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Help with align and neximage 5 use

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#1 CoreyS

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 12:51 AM

Hello, firstly I love this forum, I spend my days reading info and nights gazing but have found a problem with my telescope and it's alignment and tracking abilities. I first tried a Solar system align on Jupiter so it will track the planet and made sure it was centered by bringing it out of focus while aligning, but when in focus I found it never stayed centered, in fact it would litterally go out of sight. Second I did a two star align using Polaris and Sirius and it was successful but when I did the galaxie tour when it stopped there was nothing to view (that includes looking at planets that were above horizon.) Any help or advice with fixing that would be appreciated.

Now with the neximage 5, I love looking through the eyepieces but I have been volunteered (gotta love family) to teach the astronomy badge for scouts. I want to use my neximage 5 to display the images on my laptop for them all to see in realtime, I'm practicing using the neximage 5 so I can be proficient in using it but am having no luck at all. I center Jupiter in a 13mm eyepiece and have it in focus, I take the eyepiece out and put the camera in, I have iCap open and have the gain cranked full and the exposure set to 1/4 then set the Binning to 4 and Jupiter is nowhere to be seen (I have it set to track Jupiter) I center it on Jupiter and focus it in but Jupiter won't stay centered so when I dropped the Binning to 2 then Jupiter is gone again. Any advice on keeping it centered or good writeups on using neximage 5 with iCap?

Thank you.
Corey

#2 Tel

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 04:03 AM

Hi Corey,

Assuming that you have entered your location co-ordinates correctly and that equally your entries of time zone, date and time are accurate, off the cuff I'd suspect that your 'scope is suffering excessive backlash which is causing objects to drift perceptively from the eyepiece, particularly if you're trying to use a short focal length one.

Take a look therefore perhaps at the 19th post entry on the attached thread which should provide you with both how to optimise your antibacklash settings and to align your 'scope under, arguably, the best technique: namely the "Auto Two Star Align".

Futhermore, when you have all corrected, look back perhaps at the first entry on the attached link which will help, if necessary, to maintain objects in your EP/Neximage 5 for prolonged periods.

http://www.cloudynig...5417848/page...

Hoping this helps bring you back "on track" ! :lol:

Best regards,
Tel

#3 Maverick199

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 04:58 AM

Hoping this helps bring you back "on track" ! :lol:

Best regards,
Tel


:rofl2:

Corey, aside from Tel's advise, may I ask if you are using the Neximage 5 screwed directly into the focuser or through the diagonal? I had a similar issue which after Tel's advise I managed to easily get the object in view. I used the Neximage through the diagonal even though there was some slight light loss.

Btw, don't raise the 'gain' all the way. It should actually be lower and will change depending on target. Quite possibly, Jupiter may be in your FOV but the gain / gamma would have wiped it off. Just a thought.

#4 dragonslayer1

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 09:40 AM

Double triple quad triple insure the DATE, TIME, LOCATION, TIME ZONE, and DST is on,,, that advice given thru trial and error :foreheadslap:
Kasey

#5 CoreyS

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 09:55 AM

Hi Corey,

Assuming that you have entered your location co-ordinates correctly and that equally your entries of time zone, date and time are accurate, off the cuff I'd suspect that your 'scope is suffering excessive backlash which is causing objects to drift perceptively from the eyepiece, particularly if you're trying to use a short focal length one.

Take a look therefore perhaps at the 19th post entry on the attached thread which should provide you with both how to optimise your antibacklash settings and to align your 'scope under, arguably, the best technique: namely the "Auto Two Star Align".

Futhermore, when you have all corrected, look back perhaps at the first entry on the attached link which will help, if necessary, to maintain objects in your EP/Neximage 5 for prolonged periods.

http://www.cloudynig...5417848/page...

Hoping this helps bring you back "on track" ! :lol:

Best regards,
Tel


Hello, I tried what that post said about setting up the telescope and got all the settings with the antibacklash set up as best I can (It seems that when I press the right button it will go to the right easily at setting 15 but when I press the left button it could take up to 30 seconds before it starts moving left, but when I change it to setting 16 it starts it's jumping before moving, and the same effect if I move left and then want to go right.)

