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What a b"£$%y stupid hobby.


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Please excuse my venting, but I'm getting really fed up with the weather.  Back in the autumn, having procured a decent scope, mount and associated kit I was up and running.  Some initial sessions bagged Bodes nebula, M42, M32 etc and all was looking good. I'd got polar alignment more or less sorted, PHD2 was working OK and the mount was tracking well with RMS errors of under a pixel. I'd got the hang of using DSS and Photoshop and I even had dithering working.   In fact I was beginning to think I had found a challenge I might be able to rise to. 

Then it all unraveled.  MS updates ruined a promising session, other software problems prevented tracking working, and now it seems ages since I actually had an opportunity to even do a proper system test owing to opportunity not coinciding with good conditions.   Now we're past the equinox, the clocks have gone back and still not a decent night in prospect.  Tonight sort of looked promising (maybe), but no - too much low altitude cloud ,and Clear Outside suggests no decent nights in line for the next week.  

Ho hum - back to the books I suppose.......

SR.

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not sure if it's significant, but in my part of the UK we've put the clocks forward...

Not sure I understand what you are on about......or why I am responding to ths post. There is this strange black tube in the corner of my living room. I'm curious about what it is for though think the

Please excuse my venting, but I'm getting really fed up with the weather.  Back in the autumn, having procured a decent scope, mount and associated kit I was up and running.  Some initial sessions bag

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Not sure I understand what you are on about......or why I am responding to ths post. There is this strange black tube in the corner of my living room. I'm curious about what it is for though think the weather had some connection to what I did with it. Still, I grease it from time to time in case it comes in useful.....confused. :happy72:

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Sometimes you (wel;l me) can be your own worst enemy in this hobby.

I set up on Betelgeuse before it was properly dark, slewed to the rosette for some Ha and... the stars were all wrong.

Gradually realised I had aligned on pr4ocyon, not betelgeuse and  orion was only an hour from the tree of doom.

Tried bodes galaxy instead - hoping to get the Ha jets on the Cigar galaxy.

Took a while to get guiding going. went back later to check. I had left remote on manual, and so i'd take a 1-hour 10-minute sub, outrageously over-exposed and blurred from the guide star going behind clouds.

hopefully getting a few decent subs at last....

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56 minutes ago, L8-Nite said:

If you are not having fun, consider taking a break ? 

Maybe he's already had too much break, and that's the problem? :tongue2:

I can relate, I've had very few opportunities recently but thankfully I've been fortunate to have at least a few good nights. I hope your skies improve with hate @sheeprug

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You've really got to enjoy the opportunitys you do get in this hobby. I had 1 good week at the beginning of February and I managed 3 nights of imaging, even after doing a 12 hour shift at work. I haven't been out since then.

Although it's frustrating, I'm actually kinda glad Its been cloudy. I ordered a qhy183c about 3 weeks ago and still haven't received it. 

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6 minutes ago, geordie85 said:

Although it's frustrating, I'm actually kinda glad Its been cloudy. I ordered a qhy183c about 3 weeks ago and still haven't received it. 

When you get the equipment it just prolongs the cloud for another week at least. For expensive/exciting kit at least 3 weeks.:clouds1:

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My daughter wasn't impressed that I wanted to set up my scope instead of watch a movie with her and mom.

When I got my CC out it already had the Ha filter on it, that shows it's about a month since I last had a go!

Decided to stick it to 2:00am, which is really only 1:00 UTC.

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27 minutes ago, pipnina said:

When you get the equipment it just prolongs the cloud for another week at least. For expensive/exciting kit at least 3 weeks.:clouds1:

I'm hoping I'm paying in advance. What's my chances?

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On 25/03/2018 at 22:38, sheeprug said:

MS updates ruined a promising session

This, more than anything related to weather and equipment malfunction, has gotten me into a furious rage more than once. They can take their security updates and keep them!

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Welcome from land down under

Know where you coming from

Back on the 31st January we had a total lunar eclipse accompanied by super moon

Was totally rained out where we were, and club members had a huge lunar party organised

Been raining continually since, and currently have another cyclone tracking down the east coast

John

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You really need patience in this game but be ready to drop everything when the opportunity arises.

Bought my first CCD January last year, first real use late May and then after had 14 good sessions.
I did miss a few, out of my control but 2017 must have been a good year, don't remember so many
sessions like that in the past.

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He,he, this hobby ought to come with a health warning in large neon letters. Anyway welcome to the thwarted astronomers club SR. We all mean well with advice but have the stripes from years of past waiting and the gnashing of teeth. I totally agree on the MS updates but I'd add to this the attempts of pre-installed software to alert you your subscription has ended. They all want you to spend money to re-activate them and each warning message switches off BYEOS, usually during a run, proved inconvenient that. We have of course the Spring Creators update from MS to look forward to from next month onwards. Avoid catching it if you can. 

The next phase in the condition is the onset of 'Retail Therapy' whereby the victim patient attempts, often unknowingly, to compensate for the lack of dark, clear nights by buying more equipment to get better results in the future. I've kept records of observing and imaging since 2012 and the average number of imaging nights is around 30 per year in this neck of the UK. Yours may vary depending on the terms and conditions you originally signed up for on joining. Hiccups are part of the course. This March has been a little stinker what with two 'Beasts' to contend with.

We all sympathise but patience is meant to be a virtue.

