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ATIK 460EX - Beginners questions


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5 minutes ago, ollypenrice said:

My Mesus are pre-Sitech, using the non-ASCOM Stellarcat-Argonavis combination so I don't suppose they will work as yours do. Not the end of the world. I love the simplicity of the old system.

Olly

Sorry to hear that Olly. 

Iv'e been using SGPro for a few years. I'm moving from SGPro V2 having purchased it just before they moved to V3. ( I was not too pleased ) And I waited for SGP to introduce dual rig dithering, which I was informed will be in V4. Then I get a email saying SGPro is going down the never, never a owner, route of annual charge/rent. (From: $149.00 now then $59.00 / year) So, I am checking out the FREE TO USE N.I.N.A. as it does have dual rig support.  

The only night I have had chance to test it, the Plate Solving, using ASTAP was lightening fast ( were are talking seconds ) compared to SGPros, Planewaves PlateSolve 2's sometimes minutes, when imaging at 2800mm FL.

Centering on a object was quick. So far, I am impressed. 

I have checked for Stellarcat-Argonavis and N.i.N.A. but so far, sadly, found nothing so far.

 

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This is important regardless of other factors - if you can, dither, no question about it. If you don't plan on using dark frame optimization or calibrating with different length of darks than d

Vlaiv tells you how to do it by the book, which is fine. However, this is how I actually do it: - I don't dither because mine is a dual rig and I take different exposure lengths on each scope. If

I had an ASI1600 and sold it to go back to a DSLR. I grew a bit tired of half finished LRGB projects. The modded 6D I have is great and you can get a decent image in 1 night as long as you can get a f

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2 hours ago, Star101 said:

Sorry to hear that Olly. 

Iv'e been using SGPro for a few years. I'm moving from SGPro V2 having purchased it just before they moved to V3. ( I was not too pleased ) And I waited for SGP to introduce dual rig dithering, which I was informed will be in V4. Then I get a email saying SGPro is going down the never, never a owner, route of annual charge/rent. (From: $149.00 now then $59.00 / year) So, I am checking out the FREE TO USE N.I.N.A. as it does have dual rig support.  

The only night I have had chance to test it, the Plate Solving, using ASTAP was lightening fast ( were are talking seconds ) compared to SGPros, Planewaves PlateSolve 2's sometimes minutes, when imaging at 2800mm FL.

Centering on a object was quick. So far, I am impressed. 

I have checked for Stellarcat-Argonavis and N.i.N.A. but so far, sadly, found nothing so far.

 

That's very kind of you but I don't find 'not dithering' to be an issue, really.  I've no time for 'rental only' software, either.

Olly

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10 hours ago, ollypenrice said:

Vlaiv tells you how to do it by the book, which is fine. However, this is how I actually do it:

- I don't dither because mine is a dual rig and I take different exposure lengths on each scope. If I could easily dither I would but, quite honestly, it doesn't matter. Slight polar misalignment, reframing after the flip, reframing on different nights, etc, builds in natural dither anyway.

- I do shoot bias at 0.0001  0.001 second and I do use them as darks for for flats. If there is a difference, on this camera, between dedicated flat darks and a master bias it will be imperceptible and the tedium of shooting dedicated flat darks is absolutely not worth it. The same applies to my much noisier Atik 11000 as well. I don't know anybody who uses dedicated flat darks with CCD. There is no point since bias does the job, but it is necessary with CMOS.  And, yes, you do need flats. Even with my TEC 140, which has a flat, well illuminated field the size of Hampshire, I need them even when there are no bunnies - though there always are.

- I've tried using a bias as a dark instead of full length darks with this camera and it works fine if you're at -10C or less but, if you're running warmer than that, it is worth using darks. This is just what I've found with my own 460. Interestingly, and contrary to what one might expect, I find a bias-as-dark and bad pixel map works better than darks on my Atik 11000. This is where experiment leads me to disagree with Vlaiv. When I stopped using darks on the 11000 and used bias and BPM I got significantly cleaner stacks and with a lot less trouble. Plenty of other imagers have stopped using full length darks as well, finding they get better real world results with bias and bad pixel map. Theory and practice do not always agree.

- Atik software is free to download from their website. I'm using the older Artemis Capture, which I love, and am rather dreading having to learn my way around the new software. I had some advice from Ian King many years ago: If you're having trouble with a product, run it in its own software.  That's the argument in favour. However, the old Artemis won't communicate with PHD so, to dither, you'd need a capture software which did. That's the argument against. (I don't know where the new Atik software stands on this. Anybody?)

