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Starlifter Driver
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Re: Where Oh Where Has the Cel. NexImage Camera Gone? new [Re: Tel]
      #5200296 - 05/01/12 02:47 PM

Hi Tel (and Tom, feel free to chime in too),

OK, my imager is recognized by all the popular video capture software (Amcap, Sharpcap, wxAstro, and Craterlet). So when I can see the sky again, I should be good to go.

Tel, you and Tom use Craterlet. Any specific tips on the Craterlet setup you've found to be most successful? I can find out by experiment, but until I get a laptop I want to make a few attempts as metioned above, with my desktop. I don't want to be hauling it back and forth from the office to the backyard, so your tips would be helpful in my first clumsy attempt.

I'm sure you can tell by my deciding to haul my desktop outside - I'm getting anxious to get this started.

Thanks,


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Skip
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Re: Where Oh Where Has the Cel. NexImage Camera Gone? new [Re: Skip]
      #5200306 - 05/01/12 02:51 PM

Oh and BTW, the drivers on the product CD are fine with Vista (at least so far) and apparently with W7 as well.

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Tel
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Re: Where Oh Where Has the Cel. NexImage Camera Gone? new [Re: Skip]
      #5200578 - 05/01/12 05:52 PM

Hi Skip,

I don't know what Tom may have to offer, but I find in operating any of these software products, (I've tried, Amcap, Sharpcap and have finally alighted on Craterlet as arguably the best of the bunch), that manipulating the various "controls" provided, is very much, a "hit or miss" affair. However, there are a few fundamentals to which I adhere.

1) Keep the capture frame rate on the low side to avoid too much compression. (e.g. 10 f/s).

2) Leave the Gamma feature on the default. It was recommended to me though, that progressive reduction to zero should also be tried.

3) Adjust the Gain to give a good image appearance on the LT screen without any tendency to "White out".

4) Don't over saturate in colour, brightness and contrast.

Sorry Skip, that's the best I can give you. I will however take a look through my book by UK astronomer Martin Mobberley on the subject.

I must confess that most of my planetary imaging is, by and large, conducted by trial and error, taking several AVIs at various settings and then selecting the best.

Experimentation is therefore essentially the key as far as I'm concerned because no one selection of settings will guarantee consistency in the quality of the image from night to night.

Best I can offer you at the moment.

Best regards,
Tel


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jacklbartlett
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Re: Where Oh Where Has the Cel. NexImage Camera Gone? new [Re: Tel]
      #5200938 - 05/01/12 10:23 PM

Skip,
Glad you recieived your NextImage. As far as using it, you have received some good advice already. There is a pdf
'Quick Guide to Capturing Images with the Celestron NexImage Solar System Imager" available on NexStarSite.com that I found very useful.
Enjoy
Jack


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haytor
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Reged: 11/29/07

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Re: Where Oh Where Has the Cel. NexImage Camera Gone? new [Re: jacklbartlett]
      #5201384 - 05/02/12 08:29 AM

Sorry for my delay in responding Skip, been up all night, new Grand Daughter made her entrance into the world at 5.08 am this morning.Mother and baby doing fine!

Yes like Tel, i use craterlet(not for a long time now though) but i can only mirror Tel`s thoughts on settings, frame rates are better at 10 to 15fps, with a capture time usually around 60 seconds.(but this can be increased depending on how many total frames you wish to capture for any given frame rate) If the moon is available, then that would be the best target to try for a first time attempt rather than a planet.

10fps at 60second capture will give you 600 frames, or 15fps X 60 seconds will give you 900 frames and so on.

You can of course take two sets of AVI`s at 600 frames or 900 frames, and import both AVI`s into registax at the same time to increase the total frames to work with.

Other than that, and given what Tel has said, again i can only mirror Tel`s thoughts, in saying no settings are set in stone, since conditions from night to night might/will require slightly different settings.

Good luck therefore with your first attempts,very much looking forward to seeing any results you capture.

best regards,

Tom.


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Skip
Starlifter Driver
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Re: Where Oh Where Has the Cel. NexImage Camera Gone? new [Re: jacklbartlett]
      #5202096 - 05/02/12 03:07 PM

Hi Jack,

Thanks. I'm sending a PM!


