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arkosg

Hyperstar on 8" CPC Edge HD using Lodestar/LL

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Hi all,

I just had first light with a Hyperstar system on an alt/az Celestron CPC 800 HD and wanted to share the results.

Conditions were definitely sub-optimal - Full Moon and poor seeing/light pollution (a lot of the targets were low in the sky) 

but I wanted to see what the system could do.  Exposures were all 20-30 sec, with 4-6 images stacked.  Histogram/colour 

balance/contrast was adjusted, but otherwise no other processing.

An IDAS light pollution filter was used throughout.

I've noticed vignetting, more noticeable on some shots than others, especially when contrast is really stretched.  Not sure 

about the reason (I know Hyperstars can vignette with larger sensors, but the Lodestar sensor is pretty small; perhaps the 

T-to-C adapter causes some mechanical vignetting?)   If anyone has any feedback, I'd love to hear it!

Enjoy,

- Greg A

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Hi Greg

Blimey, looking at those objects it must be summer already! Looks like you had a great first light given the conditions and in spite of the possible vignetting (which I only see on the Leo triplet). That FOV is going to be perfect for a lot of objects (galaxy clusters!). No concrete suggestions about the uneven illumination but I often see it with the contrast stretched, although mine tends to be a gradient across the chip. I suspect (in my case) collimation issues or perhaps some stray light. Looking forward to seeing more shots.

cheers

Martin

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I've always wondered how hyperstar would perform for EAA - given the poor conditions the results are excellent, looking forward to seeing some more.

Rob

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Very nice results. After 2am you are already living under the summer skies...

Others had said before but I still repeat. In case of fainter emission nebulae, the best way to fight light pollution, full moon etc. is by using narrow-band filters. All those summer nebulae above Sagittarius are perfect H-alpha objects.

In the case of the Lodestar, NB filters offer an additional advantage. They suppress star bloat that is otherwise common at exposures needed for nebulae. The H-alpha filter is more effective in this respect, than H-bêta or Oiii.

Wishing more summer fun under the late night / early morning skies!

--Dom

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Thanks everyone for your support & suggestions.   :smiley:  Definitely keen to try more Hyperstar-ing, in more favourable conditions too!

Dom - I will definitely try out narrow band filters next time I'm out and see how those look with the Hyperstar.

Cheers,

- Greg A

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I have always wondered what a Hyperstar might yield... Nice one! :)

I think the filters are a good idea. (Yet to be explored properly here)

Since you're not "openly hostile" to stacking... a "good thing" IMO! :D

Many of my real-time screen images are "mid-grey", but with a little

stacking and post-processing, it's surprising what I can image. And

despite local light pollution - High clouds, [expletive] contrails etc. :o

Non-uniform backgrounds (heat gradients) can trouble me, but I've

found significant success removing them with the (slightly "clunky")

IRIS software. I sense it's the basis of "GradientXTerminator" etc. ;)

Edited by Macavity

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Lovely set of summer objects Greg, looks like the hyperstar system is off to a flying start!

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Hello everyone,

I was finally able to get out to play some more with the Hyperstar on my 8" Celestron CPC Edge HD (alt/az).

Conditions weren't great, unfortunately; a waxing gibbous moon was out, some thin cloud was drifting through, and it became quite gusty as the evening progressed, limiting integrations as my scope would shake from the biggest gusts.  My goals were to try the Hyperstar setup with the Lodestar more than my previous run.  I was also able to play more with the nonlinear modes in LL v12 - thanks to Martin & Don for their very helpful suggestions in using these modes.  I had been frustrated in trying to tease detail out consistently in nonlinear mode - it's quite sensitive - but with the pointers provided by others I was finally able to get some decent results from my Lodestar X2C.  Usual adjustments to histogram, colour balance, contrast, etc. but otherwise no processing.

Dom - didn't get around to trying some narrow band filters (or any filters at all) this time... it's on my "to do"!

For anyone else who has Hyperstar'd - is the vignetting I'm seeing typical?  I had thought (hoped?) that with the small sensor size on the Lodestar that this wouldn't be an issue, but either the spacing is a bit off somehow or the T-to-C mount adapter is somehow too restrictive for the light cone trying to reach the sensor.  Anyway, while there is no way to shoot "flats" with LL, I found playing with the nonlinear modes helped with mitigating the appearance of vignetting somewhat.  Paul - I'm afraid to put anything else on your request list - but if flats could be handled as easily as dark frames in LL, you'd have a kick-ass bit of kit for Hyperstar users!  (well, it's kick-ass anyway, but you know what i mean!)

