP again but I have had good results using the software that came with my 1100D to process images so I don't know yet about downloading GIMP again. Plus I think I might break down and buy Lightroom as I have a good friend who does professional photography and can show me the ins and outs for free. 

Just wondering though what other freeware programs or fairly cheap programs are out there for stacking deepsky objects or if DSS is the best bang for the buck? Reason I ask is that although I did think DSS was easy to use and did get some good results from it, it was a total pain in the Bottom to get it downloaded and installed and I'm just not looking forward to doing it for the 3rd time....

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I love the reasonably priced AstroArt 5 for stacking and calibrating. It is incomparably faster than DSS and far easier to manage. I like the fact that you load everything (darks, flats, bias if used, lights) into boxes on one page. On the next page you can choose what you want the programme to do with them. And on a third page you have excellent and effective filters for column repair, hot pixels, etc. This layout is clarity personified. 

When you get odd results you can eliminate the possible culprits by removing them from the boxes. You can change the stacking algorithms in a click. 'Sigma, Median, Average etc) and see in a few seconds which works best.

And you don't have to use darks if you don't want to. You can make and use a bad pixel map and bias instead. This works best for me.

Olly

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I'm really surprised that you had trouble downloading DSS, it was one of the most straight forward bits of software I have downloaded and I'm not a whizz at IT stuff.  

There is Iris which is free, but it's not easy to use, think you need to have a mathematical mind to operate it.

There are programmes like Astroart £120, Maxim (need a mortgage) and Nebulosity I think that was £40 - £60, can't quite remember. 

To be honest,  if you want free or cheap I don't think you could do much better than DSS, it does a pretty good job on the whole.  

Carole 

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I'm really surprised that you had trouble downloading DSS, it was one of the most straight forward bits of software I have downloaded and I'm not a whizz at IT stuff.  

There is Iris which is free, but it's not easy to use, think you need to have a mathematical mind to operate it.

There are programmes like Astroart £120, Maxim (need a mortgage) and Nebulosity I think that was £40 - £60, can't quite remember. 

To be honest,  if you want free or cheap I don't think you could do much better than DSS, it does a pretty good job on the whole.  

Carole 

Heheh, I can't even afford the deposit... And at sixty one the manual is too long for me to have any hope of finishing it this side of the grave.

Olly

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I'm really surprised that you had trouble downloading DSS, it was one of the most straight forward bits of software I have downloaded and I'm not a whizz at IT stuff.  

There is Iris which is free, but it's not easy to use, think you need to have a mathematical mind to operate it.

There are programmes like Astroart £120, Maxim (need a mortgage) and Nebulosity I think that was £40 - £60, can't quite remember. 

To be honest,  if you want free or cheap I don't think you could do much better than DSS, it does a pretty good job on the whole.  

Carole 

 Downloading is fine. Extracting the RAR files and installing them is what I keep having issues with. I've been trying for the last hour to extract them and nothing is working.

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I know what you mean about RAR files as I always have problems with them, but I have no recollection of having to extract a RAR file and my latest download was only a few months ago.  The file that I have to extract is a .msi file. 

I'm not going to get into this any further as I'm no IT expert, except to say something seems to be quite different between your installation and mine. 

Carole

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You don't extract an Mai file, you run it.

Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Tapatalk

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I said I was no IT expert lol, well that's what I mean. 

carole

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 Downloading is fine. Extracting the RAR files and installing them is what I keep having issues with. I've been trying for the last hour to extract them and nothing is working.

Same here, there's no .Rar  to unpack mate.. I got two file's one Setup.exe for the 32 Bits systems & the MSI for 64bit systems,

for me this was easy, & i had to install this on a Mac machine. not to sure what was in your packages when you downloaded them.. 

anyway hope you sorted it Pal.

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I had a friend finally extract it for me. He is way more computer literate than I am. Back up and running. Now just need some clear skies so I can get some data.

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I tried DSS but got odd artifacts on integrated images - streaks and swirls that arent in the originals, and appear yo be random. It will take Pentax PEF files though.

I also wrestle with Iris - this is very powerful but isn't friendly! Always manage to lose colour but the post processing is excellent.

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I've just started digging into this but haven't found anything that looks better than DSS yet...

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The latest dss version is a rar but you don't need to save it as a rar - just select 'open' in your browser and it will download and install :)

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Had some issues with my laptop (again) and had to redownload a bunch of stuff. Stellarium and Registax to name a couple. I was about to download GIMP again but I have had good results using the software that came with my 1100D to process images so I don't know yet about downloading GIMP again. Plus I think I might break down and buy Lightroom as I have a good friend who does professional photography and can show me the ins and outs for free. 

Just wondering though what other freeware programs or fairly cheap programs are out there for stacking deepsky objects or if DSS is the best bang for the buck? Reason I ask is that although I did think DSS was easy to use and did get some good results from it, it was a total pain in the Bottom to get it downloaded and installed and I'm just not looking forward to doing it for the 3rd time....

After a while I finally managed to come to terms with Pixinsight, not cheap but great package and the post processing is as simple or as comlicated as you'd like to make it. As for stacking the Batch Pre Processing Script is very simple to use and for total control freaks there are the individual tools for Star Alignment, Image Integration, Drizzle tool and so on. I still use DSS at times but I get better results with PI and so far no weird artefacts. The price is heavy but the package is worth it. AstroArt 5 is also another simple to use package with useful tools, it can even reshape some of the stars caused by bad guiding.

A.G

A.G

Edited by lensman57

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