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seryddwr
Innocent Bystander
*****

Reged: 02/19/10

Loc: La-la land.
Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #5004861 - 01/06/12 08:52 PM

Anybody know offhand the thread diameter and pitch on the lens that comes with these cameras?

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sullij1
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/08/08

Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: seryddwr]
      #5005614 - 01/07/12 01:12 PM

Don.t be offended if the silence is deafning. Most users machined out the original threads and inserted T-Rings into the snout the original lens sat in.

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seryddwr
Innocent Bystander
*****

Reged: 02/19/10

Loc: La-la land.
Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #5005781 - 01/07/12 03:30 PM

I was going to use the chip in an Apogee body, installed by them, of course, anyway. I just wanted to know because I held up an eyepiece behind the lens, and it gave me a very good image. I would maybe like to make it into a straight-through finder. (not enough back focus to use a diagonal)

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sullij1
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/08/08

Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: seryddwr]
      #5006605 - 01/08/12 01:28 AM

If you have the money to do that - more power to ya! That is well beyond my pocketbook.

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sullij1
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/08/08

PROCESSING LESSONS LEARNED FOR QUANTIX new [Re: sullij1]
      #5006609 - 01/08/12 01:38 AM

1.Shoot all frames as 1x1.
This creates a larger FOV and prevents having to rescale in processing. Rescaling creates problems with the FOV and detail. 1x1 captures all detail over a larger FOV.
2.Take Flats for all filters RGB separately. Take each flat before moving to the next filter during each session. Because of the sensitivity of the camera all flaws show in a big way. A missed flat cannot be recovered later.
3.Make sure the camera alignment and position are marked on the focuser for each object you shoot such that shooting sessions over several nights sees the camera in the same position. Review the frame from a previous session before beginning another session on another night and ensure the stars are aligned in the frame as near exact as you can get from session to session. Failure to do this results in severe staking problems and overly cropped images resulting in a loss of the image FOV.
4. Make a dark and bias folder and keep different timed darks in it. Because of the consistent cooling a huge library is not necessary. Just darks for your average timing. Because of the electronic variance in brightness across the large chip, darks have a tendency to function like flats removing weird variances. My variances are consistently in the same place so again no need for a large library. All darks must be scaled in intensity X16 in Nebulosity before being used in DSS. Create a separate folder for scaled darks. (covered more later)

Work Flow On The Cheap

Because I donít have expensive processing programs I use free or cheap ware like DSS and Nebulosity. So this workflow reflects RGB processing on the cheap.

5. Save all the RSI Image files as 16bit tiffs after capture.
6. Save RGB in a separate file for each color along with a clearly labeled flat folder for each color and image session. Motes will change from session to session on each filter.
7. Before stacking in DSS I move to nebulosity and scale each image intensity X16 (thanks Keith) and save the intensity scaled image in an X16 folder for each color and each flat. Why? Because I am going to use DSS to stack. If you donít scale the image, DSS will not be able to detect the stars, dark and flat stuff. Stack master flats and darks in Nebulosity and save master X16 darks to the dark folder and master x16 flats to master flat folder for the respective image color and session.
Why DSS? DSS has the functions to debloom, detect and correct column problems and hot pixels, just like expensive programs like MaximDL and Pixinsight! DUH! Believe it or not it took hours of experimenting to discover this. Maxim expects fits files and RSI image saves as its own format or tiff. So tiff will be our work mode. Unless you want to resave all your images as fits (somehow) my way will be easiest.
8. Now move to DSS. DSS thinks you are using a bayer color camera so we will trick it to help us. Set the camera type. I tell DSS to use the canon. In the setting menu go to lights tab. Use adaptive weighted average and select per channel background calibration. Click the Debloom check box.
9. Go to the Dark Tab. select the median radio button. Check the hot pixel detection and removal, Bad column detect and removal, and Dark optimization.
10. Go to Flats Tab. I use maximum radio button for now.
11. Go to the cosmetic Tab. Put checks in both detect and clean boxes. Replace each pixel with the median selection.
12. Go to the DSS main window and select Lights, Darks, and flats from your X16 files. Each color will have to be stacked and saved separately in each colors x16 folder. Do the normal DSS stacking process. So will have a DSS X16 Red stack a x16 Blue stack and a x16 green stack saved to each x16 folder for the object. Why? Because we have to colorize them in Photo Shop. DSS donít do RGB Grey Scale Coloring.
13. Save each stack of RGB with a name like DSS STAK REDX164PS or some name you will recognize the stacked file by.

