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Equipment Discussions >> Video and Electronically Assisted Astronomy

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Dwight J
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 05/14/09

Loc: Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
First Miloslick and Mallincam use
      #5611376 - 01/08/13 05:30 AM Attachment (80 downloads)

I had a few things to try out tonight. First off was the Mallincam focal reducer with 5 and 10 mm spacers and Miloslick software. There was a fair amount of vignetting using this configuration on the C14 and I had to drop the gamma to 1.0 and go for longer exposures. I also lowered the gain to 1. The Miloslick software video filters allowed me to get rid of the rest of the vignetting although there looks like the black got clipped a bit. I was fighting clouds off and on and high haze made the vignetting look worse than it probably is. The software allows dark subtraction on the fly and to stack up to five frames. It also automatically takes a series of images. Nice. Stacking certainly smoothed out the images. I have included a couple to show you the results. The first is M 97 at 60 seconds exposure and F3 or so - I have yet to calculate the exact focal reduction but it seems to be a wider field than when I used a Meade F3.3 focal reducer and 2 inch extension tube. Great software for the Mallincam.

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Dwight J
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 05/14/09

Loc: Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Re: First Miloslick and Mallincam use new [Re: Dwight J]
      #5611378 - 01/08/13 05:32 AM Attachment (68 downloads)

And M 64. 90 seconds exposure and 5 frames averaged in Miloslick.

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Dwight J
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 05/14/09

Loc: Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Re: First Miloslick and Mallincam use new [Re: Dwight J]
      #5611380 - 01/08/13 05:35 AM Attachment (66 downloads)

And just for fun, M 97 again, this time five 60 second images summed.

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nytecam
Postmaster


Reged: 08/20/05

Loc: London UK
Re: First Miloslick and Mallincam use new [Re: Dwight J]
      #5613142 - 01/09/13 04:40 AM

Very interesting results Dwight ;-)

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Dwight J
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 05/14/09

Loc: Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Re: First Miloslick and Mallincam use new [Re: nytecam]
      #5613174 - 01/09/13 06:06 AM

Yes, interesting results is right! I didn' use the dark frame subtraction which it does on the fly nor amp glow removal. I will go back to the Meade focal reducer as it vignettes much less, at least with this setup. Then I can use less gain (0.45) and shorter exposures to obtain a similar image. The frame averaging really reduces the noise and gives a nice smooth result. Using Webcammax I am able to use all the software tools on NightSkiesNetwork and present a much improved image. The software is updated frequently with improvements so it can only get better.

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James Cunningham
Post Laureate
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Reged: 08/07/10

Loc: Maryland
Re: First Miloslick and Mallincam use new [Re: Dwight J]
      #5615030 - 01/10/13 08:21 AM

I also use Miloslick software and the Mallincam. I have not used the stacking yet. Just how do you stack the images?
Thanks.


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Dwight J
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 05/14/09

Loc: Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Re: First Miloslick and Mallincam use new [Re: James Cunningham]
      #5615482 - 01/10/13 12:57 PM

Hi Jimmy: to enable stacking, select frame stacking from the drop down menu (the one that starts with exposure settings) and the frame stacking menu appears. You can then chose to either sum or average, the number of frames to use, and to do it in a rollon fashion. You can stack from 2 to 5 frames. I chose average and rolling - I found the sum blew out the image with the exposure times I was using. Sum would be useful if your mount didn't track all that well and you were limited to short exposures. I have had just a couple of hours experience so far and I am looking forward to some more time to fully explore how Miloslick can enhance my images.

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James Cunningham
Post Laureate
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Reged: 08/07/10

Loc: Maryland
Re: First Miloslick and Mallincam use new [Re: Dwight J]
      #5615494 - 01/10/13 01:03 PM

Thank you. Can you choose how many frames to take or does the software do that for you? Also, should I use less integration and then stack to get the best images?
Jim


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altair1956
super member
*****

Reged: 07/05/09

Loc: Light polluted central Mass
Re: First Miloslick and Mallincam use new [Re: James Cunningham]
      #5615665 - 01/10/13 02:43 PM

Thanks to this thread, I downloaded the control program and tried it with my extreme last night. I am very favorably impressed. I tried out the amp glow reducing part and found it very effective. I like that you can put things like time and camera stamps on the images and also that you can have a lot more text on the image if you want than with the prior control program I was using. Very easy to use, lots of great extra features over what I had been working with.

Edited by altair1956 (01/10/13 02:46 PM)


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HowardK
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 10/20/10

Re: First Miloslick and Mallincam use new [Re: altair1956]
      #5615754 - 01/10/13 03:42 PM

It's far superior....settings get to the camera every time
Imo to the other control.....