Chin up!

Best regards,
Steve

 

 

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Are you guys with the annoying MS updates using W10?  If not you can switch automatic updates off, or choose a different time, i.e. during the daytime to do updates.  

But agree the weather is probably the major frustration in this hobby - certainly from the UK, but I seem to recall some clear nights earlier this year and in November when I managed to get some imaging done.  

Carole 

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13 hours ago, sheeprug said:

Please excuse my venting, but I'm getting really fed up with the weather.  Back in the autumn, having procured a decent scope, mount and associated kit I was up and running.  Some initial sessions bagged Bodes nebula, M42, M32 etc and all was looking good. I'd got polar alignment more or less sorted, PHD2 was working OK and the mount was tracking well with RMS errors of under a pixel. I'd got the hang of using DSS and Photoshop and I even had dithering working.   In fact I was beginning to think I had found a challenge I might be able to rise to. 

Then it all unraveled.  MS updates ruined a promising session, other software problems prevented tracking working, and now it seems ages since I actually had an opportunity to even do a proper system test owing to opportunity not coinciding with good conditions.   Now we're past the equinox, the clocks have gone back and still not a decent night in prospect.  Tonight sort of looked promising (maybe), but no - too much low altitude cloud ,and Clear Outside suggests no decent nights in line for the next week.  

Ho hum - back to the books I suppose.......

SR.

I think we have all had those nights. My latest was similar BUT I had a clear night then my coma corrector was slightly tilted so 3 hours of subs went in the bin. I really do not like round stars :) I live in Italy and usually the weather is not bad but this winter I have been out once! Really unusual weather and frustrating at times too. One evening got invited out for dinner and yes the skies cleared! I really enjoyed that meal lol. The good news is the heavens are still there and God willing we will get another chance. 

Astrophotography is pretty tough anyway. So many things can go wrong without the clouds or ms updates! I use APT the updates don't disturb that. 

Gerry

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2 hours ago, carastro said:

If not you can switch automatic updates off, or choose a different time, i.e. during the daytime to do updates

Just what I was going to suggest, 3 options.  Auto update, download and you chose when to update or do it all manually

13 hours ago, bobro said:

There is this strange black tube in the corner of my living room. I'm curious about what it is for though think the weather had some connection to what I did with it. Still, I grease it from time to time in case it comes in useful.....confused

^^^ I've got one of those too, however this reminds me of those things in my wardrobe that for some inexplicable reason are called sundresses!

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9 hours ago, Datalord said:

This, more than anything related to weather and equipment malfunction, has gotten me into a furious rage more than once. They can take their security updates and shove them right up.

I think most mounts and cameras can be controlled from Linux-based systems. Depending on what machine you use to control your setup Linux might prove more stable, updates are only done when you ask them to be done and no sooner. Something like Debian with MATE installed would probably be an ideal solution for a computer acting as telescope controller. I know some on here use a Raspberry PI (£35 mini-computer) with Debian or Ubuntu installed to control their setups.

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3 hours ago, carastro said:

Are you guys with the annoying MS updates using W10?  If not you can switch automatic updates off, or choose a different time, i.e. during the daytime to do updates.  

But agree the weather is probably the major frustration in this hobby - certainly from the UK, but I seem to recall some clear nights earlier this year and in November when I managed to get some imaging done.  

Carole 

November....

Why... why I saw that November.... 

My hope is dying slowly now... :)

 

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It's a hobby which requires patience, and it sure can be frustrating too - but to get some really good images of the night sky and Deep space objects is the ultimate reward, for me to get a decent picture of the Rosette Nebula or so would make all the frustration worth it.

I've not long got into AP and have captured a decent image of M42 on my first go. But last night for instance, there were clear skies - even though clear skies app said different - great I thought - and I'd been hoping for clear skies all day...

So I took my Star Adventurer outside and aligned with Polaris - which I thankfully find really easy to do, but then realised - 60 percent Moon - argh. 

Perhaps naively I then thought, well I'll see if I can get a picture of the Rosette Nebula anyway, so being non go-to and having a slightly washed out sky I tried guessing where it was - did a few test shots, went on Stellarium - guessed a bit more, few more test shots - couldn't see anything. 

Then I started wondering why the heck I even got a non go-to mount in the first place as that's half the frustration - not being able to find anything.

A half an hour more of just looking North and North West etc. and then reading up about how the Moon affects AP more and DSO imaging I basically called it a night.

I'm definitely going to invest in a go-to mount and probably the HEQ5 Pro, but then I'd still need Moon-less nights, everything has to be aligned basically for a good night of imaging, unless you're good at Star hopping for instance.

It can be frustrating but if I can get good images of DSOs the rewards make it worth it.

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My epitaph will be "All the gear, skies never clear". I am located not far from the OP and recent weather near the coast of East Anglia has been appalling. The worst in my memory.  Some local agriculture is reporting that "growing activity" is up to four to five weeks behind so expect a future economic cost. Sorry, I bought a load of astro' gear in January..... I have since managed only two sessions each of under one hour before clouds conspired to halt things. But frustratingly there are some clear skies daytime, so could also be "days of expectation, nights of desperation".

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You could try some solar imaging to compensate, especially with the days getting longer. Two pluses for that; 1) you won’t lose any sleep. 2) It will be much warmer for observing sesssions! ;) 

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