#6 CoreyS

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 10:02 AM


Hoping this helps bring you back "on track" ! :lol:

Best regards,
Tel


:rofl2:

Corey, aside from Tel's advise, may I ask if you are using the Neximage 5 screwed directly into the focuser or through the diagonal? I had a similar issue which after Tel's advise I managed to easily get the object in view. I used the Neximage through the diagonal even though there was some slight light loss.

Btw, don't raise the 'gain' all the way. It should actually be lower and will change depending on target. Quite possibly, Jupiter may be in your FOV but the gain / gamma would have wiped it off. Just a thought.


I've tried it both ways, I did get better results when in the diagonal but still couldn't keep it there and centered long enough to bring the Binning down to none to get the details brought out. I am very new to all this and litterally jumped in with both feet. I have no Idea what the settings in the program does and how it affects planetary/galactic viewing. I was wandering about that and am pretty sure I had objects in my FOV but had my settings wrong, but I do know I also need to get my telescope to track properly so I can concentrate on figuring out the software (not an easy feat when I have to do this course in two weeks.)

#7 CoreyS

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 10:06 AM

Double triple quad triple insure the DATE, TIME, LOCATION, TIME ZONE, and DST is on,,, that advice given thru trial and error :foreheadslap:
Kasey


I have double checked the date, time, location, time zone and dst, the only thing I'm not sure about is location, cause I live in the country the closest city listed is a few hours away from me. I'm trying to figure out how to find out my coordinates to enter them there especially since most of my viewing will be done in remote locations.
I tried using google maps but it doesn't seem very accurate (I can select the same place twice and get different coordinates each time.)

#8 Tel

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 11:14 AM

Hi Corey,

I'll get back to you on the topic of backlash and alignment ASAP but for now and based on the geographic location of Innisfail: .... which will be good enough,.... your co-ordinates are as follows:

52 degs. 01 mins. 41 secs. North / 113 degs. 57 mins. 00 sec. West. Enter these.

Your Time Zone will be Mountain Time qualified by Daylight Saving. (as apparently in Canada of the 10th March).

Best regards,
Tel

Footnote: Try making a mock "One Star Align",(in your living room if you like), by aiming your 'scope to where you know a star roughly to be at the time you choose to input, and then make sure that your 'scope is in fact tracking.

Tracking is "Off" before an Alt.Az. alignment of any description is carried out but switches to "On" automatically a successful alignment has been achieved.

To check that your 'scope IS tracking after carrying out your mock one star align, merely go into "Menu" followed by "Enter" and then find "Tracking " by scrolling with either the 6 or 9 buttons if necessary. This will tell you whether the tracking has been switched "On" or is still"Off"

Let us know.

#9 Skip

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 11:14 AM

You say you tried Google Maps and weren't happy with the results. I use Google Earth all the time and the results with it have always been spot on.

I live in the country the closest city listed is a few hours away from me


LUCKY YOU!!! Seriously, most of us on here would love to be a few hours away from the nearest city.

Oh and if you are going to be viewing in a lot of different remote locations, you may want to invest in a GPS. I would usually never recommend that to someone but one of the good excuses for having a GPS is when you change your viewing location frequently, especialy in remote areas. Another option would be to have a good laptop, with charged battery, and use Google Earth for lat/long. But that option will only work if you know your approximate location with landmarks that might be recognizable on GE.

#10 Tel

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 07:38 AM

Hi Corey,

Back on the topic of antibacklash settings, I have to say that it surprised me to learn that it's your Azimuth drive backlash which appears to be presenting you with the problems you detail, rather than that of the Altitude. Normally the Azimuth axis is far less sensitive to backlash than the Altitude. :idea:

But to try to address this problem of drift in the EP/Neximage 5, I still think it may well be attributable to excess backlash.

I therefore suggest the following :

Note that with the above in mind, the 'scope needs to be aligned and tracking before any revision of the anti-backlash settings can be undertaken. A mock "One Star Align" will suffice: (anything to get the 'scope tracking) !

Firstly though and before powering up the 'scope, it would pay to check how much freeplay there is in the Azimuth axis.

Grasp the base of the mount and try to rock it back and forth. There should be no movement or at least nothing more than about a couple of millimetres in either direction. Anything greater will likely need an internal investigation as to the cause.

Assuming no play or very little; proceed to make that mock "One Star Align". (I also assume that your 'scope is equipped with all normal accessories in place and a slight weight imbalance towards its fore-end. (?)

Also, that it's "Altitude GoTo Approach" is set to "Negative" and that its "Azimuth GoTo Approach" is set to "Positive".