Bill will release soon v1.4 with a smoother amp glow filter and the ability to change text font


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ahopp
sage


Reged: 05/24/12

Re: First Miloslick and Mallincam use new [Re: HowardK]
      #5615792 - 01/10/13 04:03 PM

I just bought and setup this app this morning. Was very impressed with both the application and the documentation. Used it with my Xtreme and it was impressive.

Looking forward to getting it out under the night sky with my 14" LX850, as soon as they ship it back from Meade, via recall.

Tony


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mclewis1
Thread Killer
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Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: First Miloslick and Mallincam use new [Re: ahopp]
      #5615807 - 01/10/13 04:10 PM

A suggestion ...

When everyone is discussing the Miloslick software how about letting us know if you are running it on Mac OS or Windows. There's lots of commonality but there are some differences that might affect expectations.


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HowardK
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Reged: 10/20/10

Re: First Miloslick and Mallincam use new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5615897 - 01/10/13 05:01 PM

Windows in boot camp on a macbook pro

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Dwight J
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 05/14/09

Loc: Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Re: First Miloslick and Mallincam use new [Re: altair1956]
      #5616066 - 01/10/13 06:59 PM

Hi Jim: you can select from 2 to 5 frames to stack. Select sum for shorter exposures or average to smooth out noise on longer ones. I prefer averaging for the smooth result.

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James Cunningham
Post Laureate
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Reged: 08/07/10

Loc: Maryland
Re: First Miloslick and Mallincam use new [Re: Dwight J]
      #5616253 - 01/10/13 08:53 PM

Thanks. Should my integratio be less than normal when stacking? Is it trial and error? I wanted to try it tonight but the weather is bad.
Thanks


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Dwight J
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 05/14/09

Loc: Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Re: First Miloslick and Mallincam use new [Re: James Cunningham]
      #5616338 - 01/10/13 09:48 PM

Hi Jimmy: I tried stacking a couple of times but my exposures were too long and it blew the image out. Some factors I had were: fairly large scope, fast focal ratio, and a fairly weak LPS filter. If you were using a slower scope and a stronger filter (like UHC or Ha) that you could sum short exposures which I have yet to try and the winter storm outside tonight will delay further experimenting until at least Saturday.

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mattflastro
Vendor - Astrovideo Systems


Reged: 07/31/09

Loc: Brevard County , FL
Re: First Miloslick and Mallincam use new [Re: altair1956]
      #5616820 - 01/11/13 08:22 AM

Quote:

Thanks to this thread, I downloaded the control program and tried it with my extreme last night. I am very favorably impressed. I tried out the amp glow reducing part and found it very effective. I like that you can put things like time and camera stamps on the images and also that you can have a lot more text on the image if you want than with the prior control program I was using. Very easy to use, lots of great extra features over what I had been working with.



Forgive my naive question as a non-Mallincam owner, does the Mallincam HAVE amp glow ? Everywhere I read about it I could only see praise and superlatives, not a word of amp glow. Now here comes a piece of software that eliminates it that must not be spoken???


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ahopp
sage


Reged: 05/24/12

Re: First Miloslick and Mallincam use new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5616848 - 01/11/13 08:46 AM

Mac Book Pro, running Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8.2)
Miloslick 1.3.4


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Dwight J
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 05/14/09

Loc: Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Re: First Miloslick and Mallincam use new [Re: mattflastro]
      #5617016 - 01/11/13 10:49 AM

I don't think there is any conspiracy to "conceal" amp glow from Mallincams. Most people ignore it as it is up in the left corner and well controlled by cooling. My old Canon 300D had horrendous readout noise but it was easily eliminated by dark frame subtraction. If you examine the images I posted in this thread you can see the amount of amp glow I get with a Mallincam Extreme with the cooler on full. I did no amp glow compensation nor dark frame subtraction and amp glow has to be searched for. In the old story of the emperor has no clothes in this case he is fully dressed.

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mattflastro
Vendor - Astrovideo Systems


Reged: 07/31/09

Loc: Brevard County , FL
Re: First Miloslick and Mallincam use new [Re: Dwight J]
      #5617221 - 01/11/13 12:46 PM

Quote:

I don't think there is any conspiracy to "conceal" amp glow from Mallincams. Most people ignore it as it is up in the left corner and well controlled by cooling. My old Canon 300D had horrendous readout noise but it was easily eliminated by dark frame subtraction. If you examine the images I posted in this thread you can see the amount of amp glow I get with a Mallincam Extreme with the cooler on full. I did no amp glow compensation nor dark frame subtraction and amp glow has to be searched for. In the old story of the emperor has no clothes in this case he is fully dressed.