So without further ado, here are a selection of shots from last night - feedback is welcomed as always!

- Greg A
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Hi Greg,

Very nice images!

Since you said that trying out NB filters are on your to do list, I don't perform my broken record act about them. Except mentioning that full moon is the best time to start with NB filters, as not much else can be done during that time.

Vignetting is something unexpected with an 8mm sensor. Hyperstar III is supposed to illuminate an APS size sensor. I am not sure that the brighter area around the center of some of your images is a sign of vignetting. Glenn LeDrew said several times on various occasions that the best way to assess vignetting is to shoot at a uniformly moderately illuminated area that fills the entire FOV. E.g. the North American Nebula around this time of the year.

Clear Skies!

--Dom

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Hi Greg

You're getting some great results now with that setup. I don't see a lot of vignetting. As you say, some of it can be reduced in LL (I was forever using the LL controls to mitigate the appearance of dust bunnies until I cleaned my sensor recently...).
Stars in the globs are coming out well -- nice and tight. 
Good shot of the Cocoon. I was also looking at this recently and your FOV is of course significantly wider (x2). My only comment is that compared to your other shots the stars here seem a bit bloated. Maybe in trying to bring out the faint stuff you're also getting some saturation at the high end? I find not only using the nonlin modes is necessary but finding the optimal point along the brightness axis. Somehow it would be good to see the actual curve overlaid on the histogram so as to judge where the transformation is at its steepest. In any case, one thing is the saved image but being able to manipulate live means we get the best of both worlds during the observing session. 
M51 is very impressive for 6x15s. 
Great that you can get both the Whale and Hockey Stick in the same shot. I have a feeling dark nebs would look great in this FOV too.
cheers
Martin

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Martin,

I think you're right - it must be tied to exposure.  The globs require much shorter exposure times, in general... as I go "deeper", I find the stars bloat more (I have other examples of this as well).  I could use a filter to try to "cut" some of the UV/IR... but I've seen others use longish exposures while keeping stars small.  Perhaps it's a combination of my relatively poor tracking (alt/az) plus the SCT plus the exposure?

I will perhaps try to capture a histogram next time as well to see if the settings seem "off" or not... : - )

Cheers,

- Greg A

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Hi Greg,

Very nice images!

Since you said that trying out NB filters are on your to do list, I don't perform my broken record act about them. Except mentioning that full moon is the best time to start with NB filters, as not much else can be done during that time.

Vignetting is something unexpected with an 8mm sensor. Hyperstar III is supposed to illuminate an APS size sensor. I am not sure that the brighter area around the center of some of your images is a sign of vignetting. Glenn LeDrew said several times on various occasions that the best way to assess vignetting is to shoot at a uniformly moderately illuminated area that fills the entire FOV. E.g. the North American Nebula around this time of the year.

Clear Skies!

--Dom

Thanks Dom... I too am surprised to be seeing what seems to be vignetting given the supposed APS sensor sized image circle the Hyperstar is supposed to provide.

I will try your suggestion and play around with it further and see...

Cheers,

- Greg A

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Hi Greg,

Great results! I happen to think that the LS used with HS and LL is the ideal setup for EAA. I had a chance to use it a couple of weeks ago with a C14 Edge. At F1.9 or 2.0, the speed gives you near real time. You're getting the first image in 5 to 20 seconds. When doing outreach, wait time becomes more critical. Now all you need is a C11 and C14 with HS to give you a nice range of FOV. Try explaining that to the CFO.

Don

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Inspiring images :) currently ive been only using my new edgehd 800 for visual but everytime i see a post like this i get closer to dropping my wallet all together on a good camera.

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Hi Greg,

Great results! I happen to think that the LS used with HS and LL is the ideal setup for EAA. I had a chance to use it a couple of weeks ago with a C14 Edge. At F1.9 or 2.0, the speed gives you near real time. You're getting the first image in 5 to 20 seconds. When doing outreach, wait time becomes more critical. Now all you need is a C11 and C14 with HS to give you a nice range of FOV. Try explaining that to the CFO.

Don

Thanks Don... still feel like there is a lot to learn, but I really like the speed and FOV with the Hyperstar.  In fact, I noticed something pretty cool - with the Hyperstar, in the Framing & Focus window, I was SEEING objects (not just dim shadows, but actually seeing them) in 1s exposures - and some of them looked pretty fine!  In fact, for the globulars and such, I almost preferred the extremely sharp and well defined preview window image to the actual imaging window view!