Concentrating now on revision of the Azimuth axis antibacklash settings as appears to be required, select "Antibacklash" from the "Menu/Scope Set Up" and further select the sub-menu, "Azimuth Positive".

Press "Enter" and set the displayed figure to zero.

Now, having slewed the 'scope to pick up a relatively distant tiled, (shingled), roof to act as a target, (grid pattern), set the slew speed to a sedate rate of 3 or 4 and then move the view presented by the EP, (a 25mm will be fine for the job), back and forth across the tiles while increasing the numerical setting; noting constantly, how long the drive takes to activate and whether any "jumpiness"is present; either on pressing or releasing either of the two direction buttons.

Once you have established a good numerical value for "Antibacklash - Azimuth Positive" which gives you smoothness of movement in both direction with no "jumpiness", switch to "Azimuth Negative" and do the same.

Ignore short periods, (up to say five seconds), in drive take up. "Jumpiness" is however unacceptable.

On a final note; if you find that an element of "Jumpiness" persists when releasing the direction button, but at the same time find that lowering the numerical value results in too long a pause before drive take-up, retain the numerical value you have chosen for the "Azimuth Positive" setting but lower that of the "Azimuth Negative".

Hoping this helps,

Best regards,
Tel

#11 butsam

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 09:37 AM

Regarding the NexImage 5, I'm a newbie still with it, but have had success. It sounds like you are already turning the gain up, which is good...the focus for the NexImage 5 is not at all like the focus setting for the EPs, I've noticed.

Do you also have the resolution up all the way? If not, be sure to set the highest resolution (which I believe also limits you to only a couple FPS, but that is fine for acquiring the target).

For Jupiter, I have had luck with gain set to ~60, resolution all the way, for the initial acquire. It will look like a yellowish smudge--not at all like Jupiter, and will take up several pixels. Start focusing; trade off between focusing, recentering, lowering the resolution, and reducing the gain (so you can see more details--brightness will increase a lot as it comes into focus).

Also, are you using a Barlow with the NexImage 5? I recommend you first acquire without the Barlow (so you can get the focus right), then add the Barlow once you know it is centered and the focus is close.

It really helps if the "A" in NEXIMAGE on the device is pointing down (when the 'scope is pointing up...or pointing toward you when the 'scope is level). At least for me, when I do that, the CCD is aligned such that moving left on HC is left on the computer screen, etc.

It may also help if you Barlow the 13 mm EP (assuming that is an option for you) -- that will put you at about the equivalent magnification of the NexImage 5.

I haven't really tried anything other than the Moon and Jupiter...you may want to try the Moon as well (that way you get a rough idea of how much you need to refocus, and of what it will look like...and it's easy to get some portion of the Moon in the CCD display comparatively). One thought another forum user posted, which I will try next time, is to note how much I need to turn the focus knob, and in what direction, on a bright object (such as Jupiter, or a bright star). Then I know how to get the focus at least closer.

I don't think you'll get anything other than planets with the NexImage 5 (although I haven't tried), it is certainly optimized for planetary use.

Finally, did you install the firmware update?

Hope this helps! Stick with it -- this camera took an amazing (noise-reduced through stacking) shot of Jupiter for me about a week ago, and I look forward to much more use over the next week if I can chase the clouds away!

Sam

#12 CoreyS

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 10:24 AM

Just giving a quick update so you guys know I'm still here. A nice cold chill and snow moved in so I haven't been able to take my telescope out to try the things suggested yet, but will let you know as soon as I do the results.


Regarding the NexImage 5, I'm a newbie still with it, but have had success. It sounds like you are already turning the gain up, which is good...the focus for the NexImage 5 is not at all like the focus setting for the EPs, I've noticed.

Do you also have the resolution up all the way? If not, be sure to set the highest resolution (which I believe also limits you to only a couple FPS, but that is fine for acquiring the target).

For Jupiter, I have had luck with gain set to ~60, resolution all the way, for the initial acquire. It will look like a yellowish smudge--not at all like Jupiter, and will take up several pixels. Start focusing; trade off between focusing, recentering, lowering the resolution, and reducing the gain (so you can see more details--brightness will increase a lot as it comes into focus).

Also, are you using a Barlow with the NexImage 5? I recommend you first acquire without the Barlow (so you can get the focus right), then add the Barlow once you know it is centered and the focus is close.