Go to Photoshop

14. Open the RED X16 folder find the , DSS STAK REDX164PS. Open it. I do auto level, look where the histogram sits and return to the levels function and line up the histogram at 1/3 scale. Minimize the red window. Open theX16 Green and repeat the level process. Do this for each color file of RGB leaving each window open and minimized.
15. I now follow Ken Crawfordís RGB/Narrowband tutorial from here to colorize, final align and balance. Why? It gives the most control of colors and levels in each channel. Most importantly, because if you are like me, it took 2 weeks to gather the data over 4 separate shooting sessions because of weather, shooting window and time commitments. Thus all your frames will not align correctly and you will have to hand align the RGB in Photoshop. Using his layers method this is an easy task. You will also find that if you need the lens correction function or other image corrections, Mr. Crawfordís layer method gives you the opportunity to do that.
16. Here is the link to Kenís tutorial: http://www.rdelsol.net/ClippingMasks/ClippingMask.html
17. And here: http://www.imagingdeepsky.com/Presentations.html

18. You can use normal RGB as outlined here: http://www.eprisephoto.com/create-lrgb if your files are perfectly aligned (Good luck with that).

In closing if you come up with a cheap easier way please share with us!!!!!!! If you see a way to streamline this process, PLEASE SHARE! On a final note I still donít have a realtime histogram when shooting. Really need one for flats! If you have a method for getting a histogram up or have successful flat times for colors please share them with me. I have yet to break the realtime histogram code for the Quantix.

Here is my first HaRGB, I know the colors are off as the main star is blue but I didnít care at this time. This is an experiment to see if the work flow Ė works! Also because I did not take flats for each filter there is a lot of image corruption that contaminated the image to a point where I didnít care as much about color accuracy as I did about work flow.


Cali neb 2 by Sullij1, on Flickr

Cheers,
Joe


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luxetveritas
newbie


Reged: 01/28/07

Re: PROCESSING LESSONS LEARNED FOR QUANTIX new [Re: sullij1]
      #5006830 - 01/08/12 08:26 AM

Thanks Joe! That's terrific and detailed information. Hope I'll be able to return the favor some day.

Aart Olsen


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luxetveritas
newbie


Reged: 01/28/07

Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: seryddwr]
      #5006855 - 01/08/12 08:51 AM

The lens that came with my Quantix has 40 threads per inch, and I measured 1.751 inches across the peaks of the threads.

The OD of the lens is 2.048 inches, and if you can fit it into a drawtube (e.g. if your drawtube's 2 inch eyepiece holder unscrews to provide more clearance), it may make a nice focal reducer, among other uses.

Aart Olsen


Edited by luxetveritas (01/08/12 08:56 AM)


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sullij1
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/08/08

Re: PROCESSING LESSONS LEARNED FOR QUANTIX new [Re: luxetveritas]
      #5007235 - 01/08/12 12:18 PM

Quote:

Thanks Joe! That's terrific and detailed information. Hope I'll be able to return the favor some day.

Aart Olsen




You are welcome. I haven't seen a lot of imagery from the cameras up yet so I assume many are running into the workflow problems I have. The cameras deliver images of spactacular detail. Digging out the details (as Mr Crawford puts it) is more difficult. I hope to see many more full color images as we help eachother get the bugs worked out.


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sullij1
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/08/08

Re: PROCESSING LESSONS FOR QUANTIX Funky Stars new [Re: sullij1]
      #5007309 - 01/08/12 12:55 PM

Just wanted to mention that the stars in the raw images look a lil funky (doughnut holes) and are fixed with a ~1 gaussian blur. As Here:


Funky Star Fix by Sullij1, on Flickr


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kw6562
Authoritative Ignoramus
*****

Reged: 06/25/08

Loc: MA
Re: PROCESSING LESSONS FOR QUANTIX Funky Stars new [Re: sullij1]
      #5008001 - 01/08/12 08:43 PM

Hi Joe - Thanks for posting your instructions, that's very helpful. Re doughnuts - are you sure you're not out of focus? Clear skies --Keith

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sullij1
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/08/08

Re: PROCESSING LESSONS FOR QUANTIX Funky Stars new [Re: kw6562]
      #5008122 - 01/08/12 10:06 PM

Hi Keith,

Hope you had a happy new year. Naw, not out of focus. I think it has somthing to do with the DSS stacking functions I have chosen. Virtually all my subs comming out of DSS display this anomaly. I can stack the same subs in Nebulosity and get clean stars as depicted in the debloom post comparison of a Nebulosity stack against the DSS stack. I will figure out the DSS quirks eventually. DSS is taking care of tooo many other problems to give up on it. The funky stars seem to correct themselves by the end of processing. Nebulosity is much cleaner but has no column and debloom functions.