- Finally a 460 quirk (on my example, at least.)  I get clean stacks with good signal. However, when I begin stretching process I find that the background sky values remain very low. If I use a conventional log stretch in Ps Curves I'll find the brighter signal is reaching the upper limit before the background sky has come up to the kind of value I like (which is around 23 in Photoshop.) In the end I usually have to settle for a darker background than I'd really like. I can't explain this and it might not happen at a site with LP. My skies are very dark. 

Essentially it's an easy camera to use and does the business. Have fun!

482836587_M101HSTcolour30Hr.thumb.jpg.715e74a37ba708d80f35d71cb6c8971d.jpg

 

Olly

PS Anyone interested in a 460 should know that SGL member Gorann has an unused one for sale.

 

Thanks for advertizing my ATIK460 Olly! After reading this thread I have started thinking about keeping it, but I have too many cameras and someone else could make more use of it. So if anyone is interested in an unused ATIK460 at nearly half price please tell me😉

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10 hours ago, ollypenrice said:

Vlaiv tells you how to do it by the book, which is fine. However, this is how I actually do it:

- I don't dither because mine is a dual rig and I take different exposure lengths on each scope. If I could easily dither I would but, quite honestly, it doesn't matter. Slight polar misalignment, reframing after the flip, reframing on different nights, etc, builds in natural dither anyway.

- I do shoot bias at 0.0001  0.001 second and I do use them as darks for for flats. If there is a difference, on this camera, between dedicated flat darks and a master bias it will be imperceptible and the tedium of shooting dedicated flat darks is absolutely not worth it. The same applies to my much noisier Atik 11000 as well. I don't know anybody who uses dedicated flat darks with CCD. There is no point since bias does the job, but it is necessary with CMOS.  And, yes, you do need flats. Even with my TEC 140, which has a flat, well illuminated field the size of Hampshire, I need them even when there are no bunnies - though there always are.

- I've tried using a bias as a dark instead of full length darks with this camera and it works fine if you're at -10C or less but, if you're running warmer than that, it is worth using darks. This is just what I've found with my own 460. Interestingly, and contrary to what one might expect, I find a bias-as-dark and bad pixel map works better than darks on my Atik 11000. This is where experiment leads me to disagree with Vlaiv. When I stopped using darks on the 11000 and used bias and BPM I got significantly cleaner stacks and with a lot less trouble. Plenty of other imagers have stopped using full length darks as well, finding they get better real world results with bias and bad pixel map. Theory and practice do not always agree.

- Atik software is free to download from their website. I'm using the older Artemis Capture, which I love, and am rather dreading having to learn my way around the new software. I had some advice from Ian King many years ago: If you're having trouble with a product, run it in its own software.  That's the argument in favour. However, the old Artemis won't communicate with PHD so, to dither, you'd need a capture software which did. That's the argument against. (I don't know where the new Atik software stands on this. Anybody?)

- Finally a 460 quirk (on my example, at least.)  I get clean stacks with good signal. However, when I begin stretching process I find that the background sky values remain very low. If I use a conventional log stretch in Ps Curves I'll find the brighter signal is reaching the upper limit before the background sky has come up to the kind of value I like (which is around 23 in Photoshop.) In the end I usually have to settle for a darker background than I'd really like. I can't explain this and it might not happen at a site with LP. My skies are very dark. 

Essentially it's an easy camera to use and does the business. Have fun!

482836587_M101HSTcolour30Hr.thumb.jpg.715e74a37ba708d80f35d71cb6c8971d.jpg

 

Olly

PS Anyone interested in a 460 should know that SGL member Gorann has an unused one for sale.

 

Thanks for advertizing my ATIK460 Olly! After reading this thread I have started thinking about keeping it, but I have too many cameras and someone else could make more use of it. So if anyone is interested in an unused ATIK460 at nearly half price please tell me😉

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10 hours ago, ollypenrice said:

Vlaiv tells you how to do it by the book, which is fine. However, this is how I actually do it:

- I don't dither because mine is a dual rig and I take different exposure lengths on each scope. If I could easily dither I would but, quite honestly, it doesn't matter. Slight polar misalignment, reframing after the flip, reframing on different nights, etc, builds in natural dither anyway.

- I do shoot bias at 0.0001  0.001 second and I do use them as darks for for flats. If there is a difference, on this camera, between dedicated flat darks and a master bias it will be imperceptible and the tedium of shooting dedicated flat darks is absolutely not worth it. The same applies to my much noisier Atik 11000 as well. I don't know anybody who uses dedicated flat darks with CCD. There is no point since bias does the job, but it is necessary with CMOS.  And, yes, you do need flats. Even with my TEC 140, which has a flat, well illuminated field the size of Hampshire, I need them even when there are no bunnies - though there always are.