It really helps if the "A" in NEXIMAGE on the device is pointing down (when the 'scope is pointing up...or pointing toward you when the 'scope is level). At least for me, when I do that, the CCD is aligned such that moving left on HC is left on the computer screen, etc.

It may also help if you Barlow the 13 mm EP (assuming that is an option for you) -- that will put you at about the equivalent magnification of the NexImage 5.

I haven't really tried anything other than the Moon and Jupiter...you may want to try the Moon as well (that way you get a rough idea of how much you need to refocus, and of what it will look like...and it's easy to get some portion of the Moon in the CCD display comparatively). One thought another forum user posted, which I will try next time, is to note how much I need to turn the focus knob, and in what direction, on a bright object (such as Jupiter, or a bright star). Then I know how to get the focus at least closer.

I don't think you'll get anything other than planets with the NexImage 5 (although I haven't tried), it is certainly optimized for planetary use.

Finally, did you install the firmware update?

Hope this helps! Stick with it -- this camera took an amazing (noise-reduced through stacking) shot of Jupiter for me about a week ago, and I look forward to much more use over the next week if I can chase the clouds away!

Sam


I have the resolution down low cause when I use the binning it automatically drops the resolution and can't bring it up until I turn the binning off. I will try starting out with higher resolutions when the weather changes. Yes I was using a 2x Barlow with it. I've heard about a firmware update but haven't been able to find it on the net (and I haven't been able to find out what firmware is on the camera) I'm still trying to figure out weather my scope needs its software/firmware needs updating. I downloaded the updates just in case but the numbers don't match what I'm looking for to know for sure.

I won't give up, this has been an interest since I was in diapers but only knew about department store telescopes which greatly dissapointed me. Now that I have a decent one I'm going full tilt to learn and enjoy (Ive been outside gazing when it was too cold for anyone else) I try to look up every night with my own two eyes and learn the location of a star or galaxy so I can pinpoint right away.

#13 CoreyS

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 10:42 AM

Hello, Finally got to pull the telescope out and run through what was suggested.

Tel, I did a massive antibacklash adjustment and got the scope to respond in 2-3 seconds in any direction without jumping. I got to view the moon and Jupiter last night and while tracking was a little better, it wasn't great. both of them did eventually go out of view.

I checked and double and triple checked the info (date, time, location) entered into the telescope and you can definitely tell it is tracking (you can hear the motors going if you listen closely) but it's still not keeping up good enough to capture any video for processing.

Also if tracking and I use the buttons to re-center Jupiter or look at another part of the moon should the scope keep tracking or is there something I have to do to start the tracking over again in the new spot?

Skip, Thanks google earth works a lot better than google maps. it at least get's me closer to where I am.

butsam, I tried it with settings set on auto and was able to get it into view and somewhat focused. max resolution could only bet set halfway cause any higher and the image goes off of my computer screen and I have to scroll a lot to see everything. I did get Polaris into view but no details to go wow over (might try with a barlow next time to see if it makes a difference.)

Also on a quick note I'm trying to see if my telescopes software/firmware needs updating but when I look at the numbers they don't even come close to matching up so I don't know if I'm looking at the right numbers or not.
On the telescope the numbers I have found are:
HC:NXS:5.21.2264
MC:5.14.5.14
The versions I found on the site are:
Motor control firmware: 2.2.5
Remote: 1.7.22
Hand Control firmware: 1.1.14

#14 ben2112

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 11:03 AM

CoreyS - This is what I follow to get good tracking.. It helps keep the antibacklashing take up tighter for tracking..

This procedure should keep your 'scope tracking well when operating between North and South through East but you may find that objects may begin to slip from the field of view in very short time when operating the 'scope between South and North through West. If this occurs, simply align or realign the "slipping" object by placing it in the UPPER left quadrant of the eyepiece and recentralising it by moving it to the right and DOWN.



#15 dragonslayer1

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 11:17 AM

not sure if it applies but is there not also an option for tracking, sidreel, lunar, eq??

#16 CoreyS

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 11:58 AM

CoreyS - This is what I follow to get good tracking.. It helps keep the antibacklashing take up tighter for tracking..

This procedure should keep your 'scope tracking well when operating between North and South through East but you may find that objects may begin to slip from the field of view in very short time when operating the 'scope between South and North through West. If this occurs, simply align or realign the "slipping" object by placing it in the UPPER left quadrant of the eyepiece and recentralising it by moving it to the right and DOWN.


