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The EQ3 DSO Challenge


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@Peco - I'm greatly enjoying your Orion photos.  Lovely vibrant colours.  (I suppose you have taken the time to have a quick visual observation too ;-)  ) 

 

It's a tricky area of the sky - it's so near the equator and so it's moving rather quickly...

Here's my 14x25s version from earlier this year.  I'm looking forward to this patch of sky rising above my roof after christmas.  I feel like I've learned a lot over the last year (what a great thread this is!)

I think this one was heavily cropped...

31275825393_b58981948f_o.jpg

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I've got my Baader 'Nige-beater(TM)' :laugh2: Ha filter in tonight and seem to be getting some might good 5-minute subs of the California Nebula despite the moon. Lots of lacy texture visible in the preview.

The plan is at least an hour and a half here, then to the Flaming star nebula. Switch to portrait + maybe 10-minute subs for the Witch Head, then back to 5 mins for the Flame and Horsey.

Although about the same RA, Orion is behind the house for at least two more hours.

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16 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

I've got my Baader 'Nige-beater(TM)' :laugh2: Ha filter in tonight and seem to be getting some might good 5-minute subs of the California Nebula despite the moon. Lots of lacy texture visible in the preview.

The plan is at least an hour and a half here, then to the Flaming star nebula. Switch to portrait + maybe 10-minute subs for the Witch Head, then back to 5 mins for the Flame and Horsey.

Although about the same RA, Orion is behind the house for at least two more hours.

Excellent :) good luck Neil.

I have an OIII filter waiting for me to pick up tomorrow morning at the post office, it arrived today but no one was here :( 

Nige.

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23 hours ago, mikey2000 said:

@Peco - I'm greatly enjoying your Orion photos.  Lovely vibrant colours.  (I suppose you have taken the time to have a quick visual observation too ;-)  ) 

 

It's a tricky area of the sky - it's so near the equator and so it's moving rather quickly...

Here's my 14x25s version from earlier this year.  I'm looking forward to this patch of sky rising above my roof after christmas.  I feel like I've learned a lot over the last year (what a great thread this is!)

I think this one was heavily cropped...

31275825393_b58981948f_o.jpg

Cheers, it's such a great object for both experts and newbies like me. Lovely image you got there. 

You have made a great point that I am guilty of falling into that trap when imaging, forgetting to observe. I saw something recently I think on "The Sky at Night" where they showcased sketching, and someone said that when sketching, you have to actually look, observe which means you really take in the object. I'm going to take this on board I think. 

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The orion region is quite rich... If you have dark enough skies, I'm sure I can sometimes see actual colour in the nebula itself.  With a higher magnification, trying to 'split the Trapezium' at the center can be entertaining too.  I've yet to manage to see all 5 stars for certain...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Something a bit different.

Here's a selection of Orions all from the same data. 2h 20m of 600s OIII filter, 1h 40m of 600s Ha filter. ISO 800.

Modified 1200D, 80ED, EQ3.

All processing in StarTools.

1 - Opened in LRGB - Ha Red 50%. OIII blue 50%

NewLRGBComposite.thumb.jpg.7ebb9f69f30c5d46a35f5a72e08ff0b5.jpg

2 - Opened in LRGB. Ha Red 33%. OIII Blue 66%.

NewLRGBComposite2.thumb.jpg.a205f7f085b4ace46d1bf138acbf9c94.jpg

3 - Both fits stacked in DSS for a combined fits.

orion-combined.thumb.jpg.cac39fe8a08d8b1d5fd7e87b63883b5e.jpg

4 - Both opened as RGB then layered in ST.

orion-OII-Ha-layered.thumb.jpg.ecc8e4dad9b675342b7501ea06f62cf0.jpg

Cheers

Nige.

Edited by Nigel G
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Hi Nigel

As you tried 1:1 and 1:2 Ha/O3 ratios and I somewhat liked aspects of both but not fully, I wanted to try 1:1.5 ratio by averaging the first two jpegs in Gimp; Unfortunately they are neither aligned nor same scale.

FWIW it would give something like that -- whould be nice too.

5a2d3d1933939_nigel-orion4258.jpeg.da82b914f5f3e2d97691c9d5b8222d85.jpeg

Edited by rotatux
forgotten word
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Currently snapping away at Rosette Nebula, 50 sec exposures ISO 800. Not sure if my un modded canon will pick it up but we'll see, it's a nice patch of sky anyway.  Then I'll have another go at Bodes and Cigar galaxy. So clear don't want to pack up but busy time of year, given myself till 02:00 at the latest. 

