Jump to content

sgl_imaging_challenge_banner_31.thumb.jpg.b7a41d6a0fa4e315f57ea3e240acf140.jpg

I think I'm done - to many frustrations


Recommended Posts

@jm_rim, as a completely left field suggestion, how about just doing some visual with a a simple dob for a while until the children get a bit older? I am purely visual but I have kept my interest going through three children by having simple scopes, often fairly small which are quick to setup and use for short periods, even 15 to 30 mins is enough to get a quick fix. Had I been trying to image, I would have given up long ago.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 57
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

I once read that Astrophotography is 1% fun and 99% frustration and that's not far wrong in my opinion. When everything works, it's great but when it goes against you, it's most annoying.  Hang i

That's it; I'm throwing in the towel..! After countless of attempt - I have not once succeeded in a decent frame... Unfortunately, my evening hasn't been long, the last couple of years. With smal

I finally had a successful night 😁 wuhuu I managed to get short exposures in Shapcap and could polar align to excellent in 5-10min. I “solved” my Backyard Nikon issue - don’t know how, bu

Posted Images

12 hours ago, rnobleeddy said:

get a star adventurer

 

2 hours ago, Spaced Out said:

This isn't bad advice at all. +1

4 hours ago, tooth_dr said:

I think the Skywatcher Star Adventure mount is a good shout.

I will try to look into this - but why should this be ”easier” to set up? Isn't it just because that the very small focal length is so forgiving? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, rnobleeddy said:

get a star adventurer

 

2 hours ago, Spaced Out said:

This isn't bad advice at all. +1

4 hours ago, tooth_dr said:

I think the Skywatcher Star Adventure mount is a good shout.

I will try to look into this - but why should this be ”easier” to set up? Isn't it just because that the very small focal length is so forgiving? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, jm_rim said:

 

I will try to look into this - but why should this be ”easier” to set up? Isn't it just because that the very small focal length is so forgiving? 

I find it simpler because (in my case) there is no laptop/guiding/software involved and no telescope to worry about collimating etc. The wider field of view with lenses can be more forgiving in terms of polar alignment errors too, as long as I point the thing towards polaris I usually get good exposures of 3 minutes or so with 50mm and 80mm focal lengths. 

If you need longer exposures/guiding/goto etc I think you can add these too ? But I just keep mine dead simple with SA + DSLR + wide lenses.

This thread may help.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, jm_rim said:

 

I will try to look into this - but why should this be ”easier” to set up? Isn't it just because that the very small focal length is so forgiving? 

That's correct to a large extent, and you'd achieve similar or better results with your EQ5 and the same DSLR + lens. So perhaps part of the advice was to go wider?!

That said, I'm perfectly happy to setup the star adventurer in the dark, whereas due to weight, I always wanted to setup my EQ5 in daylight. The star adventurer is much easier to handle and has the advantage that it's much more portable, if that would increase your option (or maybe not).

 

PA doesn't have to take all night though. If you are imaging and have a camera already, you can get PA with https://www.sharpcap.co.uk/ in 5 minutes. It's the best £10 I've ever spent on this hobby.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, rnobleeddy said:

you can get PA with

I actually tried PA with Sharpcap using the DSLR for the first time last night. It made it so much easier - although I struggled with having enough visible start, and ended up with having to use 30s exposures which made... But ended with excellent PA and this was using my 150pds + 2x converter... 

When I finally was done and wanted to test what the max sub length could be - BackyardNikon just said ”busy” every time, with nothing happening no matter how long I waited...

Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, jm_rim said:

That's it; I'm throwing in the towel..!

After countless of attempt - I have not once succeeded in a decent frame... Unfortunately, my evening hasn't been long, the last couple of years. With small children that have to get to bed, I have had max 2-3 hours before going to bed myself, which have consisted of setting up all the equipment and cables, trying to polar align (but never really successfully), and lately to many software bugs/errors - all ending in nothing and me having to take everything down again.

Mostly I find out what the problem is and try to avoid/fix it next time, then something new goes wrong, or the same reappears ageing...

I would love to add some equipment to my setup which I believe could enable a more straightforward setup, go to upgrade, guide camera, etc., but there will probably go a couple of years before the budget allows for that.

Hopefully, one day, I will try again, but for now, I done... 