I will give that a try, I do know it's happening both towards the east (the moon) and towards the west (Jupiter)

#17 CoreyS

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 11:59 AM

not sure if it applies but is there not also an option for tracking, sidreel, lunar, eq??


There is but i'm not sure what each does and how to use them yet (I'm so new I'm still wet behind the ears)

#18 hopskipson

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 12:36 PM

Lunar is to track the moon
Solar for the sun
and sidreal for everything else.

Hope this helps. check the scope when it does a goto slew. Note the final approach when it gets close. Try to mimick this same approach when you do alignment and when changing your location on an object. This should keep you on track.

#19 hdt

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 01:02 PM

The controller is smart enough that if you "goto" the moon, it will adjust the speed for lunar tracking.

Sidereal tracking is basically in reference between the earth rotation and "fixed" stars. It's slightly faster than the solar day (12noon to 12noon, 24 hrs = 1 solar day; 1 sidereal day is approx. 23hr56min). After alignment, your telescope is always tracking using sidereal time (unless pointed at the moon, when it tracks at a slightly different speed).

Eq tracking is only if you've mounted your Nexstar on a wedge, which is probably not recommended for the 8SE. (It will work, but not well--like asking a Yugo to drive at 120 km/hr...)

Re: alignment issues in general: Let me add two notes to Tel's excellent comments: For my setup, I deliberately set up *nose heavy*. Find the balance point on your scope (with finder, lens shade, diagonal, barlow, and 32 mm EP). With the help of a friend, delicately balance the scope on a round object (I think ArthurDent has a great picture of this in the "best of" threads here). Mark your OTA with either a magic marker or piece of tape. Be sure to mount your scope with the marker in front of the handscrew, which will then make your scope slightly nose-heavy.

When you align, it asks you to use the arrows to move the star to put the star into your eyepiece field of view, then, push the "Enter" button. Then, it will ask you to center the star in the eyepiece and hit "Align."

At this point, you need to centralize (if that's a verb) the star in your eyepiece. I would gradually switch eyepieces, going from 32 mm down to at least the 13mm (if not the 8mm). When centering the star in the EP, make sure the star moves from the lower left quadrant (in the eyepiece) to the center of the eyepiece. Defocus the star, so you can get better centering (makes a blob nearly the size of the field-of-view of the eyepiece). Make sure you are only moving the star from lower left quadrant to center (I think that would be only the right and up buttons, but don't quote me). Then, hit the "align" button, and it will give you the menu for the next alignment star. Go back to the 32mm EP, and use the arrow buttons to move to your next star, etc.

I personally like 3-object-sky-align, and picking Polaris as one of my objects--but that's just me.

With the moon nearly full, the moon is a good practice target. Use your preferred alignment method, then do a "goto" the moon. The moon should stay within your field of view for hours.

As a test case, goto Polaris. Polaris *SHOULD NOT DRIFT* even with an alt-azimuth mount (the Nexstar 8SE is an alt-azimuth mounted scope). If Polaris drifts, we know we have interesting issues.

Best of luck!

hdt

#20 Tel

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 03:04 PM

HI Corey,

There are many variables here which may be causing this problem so perhaps for my sake, a few comments and questions on all latest foregoing, if I may ?

Firstly, let me confirm that I'm completely ignorant of the features contained within the latest version 5X HC firmware which this 8SE appears to sport, so I can only say that if this version has some inbuilt "smartware", as hdt mentioned, whereby the tracking rate changes automatically according to the selected object, (i.e. moon, solar or sidereal), then that's news to me.

On previous version 4x HCs, the tracking rate had always to be changed manually from its sidereal default setting: tracking being "Off" prior to a successful alignment and "On" after alignment when the 'scope was operating in Alt./Az. mode.

So saying however and suggesting that the tracking is not switched automatically, (sincere apologies, hdt, if I'm wrong), I doubt that, unless viewing an object takes place over a period of significant time length, (and I offer half an hour or more as an example but without any test evidence), then there will be no significant visual sign, (drift), to indicate the rate was inappropriate.

What is/was noticable in my experience, is/was the fact that having made a "stellar" alignment, (e.g. an Auto Two Star Align or Two Star Align), slewing to planets and particularly the Moon normally placed these objects significantly less accurately in the EP.

