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ISS with ASI120MM CPC1100 *3D update at bottom*

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#1 edsplace

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 01:47 AM

I imaged a pass of the ISS today. The station passed at it's nearest point around 450 nautical miles north of my location, a little north of the Canadian shore line of Lake Superior. The seeing conditions were not good 2/5 or so. I keep over exposing these images, next time I am going to try and underexpose then I may get it right :-)

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#2 ZuoZhao

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 02:03 AM

very good. How to catch and focus it?

#3 Moey

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 02:17 AM

That is amazing! Could you please describe your technique of how you captured it?

Beautiful shot :)

#4 edsplace

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 02:24 AM

I use Satellite Tracker for tracking the space station. My setup is a bit over the top, but here it is. I use an old Phillips ToUcam pro in a finder scope, I run that to a computer and so I can see a very wide field view of the sky with it. Before the pass I make sure that the finder scope and telescope are precisely aligned. So far Satellite tracker has never not gotten the space station in this field of view. I then use the joystick correction option in Satellite tracker to adjust the tracking to center the ISS. I use WXastro capture to stream the information from the ToUcam since that software allows you to project a retecile on the video stream. Using this method I can capture thousands of frames per pass.

For focus I use a bathinov mask. I focus on a star shortly before the ISS pass is to happen and most of the time focus holds. I have noticed that contraction from cooling can cause the focus to drift and because most of the time the passes I capture are right after sunset it is important to focus shortly before the start of the pass. Otherwise focus will not be good. The focus on this image is not as good as I had hoped for.

#5 wenjha

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 02:43 AM

Wow!!!!!!!
Impossible Job ED!

#6 kbev

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 03:00 AM

You may think the focus is off but considering you're estimate of the seeing conditions and the distance I'd say you did a bang-up job! What type of control do you use for the joystick option, an actual joystick, a gamepad or something else? I've used SatTracker before with my CG5 and was able to keep a satellite in the FOV of a 25mm EP for several minutes but I don't think it would be precise enough on it's own to land one in the FOV of my DBK21 camera.

#7 edsplace

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 03:11 AM

I use a game pad. Satellite tracker has never been accurate enough to put the ISS in the fov of the big scope, but it always lands in the FOV of the finder with the ToUCam... Then correction begins, it's always moving around and does wander off the chip, I use other satellites as practice after a while it gets easier.

Here is a video of the pass I made using Castrator to stop the constant movement of the station. http://www.youtube.c...h?v=9Mwo9ta2uhg
It shows the seeing conditions fairly well.

#8 zAmbonii

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 03:19 AM

Awesome!

I had tried that same ISS pass tonight with my C8 and 120MC, but when I went to look at the video, It didn't capture :/. Didn't really matter since my manual tracking was terrible and I probably only had a handful of images on chip.

#9 edsplace

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 03:29 AM

Z, I notice that using firecapture I keep getting files my computer is unable to open.. Format not recognized, I use Virtual dub it places the appropriate markers and opens the file. Seems longer avi's don't save properly.

#10 zAmbonii

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 03:37 AM

I was using K3CCDTools because it uses lower resources and I can get higher framerates saved on my laptop....but something happened in that I either didn't hit the capture button, or I inadvertently stopped it. I just need to get out and try it again sometime :).

#11 stelios_STI

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 07:58 AM

very nice capture!!
is it possible this satelite tracker program will work on equatorial mount?

#12 Rankinstudio

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 09:07 AM

Awesome work. That is really neat.

#13 edsplace

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 11:11 AM

Yes, Satellite Tracker does work with EQ mounts. I have tracked the ISS and other satellites with a Celestron ASGT mount. Proper polar alignment was critical, on the EQ mount it did work much better through zenith than the Alt/Az does. I loose satellites if they pass higher than 70 degrees overhead, the mount can't keep up in the azimuth axis. I have ran the CPC at a little higher Voltage 14V and the motor did move a bit quicker, but not enough. I would love to play the "up the voltage" game more, but at some point I would loose a component on a board and that would be game over. So yes, it does work on an EQ mount and you will get better results on high passes.

#14 Mert

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 11:14 AM

Z, I notice that using firecapture I keep getting files my computer is unable to open.. Format not recognized, I use Virtual dub it places the appropriate markers and opens the file. Seems longer avi's don't save properly.

Wow, incredibly good and taking into account the seeing
you had, this is a terrific job!
On the AVI's I have the same problem, with avi's bigger
then aprox. 3Gb things have to go through Vdub before
they can be loaded into AS!2 or others.

#15 edsplace

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 12:34 PM

Here is a 3D image I made using frames about 5 seconds apart to produce the occultations for each eye. The solar arrays seem to get in the way, but I find I can better make out the orientation of the space station itself and better see the individual modules. I really need to better exposure the next ISS pass I capture.

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#16 zAmbonii

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 01:32 PM

That is freaking awesome!

I am going to have to make it a project to get ST working on my CG-5. I've long neglected the ISS passes, even though You can try and get the ISS even when the weather conditions aren't optimal.

#17 Rankinstudio

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 01:41 PM

Man, that 3D shot is something else... Were these individual frames? No staking? Was this at prime, or any barlows?

#18 stelios_STI

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 03:10 PM

That is freaking awesome!

I am going to have to make it a project to get ST working on my CG-5. I've long neglected the ISS passes, even though You can try and get the ISS even when the weather conditions aren't optimal.

i will give it a try too on my Great Polaris :)


#19 GizmoDave

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 05:00 PM

Awesome capture!
I have ST set up on my CGEM just need to get a wireless game controller to tweak the aiming on the fly and the new ASI120MC I ordered.

#20 edsplace

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 06:30 PM

The image was prime focus and the individual images were both small stacks. I am not sure if stacking helped, but I made a short AVI of about 100 frames and sacked the best 15. I was capturing about 60FPS so a little less than 1.5 seconds per image. The two images were 5 seconds from the end of the left AVI clip to the start of the right AVI clip.

Really this image while fun and not bad is not the great, Emil, Brad, and I think it was Wayne who had very nice images of the ISS. I like the 3D shot quite a bit though.






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