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I need some help from the automation gurus here to understand what I need to do to link observatory control with weather conditions.
Having got my first observatory up and running, I immediately started to think about improvements (sigh!).
I had not been thinking much about automation as I actively enjoy being out under the sky. So while running an astrophotography sequnce, I will often be using my Dob or binoculars to just look around in wonder. However, whilst this is great for the first four or five hours it palls if you go on too long. I had a nearly 8 hour session over the New Year that was satisfying, but exhausting. I know I can't do that too often.
But here in North Wales the weather changes suddenly and forecast or not, I can't trust that I won't get a sudden shower hitting my lovely, sensitive kit. Clearly, at a minimum I need cloud/rain sensors and a way to park up the scope and close the observatory.
My confusion is that I can't get my head round which bit of software/electronics does what when.
Relays can provide the switching signals to open and close the observatory. Rain and cloud sensors can detect changing conditions to trigger action. But how do I link them together?
My current arrangement has a mini-PC on the mount running NINA for control and acquisition and PHD2 for guiding. It works well.
NINA has a Switch facility that I think can send signals to make things happen and detect conditions (also has a weather hub), but these seem to work through ascom. So although USB relay boards are widely and cheaply available, it doesn't look like they have ascom drivers. Do I need to run a set of relays via an RPi or Arduino to make it ascom compatible?
I have read a number of references to client and server architectures so that one computer is monitoring the weather and controlling the obsy mechanics, and another is managing the imaging rig, but I don't understand how they talk to each other. People say INDI is the answer, but I can't visualise the layout and the relationship between the various bits.
I read with interest (and with hope) the thread started by @steppenwolf on unattended observatories, but I could not follow it completely. It seems to be exactly what I was looking for, with the option to restart if the weather improves. But I don't understand how it was done.
Specialised astro-control computers like the Eagle 3 might be the answer, but the price is steep.
Can anyone point me to a resource that shows how these automation systems operate and what kind of kit beyond a mini-pc I might need?
I am not wedded to NINA if Voyager or SGP will do a better job. I have no problem setting up and coding (within reason) a RPi or Arduino, and I am reasonable comfortable with scripting. I just have a mental block about how it all works. Once I have a thought model that works for me I am sure I can sort it out, but right now I am confused.
I bought my first telescope, SW 150pds about 6 months ago with the purpose of astroimaging "when i feel ready". So far ive used my Nikon D810 for that, and I'm now planning on taking the step buying my first AP camera.
My targets would be DSO's, and not planetary. I want a mono-camera, not color.
I want to get away with a very good camera to a reasonable price (wouldn't we all...) and in this regard I've been drooling on the ZWO ASI 1600MM Mono for some time. The price for it is in the upper part of my budget, but I'm willing to if its worth it. I've seen from other treads that sensor-size isn't everything, and dynamic range and gain and all is just as important, but i have trouble understanding it all 100% when it's all new to me, but in my experience i am a practical person who learns things much better and faster with the gear in my hand. So without getting to technical, and staying as objective as possible - please help me with;
1. Is this a good camera to go for?
2. It's sold with options of filters 1.25", 31mm or 36mm - Why these options, and what determines what i would choose?
3. Would you go for another camera in this price range, and why? - Or to rephrase it a bit; If you were in my shoes, which camera would you og for?
I'd appreciate any help:)
I might add, that i understand that with my lack of experience, buying a mono-camera with filters and all might seem premature, but for some strange reason. I enjoy these "way over my head"-projects and figuring out things as time goes - I just need some guiding in the right direction.
I scrapped all the Oiii and Sii data I previously took during a full moon (about 15 hours worth) and retook it all when the moon was a bit smaller at 76%. Ha was taken during 98% and 67% moon. All the lights were taken on the following nights: 12th, 19th and 20th September 2019.
Integration times, all in 600s subs unbinned:
Ha = 28.33 hours
Oiii= = 5.67 hours
Sii = 5.67 hours
The Ha data is really nice, and unsurprisingly the Oiii and Sii is not as strong (or nice).
I'm missing that (vital) step in my processing routine of getting the Sii and Oiii properly stretched to match the Ha, before combining. I dont really know how to deal with the weaker data properly. Any pointers would be appreciated.
What I do currently:
All the data is loaded into APP into separate channels/sessions.
The data is stacked and registered against the best Ha sub
This produces individual stacks of Ha, Sii and Oiii that are all registered
Each channel is processed with DPP in APP and then saved as a 16bit TIFF
Each is opened in PS
Stars removed with AA and any remnants removed and tidied up
I then open a blank RGB document in PS
I paste Ha into Green, Sii into Red and Oiii into Blue
Adjust the selective colour settings to get 'Hubble palette'
Adjust levels, curves, saturation until looks ok
All the Ha Sii Oiii data is then combined together in a single 'super' stack in APP using quality weighted algorithm to create a 'luminance'
That luminance layer is adjusted using levels, curves, and NC tools such as local contrast enhancement and deep space noise reduction (using masks to apply as required)
The luminance is pasted onto the above colour layer, and incrementally added using gaussian blur
Cropped and saved.
Here it is anyway I haven't intended on any more exposure time for this one, but will consider it, if the expert opinion dictates otherwise!
By Gary Shaw
Hi All I’m considering purchasing an 8”aperture, f3.8 newtonian ( primarily for EAA) from Orion UK and would appreciate any input or feedback from anyone familiar with the product, the company or the purchasing process - and how to assess the compatibility with my current cameras.
This is would be a step up from my current equipment and entails selecting components that I’ve never used and know little about such as a rack and pinion focuser and components (ACU-3L), and coma corrector (Wynne Corrector). I’ve added links to these items below. I’m also feeling unsure of how to mate up my Zwo 178 and 294 cameras to the 3” focuser and whether there will be an acceptable match between the scope optics and my sensors.
I’m sure the folks at Orion UK will assist with all this but I’d sure welcome input from the Stargazer's Lounge community before starting the dialog with Orion UK.
thank you in advance for any help you can provide!
ACU-3L Focuser selection Info: https://www.orionopt...sers.html#ACU3L
Wynne Corrector selection Info: https://www.orionopt...torsfittin.html