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Been first lighting my guiding setup tonight, and in general testing things.

I can now use sharp cap for PA, what a change that was, so easy!

Managed to get byn and phd2 working with dither and guiding. Getting any real data was secondary, but also hard because patches of clouds kept rolling in and wrecking the guiding.

I did manage to grab about 30 minutes worth of 3 minute subs on the double cluster. At first glance they looked better than my usual unguided 45 second subs. ? will check tomorrow and post a stack.

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Hi eq3 users

I'm tempted to get an eq3-pro - might be better than messing about with a Star Adventurer... I'm wondering how portable the eq3 pro synscan is, how much power it needs, and computer interface (I assume via the handset?).  At the end of the day I just want something I can carry down two flights of stairs without breaking anything!

Thanks for any info!

Louise

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1 minute ago, Thalestris24 said:

Hi eq3 users

I'm tempted to get an eq3-pro - might be better than messing about with a Star Adventurer... I'm wondering how portable the eq3 pro synscan is, how much power it needs, and computer interface (I assume via the handset?).  At the end of the day I just want something I can carry down two flights of stairs without breaking anything!

Thanks for any info!

Louise

Hi Louise,

I have mine on top of my wardrobe packed in a bag with my scope (130 pds) and to be honest, it is quite heavy. I could carry it on my shoulder for quite  a while but I wouldn't ever ask my wife to get it down and carry it for me. Weighs around 28+kg in all. If you carry the counter weights in a separate bag and only carry a DSLR instead of a OTA then shouldn't be that bad I guess? 

It's the only mount I have ever owned so I have nothing to compare it with but in my opinion I wouldn't class it as a grab and go mount. Others may disagree. 

Hope this helps.

T

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8 minutes ago, Thalestris24 said:

Hi eq3 users

I'm tempted to get an eq3-pro - might be better than messing about with a Star Adventurer... I'm wondering how portable the eq3 pro synscan is, how much power it needs, and computer interface (I assume via the handset?).  At the end of the day I just want something I can carry down two flights of stairs without breaking anything!

Thanks for any info!

Louise

Hi Louise. 

I can easy carry the mount and tripod with 1 hand, also I have a small 17 ah battery pack which so far has lasted 6 or 7 hours ( not had it run out yet )

Interface is via the handset, I use ST4 to link to my guide cam to the PC.

Hope this is helpful.

Nige.

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1 minute ago, tony8690 said:

Hi Louise,

I have mine on top of my wardrobe packed in a bag with my scope (130 pds) and to be honest, it is quite heavy. I could carry it on my shoulder for quite  a while but I wouldn't ever ask my wife to get it down and carry it for me. Weighs around 28+kg in all. If you carry the counter weights in a separate bag and only carry a DSLR instead of a OTA then shouldn't be that bad I guess? 

It's the only mount I have ever owned so I have nothing to compare it with but in my opinion I wouldn't class it as a grab and go mount. Others may disagree. 

Hope this helps.

T

Thanks! It would likely only be for a camera+lens or maybe a small frac, nothing more. I suppose I want something better than a Star Adventurer that I can setup quickly and that doesn't need a heavy battery. I can run my AVX from one of those small, blue 12V lithium batteries. If I could do the same with an eq3 that would be good :)

Louise

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4 minutes ago, Nigel G said:

Hi Louise. 

I can easy carry the mount and tripod with 1 hand, also I have a small 17 ah battery pack which so far has lasted 6 or 7 hours ( not had it run out yet )

Interface is via the handset, I use ST4 to link to my guide cam to the PC.

Hope this is helpful.

Nige.

Thanks! Sounds promising, though you have to bear in mind I'm a little old lady! I'm not very strong... But I'm desperate to get outside to do some imaging instead of having to put up with the indoor limitations. It only has to run for a couple of hours (after that I'd probably need to get back in! Haha). I wonder what it's unguided performance might be like? If I could run it unguided (no laptop) with a 200mm or possibly a 300mm lens, that would be good. I guess you run it with eqmod (like I do my heq5)?

Louise

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38 minutes ago, Thalestris24 said:

Hi eq3 users

I'm tempted to get an eq3-pro - might be better than messing about with a Star Adventurer... I'm wondering how portable the eq3 pro synscan is, how much power it needs, and computer interface (I assume via the handset?).  At the end of the day I just want something I can carry down two flights of stairs without breaking anything!

Thanks for any info!

Louise

With just camera and lens (135 mm) I've used mine with no, or only the small counterweight. Unguided up to 7 minutes, with relatively few discarded subs. Runs fine on batteries. But if you have an outdoors mains outlet, I would consider using that. Be prepared to tinker with it, removing backlash and adjusting the gears.

