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Hi, this question has probably been done to death here, but can I ask the community to help me decide on a new camera?
After struggling with my very glitchy QHY5LIIc camera for a while, as well as having a forced break from astronomy, I have decided to get a new camera. After all the problems I've been having with the QHY, I really don't want to use this manufacturer again. I know lots of people use them quite happily, but once bitten ...
I have been looking at the ZWO cameras - OSC, as I haven't the time, clear skies, or patients to do LRGB imaging!
I have about £250 to spend, which I may be able to push to £300 if I wait a bit. ? So I've been looking at the ASI224MC, ASI290MC and the ASI178MC cameras.
I mainly do planetary/Luna imaging, but I have also dabbled in a bit of DSO and would like to continue with both. I have a C9.25 and a ST80 guide scope. I know these aren't ideal for DSOs but please humour me!
I think from the specs/information that the 224 is probably the best option. Although the resolution and QE are the worst of the three, the well depth and read noise are the best and the fps is pretty good too.
I don't know if there are better/cheaper cameras using the same chips, such as Altair's range. I just don't want to make the same mistake that I did with the QHY!n
Any help/advice you can give will be much appreciated.?
By Andrew Larmour
Absolute newby here - my first foray into astronomy. I bought a Saxon 1400mm 6" refractor secondhand complete with a EQ mount for a bargain price and I'm keen to get it working properly for both planetary and deep space observations.
I invested in a few extras such as a laser collimator and a 3x barlow. I think I have a handle on how it all works including the EQ mount. I took the scope out for a test over Easter - which just happened to coincide with a ISS transit of the full moon. Rippa, I thought, that would be great to capture on my first night of observations. The problem I have is the complete inability to focus the scope to anything like sharp enough.
I have some photos I took with the scope attached:
The scene with the normal camera lens for my daylight practice session
A shot of a distant house with the telescope (using a Nikon D7000 on a t-mount adaptor)
The same house with the barlow attached
A shot of the moon- no barlow - as sharp as I could get it - certainly no way to see the silhouette of the ISS with the scope this out of focus
When I was collumating the scope, I noticed a that the reflection on the primary mirror was not a single spot but rather a line
... which means that the laser on the collimator target is a line rather than a dot
I confirmed that this is not a problem with the shape of the laser beam coming from the collimator by showing the shape on my hand at a distance of 14m
I'm not sure if the distortion of the laser is the fault of the secondary mirror or the lens(es) in the bottom of the eyepiece mount. I'm also not sure if this distortion is what is causing the inability to focus the scope, but I suspect that both issues are symptoms of the same problem.
I'd appreciate any ideas on what to do next to resolve the focus issue.
By Cosmic Geoff
I have discovered that the Nexstar+ handset of my CPC800 has a Camera sub-menu, apparently for controlling a camera. This is not documented in the CPC800 manuals and I could not find any instructions online. All I found on the Celestron website was a picture of a C8 SE with a camera attached and a cable leading from the camera to the aux port.
Has anyone used this feature, or have some instructions? Is it really useful for anything?
Hi All, I am posting what I suspect is a newbie mistake question but hoping that someone can assist with the issue of flats.
Although I have been fumbling around the sky, taking snaps at leisure, recently I became serious. I have read up about the different calibration files (flats, darks, bias) and they seemed to make sense; different ways to capture the image defects and extract those from the image of the sky. After a few weeks (months) of further fumbling I went back to the very first target to receive my attention, M42 Orion Nebula.
In short, I took 20x 30s exposures in LRGB and ran these along with 20x LRGB each of darks, bias and flats. To obtain the flats I used a diffuse sheet of perspex (lightbox material) and an LED video lamp that has 180 white LEDs, turned to its lowest setting. Attached below is the stacked Luminance flat and the light image. In the lights I am getting very strong marks from dust and I had thought that the flats would subtract this but looking at the flats the marks are completely different shapes and do nothing to remove them from the lights.
The attached has been further stretched to show the issue. Now, I am obviously doing something wrong but I have no idea what, any pointers from the vast pool of knowledge will be much appreciated.