On another note (while I have you sage attention), were you able to integrate the camera with micromanager as to get the live histogram and shooting functions? If so how did you go about it? I downloaded micromanager but have been unable to pick up the camera with it.

Thanks,

Joe


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seryddwr
Innocent Bystander
*****

Reged: 02/19/10

Loc: La-la land.
Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: luxetveritas]
      #5008373 - 01/09/12 03:22 AM

Quote:

The lens that came with my Quantix has 40 threads per inch, and I measured 1.751 inches across the peaks of the threads.

The OD of the lens is 2.048 inches, and if you can fit it into a drawtube (e.g. if your drawtube's 2 inch eyepiece holder unscrews to provide more clearance), it may make a nice focal reducer, among other uses.

Aart Olsen




That sounds about right, from just eyeballing it.


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poita
member


Reged: 07/25/11

Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: AITech]
      #5012198 - 01/11/12 12:53 PM

Quote:

Hey guys,
We got in 4 more cameras and working on more. One is on eBay. I know one of the guys on here was looking for one, but I have misplaced the email.
Cheers,
David



If you still have any for sale, please contact me.
Cheers

-Pete


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PiotrM
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/03/10

Loc: Poland
Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: poita]
      #5012263 - 01/11/12 01:34 PM

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200698865946&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:PL:1123 - old apogee here

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poita
member


Reged: 07/25/11

Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #5036768 - 01/25/12 09:30 AM

Why not use one of the Dual Core Atom micro ATX motherboards that have a PCI slot. You can put them in a tiny case, and they draw less power than a laptop.
That way you get a PCI slot, as well as some handy legacy ports like true Serial and Parallel ports as well as wifi etc.
e.g.
http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3549#sp
available for about $130, a tiny case and peer supply can be had for about another $60, just add RAM and an SSD and away you go.
http://www.pcmarket.com.au/21657_Gigabyte-GA-D525TUD-Intel-Atom-D525-1.8GHz-DDR3-Mot.php
Quote:

Quote:

Ok, after doing some search on the net I came to the following conclusion (correct me if I am wrong , because I very much want to be wrong) this camera is suited only for permanent setup observatory that has desktop or it's alternative avalable. I don't see any of us shelling $1000 for magma adapter or carrying "portable desktop/monitor/spare
12V battery out in the field...I also can't envision how an old "network
sniffer" or its alternative is going to be happy with other astroimaging
applications that usually have to run at the same time during imaging session on the laptop (mount guiding etc.)

so I guess this takes this camera out of most important DSO astroimaging factor: going to the dark site..

Once again please let us know if you found reasonably priced and portable solution to the dreaded PCI

shurik




My son dropped by today for a visit, he designs and builds computer systems for gov and industry. He is also a fellow amateur astronomer. I ran our portability issue by him. First he laughed and said we donít pick easy projects. He does agree we made a score with the cams.

As far as a laptop solution goís he stated that he is currently working on designing a vid card interface like the ViDock for the gov. He said Magma is a direct competitor of the company he works for and any solution like magma or Vidock will be pricey. He said the Star Tech X1 pcie to pci converter would probably work in the vidock at x1 speed but there will not be enough head room in the Vidock to accommodate the riser. You would have to modify the case. (mo money) Said too bad as Vidock is cheap for what it does. After spending the 250-300 hundred to mod the Vidock, the other solutions may be just as good.

He also said the mini itx solution that macona (Jerry) offered earlier was a better solution and probably the best way to go for a portable solution. He states by using a low power/low wattage board like this http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=354328&CatId=7174
And a power supply like this http://igowarehouse.amazonwebstore.com/Pico-PSU120-12V-120Watt-DcDC-ATX/M/B0045KGQFE.htm?traffic_src=froogle&utm_medium=CSE&utm_source=froogle
Coupled with a low power monitor will enable a cigarette lighter type power converter and power tank to be used to run the system in the field.

He also stated that the other solution that Jerry offered in the Dolch Pac 65 is close to what is really needed. Perhaps the ITX configured in a similar fashion.
As it stands right now a laptop ďmayĒ not be able to be cheaply worked in and you ďmayĒ be right. If anybody comes up with a lap top solution please let us know. I will continue to research that as time allows.

So Jerry, ďcongratsĒ On good suggestions you are tracking hot, straight and true.




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sullij1
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/08/08

Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: poita]
      #5037000 - 01/25/12 11:48 AM

Thatís what I am using, just havenít bought the tiny case and power supply yet. Lower priority than .8 reducer and luminescence filter. Not really traveling to dark sites yet so the larger cumbersome case in a backyard with ample power is a non issue. For dark site travel the mini package will be ďoneĒ way to do it..

