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The "No EQ" DSO Challenge!


JGM1971
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On 06/10/2021 at 17:12, AstroNebulee said:

A counterweight may help you as you've suggested, it's worth a try first or if your confident and not worried about voiding your warranty on the az gti mount you could try taking off the cover to regrease the worm and gears, or try adjusting the motor spring tension to fixed or just adjust it.  I followed this video on adjusting the spring tension https://youtu.be/hgEzeXrhhEg

Or these two videos for tuning and greasing your AzGti https://youtu.be/MoAF6tYcby8

https://youtu.be/iwJdrAFLPpU

 

But only do these if your feel confident to. I stripped mine down and regrease and the tracking was much better. 

Also an easier fix is to update the firmware of the az gti mount to the latest firmware as this says its fixed the tracking issues. 

http://skywatcher.com/download/software/motor-control-firmware/

To update your firmware via WiFi follow this link here, I update via eq mode cable but have done it over WiFi before. 

https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/305296-sw-az-gti-mount-firmware-update/

thanks for the suggestions! I did upgrade the firmware of the az gti and I tested it yesterday together with the counterweight. It has improved the tracking by a LOT!! I managed to take 25 shots of 25 sec subs of M42 in a window of clouds and the images did not drift at all in the FOV!! 

I then took 25 darks, 25 flats, 25 dark flats and 25 biases all new as I tried iso400 this time. I stacked with and without the darks in DSS and found  the stacked image with no darks to look much better (after the same processing workflow) 

I then tried startools for the first time (youtube guided) and liked the final image so much I immediately bought the license. 

Here is the result from 20 lights  @25sec iso 400 (had to throw 5 out because of lightnings in the sky.... lol), 25 bias, 25 flats and 25 dark flats stacked in DSS and processed in Startools (with very minor final touches in my cellphone in Snapseed....). NikonD5500, prime focus, skywatcher heritage 130p on AZgti in altaz mode

SAVE_20211010_233248.thumb.jpg.a7e76487e59a29f36d5c96346e8f7ccb.jpg

and here is my result with the same data processed with gimp and snapseed

 

orion-02.thumb.jpeg.48a1a978944a2e2aa4eb793cd562b752.jpeg

boy do I want to get more lights on this target..... I wish the weather clears up quickly

Edited by patraip1
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1 hour ago, patraip1 said:

thanks for the suggestions! I did upgrade the firmware of the az gti and I tested it yesterday together with the counterweight. It has improved the tracking by a LOT!! I managed to take 25 shots of 25 sec subs of M42 in a window of clouds and the images did not drift at all in the FOV!! 

I then took 25 darks, 25 flats, 25 dark flats and 25 biases all new as I tried iso400 this time. I stacked with and without the darks in DSS and found  the stacked image with no darks to look much better (after the same processing workflow) 

I then tried startools for the first time (youtube guided) and liked the final image so much I immediately bought the license. 

Here is the result from 20 lights  @25sec iso 400 (had to throw 5 out because of lightnings in the sky.... lol), 25 bias, 25 flats and 25 dark flats stacked in DSS and processed in Startools (with very minor final touches in my cellphone in Snapseed....). NikonD5500, prime focus, skywatcher heritage 130p on AZgti in altaz mode

SAVE_20211010_233248.thumb.jpg.a7e76487e59a29f36d5c96346e8f7ccb.jpg

and here is my result with the same data processed with gimp and snapseed

 

orion-02.thumb.jpeg.48a1a978944a2e2aa4eb793cd562b752.jpeg

boy do I want to get more lights on this target..... I wish the weather clears up quickly

That's brilliant, so pleased the counterweight and firmware upgrade did the job and improved your images. I also don't take dark frames with my dslr and just take bias, flat and dark flats, found that darks make no difference. You've controlled the core quite nicely in both images, it's very easy to blow it out. I do prefer the first image of M42 but both are excellent. Look forward to seeing your results wurh more data 👍

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here is another processing attempt at m31 with startools this time.

