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jonnyboy

sbig st4

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could anyone tell me if a sbig st4 is a better ccd than a starlight svx as one has come up and was thinking of selling the svx.

cheers

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I think that the ST4 is used these days as an auto guider.

What SXV CCD camera do you have?

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Do your self a favour mate and DON'T swap the SXV for the SBIG.

The SXV is FAR Superior.

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Jonny, are you still taking your lithium?? Why are you thinking of selling the SXV H9??? The ST4 is mainly used as a guide camera and was revolutionary in it's day but it just doesn't compare as a CCD imager. Why are you wanting to dump a camera that you can barely have got to grips with. Or are you a buyer and seller?

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martinb no i am not selling now. i just thought the sbig would be easier to use than the svx. i have bit of more than i can chew i think. not been able to photograph anything yet but i have enjoyed the observing.

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Hmm. I have an Artemis ART285 around here you are welcome to try for a couple of weeks. Same ccd as the SXV but infinitely easier to use. Interested?

Arthur

PS - I may have to finish building it though :)

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Because all you have to do is focus (built in fwhm routine and you can subframe for *fast* download), tell it length of exposure and binning (if needed) then hit capture. Artemis Capture simply does what it says on the tin - ask Rog :)

You can DL the software from the artemisccd.co.uk site to have a peek at the interface.

http://www.artemisccd.co.uk/downloads.htm

or a description is here

http://www.artemisccd.co.uk/software.htm

Arthur

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The SXV software isn't very user friendly but Maxim does everything you mention.

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Too right!! Jon has a version though, don't know if it's the full one with the camera and scope control. Astroart is cheaper, is that similar to the Artemis software?

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Astroart is cheaper, is that similar to the Artemis software?

No. ArtemisCapture captures the data in fitts format. ArtemisRGB debayers colour images. ArtemisDiagnostic is used to update firmware (amonst other things).

The decision was taken that as very few, if any, people use camera manufacturers' capture software for post processing then Artemis software would only include simple histogram/log stretching of previewed data. This allows users to use their own preferred processing application.

Arthur

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Just the job Arthur.

Jon, what have you tried to do so far and what "capture" software have you been using. Do you have a version of Maxim with the camera software. If we know where you are up to we can advise.

The steps are - polar align scope using polar scope, 2 star align your EQ6 and then goto a bright star. Connect camera to laptop and run capture software. Enter your camera details, ask the software to connect to the camera. focus. Adjust exposure. Set a sub frame sequence. Capture. Stack and process.

I you have maxim I can run through it with you. If you only have the SXV software you should consider AstroArt or the more expensive all singing all dancing MaximDL. Or take Arthur up on his offer.

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martin.

i a fine with the scope as that was the first thing i got to grips with my alignment is good (i can keep an object centre for long periods and when i do have to adjust it is very little) well so i think. its the ccd images i have tried to take they are blurred and well rubbish, the moon shots have been ok though but like the deep sky nothing worth keeping. i don't understand about the binned and so on. i cannot get the ccd to work on maxim for some reason so i am using the starlight software. i am not using a filter wheel and am not planning to in the near future as i said before my head is battered with the ccd. i am keeping a look out for a tutorial cd on how to use a ccd.

cheers jon

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Maybe you could post one of your blurry images Jon. It might help diagnose the problem. There are 2 likely problems - poor tracking, poor focus or a combination of the 2. If you try to image with your Meade with no focal reduction you are likely to be getting significant star trails developing after as little as 20 seconds. The ED100 will also be a bit tricky but you should be ok unguided on brighter targets. So stick with the ED100 and brighter targets for the time being.

How far have you got trying to use Maxim? You select the camera control using the little icon or the menu bar. You then have to select your camera - use SXV universal. Under the guider select "no guide camera". You then have to to "connect" under set up. The camera wont work unless you do this. Once you have got the camera connected you should select focus. With the scope aligned on a bright star choose x4 binning (the most sensitive mode) and select a 1 second exposure. Your focus will be miles out. you might not even be able to see anything on the screen. Keep moving the focus one way or the other until stars start to appear. Slow down the movements as you get closer.

Once you have nice tight stars stop focus and change the binning to x1. Run the focus again. The display will be bigger and the stars much dimmer - you might need to increase exposure time. Fine tune the focus. "focus inspect" has some fancy aids to focussing which you can play with if you want. Once happy stop focus head for a nice bright DSO - M27 would be a good choice early evening, M42 much later in the night. fine tune focus again then select exposure. 60 seconds should produce something for you. Double check the focus and framing. Now move onto sequence, under more chose a destination path for the captured subs then sequence wizard to select number of subs, duration of exposure, type of frame (LIGHT) and binning - choose x2 for greater sensitivity x1 for better resolution. X2 probably easiest at this stage. then ok and start sequence.

Once the sequence is finished you can combine and process.

Maxim is very powerful but this does make it seem a bit complicated. The help files are quite good though.

If you can't get your camera to connect all the above will be irrelevant :)

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martin i did not keep anything as like i said they did not seem to be worth keeping i shall save the next ones and post them. its worth a laugh i guess. i have tried to connect the ccd to maxim the way you said but i shall try again tomorrow and let you know. thanks for the help.

oh i no longer have the meade there was a few problems with it and i sold it on, but i did let the person who bought it know about the problems and he seemed happy enough. i was luky to get the money back.

cheers

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