I was almost thinking about giving up too, nothing seemed to work. I was getting terrible pictures, couldn't get my polar alignment right, just as you said. The one thing that really helped was buying a sharpcap license and use its polar alignment tool. its very straightforward and well worth the price.  Looking back i wish i had known it before, it would help to avoid most of the frustration. 

Hope you get back to the hobby, it's very pleasing when it works. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Atreta said:

The one thing that really helped was

This is good to know. But I need to find a way to lower the exposure length, 30s is to long and is making the PA to long when using Sharpcap... I was hoping to go down to 4s (max 8s).

Are you using a dslr or a guide camera?

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, jm_rim said:

This is good to know. But I need to find a way to lower the exposure length, 30s is to long and is making the PA to long when using Sharpcap... I was hoping to go down to 4s (max 8s).

Are you using a dslr or a guide camera?

I don't use sharpcap with my DSLR, but I'm able to plate solve in different software with exposure times of a couple of seconds. Probably worth checking the ISO setting, or presuming you're using the Nikon ASCOM driver, probably worth checking if there's any advice there.

 

1 hour ago, jm_rim said:

I actually tried PA with Sharpcap using the DSLR for the first time last night. It made it so much easier - although I struggled with having enough visible start, and ended up with having to use 30s exposures which made... But ended with excellent PA and this was using my 150pds + 2x converter... 

When I finally was done and wanted to test what the max sub length could be - BackyardNikon just said ”busy” every time, with nothing happening no matter how long I waited...

I found BackYardEOS to work well for Canon's but I believe Nikon's are a little more fussy. That said, you can test out the software at any point and make sure you're good to go on the next clear night.

Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, rnobleeddy said:

Nikon ASCOM driver, probably worth checking if there's any advice there.

Thanks, I will try to look there.

 

53 minutes ago, rnobleeddy said:

Nikon's are a little more fussy

Good to know 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would say scale it right back. A tripod, camera and a wide field lens say 18mm. Short length exposures (plenty of them) and you will at least get something worth while.

Scaling it up a bit try a star adventurer pro. I started out with this (still use it). It can be left set up with your camera and lens mounted in it. Polar alignment takes less than a minute when you get used to it. So you can be out and set up in no time at all. Get plenty of data then process when you get chance ( which I appreciate might be some time later).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you saving images to laptop or the camera, also if a laptop are they usb 2 or usb 3 ports? Id try saving the images to the camera sd card as this will be much quicker than the images having to be downloaded to laptop causing a "busy" notification,,, maybe worth a try

Link to post
Share on other sites

I had similar frustrations. My main issue was failing to get good polar alignment, it took me ages. I invested in a polemaster to use with my Heq5 pro mount and what a difference. I can set up PA accurately within 10 mins. It has changed my outlook on the hobby. It’s expensive but it’s been a brilliant investment for me.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 07/11/2020 at 10:14, jm_rim said:

 

No time for own hobbies is not a luxury you have with small children 😂

I have always hoped or attempted to find a ”simple” solution that I could set up relatively quickly and just let run through the night... And when the children get older, then trying to make it everything more advanced...

I have far less experience than you, but have you thought about taking out all the complexity you are having issues with. PA tracking etc etc. I don’t have the equipment to do any off that stuff, so I’m forced to take 1s exposures ( no tracking) through 300 stock zoom lens , so no PA required. If I stack 4-500 ( intervalometer essential ) images in DSS I get results im pretty pleased with of Pleiades / andromeda etc. It seems almost fool proof. And without any PA set up or cables or power required I can be imaging within 5 minutes of seeing a clear patch of sky . Hope you find a way out of the mire 

Edited by Coriorda
Link to post
Share on other sites

I can relate to your frustrations, I remember when I had a failed session after failed session and wanted to throw in the towel... but what I done was step back and took some time away... 

But this challenge was always on my mind and I kept returning to the subject by reading as much info as I could and coming up with a plan of attack... I was unable to give in... I hate being beaten...

I setup my gear after a few month away and this time there were times when I left it setup in my backyard for many days at a time, just throwing a tarp over it when I was at work having it assembled and ready to continue solving my problems during the next night. This took the setup time out of the equation (which is a lot of time out of a whole session), and in time I had small successes... and kept improving on them.

