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I have a Skywatcher 200PDS. I managed to get images of saturn, jupiter with the telescope and the ASI120MC-S camera. However, to get a bit more magnified image of these planets I got myself a Barlow Tele Vue 3x and Revelation 5x. I am having trouble with this setup and really disappointed now. I am not able to achieve focus with any of these barlows using my planetary camera. I have added extension etc. but no luck whatsover. I just see a blank black video preview in SharpCap. I have seen people using the same setup and getting good images out of those. Any help highly appreciated.
Thanks and Regards,
I have recently purchased a ZWO ASI120MC-S webcam from FLO. I wanted to try it the other night so I decided to get some test images for the moon. I was using Sharpcap for this. I manged to get the video and was using Autostakkert to stack it. On the final stacked image I can see that there are some strange vertical lines. I have attached a picture of that. There is also a zoomed in image of a region and I can see some small squares almost resembling the pixels on the sensor. Below are my capture settings as given by SharpCap.
[ZWO ASI120MC-S] Debayer Preview=On Pan=0 Tilt=0 Output Format=AVI files (*.avi) Binning=1 Capture Area=1280x960 Colour Space=RAW8 Temperature=19.2 High Speed Mode=Off Overclock=0 Turbo USB=86(Auto) Flip=Both Frame Rate Limit=60 fps Gain=50(Auto) Exposure=0.001993 Timestamp Frames=Off White Bal (B)=95 White Bal (R)=52 Brightness=0 Auto Exp Max Gain=50 Auto Exp Max Exp M S=30000 Auto Exp Target Brightness=100 Mono Bin=Off Apply Flat=None Subtract Dark=None #Black Point Display Black Point=0 #MidTone Point Display MidTone Point=0.5 #White Point Display White Point=1 TimeStamp=2018-06-25T23:13:22.6772909Z SharpCapVersion=3.1.5214.0 For Autostakkert (v2.6.8 ) I was not doing anything fancy. Pressed analyze and then used 50% of the frames to stack. Used 200 as the AP size. Also, had the drizzle as 1.5x
My camera was mounted to a skywatcher 200pds and HEQ5 mount.
I am failing to understand what is going wrong here. Is the camera a problem or stacking is an issue ? Please let me know if there is any more information that you need.
Thanks and Regards,
Thanks for the previous advice folks...
So moving on from my first two outings with the ZWO i decided to have a go at Jupiter (see attached) Now before you comment I realise that this is a pretty poor image in lots of ways, however, the purpose of showing it, is that hopefully I'll be able to put another side by side in a fews years showing some progress and understanding regarding imaging?
I downloaded several imaging programs yesterday following advice for which I'm grateful. Now some programs look a lot more complicated than others so I ended up using Sharpcam and Registrax3 for my image... I will look at the others when I have more time I promise...
Today, I'm reflecting on yet more new terminology I hear of... I think I get Gain and Exposure, even darks I understand... But wavelets, Align points and load flatfield are new terms that sound like the devils work to me...
I must just reiterate that the purpose of my ZWO purchase was to do live laptop based observation, or Electronically Assisted Astronomy, but I am really keen to use the instrument to part of it's full potential, hence my venture into technically challenging world 🙂
One thing I did learn of a YouTube clip yesterday was to change the image size before capturing which has resulted in me actually being able to see a finished image which at least can be recognised as Jupiter!
Here's an additional Question - Most people recommend Fast scopes for imaging... I see a fair few people use 130, 150 Newts... Skywatcher do a new pds Newt model which they state has the secondary mirror slightly closer to the primary which helps Astrophotography. Why wouldn't (other than cost) would you buy the 200 version? this would be more bang for ya buck yes/No?
It's a big post, but it's a huge subject........
P.S Where's the Astro imaging school??
So here's a thing - it seems to me that astronomy is one of those not very straight forward hobbies.
Last night I though it would just be the same as Friday night - set up, look at the moon take some pictures! Simples...
Aw but not to be!! I'm good at setting up in the daylight, get my mount bang level (checked with electronic level app on phone...) Get it facing north with my beautiful brass compass and enter coordinates back to Kidderminster from Thame, then you would think just observe...
Nah! Moon very wobbly with tinges of green on the edges... Barlowed it and got some superb views of Gassendi and the Hippalus Rilles albeit a bit wobbly... Then the tree came so I thought check out Jupiter the other side of the tree with the camera. Once again folks it appears I have a great deal of Astro luck! Couldn't find Jupes at first, camera in and out of diagonal, EP in and out of diagonal... Shall I just go to bed?
Then just before my capitulation - Boom she appears as a large white circle! Mmm something to work on I thought... Messed with the Gain and Exposure, what's Gain mean? Now it's a smaller white ball no moons... Then after another stop and start - Boom!! a ball with bands on... Hello Jupiter my old friend I whisper like a sniper lining up a kill!
Brainwave, blue filter! in she goes and Boom again deffo a Jupiter view (although very wobbly) Quick action - click the 'take a picture or million' button... Next quick, take a video or million button.
Amazing here I am with a table chair laptop wonderful AVX mount and my Starwave 102 doing EAA....
It's not that clear and it looks like a black spot just above the main band... Er it couldn't be could it? Could it be? Not another transit surely.... Run indoors get the phone check my Jupiter moons app and Bingo is Io, only Io transiting Jupiter... Wonderful how lucky am I?
I call my girlfriend down out of bed, look look she's sat at the table looking and and "can you get the image any sharper? Oh that's funny I thought the band's go horizontally".. a quick turn of the camera in the diagonal and she's happy! Flipping heck is it me how can she not be doing the I've just bagged a great target dance??
Amazing, another example for me of when things don't go perfect at the beginning, decide it's better to just give up and then a little while later having a wonderful moment.
This hobby never lets me down!
So today the result of all that is I have a million pictures (exaggerate a bit there) and not a clue what do so with em apart from maybe trying something I heard of called deep sky stacker... Should be interesting later.
What a fun night in the end... never give up hang in there the joys are just a moment away.....
Setting up all the software on my win10 laptop and getting things to talk to one another is a nightmare.
I'm starting a new thread, so I can post all the problems I am having, one at a time, so issues don't get confused. This will also hopefully help anyone coming to similar situations later, as the problems and answers will not be interlaced.
First issue: APT does not detect ZWO camera.
I have got the camera (ZWO) drivers installed and sharpcap can see it and will connect to it properly. However, when I try to connect the camera in APT, the only CCD options it gives me are SBIG (which it isn't), QSI (which it isn't) and ASCOM. Now it shouldn't need to use an ascom driver, because the proper driver is installed, but I give it a go anyway, and this just offers me 2 simulators and 3 QHY cameras (I have one qhy driver installed for the guidecam .... I'll get to that later!). I have disconnected both the filterwheel and guide camera from the camera hub, so they cannot be interefering with the process.
I am at a total loss ... any suggestions?