With the aluminium tripod, I would consider this a portable setup.

 

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4 minutes ago, wimvb said:

With just camera and lens (135 mm) I've used mine with no, or only the small counterweight. Unguided up to 7 minutes, with relatively few discarded subs. Runs fine on batteries. But if you have an outdoors mains outlet, I would consider using that. Be prepared to tinker with it, removing backlash and adjusting the gears.

With the aluminium tripod, I would consider this a portable setup.

 

Thanks Wim - lovely images! I'm jealous of your dark site! I'm in a red zone with dreadful skyglow and no escape :(. However, I do have some parks nearby and with the possibility of at least pointing away from the city lights if I could get outside. Otherwise I'm limited to about 3 minute subs in broadband and obviously need guiding for narrowband on my avx. I live in a 2nd floor flat so no outdoors mains unfortunately. I guess the adjustments can't be all that much worse than what I did on my avx or heq5 (put a belt mod on that :) ).

Louise

 

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A few from last night, Rosette Nebula probably over processed to get some colour but I kinda like it. Also Bodes. Both ISO 800 and 50 sec exposures. Darks and bias no flats. 

Also a bit of fun with Orion turning the motors off after 45 seconds. Reminds me of a light saber, as I have just taken the kids to see Star Wars. 

IMG_5606.JPG

IMG_5607.JPG

IMG_5609.PNG

Edited by Peco4321
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24 minutes ago, Peco4321 said:

A few from last night, Rosette Nebula probably over processed to get some colour but I kinda like it. Also Bodes. Both ISO 800 and 50 sec exposures. Darks and bias no flats. 

Also a bit of fun with Orion turning the motors off after 45 seconds. Reminds me of a light saber, as I have just taken the kids to see Star Wars. 

 

 

 

Nice catch. The star trails you have in the Orion image are actually a good way to see "real" star colour. In your case, they also show that you had excellent sensor alignment.

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20 hours ago, jjosefsen said:

Been first lighting my guiding setup tonight, and in general testing things.

I can now use sharp cap for PA, what a change that was, so easy!

Managed to get byn and phd2 working with dither and guiding. Getting any real data was secondary, but also hard because patches of clouds kept rolling in and wrecking the guiding.

I did manage to grab about 30 minutes worth of 3 minute subs on the double cluster. At first glance they looked better than my usual unguided 45 second subs. ? will check tomorrow and post a stack.

Did a some processing on my little stack of the double cluster, 6x3mins at ISO 200.

This was my first go with guiding, and after spending most of the night getting everything working I had a little time to try and grab some light on this beatiful pair of globulars.

All in all it was a great night where I conquered a lot of the gear troubles I have been having lately.

  • Polar Align with SharpCap - What a breeze it is to get good PA now!
  • Guiding with PHD2 - Fairly easy to get working if im honest, but im sure it can be improved massively yet.
  • Dithering with Backyard Nikon and PHD2 - Not 100% sure my settings are correct, but I think I'm aiming for a 15px dither. :)

Before I had about a 60% retention rate on 45sec subs (and they weren't great!), now I have 100% retention rate on the 4min subs I am taking of M33 as I type this.

Guiding certainly solves a lot of problems! I love it! :icon_biggrin:

Final.jpg

Edited by jjosefsen
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9 hours ago, Thalestris24 said:

Thanks! It would likely only be for a camera+lens or maybe a small frac, nothing more. I suppose I want something better than a Star Adventurer that I can setup quickly and that doesn't need a heavy battery. I can run my AVX from one of those small, blue 12V lithium batteries. If I could do the same with an eq3 that would be good :)

Louise

Keep in mind it runs on 6v and not 12v, so some kind of converter is necessary.

My experience with the EQ3 is that it is not a quality mount. Sturdy and capable - yes, but it needs to be tamed!

At 520mm focal length i had about 40-60% retention rate unguided with 45sec subs.


Maybe a startracker is the better choice for dslr and lens work..?

Edited by jjosefsen
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29 minutes ago, jjosefsen said:

Keep in mind it runs on 6v and not 12v, so some kind of converter is necessary.

My experience with the EQ3 is that it is not a quality mount. Sturdy and capable - yes, but it needs to be tamed!

At 520mm focal length i had about 40-60% retention rate unguided with 45sec subs.


Maybe a startracker is the better choice for dslr and lens work..?

Hi

All the references I can find say the eq3 synscan pro runs off 11-15V, 2A?? e.g. this one

Louise

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