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sullij1
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/08/08

Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new [Re: sullij1]
      #5043606 - 01/29/12 01:51 AM

WARNING!!! I was out imaging tonight and had a frustrating time. ďDO NOT TAKE MORE THAN 25 IMAGES IN RSI IMAGEĒ. Stop and save the images to a file around 25 IMAGES. I was taking blue channel images and had 34 images for over an hourís worth of data, when RSI Image kicked me an error message saying it was out of memory and promptly locked up. Regardless of what I did I could not recover the 34 images I had and had to end the program with the task manager and lost all my data. Evidently there is some kind of tiny buffer that stores the images in the program. First -


When I broke down for the night the SCSI connector pulled apart. Users without observatories should reinforce the connector with epoxy. I will be doing this in the morning. Fortunately the connector is pinned to the harness and slips/plugs back together. Second Ė

Packed it up and came in. Hopefully the weather will hold long enough to make repairs and recover the images. Hope this helps others.


Connector separation, you can see where you may want to epoxy around the connector:


SCSI-CLIP2 by Sullij1, on Flickr


SCSI-CLIP1 by Sullij1, on Flickr


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sullij1
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/08/08

Re: PROCESSING LESSONS LEARNED FOR QUANTIX new [Re: sullij1]
      #5044191 - 01/29/12 01:13 PM

Quote:

1.Shoot all frames as 1x1.
This creates a larger FOV and prevents having to rescale in processing. Rescaling creates problems with the FOV and detail. 1x1 captures all detail over a larger FOV.
2.Take Flats for all filters RGB separately. Take each flat before moving to the next filter during each session. Because of the sensitivity of the camera all flaws show in a big way. A missed flat cannot be recovered later.
3.Make sure the camera alignment and position are marked on the focuser for each object you shoot such that shooting sessions over several nights sees the camera in the same position. Review the frame from a previous session before beginning another session on another night and ensure the stars are aligned in the frame as near exact as you can get from session to session. Failure to do this results in severe staking problems and overly cropped images resulting in a loss of the image FOV.
4. Make a dark and bias folder and keep different timed darks in it. Because of the consistent cooling a huge library is not necessary. Just darks for your average timing. Because of the electronic variance in brightness across the large chip, darks have a tendency to function like flats removing weird variances. My variances are consistently in the same place so again no need for a large library. All darks must be scaled in intensity X16 in Nebulosity before being used in DSS. Create a separate folder for scaled darks. (covered more later)

Work Flow On The Cheap

Because I donít have expensive processing programs I use free or cheap ware like DSS and Nebulosity. So this workflow reflects RGB processing on the cheap.

5. Save all the RSI Image files as 16bit tiffs after capture.
6. Save RGB in a separate file for each color along with a clearly labeled flat folder for each color and image session. Motes will change from session to session on each filter.
7. Before stacking in DSS I move to nebulosity and scale each image intensity X16 (thanks Keith) and save the intensity scaled image in an X16 folder for each color and each flat. Why? Because I am going to use DSS to stack. If you donít scale the image, DSS will not be able to detect the stars, dark and flat stuff. Stack master flats and darks in Nebulosity and save master X16 darks to the dark folder and master x16 flats to master flat folder for the respective image color and session.
Why DSS? DSS has the functions to debloom, detect and correct column problems and hot pixels, just like expensive programs like MaximDL and Pixinsight! DUH! Believe it or not it took hours of experimenting to discover this. Maxim expects fits files and RSI image saves as its own format or tiff. So tiff will be our work mode. Unless you want to resave all your images as fits (somehow) my way will be easiest.
8. Now move to DSS. DSS thinks you are using a bayer color camera so we will trick it to help us. Set the camera type. I tell DSS to use the canon. In the setting menu go to lights tab. Use adaptive weighted average and select per channel background calibration. Click the Debloom check box.
9. Go to the Dark Tab. select the median radio button. Check the hot pixel detection and removal, Bad column detect and removal, and Dark optimization.
10. Go to Flats Tab. I use maximum radio button for now.
11. Go to the cosmetic Tab. Put checks in both detect and clean boxes. Replace each pixel with the median selection.
12. Go to the DSS main window and select Lights, Darks, and flats from your X16 files. Each color will have to be stacked and saved separately in each colors x16 folder. Do the normal DSS stacking process. So will have a DSS X16 Red stack a x16 Blue stack and a x16 green stack saved to each x16 folder for the object. Why? Because we have to colorize them in Photo Shop. DSS donít do RGB Grey Scale Coloring.
13. Save each stack of RGB with a name like DSS STAK REDX164PS or some name you will recognize the stacked file by.