I don't know about fully dressed or conspiracy .
I only noticed that all blacks in those posted images are hard clipped . I mean seriously, really, really hard clipped . All black pixels have the absolute and unheard value of exactly 0 . No standard deviation, no noise, nada, ZERO. No faint stars just below the detection threshold to induce slightly higher than ZERO black pixels. No gamma ray impacts to leave a brighter pixel. I am not even mentioning thermal noise or readout noise because obviously these are also ZERO.
Have you looked at the histogram ?
Maybe that's the secret of the software, or maybe the camera itself.
Just automatically clipping the black level aggresively in order to show a perfectly uniform pitch black background with the physically impossible level of 0 for each and every pixel under a certain threshold, generating this way very aesthetically pleasing images .

Edited by mattflastro (01/11/13 12:50 PM)


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mclewis1
Thread Killer
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Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: First Miloslick and Mallincam use new [Re: Dwight J]
      #5617223 - 01/11/13 12:47 PM

And to add to what Dwight said ...

Mallincams have changed over time, the older models did indeed have a bit more amp glow (at the same integration/exposure level) than newer models.
One thing that complicates things when discussing the amount of amp glow potentially seen is that later model Mallincams have extended integration/exposure levels (which can increase amp glow) but they also have improved cooling capabilities (which reduces amp glow). So it really depends on settings and how the camera is being used.
Sensor selection also affects the amount of amp glow seen ... the optional EXView HAD sensors are even more sensitive and therefore show a bit more amp glow.


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mattflastro
Vendor - Astrovideo Systems


Reged: 07/31/09

Loc: Brevard County , FL
Re: First Miloslick and Mallincam use new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5617236 - 01/11/13 12:55 PM

Quote:

And to add to what Dwight said ...

Mallincams have changed over time, the older models did indeed have a bit more amp glow (at the same integration/exposure level) than newer models.
One thing that complicates things when discussing the amount of amp glow potentially seen is that later model Mallincams have extended integration/exposure levels (which can increase amp glow) but they also have improved cooling capabilities (which reduces amp glow). So it really depends on settings and how the camera is being used.
Sensor selection also affects the amount of amp glow seen ... the optional EXView HAD sensors are even more sensitive and therefore show a bit more amp glow.




No improvements, exview schmexview sensors, cooling (other than to 0K -that is zero Kelvin- , definitely not "mild") can reduce ALL noise from ALL pixels to exactly 0. Which is what the above images are showing , exactly 0 with very clipped blacks in the histogram .


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Dwight J
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 05/14/09

Loc: Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Re: First Miloslick and Mallincam use new [Re: mattflastro]
      #5617318 - 01/11/13 01:52 PM

Check the images I have posted in the image gallery. The ones here in this thread had a lot of vignetting that I used the software to remove and thusly clipped the black level as I described in the first post in the thread. What I liked about the Miloslick software is that I could get rid of it and put up an image without it showing.

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mattflastro
Vendor - Astrovideo Systems


Reged: 07/31/09

Loc: Brevard County , FL
Re: First Miloslick and Mallincam use new [Re: Dwight J]
      #5617332 - 01/11/13 02:01 PM

Quote:

Check the images I have posted in the image gallery. The ones here in this thread had a lot of vignetting that I used the software to remove and thusly clipped the black level as I described in the first post in the thread. What I liked about the Miloslick software is that I could get rid of it and put up an image without it showing.




Thanks, will check .


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mclewis1
Thread Killer
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Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: First Miloslick and Mallincam use new [Re: mattflastro]
      #5617420 - 01/11/13 03:02 PM

Matt,

Nothing in my comments had anything to do with the histogram or black levels. Check the posting times, I never saw your earlier post about clipped levels, I was just adding to what Dwight said earlier about Mallincam amp glow .

It is however pretty interesting to see a histogram like that. It's certainly not representative of the raw un processed image from any video camera through a frame grabber.


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mattflastro
Vendor - Astrovideo Systems


Reged: 07/31/09

Loc: Brevard County , FL
Re: First Miloslick and Mallincam use new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5618133 - 01/11/13 10:28 PM

Quote:

Matt,

Nothing in my comments had anything to do with the histogram or black levels. Check the posting times, I never saw your earlier post about clipped levels, I was just adding to what Dwight said earlier about Mallincam amp glow .

It is however pretty interesting to see a histogram like that. It's certainly not representative of the raw un processed image from any video camera through a frame grabber.



I apologize for that posting, I was in a hurry this morning and missed the subtleties. I should learn to refrain from posting when I'm in a hurry .
What I meant was exactly what you said, the way that histogram looks is certainly suggesting some device in the signal chain clipped the blacks, be it the camera hardware, frame grabber hardware or software , or the Miloslick settings, and I was/am very curious as to what caused it. I am in the process of educating myself as much as possible before making some possible purchasing decisions and trying to find out how the various parts perform is a given for me.


