Jump to content

740427863_Terminatorchallenge.jpg.2f4cb93182b2ce715fac5aa75b0503c8.jpg

Finally all running but.....help needed


MarkF
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi All,

Its taken me a while but finally running the following, all wiring sorted just got to get it out and start trying to image.

Using

NEQ6

Equinox ED80

Atik 16IC

ST80

QHY5 (ST4)

Atik manual filter wheel

Computer controlled direct to the mount with EQmod

So apart from the trials and tribulations of polar alignment I need to get my head around guiding software and capture software then stacking, PS7 will be used for final processing. I have been taking this all one step at a time and now the logistics of power and cables have been sorted I need to address the actual process of setting up, focusing, working the mount, getting an image on my hard drive and of course guiding.

Questions

Best capture software for Atik 16IC?

Got PHD for guiding?

EQmod for control lots of settings any basic tips?

Which stacking program?

Astro program (Have CdC and Astroplanner)

I am sure lots of this has been asked before but my head is exploding looking around all over the place, my next aim is to achieve focus then grab an image then worry about guiding settings. So much to learn, I have done what is the easy bit for me, getting drivers loaded and communicating with it all via the computer now its hands on time. Not expecting miracles and I am still reading every Photon counts - Again!!

If I can iron out all the wrinkles and get a basic grasp and system in place before the winter nights I will be happy and looking ahead we may have a few clear nights this week for me to cut my teeth as were.

Oh and best way to manage the plethora of cables now hanging off the back of the scopes so they don't snag or put pressure on the sockets.

So far the advice I have read and sought has got me this far, predominantly from this forum - thanks to all those who have helped so far but I fear I am treading well and truly into the unknown now.

Links and advice welcomed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Capture software is easy; Artemis Capture, Atik's own. It is beautiful. Anything else is less.

PHD - I know nothing. Sorry! But it does seem to work when guests use it.

Stacking; I always used AstroArt but sometimes use Deep Sky Stacker now because it can handle field rotation. This is a real luxury since AstroArt, my main preprocessing software, can't - other than manually.

I don't use EQ mod since I actually prefer the handset control. I find computers waste more time than anything else in my setups so I keep them out of any operation that can be done otherwise. This may well be a minority approach!

Olly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Olly, I with the help of my wife, got it all out there last night, the forecast was for clear skies but yep, clouds with the odd patch of clear sky.

I tried artemis, but all I could get was a picture full of static noise, surely even if I wasn't on a star I would get something at 2 seconds looped that would be a dark sky picture. Any recommendations for settings? there wasn't even anything to focus on.

I think I am trying to be too clever too quick, at least I know the cables are long enough and everything gets power. Next clear night I think a visual approach with the hand controller to learn the mount controls is in order.

On the plus side, the aged broken grouting on my patio allows me to get the tripod in the same holes each time ;) for alignment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tried artemis, but all I could get was a picture full of static noise, surely even if I wasn't on a star I would get something at 2 seconds looped that would be a dark sky picture. Any recommendations for settings? there wasn't even anything to focus on.

Unless you had still got the lens cap on (it does happen) then I suggest that the scope was way out of focus. How have you attached the Atik to the ED80? You need an extension tube between the two. For focusing, buy or make a Bahtinov mask - they are indispensable.

Steve

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unless you had still got the lens cap on (it does happen) then I suggest that the scope was way out of focus. How have you attached the Atik to the ED80? You need an extension tube between the two. For focusing, buy or make a Bahtinov mask - they are indispensable.

Steve

Steve,

I have an extension, I know it all works together as I bought it as a complete setup from a member here, I think way out of focus is probably the reason, the lens cap was definitely off ;) it was a first rough and dirty try out so it may even be a software issue, although Artemis recognised the correct camera.

