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John Wunderlin
Vendor - Spike-a Focusing Mask
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Reged: 10/01/04

Loc: Mineral Point, Wi
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: pfile]
      #5623126 - 01/14/13 05:40 PM

I did some more googling and it sounds like RBI can hang around for quite a while depending on CCD configuration. I may do some testing tonight if I have time after my date with a couple of comets

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mmalik
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Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: pfile]
      #5623308 - 01/14/13 07:49 PM

Quote:

Here's a picture of all the junk attached to my AT10RC.






That's lot of junk, good junk in a way; very long imaging train though. Does it not cause flexure in the system? I think you could get rid of AO (Adaptive Optics [had to Google it to figure out what it was…]) to make things simpler; but then I have never used one or know if it really improves things? How heavy is ‘FW8-STT Self-Guiding Filter Wheel’; I have yet to find specs on this unit (please provide specs link if you know?). Thanks for the pic. Regards


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pfile
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Reged: 06/14/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5623338 - 01/14/13 08:15 PM

i think the camera is something like 4 pounds and the filter wheel 2 pounds. but i will check. flexure is an issue especially with the AT10RC but the OAG takes care of most of that.

the idea behind guiding with the AO is that you can move a small piece of glass much more quickly than the whole mount, so in theory it can react faster and even compensate for bad seeing to a certain degree. my mount has really bad PE (some very fast spots) that the guider/mount can just not keep up with, so i thought maybe the AO could solve my problem.

the best solution to the problem would be software bisque or astro-physics, though


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mmalik
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Reged: 01/13/12

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Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: pfile]
      #5623391 - 01/14/13 08:43 PM

Quote:

...flexure is an issue especially with the AT10RC but the OAG takes care of most of that.




Misconception in my opinion; yes OAG may take care of guiding related flexure but it wouldn't make your sensor perpendicular to the optical path. You'll still have oblong stars in the image regardless. Thx


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pfile
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Reged: 06/14/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5623746 - 01/15/13 01:35 AM

i guess i was referring to differential flexure. this type of scope is almost impossible to collimate "perfectly" in every attitude because the weight of the camera, focuser, etc. causes the mirror to shift as the OTA position changes. i'm not sure if there is a camera and focuser light enough that this is no longer an issue.

in practice the effect is not that bad. this could be due to using a small-ish sensor. not sure. also in this type of design, without a flattener at least, the stars at the edges of the field are out of focus anyway. it's coma-free but has relatively large curvature.


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jerryyyyy
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/06/11

Loc: Stanford, California
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: pfile]
      #5662808 - 02/05/13 01:18 AM Attachment (123 downloads)

OK, I have come out of hiding with a well-placed PM. I bought the whole (most expensive package) from Anacordes scopes. I think I probably got Unit 002. I spend a pleasant couple of months debugging a series of issues with the filter wheel with the folks at SBIG, who were quite persistant. In any case, works flawlessly now.

I have not posted a lot of images since I have been struggling with some guiding issues and automation software.

This is a simple iPhone shot... on top is my D800...


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mmalik
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Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: jerryyyyy]
      #5662880 - 02/05/13 03:32 AM

Quote:

STT-8300M with integrated OAG




Thanks Jerry; to confirm, you mean self-guided filter wheel with Baader filters, correct? Also if you can elaborate what issues you encountered with it and how you fixed them. Technical details will be appreciated. Regards


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jerryyyyy
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Reged: 10/06/11

Loc: Stanford, California
Re: Understanding STF-8300M [Re: mmalik]
      #5663242 - 02/05/13 10:12 AM

Quote:

Quote:

STT-8300M with integrated OAG




Thanks Jerry; to confirm, you mean self-guided filter wheel with Baader filters, correct? Also if you can elaborate what issues you encountered with it and how you fixed them. Technical details will be appreciated. Regards




Yes, the self guided filter wheel with the Baader filters. I looked into the filters in a less than knowledgible fashion when I purchased the rig because there was a good savings I calculated involved. The savings for the package was not huge, but I did not see any filters discounted anywhere either and I did not want to buy used. I also wanted to buy the package to get the best after sales service [which I have gotten]. Subsequently I have looked at the Astrodon filters, which for what I can see are more narrow than these narrow bands. They are also more expensive, and they require longer exposures. So at my level of expertise, I was happy to get the Baader and they are working OK. This is the test image that convinced me they work:



Anyway, if you look at this image you will see all the guiding issues and other problems I have to deal with to produce better images, but this shows me for sure that the O-III and H-Alpha work (they are very separate in this target).