- I've tried using a bias as a dark instead of full length darks with this camera and it works fine if you're at -10C or less but, if you're running warmer than that, it is worth using darks. This is just what I've found with my own 460. Interestingly, and contrary to what one might expect, I find a bias-as-dark and bad pixel map works better than darks on my Atik 11000. This is where experiment leads me to disagree with Vlaiv. When I stopped using darks on the 11000 and used bias and BPM I got significantly cleaner stacks and with a lot less trouble. Plenty of other imagers have stopped using full length darks as well, finding they get better real world results with bias and bad pixel map. Theory and practice do not always agree.

- Atik software is free to download from their website. I'm using the older Artemis Capture, which I love, and am rather dreading having to learn my way around the new software. I had some advice from Ian King many years ago: If you're having trouble with a product, run it in its own software.  That's the argument in favour. However, the old Artemis won't communicate with PHD so, to dither, you'd need a capture software which did. That's the argument against. (I don't know where the new Atik software stands on this. Anybody?)

- Finally a 460 quirk (on my example, at least.)  I get clean stacks with good signal. However, when I begin stretching process I find that the background sky values remain very low. If I use a conventional log stretch in Ps Curves I'll find the brighter signal is reaching the upper limit before the background sky has come up to the kind of value I like (which is around 23 in Photoshop.) In the end I usually have to settle for a darker background than I'd really like. I can't explain this and it might not happen at a site with LP. My skies are very dark. 

Essentially it's an easy camera to use and does the business. Have fun!

482836587_M101HSTcolour30Hr.thumb.jpg.715e74a37ba708d80f35d71cb6c8971d.jpg

 

Olly

PS Anyone interested in a 460 should know that SGL member Gorann has an unused one for sale.

 

Thanks for advertizing my ATIK460 Olly! After reading this thread I have started thinking about keeping it, but I have too many cameras and someone else could make more use of it. So if anyone is interested in an unused ATIK460 at nearly half price please tell me😉

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11 hours ago, ollypenrice said:

Vlaiv tells you how to do it by the book, which is fine. However, this is how I actually do it:

- I don't dither because mine is a dual rig and I take different exposure lengths on each scope. If I could easily dither I would but, quite honestly, it doesn't matter. Slight polar misalignment, reframing after the flip, reframing on different nights, etc, builds in natural dither anyway.

- I do shoot bias at 0.0001  0.001 second and I do use them as darks for for flats. If there is a difference, on this camera, between dedicated flat darks and a master bias it will be imperceptible and the tedium of shooting dedicated flat darks is absolutely not worth it. The same applies to my much noisier Atik 11000 as well. I don't know anybody who uses dedicated flat darks with CCD. There is no point since bias does the job, but it is necessary with CMOS.  And, yes, you do need flats. Even with my TEC 140, which has a flat, well illuminated field the size of Hampshire, I need them even when there are no bunnies - though there always are.

- I've tried using a bias as a dark instead of full length darks with this camera and it works fine if you're at -10C or less but, if you're running warmer than that, it is worth using darks. This is just what I've found with my own 460. Interestingly, and contrary to what one might expect, I find a bias-as-dark and bad pixel map works better than darks on my Atik 11000. This is where experiment leads me to disagree with Vlaiv. When I stopped using darks on the 11000 and used bias and BPM I got significantly cleaner stacks and with a lot less trouble. Plenty of other imagers have stopped using full length darks as well, finding they get better real world results with bias and bad pixel map. Theory and practice do not always agree.

- Atik software is free to download from their website. I'm using the older Artemis Capture, which I love, and am rather dreading having to learn my way around the new software. I had some advice from Ian King many years ago: If you're having trouble with a product, run it in its own software.  That's the argument in favour. However, the old Artemis won't communicate with PHD so, to dither, you'd need a capture software which did. That's the argument against. (I don't know where the new Atik software stands on this. Anybody?)

- Finally a 460 quirk (on my example, at least.)  I get clean stacks with good signal. However, when I begin stretching process I find that the background sky values remain very low. If I use a conventional log stretch in Ps Curves I'll find the brighter signal is reaching the upper limit before the background sky has come up to the kind of value I like (which is around 23 in Photoshop.) In the end I usually have to settle for a darker background than I'd really like. I can't explain this and it might not happen at a site with LP. My skies are very dark. 

Essentially it's an easy camera to use and does the business. Have fun!