IMG_20211011_195501.thumb.jpg.57af34d70822b663f34746ebb3b79a3c.jpg

 

 

and here is the first try with gimp

andromeda.thumb.jpeg.12d679b8b2f607c6fde3dfdb72415bf0.jpeg

Skywatcher heritage 130p on an az gti in alt az mode. Nikon D5500 prime focus. 78 subs of 13 sec exposures @ iso 800, 18 darks, 35 bias, 25 flats

Edited by patraip1
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13 minutes ago, patraip1 said:

here is another processing attempt at m31 with startools this time.

IMG_20211011_195501.thumb.jpg.57af34d70822b663f34746ebb3b79a3c.jpg

 

 

and here is the first try with gimp

andromeda.thumb.jpeg.12d679b8b2f607c6fde3dfdb72415bf0.jpeg

Skywatcher heritage 130p on an az gti in alt az mode. Nikon D5500 prime focus. 78 subs of 13 sec exposures @ iso 800, 18 darks, 35 bias, 25 flats

I do prefer the first one, it's a lot smoother to, your doing fantastic and controlling the core of M31 real nice, top work 👍

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I did some reading in the startools site and watched some of the video you mentioned, thanks for the link.... 

Unfortunatelly the moon is out and M31 is way up now so I will have to try a new target when I get a chance

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since it is still raining here is another try at m31 in startools. I think I am getting the hang of the wipe module.... 

SAVE_20211015_224808.thumb.jpg.7a2062eafb1ded6e1e2b3731bb02720c.jpg

Edited by patraip1
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12 hours ago, patraip1 said:

since it is still raining here is another try at m31 in startools. I think I am getting the hang of the wipe module.... 

SAVE_20211015_224808.thumb.jpg.7a2062eafb1ded6e1e2b3731bb02720c.jpg

Looks lovely, really got that core now, the colour and dust lanes looking real nice, once moony out the way grab loads more data on it to stack with it, really enhance it even more. 👌

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Rosette Nebula, Caldwell 49, on the morning of 211017. Bortle 6 skies, average seeing, average transparency. 164 light frames at 15-seconds, f/2.4, and iso 800 for a total integration of ~47 minutes. 40 darks, 40 flats, 40 dark flats, and 40 bias frames. Sony a6400 camera, Samyang 2.0/135mm lens, Celestron Nexstar Evolution Alt-Az mount. DeepSkyStacker, StarTools, and Gimp.

192066427_211017RosetteNebulaCaldwell493.jpg.b97ed23bf5b615c71bdf944983ac67b4.jpg

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I found a window through the clouds.... 

197*10 sec subs @ iso 200

26 dark flats, 36 flats, 36 bias

Nikon D5500 prime focus, Skywatcher heritage 130p f/5 on an AZ GTI altaz

bortle 5, bad seeing 75% moon at 90deg from target

DSS, startools, snapseed

M33

m33-01.thumb.jpeg.d7e59da647553a371f40600fff9fbfb1.jpeg

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Christmas Tree Cluster, Cone Nebula, and various other nebulae on 211017. Bortle 6 skies, average seeing, average transparency. 15-seconds subs, f/2.4, and iso 800 for a total integration of 60 minutes. 40 darks, 40 flats, 40 dark flats, and 40 bias frames. Sony a6400 camera, Samyang 2.0/135mm lens, Celestron Nexstar Evolution Alt-Az mount. DeepSkyStacker, StarTools, and Photoshop.

1549665377_211017ChristmasTreeCluster.jpg.7164d2714119da0424819a69f972a146.jpg

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I managed to capture more subs of M33. I added to the 197 for a total of 407 10sec light frames, together with 36 flats and 36 bias frames (skipped adding the dark flats as my flats where 1/200 sec as an experiment...) 