Is there a calculation for working out a rough starting point for focusing or just a case of trial and error? I am sure I can make a mask, will look into that, thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Mark, I think the focal plane of the Atik may be similar to my old QHY6. When I asked I was told that if you focus an EP, cant remember what focal length EP, then the focal plane is about 12mm further in for the camera. Should give you a rough position to get it in.

When I was setting my camera up using the loop feature in PHD I had to get the exposure right down to only a few ms, anything more just over exposed it, but that was whilst there was still a bit of light about.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just out of focus, I'm sure. Ne panic pas!

You can approximate focus by day on anything about 2 km away or more. You need minimal exposure time by day so a red filter is a good idea. Pick a cloudy time if you can. This done, a star should be close enough to focus look like a big round blob and then you'll be off.

My focus routine (from scratch.)

-Take bin 2 images in loop and 1 ssecond and adjust focus till the star looks roughly focused.

-Take an unbinned 3 second sub. Pick a moderate star, mid range, and draw a box round it. Re-activate Loop and zoom in big big BIG time on the star and make tiny turns get the focus better still.

-Open the focus assist window (dark icon on toolbar) and double click on star to get FWHM readout. I ignore brightness, the big numbers confuse my little head. Tiny adjustments will get the FWHM lower and lower. Below two is okay, below one is heaven. Be patient. I always preach a minimum of 10 mins on this operation. Artemis focus assist will not recognize a star till it is pretty good. Be aware of that, hence the routine prior to using it.

Why 3 second bin one focus looping subs? Because in 3 seconds the seeing has a chance to average out and your FWHM numbers won't be jumping around too much.

You'll get there.

Olly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for that procedure Olly, that gives me something to work on, hopefully tonight it will be clear and I can give it another bash, but this time I will leave EQmod out, that can come later.

Of course this is just the tip of the iceberg ;)

Cheers Simon, would help to know the focal length of the eyepiece though :mad:

Edited by MarkF
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try and focus on a bright group of stars, so you get at least one in in the FOV to start with, then just play around 1 sec exposures until you get it!

Glad you got it all sorted, as i said in the PM once you get the focus its a doddle the next time you go out, just a rough position then perfect with the software ;)

Im sure with the extension tube on just pull the focuser out about half way and its not far off.

Clear skies coming up... any troubles just ask!

Edited by shaunster
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Woohoo, thanks for all the advice, took a few hours of fiddling but I finally got focus on both cameras, had to take the QHY5 gain up to 90 before I could see any stars. Then a laugh setting up PHD guiding, just aimed at M92 as its good position for me and I really wanted to just see if focus was alright and how it guided.

First picture is a minute unguided, I thought it was guiding LOL, then got guiding working and at 6 mins the stars are not quite round, so attached single snapshots of my first then a 5 min sub.

I am well chuffed thats for sure, I guess if I work on polar alignment it can only lead to longer subs, the object of tonight was to get a picture captured and guided if poss, not worried about centering and detail too much. For my first effort I was pleased, all with Lum filter on mono ATIK 16ic single subs. Also when all set up captured from my nice warm study ;)

post-19347-1338774764_thumb.jpg

post-19347-133877476405_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice one mate, looking good.

I'll pm you tomorrow with how tonight went for me.......:eek:

Oh dear, okay look forward to hearing from you.

Glad you got it sorted.

Steve

Cheers Steve, you were right a focusing issue :mad: on both scopes.

Good to see an image appear after the effort. The reward is worth it isn't it!

Oh yes, but its all uphill from here on, lots more effort required methinks.

Great stuff mark! :mad:

Cheers Shaun, looking good so far.

Thanks Olly for that procedure, the light bulb went on as I was doing it reading your instructions, got the small number down to 1.54 on a smallish star in the field. Now I have marked the focuser tube on the ST80 and noted the numbers on the ED80 it should speed things up a bit giving me a rough starting point. Does the focus look okay for one sub?

So, in true bloke fashion, I'd better go and read the instructions now ;)

Link to comment
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
 Share

  • 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.