Today I have more successful imaging sessions than failures... touch wood... and I did build a permanently setup hut for my gear since than.

I too have small children and understand the time restriction placed on us while they're small, but the secret is to avoid setting up every time you want to image, you're wasting time and potentially running around in circles not solving anything except repeating the same thing over and over again.

Didn't Einstein say that a definition of insanity is repeatedly doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome? So I say that your frustration is due to this hobby having the capability to consume and drive us insane...

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 06/11/2020 at 21:41, jm_rim said:

That's it; I'm throwing in the towel..!

After countless of attempt - I have not once succeeded in a decent frame... Unfortunately, my evening hasn't been long, the last couple of years. With small children that have to get to bed, I have had max 2-3 hours before going to bed myself, which have consisted of setting up all the equipment and cables, trying to polar align (but never really successfully), and lately to many software bugs/errors - all ending in nothing and me having to take everything down again.

Mostly I find out what the problem is and try to avoid/fix it next time, then something new goes wrong, or the same reappears ageing...

I would love to add some equipment to my setup which I believe could enable a more straightforward setup, go to upgrade, guide camera, etc., but there will probably go a couple of years before the budget allows for that.

Hopefully, one day, I will try again, but for now, I done... 

I know we are in lockdown and the following might not be possible right now, forums can come up with suggestions etc... but sometimes it is just better to get some direct help from someone local who is having more luck than you are. Check out a local astronomy group, everyone is really happy to take a look at someone else's equipment and share experiences, even to those who have not been having much luck, we have all been there, and some have come out the other side, with lots of knowledge and tips.

Even if the weather is not good, doing a dry set up in the company of others might point out issues that you don't even realise are causing you problems.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been in this situation recently. My equipment became just too heavy for me to lift; it wasn't getting used and I was getting disillusioned. 

What I've had to do is downsize everything and adjust my targets accordingly. It means I'll be able to get outside at any opportunity and do some astro instead of looking out of the window and saying nah, can't be bothered.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Neilsermk1 said:

I had similar frustrations. My main issue was failing to get good polar alignment, it took me ages. I invested in a polemaster to use with my Heq5 pro mount and what a difference. I can set up PA accurately within 10 mins. It has changed my outlook on the hobby. It’s expensive but it’s been a brilliant investment for me.

Couldn’t agree more! Trying to get decent PA was driving me to despair, that’s when I came on here and asked for solutions, the PoleMaster was highly recommended. It’s the best piece of gear I have bought and now it’s just a routine part of my set up, taking as you say only a few minutes. One less annoyance to have to bother with.

The advantage is that I can now do at least 150 second subs with my Cannon whereas  previously the best I could manage was around 90 seconds and of course that makes one hell of a difference in the amount of detail captured.

Stick with it, maybe take a break if you need but don’t give up, astronomy has been  my fascination  for the last 60 years.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 06/11/2020 at 22:41, jm_rim said:

That's it; I'm throwing in the towel..!

After countless of attempt - I have not once succeeded in a decent frame... Unfortunately, my evening hasn't been long, the last couple of years. With small children that have to get to bed, I have had max 2-3 hours before going to bed myself, which have consisted of setting up all the equipment and cables, trying to polar align (but never really successfully), and lately to many software bugs/errors - all ending in nothing and me having to take everything down again.

Mostly I find out what the problem is and try to avoid/fix it next time, then something new goes wrong, or the same reappears ageing...

I would love to add some equipment to my setup which I believe could enable a more straightforward setup, go to upgrade, guide camera, etc., but there will probably go a couple of years before the budget allows for that.

Hopefully, one day, I will try again, but for now, I done... 