The reason for this is however obvious, when one considers that these objects are not "fixed" in space as are the stars, galaxies clusters etc. and as such, the mount's computing algorithms find it less easy to calculate their positions with the same accuracy as it does with "fixed" objects.

So, to some further thoughts.

In the first instance, it would be useful to know how long it takes for an object to drift out of the FOV of the EP you have normally been using to view this problem ?

Secondly and with this in mind, may I suggest that you re-assess this drift; not with the Moon or Jupiter as targeted objects but, using the same EP, with a fixed star, open cluster, globular or galaxy in the FOV.

Thirdly, and please forgive the order of thought/question etc. here since I'm thinking as I go, but in assembling your OTA to give a little fore-end imbalance, check to ensure the Altitude GoTo Approach is set to Negative and the Azimuth GoTO Approach to Positive. I'm sure you'll find this will be the case but I think in view of the problem, it's wise to double check.

These features are accessible via the Menu button, sub-menu Scope SetUp.

Finally try to establish whether the drift you are experiencing, (by comparing as recommended, "fixed" objects only), is worse in either the Eastern or Western skies. This may have a bearing on the situation.

At the moment, Corey, this is as far as my thoughts take me but perhaps a little more feed back from you if and when you are able or willing to undertake the above suggestions may, I hope, help to resolve this, (I'm sure, minor), problem and get you up and imaging !

Best regards,
Tel

BTW. I would be very interested to learn if the tracking rate IS indeed automatically controlled in these latest HCs according to the nature of the object viewed; (i.e. an automatic switch between Lunar, Solar and Sidereal rates).

As they say; "you live and learn" !

#21 butsam

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 07:39 PM

butsam, I tried it with settings set on auto and was able to get it into view and somewhat focused. max resolution could only bet set halfway cause any higher and the image goes off of my computer screen and I have to scroll a lot to see everything. I did get Polaris into view but no details to go wow over (might try with a barlow next time to see if it makes a difference.)


I wouldn't expect to get much (if anything) out of Polaris, for two reasons:
(1) Polaris is so much further away than any object in the Solar System
(2) I am not aware of any prominent features near Polaris that would be within the FOV of a standard ~7 mm EP (although someone please correct me if I am wrong).

You are going to have your best luck shooting Jupiter or Saturn (this time of year...or other Solar System objects once they are visible) with this camera. I haven't even tried anything else...but the camera is specifically for Solar System imaging, not for other imaging. It does support long integration times (with a firmware update), up to 30 seconds, but I have no idea how well it performs. Maybe you could get the Orion Nebula, but keep in mind the single-fork alt-az mount also isn't great for long integration times...and the FOV is pretty small (optimized for planetary imaging, not for wide FOV objects).

Also, to make navigation/centering easier, I have a few tips:
* Initially, acquire in 17 mm EP (I see you have the Celestron kit, right?), center, then acquire in 8 mm EP, center. Don't worry too much about focus, unless you want to see it for yourself before sticking in the camera. (I tend to want to observe with my own eye first, but it is not necessary, and the camera focus is dramatically different from the EP focus.)
* Then, insert the NexImage without the Barlow. On my NexImage, the proper alignment is with the "A" in NEXIMAGE facing directly away from the scope (if the star diagonal is used)...this will make it so "left", "right", etc work as desired on the Hand Controller. I have still used the star diagonal, although this is not necessary. (Keep in mind, your image will be inverted if you don't use the star diagonal...but you can change this display in the iCap software, as well as correct for the mirror imaging present with or without the star diagonal.)
* Speaking of Hand Controller, don't put it back in the storage area every time, and keep in mind whenever you let go of the HC (gently!!!), you will temporarily induce some vibrations. With suppression pads, on grass, they die out after about 1/2 second - 1 second, not sure what it is like without suppression pads.
* Crank up that gain, go with max resolution, no binning, max framerate. When out-of-focus, it will not be easy to see Jupiter. You are looking for a smear of "butter", not for something that looks like an out-of-focus Jupiter!
* Now, focus...keeping in mind max framerate at max resolution is close to 4 fps, so the response will not be immediate. At this point, your goal is to get it close, not to get it right.
* Once it somewhat resembles a circular object that looks planet-like, start centering it. Keep in mind you can turn down the gear slew speed! I set it to about "3".
* Now, insert the Barlow (if desired), and repeat the process.
* Decrease resolution, find it again. If you lose it, increase resolution again immediately, and keep trying.
* Once at a lower resolution, make sure framerate is relatively high (~30 fps)...if you can't get it that high, keep centering and reducing resolution until you can get it that high. For Jupiter, this will help you get more total frames before rotation becomes an issue, for better overall noise reduction in post-processing.
* Now, it will be easier to focus more precisely. (Keep in mind the atmosphere may temporarily make your "best focus" look not-so-great, but it should go back-and-forth...kinda like is also true in the eyepiece, where the view is sometimes better than others and you may have to wait a bit to get more detail.) You will also probably need to reduce gain to get a better focus...you won't need as much gain once it is in focus as you did to see the "butter spread".