482836587_M101HSTcolour30Hr.thumb.jpg.715e74a37ba708d80f35d71cb6c8971d.jpg

 

Olly

PS Anyone interested in a 460 should know that SGL member Gorann has an unused one for sale.

 

Thanks for advertizing my ATIK460 Olly! After reading this thread I have started thinking about keeping it, but I have too many cameras and someone else could make more use of it. So if anyone is interested in an unused ATIK460 at nearly half price please tell me😉

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Just now, gorann said:

Sorry for the multiple replies but my computer hang up - very embarrasing!!!

not to worry, I'm sure friendly moderator will be along quickly to sort the issue :D

 

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On 04/10/2020 at 19:51, gorann said:

Thanks for advertizing my ATIK460 Olly! After reading this thread I have started thinking about keeping it, but I have too many cameras and someone else could make more use of it. So if anyone is interested in an unused ATIK460 at nearly half price please tell me

Hmmm...I'm interested, but may have to wait until the New Year - can we talk then?

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29 minutes ago, Jonk said:

Hmmm...I'm interested, but may have to wait until the New Year - can we talk then?

There is one more person interested but he also said that he needed to wait a bit......

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You can dither using PHD and Artemis by using a script set in Artemis.

I am with Olly here, I use Artemis which I love and multiple nights, and meridian flips give an auto dither, so haven't use dithering since I imaged with a DSLR and I think that is some 8 years ago now. 

However I was given the script for dithering in Artemis once upon a time, but didn't have a clue how to use it, I have long since lost it.  Is there an idiots guide anywhere?

Carole  

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Download Bruce W’s PHD_Dither 1b from the PHD2 website and unzip the files into a folder such as “phd dither” There are a couple of apps that allow you to set things up, the dither script and a pdf file that explains it all.

The trick to get it to work with Artemis is to fire up the sequencer and on the right you will see a “system command” column. In here you write the command to initiate the dither script, so it would be something like C:\phd dither\Dither_script.vbs. You can add a delay between subs in the sequencer (bottom left) to allow things to settle down after the dither before starting the next capture.

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21 minutes ago, Freddie said:

Download Bruce W’s PHD_Dither 1b from the PHD2 website and unzip the files into a folder such as “phd dither” There are a couple of apps that allow you to set things up, the dither script and a pdf file that explains it all.

The trick to get it to work with Artemis is to fire up the sequencer and on the right you will see a “system command” column. In here you write the command to initiate the dither script, so it would be something like C:\phd dither\Dither_script.vbs. You can add a delay between subs in the sequencer (bottom left) to allow things to settle down after the dither before starting the next capture.

Do you mean https://openphdguiding.org/news/

image.png.dfce86aae8dd80807b8ff24279435328.png

 

 

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Sorry for being late to the party... I use a 460ex and absolutely adore this camera..personally I don't use darks, I have a bias library but as yet to use them and the same for flats, but I do a fairy heavy dither every exposure as with my old Atik 16hr I found that adding darks added noise  .. I tend to shoot ha( luv the contrast)  I mainly use APT but Artemis is very good.. the 460 is a superb camera.. enjoy as I'm sure you will

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On 03/10/2020 at 14:22, david_taurus83 said:

Dithering. Is it needed or do I just do a darks library? Dithering eats into a lot imaging time, especially if using CMOS and hundreds of short subs. Whereas I can do a darks library during the day. I get i will be taking longer subs with this and not a deal breaker if I should still dither but if its not needed its less hassle with PHD trying to recentre each time.

Bias frames. Do I include these in my post processing again? Do I just set the exposre to 0 or do I need to be specific ie. 0.001 or whatever the lowest setting is?

Darks. I have seen some people mention you dont need darks at all. Is it worth the time creating a library anyway?

Flats. I assume I'm still looking for an ADU value of 21k or there abouts, a third to a half the histogram? These are calibrated with just a master bias?

Software for capturing calibration frames. Atik has its own capture software. Is this software free to download or is it licensed based and offered when bought from new? Is there any benefit to using Atiks software compared to say, APT, NINA, Sharpcap etc

Cooling. What is a nice happy medium for this camera here in the UK? It has a conservative cooling delta though I got it down to -5°C indoors last night at 80% power. -10/-15 most of the year round when imaging in anger?

This is my first CCD camera so beginners learning curve again for me. 🙂

I do both darks and dithering but some of the more modern CMOS sensors will likely get away without darks . As exposures get shorter and you take more of then you need to dither less often. I normally dither once every 5mins with that being a single narrowband frame or 5-10 lrgb exposures. On the 460ex my friend uses darks but has not dithered and gets good results although recently I think he started dithering. 

Edited by Adam J
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