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mattflastro
Vendor - Astrovideo Systems


Reged: 07/31/09

Loc: Brevard County , FL
Re: First Miloslick and Mallincam use new [Re: Dwight J]
      #5618159 - 01/11/13 10:42 PM

Quote:

Check the images I have posted in the image gallery. The ones here in this thread had a lot of vignetting that I used the software to remove and thusly clipped the black level as I described in the first post in the thread. What I liked about the Miloslick software is that I could get rid of it and put up an image without it showing.




I checked your images in the image gallery , very nice images and the black background looks normal, no clipping . I saw some amp glow but very faint , also very little image noise , nothing to worry about. Thanks .


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Dwight J
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 05/14/09

Loc: Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Re: First Miloslick and Mallincam use new [Re: mattflastro]
      #5618182 - 01/11/13 10:55 PM

Thanks Matt. To be sure, in warmer weather extra steps need to be taken to dissipate heat from the camera and Mallincam sells heat sinks , fans, and even the 2" adapter acts like a heat sink. Where I live nights are usually cool and cold in winter - -14C right now so amp glow is much reduced without anything other than the on camera cooling. Miiloslick can mask any glow that occurs or a dark frame can be subtracted on the fly and that removes the hot pixels too. I will post some more images using my original focal reducer and frame stacking with dark subtraction after Saturday night.

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ahopp
sage


Reged: 05/24/12

Re: First Miloslick and Mallincam use new [Re: Dwight J]
      #5618611 - 01/12/13 08:47 AM

How do i get to the image gallery for Dwight to see these images referenced? When I go to Dwight's gallaery on Cloudy Nights it is empty.

Tony


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Dwight J
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 05/14/09

Loc: Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Re: First Miloslick and Mallincam use new [Re: ahopp]
      #5618993 - 01/12/13 12:36 PM

Hi Tony: I don't have a gallery. My images are posted in the images thread on the last page. I also have some in the Happy New Year thread and Merry Christmas thread.

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nytecam
Postmaster


Reged: 08/20/05

Loc: London UK
Re: First Miloslick and Mallincam use new [Re: mattflastro]
      #5619484 - 01/12/13 05:23 PM

Quote:

Forgive my naive question as a non-Mallincam owner, does the Mallincam HAVE amp glow ? Everywhere I read about it I could only see praise and superlatives, not a word of amp glow. Now here comes a piece of software that eliminates it that must not be spoken???


Once asked the maker of hi-end astro CCD cams why no videocams for DSO work and he said "amp glow - why 'stack' video frames via sens-up, each with its amp glow, when a single CCD cam exposure of equal [or longer duration] has no amp glow 'cos the amplifier is switched off during the exposure" !

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mattflastro
Vendor - Astrovideo Systems


Reged: 07/31/09

Loc: Brevard County , FL
Re: First Miloslick and Mallincam use new [Re: nytecam]
      #5619728 - 01/12/13 07:47 PM

Quote:

Once asked the maker of hi-end astro CCD cams why no videocams for DSO work and he said "amp glow - why 'stack' video frames via sens-up, each with its amp glow, when a single CCD cam exposure of equal [or longer duration] has no amp glow 'cos the amplifier is switched off during the exposure" !




A part of the above statement is true, albeit incomplete . Stacking multiple frames with amp glow would yield a worse result than a single exposure with the amp switched off . The statement failed to mention the readout noise would be higher in the stacked scenario .
Now to the part of that statement which is false. Sense-up does not work by stacking frames in-camera . Sense-up is an actual single long exposure , just like a long exposure photo . It's true that sens-up does not switch off the CCD read amp during the exposure just the same some DSLR's don't (for example the Canon D300 ). But it is a single exposure .


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Dwight J
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 05/14/09

Loc: Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Re: First Miloslick and Mallincam use new [Re: mattflastro]
      #5619864 - 01/12/13 09:52 PM

And, in keeping with the theme of the thread, using Miloslick I can subtract a dark frame on the fly so amp glow and hot pixels are removed. Only one dark is needed as it can be adjusted for different exposure times. I asked myself why I just didn't use a OSC CCD camera instead but then I would have to do post processing to see a color image after I subtracted a dark frame. I just need to get some clear skies but snow and clouds for the next two nights. Once I can get out I will post some examples.

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mclewis1
Thread Killer
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Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: First Miloslick and Mallincam use new [Re: nytecam]
      #5620871 - 01/13/13 02:03 PM

Quote:

Once asked the maker of hi-end astro CCD cams why no videocams for DSO work and he said "amp glow - why 'stack' video frames via sens-up, each with its amp glow, when a single CCD cam exposure of equal [or longer duration] has no amp glow 'cos the amplifier is switched off during the exposure" !



And there is one of the reasons why Rock (the designer/maker of the Mallincam) gets so bent out of shape when folks dismiss his products vs. CCD imaging cameras or simple video/security cameras. There's a lot of additional design and specialized hardware work that goes into making his continuous exposure cameras work so well.

Edited by mclewis1 (01/13/13 02:05 PM)


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