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help, problems with ATIK 314L


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Hi,

I don't seem to be able to catch any decent picture whatsoever with my Atik 314 L CCd camera. I'm a complete newcomer to imaging so i guess this is no surprise. But so far, I have found no answers to my problems on the internet . The problem is I always get either a black screen or a white screen when imaging. Usually, there are vertical lines in white or black which hang from the top of the image. I have tried imaging in daylight and at night. I have tried imaging with and without telescope. Same result. I'm using a 12 inch newtonian as a platform with a focal lenth of 1500mm F/4.9. What am i doing wrong? Is it linked to the expose/capture/ color balance settings? Do I need extensions to my telescope or focal reducers? The manual of the camera doesn't clear up things at all.

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What software are you using?

If it's art capture have you set the auto option for the histogram/white balance

Is the camera in focus? (point your scope at polaris and just run 5s exposures)

Sorry Nick, you posted as I was typing!

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The problem is I always get either a black screen or a white screen when imaging. Usually, there are vertical lines in white or black which hang from the top of the image

Hard to tell without images, but this sounds a bit like it might be saturation -- too much light on the detector. Try putting it somewhere dark, and take short exposures without opening the shutter.

As the others say, we need a bit more background info on the software too :)

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Use Artemis Capture if you are not already doing so. Leave the default settings. Take the camera out of the scope. Put the screw on black cover on the camera if you have it to give it a total black out. If not put a black 1.25 cap on a nosepiece but the black out must be absolutely total with, eg, no light getting in at the filterwheel. Take a 5 second exposure. What you should see is a grainy but fairly even picure, NOT a jet black screen and not a striped one either. Using the log stretch tool in Atremis Capture you can make this appear a lighter and lighter speckled grey if all is well.

(When the camera has been saturated it can sometimes refuse to come back to life till given a total black out exposure. I have had this a few times, especially when shooting flats.)

If all is not well you might get black, white or striped effects. This is very likely to be a defective USB lead. Try another one. Also try another power supply. The cameras are very, very sensitive to both these cables.

You'll get there and Atik are very helpful.

Olly

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