Once you've done that, you are ready to record. Capture several videos, and experiment! It tends to work best at around 30 fps, for 30 seconds, based on my (very limited) experience. Once you get to this point, I can share some Registax tips, let me know.

Sam

#22 butsam

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 08:09 PM

Also, if it helps, this is what Jupiter looked like on March 8, in "raw" form from the NexImage 5, and then a post-processed version at the end:

https://www.youtube....h?v=g2wNi3Xaz30

Jupiter looked somewhat better than this in the EP, but somewhat worse than the final post-processed image in the EP. So, the camera won't work wonders -- but reducing atmospheric noise effects in post-processing will!

Finding the GRS depends on timing it right; www.skyandtelescope.com has a good calculator; Stellarium is not accurate for GRS transit times.

#23 mclewis1

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 08:20 PM

Also on a quick note I'm trying to see if my telescopes software/firmware needs updating but when I look at the numbers they don't even come close to matching up so I don't know if I'm looking at the right numbers or not.
On the telescope the numbers I have found are:
HC:NXS:5.21.2264
MC:5.14.5.14
The versions I found on the site are:
Motor control firmware: 2.2.5
Remote: 1.7.22
Hand Control firmware: 1.1.14

Corey,

The last 3 items are the versions of the updater or installer programs and not that of the actual firmware.

For example HCUpdate.exe is the program that performs the firmware update for v4 hand controllers. It downloads the appropriate firmware to do the actual update. Since you have a v5 hand controller you won't use HCUpdate ... you'll need the CFM application for that.

MCupdate.exe is for updating the motor controllers and this application is appropriate for your setup.

Remote is the NexRemote.exe virtual v4 hand controller application ... and I believe you could run it if you wanted to try out a downgraded hand controller, otherwise there would be no point in using this application. There is no v5 hand controller emulator available yet.

For info on the various firmware levels and updater applications, and usage of NexRemote have a look at Mike Swanson's website www.nexstarsite.com

#24 hdt

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 09:55 PM

Re: Tel; lunar tracking: I could swear I had seen it in the manual. I pulled out the manual; it did not say that; it just said that with Solar System align, you can view objects in the daytime. My bad memory; sorry.

Hand control & motor control versions: Corey, you're pretty modern. HC 5.something means you have the new handcontrol with the nifty "C" logo button thing. 5.21 is pretty much latest firmware.

The reason I suggested *visually* tracking Polaris is that the scope won't move. It shouldn't. If it does, then, we have identified a problem.

An interesting exercise after aligning, is to go to your alignment stars, one-by-one, and just cycle. See what happens.

Anti-backlash settings, according to Mike Swanson's book, are mainly useful when reversing directions.

If you are losing objects from the FOV within minutes, something is going on that we need to diagnose. The last time I wasn't a wimp because of weather, I had dipped my toe into AP, and pointed a used Meade DSI at Jupiter (OK, that's sort of a useless thing to do--but I just wanted to see what was going on). It kept it there for > 1 hr. Now, that's a small chip (used DSI,so that's maybe a 10 mm diagonal chip?). I quit when I got scared that my laptop would crash...

Best of luck!

hdt

#25 WarmWeatherGuy

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 11:15 PM

Also, if it helps, this is what Jupiter looked like on March 8, in "raw" form from the NexImage 5, and then a post-processed version at the end:

https://www.youtube....h?v=g2wNi3Xaz30


The title of the video says Jupiter, 8 May 2013. RegiStax is pretty amazing, now it shows what things will look like in the future? :)

Watch the last few minutes of this video and see if there is something you can do with RegiStax to make your processed image even better.






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