I am not sure what all the problems were with the original filterwheel, but it was swapped out and the firmware update several times and now it works flawlessly. Thses were the expected early adopter problems I anticipated, but I wanted this technology since I did not want to buy another camera for many years and I knew this was supposed to be the latest advance. I have done a lot of outdoors photography [fishing guides] and I had the unfortunate habit of buying DSlRs just at the end of their life-cycles and I was not going to make that mistake with a CCD that costs 2X what a top of the line DSLR costs.

Anyway, now that the firmware and Maxim and all the rest are one big happy family, I want to say the other reason I got this was all the trouble I had trying to get OAGing working. This is just dead simple. No thought process involved. The image is taken off before the filer wheel and it is adjusted after the main focus of the scope (so you can fine adjust it). It just works and there are big bright images for guiding.

What else?

In sum, I am happy with the unit despite the growing pains, but I have only been at this for 15 months so I had a lot to learn. Now I have tweaked my guiding with a tune up of the Atlas with the help of a friend and I have bought an autofocuser, so I thiunk I can go into production capturing the types of images I would like to create.


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jerryyyyy
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/06/11

Loc: Stanford, California
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: jerryyyyy]
      #5664308 - 02/05/13 08:53 PM Attachment (83 downloads)

As per request, a look at the wiring. Thwe grey wire at the top is a tie to prevent dropping it....

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mmalik
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Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: jerryyyyy]
      #5664735 - 02/06/13 07:21 AM

Quote:

I have looked at the Astrodon filters, which for what I can see are more narrow than these narrow bands. They are also more expensive, and they require longer exposures.




Thanks Jerry for the write-up and pics; I think you are implying Astrodon filters are better compared to what comes by default, correct [pretty much what others concluded as well]? That would mean 'STT-8300M Self-Guiding Filter Wheel Package' is probably the way to go [the one that comes empty]?

Quote:

I am not sure what all the problems were with the original filter wheel, but it was swapped out and the firmware update several times and now it works flawlessly.




Would you know the firmware version that works/you now have? I am wondering if other early adopters (@pfile/others) encountered the same problem? I am hoping they are all fixed by now; can anyone confirm who may have bought more recently? Thx


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Hilmi
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Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: mmalik]
      #5664739 - 02/06/13 07:34 AM

I would like to add one more comment about the STT-8300 self guiding filter wheel. If you'r telescope is not 100% collimated, you will have serious problems finding a guide star. Mine was MOSTLY collimated but a bit off and I kept on having difficulty finding guide stars. After very accuaratly collimating using CCD Inspector. I now find it much easier to find guide stars.

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jerryyyyy
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/06/11

Loc: Stanford, California
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5664894 - 02/06/13 09:56 AM

I would say that if I had to do it again, would go with the Astrodon filters, but I knew not what I was doing at the time.

I could check the firmware, as the camera comes with a firmware checker/updater so this is easy. I have to say that in my day job I run a lot of Linux and I was working on an install yesterday that was done in 2007 and never updated since then... it works. So I am not going to change these drivers no matter what anyone says at this point.... SBIG included. Next time I am out there, however, I will check the version number.

Don't hesitate to ask any other questions because this is how I learn...

PS Last night ran flawlessly for 11h... clear skys in Palo Alto... just need to crank up the dew buster a bit... around here I think it needs to glow slightly red in the dark....

Edited by jerryyyyy (02/06/13 09:57 AM)


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jerryyyyy
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/06/11

Loc: Stanford, California
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5664907 - 02/06/13 10:04 AM

Quote:

I would like to add one more comment about the STT-8300 self guiding filter wheel. If you'r telescope is not 100% collimated, you will have serious problems finding a guide star. Mine was MOSTLY collimated but a bit off and I kept on having difficulty finding guide stars. After very accuaratly collimating using CCD Inspector. I now find it much easier to find guide stars.




Hi Hilmi, and hope the new set up is working fine... you are benefitting from my Beta testing

My C8 checks out pretty well and have had no real problems guiding. The people at SBIG have noted for me that the AO-8 Adaptive Optics System may be the way to go if I really want a top of the line system, but I think this is a bit of overkill for a C8.

I assume you are getting good skys where you are and can focus the autoguider well. What is a touch tricky is that the autoguider will come off after I have focused the C8 (for its own focus)... I am afraid of messing with the autoguider focus again because it works currently.


