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After some trial and error I'm getting some very good guiding results with PHD2 now. 60mm guidescope and ASI290MM mini camera. The M42 image taken late March was 12 x 15 second exposures taken manually with my dslr / C8 and a stopwatch. Stacked in DSS and played with a bit in GIMP. On the night I couldn't get APT to register the camera - turned out to be the mini USB cable (although later trials point to the socket in the camera being a bit loose too).
Bought an iOPTRON iPOLAR that arrived on Friday and had a play with that which has resulted in near perfect polar alignment. 2 star alignment and an additional 2 calibration stars on my Advanced GT mount means I'm getting very accurate GOTOs now and PHD2 (through the ST4 port on the ASI camera) seems to be guiding very well. Last night after more cable faffing I managed to get everything working together to the point where I felt confident enough to leave it running by itself for an hour and a half (45 minutes of 180 second exposures plus 3 minutes each exposure to save the file - I've since found out I shouldn't have noise reduction switched on in the camera - DOH!) so M51 is 15 x 180 second @ ISO 800 lights and 5 x 180 second darks. A little manipulation in GIMP and I think it's come out very well. Obviously still have a lot to learn and I'm going to have to start taking much longer exposures but I'm quite pleased with these 2 pictures.
Still sorting the (new to me), Atik 16200 imaging train as I try to shift from my trusty SBIG 8300, Mac to PC for mount control/capture and from a separate guide scope to the Atik OAG....
The camera needs to go back to Atik (awaiting the email from Vince) as there is dust inside the chamber, so this is a good time to get everything checked - ready for the autumn season.
After some imaging/testing time at the rear of Leo in the last week, I noticed on my flat frames a strange half moon light - by the dust mote (that was over-correcting the lights).
Eventually I worked out it was the screws surrounding the sensor cover window (or the 3x rounded cap screws that attach the EFW3), bouncing the light onto the back of the filter (Baader L in this example) and I suppose onto the cover window and onto the sensor. To test the theory, I opened the imaging train up and added a Sharpie pen to them. Couldn't get into the cross-heads with the pen, but with re-testing, the reflection had gone! Perhaps it would never be an issue with the actual light frames, but you never know with a bright star in the frame of a future target...?
So today, after shifting slightly outwards the OAG stalk, I addressed the stainless steel screws 'properly', by (again), taking everything apart and lightly painting a cover of matt black acrylic paint over them and into the x-heads (a bit of overspill), nothing too heavy-handed as I didn't want to glue the things in with paint! The finished effect is duller than the pic here and the reflection has gone after another round of testing.
Always something to catch us out, hey!? Why Atik can't use black screws is another matter.....
Perhaps this may help others out at some stage....
when applying the flats taken in my last session (to find out what is causing the strange diffraction spikes) with Siril, the final stacked result still shows the vignetting and the dust spots. I also did the whole preprocessing with Nebulosity, same result.
I took the flats as follows:
same iso as my subs camera and focus not touched I use a homemade flatbox combined with the a white t-shirt with Ekos took test shots till the histogram was half-way to the left checked all my flats, they all show vignetting and the same dust spots as in my subs I tried using them with and without using a bias frame, same result, the final result looks as if no flats were used.
Anybody any idea what is going on? An other question I have, will the vignetting and dust spots also show in the master flat (flats stacked)?
Thanks for your help,
I have a huge problem with DSS.
About a week ago, I took 300, 2 second long exposures of Andromeda with my skywatcher 90/900.
But when DSS started scanning the stars in the images, it only registered about 5 stars at 40%. And only 7 stars at 20%. I tried to stack them and selected stack 100% of frames, but it only stacked around 29.
I even tried it at 4% where it registered around 40 stars, but DSS crashed mid process due to the immense amount of stars being scanned (60 000 per image at least).
I tried it sooooo many times, but I don't get it to work. It somehow stacked 131 images I took of the lagune nebula (1 second lang exposure). You couldn't see the actual nebula, but some bright stars were there and DSS was able to stack.
In the Andromeda pics, there were like 5 times more stars, but it didn't work.
If anyone knows what's wrong, pls help me!!! I'm slowly loosing it on that nonsense.
I'm trying to stack 240 light frames of Milky Way taken from quite a light polluted area.
I tried to stack them in DSS. The Milky Way seems to have been stacked okay, but the surrounding stars look like they've been deliberately dimmed or brushed over.
I thought there was something wrong with my frames but when I used the same frames in Sequator, it's working fine.
I've attached both the images below, and I have exaggerated them a lot on Lightroom just to see how much details I could pull out. Sequator one seems to have too many weird light bands(?) but I think I can fix them using an adjustment brush. But look at how many stars Sequator is able to show compared to DSS.
DSS image: The settings I've tried on DSS and yet nothing changed:
1) Tried in Standard, Mosaic both
2) Tried both Sigma Clipping, and Auto Adaptive Average(These two were recommended by DSS)
3) Hot pixel detection and removal (tried it with enabled and disabled)
4) Nothing enabled in the cosmetics tab
5) Tried with and without Flat frames
6) Star Detection Threshold: Tried from a range of 50 stars to 300 stars. Even manually checked to see if DSS was picking any noise as star(it wasn't).
If I try with less than 30 light frames, DSS does an okayish job and the stars in the rest of the image still look like stars, but then the Milky Way has no details to pull out, unless I stack a lot more shots.
Can anyone please tell me what am I doing wrong in the case of DSS that it's doing such a poor job for the surrounding stars? If you guys need me to upload some Raw light frames I will do so as well. Any advice and suggestions are welcome. Thank you
Camera: Nikon D3100, with 18-55mm kit lens
Exposure Settings: F/3.5, ISO 3200, 15s x 240 frames, 18mm focal length, no tracker
50 Darks, 50 Bias and 50 Flat frames.
DSS version: 4.2.3