Go to Photoshop

14. Open the RED X16 folder find the , DSS STAK REDX164PS. Open it. I do auto level, look where the histogram sits and return to the levels function and line up the histogram at 1/3 scale. Minimize the red window. Open theX16 Green and repeat the level process. Do this for each color file of RGB leaving each window open and minimized.
15. I now follow Ken Crawfordís RGB/Narrowband tutorial from here to colorize, final align and balance. Why? It gives the most control of colors and levels in each channel. Most importantly, because if you are like me, it took 2 weeks to gather the data over 4 separate shooting sessions because of weather, shooting window and time commitments. Thus all your frames will not align correctly and you will have to hand align the RGB in Photoshop. Using his layers method this is an easy task. You will also find that if you need the lens correction function or other image corrections, Mr. Crawfordís layer method gives you the opportunity to do that.
16. Here is the link to Kenís tutorial: http://www.rdelsol.net/ClippingMasks/ClippingMask.html
17. And here: http://www.imagingdeepsky.com/Presentations.html

18. You can use normal RGB as outlined here: http://www.eprisephoto.com/create-lrgb if your files are perfectly aligned (Good luck with that).

In closing if you come up with a cheap easier way please share with us!!!!!!! If you see a way to streamline this process, PLEASE SHARE! On a final note I still donít have a realtime histogram when shooting. Really need one for flats! If you have a method for getting a histogram up or have successful flat times for colors please share them with me. I have yet to break the realtime histogram code for the Quantix.

Here is my first HaRGB, I know the colors are off as the main star is blue but I didnít care at this time. This is an experiment to see if the work flow Ė works! Also because I did not take flats for each filter there is a lot of image corruption that contaminated the image to a point where I didnít care as much about color accuracy as I did about work flow.


Cali neb 2 by Sullij1, on Flickr

Cheers,
Joe




While I am at keeping this thread alive.... Here is another tutorial better suited to the LRGB composite for the Quantix users without observatories. If you are setting up and breaking down for every session, regardless of how well you have marked your mount and camera position, anomalies will occur in the image that will make composite stacking difficult.

Add to the tutorials section under Go to Photoshop section lines 14 -18 add this as line 19.

19. In Charlie Heinís Best Threads section / under Photoshop/Other processing Tutorials Links / How-To RGB composite in PS Here:

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbarchive/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/326403/page/0/view/collapsed/sb/5/o/all/fpart/1

Charles explains a method to get around the alingment issues you "WILL" encounter in composite. This is probably the best tutorial for non observatory users.


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sullij1
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/08/08

Re: PROCESSING LESSONS LEARNED FOR QUANTIX new [Re: sullij1]
      #5044275 - 01/29/12 02:00 PM

On another note... during a thread on keeping the image aligned during acquisition and for stacking later Rigel 123 (Warren) mentioned he used a sheet of acetate over his screen. The method entails marking the alignment stars for the frame on the acetate. If you maintain the same view scale night after night this will help you maintain camera framing alignment for those week or month long projects. I would suggest separate sheets of acetate for each object imaged until you have gathered all your data. This is an "On The Cheap" method that should help minimize composite issues. Thanks Warren! (Wherever U R).

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veil
journeyman


Reged: 04/20/08

Loc: Bathurst Australia
Re: QUANTIX HELP......... new
      #5051000 - 02/02/12 03:35 AM

I just bought one of the quantix cameras and I thought I would share some things I have learned about. It has the shutter and machining done by the fine gentleman on this forum.

Firstly it runs fine on windows 7 32bit. It does not work with win 7 64 bit as much as I tried. As my main obs computer with all the automation software was 64 bit, that's kinda annoying. I have run it only in maxim. I did have an error with one of my windows 7 machines with an error on every second exposure. I cannot remember the exact code but it was a camera error in maxim dl. Because it worked fine with my other win 7 machine without issue, I think that it may have been caused by the power supply of one of the computers not having enough juice(350 vs 600w).

I do have use of a an sbig stl6303 that I am planning on doing some comparisons with. Without a lot of testing being done, the quantix noise characteristics are looking very good in comparison.

I am fortunate to have 2 observatories, one remote and one for 'testing' at home. I have the quantix mounted at the home obs on a vixen vc200l, run by ccdap5. Unfortunately we have had 3 weeks of cloudy nights so I haven't got the testing that I have wanted to get done.

Stayed tuned for some comparisons.

Regards
Brett


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