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orion61

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Re: Where Oh Where Has the Cel. NexImage Camera Gone? new [Re: Skip]
      #5205260 - 05/04/12 10:01 AM

You-Tube has some great real time videos!
I use an inexpensive flip mirror system bought from Bill Vorce at Telescope warehouse. It is plastic but works fine for this.
http://www.telescope-warehouse.com/
he is a sponsor here and is a great guy! cost me about $35.00 or so.


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harioharima
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Reged: 10/05/11

Re: Where Oh Where Has the Cel. NexImage Camera Gone? new [Re: Skip]
      #5222777 - 05/14/12 09:06 PM

Quote:

Hi Tel (and Tom, feel free to chime in too),

OK, my imager is recognized by all the popular video capture software (Amcap, Sharpcap, wxAstro, and Craterlet). So when I can see the sky again, I should be good to go.

Tel, you and Tom use Craterlet. Any specific tips on the Craterlet setup you've found to be most successful? I can find out by experiment, but until I get a laptop I want to make a few attempts as metioned above, with my desktop. I don't want to be hauling it back and forth from the office to the backyard, so your tips would be helpful in my first clumsy attempt.

I'm sure you can tell by my deciding to haul my desktop outside - I'm getting anxious to get this started.

Thanks,




I just acquired the NexImage camera and intend using it with a Windows 7 TABLET that does not have a DVD-optical drive, so installing the Celestron image-capture (from included DVD) program isn't effortless for me. Can I take it that a downloadable program like Craterlet is a substitute (i.e. can be used stand-alone for image capture without the Celestron SW)? Thanks.


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WarmWeatherGuy
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Re: Where Oh Where Has the Cel. NexImage Camera Gone? new [Re: harioharima]
      #5222793 - 05/14/12 09:12 PM

I use HandyAvi for all my web cams.

http://www.azcendant.com/

It has a time-lapse feature that I really like.


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Skip
Starlifter Driver
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Re: Where Oh Where Has the Cel. NexImage Camera Gone? new [Re: WarmWeatherGuy]
      #5223678 - 05/15/12 02:38 PM

Hi WWG,

Do you use HandyAVI with the Celestron NexIMage?


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WarmWeatherGuy
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Re: Where Oh Where Has the Cel. NexImage Camera Gone? new [Re: Skip]
      #5223783 - 05/15/12 03:41 PM

Yes, I use HandyAvi with my NexImage. You will still have to install the drivers from the setup CD though. You can copy them from the CD to a small USB drive and plug that into your TABLET, or maybe download them from the Internet.

Then when you plug in the NexImage and it wants to find the driver you can direct it to the place on your USB stick where you copied the drivers. Windows will copy what it needs from the USB drive and you're done.

The windows that have the controls for the camera settings are created by the driver software. These other programs like HandyAvi and AmCap will then call the functions in the driver to make the settings window appear. What this means is that you will have the same setting windows no matter which program you use (HandyAvi, AmCap, etc.) If you try two different programs you will see which windows are the same and which ones are different. The windows that are the same are from the driver software.


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Skip
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Re: Where Oh Where Has the Cel. NexImage Camera Gone? new [Re: WarmWeatherGuy]
      #5224029 - 05/15/12 06:54 PM

Thanks, WWG!

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harioharima
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Reged: 10/05/11

Re: Where Oh Where Has the Cel. NexImage Camera Gone? new [Re: Skip]
      #5224474 - 05/16/12 12:53 AM

I just used craterlet and captured a 10 second avi of Saturn at 10fps. The result bears a striking resemblance to a pimple I once sported. All kidding side, the result is a monochromatic little lump with the overall shape of Saturn. I fully intend to put in some time figuring out registax to process the avi-- but is there a quicker/simpler way to ascertain whether the neximage-camera is functioning properly to spec?

Thank you.


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WarmWeatherGuy
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Re: Where Oh Where Has the Cel. NexImage Camera Gone? new [Re: harioharima]
      #5224502 - 05/16/12 01:17 AM

Registax can't do miracles. It sounds like you aren't in focus. I would practice using the setup in the daytime at some trees. Once you have focus you can then swap the camera out for an eyepiece. Notice which way and how far you have to turn to get the eyepiece in focus. Then, at night, you can focus on Saturn with that same eyepiece. Turn the knob back to where it needs to be to focus with the camera. This will get you very close to the best focus.