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mmalik
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Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Understanding STF-8300M new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5664913 - 02/06/13 10:11 AM

I am a DSLRer and CCD is Greek to me...what other pieces might be needed to properly “attach” to a premium APO besides say buying a "STT-8300M Self-Guiding Filter Wheel Pro Package”. To give you an idea, I use this... kind of 2" adapter for a DSLR to “attach” to the APO. Reason I ask since some folks have been talking about some face plates and stuff; is that needed in my case?


As always, Hilmi, pics of your setup will be welcome, preferably high-res ones that may show all the STT wire connections and wheel/train assembly clearly. Thx


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Hilmi
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Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: Understanding STF-8300M [Re: mmalik]
      #5664951 - 02/06/13 10:38 AM

OK. Here goes... the face plate tha contains self guiding filter wheel has an STL thread. If your APO Refractor field flatner has a built in t-thread like my TV60is, then you have a problem. You need to fabricate a special adapter to step down from STL to T thread size.

But since your focuser accepts 2" nose piece, then you have nothing to worry about, everything you need is included in the box. Also. In the future you might want to make a customer adapter to thread directly onto your focuser for a more secure connection. How that is done depends on the focuser you have. mmalik, I'm abroad now. Traveling back home tomorrow. If I remember, I will provide you with pictures.

Jerry, I have the most horrible skies you can imagine for this hobby but I'm so stubborn and just keep on at it. Also, I too had filter wheel problems initially in the form of filter wheel failed to initialize errors. But after a couple of firmware updates, the errors have mostly gone away. I still get the occasional error when I first try to connect to the camera, that usually happens if I try to connect while the camera is still initializing. Its best to wait a bit after powering on the camera till all the filter wheel movement stops then connect in software.


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jerryyyyy
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/06/11

Loc: Stanford, California
Re: Understanding STF-8300M [Re: Hilmi]
      #5666186 - 02/06/13 10:44 PM

Quote:

OK. Here goes... the face plate tha contains self guiding filter wheel has an STL thread. If your APO Refractor field flatner has a built in t-thread like my TV60is, then you have a problem. You need to fabricate a special adapter to step down from STL to T thread size.

But since your focuser accepts 2" nose piece, then you have nothing to worry about, everything you need is included in the box. Also. In the future you might want to make a customer adapter to thread directly onto your focuser for a more secure connection. How that is done depends on the focuser you have. mmalik, I'm abroad now. Traveling back home tomorrow. If I remember, I will provide you with pictures.

Jerry, I have the most horrible skies you can imagine for this hobby but I'm so stubborn and just keep on at it. Also, I too had filter wheel problems initially in the form of filter wheel failed to initialize errors. But after a couple of firmware updates, the errors have mostly gone away. I still get the occasional error when I first try to connect to the camera, that usually happens if I try to connect while the camera is still initializing. Its best to wait a bit after powering on the camera till all the filter wheel movement stops then connect in software.




My condolancdes on the skys. I have been to Qatar a couple of times as I have a good friend there and am impressed with the dust storms...

Next time I get the chance I will look at what firmware I am using. I do not have that problem... just starts up and stays OK.

I appreciate your comments about the solid threaded connections. It is very heavy and might fall out easily. I have attached a wire cord just in case...


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pfile
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Reged: 06/14/09

Re: Understanding STF-8300M [Re: jerryyyyy]
      #5666294 - 02/07/13 12:14 AM

btw when you step down to the T adapter do you still get any stars on the guide chip?

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Hilmi
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Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: Understanding STF-8300M [Re: pfile]
      #5666318 - 02/07/13 12:28 AM

Havent tried yet. Precision parts will be done fabricating the adapter by the 15th

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SeattleStarGazer
member


Reged: 10/19/07

Re: Understanding STF-8300M [Re: Hilmi]
      #5666765 - 02/07/13 10:14 AM

Hi Hilmi, I got a notification that my STT8300M Pro package arrives Monday! Looking forward to getting it set up. I was wondering about your experience in getting the mirror positioned correctly? the manual references pointing the scope at a blank illuminated wall and moving the mirror until a shadow appears then backing it off until it just disappears. Is this what you did and if so, how did it go?

Thanks in advance!


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Hilmi
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Re: Understanding STF-8300M [Re: SeattleStarGazer]
      #5666900 - 02/07/13 11:25 AM

Exactly as the manual says. Easy as pie

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