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so just spent the last three hours in the garden trying to get a single image (didnt go well) couldnt even see the moon the programs i tried 1st ezplanetary and then sharpcap both recommended by camera site . i took the camera out of the barlow and waved a torch in front and could see a glare so pressume it was down to focus was using x2 barlow but couldnt even see the glare of the moon which i thought was odd should you be able to live view?. scope is a skywatcher explorer 130p .any ideas gratfully appreciated

Edited by Fieldsy
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Leave the barlow out for the time being.  It just makes things harder.

Getting the image on the sensor can be trickier than you think.  The easiest way is perhaps to get an illuminated reticle eyepiece and use that to centre the image exactly, then swap to the camera.  Failing that you could try setting up the finder during the day so it is exactly aligned with the centre of the image in the eyepiece.

Increasing the camera gain or exposure time may also help as it can show up gradients in the image frame that give you an idea of which way you need to move the OTA if the image isn't on the sensor.

It may also be difficult to find the image if it's really badly out of focus.  If you're well out of focus the image can appear as a doughnut (and if the centre of the doughnut is over your camera sensor that's really not going to help.  You may need to slide the camera in and out of the focuser to find somewhere that's roughly correct and use the parfocal ring that comes with the camera to allow you to return it to that position in the future.

James

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What’s a parfocal ring .? Instructions on the camera not what I expected (none) but couldn’t even see a ring it was just black may also be some settings needed adjusting. Telescope and finder scope perfectly lined up on Jupiter even through the misty clouds.

 

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42 minutes ago, Fieldsy said:

What’s a parfocal ring .? Instructions on the camera not what I expected (none) but couldn’t even see a ring it was just black may also be some settings needed adjusting. Telescope and finder scope perfectly lined up on Jupiter even through the misty clouds.

 

It's a metal ring with a small plastic thumbscrew which you can use to fix the position of the focus point once you found it (it should be in the box the camera came in). What are you hoping to image with the camera - planets? Is it the colour version? The fov will be tiny and I think the Moon would be too bright (maybe ok with microsec exposures?). Getting focus can be tricky and critical. Perhaps try pointing at something terrestrial/distant at twilight. I don't know whether you might need an extension tube in order to achieve focus. You could try using some tracing paper to get an image of the Moon - that will tell you where the focal plane is.

Louise

Edited by Thalestris24

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Hi Louise it’s a colour cam and I tried various lengths with the cam moving it as close and as far as I could get .i only pointed at the moon to see if the image on the laptop could see anything and it didn’t .i have a extender tube and tried that as well. Once I’m able to find a image on the screen I then can work towards getting focus but with just a black screen I was stumped .oh well try again tomorrow.

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39 minutes ago, Fieldsy said:

Hi Louise it’s a colour cam and I tried various lengths with the cam moving it as close and as far as I could get .i only pointed at the moon to see if the image on the laptop could see anything and it didn’t .i have a extender tube and tried that as well. Once I’m able to find a image on the screen I then can work towards getting focus but with just a black screen I was stumped .oh well try again tomorrow.

Hi

As I say, try the tracing paper trick on the Moon or a distant bright light. Just hold a square of it in front of the focuser and see where you can get an image. That will indicate where the focal plane is.

Louise

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If it's any help I just spent the last 2 - 3 weeks pulling my hair out getting to grips with my new QHY8L.

Pretty similar problems with focus at first.

Turned out I needed to be about 40mm further out of the draw tube to achieve focus.

My focuser has a built in extension tube which is nearly fully out to get focus.

Don't be disheartened like I was. It'll come together.

 

Stu  :-)

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Well using ezplanerterium i just got some trees into focus but had to use x2 barlow and a lot of just moving colour/Times on the programme about God knows what they did but got a image ?.as for sharpcap can't get anything is there a easier interface to get started using win 10 ?

Many thanks

Fieldsy

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30 minutes ago, Fieldsy said:

Well using ezplanerterium i just got some trees into focus but had to use x2 barlow and a lot of just moving colour/Times on the programme about God knows what they did but got a image ?.as for sharpcap can't get anything is there a easier interface to get started using win 10 ?

Many thanks

Fieldsy

If it's in focus with EZPlanetary it'll be in focus with Sharpcap :) It will just be a matter of getting the exposure right. The qhy5l-ii is difficult to use during the day because of its high qe. Either program is easy to use once you get the hang...

Louise

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Just to illustrate how to gauge where one's focal plane is:

FocusCheck.thumb.jpg.f748a48f3a2c5859535395cb27835a25.jpg

Just a piece of paper behind a 60mm finder. Probably would be clearer with some tracing paper but I didn't have any to hand :p Once you find out where the focal plane is you can estimate the size of any extension tube, if needed. If focus can't be found outside of the focus tube then either a camera has to be 'pushed in' so as to put the sensor in the focal plane or, as sometimes happens with a newt, the mirror may have to be moved up or a Barlow used. Using a Barlow can be advantageous for planetary imaging anyway :)

Louise

Edited by Thalestris24
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As well as finding focus point and focus you will need to play with the gain and exposure sliders in the capture software ..

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