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ZWO 1600 Cool operating problems - help!


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Having purchased the 1600 MM-cool at the end of last year, what with one thing and another (Xmas, travel, EFW problems but mostly cloud – lots of it!) I’ve really only just started to try to using it.  This camera marks my attempt to transition from DSLR and boy is it a whole new ballgame.

With a brief gap in the cloud last night, using APT I focused on Sirius and then turned to M44 for a few 30 sec luminance frames before the cloud inevitably returned.  I just wanted to: (a) obtain focus with the new set-up – I’m also new to APT and used the Bahtinov aid (b) run cooling and (c) obtain some basic luminance subs just to see the outcome!

-        As far as focus is concerned visually the Bahtinov spikes looked good + using the APT aid the focus circle was OK but still not sure if I have nailed it (Image-2 below),  how can I improve this?


-        Using the APT Cooling Aid the temperature did not seem to change – having set the parameters I then started.  Am I missing something or do I have a problem?


-        On using DSS the resulting stack (Image-1) is covered in weird artifacts – what on earth is happening here?


-        Looking at the aforesaid stack in Photoshop the image looks OK but when ‘fitted to the screen’ is covered in a Bayer-type grid (Image-3) – any thoughts?

Thanks, Graham


M44 DSS.png

M44 PS1.jpg

M44 DSS fit.png

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Weird that all of your sample images have colour in them when you have the mono (1600MM) camera. Is Apt perhaps somehow treating the mono image as RAW? (but then I'd still not expect to see colour!).

I'd suggest testing with another application (I can say for sure that SharpCap works well with the 1600 cameras ;) ) to rule out software problems.

Could the top image be the effect of some sort of contamination on the sensor? It would seem unlikely in a practically new camera but I can't think what else it looks like.



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I'm sure you did but just checking the obvious in that you had a 2A power source connected to the camera for your cooling.  In APT you also have to set the steps for cooling.  Set them too high and it won't like it.

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Doh! Realised I forgot to plug in the cooling power last night - there's so much more to remember with the CCD.

However, still don't understand the rest. I'm also new to APT but is saves as FITS files so can't see how that would be seen as RAW; the basic image in FITS Liberator also looks OK i.e. not coloured.  

Another clear night so will try again.  At the moment I just want to prove all's working OK and I can get a decent sub - is it best to test this with Luminance or would another filter work better?     

Any other ideas / thoughts? 


PS any thoughts on Gain and Offset settings?

Edited by groberts
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Could it be that you have this option checked in DSS?



that would turn your FITS files colour as DSS loads them. Still not sure about the spidersweb pattern.




Edited by rwg
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Brilliant, thanks Robin, you're absolutely correct it is checked.  I presume I just un-check it?  Any other stacking items unique to CCD / FITS I need to consider?  

That takes care of the colour issue.  I thought I'd got the hang of DSS but, of course, CCD & FITS is new territory I had overlooked / didn't even consider it!       

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Unchecked the FITS setting, re-stacked and bingo! This is just x15 x 30 sec Luminance subs - no calibration - but is now looking better. It seems the  'green spider' effect was also a stacking artifact = weird!  

Thanks again + I'm sure I'll be back again soon with more queries as I tiptoe into the new world of CCD imaging; maybe I should have stuck with DSLR?  


M44 take2 stacked (Large).jpg

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