I think I'm gonna post another question that perhaps Paul can shed light on in this regard....

As to the C11/C14... I have access to a C14 Edge unit, but without Hyperstar at this time....  : - )

- Greg A

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Inspiring images :) currently ive been only using my new edgehd 800 for visual but everytime i see a post like this i get closer to dropping my wallet all together on a good camera.

Thanks Awestruck!  I started out doing only visual work too, and it was from what I saw there (or didn't, as the case may be!) that I slowly moved into EAA.

The Edge 8" is a nice size - big enough for a lot of things, FOV frames many objects well when reasonably reduced for EAA, and still somewhat portable 

(I have the CPC version, so the fork & OTA is not exactly light, but still manageable).

Cheers!

- Greg A

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Hi There, I also have CPC 9.25 + Hyperstar & also Loadstar X2.. but did never ever try to use the SX X2 with HYPERSTAR.. do not even know, the distance of the adapter to come to FOCUS..

but a nice idea, must also try it..

Usually I use my CPC 9.25 + Hyperstar with my SX M25C, but the  "Lodestar/LL" does not recognize the SXV-M25C.. if so and "Lodestar/LL" would recogniz the SXV-M25C, then it would have been even better..

since I already have all needed adapter to come to focus with HYPERSTAR + SXV-M25C!

Have to find a way ( ADAPTER "T-to-C adapter" ) to attach my X2 to the Hyperstar.. did never ever think of doing that, though SX-X2 is much more better and sensitive than my SXV-M25C..

Great Idea and very nice pictures..

Martin

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Hi Martin,

There is a Hyperstar adapter for the Lodestar. Just email Dean at Starizona to arrange to get one. I think they are about $90 US. There are threads on the inside for both 2" and 1.25" filters. I had the opportunity to use the LS once on a 14" Edge with HS. It's the ideal EAA setup. If you have a t adapter, you could also use a t to SCT adapter and a 1.25" visual back. Then you can position the LS in the holder to the proper spacing for the HS. Probably best to use a Baader type twist lock to make sure the LS is centered and square. A par focal ring can be used to retain the position.

I think LL will connect to your M25c. You need to use a command code. Paul usually reviews these posts, so hopefully he will see yours and respond.

Don

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Hi Don,

Thank you for your feedback and update.. I will check the Starizona home page to find the Adapter.. But I am afraid I must order / find the Adapter somewhere here in EUROPE..

ordering anything from the US " STARIZONA IS LOCATED IN THE US ? " is by far very expensive.. and only the postal costs could be as high as the Adapter itself.. Then we have the issue with Customs in EU also..

I find and would find it easier if the LL would support my SXV-M25C CCD.. I did try to connect LL with SXV-M25C CCD, and did also update the SXV-M25C CCD. drivers to the latest version (version 1.3.2.1)

and by starting the LL, nothing did happen.. did also click the option "OSC" on LL (Latest version 12) and nothing did happen..

If my SXV-M25C CCD should work with LL, then I do not need any Adapters anymore.. and would be very happy.. :grin: :grin: :grin:

Thank you

Martin

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Hi Martin,

the M25C will work in V0.13 (when it gets released). I believe it has the same RGGB bayer sensor as the Ultrastar-C (which has been tested and working  :grin: ).

Also some performance mods I am currently working on will help deal with that huge 3032x2016 sensor. Download time (per frame) will be slow though.

Also, due in V0.14 will be binning (although colour not supported when binned - it will revert to mono) and TEC cooling.

Hope that helps!

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Hello,

I Just did retry to connect SXV-M25C with LL (Latest version 12) and LL did not detect any Camera :sad: ! then plugged in my SX-X2 GUIDER CCD, and promptly

LL did detect the CCD and taking expoure was possible :rolleyes: ..

:mad: I will start to search for the T2 to SC Adapter and try to maintain the Back-Focus of 13mm for the X2 :grin: ..

Thank you

Martin

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Hi Martin,

the M25C will work in V0.13 (when it gets released). I believe it has the same RGGB bayer sensor as the Ultrastar-C (which has been tested and working  :grin: ).

Also some performance mods I am currently working on will help deal with that huge 3032x2016 sensor. Download time (per frame) will be slow though.

Also, due in V0.14 will be binning (although colour not supported when binned - it will revert to mono) and TEC cooling.

Hope that helps!

Thank you. that helps me a lot :laugh: .. and very happy to read your answer, we did compose our threads simultaneously :grin: ..

Thank you and I will just wait for the version V0.13 :rolleyes:

Cheers

Martin

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