Hello jm_rim,

I know exactly how you feel, but letting aside the fact that you have to combine this hobby with small children, I'd say, don't give up. I started somewhere in march with this hobby after having neglected my Celestron C8 for more than a decade in the garden shed (also due to a combination of work, kids, some extreme sports interests ...). I started buying a  new mount for the C8 and finding out on different fora that my C8 was not the most suited telescope for DSO astrophotography with a DSLR (Canon 500D, which is also known to be quite "noisy"). I think that I've needed at least 5 consecutive sessions to understand what backfocus is all about and that with a Canon 500D there are not that many stars one can see using the liveview functionality. In the meantime I (literally) dropped my C8 , rendering it useless. Though I'm also on a budget, I did not want to give up at that point, knowing that I made already a little bit of progress, so I bought an Orion 8. Which brought new frustrations, collimation, rather cumbersome to move out and back in. So now I leave every thing outside under a decent car cover (which costed me 82€ , where as a telegizmo would have cost 4 times more). I know it will wear out quicker then when I keep it inside, but I'm sure I'll use it more. Does this mean there are no more frustrations, not at all: there's the fact that in the last 8 weeks, there was only 1 opportunity, for the rest bad weather all of the time, and on that one opportunity, ekos (I'm using astroberry) crashed all of the time and  I only realised after 10 lights that I had left on the bahtinov mask. But you know what, though it's a constant battle, if I found myself doing yet an other stupid thing, I laugh with it, after all it's just a hobby and I'm just

AstroRookie

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I regret having stopped the astronomy whilst the young ones were needy. It is even easier now to do astrophotography than 12 years ago when I got back into it. My problem was that I jumped in because I was making good money and quickly got in over my head with the complexity of things. I finally joined an astronomy club and at the first meeting when people were making nice and trying to make the newcomers feel at home, I mentioned my frustrations in trying to get things working...anything, working, lol. I had no less than 10 solid offers from very nice, knowledgeable people to either come over or go to their place with my equipment. At a good club there will be Dobs observers, refractor observers,  reflector, SCT people and astrophotographer's from all of the above.

The forums are full of good people but it can never even approach the knowledge learned from even one evening with another knowledgeable person under the sky. I have also made some lifelong friendships in my club and have since done the same with frustrated people I meet at the club meetings. I have a regular schedule and most people know my hours-I get Skype calls and Zoom meetings while I am supervising my 'scopes! DO NOT give up until you have tapped the best resource we as amateur astronomers have-club members. Even if there are no clubs nearby you will find that there are astronomers in your area that joined the club but live away also. My club has had both live and online visual meetings for several years. Now with the virus it is all online of course but we still offer to go help if someone needs it.

The equipment you have will serve you well-and it is likely you will find people who have either used your combination or something close to it. Polar alignment is a closet monster, but has all but been eliminated with plate solving for a lot of people-look into that with someone who uses it and they can suss out the problems you are having. Not everything costs money as there are a number of programs that do not cost anything and your new friends can steer you in that direction while showing you how to use it. I hope you do well and make use of a club if there is one. It is a great source for new friends and learning from others who have walked in your shoes.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 07/11/2020 at 15:18, jm_rim said:

I actually tried PA with Sharpcap using the DSLR for the first time last night. It made it so much easier - although I struggled with having enough visible start, and ended up with having to use 30s exposures which made... But ended with excellent PA and this was using my 150pds + 2x converter... 

When I finally was done and wanted to test what the max sub length could be - BackyardNikon just said ”busy” every time, with nothing happening no matter how long I waited...

I used Sharpcap to polar align for the first time Friday 13th Nov, and got

176342796_sharpcapimprovement.thumb.jpg.58dc1dac2182ba68f1bf0cc146f6dbe9.jpg

This managed to give me a 60's exposure 1600iso on a Skywatcher 200P and a Canon 6D star field at prime focus, around PU Aur

415452668_PUAur_LIGHT_60s_1600iso_21c_20201113-19h09m37s162ms-1.thumb.jpg.b11d6b76ee7d1b92e509ed98f952bf43.jpg

 Regarding software, check cable try another if you have one, try uninstalling and reinstall, I had an issue with backyardeos, that cured the problem.

 

Edited by Nicola Hannah Butterfield
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 06/11/2020 at 22:41, jm_rim said:

With small children that have to get to bed, I have had max 2-3 hours before going to bed myself

That together with just a few clear nights per month (depending on where in Norway you live) makes this hobby extremely challenging.  

Instead of trying to do anything in a 2-3 hr. timeframe, which is deemed to be just frustrating, make an arrangement with whoever calls the shots around the house (not me where I live!!) where  you get once in a while to spend the entire night on your hobby and sleep in a few hours the next day.

Also sort out any issues you can during daylight. Camera not connecting etc.

Edited by Viktiste
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.