Stacked in DSS with no white balance and black point set to 0 in the raw settings and no RGB background color calibration in the lights tab in stacking settings (as instructed per Startools site). 

Processed in Starools 

Bare in mind that the moon was almost full and at 60 degrees from the target for half the lights and 45 for the rest on two different nights which produced a massive light gradient in my stacked picture which startools handled quite well with an agressive wipe.  

m33SECONDATTEMPT.thumb.JPEG.e5ded1f8e429ac7649f44ede9926e00c.JPEG

and here is the same with some touches in Snapseed

m33SECONDATTEMPT-01.thumb.jpeg.a617e4017d6eecc030f17512a801afcf.jpeg

 

 

I will try again next week without the moon (clouds permitting....) 

Edited by patraip1
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  • 2 weeks later...

Galaxy M81, Bode's Galaxy, on 211027. Average transparency and average seeing. Bortle 6. ~43 minutes total integration of 11 second subs at 101 gain. No calibration frames. Normally I would use Darks, Flats, and Flat Darks. Celestron Nexstar Evolution 9.25, ZWO ASI533 camera, ZWO UV/IR Cut Filter, Celestron .63 Focal Reducer, CPWI for telescope control, and SharpCap for image capture. Image processed in Siril, Startools, and Gimp. I use Celestron StarSense for initial alignment (really works well for me), Celestron Electronic Focus Motor (eliminates scope shake when focusing). All of this is attached to an old Dell laptop. The laptop allows me to run the scope over WiFi from my home office.

314498612_211027M812a.jpg.359f428418e901278312a34c35cdfb10.jpg

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15 hours ago, patraip1 said:

m42 

100 subs 15sec@iso200, 25 flats, 30 bias

Nikon D5500 prime focus

Skywatcher 130p AZGTI

DSS, Startools, Snapseed 

orion-04.thumb.jpeg.396dacb7c5a7ae67e18a7a334383e59f.jpeg

Great job, really nice and sharp. 

I'm looking forward to Orion when more sociable hours and no clouds! 

Witches head and HH are my targets to grab for the first time. Once again fantastic work there 👏

Edited by AstroNebulee
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Thank you!! 

Here is a quick attempt at m13

40 25sec subs@iso200

25 flats, 30 bias

Nikon D5500 prime focus

Skywatcher 130p AZGTI

DSS, Startools, Snapseed m13-01.thumb.jpeg.8ba9626b9e5522cd1386e4ccbc4e7793.jpeg

I think focus is not 100% but still looks decent

Edited by patraip1
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m27 

125 lights 15 sec@iso200

25 flats, 30 bias

Nikon D5500 prime focus

Skywatcher 130p AZGTI

DSS, Startools, Snapseed 

m27163.thumb.jpeg.77e0cb64b8dbc8211144f61838449d57.jpeg

Edited by patraip1
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New attempt at M33

I tried iso 400 this time. Unfortunately I did not recheck my focus before starting to image and it turned out my camera had moved.... Anyway I stacked 400 subs 13 sec, together with 30 flats and 30 bias. Processed in StartoolsM33_13sec400intersectionnewflats_1-01.thumb.jpeg.1cce6db7ecd5b521fa8e0243ae8366b2.jpeg

 

Edited by patraip1
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I stacked all the available data on M33 in groups. I had subs at ISO 400 13sec,ISO 400 10sec,ISO 200 10sec and ISO 200 15 sec. I threw everything in DSS in groups (the main group with one (1) completely irrelavant frame unchecked plus 4 other groups) with their corresponding flats and biases, chose one frame as reference and then did an average stack of 1182 frames. 46 hours later and processed in Startools and snapseed....... 

M33ALL_2-01.thumb.jpeg.b052425962b1e303913648d626265531.jpeg

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Thanks happy-kat! I think so too. It seems that DSS is capable of combining different ISO and exposures. Apart from using average instead of intersection stacking all the rest of DSS settings were as per Startools suggestions. 

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