I actually use a Bahtinov mask and a bright star to get perfect focus. Then the trick is to find Saturn with the tiny field of view the camera gives you.

You also need to play with the brightness, gain, and frame rates / shutter speeds. There are also some other controls to play with. You can get some color that way.

Registax can make some impressive improvements but only if you have something reasonable to start with.

I don't know what telescope you're using. You might want to get a good 2x Barlow. The best planet pictures are taken with C14 and C11 telescopes. There are some reasonable pictures of the planets on YouTube taken with a NexStar 4SE though.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOlp5iIML4M


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herrointment
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Re: Where Oh Where Has the Cel. NexImage Camera Gone? new [Re: WarmWeatherGuy]
      #5224617 - 05/16/12 05:26 AM Attachment (16 downloads)

Some practice helps.

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Tel
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Re: Where Oh Where Has the Cel. NexImage Camera Gone? new [Re: harioharima]
      #5224642 - 05/16/12 06:28 AM

Quote:

I just used craterlet and captured a 10 second avi of Saturn at 10fps. The result bears a striking resemblance to a pimple I once sported. All kidding side, the result is a monochromatic little lump with the overall shape of Saturn. I fully intend to put in some time figuring out registax to process the avi-- but is there a quicker/simpler way to ascertain whether the neximage-camera is functioning properly to spec?

Thank you.




Take on board what Warmweatherguy has said. It's great advice.

Certainly focus on a bright star and preferably do so via a Bahtinov mask before moving to your selected planet.

If however, after star focusing, you cannot locate your chosen planet due to the small FOV presented by the camera, remove the camera carefully and, without touching the focus at all, replace it with a relatively long focal length EP, (say, for example, a 20mm).

You should then be able to see the image of the planet albeit probably a blurred one. No matter; so long as you can see it, you can centralise it and, having done so, all you need to do then, is to remove the EP, (carefully so as not to disturb the 'scopes position), and replace it once again with your camera making any further slight adjustments if necessary on the camera focused image.

Additionally, perhaps this UK "You Tube" concerning Version 5 Registax processing of Saturn and its associated series might also assist.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daXevwCNi4k&feature=related

Hoping this helps a little further and by the way, a very warm welcome to this forum !

Best regards,
Tel


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hopskipson
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Re: Where Oh Where Has the Cel. NexImage Camera Gone? new [Re: Tel]
      #5224693 - 05/16/12 07:29 AM

I don't have one yet, but how do you use a Bahtinov mask? Are there instructions provided?

James


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Tel
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Re: Where Oh Where Has the Cel. NexImage Camera Gone? new [Re: hopskipson]
      #5224774 - 05/16/12 09:16 AM

Hi James

There are, (well as far as the one I bought is concened), but I think you'll have no problem in figuring out from the image it presents via your camera on your laptop screen.

These instructions might however help.

http://www.btinternet.com/~gfcarey/bahtinov.htm

Best regards,
Tel


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WarmWeatherGuy
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Re: Where Oh Where Has the Cel. NexImage Camera Gone? new [Re: hopskipson]
      #5224905 - 05/16/12 11:06 AM

Watch this 16 second video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnKOynYBnlI

You will see a star with an X crossed through it. Another streak is present and that streak is moved relative to the star with the X when you change focus. Put the lone streak through the middle of the X and you've got perfect focus.

This is very IMPORTANT: Don't forget to remove the Bahtinov mask when you're done. Actually this is more important before beginning 10 minute exposures.


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harioharima
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Reged: 10/05/11

Re: Where Oh Where Has the Cel. NexImage Camera Gone? [Re: WarmWeatherGuy]
      #5225056 - 05/16/12 12:40 PM

Thanks for all the superb advice. I will apply the info contained in the links/videos.

One more question-- During the focus/centering process, the craterlet window exhibited delay (when i change focus for example) and also occasional "greenish" flickering frames. Are these to be expected with a functional neximage?


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